Tag Archives: Primal Bookshelf

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!

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!