Well Fed cookbook review + giveaway


My copy of Well Fed came in the mail last week, and it only took a moment before I was already lost in the mouth-watering photos, the recipes, the stories, the flavor pairings and the wit of Melissa Joulwan, author and blogger at The Clothes Make the Girl. One of my favorite paleo bloggers, Mel has a tough-but-sweet attitude, and from what I’ve read she really knows how to tackle a challenge with style and grit. Not only that, but she’s an inventive cook with an eye for presentation and a flair for exotic spices, and her cookbook displays all of this.

Plus, nearly everything in Well Fed is Whole30-approved, which is such a blessing. I’m smack dab in the middle of my first Whole30 challenge, and if I wasn’t able to cook and eat the dishes that I was reading about I think I probably would’ve eaten the cookbook itself. Thankfully, it’s all systems go for these delicious dishes!


I’ve already made her recipe for Creamy Mashed Cauliflower and the Coconut-Almond Green Beans, and I have plans to cook up her Creamy Spice Market Kale, “The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat,” her Salmon A L’Afrique du Nord, her Turkish Chopped Salad, and her Velvety Butternut Squash in the coming days. It’s Well Fed-week on our menu planner!

How could I not want to cook all of her dishes after reading Well Fed? After reading the last few pages I was so inspired to start cooking and fiddling with spices that I could hardly bring myself to make what I had planned to cook for dinner. Mel’s Cinnamon Beef Stew or Scotch Eggs sounded so much more inventive than my simple veggie-and-sausage scramble.


Mel certainly doesn’t turn her proverbial nose up at simple meals, however. She writes about her tried-and-true methods for putting food on the table despite busy schedules during the workweek, including the ever-important topic of meal prep. Mel takes a day to cook up large portions of protein, wash and prep veggies, do some preliminary roasting and sauteeing and pack snacks for the week in an afternoon — this way, she knows what’s available for meals and nibbles, and dinner is as easy as combining this chicken with those roasted veggies, adding a homemade sauce or a zingy spice blend, and then digging in with gusto.

I was so inspired that I undertook my own form of meal prep on Saturday afternoon. I washed and sliced several bell peppers and radishes, roasted golden beets, steamed greens, washed and spun lettuce for salads, hardboiled half a dozen eggs, thawed chicken breasts, made my own ghee, and cleaned out the refrigerator. I had plans to cook off some bacon and sausage later, and to make some of Mel’s famous sauces and spice blends too. Even though I work at home during the week and usually have plenty of time to make lunch or dinner from scratch, there are days when it all seems too much to do in one sitting. Plus I feel more secure about sticking to my Whole30 guidelines now, knowing I have tons of great prepped ingredients upon which to build meals.


Overall, this cookbook was an inspiration to me as a Whole30 participant, as a new-to-paleo eater, and as a cook in general. It’s a small book and I like it that way. With just under 100 recipes, the cookbook offers plenty of recipes to try without being overwhelming — and the book itself is small and kind of square-ish, which is a nice change from the hefty hardbound tomes that take up so much space in the kitchen. The photography offers great detail and the layout is pleasing (in addition to being designed by one of my favorite creatives), and Mel’s lovely personality shines through with every anecdote and note on spices. It was a purchase well-made, and now more than ever I am feeling nourished and well fed.

And because I’m feeling so excited about this cookbook I’m offering one lucky reader a copy of Well Fed as a gift, from me to you. This is in no way affiliated with the author of the publisher, and I was not sponsored to do this giveaway — I just want to spread the good news and the great recipes far and wide. To be entered to win, please leave a comment telling me about your favorite meal, the one that makes you feel the most “well fed” and happy. I will randomly draw a winner next Monday, January 21 and your own personal copy of Well Fed will be on it’s way to your kitchen. You have until Friday, January 18 at midnight to enter. Good luck!

*     *     *     *     *

All photos courtesy of The Clothes Make the Girl. From top to bottom: Mel and Jicama Home Fries, Scotch Eggs, Coconut-Almond Green Beans, and Chocolate Chili.


65 thoughts on “Well Fed cookbook review + giveaway

  1. I love free-range chicken on the grill, w cauliflower mashed w chives and mushrooms. Add a Sid of steamed fresh green beans and it’s heaven!

  2. My favorite meal so far is beef chili with lots of different peppers, a big onion and a ton of tomatoes. I thought I’d m

  3. I really love sauteed broccoli, onions and red potatoes with an over easy egg on top… yum! I’ve eaten it for every meal and have loved it at all times of the day.

      • After making that comment, I thought about it all day… and went home and ate it for dinner. It was delicious. 😀

        (Also, Lindi’s comment said it didn’t go through when she wasn’t signed in… but it DID! She would probably be okay with you deleting one of those, haha.)

      • No problem about Lindi’s comments, and thanks for the heads up. Isn’t it funny how, when you think about something yummy all day, your mouth is almost primed to eat it by dinnertime? So glad you got to eat your favorite meal!

  4. My grandmother’s beef and vegetable stew. It’s delicious, slightly spicy, and definitely a comfort food when I’m sick. 🙂

  5. Hey Erin!
    My favorite meal (that I feel good about eating) is vegan lasagna. I was really hesitant when my friend told me we were making that for dinner at her house one night, but it was so divine, that I’ve never looked back. It is completely meatless, but it also replaces the cheese with a nut paste (containing almonds, walnuts, basil, onions, and some spices). It’s a great comfort food on cold nights, and it always leaves me satisfied.

