August 2013

15 posts

Forky Friday: 8/30/13

Forky Friday by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Hello from Pittsburgh! I’m here to attend Bill and Hayley's wedding (a.k.a. the #paleoroyalwedding) this weekend, but before the festivities begin, I have some serious link love to spread. Ready for this week's Forky Friday?

Wear An Apron, Not A Hazmat Suit

I love when Michael Ruhlman rants on his blog. His latest screed, Bacteria! RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!, is a great (albeit NSFW) post about how we need to calm the *bleep* down about sterilizing our kitchen environments. Of course, as home cooks, we certainly need to engage our brains and be sensible about food safety—but freaking out over rinsing a chicken in your sink? Please.

Forky Friday by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

As Ruhlman put it: “Please, buy good food, cook it yourself, use whatever intelligence happens to be available in that tiny head of yours. Then open a bottle of wine and eat dinner with your friends and family.” Hear, hear.

(And for the record, I almost never wash my poultry before cooking it—but not because of bacteria fears. I’m just lazy.)

Seafood: More Than Meets The Eye

If you’re like me, buying seafood can be a bewildering experience. Thankfully, there’s the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and the National Geographic Seafood Decision Guide—and recently, my pal Diana Rodgers published a great article entitled The Complex Choices in Sustainable Seafood. Hopefully, they’ll whet your appetite to make a pot of Thai Steamed Mussels!

Forky Friday by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Marinating Before Grilling? Don’t Bother.

For the better part of a year, I’ve been grilling meats without marinating ‘em beforehand. I think it started when I first made Grilled Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri (the recipe’s in my forthcoming cookbook); with some experimentation, I realized that I could just rest my cooked meats in a marinade after the grilling was done, and it would soak up all the flavors just fine.

Forky Friday by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Just this week, my approach was validated: the New York Times posted an article entitled Welcome to the Post Marinade Era of Grilling, which points out that there’s no reason to marinate meats before grilling. A solid win for proscrastinators like me!

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#forky friday #paleo #primal #gluten-free #paleo recipes #nomnompaleo
How I Roll: Weeknight Paleo Dinner Prep

I was asked about my dinner prep strategies during an interview last week, and I had to confess: I don’t give much thought to meal planning.

How I Roll: Weeknight Paleo Dinner Prep by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’m not proud of it. I often wish I were more like the marvelous Melissa Joulwan, whose ingenious Weekly Cookup and Hot Plates concepts in her cookbook, Well Fed, make meal preparation a breeze. Or like Tammy Credicott, whose new book, Make Ahead Paleo, just arrived in the mail yesterday. If I really had my act together, I might even try cooking all my meals a full month in advance, à la Tricia Callahan of Once A Month Meals

Sadly, I’m a shambling mess when it comes to meal prep, and there are days when I’m tempted to go foraging for a carnitas salad bowl with extra guacamole at Chipotle instead of turning on the stove. After all, meals are the one thing that can be easily and cheaply outsourced…

How I Roll: Weeknight Paleo Dinner Prep by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

But then, I remember: nothing beats home-cooked meals. 

Since going Paleo a few years ago, I’ve found that the only way I truly understand what I’m feeding myself and my boys is to roll up my sleeves and prepare our meals from scratch. In doing so, I’ve gained a newfound appreciation for whole, nutritious ingredients. Now, with countless hours in the kitchen under my belt, my culinary chops have slowly but surely improved. Like all skills, the only way to get better is to practice, practice, practice. 

How I Roll: Weeknight Paleo Dinner Prep by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Plus, I love our little clan’s nightly ritual of gathering together at the dinner table; there, we can come together as a family to: Instagram the food (that would be me), wearily complain about all the Lego bricks underfoot (Henry), share defensive strategies in response to zombie attacks (Big-O), and count aloud the number of days until Christmas (Lil-O). I have fond memories of cracking jokes over supper with my parents, sister, and grandparents, and I want to pass on this important tradition to my kiddos. 

Besides, cooking at home is far more budget-friendly than dining out every night. 

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#meal planning #meal preparation #nomnompaleo #paleo #primal #gluten-free #recipes
Giveaway: LunchBots Swag!

**UPDATE: The giveaway is over and the winner has been contacted via email! Please check your inbox!**

After reading my series of love letters to LunchBots this past week, don’t you want to win some? (If you haven’t seen my five-part series on packing Paleo lunches, check out all the posts over here.)

