Review: Meals Made Simple {Plus a giveaway!}

I rarely Paleo-bake. Actually, the first few times I tried to make Paleo pancakes or Paleo muffins, it wasn’t edible. Thank goodness I work for two food bloggers, or I would never get my sweet fix on. 

But when I was flipping through Danielle Walker’s second book, Meals Made Simple, I could not stop staring at her desserts. Go figure, right? While I don’t trust my own baking skills, I have heard many compliments on Danielle’s ability to work with alternative flours. Her first book, Against All Grain, had a beautiful selection of Paleo baked treats, and the reviews all stated they tasted just like the “real” thing. Actually, I can remember the day we [Primal Palate] reviewed her first book! Hayley baked up a loaf of Danielle’s famous bread, and it was amazing. We all enjoyed Paleo toast piled high with butter. [I swear, sometimes I wish I still ate bread just so I had an excuse to eat more butter.]

Danielle Walker's Against all Grain

So I figured if I was going to try my hand at Paleo baking again, Danielle’s recipes were definitely a trusted source. I love carrot cake, but rarely have an excuse to enjoy it. I decided to give her carrot cake cupcakes a shot.

One thing is for certain: this recipe was so easy! I honestly could not believe how easily this recipe came together. There are only five steps in total, and that includes making the frosting and the whole toothpick routine. There was no way even I, a baking atrocity, could screw this up. Plus, there was only one ingredient I didn’t have on hand (coconut butter), which I always appreciate. I added raisins, which were listed as an optional ingredient, and really liked the extra texture/flavor they added. 

Against all grain carrot cake cupcakes

Besides offering simple, delicious recipes (she has a recipe for breakfast burritos, everyone. I can’t even remember the last time I had a breakfast burrito), Danielle has included helpful advice throughout the book. You will find her “Tidbits” of information listed with each recipe, including potential substitutions, where to find specialty ingredients, and make-ahead tips. You will also find her list of preferred brands, budget tips, yes/no food lists, and even a 101 on the “Dirty Dozen” rule listed at the beginning of the book. Finally, she offers you eight-week meal plans and shopping lists to help you get started. 

Against all grain carrot cake cupcakes

I made these cupcakes for my running group to enjoy after a race (hey, we need to refuel, right?), and everyone absolutely LOVED them. My teammates were pretty skeptical when I said they were Paleo cupcakes, but later everyone told me they never would have known the difference. I did make a cream cheese frosting to add to half the cupcakes, because that’s my favorite part of carrot cake. However, if you do not eat dairy, Danielle provides a dairy-free frosting recipe made from coconut. Either way, I’m sure you’ll love them! 

Against all grain carrot cake cupcakes

>>Order Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple from Amazon!<<

Entering the Giveaway

To enter the giveaway, simply comment below with your favorite recipe you’ve tried on our site. It can be a Primal Palate recipe, or one from our amazing contributors! 

The prize up for grabs is a copy of Meals Made Simple! We’ll run this giveaway until Thursday, September 11 at 9pm EST. Winning entry will be chosen at random. Good luck!


Still Hungry?

You might also like:

Paleo Carrot cake  Marshmallow Cupcakes-2  Reeses Cupcakes  Chocolate Mocha Cupcakes  nut free, dairy free, egg free cupcakes  Paleo Burnt Almond Cupcakes

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    1. CathyCortes
      September 8, 2014

      I love the salmon cakes!
      thanks for the chance to enter 🙂

    2. mlscott20
      September 8, 2014

      juli’s stuffed sweet potatoes are incredible and easy, which basically multiplies the deliciousness tenfold. I need to up my paleo baking game, too, and I’ve been eyeing this cookbook for inspiration!

    3. cinnamoneats
      September 8, 2014

      So many delicious recipes I’ve made from here, but the strip steak with chimichurri is definitely a favourite!

    4. confuseruser
      September 8, 2014

      The Carrot Cake gets my vote. It’s my husband’s favorite and that’s the only one he wants for his birthday.

    5. michelleykat
      September 8, 2014

      Grain free fishy brownies! Yummm 🙂 hope I win this book

    6. michelleykat
      September 8, 2014

      I meant to say fudgy***^ oops 🙁

    7. courtney_mae01
      September 8, 2014

      The salmon cakes are wonderful and so easy! We also love the gelatin gummies!

    8. gskupaka
      September 8, 2014

      My favorite paleo recipe ever is Juli’s Jambalaya from her site. I have literally made it 5 times since trying it a little over a month ago! It’s so easy and feeds the two of us for days.

    9. leahettenhofer
      September 8, 2014

      Blueberry scones! I love a good coffee + scone combination!

    10. fldgtrnr
      September 8, 2014

      I followed your lead and am actually making the carrot cake right now! My stepson has a bedwetting issue and dairy among other things need to be removed. I love that I have an option to still be “amazing Andrea” with compliant baked goods!!

    11. mellinat
      September 8, 2014

      My favorite recipe is the one you posted for beef jerky! I make it all the time for an easy travel-friendly protein 🙂

    12. September 8, 2014

      Chocolate chip cookies!! I made these as a present for co-workers and they couldn’t believe they were paleo!

    13. JonesJe33
      September 8, 2014

      love Love LOVE the pumpkin spiced donuts! They are a great fall treat (and a great way to subside the urge for the pumpkin spiced latte!)

    14. bobbie09
      September 8, 2014

      Soo many choices to chose from.. All great recipes! Some of my favorites are Bill’s Chiffon Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate fluffy frosting and oven roasted chicken thighs! Thankful that you are willing to share such great recipes!

