The Safe Starch Cookbook


When it comes to diet, there’s a lot of conflicting information about starches and carbohydrates. Some will tell you that every bite of starchy foods will shave years off your life, while the USDA recommends a daily intake of 45-65% carbs. I believe that the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and individual tolerance varies by person. The Safe Starch Cookbook is an easy tool to create a balanced meal that can help you on your health journey.

This is a very personal book for me. After suffering from a rare autoimmune disease for five years, changing my diet in 2010 had a huge positive effect on my symptoms. But just as I started to feel normal again, things got worse; I felt tired, lethargic, and weaker than before. I began to suspect that I needed to tweak the low-carb Paleo diet I was eating. After reintroducing a moderate amount of white rice and potatoes, I had finally found the right formula to feel great, maintain a healthy weight, and overcome cravings.

2010 vs 2011

Along with compiling over 90 of my favorite carbohydrate-focused recipes, I used the eBook as an opportunity to put together all of my thoughts concerning this grossly misunderstood macronutrient; I designed The Safe Starch Cookbook to teach you about the judicious use of starch to increase meal satisfaction and balance your diet. In this eBook, I discuss:

  • the historical precedence for starch consumption
  • the cost-effectiveness of mindfully incorporating safe starches into your diet
  • how portion sizes and food timing can work together for optimal health
  • the best rice to purchase in order to minimize toxins and arsenic

The recipes are divided into four main categories: rice, potatoes, noodles, and other starches (starch flours and starchy vegetables). The recipes include updated versions of dishes first shared on my blog, plus many dishes exclusive to this eBook, like Bone Marrow Risotto, Corned Beef Hash, and Shrimp Étouffée.

I first wrote The Safe Starch Cookbook in 2014, with 64 total recipes. Since then, I’ve provided periodic updates to the book, and its 2017 edition now features 91 total recipes!

The Safe Starch Cookbook is an interactive PDF, and will work on any computer, tablet, or smart phone. Please note that you will need a PDF reader to view the eBook, which is integrated natively into most modern devices. If you want to test it yourself, here is a PDF sample recipe for Bangers and Kale Mash.

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, like this:

I’m selling The Safe Starch Cookbook for $10, and you will get the download link emailed to you immediately after buying the eBook.

So altogether, The Safe Starch Cookbook includes:

  • 91 recipes (24 rice, 28 potato, 15 noodle, and 24 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
  • 221 pages total

Not bad for $10, right? I think it’s pretty reasonable.

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

Any questions? Check out the eBook support page, leave a comment below, or send me an email.

83 thoughts on “The Safe Starch Cookbook

  1. Russell, I just got your ancestral cookbook for Christmas. It’s great. Looking forward to this. Was curious on your thoughts around couscous and quinoa and their toxicity. Are they addressed in this book? If not can you give me your thoughts? Thanks.


    1. Hi Dylan, glad you like my book! Couscous I avoid because it is made from durum wheat and contains gluten, which I react poorly to. I don’t have any particular issues with quinoa or other pseudo-grains like buckwheat and amaranth, but I don’t include them in my diet (and they aren’t in this eBook) because they have a relatively high Omega-6 content compared to other starch sources.


  2. I have been waiting for someone to write this book. It’s long overdue in the paleo field. Congrats on getting the jump on the competition.


  3. We’ve had some awesome suppers thanks to you and your recipes for sweet and sour chicken, lazy cabbage rolls and fast pho! Jan.1st my family adopted a PHD diet and so far so good. The kids however are missing crackers. Have you experimented with making rice crackers? All the store brands are made with oils that I want to avoid. Looking forward to your new book (Ancestral Table is very enjoyable) Thanks


    1. Hi Katy, I haven’t really jumped into the cracker realm, we usually eat the Edwards & Sons brown rice crisps which are made with brown and white rice flours (and baked, I believe). We don’t eat them that often but they don’t seem to cause any digestive stress.


  4. I’m so looking forward to reading this! Do you know how much it will be selling for yet? A couple of friends have asked when I’ve told them about it. Thanks!


    1. Hi Stephanie, good question – I’ll fix the page! Yes, it’s all gluten-free and Paleo-friendly (depending on your stance on rice). The noodles recipes have a myriad of options to choose from when it comes to the noodles themselves: rice noodles, sweet potato noodles, spiralized vegetables, and Cappello’s grain-free pasta. I tried to set up each recipe so that you can use whatever you’d like.


      1. Thanks! I am typically pretty strict and would say that no rice isn’t Paleo, but since I started Crossfit I feel like I need it! I need more starch and more carbs. A whole pan of roasted broccoli is still crazy low in carbs. I’m excited to check out your book for that reason. I feel like I need more of this in my life :) Thanks for writing it!


          1. I just read your story in your book. Very cool stuff. I’ve been on the AIP diet for a different AI disease. I learned about Weston Price first, then Paleo, and now that I’m able to workout more I’m seeing more of a need for the safe starches. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve never read The Perfect Health diet, so I’m excited to learn more.


