My favorite cookbook: “Paleo Takeout” by Russ Crandall

Obviously, there’s no single best cookbook for everyone. There isn’t even a perfect paleo cookbook for everyone. Until now, I’ve refrained from singling one out in a general way, but I’m ready to declare a favorite, at least for now: Russ Crandall’s “Paleo Takeout: Restaurant Favorites Without the Junk” is just that good.

Recently purchased for our home collection, my family has fallen in love with these recipes. The first week, my wife couldn’t stop cooking through them day after day, and we’ve yet to find a clinker. The concept is paleo re-creations of takeout favorites, and as such it succeeds. But I wouldn’t call these substitutes or approximations. The flavors are authentic, if sometimes superior to the originals, and they’re made with such wholesome ingredients that there’s never any “I shouldn’t have” feeling afterward!

Our favorites so far include: Egg Foo Young, Honey Sesame Chicken, Pad See Ew, and Thai Green Curry. (Can you tell we started with the Asian recipes?) There are also “American Classics” such as pizza, wings, burgers, chili fries… all made clean and nourishing. There are even recipes for making your own sauces, condiments, and sides – without the usual junk.

Some recipes include limited dairy or rice, always with alternatives if you want to keep it strict. His reasoning is fully explained in the front pages, along with the expected author’s personal story, introduction to paleo, guide to cooking techniques, etc. Front and back cover flaps double as durable bookmarks.

I’m someone who expects nice full-color pictures of each dish, and “Paleo Takeout” doesn’t disappoint there. Taking it a step further, there’s a cute recipe index in the back that looks like a takeout menu! This book will be much more than just a source for whimsical party recipes. Already it’s one of our go-to cookbooks for everyday use as well as entertaining. This would be a perfect gift for anyone who enjoys takeout, even if they’ve never heard of paleo.

 My favorite cookbook: Paleo Takeout by Russ Crandall

Discover Paleo Podcasts

One of my favorite ways to learn about things is listening to podcasts, and the paleosphere has many to choose from. So many that you might find it difficult to decide where to jump in. Here are my current top picks for those new* to the medium:

Balanced Bites with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe

Aside from being entertaining and informative, they were first to mention my book Paleo For Restaurants, so they get the first spot on my list.  😉  Rated BG for banter and occasional giggles.

The Paleo Solution with Robb Wolf

Robb’s book The Paleo Solution was my introduction to paleo, and he’s still my favorite of the personalities. Occasional strong language.

Revolution Health Radio with Chris Kresser

Chris really knows his nutrition and biochemistry, and explains health topics brilliantly. He also tells you what he had for breakfast.

The Fat-Burning Man Show with Abel James

I was hesitant to listen to this at first because the marketing looked hokey to me, but Abel’s a real guy with a refreshing perspective, lots of good content, and a great radio voice. Some people don’t know he’s also an accomplished musician.

Everyday Paleo with Sarah Fragoso

Though no longer produced (Sarah is doing other podcasts) this remains a great library to listen through, especially for beginners, and particularly those with children.

Paleo Magazine Radio with Tony Federico

This is the audio counterpart to the Paleo print magazine, and as such you can expect a digest of news and developments in the paleo world.

Primal Blueprint Podcast

Written by Mark Sisson; Narrated by Brad Kearns and Brock Armstrong, this offers a primal perspective rather than strict paleo. The information is so good that you’ll find it valuable even if you need to ignore an occasional reference to dairy foods.

Latest in Paleo with Angelo Coppola

Another digest of information and personal perspective. Some content has been extraordinary.

*  If you’re new to podcasts:

If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, just open a podcast player app (many free options, and most smart phones come with one pre-installed) and click on the search function. Enter a title or subject, and when found select an episode to play. If you like it, you can add previous episodes and/or hit “subscribe” to automatically download new ones. Podcasts are generally free. If you like it, ratings and reviews are easy and very much appreciated.

