cookbook

I’ve received a few questions concerning the Table of Contents for The Heritage Cookbook, which is completely understandable. There is a lot to digest. Since the book covers such a variety of topics, it’s difficult to summarize all of its material in a sentence or two; I wish I could promote the book by saying “just do this one trick and all your health woes will disappear!”. But that’s never really been my gig in the first place — nutrition is exceptionally complex, and therefore there is a lot of nuance in the book.

So let’s walk through how the book is laid out. It took me several months (and many mistakes) to figure out how to make it flow just right for the reader, but I think it falls into place fairly well now. (Please note that the page numbers reflect the PDF version of the book.)

Chapter 1: Who We Are
Introduction // 21
Discovering Your Heritage // 33
My Ancestry Journey // 35
Genealogy Research // 43
DNA Testing // 46

In this chapter, I discuss my personal journey in discovering my family history and traveling to some of my ancestral homelands. As part of my book research, I spent a couple years investigating my genealogy, and undergoing a number of at-home DNA tests. I compiled the results and present each service’s pros and cons so that you can decide whether you’d like to do the same.

Chapter 2: What We Eat
Basic Dietary Principles // 55
Human Genetics and Diet, in a Nutshell // 56
Plant and Animal Foods: Now vs Then // 59
Plants, Meat, and Gut Bacterial Genes // 63
Macronutrients and Micronutrients // 66
Commonalities and Staples Across All Cultures // 69
Examples of Genetic Variation // 73

Here, we set the foundation of historical eating patterns, and how genetics can influence your dietary health. Topics include the disparity between historical and modern foods, and our microbiome. Additionally, we discuss common staples across all traditional cultures, and examples of genetic variation (specifically how the genes LCT and CSN2 interact with dairy).

Chapter 3: Our Collective History
A Brief History of Humans and their Migrations // 80
Our Recent Evolutionary Past // 86
Genetics and Race // 90
The Data: Cultural Representation and Annual Food Consumption // 90
Europe // 97
North America // 112
Latin America & the Caribbean // 123
Africa // 135
Middle East & the Mediterranean // 146
Central & South Asia // 160
East Asia // 175
Southeast Asia & the Pacific // 187

This chapter is where the rubber meets the road: we’ll look at the history of humankind, from our appearance as a species to the migrations that placed us around the globe. From there, we’ll look at some genetic adaptations that developed as we encountered a variety of environments, and discuss the fundamental flaws of using skin color to assume genetic diversity. This chapter also explains how I calculated cultural representation to define our common ancestry groups, and which data I used to get an idea of traditional eating patterns. Finally, we’ll look at each major region of the world, and break down their cultural history, historical foods, meal customs, staple food groups, and recommendations based on all of the above.

Chapter 4: Plants
The Origin of Cultivated Plants // 198
Plant Fat and the FADS Gene // 201
Starchy Roots & Fruits // 203
Breads & Grains // 248
Rice & Beans // 315
Vegetables // 391
Fruits & Sweets // 462

This is the first of two chapters that include The Heritage Cookbook’s recipes. This chapter highlights all things related to plants, including the origin of our modern crops, and how some of us are better adapted to digest the fats found in some plants. As with the following (“Animals”) chapter, each section contains a history of the food group, its historical consumption rate for traditional cultures, and recommendations.

Chapter 5: Animals
Animal Fats and the LCP Gene // 491
Red Meat // 495
Pork // 584
Poultry & Eggs // 630
Fish & Seafood // 697

Like with the Plants chapter, the Animals chapter breaks down major food groups from a historical perspective. We also investigate genetic adaptation to meat (and animal fat) consumption.

Chapter 6: Putting it All Together
In Conclusion // 758
References // 770
Acknowledgements // 787
About the Authors // 789

Finally, we put it all together to briefly cover some lessons learned from the book, and provide an exhaustive list of references if you wish to keep digging into the research.

That’s it for now – if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. See you next Tuesday, with another recipe from the book.

