After first watching The LEGO Movie last year, our son Oliver started asking about the mysterious phenomenon known as “Taco Tuesday“. So we started a new tradition of what we call “Taco Bowl Tuesdays”; as you may have seen on my Instagram feed, we make them pretty regularly now. I thought it would be pretty fun to write up our Taco Bowl Tuesday recipe as a change of pace and a glimpse into our everyday lives.

The base of the recipe is simple: equal portions of seasoned ground beef, rice, and lettuce. There is some variation in which rice we use; sometimes we make Mexican Rice, and other times we make Cilantro-Lime Rice. The toppings themselves are usually a combination of what we have on hand and what we’re feeling at the moment.

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Chicken Cacciatore (Pollo alla Cacciatora) is a traditional Italian dish. The word “Cacciatora” translates to “Hunter” in English, as this dish was originally used to prepare rabbit and gamefowl. Today, variations that feature rabbit meat still abound.

The story goes that this “hunter’s stew” consisted of ingredients you could find in the forest or open fields. Many American versions of this dish have been altered considerably from their source material; breaded, fried chicken cutlets are often smothered in a marinara sauce (not unlike Chicken Parmesan, really). Italian versions often feature tomatoes but not overwhelmingly so; instead they’re a complement to other vegetables like onion, mushrooms, carrot, and bell pepper. Northern Italian variations of this dish use white wine, while Southern Italians use red wine.

Typically, this dish is prepared with a broken-down whole chicken. I’m down for that, but at the same time, I’m always concerned about the different cooking times for dark meat and finicky chicken breasts; instead, I prepared this recipe to feature thighs and drumsticks, so that everything comes together naturally.

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One of my favorite parts of moving to the South last year is that I can now dive head-first into a new food culture. For example, take today’s New Orleans-Style Barbecue Shrimp. A local friend asked me if I had tried “BBQ Shrimp” yet; I immediately thought of shrimp doused in smokey-sweet KC-style barbecue sauce, which sounded a bit weird (but not altogether terrible, honestly). My friend then explained that BBQ Shrimp here in the South is not like your typical barbecue experience. Instead, it’s a crispy shrimp dish flavored with hot sauce, butter, and rosemary, typically served as an appetizer.

Barbecue Shrimp was first popularized by Pascal’s Manale Restaurant in New Orleans during the 1950s. This dish has an “old timey” feel to it today, mostly because of its liberal use of Worcestershire sauce (made famous by Lea & Perrins back in the 1830s). The end result is a little tangy, a bit spicy, and very robust in flavor. One thing I really appreciate about this dish is that it lets the shrimp take center stage. Moreover, it’s relatively cheap to throw together once you get your hands on some high-quality shrimp (especially when you consider the fact that this dish will set you back $26 at the original restaurant!). Head-on shrimp is traditionally used, but I won’t tell on you if you use shelled shrimp.

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Hi everyone, great news – my eBook, The Safe Starch Cookbook, is included in The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle from now until the sale ends on Monday, September 14th. I usually sell my eBook for $10, which I think is quite the value on its own, so having it included in a bundle packaged with 92 other resources for $29.97 is pretty ridiculous.

The bundle features eBooks divided into several health-minded categories: allergy-free, essential oils, fitness and weight loss, healthy kids, homesteading, natural home, natural remedies, Paleo, and real food. Many of these eBooks are really excellent, especially the fermentation and cheese-making guides. There are also a number of bonuses and discounts added, like $32 towards a membership to Once a Month Meals, a very popular batch-cooking website, which pays for the bundle price in and of itself.

All in all, the bundle features over $1,900 in resources for less than $30; it is delivered to your inbox as a collection of PDF documents to use on your phone, tablet, or PC. In addition, for the next two days the bundle will also include eReader formats (.mobi and .epub) of everything as well, which will run natively on eReaders like Kindle and Nook (the eReader deal will still be sold after Thursday, but at $39.97 instead). We actually created an eReader version of The Safe Starch Cookbook exclusively for this bundle, and it works great on eReaders.

