Let’s Cook Through The Ancestral Table.

I think it’d be really fun if you cooked through The Ancestral Table, and I’d love to follow you on your journey. I wrote this book with that very idea in mind, and for two specific kinds of people. First, for anyone that is looking to try out a more healthful way of eating, this might be the tastiest way to go about it. Secondly, for anyone that’s been eating a Paleo-style diet for a while and is looking to either 1) try out some new dishes or 2) ramp up their skills in the kitchen, I think this is also a great solution.

I’m not saying that you have to exclusively cook every meal straight out of this book (after all, there are only a couple breakfast recipes in here), but I have a feeling that most people (and their tastebuds!) will benefit from cooking frequently out of my little tome.

It would be awesome if you shared your progress as you cook your way through The Ancestral Table. Please send me emails, upload pictures to my Facebook page, tag me on Instagram. Or simply use my nifty little hashtag, #theancestraltable, so that I can find it.

To kickstart your new adventure, I wanted to provide you with a list of items (tools and ingredients) that you’ll need in order to tackle most of these recipes. That way, when the book releases on February 11th you can jump right in.

Please note that the links below are just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about – you don’t have to buy the actual product I’m linking to in order to make the dishes.

Dutch or French Oven
Stainless-steel Skillet
Cast-iron Skillet
Large Stockpot
Rimmed Baking Sheet with Wire Rack
Blender or Food Processor (or Immersion Blender)
Strainer and Cheesecloth
Quick-Read Thermometer

Green Cardamom Pods
Black Cardamom Pods
Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)
Ground Fenugreek Seeds
Star Anise
Kashmiri Red Chili Powder
Korean Red Chili Powder (Gochugaru)
Perilla Powder
Dried Guajillo Chili Peppers

Note that I don’t use Almond Flour in my book (I prefer Hazelnut and Chestnut Flours in terms of taste, texture, and nutritional profile). I use Almond Meal in 3 recipes (as a binder), and some Coconut Flour here and there.

Coarse-Ground Almond Meal
Chestnut Flour
Hazelnut Flour

Note that most of the recipes in the book use Calrose Rice, so if you’re going to buy a big bag, I’d buy that.

Calasparra or Bomba (Paella) Rice
Long-Grain (Basmati) Rice
Short-Grain (Mochi/Sweet) Rice
Medium-Grain (Calrose) Rice

That’s about it. If you have these tools and ingredients, you should be good to go – everything else in the book uses tools you probably already have and ingredients that can be found in most grocery stores.

31 thoughts on “Let’s Cook Through The Ancestral Table.

  1. Can’t wait for my copy to arrive. I’m just about to complete my first and definitely life-changing Whole30 and I think the integration of some rice is going to make all the difference to sustaining this new way of eating for me. “Check” on all the supplies and pantry staples! (I’ll have to charge my camera batteries, though if I’m going to document cooking through your book.)


  2. This post is great! I’m really looking forward to receiving your book – your blog is one of my favorite Paleo websites, if not most favorite. Some of the things you’ve posted in the past kind of scare me a little (duck tongues?…O_o), but I’m looking to break out of my comfort zone this year in terms of cooking. I’m happy to cook along! Thanks for prep list ahead of time!


  3. I’ll have to check out the local Asian grocery to see how many of these spices I can get- the rest I’ll order thru Amazon. I’ve been Paleo for a while and didn’t even know about Chestnut and Hazelnut flour. But I know I didn’t like Almond flour because anything I made with it felt like I had a rock sitting in my stomach. I’ll have to work on my food photography skills as well – much harder than it looks to take a decent picture of food :)


    1. Jackie, both chestnut and hazelnut flours are sorely underutilized in the Paleo world. Chestnut is one of my favorites – mild taste, great texture. It’s very common in Europe but never really took hold here in the US. Practice makes perfect with food photography! ;)


  4. About the only thing I use almond flour for is binding meatloaf which gives it a nutty flavor (which I like). It’s coarse enough that it has texture (as opposed to potato flour, which turns into starch goo). Which alternative (chestnut or hazelnut flour) might substitute best for almond? Willing to experiment, but would like the expert opinion before going off blindly in one direction.


      1. Just checked the price, dang… but then rechecked almond meal and it’s also gone up quite a bit since I last bought a bag! Doubled in price over the last year or so?


        1. Yeah, sometimes almond meal and hazelnut are really cheap online, and expensive locally – and then vice versa at other times. I’d keep an eye out for sales, we usually get pretty lucky after a bit of a search.


  5. I recently started the perfect health diet and can’t tell you how grateful I am for your blog and recipes! It has really made my family’s transition so much better with PHD recipes that are so easy and good! Thank you thank you I can’t wait for your cookbook!


  6. Hi Russ – your blog and book look amazing, but I haven’t yet pulled the trigger on the book, only because of the spice list. I love spice- well fed uses a lot and that’s been a great book- but I’m concerned about the final dollar amount for all the spices. Are there any you’d suggest waiting to purchase? Or, as I’m the only one in my house who eats seafood, any you’d leave off for that reason (I probably won’t cook those for myself)? Thanks much for your help. I really want to try the book and am trying to avoid shortcuts! Keep up the amazing work.


    1. Hi Nicole, the vast majority of the dishes in The Ancestral Table use everyday spices – the ones listed in this post are mostly for a few ethnic dishes like Butter Chicken, Pho, and Gamjatang, for the most part. I would say that you’ll easily be able to cook through 80% of the recipes using ingredients you already have on hand or can get at most grocery stores. Hope that helps!


  7. Looks like an awesome plan, and you have some spices even I (a spice maven) don’t have. Re rice, I have Basmati and sushi rice — would the latter be able to sub in for any of those others you have?

    Chestnut flour sounds intriguing. But I am SO not going to make anything with hazelnut (shudder) in it.


  8. This cookbook looks amazing and I cannot wait to get my copy! I love the recipes on your site here, they are intriguing to the pallet with the exciting uses of some unique ingredients. We are also new to Paleo ourselves and is nice to see less restrictive options (Yea! We can still have rice and some cheese!)! We are military with a lot of travels under our belt as well so I am looking forward to bringing back some culinary memories with your recipes.

    One quick question, we have a tree nut allergy in my family and cannot have the almond, hazelnut or chestnut flours. What would be a good alternative? We can use coconut flour, but know that it is usually much more absorbent that other flours which would modify the recipes.


    1. Hi Christi, good question. There are only a few recipes in the whole book that use tree nuts, off the top of my head I recall crab cakes, banana cream pie, and the birthday cake. The cake and pie probably can be replicated with coconut flour but I can’t guarantee the texture (baked goods are fickle like that). The crab cakes can most definitely use coconut flour. Hope that helps!


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