Click here to learn more about the limited edition print version!

click here for the digital edition:

also available on:

Click here to learn more about the limited edition print version

Hello everyone. After several years of research, writing, and designing, I’m ready to release my third cookbook. It’s called The Heritage Cookbook, and it combines genealogy and genetic testing with nutrition and cooking. The book is both a comprehensive dive into ancestral nutrition, food, and cultural histories, and a massive cookbook with 300+ historical and traditional recipes from around the world.

The digital version of The Heritage Cookbook is available for purchase today, with a variety of options. The simplest option is a PDF version of the book, which can be enjoyed on any home computer, tablet, or smartphone. If you prefer to read your books on Kindle or Apple Books, I created those versions as well. I designed each version from the ground up, so they all look pretty great no matter which format you prefer. All digital editions are $14.99 each.

Initially, I was going to limit this book to digital formats only, because it’s nearly too big to print (780+ pages!), and I am no longer affiliated with my previous publisher, so I don’t have the resources to print and distribute physical copies through bookstores or Amazon. But after a lot of positive response from friends and family, I’ve decided to do a special, limited edition print run of the book.

Here’s how the hardcover edition will work:

  • I’ve set up an online store at TheHeritageCookbook.com, where you can pre-purchase the hardcover book for a limited time period (now until June 30th).
  • At the end of the ordering period, I’ll compile and send my order to a small, US-based printer; however many books are ordered is how many books I will have printed.
  • I’ll then personally sign, number, and ship each book by hand with an expected October 2019 delivery date.
  • Shipping is included in the price and you will also get an instant download link for the digital (PDF) version of the book, so you can enjoy the recipes immediately.


The hardcover book price is $60, and I have to limit shipping to US and military (APO) addresses only, but I am positive that the stunning hardcover copy and included perks (free shipping, digital edition included, signed and personalized) make this version truly special.

This limited edition version of The Heritage Cookbook will only be available for purchase between now and June 30th. After that, they’re gone forever! Click here to read more and to purchase a copy for yourself. I’m especially excited about the hardcover’s unique cover, which is taken from a beautiful, custom painting made by one of my favorite artists, Martin at Continuum Watercolors. The physical version will also be the same dimensions as my previous cookbooks (although much thicker!), so they’ll all sit nicely on the same shelf.

If you’re not able to purchase the physical edition, never fear: the digital edition contains all the same content, and is super convenient to take with you on your phone when grocery shopping. Be sure to visit the digital edition landing page to see some more pictures from the book!

I think this is a really neat way to wrap up this chapter of my life. I really hope you love this book as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I think that the recipes you’ll find in The Heritage Cookbook are by far the best I’ve ever written, and the photos are the best I’ve ever taken–I’m very proud of this book. If you have any questions, I’ve also made a handy FAQ page that has all sorts of information. Or leave me a question in the comments below. Enjoy!

click here for the digital edition:

also available on:

Click here to buy the limited edition print version

Big news, everyone! I’m officially opening up public recipe testing for my next book, which will be called The Heritage Cookbook. I expect the cookbook to be released in 2018.

This book will focus on recipes developed to align best with your individual heritage and DNA ancestry results. As such, I’ve developed recipes from all over the world, highlighting the unique ancestral makeup of the US population (and giving similar consideration for readers living in countries with historically high immigration, like Canada and Australia). This book is a massive undertaking (300+ recipes!) and has taken over two years to put together – I’m excited to see how you like it!

Here’s the lowdown:
** Follow this link to choose a recipe and complete the submission form.
** Within 48 hours, my lovely wife Janey will email you the recipe plus a link to our feedback form.
** Please test the recipe and submit feedback by January 28th!

I’d love your help in sharing the word about this new book! Definitely share photos and your thoughts with family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and feel free to use the hashtag #heritagecooking. I only ask that you keep the actual recipes to yourself, since the final product may change before the book publishes.