Joe to speak at DeForest Public Library

“Eating Paleo at Home or Away”

Paleo is once again the most popular diet on Google, and millions are giving up grains, sugar, and seed oils. DeForest resident Joe Disch talks about “eating like a cave man” and his new book, Paleo for Restaurants. There will be discussion of the basic tenets of paleo as well as variants and controversies.

Also covered will be basic tips and tricks for restaurant owners and chefs who want to be more welcoming to paleo and primal clientele. There will be paleo cookie samples courtesy of Paleo Mama Bakery. Come and get your questions answered!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 – 6:30pm
DeForest Public Library Community Room
203 Library Street, DeForest, WI          (608) 846-5482




Joe’s Easy Oyster Stew

Oyster stew has been a holiday tradition in my family, but I wanted a version without the milk or cream in my Mom’s, or the various scary ingredients in the canned. Mine does use ghee, but you could easily substitute any other fat if that doesn’t work for you: butter, bacon drippings, lard, duck fat… It also takes advantage of canned coconut milk and oysters for convenience, but would be even better with fresh. Best of all, you can enjoy this whenever you want – because you can literally throw it together in a few minutes!

oyster stew1 300x224 Joes Easy Oyster Stew

Joe’s Easy Oyster Stew

1 14 oz can coconut milk
1 8 oz can boiled oysters
2 Tbs ghee
⅛ tsp white pepper
⅛ tsp sea salt

optional: ½ cup jelled bone broth and/or ¼ tsp gelatin for additional body and nutrition

Mix ingredients in a saucepan and heat to serving temperature. Flavor is better if simmered for 10-15 minutes.

Paleo mayo anyone?

I recently had an opportunity to try the new mayonnaise from Primal Kitchen, an enterprise of Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple. His idea was to market a premium mayo suitable for those on paleo/primal diets, using a quality of ingredients previously only dreamed about: avocado oil, organic cage-free eggs, organic egg yolks, organic vinegar (from non-GMO beets), sea salt, and rosemary extract.

IMG 2399 picmonkeyed 212x300 Paleo mayo anyone?

Primal Kitchen mayo

Making your own paleo mayo isn’t difficult, but the option to purchase would be convenient. Trouble is, even the “made with olive oil” products I’ve found in stores are still mostly soy or canola! Often, they also contain sugar, stabilizers, and other junk. As a paleo blogger I was able to obtain an advance jar of Primal Kitchen Mayo before it was available for purchase, and I’m happy to report it exceeded my expectations!

The attractive glass jar contains mayo with a superb silky texture, amazing tangy taste, and none of the worries about poor fat choices or unwanted ingredients. This is easily the best mayonnaise I’ve ever tried, and it worked well both on lettuce wraps and in a simple tuna salad. It’s not cheap, but you really get what you pay for. Instead of poison, it’s a delicious, nutrient-dense food made the way you would if you had the time.

I believe it’s currently only available direct from Primal Kitchen or Thrive Market, though I see there’s a wholesale inquiry tab on the PK web site, and I’m hoping that means it will soon begin making appearances in local grocery stores and co-ops.

New book: PALEO FOR RESTAURANTS by Joe Disch

paleorestaurant3D 2 188x300 New book: PALEO FOR RESTAURANTS by Joe DischI’m pleased to announce the publication of my new handbook for restaurants who want to become more paleo friendly. Paleo for Restaurants (Don’t lose customers as they reject grains and other neolithic foods) shares the perspective of frustrated paleo diners everywhere, and offers a range of actionable strategies for accommodating various types of ancestral eaters.  Paleo cooking can be simple enough for a caveman, once you correct a few deal-breakers, and restaurateurs who understand this stand to benefit from new trends while others miss out.  Includes menu ideas, specialty ingredients you should know about, and viewpoints from a variety of experts. Available now in both print and e-book editions.

