I came home about a week ago to find a package on my doorstep. I did not remember ordering anything, so I was curious to get it open. It was super-duper heavy and, when I opened it up, I was stoked to realize that I had just received an advanced copy of the soon-to-be-released book by Diane Sanfilippo, Practical Paleo!
Diane runs the immensely popular and well-respected blog and podcast, Balanced Bites, and if you have never checked her out, you should. I had responded to her call for bloggers who wanted to review an advance copy but, honestly, I really didn’t think that I would get one since my blog is still just a baby. Baby blog or not though, there it was in all it’s glory. Just for me. I felt so honored. I am so honored! I was so excited that I sat down (I may or may not have neglected my kids for a little while) and read as much of it as I could before I was forced to get up and make dinner. After dinner, I got everyone in bed, did the same with myself and read it until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore.
In the last week, I have been able to read it cover to cover and it is nothing short of a Paleo “bible”. It truly is a one stop shop for all your Paleo needs, from what Paleo is all about, to how your body responds to different types of food, to how to get started and what to cook. There is even a FAQ section that answers questions about things like protein powders (are they ok? I think you already know this answer) and fish oil supplements (this answer might surprise you). It’s like Robb Wolf meets Bill and Hayley of The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate (and it sorta really is because Bill did most of the photography!). It is a wealth of information AND recipes, and it’s just almost equally divided among the two. In order to contain all of this information, the book weighs in at 432 pages. That’s HUGE, folks, and it’s a lot of bang for your buck (especially if you pre-order now). Diane really did think of everything.
There are also these really cool, easy to read and understand, one page (tear-out) guides to things like gluten, sweeteners and good sources of dense carbs. If you are like I am, you might be tempted NOT to pull these out of the book for fear of losing them, but Diane thought of this, too. Fear not, Paleo people! Go ahead…tear them out! Each one just happens to be duplicated throughout the book, so you can never lose them. Genius.
This book also contains lots of in-depth 30 day meal plans for all sorts of ailments, including Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes type 1&2, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Not only does she tell you exactly what to eat every day for 30 days, she goes into diet and lifestyle recommendations and what sort of nutritional supplements might help for each particular ailment. I definitely got some new ideas on how I can further help my digestive health. Fermented cod liver oil, anyone?
Now, onto the food.
It was really difficult to decide what to make first. It all looks so mouth-watering. However, I just happened to have a pork loin thawed (which helped with the decision-making process), so I chose the cumin spiced pork tenderloin.
Here is what you need:
1 T cumin
1 T coriander
1 T granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste
2 pork tenderloins (I had one big one)
2 T bacon fat (or other cooking fat)
2 onions, chopped into large slices
4 parsnips, peeled and chopped ~I am not particularly fond of parsnips, so I subbed in carrots and turnips~
2 fresh garlic cloves, smashed ~ I might have used 6 or 7…I love garlic!~
1 large orange, peeled and segmented
seeds of one pomegranate (approx 1/4 cup, optional) ~ I omitted these because I didn’t have them~
Here is what you do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, granulated garlic (or powder), salt and black pepper.
Using paper towels, pat the pork tenderloins dry, and apply the spice blend to the meat generously to create a crust. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and melt the bacon fat. Place the pork tenderloins in the skillet, and sear on all sides for approximately 2 minutes per side.
Place the onions, parsnips, garlic, orange segments and pomegranate seeds in a large roasting dish, topped by the pork tenderloins. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork tenderloins reaches 145 degrees F. If you need to continue roasting the vegetables until they are soft, simply remove the pork and set it aside on a cutting board to rest until the vegetables finish roasting for another 10-15 minutes.
Slice the tenderloins on the bias(diagonally) and serve over the vegetables.
So, I mentioned that I subbed in carrots and turnips for the parsnips. When it all came out of the oven, I got the idea to puree the vegetables. There are a couple of reasons I did this. First, the vegetables came out a little dry. It could have been because my meat was so lean, or that I didn’t cook them long enough. Even so, next time I would probably add a little bit of broth or toss them in coconut oil or bacon fat. Secondly, and most importantly, I happen to love veggie purees. I always end up having leftovers when I make them, and I like to use them in my breakfast scrambles. So, it’s a two for one deal. I ended up squeezing the orange segments (once cooled a little) into a bowl, and then I dumped in all the veggies and what juice there was in the pan and used my handy immersion blender to puree it up. Seasoned with a little sea salt, it was perfect. I served all of this alongside some sautéed spinach. It was so delicious! The meat, though lean, was still very tender and juicy, and the whole house smelled amazing. The flavors were so good! If you love cumin (like I do), you are in business.
I thought about doing one other recipe that stood out to me, but changed my mind. Let me tell you why. Better yet, I will show you.
This, my friends, is what is called Nutty Bacon Bark. Yep, you heard me right. Bacon candy! This recipe stood out immediately, but I knew if I made it, I would eat it. All of it. That would be no bueno. So, here is what I am going to do. I am saving this one for Christmas. I will add it to my treats that I make for friends and then I can give it all away. Ok, well, maybe I will give away MOST of it. Doesn’t it look and sound divine?
So, get over to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and pre-order your copy of Practical Paleo today. It is destined to become one of the must-haves among Paleo books and, when it comes out, the price will go up and you will be kicking yourself for not taking my advice. Really, I am just looking out for your best interest.
Oh right, you want a giveaway, huh? Well, I have pre-ordered another copy of this book to giveaway, and it should be here by August 9th or so. How do you win it, you ask? Well, it’s simple really. Leave a comment here telling me why you would love to own this valuable piece of Paleo wisdom. That’s it. Told ya, simple. I will select a winner on August 15th just to give a little leeway.
and forget about that whole 200 likes thing…it’s not really my style.