Tag Archives: primal

Introducing My Meal-Planning Plate

19 Dec

Folks, just a quick note to show off some of the cool stuff I’ve been working on behind the scenes here at The Domestic Man. This illustration was drawn by my friend Alex Boake and highlights my approach to meal planning. For future reference, this plate will be featured on the About page of this site.

There is no one way to eat that is perfect for all of us. That being said, I developed this plate above over the past several years as a way to ensure that my meals are healthful, diverse, and satisfying. This “four corners” plate is based on traditional and historic cuisines (what I would expect to see on a plate during an episode of Leave it to Beaver), and meal portions that humans seem to naturally gravitate towards.

Proteins: seafood, fish, beef, lamb, bison, wild game, pork, duck, chicken, turkey, eggs
Starchy foods: rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, plantains, yuca, taro, squash
Hardy veg: broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, radish, turnip, cucumber, green beans, eggplant
Leafy veg: lettuce, cabbage, kale, spinach, greens, herbs (side salad or braised greens)

I treat fruits, berries, chocolate, and nuts as treats (first articulated in the Perfect Health Diet), to be eaten seasonally and sparingly, and not factored into meal building. Healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, lard, tallow, duck fat, butter, and ghee) and acids (citrus fruits, vinegars, alcohol, and acidic vegetables like tomatoes) are added during the cooking process to taste.

That’s it. Have a great weekend.
Russ

Seasoned London Broil (Flank/Sirloin/Round)

16 Dec


Note: after talking to the farmer that provided the meat for this recipe, I realized that this cut was actually top round and not flank. I apologize for the mix up, and I’ve updated the post accordingly.

Let’s talk about the cut referred to as “London Broil” for a little bit. Back in the day, flank steaks (taken from the abdomen of the cow) were prepared using a method called “London Broil” (marinated and broiled). Over time, stores started referring to the cut itself as “London Broil”, and then started to use that label for top sirloin (from the cow’s rear end) and top round (from the cow’s hind legs) cuts as well. Today, you’ll find all of these cuts labeled as “London Broil”, but rest assured that this recipe will work well for any of those three cuts.

We usually use these cuts to make beef jerky, because it is consistently lean and easy to slice. But the other day I decided to prepare it traditionally by marinating it overnight and throwing it on a hot grill. I was surprised by how flavorful the steak turned out, and in the end it was a lot of delicious meat with little hands-on work.

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Fast Pho

9 Dec


Pho is one of my favorite dishes of all time. It was one of my first meals when I moved to Hawaii nearly 15 years ago, and I’ve eaten it regularly ever since. To this day, if I’m feeling under the weather, I immediately reach for the nearest pho bowl that’s lying around (if only it was that easy).

I spent years working on a good recipe of my own, which I wrote in 2012 (confidently declaring it my “definitive recipe” – ha!). I then updated and improved upon the recipe for my cookbook. I love my cookbook recipe, and I would confidently put it toe-to-toe with your favorite bowl of soup. Unfortunately, it takes over 7 hours to make it from start to finish, since I make the broth from scratch. While spending a whole day making one soup is very satisfying (and slightly therapeutic), I wanted to put together a faster version with similar flavors, which I’m proud to debut today.

This dish first emerged as a Hanoi street food during the late 1800s, and was brought to the US in the 1970s by refugees after the fall of Saigon. The inclusion of beef in the dish is reflective of its French influence; prior to French colonialism, cows in Vietnam were mainly used for labor and not as a food source.

Be sure to scroll through to below the recipe text, because I also recorded a video of the recipe. Thanks to everyone for your feedback on my last video; I adjusted my side camera angle so that you can better see what’s in the pots, but since this recipe is basically just a lot of boiling, it’s not very exciting footage!

For this recipe I used the US Wellness Meats eye of round, oxtails, and marrow bones, all sourced from grass-fed cows. I pressure-cooked the oxtail and marrow bones to make broth; I then picked the meat off the oxtails and added it to the soup with some thinly-sliced eye of round. US Wellness Meats is currently offering 15% off all orders under 40lbs using the code “soda”, and the deal expires at midnight CST tonight (December 9th), so jump on it! Okay, on to the recipe.

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Easy Glazed Pork Chops

2 Dec


First of all, I want to thank everyone who bought my cookbook or spread the word about that crazy deal last week. The Kindle version of The Ancestral Table climbed from somewhere in the top 105,000 to the #12 book on all of Amazon! My time near the top of the list was short-lived, but it was pretty awesome knowing that my book made it into so many new hands.

We spent our Thanksgiving with Sarah Ballantyne and her family in Atlanta, and came home earlier this weekend with enough time for me to develop and photograph a few dishes. After the hubbub of a holiday meal, I was in the mood for something simple and straight-forward. Pork chops came to mind. These easy glazed chops come together in less than an hour and are impossible to mess up. Bear in mind that you’ll want an instant-read thermometer to make sure they’re perfectly done; we use and love this one.