As a reminder, here’s what you’ll find in The Safe Starch Cookbook:

  • a discussion on the historical precedence for starch consumption
  • 64 recipes (15 rice, 17 potato, 11 noodle, and 21 other starch dishes)
  • a picture for every recipe, taken by yours truly
  • comprehensive recipe index with thumbnail hyperlinks to each page
  • a look at portion sizes and meal timing for optimum health
  • tips to save money using starches (nearly $1,000/year per person!)
  • a breakdown of meal-planning in the context of carbs
  • a thorough substitution guide for common food allergies
  • all recipes are gluten-free and developed using a whole-food mindset
  • my argument for why white rice should be considered “Paleo”
  • rice-buying guide to avoid arsenic and other toxins
  • 167 pages total

Click here for more info on the bundle, and please let me know if you have any questions in the comment field below. Please note that I receive a small commission of each bundle sale by following my links. Thanks for your continued support!

Full product list after the break.

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I have a long history with Bill and Hayley of Primal Palate. We first met online on, of all places, a Paleo diet forum in early 2011. I had recently changed my eating habits and was looking for a place to share my thoughts on the burgeoning movement; I remember that someone on the forum asked for a jerky recipe, and both Bill and I posted the recipes from our freshly-minted blogs, and the connection was made. If someone had told me that a few years later I’d be a guest at their wedding, I would have laughed them out of town. But I was! Over the years, we’ve both been at it nonstop – I’ve kept this little blog trucking (and wrote a cookbook or two along the way), while B&H wrote four cookbooks, created an iOS app, redeveloped and redesigned their blog multiple times, started their own frozen Paleo cookie dough, and have now begun a really neat project which I’m excited to share today: organic spices.

While their landing page will give you all the info you need to know on these newly-announced spices, I wanted to share a bit about them from my experience. I was lucky to be one of the first to taste-test the spices, and I was immediately impressed with their quality. The ginger, garlic, turmeric, and oregano are extremely potent and fresh – they put the spices in my spice rack to shame. The spice blends they developed (Adobo, Barbecue Rub, and Meat & Potatoes) are impeccably balanced, with distinct aromas and flavors that aren’t overbearing. I’ll admit it, I’m not the type of guy who gets excited about pre-made spice blends (I tend to make my own from scratch), so I think it means a lot when I say that I will likely be ordering replacements for my test bottles pretty soon.

If you’re interested in upgrading your spice cabinet, or if you are looking to stock up on some of the spices that are featured in Paleo Takeout, I encourage you to check out their selection.

Things are really moving with my next cookbook, Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites without the Junk. For starters, the book finished printing last week, and my publisher overnighted a copy to me so I could be one of the first to check it out. I’m very happy with the finished product, and I think you’ll love it too! I’m in the middle of scheduling a summer book tour, and I’ll be sure to share the dates as soon as I have everything arranged – if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for my brand new weekly newsletter, where I’ll be sharing news and recipes in one convenient little email package.

For this week’s recipe, I wanted to highlight some of the techniques and ingredients that you’ll find in the book, to set the stage for when it releases on June 23rd. This Twice-Cooked Pork dish uses a technique common to Chinese-American takeout restaurants called velveting, where lean meat is thinly sliced, marinated in a starch mixture, then blanched and drained before being added to a stir-fry. Have you ever had some Beef & Broccoli with steak pieces that are super soft and tender? That’s velveting at work.

While this method isn’t absolutely required for any of the recipes for the book, it’s a fun technique that really adds a tasty dynamic to your Asian-inspired dishes. I also tend to start my velveted meat as the first part of the cooking process, so that I can chop my veggies and prepare my stir-fry sauce while the meat is tenderizing – the timing tends to flow naturally that way.

In terms of ingredients, I used this recipe in particular to highlight rice cooking wine (sometimes labeled as Chinese cooking wine or just rice wine) and Sichuan chili peppers (those are the whole dried peppers you’ll find in dishes like General Tso’s Chicken), since both are commonly used in Chinese-American dishes. Similarly, arrowroot starch is commonly used in Paleo Takeout to create a thickening slurry; both potato starch and tapioca starch can be used in a pinch, but I’ve found that arrowroot best mimics the thickening properties of cornstarch.

