Cookbook

My debut cookbook, The Ancestral Table: Traditional Recipes for a Paleo Lifestyle features over 100 delicious, gluten-free, Paleo-friendly recipes.


When trying to come up with an idea for my first cookbook, I kept returning to the same concept: I didn’t need to create a single recipe out of thin air. There are tons of delicious dishes that have endured for hundreds, even thousands of years, and mankind has tweaked them to perfection throughout history. My book is a celebration of dishes that we can enjoy in the same way that our great-grandparents enjoyed them, with only minimal adjustments made to honor my belief that foods should be healthful, nutrient-dense, and immensely satisfying.


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The dishes in The Ancestral Table are inspired by traditional meals found throughout many world cultures today, and I’ve worked hard to develop recipes that are both exotic and impressive without being overly difficult or intimidating.


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The book is full of brand new dishes, but I’ve also re-developed many of the recipes already introduced on this site. There are also quite a few firsts in here, including a couple dessert recipes, something I haven’t tackled on this site yet. I’m very happy with the quality of these recipes, and I think you will love having a perfect mix of classics and new favorites to add to your collection.

The recipes in my book are aligned with my belief that safe starches (white rice, tapioca, potatoes) and some forms of dairy have a place in the modern interpretation of the Paleo diet. Essentially, this is the first Perfect Health Diet cookbook – so it’s only fitting that Paul Jaminet graciously provided the foreword.

If you follow a more strict interpretation of Paleo, never fear! The Ancestral Table is mostly filled with strictly Paleo offerings, and the book includes a thorough substitution guide for anyone wanting to convert the other recipes to a more conventional version of Paleo while maintaining maximum taste.


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More info:
Full recipe list
Why I wrote the book
List of tools and ingredients needed to cook through the book
List of dishes that are Autoimmune Paleo compatible

The Ancestral Table: Traditional Recipes for a Paleo Lifestyle is out in all major bookstores and available online:



Here are some nice things that people have said about the book:


“If you’re tired of boring or overly restrictive Paleo recipes, this book is for you. Russ’s love of traditional and international cuisine and culinary experience shine through in his delicious and satisfying recipes.”

- Chris Kresser, M.S., L.AC, author of Your Personal Paleo Code and the blog ChrisKresser.com

The Ancestral Table is a feast of lovingly crafted recipes that make the most of bold tastes and traditional cooking methods. The recipes — a world tour of international flavors – flex the paleo template to include quality starches and some dairy, while remaining true to a well-reasoned, real food philosophy. It’s clear that Russ takes good food and good health seriously – but he infuses the primal acts of cooking and eating with undeniable pleasure and joy.”

- Melissa Joulwan, author of the cookbooks Well Fed and Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat and the blog The Clothes Make The Girl

“I absolutely adore cookbooks that give me a sense of place, history, and flavor—along with deliciously authentic recipes. By weaving together a vibrant tapestry of words and photographs, Russ Crandall’s Ancestral Table offers all of this and more, transporting and nourishing readers in both mind and palate. Bravo!”

- Michelle Tam, co-author of Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans and author of the blog Nom Nom Paleo

“In The Ancestral Table, Russ Crandall dispenses with the typical Paleo prohibitions against white rice, potatoes, and dairy products, choosing to embrace the wisdom of ancient culinary traditions instead. Nutrient dense broths, fermented vegetables, and layers of flavors are featured prominently in recipes that are approachable, healthful, and, perhaps most importantly, absolutely delicious. This is the kind of food that can truly be enjoyed for a lifetime!”

- Tony Federico, B.S., author of Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman’s Guide to Cooking with Fire, host of the Paleo Magazine Radio Podcast, and author of the blog Live Caveman

The Ancestral Table contains a beautiful collection of dishes that will really get you excited in the kitchen. Russ’s recipes are in the true spirit of slow food, covering the basics to the more advanced cooking techniques. If you’re a foodie, this book is for you!”

- Diana Rodgers, NTP, author of Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go and the blog Sustainable Dish

“The Domestic Man is an absolute stand-out chef in the ancestral health community. No one combines classical cooking techniques, outstanding and broad flavors, and international flair quite like Russ. With unique and unctuous recipes, The Ancestral Table is a book that will find a prominent place in our home: open, splattered, and next to my stove.”

- Stacy Toth, co-author of the cookbooks Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog and Eat Like a Dinosaur, and the blog Paleo Parents

74 Responses to “Cookbook”

  1. Jane October 10, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Russ, I was waiting for this, thank you!

  2. Calliope October 17, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    Pre-ordered! Cant wait!

  3. Violette October 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    After living with a very bland gluten free diet for almost 10 years now, It’s so exciting to find a cookbook written by someone else with an auto-immune disease that can understand the challenges that I’ve had to endure! Thank you! Can’t wait to get it!

  4. Ken December 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Hey Russ! I met you at your Glen Burnie Crossfit visit. Great presentation and your book has been been ordered… I can’t wait.

