Tag Archives: paleo

Primal Bookshelf: Review of FERMENTED by Jill Ciciarelli

6 Aug

Sean and I have been lucky enough to get on the right list to receive advance copies of Victory Belt books – and this year’s Paleo Book Season is full swing. Our mailbox has been flooded with books from Danielle Walker, Sarah Fragoso, Stacy Toth & Matt McCarry and Bill Staley & Hayley Mason to name a few!

We first met Jill Ciciarelli at Paleo f(x) this past spring in Austin, TX.  She joined our house for the event along with her husband, affectionately known as “Dude” – and if there’s ever been instant friends, it’s us four. Combine our mutual love for dry humor and Alex Trebek, and you have immediate friendship. I’m so glad I have Jill & Dude in my life! That just makes her book all the more meaningful to me – for the love of kraut, go buy this book and get to FERMENTIN’! Fermented Cover LARGE

Fermented foods go way beyond sauerkraut and pickles – Jill’s got a recipe for everything under the sun. Kombuchca, vinegars, fermented fruits & veggies – even drinky drinks like hard cider and sangria! Fermented sangria? YES. I’m so excited to get started. Coconut milk yogurt also looks yummy! Oh, did I mention the photos? My good friend Bill Staley is a BOSS at shootin’ food (and people…and dogs 🙂 ) and this book looks simply clean, fresh and magically delicious.

Adding fermented foods to your daily plate will send thousands of healthy bacteria troops to your gut. The health benefits are endless. Jill goes above just recipes here – you can feel the love for fermented foods & the science behind it.

Jill has given us a season-by-season guide to fermenting your own foods at home – now you have no excuse. Though, be warned – fermenting takes TIME. Be patient and pay attention to your science experiments and reap delicious results so good your gut will be singing. The book hits shelves today, August 6th…Go buy FERMENTED now!


The Primal Bookshelf: Review of AGAINST ALL GRAIN

26 Jul

I first met Danielle Walker at Paleo f(x) in Austin, TX. It was over brunch with the blogger crew that I tasted her divine granola. Holy cow! That stuff was addictive.  So, so tasty! Until then I had only heard of her through her blog, www.againstallgrain.com but tasting the fruits of her labor

Danielle recently posted her journey from overcoming ulcerative colitis on her site. So often we only see the weight loss success stories about the Paleo lifestyle, but using food as medicine is, in my opinion, the best aspect of the paleo/real food movement.


Sean & I have only recently been getting advanced copies of books lately to review for our sites, so what a nice surprise when we got AGAINST ALL GRAIN in our mailbox!

First impression? WOW. Gorgeous photos and food styling on each and every page.  Danielle’s battle with health issues and subsequent venture to use a gluten-free/dairy-free diet produced lots of genuine replacements for our old school favs – like granola and coconut milk yogurt, to yummy meat dishes and chocolate chip cookies.

I flipped through the book a few times to figure out what I wanted to make first. And then I saw her Banana Porridge… In my pre-Paleo days, when I was first told of my gluten sensitivity, oatmeal was my JAM. I made an epic oatmeal chock-full of goodies – nuts, seeds, dried fruit, fresh fruit (my fav was adding in frozen mango and the hot oats would heat it up) and the kicker? A spoonful of peanut butter. Very tasty, very much not paleo… I still miss oatmeal, and cereal, sometimes, so I was eager to try out Danielle’s porridge. MG_6135-640x392

Yes, I live in Southern California, where it’s almost always 70-something & sunny…but not always. The past few days have been particularly gloomy & gray, especially near the ocean where I live. PERFECT weather to test out the Porridge. Super easy recipe, just requires some planning ahead as you have to soak the nuts. With a food processor and your finger, the porridge comes together like magic. Can’t wait to try out some other recipes, too!

Against All Grain hits the shelves on Tuesday, July 30th! Pre-order on Amazon now!

Ice Cream Social: Part I | Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream! (Dairy-Free)

24 Jul

I love ice cream. It’s hands-down one of my favorite treats – be it summer or winter. I can handle dairy OK, but occasionally I need to lay off the cow, so I decided to try my hand at making vanilla coconut milk ice cream.

Why the Part I you ask? You’ll see! I’m working on something special and will all be part of my Ice Cream Social series 🙂 Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, try out the vanilla and let me know what you think! It’s creamy, soft-serve like texture right out of the ice cream maker is magical. And it’s not overly sweet!



2 cans full fat coconut milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

4 egg yolks

1/2 C coconut sugar

1 package (about 1 Tbsp) gelatin


In a saucepan over medium heat, heat coconut milk and vanilla. Don’t boil, but just heat – about 5 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks & coconut sugar.

Add egg + sugar mixture to coconut milk. Whisk to combine. Add gelatin and continue whisking until dissolved.

Turn off heat and allow mixture to cool before transferring to a separate bowl.

Cover & refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Set up ice cream maker and operate according to instructions. Allow ice cream to churn for at least 20-30 minutes or until it has a soft-serve consistency.

Serve immediately or transfer to a freezer-safe container & cover to serve later.  If moving to freezer, when serving remove from freezer & allow to soften for about 5 to be scoopable.

Top with your fav sauces, toppings, add ins & ENJOY!