For a full list of uncommon pantry ingredients that are found in Paleo Takeout, be sure to check out my online shopping guide that lists the ingredients plus how often they appear in the book. Additionally, I’ve set up a similar guide for tools that I used in writing the book.

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You’ve heard of Samosas, right? They’re those triangle-shaped savory pastries served in Indian and Central Asian restaurants. They’re a surprisingly ancient dish, first mentioned in the Middle East (under the name Sambosa) during the 10th century before eventually making their way across Central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and even Southeast Asia. They’re practically everywhere today – you can even find them pretty easily in South Africa, as Indian cuisine started to influence British colonial food culture.

I loved Samosas in my pre-Paleo days, and I’ve been wanting to tackle them for a while. The problem is, well, pastry. I tend not to fiddle with baked goods and leave them up to the masters (see: Jenni Hulet and her book, My Paleo Patisserie). So after a bit of brainstorming, I settled on the idea of Samosa-flavored mashed potatoes. I like this idea because, heck, most people are probably eating mashed potatoes anyway, so why not kick them up a notch in terms of flavor and vegetable count.

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I’m happy to announce that The Safe Starch Cookbook is available for sale starting today! I think you folks will love it. Head on over to my eBook landing page for more info, but here it is in a nutshell: 167 pages, 64 recipes, pretty pictures, meal-planning ideas, money-saving tips, and more – all centered on balancing your meals through the judicious use of starchy foods that are low in toxins and immensely satisfying.

I’m selling The Safe Starch Cookbook for $10, and it comes with a $5 discount for my next eBook, Paleo Take Out, for when it releases on March 1st.

The Safe Starch Cookbook is an interactive PDF, and will work on any computer, tablet, or smart phone. I built the whole book from scratch, and I’m really proud of it; I designed it to be awesome no matter how you read it. For example, its native dimensions are optimized for the iPad, but will work on any other device just fine; and when using Adobe Reader on your home computer, the recipes will display as a beautiful two-page spread. If you want to test it yourself, here is a PDF sample recipe for Bangers and Kale Mash.

Click the link below to buy The Safe Starch Cookbook, using PayPal or any major credit card.

If you have a blog of your own, please consider signing up as an affiliate to earn a commission for every sale of this nifty resource. Click here for more info.

Any questions? Leave a comment below or send me an email. Thanks for your continued readership, enthusiasm, and support!

This is a huge week for me. After nearly a year of hoping, pleading, and hand-wringing, the fine folks at Costco are now carrying a test batch of my book, The Ancestral Table, in select stores! If sales go well, it will be pushed to stores nationwide, which would be even more awesome.

If you live near one of these areas, I would love it if you picked up a copy for you or a friend. If you think of it, I’d also love it if you emailed me a picture of my book in the wild! And while you’re at it, there are a ton of Paleo-friendly ingredients to be had at Costco stores; check out Sarah Ballantyne’s Ultimate Costco Guide (page 8) for a great list of items that most stores carry.

Read on for a full list of store locations. Thanks again for your support!

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Local friends: I’ll be cooking a four-course dinner as a guest chef at So Gourmet Pensacola on Saturday, January 17th from 6-8pm. There are still seats available, RSVP for the event here. See you then!

Hanger steak is a v-shaped cut taken from the diaphragm of the cow. It was a relatively rare cut until recently, because butchers commonly kept it for themselves; in fact, another name for this cut is “butcher’s cut”. It weighs less than two pounds, which is a perfect size for whipping up a date-night dish. Gents, take note: we’re only a little over a month out from Valentine’s Day – plenty of time to practice this recipe beforehand!

Hanger steak works best when cooked quickly over a high heat, and served medium rare. Marinating the cut will infuse it with a punch of flavor, but it takes a little away from the spontaneity of this dish. Instead, I like to complement the simple, tender steak with a rich sauce, like the Bordelaise in today’s recipe.

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