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.

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!


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.

Paleo/primal mayo from Primal Kitchen
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.