Giveaway: LunchBots Swag! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I pack my kids’ noonday meals in LunchBots every day, and you can, too! (No rugrats? That means you get to sleep in AND use these sleek and eco-friendly stainless steel lunch containers for yourself!)

Giveaway: LunchBots Swag! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Longtime readers know that I rave about LunchBots all the time (and not just because I’m good friends with the mastermind/mompreneur behind the company, Jackie Linder)—the quality, design, and utility of these products are just phenomenal. At the moment, I’m obsessed with LunchBots’ gorgeous new cutlery set, but to be honest, I love everything that Jackie makes.

And today, LunchBots is sponsoring up an incredible prize package to one lucky winner: A motherlode of LunchBots swag!

Giveaway: LunchBots Swag! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 5 of 5)

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Yay! It’s the last lunchbox of the week! If you’re like me, the meal-packing fatigue is really starting to set in, so I made sure to keep this one easy-peasy lemon squeezy.

Today’s LunchBots Uno features: Peachy Pork Lettuce Wraps and Cherry Tomatoes

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 5 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#gluten-free #packed lunch #paleo #primal #nomnompaleo
Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 4 of 5)

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 4 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

“Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear.” ― Lemony Snicket, The Carnivorous Carnival

I respectfully disagree with Mr. Snicket. I know exactly what goes in my meatballs. And I happen to think they should appear at least once every couple of weeks on my dinner table and/or in my LunchBots.

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 4 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

For today’s lunch: Asian Meatballs with Bell Peppers & Blanched Broccoli.  

Yes, that’s right: BALLS OF MEAT.

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#packed lunch #paleo #primal #gluten-free #nomnompaleo #lunchbots
Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 3 of 5)

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 3 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Custom-made fancy lunches are fun, but in all honesty, my packed work lunches almost always consist of leftovers. Why should it be any different for the rest of the family? 

Today’s LunchBots Duo is packed with: My Sister’s Phenomenal Green Chicken, Roasted Rosemary Almonds, and crudités.

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 3 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I always make extra Green Chicken so I can munch on the leftovers. These drumettes make for an an easy and delicious grab-and-go lunch option. Go ahead and pack your lunchbox the night before; everything tastes great cold. (Of course, if you don’t share my love for cold chicken drumettes, you can always keep them in an insulated container like a LunchBots Thermal.)

And if eating leftovers means I get to sleep in a teeny bit more the next morning, that’s just icing on the cake. 

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#packed lunch #paleo #primal #gluten-free #nomnompaleo #lunchbots
Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 2 of 5)

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 2 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Who’s ready for another Paleo lunch idea? (If you missed yesterday’s box, read all about it, and also check out last year’s five-part series of packed lunches I made with Jackie Linder of LunchBots!).

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 2 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In today’s LunchBots Duo, we’re packing breakfast for lunch: Prosciutto & Egg Roll-Ups, Mini Cinnamon Apple Scone, and Mixed Fruit Salad.

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 2 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I know what you’re thinking: cold eggs?!? But these simple omelets make great wrappers, and they’re pretty darn good at room temp or cold. (I place an ice pack under my kids’ LunchBots.) In fact, Lil-O insists on eating his eggs cold, tamago-style (but sans sugar, soy, mirin, etc.). 

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 2 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Silverware is optional, but your fruit salad should really be portioned into a silicone cup or a separate compartment to prevent any juices from running into the rest of your food. I know it all ends up in the same place eventually, but I HATE soggy food.

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 2 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Wanna see how easy it is to put this lunch together?

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#packed lunch #paleo #primal #gluten-free #nomnompaleo #lunchbots
Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 1 of 5)

[UPDATED: My entire five-part series is done! Check out all the lunches here—and don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a motherlode of stainless steel LunchBots swag, too! (Entry deadline is August 28, 2013!)]

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 1 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Every year, it seems like summer ends just a little bit earlier. It’s only mid-August—Labor Day is still two weeks away!—but my kids are already back in school. (Just before his first day of kindergarten began, Lil-O announced to the kids clustered outside the classroom door that he farts out of his butt. This is going to be a looong year.)

Once again, we face the Dreaded Morning Scramble: a desperate race against the clock to get the boys scrubbed, changed, fed, and out the door—but not before getting their lunches packed. In the chaos of the morning, it can be a frustrating chore to make and pack fun, healthy, and easy mid-day meals. You know the feeling, right?