    1. Kim, white rice tolerance is individualized, much like most foods. For me, I excluded it for a month (when first adopting the Paleo diet, as well as again a year later while on a Whole30); both times that I reintroduced it, I felt no adverse effects. In terms of accepting it as a safe starch, I have many reasons behind it, all explained in The Safe Starch Cookbook. I write a bit about it in this post, as well:


    1. Elena, I researched a paper version but I just don’t have the infrastructure in place to purchase and print enough books to make it affordable for readers, plus distribution, shipping, and so on….so for now, I’m just sticking with the eBook format. The eBook file is a PDF, which makes it easy to print out individual recipes – so you’re not taking an expensive electronic device into the kitchen!


  5. Russ I just decided what cookbook I need you to do next:) LOL. No matter what I cook it’s all about the sauce,dressing, gravy or condiment. You can cook a simple dish and change the sauce,dressing, or condiment and make it a different dish and not get tired of eating the same thing. We cook your chicken nuggets for my kid once a week and if I change the dipping sauce no gets tired of it. And all the sauces, dressing etc at the store are disgusting and their ingredients even worse. p.s just bought another of your cookbooks, safe starches and love it.


  6. gonna give it a shot, love to eat whatever I like, but Im getting fat, wheezy and short of breath. My cousin who does cross fit and follows a mostly paleo diet keeps telling me to change my diet.


  7. Since, as a diabetic, I must be very careful of my carb intake, how well do you think your recipes in this book will work in a diabetic’s diet?


    1. Hi Andrea, since diabetes affects the digestive function differently than a healthy metabolism, I wouldn’t recommend this book as a sole resource for those with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. My other cookbooks would be great, though!


  8. hi there

    i have my sister with an auto immune disease too, she was diagnose 3months ago with “dermatomyositis” a rare condition wherein the skin and muscles are inflammed but today, her 3rd month inflammation is reduced. we are still looking for foods/diet that will help her heal fast

    thank you


    1. Hi Rick, you are more than welcome to print out the book! If you want to just print out the recipes, you’ll want to open the PDF using Adobe Reader (if you don’t already have it installed: Then in the print options, you want to select a print range of pages 27-165, and then select “more options” directly under where you typed in the print range, and select “odd pages only”.

      A few pages (57, 95, 121) are full-page pictures because they’re part of a chapter intro spread, so if you want to save on the ink for those, you’d want to have four printing sessions, printing the ranges 27-55, 59-93, 97-119, and 123-165 individually to avoid printing out those pages (and wasting ink!). Hope that makes sense, good luck!


  9. I just bought your book here on your website. After I paid with PayPal the system sent me back to your site then I was redirect to download the pdf version of The Safe Starch Cookbook however when I clicked to download it all I got was a page full of letters. Would you please let me know how and where I can download the actual book? If possible please contactme privately. Thanks.


      1. Hi Russ, I got your email with the link and I was able to download the book. Thank you very much for your pront response.

        Have a great 2016!


    1. Hi Lori, metabolic syndrome is often a precursor to diabetes, and is thought to be the underlying disorder of energy utilization – in other words, it’s when someone doesn’t properly digest and metabolize the food they eat:

      I’m not a health practitioner but my understanding of FSGS kidney disease is that the consumption of safe starches wouldn’t affect this disease – a quick search on diets related to this disease didn’t show any carb restrictions. That being said, this book is not intended to be used in placement of treatment, so I suggest you consult with your health care provider if you have any questions – hope this helps! :)


  10. I have nothing against rice in principle but my body can’t tolerate it. Are there enough non rice based recipes in the book that it would still be worth the purchase? Are most of the noodle recipes rice based? I would love to have more variety and am fine with potatoes and alternative starches. Thanks :)


    1. Hi Colleen, of the 15 noodle recipes, 9 of them use rice noodles or pasta, but you could substitute with corn pasta (if you can tolerate it), sweet potato noodles, or Cappello’s pasta (available online or locally in CO). In the “starches” section, there is one recipe that calls for rice flour. So you’re looking at 57 recipes in the eBook that don’t include rice at all, or 66 if you substitute the rice pasta with something else. Hope that helps!


  11. Is there a hard copy version of your safe starch cookbook? My husband is the chef in our household (I cook, too, but it’s a labor of love when he cooks) and will not use an eBook. Only hard copy with big glossy pictures (his fave for the last few years is Mediterranean Paleo). I will be buying The Ancestral Table for him from Amazon.


    1. Hi Mary, unfortunately I don’t have a hard copy version of the book, there’s just not enough demand to warrant the mass printing costs. I have heard from others who have used their local office supply stores to print the book out and have it spiral-bound, and have loved it!


  12. I am surprised I didn’t buy this sooner since I love rice. Just bought and will do spiral bound ! Thanks and I cannot wait for your next cookbook!!!


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