  5. Rebecca Nenner January 13, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    Russ, I came across your website when I was searching about Trader Joe’s tomato sauce. I actually make sauce like yours HOWEVER, what I have learned this year is that you do not want to use canned tomatoes of any kind. The reason is that tomatoes are highly acidic and the BPA from the inside of the cans leaches into the tomatoes. It is not so bad with other canned items, however, the more you buy products that are frozen, and fresh or in glass jars rather than canned the better. Just wanted to let you know. Yes, Trader Joe’s is putting soybean oil in their jarred sauce…probably just as bad. I am going to send this information over to TJ’s headquarters b/c apparently, someone there thinks soy is good for you!

    • Russ Crandall January 13, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

      Hi Rebecca, thanks for the comment. About a year ago we transitioned to Muir Glen canned tomatoes, which have been made without BPA since October 2011. I agree that BPA lining in tomatoes is especially bad!

  6. MaryAnn February 11, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    You had me at “white rice”!!!

  7. Lilly March 4, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    I’m very new to gluten free/paleo type eating due to allergies… I kind of found your book difficult though. I found the recipes a bit complicated for someone who is very new at this. I’m sure there are a lot of people who will appreciate the book tremendously, but I’m not one of them :/ You did a great job with it though.

    • Russ Crandall March 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      Hi Lilly, thanks for the comment and your feedback. You’re right, the goal of my book is not to provide shortcuts or quick meals. The book is designed to make you a more confident home chef. There is a bit of a learning curve, but I believe that by cooking through my recipes you’ll be given the tools to tackle cooking and recipes for the rest of your life. If that’s not where you are right now in your life, I understand and that’s totally cool – I encourage you to try an introductory Paleo cooking book like “Practical Paleo” or “The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking” – both are wonderful books geared towards new cooks. But be sure to keep The Ancestral Table handy, as it’ll be a great resource when you’re ready to tackle more involved and traditional recipes. Here is more info on why I wrote the book the way I did: http://thedomesticman.com/2014/01/23/why-i-wrote-the-ancestral-table/

  8. Alex Chaney April 19, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

    I love your blog and want to reach you to ask permission to feature you and then maybe syndicate some of your entries in my magazine. How can I reach you? Please email me contact info. Thank. -Alex

  9. Deloryan May 2, 2014 at 4:02 am #

    Would it be possible to order a pdf version in the near future? I don’t have a kindle and my home is small and already full with a lot of books. It would be great if I could by a pdf version of the cookbook :) (although I really love books, but I’m getting out of space in here…)

  10. Sk Loux May 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    What a great cookbook. Beautiful pictures, well organized, and everything looks delicious!

  11. Carolyn Lee May 20, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Russ, I just bought your wonderful, gorgeous cookbook and looking forward to making all the recipes. The photos make my mouth water.
    I do have a question about one of the rice recipes, the one with the potato slices on the bottom of the pan. My question is, when the rice is done, do you mix the potato in with the rice or is the potato there to keep the rice protected from the bottom of the pan? I’ve never had potatoes and rice together.

    Looking through the book I’m struck by the uniqueness and gourmet qualities of the recipes. Yet, they don’t look too difficult to tackle. I like the organisation of the book and the handy substitution guide. Great job!

    Carolyn

  12. Dana Graffeo June 5, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    Russ, I’m a little confused on the broth recipe instructions. I am not an experienced cook so I don’t understand why after broiling the bones then boiling them you discard both the pan juices from the broiling and the water in the pot. Is there a particular reason for this that I am missing?

    • Russ Crandall June 7, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

      Hi Dana, good question. In my broth recipe I call for boiling the bones, which is a common practice to remove potential pathogens from the bones. I goofed in editing the recipe – the bones should be broiled after boiling (not before) in order to add a roasted taste to the broth, and then added directly to the pot and filled with water. I’ll be rearranging the order in the second printing of my book.

      • Dana Graffeo June 8, 2014 at 7:04 am #

        Thank you. That makes more sense. LOL The Cajun in me couldn’t figure out why you would discard those heavenly pan juices from the roasting and rinse off all the flavor.

  13. lisa June 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

    Russ, Thanks for giving us back pizza night! I am new to your blog and just bought your cookbook– both have been wonderful finds!

  14. Jane June 24, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    ordered! I’ve missed a cookbook perfect health friendly. There is nothing like this in my country.

    greetz from Germany, Jane

  15. Brian June 30, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Russ you have produced a great book. I like the fact that your recipes are not hacks or re-imaginations. They are rooted in history and culture. I love researching food and culture, and I use your book as inspiration as I plan my weekly menus. Love to see more from you soon! (Any advice you might offer to an aspiring food writer would be great).

    • Brian June 30, 2014 at 11:38 pm #

      Bollito misto should def be in your next book, esp since you just blogged about beef :)

      • Russ Crandall July 1, 2014 at 6:20 am #

        Brian, thanks for the feedback, I’ll add Bollito Misto to my list of dishes to tackle! My best advice for food writing would be to practice. A lot. I started blogging in earnest in 2007 and it took several years of writing daily until I found the voice that suited me best. Editing is also important – I typically write up something and then come back to it a couple days later for edits using a fresh set of eyes. Best of luck!

  16. Tonia July 1, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    May I recommend that you also create a donate option for your blog. I have seen other writers do this and dont know if it is worth your time. I believe they use a paypal service.

    • Russ Crandall July 8, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

      Tonia, that’s a great idea and I’ll look into it. Thanks for the tip!

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