If you are on Facebook, please consider joining The Heritage Cookbook Facebook group. There are over 3,400 members in the group, and we’ll be using this platform to share more info, respond to feedback, and answer any questions you may have.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your support, and enjoy the food!

*** Allergen information: please note that because this book is closely tied to genetic studies and food history, there is a likelihood that some ancient items native to a specific region (wheat in the Middle East, dairy in Europe, or corn in the Americas) will be included in recipes. This is not necessarily a Paleo, Primal, Whole30, AIP, or even gluten-free cookbook – instead, it will be focused on helping you find a personalized approach to diet for your unique heritage. To accommodate today’s evolving dietary challenges, I’ve listed common allergens in the Recipe List that you’ll find in the form (including annotation for recipes where gluten-free substitutions are provided). When developing recipes with wheat, I used ancient einkorn wheat (available on Amazon), which has a low gluten content.

Hi everyone, let’s have a talk.

Over the past few months I’ve made several hints about the fact that I’m working on a new cookbook. I’ve been at it for over a year now, and I’m on track to release it in 2018. I’m not quite ready to go into details, but I will say it is by far the most thorough and important project I’ve ever worked on.

It’s always been a challenge to keep this blog up and running, between traveling for my job in the US Navy and the general busyness that comes with being a husband and father of two children. And I have always appreciated the challenge of maintaining my “new recipe every Tuesday” standard since 2011, as it helps me plan and organize my cooking life.

But that standard has been increasingly difficult to maintain over this past year, as I have to find ways to divide my limited time between blog recipes and recipes for the new cookbook. In truth, it’s really slowed my progress down, but at the same time, I don’t want to disappear for an extended period of time, only to reemerge with a new cookbook – to me, blogs should be a continuous conversation, and I like engaging with you, my readers. So I’ve been looking for ways to keep The Domestic Man running, and relevant, while I prioritize my new book.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to devote myself full-time to developing recipes for the new cookbook, and each week I will share a new recipe that will later be included in the book, up until release date. Think of it like a year-long early access to parts of my new cookbook. I’ll also likely include recipes that I considered and developed for the book, but may not make it into the final cut.

And here is what I’m going to ask of you. First, I ask that you incorporate these recipes into your cooking lives, just as you always have, and please provide feedback in the comments – what worked, what didn’t, and so on. I’ll take your feedback onboard as I edit the recipes; consider yourself an official recipe tester! My hope is that you’ll find these recipes to be familiar friends by the time you see them in print form. Next, I ask you to bear in mind that some of these recipes will change as I go through the publication process, especially the photos. As with my previous two books, I’ll be teaming up with my dear friend Giang Cao for the book’s photography, and he will be taking on the majority of the photography duties this time around as I hunker down to research and write. The photos I share for each recipe here on the blog will be taken by me as I test each recipe, like the Boeuf Bourguignon photo you see above.

So what’s going to change for you? Not much, you’ll still get a new recipe every Tuesday. And you’ll also likely see that recipe again next year in my book, but with a new photo and some minor tweaks. Some of the ingredients might be a bit different from what you’ve come to expect on this blog; for example, if I’m sharing a traditional dish that calls for beans or corn, I will include those ingredients (albeit in the most thoughtful, healthful, and historically-appropriate way possible). Every recipe will continue to be gluten-free, and largely Paleo-friendly with appropriate substitutions provided.

And don’t worry, I’m not giving away the whole book using this method. Some back-of-the-envelope math shows me that by posting one new recipe from my upcoming book every week for a year, I’ll be sharing less than 20% of the book’s recipes – so you’ll still be 80% surprised with the new cookbook!

As we get closer to publication date I’ll definitely be sharing more info about the book, and will solicit for formal recipe testers, as I did for Paleo Takeout, sometime near the end of this year.

I appreciate your support, and understanding – I’m pretty excited to share this new food with you. We’ll start this new approach next week, with Boeuf Bourguignon. See you then!