    15. leeburgz
      September 8, 2014

      Lemon Thyme Lamb Chops

    16. kylietriolo4
      September 8, 2014

      Def the chocolate frosting!! yummmm

    17. rickman_lisa
      September 8, 2014

      Carrot soufflé..not sure if it on the site, but it is in your cookbook and a delicious go-to side dish in our family. It makes an appearance on ourThanksgiving table every year too.

    18. MrsPefy
      September 8, 2014

      I made the carrot cake for my dad’s birthday and it was a hit!
      Everyone said it was BETTER than traditional recipes!

    19. lisalisabol
      September 8, 2014

      The fudge brownies!

    20. lpurk00
      September 8, 2014

      carrot cake

    21. September 8, 2014

      I couldn’t easily say that your chocolate chip cookie recipe is my favorite but who doesn’t love cookies, I would say my favorite is your Turkey Meatloaf! It’s delicious!

    22. September 8, 2014

      Oops I meant to say could not couldn’t!

    23. wcokeri
      September 8, 2014

      Grain Free Donuts.
      I made them for myself as a treat, but had to share, as my parents couldn’t keep their hands off them :p

    24. Megan
      September 8, 2014

      Lamb and rhubarb chutney from Gather! Almost the whole dish was new flavors I had never cooked with before and I absolutely loved it.

    25. forthejoyofrealfood
      September 8, 2014

      It’s so hard to pick a favorite! Pizza Margherita, Dark Chocolate Cake and Coconut-Nested Eggs are definitely on the list though!

    26. countrysweetheart11
      September 8, 2014

      Chocolate Chip Fruit and Nut Bars are a favorite of mine!! Love anything that is chocolaty!! 🙂 Would love to win Meals Made Simple…Looks like a great cookbook! Thanks!

    27. kelseyfaith04
      September 8, 2014

      I think I could probably eat the kale pesto every day. Through a straw. So so good!

    28. lpnightin
      September 8, 2014

      The chili lime pork medallions are amazing! 🙂

    29. bluskitls
      September 8, 2014

      We cook up your cast iron skillet pizza at least once a week. It’s the best!

    30. Lynn_I
      September 8, 2014

      The whole family loves the pumpkin spice donuts!

    31. Angielee
      September 8, 2014

      balsamic chicken with roasted beets- so easy and so delicious!

    32. livingforgiven08
      September 8, 2014

      Honey nut banana bread. It was a staple growing up. I’m so happy to not have to give it up

    33. Shanny615
      September 8, 2014

      I love making gelatin gummies! So yummy and heathy.

    34. lindee.loo
      September 8, 2014

      So many amazing recipies to choose from, but we love the Korean veggie bowl!

    35. ejgentry
      September 8, 2014

      just moving from GF to Paleo…loving the information/recipes
      strip steak

    36. capitolcherry
      September 8, 2014

      I have to say the blueberry scones were SO wonderful. I love Danielle and have been coveting her book for so long but unable to let go of the money! I’m sure it’s wonderful!

    37. eunrue
      September 8, 2014

      We wanted to make ice cream and had no idea how to make it and our 4 year old was begging, and we had moved and couldn’t find the so delicious ice cream we were all eating. We did a search and your website came up. We have made your vanilla and chocolate, and our son loves to help. We no longer buy store bought.

    38. cacouper
      September 8, 2014

      Your poached eggs “recipe”, I never wanted to go through the effort of poaching eggs (it seemed scary) until I saw your recipe and it was so easy!

    39. kowens87
      September 8, 2014

      Crockpot lemon pepper chicken has saved me in dinner crises many times! It’s so simple but because it’s so flavorful, it never fails to please! Thank you for your dedication.

      1. September 12, 2014

        Congratulations! Your comment was the lucky winner for this giveaway! Check your email for more details!

    40. delvallex
      September 8, 2014

      The blueberry lemon tummies have become my template for all fruit tummies – delicious!

    41. jmarch07
      September 8, 2014

      I LOVE juli’s artichoke lemon pesto chicke. Pasta. So yummy!!

    42. Melissawhite
      September 8, 2014

      I am new to the website and paleo lifestyle. Still trying to learn recipes. Love the website. I have tried the garlicky bacon avacado burgers… AMAZING!

    43. kimsco3
      September 8, 2014

      The prosciutto melon ball skewers are great! Super easy and a perfect side dish or appetizer for a cookout. 🙂

    44. September 8, 2014

      I made the bacon chocolate chip cookies for my boss’s birthday last year and I definitely got huge brownie points from everyone in the office. They were a huge hit!

    45. devonrae
      September 8, 2014

      With fall around the corner I am excited to make the creamy tomato soup again! So delicious. I have heard so many great things about this cookbook. Thank you for the chance to enter!

    46. melissa.coyne
      September 8, 2014

      Balsamic Glazed Meatballs are SO YUMMY, and pretty. If you haven’t tried, you should. Yummm….

    47. melissa_shah
      September 8, 2014

      Carrot cake!! Soooo Yummy! It was my first recipe from here. Cant wait to try more! I have an auto immune disease & have been trying to find healthy ways to change the way my family & I eat in general so of course I started with dessert

    48. alysafarrell
      September 8, 2014

      mmmmm lemon thyme lamb cops! braied lamb shanks! cranberry and orange scones are ALL easy and constant repeats!!
      Finally saying thank you!!

    49. leighmiller
      September 8, 2014

      Love the Salmon Cakes! I grew up eating Salmon patties but your recipe is “hands down” the best!

    50. Fairysoul
      September 8, 2014

      My favorite recipe on this site is definitely the gut healing blueberry gummies. I love that I can make fruit snacks with them for the kids instead of buying ones that have a bunch of junk in them!!!

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