The Primal Bookshelf: Review of BEYOND BACON by Paleo Parents

17 Jun

I was tickled pink to receive an advanced copy of BEYOND BACON by my friends Stacy & Matt, known as the Paleo Parents. The cover with its chalkboard graphics and picture teases of the recipes inside would make anyone crack it open. The beauty of this book is outstanding. The book is dedicated to Stacy’s grandmother, and I can’t help but think of my own Nanny who would tell me stories of life back in a time of the one-room schoolhouses and working in the kitchen. Even going out to catch a chicken, and wringing its neck to prepare dinner.



In Beyond Bacon, Stacy and Matt explore nose-to-tail cooking of our beloved swine. While many people enjoy ham, prosciutto, pork chops & ribs – and of course, bacon – this book shows you how to use every part of the piggy.  From recipes for making head cheese (talk about using a lot of parts!) to lard fudge, there should never be a reason for you to stick to the standard cuts.  I’ve made a few recipes out of the book, along with my partner-in-cooking, The FreeRange Human. He tried out some of the more adventurous recipes, including Huntsman Stew and Scrapple, while I opted for the Swedish Meatballs with Liver Gravy as well as the Prosciutto & Roasted Peach Ice Cream. Those meatballs fed us for DAYS! So delicious. And the ice cream? Made it during non-stone fruit season so used frozen peaches. Still came out delicious 🙂

Organ meats are vital to our, well, vital organs! If you find eating heart, liver, kidney or any other offal, Stacy & Matt have many recipes that are VERY accessible for even the most turned up noses. Once you taste the sweet fruits of your labor in the kitchen, you’ll change your mind! Sure, some people might have a tough time with strong tasting liver, but give it some time. Your body will be thanking you! Their scrapple recipe alone has so much good-for-you gelatin from so many pig parts that you’ll be fighting like a champ! And aiding in minimizing cellulite, ladies! BOOM.

Flipping through the pages will leave your stomach growling – not to mention a heavy urge to go our and grab any pig you see :D. What I really do love about Beyond Bacon is the dedication to WHY nose-to-tail cooking is so important. Utilizing every part of the pastured animal that you can is, in my opinion, more of an humane animal rights action than forgoing meat all together. I was a vegetarian for about a decade, folks.  We’ve become too far removed from the “where our food comes from” chain.  Enough tallow-soap box talk, that’s a whole other post in and of itself 🙂

Beyond Bacon will be released on July 2nd, 2013 – just in time for 4th of July grilling! Pre-order this book now and prepare to go hog wild!





Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bites

11 Dec

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Like my Maple Coconut Macaroons, this recipe of mine first appeared on my boyfriend’s site, The FreeRange Human – but now I can give it a proper home! This recipe started as a tribute to a favorite treat from back in the day, and I think the paleo version is just as good!

2 cups Coconut Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Salt

1 cup palm shortening
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup pumpkin puree
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

1 10-oz bag Good Life Chocolate Chips
Optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a mixer, cream together wet ingredients. The palm shortening will not completely bind, which is normal.

Sift together dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

Using ½ C at a time, add dry ingredients to the wet batter and continue mixing. The batter will turn very dense.

Once all of the flour mixture is combined into the wet batter, add in the chocolate chips. If adding walnuts, add them in here.

Spoon batter onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely.

Cover & store in the refrigerator. Best enjoyed at room temperature.

Maple Coconut Macaroons | Black & White Macaroons

30 Nov

This recipe of mine was initially posted on my boyfriend’s blog, The FreeRange Human, but now that I have a blog of my own I figured I should post it here!

I love macaroons. These little yummies are generally gluten-free, and didn’t take much to make them more paleo-friendly! This surprisingly simple recipe is just that – simple: minimal ingredients, easy execution and a crowd-pleaser.

I’ve included the Black & White option, which is an easy way to impress your friends. You’ll look like Martha Stewart!

Gentle reminder…these are paleo treats. Indulge with moderation.


2 ⅔ C unsweetened shredded coconut (1 package Let’s Do Organic shredded coconut = 2 ⅔ C)
⅔ C Grade B Maple Syrup
¼ C Coconut flour
¼ tsp salt
4 egg whites, gently whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract

*For Black & White Macaroons:
1 10oz bag of Good Life Chocolate chunks


Preheat oven to 350°. Line baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl, mix together coconut, maple syrup, coconut flour and salt until combined.

Gently fold in egg whites and vanilla, continue mixing until the mixture is fully combined.

Drop rounds of the batter onto the baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes (depending on size) until tops of the macaroons are lightly browned. Allow macaroons to cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

Once cooled, keep refrigerated in an airtight container. Macaroons are best enjoyed at room temperature.

Yield: 2 dozen macaroons, size depending.

Additional Directions For Black & White Macaroons:

Line a pan with parchment. Can even be the same pan on which you baked the macaroons.

Using a double boiler (or a makeshift one using a heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water), bring water to a rolling boil.

Empty back of chocolate chips into the top of double boiler and begin to temper, stirring frequently.

Once all the chips are melted, spoon the chocolate into a bowl for dipping.
Using clean fingers, gently dip half of the top of the macaroon into the chocolate. Place immediately on the parchment.

Repeat until all are dipped and on the parchment. Place the pan into the freezer (yes, make space!) for at least 10 minutes.  To check if they are ready, look at the chocolate; if it’s still shiny, they need more time in the cold (the chocolate should have a matte look to it).

Once the chocolate has hardened, keep the macaroons refrigerated in an airtight container. Best enjoyed at room temperature.