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 1 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

With this in mind, I partnered last year with my buddy Jackie Linder of LunchBots—my favorite stainless steel lunch containers in the world—to come up with a week’s worth of Paleo-friendly packed lunch ideas. (Check out our five-part series here!) This year, we decided to put our heads together again to whip up another week of Paleo lunches.

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 1 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

One thing to keep in mind before we kick off our new series of lunches: these are just ideas that are meant to inspire you to pack wholesome, healthful foods in your lunch boxes. Feel free to disregard the specifics, and pack whatever real foods you and your offspring will actually eat. After all, even if you’ve packed the most delicious and nutritious meal possible for your kids, it’ll all be for naught if it ends up in the garbage or traded away for a bag of chips and a can of soda.

Encourage your little ones to choose their own lunch items from your Paleo-friendly pantry and fridge. And have them help you make their lunches the night before. This way, the food you pack will actually stand a chance of getting eaten.

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And remember: lunches don’t have to be fancy. Lil-O still insists that his favorite packed lunch is cold scrambled eggs. (Weird, I know.)

Ready to read about a lunch you can pack tomorrow?

Another Week of Paleo Lunches! (Part 1 of 5) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#packed lunch #paleo #primal #gluten-free #nomnompaleo #lunchbots
Forky Friday: 8/16/13

Forky Friday: 8/16/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Hello from Atlanta!

Forky Friday: 8/16/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

For the next few days, I’m in the lovely Peach State to attend this year’s Ancestral Health Symposium. This is my third go-round (you can read about my previous AHS visits here and here), and as always, I dig seeing old pals (like Julie and Diana)…

Forky Friday: 8/16/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

and hanging in person with new ones (like Ute, Jennifer, and Russ).

Forky Friday: 8/16/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

But this time, I won’t be writing detailed recaps of the symposium. After hopping on a cross-country flight immediately after finishing seven night shifts in a row (and arriving well after midnight), I’m too exhausted to engage my brain and type out a full-blown summary of AHS. (You can, however, tag along with me on Twitter and Instagram. I’m never too tired to tweet.)

Forky Friday: 8/16/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I will say, though, that my favorite talk so far was by Diana Rodgers and Robb Wolf entitled “Liberation From the Industrial Food System.” Read the summary of their presentation here; it’ll open your eyes. After hearing what Robb and Diana had to say, I’m re-committing to buying my food from the farmer’s market, my CSAs, and Good Eggs. It’s the right thing for everyone.

Okay—enough about AHS for now. It’s Forky Friday, so let’s get to the links!

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#Forky Friday #Paleo #Primal #farmers' market
Giveaway: GIR Spatulas!

**UPDATE: The giveaway is over and the 4 winners have been contacted via email! Please check your inbox!**

Remember when I wrote about my 13 Essential Tools for the Paleo Kitchen? Well, that was just the tip of the iceberg. My house is filled with everything from spiral slicers and deli slicers to sous vide cookers and multiple pressure cookers. I have gyuto knives, julienne peelers, and dishers of every conceivable size. My ever-growing collection drives my neat freak husband bananas, but hey: all these doodads make cooking more fun, and they help get food onto the dinner table. So there.

GIR Spatula Giveaway! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Still, this doesn’t mean I’ll buy just any old crappy gadget I spot on Pinterest or late night infomercials. I’m a discriminating gadget queen, and always make sure to do my research on sites like ConsumerSearch, Cook’s Illustrated, and The Sweethome before plunking down my cash. I also pay heed to the advice of my favorite culinary gurus like Michael Ruhlman, who long ago convinced me that rounded wooden spoons are stupid:

I have only one thing to add to Michael’s rant against wooden spoons: while I agree that wood remains a “great material” for cooking implements, I’ve come to prefer kitchen tools that don’t warp, stain, or scorch over time. That’s why I switched to flat-edged, silicone-headed spatulas a few years ago. But they’re certainly not perfect, either: The silicone heads can be too floppy (which can make mixing a challenge), and I have to separate the heads from the handles every time I wash ’em (or risk mildew growth—yuck). Plus, they’re kind of blah-looking.

But then, a few months ago, the clouds parted.

GIR Spatula Giveaway! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Earlier this year, at the Food Blog Forum in Orlando, I fished a gorgeous blue GIR spatula out of my swag bag. GIR stands for “Get It Right”—and the creators certainly did just that. I was instantly struck by the spatula’s sleek design, super-comfortable grip, and well balanced heft. I couldn’t wait to try it out.