Don’t worry about the cut of chop (bone-in, center-cut, etc) for this recipe. Any of them will work fine, although thick chops are preferred; thin chops tend to try out quickly and are best prepared with a marinade, like in the Lemongrass Pork Chops recipe found in my book.

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Lazy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

25 Nov


Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are often considered the most comforting of dishes, so much so that every Eastern European country wants to stake claim on owning the original recipe. While there is no definitive origin story, the prevailing story is this: members of the Russian aristocracy, visiting France in the mid-1700s, became enamored with their dishes of stuffed and roasted pigeons. Upon returning home, they ordered the dish to be recreated, and the closest they could come were the stuffed cabbage rolls we know and love today. This is evidenced by the similarity between the Russian words for stuffed cabbage rolls (Golubtsy) and pigeons (Goluby).

In recent years, a new phenomenon has sprouted up: Lazy Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Regular cabbage rolls require you to par-boil the cabbage leaves and roll each wrap before roasting or simmering everything; the whole process can take hours. Instead, home chefs have been simply chopping up the cabbage and adding it to the filling, cooking everything at once in about 1/4 of the time. This is the variation we’re going to tackle today.

Be sure to check out the video after the recipe; now that we’ve relocated to a house with a larger kitchen, I filmed a short cooking demonstration of the dish. I’m still working out some production kinks, but if you like the video I’ll keep cracking at it!

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The Ancestral Table Super Sale!

24 Nov

UPDATE: the sale is over. Thanks for your support and enthusiasm; my book made it all the way to #12 on all of Amazon for the day!

Folks, I have some good news and some bad news. To start, the bad: due to the file size of the Kindle version of my book, Amazon won’t let me lower the price of The Ancestral Table to $.99, but instead I have to charge the outrageous sum of $1.99 instead.

But here is the good news: if you’ve already bought (or buy today) the softcover version of my book through Amazon, they are including it in their Amazon Matchbook program, where you can get the eBook version for $.99. Also, the iBooks price has dropped to $.99, which can be enjoyed on any iPhone, iPad, or Mac!

The eBook versions of my cookbook are usually $9.99 across the board, so either way this is a great time to buy. Remember that this sale is for today only!

To buy the Kindle or Kindle Matchbook version for $1.99 or $.99 respectively, click here.
To buy the iBooks version for $.99, click here.

Happy shopping, and I hope you enjoyed this little sale! Remember that you can use the Kindle app on any smartphone or tablet to access the books, no need to own an actual Kindle device. There are also a ton of other great Paleo eBooks on sale today, click here to see the full list.

Primal Food Pantry Giveaway!

23 Nov

Update: Congratulations to Sharon from Chicago, who won the giveaway!

If you follow my social media accounts, you may have recently noticed that I mentioned a Kickstarter campaign for Primal Food Pantry. I’m really excited about this project, which will offer a Paleo-friendly online store and one-stop-shop tailored to your dietary needs. One of my favorite features of the new store will be something tentatively titled Primal Packs, which will include survival kits for military, civil service, and travelers. I liked the idea so much that I helped curate the items that will go into the kits, and I think they’ll be a boon for everyone, from deployed service members, to campers, to those who just don’t want to deal with airport/airline food.

I’m so excited about this concept that I’ve decided to personally invest in the program, by offering a reward for those that contribute to the project. For those that pledge $375, they’ll get a ton of great items, like free shipping on their first Primal Food Pantry order, one of the aforementioned Primal Packs, a PaleoSchmaleo clothing package, a delivery of meat from The Honest Bison, a copy of The Ancestral Table, plus the kicker: a personalized recipe of your choice, developed and photographed by yours truly. We’re limiting these pledges to five, so if you’re interested be sure to check it out soon.

The campaign’s founder, Hima, also offered to host a giveaway highlighting some of the goods that will be available in the Primal Food Pantry: a 500ml bottle and a 3 liter can of Kasandrinos olive oil, plus a 16oz and 32oz jar of Tin Star Foods cultured ghee, made from grass-fed cows, totaling $129 in value!

To enter the giveaway, I simply ask that you visit the Primal Food Pantry Kickstarter campaign page, read up on the project, and consider contributing. Leave me a comment below letting me know you’ve done that, and consider yourself entered! The giveaway ends midnight, November 25th, and I’ll randomly select a winner on November 26th. Giveaway limited to US residents. Thank you!

The Ancestral Table (Kindle version) on Sale for $.99, November 25th!