Order Kindle version

Order paperback

Madison is getting a paleo bakery!

cupcake3 300x191 Madison is getting a paleo bakery!I’m excited to announce that Madison will soon have it’s first grain-free, dairy-free bakery. Beginning September 7th, you’ll be able to pre-order cupcakes and other treats that are not only gluten free but also free of grains, dairy (except butter), soy, refined sugar, and utilizing only healthier fats like coconut oil and grass-fed butter.  The initial menu of cookies, cupcakes, muffins, crackers, confections and granolas can be viewed at Many ingredients are locally sourced, such as honey from Gentle Breeze in Mt. Horeb and tart cherries from Cherryland’s Best in Door County. No retail store is planned at this time, though sales through other local outlets are being explored. (Ask your favorite spot to bring them in!)

I recently had a chance to taste-test several of the initial products (Thanks, Belle!) and was quite impressed with the quality. My family (wife and two daughters, none of whom are paleo at this time) helped me sample the vanilla salted-caramel cupcakes (pictured), chocolate chip cookies, and raw cookie dough. We agreed all were delicious and perfectly executed. Some were pleasantly surprised by the moist texture of the cupcake compared to some of the other grain-free treats we’ve tried.

As expected, prices are higher than similarly modest portions of mainstream baked goods. Also, despite the extreme attention to using the healthiest possible ingredients, these are definitely treats meant for occasional indulgence, and not something I’d make a frequent part of my diet. (I’d love to see the eventual addition of something a tad more substantial and nutrient dense, perhaps a less-sweet cookie or bar based on the cranberry walnut granola– or maybe some grass-fed gelatin gummy snacks.) Having said that, Paleo Mama’s treats are among the top tier of those I’ve tried, and I would definitely consider buying them, especially if offered somewhere I typically shop or dine. Keep them in mind next time you’re planning a party or event!

Contact information:

Paleo Mama Bakery

6300 Enterprise Lane, Madison WI





Presentations on paleo, grain-free

DSC 0409F 198x300 Presentations on paleo, grain free

Joe teaching staff class at Willy Street Co-op

I recently held another staff training at Willy Street Co-op, focusing on paleo and grain-free diets, and how to better help customers making the transition.

In the picture, I’m demonstrating a spiralizer.  We also sampled two of the deli’s line of grain free dishes, over a lively discussion of antinutrients like gluten and phytic acid.

Wish you were there?  I’m available to do similar presentations.  Drop me an email or Facebook message!

Madison Paleo’s First Giveaway: Sweet Potato Chips

jacksons chips 300x283 Madison Paleos First Giveaway: Sweet Potato ChipsMadison Paleo is proud to announce our very first giveaway promotion!

One lucky winner will receive a case of Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips, made with pure coconut oil!  I just tried them and they’re delicious!  You can find them in the Madison area at Willy Street Co-op.  Use the link below to view complete rules and submit your entry.  Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Paleo Pizza Roll-ups

Try my easy and delicious pizza alternative: sausage wrapped in kale leaves:


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1. Steam lacinato (“dinosaur”) kale leaves and lay flat.




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2. Mix your favorite spices into plain ground pork and form a giant patty.  I like sea salt, oregano, basil, garlic and fennel seeds.  (Skip fennel if doing AIP.)  Or use ready-made sausage that you trust.




cook sausage 2 150x150 Paleo Pizza Roll ups


3. Cook thoroughly, ideally in a cast iron skillet.  You probably won’t need to add fat unless your meat is extra lean.




cooked sausage 150x150 Paleo Pizza Roll ups



4. When fully cooked, cut into strips about 1/2″ – 1″ wide.




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5. Place a sausage strip in the center of a leaf.  Feel free to add tomato sauce, pesto, cheese, additional veggies, or whatever if you wish.




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6. Roll up into an easy to handle bundle.




pizza rolls 150x150 Paleo Pizza Roll ups


7. If they’ve cooled down, you may wish to warm in the oven for a few minutes.  Serve and enjoy!





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