Although my recipes principally follow a gluten-free, Paleo, Primal, and Perfect Health Diet framework, I often get requests to adapt my recipes for Whole30 and the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP). These two eating styles in particular are further restrictive in that the former is intended to reset your eating habits, while the latter is designed to heal and reverse autoimmune symptoms.

I’m familiar enough with both eating parameters that I was able to go through every recipe in Paleo Takeout and make individual adjustments to comply with those requirements while still preserving the spirit of each recipe. So if you’re trying out a Whole30 or healing from autoimmunity, feel free to use this guide as a means to enjoy my book. I’m very proud of this guide, as it took me nearly a month to compile everything, and I was able to retain 94% of the recipes for Whole30 and 80% for AIP, which is pretty awesome. Plus this is definitely my longest post ever, over 7,000 words! Substitutions are referenced in order of appearance in the recipe.

Other helpful links:


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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 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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Folks, I have some great news for you – Paleo Takeout was sent to the printer last night! In celebration, I’m totally going to buck a few trends here. Instead of teasing you with snippets of the book, only showing off the very best dishes, I’m just going to let you see the whole shebang right now! This is the actual visual index taken straight from the book. I’m confident that once you see this full recipe list, complete with the picture for each recipe, you’re going to flip a lid.

Bear in mind that many of these recipes have variations and sub-recipes listed for them. For example, the combination of techniques, rubs, and sauces for the wings yields 20 different experiences! Similarly, there are 8 different types of ramen in this book. All told, there are over 200 recipes in Paleo Takeout – how awesome is that? Read on to see everything that is included in the book when it releases on June 23rd.

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As you probably read in my post from the other day, I’m knee-deep in recipe development and writing, in order to get my sophomore cookbook ready for release – which is a lot of fun, but leaves me with little time to keep up with blog recipes. So, I figured out a solution that’s good for both of us: I’ll just post a recipe from The Ancestral Table! I’ve been meaning to share more of these recipes anyway, and this one is a special favorite in our house. The wine sauce is the highlight of the dish, and it is absolutely, ridiculously, heartbreakingly delicious. One of these days I’ll figure out a way to batch-cook and sell this sauce for millions of dollars, but for now, here’s a bit more about the dish, stolen directly from the book (I can do that!):

While clams, wine, and butter are all delicious, the combination of the three is truly divine. This dish, developed in the Provençal region of France, is the quintessential marriage of these rich, decadent flavors. It is equally tasty when prepared with mussels.

Though wild and sustainably caught seafood is generally ideal, it’s better to buy farm-raised clams and mussels. They are raised on ropes suspended above the sea floor, which makes them less gritty than wild clams and mussels dredged from the ocean floor. Dredging up wild clams and mussels can also damage the ocean’s ecosystem.

Even though I’m mostly MIA for a bit, there are still ways to get your Russ Crandall fix (is there such a thing?), should you need it. Next week, I’ll be participating in the Virtual Ultimate Health Summit, which focuses on restoring your health through lessons on diet, sleep, energy, hormones, body image, confidence and stress. I am one of 16 panelists, and I’ll be talking about how history, food culture, and health can combine to find that perfect balance of tasty food and healthy diet, with an emphasis on safe starches (no surprise there, right?). It’s free to enroll, and runs for two weeks, so check it out!

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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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I owe a huge debt to America’s Test Kitchen and their Cook’s Illustrated cookbooks, whether they realize it or not; their books have been a staple in my reading library for nearly 20 years now. Many of the techniques I use in my cooking are founded on principles and tips that I’ve gleaned from their work. In fact, eagle-eyed readers of The Ancestral Table might have noticed that I gave them a nod in the back of my book, for influencing three of its recipes.

When they asked me to review and help spread the word about their new book, The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book: The Game-Changing Guide that Teaches You How to Cook Meat and Poultry with 425 Bulletproof Recipes, I jumped at the chance. Read on for the full review, but if you’re looking for the short version, it’s this: this is an essential guide to mastering the subtle art of cooking meat, and will set you up for a lifetime of deliciousness.

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