In the months since, I’ve used my GIR spatula for all manner of kitchen tasks, from folding and mixing "ice cream" to make bon bons

GIR Spatula Giveaway! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…to sautéing onions and flipping burger patties.

GIR Spatula Giveaway! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

GIR spatulas are truly fantastic, and as sturdy as they are beautiful. Unlike their wooden (or wood-and-silicone) counterparts, GIR spatulas won’t warp or burn—nor will they stain after stirring a pot of marinara sauce. Also, the full-body silicone construction means I don’t have pull the head off the handle before tossing it in the dishwasher.

And did I mention that the design is a feast for the eyes?

Seriously: I love my GIR spatulas. Priced at $22.50 each, these babies aren’t cheap, but they’re well worth the price. Don’t believe me? Lucky for you, a few of my lucky readers will win three of their own GIR spatulas—for free!

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#GIR Spatulas #giveaway #sweepstakes #paleo #kitchen tools
Deconstructed Samosa (Spiced Keema)

In early 1996, Henry and I spent part of the blustery winter in London. We’d just graduated from college, and to celebrate, his parents had treated us to a trip. From our little Curzon Street apartment in Mayfair (right in Shepherd Market), we ventured around the city. Besides playing tourist, Henry wanted to catch the world premiere of Trainspotting (and drink beer in the theater) and stock up on Doc Martens in Camden. (It was the mid-90s, after all.) Me? Ever the gastro-tourist, I was there for the food. And you know what they say: when in London, eat Indian food.

Deconstructed Samosa (Spiced Keema) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Authentic Indian cuisine wasn’t new to me. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, with its large and vibrant Indian and Pakistani communities, I can’t remember a time I didn’t crave great Indian grub: spicy curries, meat and vegetable stews, and rich, fragrant daal—all served with a variety of breads like brick-oven-baked naan, deep-fried bhatura or pan-cooked chapati flatbread. 

But the Indian food in London was revelatory, and we ate copious amounts of it. When we spent a weekend in Paris, I got sick and holed up in the hotel; my only directions to Henry were to bring me back macarons and—of all things to eat in Paris—Indian samosas. I was hooked.

Deconstructed Samosa (Spiced Keema) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

You’re a samosa fan, too, right? These fried pastry pockets can be stuffed with spicy vegetables or meat, though these days, I prefer the latter. After all, the meat filling—keema—is the perfect emergency protein: it’s simple to make with pantry and fridge staples, and it’s great with everything from cauliflower rice and sweet potato hash to hearty omelets and crisp lettuce wraps.

Deconstructed Samosa (Spiced Keema) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

For my deconstructed samosa dish, I adapted a recipe for sookha keema (dry-cooked spicy ground meat) from one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking. The jacket is torn and tattered (and held together with tape), the text-only pages are dog-eared and splattered with curry sauce, but my first-edition copy of Classic Indian Cooking is still my go-to for authentic Indian recipes.

Deconstructed Samosa (Spiced Keema) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

If you’re on a Whole30, you can serve the spiced meat in lettuce cups. Otherwise, you should buy this recipe from Tara Grant of Primal Girl and fry up some Paleo-friendly flatbread for this recipe. (And no, I wasn’t asked or paid to mention Tara’s recipe—I didn’t even sign up to be an affiliate, because I’m not looking to make money off of it. I bought the recipe myself after reading some rave reviews online, and I think it’s well worth the $3.95 price tag. I mean, we spend more on a big cuppa coffee, right?)

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#samosas #paleo #primal #tara grant #nomnompaleo #paleo recipes #primal recipes #gluten-free
Forky Friday: 8/9/13

Forky Friday by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’ve been sick as a dog these past few days (don’t worry, I’m taking my Vitamin D supplements and sipping on bone broth), so I’ve been delinquent in responding to emails from readers lately. To make up for it, I’m going to answer a bunch of ‘em in this post. I’ve got more links about Instagram, test tube beef, Paleo/Primal books on the horizon, happy pigs, and chowing on the odd bits.

Ready?

From email: “Hey! Where did all the ‘Paleo Eats’ posts go? How come you’re not showing us your daily meals any more?”

I haven’t stopped posting my Paleo Eats on the blog altogether, but I’ve recently found that it’s a whole lot easier (and more fun) to just snap a quick Instagram of whatever I’m eating. If you’re not following me on Instagram or Twitter, you’re missing a lot of my food pics (as well as random photographs of my kids trying to freak me out with googly-eye stickers).

