I'm a sucker for a good-looking label, and cookbooks are no different. If you do a good job on the cover, you've probably hooked me for a purchase. When I crack open a new book and find stunning images on page after page, cha-ching goes the register!
Clean Eating With A Dirty Mind is “technically” a Paleo-Inspired cookbook full of decadent dessert recipes, but you don’t HAVE to be “doing Paleo” to use this book! I don’t necessarily follow the Paleo way of eating but this book has dessert recipes that are over the top good looking. Most of them are made with healthier sweeteners.
For the most part, it's a paleo cookbook written by a blogger who enjoys paleo baking. Using this cookbook would be a perfect way to enjoy some gluten-free desserts. If you have a craving for sweets but want to stick to somewhat healthy eating, you'll want a copy as a go-to.
In addition, the first chapter of the book includes recipes for real food meals (not just desserts) that you'll want to take a look at. Although most of the book is cupcakes, cookies, and other guilty pleasures (including s'mores bars.) It's truly the perfect combination for those with a sweet tooth.
Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind Recipes I planned to try
This is a whopper of a book, over 150 recipes, and quite heavy. Every recipe looked like something I wanted to EAT. Upon my first skim-through of the book, here are the recipes I plan to try making:
- Bacon Cheeseburger Stuffed Potatoes p. 84
- Pizza Soup p. 100
- Shepherds Pot Pie p. 104
- Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs p. 96
- Blackberry Swirl Goat Cheese Ice Cream p. 334
How the recipes turned out
The savory meals I tried from this cookbook were fabulous and I have no complaints. They all turned out wonderfully. The ice cream was absolutely delectable and I didn't even have a fancy ice cream maker.
As for the dessert recipes, the images are so beautiful I wanted to try more of them, but I only ended up trying a handful here and there.
Chocolate-covered toffee was yummy and not too hard to make and I experimented with a few of the cookie dough and chocolate chip cookie recipes. The brownie crumb donuts were very good. I wanted to make the smores donuts but too many pages were involved, which brings me to what I didn't like…
Many of the recipes I would like to have made included other recipes listed elsewhere in the book. When this happens I find it a bit discouraging. I'm all prepared to whip up some yummy-looking dessert from a cookbook, but before I can begin on THIS recipe, I have to flip to another page and made another recipe.
I get why it has to be this way, but I'm just sharing my frame of mind when I chose recipes. As beautiful as the Strawberry Cheesecake Cake looks, I find having to turn to three other recipe pages to make it a bit daunting. Even when I turn to those recipes, one of them requires turning to other recipes! It was just too much. So those are the recipes I skip.
Another thing to note is the use of powdered sugar in one recipe for macarons; the author explains that leaving out the recipe wouldn't feel right. I was on the fence about this, probably because of my all-or-nothing personality.
She has a sweet tooth just like many of us and the inclusion of that recipe felt right for her. I have plenty of cookbooks that I use without using every single recipe, no big deal I guess.
Favorite Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind Recipes
The recipes that I really enjoyed making and will make again are the ones that didn't require I spend all day in the kitchen. These looked as good as they taste and got rave reviews from the family.
- Strawberries and Cream Cookies
- Chocolate Fudge Cookies
- Peaches and Cream
- Blackberry Swirl Goat Cheese Ice Cream
- Pumpkin Bread
- Marshmallow Creme
Of course, I still plan to make many more recipes from this cookbook. Having this one on my shelf means I don't need to spend hours browsing Pinterest for new dessert recipes. For some of them, I swap out the sweetener as well.
Although, we use whole foods in our paleo desserts like coconut flour and coconut sugar. This is what I love about paleo-inspired recipes – the use of whole foods.
For those with food sensitivities
I appreciate that she marked the recipes with a key to denote dairy-free, grain-free, egg-free or nut-free. She also goes into great detail in the beginning of the book answering questions and explaining how-to stuff. Knowing the how and why makes a great cookbook.
While some may question if some of these truly are paleo recipes, I have decided to use it more as a guide for how to cook basic desserts without white flour and white sugar. For those who follow keto, it's not to hard to make adjustments to accommodate a low carb diet.
Recipes for every craving
If you're looking for a cake recipe or even savory recipes, add this cookbook to your wishlist. It includes everything from a simple chocolate cake to super fancy dessert creations.
For plenty of free paleo-friendly, free recipes to get you started head over to Vanessa's blog and go crazy exploring.
About the Author
Vanessa Barajas is the self-taught dessertavore behind the blog Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind. She is a San Diego native who loves food passionately. She’s been known to drink almond milk straight from the carton and expensive wine out of plastic cups. She started the Paleo diet as part of a thirty-day challenge in 2012 and never looked back.
Vanessa makes it her personal mission to create the best treats possible using nutrient-dense ingredients while never sacrificing on taste. Her favorite meal is, has, and always will be dessert.
Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind earned a permanent spot on my cookbook shelf, even though I don't follow an exclusively paleo diet, I do try to be gluten-free and Vanessa Barajas recipes make it easy to enjoy brownies and cupcakes without overdoing gluten. If you're dairy-free, you'll appreciate this cookbook even more as you'll find recipes that fit your lifestyle.