19 Nov

Great news! The Kindle version of my cookbook is part of a one-day sale next week, for only $.99 (normally $9.99)! If you’ve ever wanted to have a portable version of The Ancestral Table handy, this will be a great time to grab it; for example, I think it would be really convenient for you to have access to my recipes while grocery shopping. That’s worth a dollar, right? Nothing beats the feeling of flipping trhough a paper book, and truth be told navigating a Kindle cookbook takes a bit of effort, but you can’t argue with the price! (Also note that there is a “Give as a Gift” button on the Amazon site – hint hint.)

Bear in mind that most smart phones have a Kindle app which will allow you to access the book, so you don’t need an actual Kindle to enjoy my book while on the go. There are even Kindle desktop apps for those of you without smart phones. I actually don’t make any money off the book when it’s sold at this price – I’m just happy to get it into your hands and spread the word about delicious food.

This sale is part of a community-wide event, with plenty of other great eBooks on sale at the same time:

The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
The Paleo Manifesto by John Durant
Beyond Bacon by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry
The Paleo Kitchen by Juli Bauer and George Bryant
Gather, The Art of Paleo Entertaining by Bill Staley and Hayley Mason
Everyday Paleo By Sarah Fragoso
Sexy by Nature by Stefani Ruper
Free the Animal by Richard Nikoley
The Paleo Girl by Leslie Klenke
The Paleo Sweet Tooth by Alison Russo
Decadent Paleo Desserts by Hannah Healy
The Modern No Nonsense Guide to Paleo by Alison Golden
The Everything Weeknight Paleo Cookbook by Michelle Fagone

I suggest checking out the event site; there you can sign up to be notified immediately when the books go on sale, so that you don’t miss the deal. Remember, the books will be on sale for one day only, Tuesday, November 25th, 2014!

Note that some of the books above will be on sale for $1.99 vice $.99 because of length, but we don’t know which books (if any) will be at the higher (outrageous! ridiculous!) price.

Stew for You (or Two)

18 Nov


Recently, I’ve been thinking about living a simpler life. The idea started when I visited Mickey Trescott’s new home in the Willamette Valley over the summer, but it really solidified when we moved all of our things from Maryland to Florida last month – over 14,000 lbs worth of belongings. As we started unpacking boxes, I couldn’t help but think that I just didn’t need so much stuff. The worst part about it? We’re still unpacking.

So for the holidays this year, we’re trying to not buy any objects for each other. Instead, we’re gifting experiences. So this week’s recipe is going to be a little different from your usual Tuesday post; I’m going to walk you through how to make gifts to hand out to people that aren’t stuff. A couple years back I made a few gallons of my barbecue sauce and gave it away as gifts. While I had a lot of fun with that idea, I wanted to do something more immediate and useful – wouldn’t it be better to just gift someone a fully-cooked delicious meal? And thus my idea of Stew for You (or Two) was born. The concept is simple: make a large batch of delicious stew, vacuum-seal it, and give it away as gifts.

I’m particularly in love with my Beef à la Mode recipe from earlier this year, yet I’m sure that its 3.5-hour cook time deters readers from making it often enough. Instead, imagine reheating a vacuum-sealed homemade meal directly in gently simmering water, offering an unbeatable experience in just 20-30 minutes. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, a resealable mylar bag or Wrap ‘n Boil bag would work well, or even something like this IndieGoGo project would be great.

So read on for the stew recipe and sealing instructions, plus other gift suggestions. Let’s make Stew for You (or Two) go viral.

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Hawaii-Style Garlic Shrimp

11 Nov


Having spent most of my 20s in Hawaii, we regularly made trips to Giovanni’s shrimp truck in Kahuku to enjoy their signature dish: garlic shrimp. The shrimp is pan-fried in an aromatic scampi sauce, and served with a cubic ton of garlic. I have regularly tackled this dish since moving to the mainland in 2008, but it wasn’t until this past year that I really figured out how to recreate the dish at home.

My process includes marinating and par-cooking the shrimp in butter, then reducing the marinating liquid and garlic until it’s crispy, and finally returning the shrimp to the pan to finish everything off. I have made a couple adjustments over the years that ended up making a big difference in the final product. In order to prevent the butter from burning, I used clarified butter (or ghee) which has a higher smoke point than butter (previously I used olive oil, which I don’t like using at high temperatures). Also, by using tail-on (or even shelled) shrimp, the marinating liquid better penetrates the shrimp, making for a more flavorful (and less messy) experience.

For clarification (no pun intended), there is a difference between clarified butter and ghee, although the two are often confused. Clarified butter is butter with its milk solids removed, generally scraped from the surface of the butter as it gently simmers. Ghee, on the other hand, is made when the milk solids are allowed to fall to the bottom of the butter and brown as the butter simmers. Ghee has a more toasted flavor than the more neutral clarified butter.

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