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 www.paleomamabakery.com. 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

608-692-3715

Web:  www.paleomamabakery.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/paleomamabakery

Email:  belle@paleomamabakery.com

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:

 

lacinato leaf 150x150 Paleo Pizza Roll ups

 

 

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

 

 

 

cook sausage 1 150x150 Paleo Pizza Roll ups

 

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.

 

 

 

stuffed kale leaf 150x150 Paleo Pizza Roll ups

 

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.

 

 

 

pizza roll 150x150 Paleo Pizza Roll ups

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Are Food Co-ops a Caveman’s Best Friend?

Once you’ve navigated a few grocery stores from the perspective of a modern day caveman, you’ll notice some recurring disappointments. Only a few cuts of meat are from pastured animals, and if there’s someone to ask they’ll probably try to “educate” you on the superiority of corn-fed. Vegetables are mostly grown in a tempest of chemicals, then shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles. Eggs are from chickens who may be “cage free” but are still fed a highly unnatural diet based on corn and soy, and seldom if ever see the light of day. Choices are meager among your few packaged “staples” like coconut milk & oil, nut flours, or even pure dark chocolate. What is plentiful, comprising nearly the entire center of the store, are all manner of fabricated “foods”: brightly colored nutritional time-bombs engineered from combinations of highly processed wheat, corn, sugar, and industristrial seed oils — little that your grandmother would recognize as edible.

 

It doesn’t need to be like this. Perhaps you’re lucky enough to live near a more sophisticated outlet – maybe something like Whole Foods. You’ll probably pay a little more, and there’s still (in the words of founder and CEO John Mackey) “a bunch of junk” but you’ll find a better selection of the things you want: organic produce, grass-fed meats, healthy fat options, etc. A few good choices are also starting to appear at stores like Costco and Target, as well as better independent grocers. Certainly (weather permitting) your nearest farmers’ market can be a gold mine of real foods at fair prices. There is, however, another choice – one with benefits you may not have thought possible. Astonishingly, if you don’t have this option now you can get together with your tribe and call it into existence! Behold the modern food co-op.

 

I bet I know what you’re thinking: a bunch of hippies offering up tofu burritos and wormy little apples (“That’s how you know they’re organic, man!”) in a dusty little shop smelling of patchouli and… something. I’m just old enough to remember some of that, and to confess fond memories of ice bean cones, Guerrilla cookies, and my first dried pears. With the passage of the nourishing sands of time, the guiding touch of the market’s invisible hand, and no small effort by hardworking visionaries, food co-ops have matured into something altogether different. In cities and towns nearly everywhere you’ll find clean, professional storefronts as unique as snowflakes but sharing common principles and the overarching mission of putting customers first – because those customers are also the owners.

 

You could say the first co-ops were hunter-gatherer tribes sharing their efforts to ensure that all would eat. Cooperation is a natural instinct precisely because it works. The first cooperative enterprises of the neolithic world, however, are generally identified with the cooperative movement of 19th century Europe. The Rochdale Pioneers of Lancashire, England in 1844 still exert an influence today in the form of the Cooperative Principles underlying most consumer co-ops. The movement enjoyed a second period of growth since the 1970’s when many “second wave” cooperatives started, and some see a third wave beginning now.

 

A coop is typically formed to address a community’s unmet needs. Perhaps a beloved mom-and-pop store has gone out of business. Or maybe there is simply nothing around for miles. In other cases, customers seeking particular (often more natural) foods are perceived as too small a market to warrant catering to. In response, a group of ordinary folks get together and start their own store or buying club. These can be worker-owned, or more often customer-owned. Initial capitalization is often via advance membership sales and a bond drive. Typically, members who invest in an annual share recoup the investment after $100-200 in purchases, and get a vote on certain key decisions. Leadership provided by a member-elected board follows articles of cooperation, a specific mission statement, and the cooperative principles. Product is ordered, shelves are stocked, and a new co-op is born.

 

Walk into a modern Co-op and you’ll likely find a clean, well-stocked grocery store with an emphasis on natural and organic foods. Of particular interest to paleo folks: lots of organic fruits and veggies, local grass-fed meats, good eggs, an excellent bulk department, and packaged items like coconut milk and oil. Member-owned businesses enjoy a tradition of being ahead of the curve in supporting options others don’t yet care about. Co-ops were among the first to offer plentiful organic, vegetarian (some see “paleo” as the new “vegetarian”), and gluten-free options. This applies not only to packaged products but often fresh-made deli and bakery items. (My store, for example, has recently introduced a line of grain-free hot dishes.) If you want something that isn’t stocked, most co-ops are happy to special order it for you. By shopping at a co-op, you’re probably also doing more to support local farmers and producers, and benefiting from the somewhat decentralized distribution network.

 

If you’d like to start your own co-op there are a lot of resources available to help. With a little digging, you’ll probably be able to find assistance with everything from planning to financing. You’ll find, as Thomas Jefferson allegedly once said, that the harder you work the luckier you’ll get. One good place to start is http://www.foodcoopinitiative.coop/.  Another is your nearest successful co-op. They won’t do the heavy lifting for you (maybe a little in some cases) but they’ll probably treat you more as a kindred spirit than a potential competitor. When assembling your core founders, remember to reach out to those with legal, public relations, real estate, or other helpful experience. Above all, never lose focus on the goal of serving your customers, particularly member-owners. At the end of the day the future of any business is determined by the customers, and this is especially true when the customers are running the show. Whether you get involved with an existing store or start your own, help to make it a place where good food (however you define that) is plentiful and affordable.

© 2014 Joe Disch, MadisonPaleo

Willy 150x150 Are Food Co ops a Cavemans Best Friend?

Willy Street Co-op (East store) Madison, WI

Joe Disch has worked for Willy Street Grocery Cooperative since 2001, has run the paleo lifestyle blog Madison Paleo since 2012, and recently taught classes on paleo nutrition for interested staff.

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