  6. I love Mel’s blog and made her cocoa stew
    It was delish! I want to make the scotch eggs, oh who am I kidding. I want to try everything and as I love Mediterranean food, I love all the spices that she uses for each recipe! Glad to be paleo and these recipes make it easier!

  7. My favorite meal pre-Paleo was my homemade macaroni and cheese with broccoli and ham. Although decadent and delicious, it wreaks havoc on my body now. Best Paleo meal is my Paleo lasagna (recipe found on my Facebook page). I feel warm and happy after eating that. A close second is my portobello mushroom casserole (recipe unwritten as of yet). So comforting.

  8. Hard to pick one. Maybe I’ll mentioned a few in different categories:
    Soup: crock-pot sweet potato from PaleoOMG
    Side dish: Dirty Rice from Elana’s Pantry
    Meat: Not your typical grandma’s PALEO Meatballs from Caveman Strong
    Indulgence: Paleo Banana Bread from Civilized Caveman Cooking

  9. I always turn to a variation on marinara sauce when I’m needing some good comfort food. It’s great for Paleo eating, too, because you can add whatever meat, veggies or seasonings you need, and then serve it over spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, fried eggs, steamed veggies, greens… The possibilities are endless! Tonight I’m going to make a spicy version with shrimp and I can hardly wait.

  10. I’ll have to say that Health-Bent’s pizza salad is almost always on my weekly menu. It is so filling and satisfies my pizza cravings pretty darn well. I love eating it after one of my BodyPump classes – feeds my belly AND my muscles!

  11. I did my first Whole 30 last year and plan on doing another one in February. I learned so much about what a great meal is and have some new comfort foods. For example, my two favorite breakfasts right now are roasted butternut squash with ground pork and sauteed onions, cabbage, apple with breakfast sausage. No eggs, no bread product…changed my mornings for good. Thanks for the giveaway. The drawing is on my birthday!

  12. Mel’s chocolate chili recipe is one of my favorites. Every time I make it, people want the recipe and I send them to her blog! I’d love a copy of Well Fed!

  13. This is a tough one for me! I am divided between my favorite Paleo bean less chili and my personal Paleo chicken picatta recipe with a side of asparagus! both are delicious, nutritious and oh so filling! i would love to check out Melissa’s cookbook and find some new, “Well Fed” recipes!

    X Kenzie


  14. I HAVE to get this book! Hope I win! Anyway, I find that I am very satisfied with any hearty protein paired with veggies cooked in coconut oil, but I really enjoyed a breakfast bowl I put together made up of cooked, diced sweet potato and spinach, pastured eggs, crumbled bacon, chunks of avocado, and a flavorful salsa.

  15. Her Moroccan grilled salmon is so good! Just so full of so many flavorful spices! side with some cauli rice and what a lovely meal 🙂
    I’d love a copy of Well Fed and thanks for the opportunity!

  16. Hello,
    This is Jane, from New Zealand. My favourite paleo recipe is Czech guláš. I lived in Prague for two years and my guláš is based on a traditional meat stew recipe that I’ve adapted ever-so-slightly. I use grass-fed diced beef, organic olive oil, onions, paprika, tomato paste, stock, garlic, caraway seeds, marjoram, black pepper corns and lemon peel. Cook all this together for about 2 hours and you’ll be in heaven! It’s amazingly satisfying and continues to develop flavour over a couple of days. I like to add bell peppers, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and then served with lots of steamed green veggies on the side. Enjoy!

    • Hello, Jane, and thanks for visiting! Your stew recipe sounds incredible. Thankfully I have access to great grass-fed stew meat where I am, so I’ll be trying to recreate this soon. xo

  17. I love chicken and dumplings, or really any soup, on a cold winter’s day! My mother’s chicken and rice casserole always hits the spot, too.

  18. Whole30 recap :: week 2 | little dutch wife

  19. I love my Cajun Chicken Salad. Spinach, onions, grated carrots, red peppers, cucs, avocado, spiced pecans, grilled chicken. The dressing is honey, mustard and cider vinegar with a touch of cayanne. Love it!

  20. My favorite breakfast is leftover roasted veggies with a fried egg on top. What makes it over-the-top good is when I have leftover sweet potato hash on the side! Yummo. The perfect lazy Saturday breakfast. LOVE the blog!

  21. golden beet salad | little dutch wife

  22. The recipe that makes me feel the most “well fed” and happy is my Dad’s recipe for Sicilian Pasta e Ceci (Pasta with Chickpeas). Always makes me warmed up and smiley!

  23. Just starting out on this way of eating, and borrowed a copy from the amazon.com lending library, and I can’t put down my Kindle now. Love the book; and love Mel and her attitude. Made the Egg Foo Yong last night and an about to sit down and enjoy the leftovers for breakfast. Delish!! I’ve already decided that if I only buy one cookbook this year, it’s got to be this one!!! AWESOMENESS!!! In fact, I was thinking of maybe buying two. One for my Kindle, and one in hard copy. Decisions, decisions, decisions!!

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