Forky Friday 8/9/13 by Michelle Tam of http://nomnompaleo.com

(By the way, I read every comment and email I get from my readers, but I’m most likely to respond to Instagram and Twitter ‘cause that’s where I lurk the most. So if you need to holler at me, that’s your best bet!)

From email: “I’m on Instagram, but my pictures always look weird. Which filter do you use to make your photos pretty? Or do you use a special app?”

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#Forky Friday #paleo #primal #cookbooks
I'm A Panda

Remember the bestselling grammar book Eats, Shoots & Leaves? I sometimes think the title describes my visits to restaurants.

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Other times, I whisper to myself: “Eat it, don’t tweet it.” (I’m proud of the fact that we ate many awesome meals in Sonoma County this past weekend, and the DSLR stayed in the camera bag. Mostly.)

But as evidenced by my Instagram feed, I’m afraid I often ignore the little voice in my head. At least my iPhone’s less obtrusive than my hulking Nikon, right?

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#photography #food blogging #blogging #nomnompaleo
Diana Rodgers' Lamb "Dosa" Purses with Coconut Crème

Diana Rodgers' Lamb "Dosa" Purses with Coconut Crème by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A couple of years ago, I showed up at the inaugural Ancestral Health Symposium at UCLA exhausted and grouchy. After just coming off a week of graveyard shifts, driving 300 miles to Los Angeles, and staying up late eating various animal parts with new friends, I was a mess. I was slumped over in a folding chair, staring into my iPhone, when a woman came up to introduce herself. I stayed planted in my seat, and mumbled something back before she left.

Diana Rodgers' Lamb "Dosa" Purses with Coconut Crème by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Henry, who was a few feet away, walked over to chide me. “Whoa. I know you’re tired, but you know that you were incredibly rude to that person, right?” (He actually used a stronger adjective than “rude,” but this is a family-friendly blog, so I paraphrased.)

He was right. I felt awful, and my stomach knotted up. I bolted from my seat and scanned the room, desperate to find the person I’d just blown off so I could apologize. But I failed. For months afterwards, every time I met someone new, I reminded myself to not act like a complete…rude person.

Flash-forward one year. Henry and I headed down to the first PaleoFX conference in Austin, and decided to stay in a house with a number of other Paleo blogging friends, including Diane Sanfilippo, George Bryant, Bill Staley and Hayley Mason, Liz Wolfe, and others. Diane’s roommate at the house was Diana Rodgers.

Diana Rodgers' Lamb "Dosa" Purses with Coconut Crème by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Diana and I hit it off right away. While the rest of the house headed out for a morning CrossFit beat-down, Diana and I went on a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood and chatted. As moms of two young kids, we bonded over stories and jokes, and it became immediately evident that we both share an acerbic, sharp-edged sense of humor. When Diana learned that I’d be attending AHS in Boston, she invited our entire clan to stay with her on her family’s farm in Carlisle. I accepted on the spot.

But it wasn’t until that evening that it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks: Diana was the person I’d rudely blown off at AHS.

"IT’S YOU!" I exclaimed. Diana smiled and nodded.

It’s a testament to Diana that she was willing to stay in a house with me despite the way I’d acted. And Diana didn’t just tolerate me; she was warm and generous, and quickly became a close friend. Since then, we’ve stayed with her family in Massachusetts, playing on the farm, hanging out at the beach, chowing on good grub, and generally having a rollicking good time. (I’m pretty sure Diana even forgave me for almost burning down her house.) We shared a house in Texas again this year, and I’m excited that we’re going to hang out twice more this month in two different states.

Best of all: our kids love her kids.

Diana Rodgers' Lamb "Dosa" Purses with Coconut Crème by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

That said, even if I knew nothing at all about Diana, I can honestly tell you that I absolutely adore her new cookbook, Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go.

When transitioning to a Paleo lifestyle, a lot of people are stymied by the perceived lack of breakfast and lunch options. “What am I supposed to eat if I can’t have cereal or waffles or sandwiches?” My standard response has been “EAT DINNER FOR BREAKFAST” or something along those lines, but Diana’s gone the extra mile. The pages of her book are jam-packed with all sorts of quick, flavorful, Paleo-friendly meals—and not just for finicky children, but for adults with more grown-up palates, too.

Diana Rodgers' Lamb "Dosa" Purses with Coconut Crème by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#diana rodgers #paleo lunches #paleo breakfast #nomnompaleo #sustainable dish #radiance nutrition #paleo #gluten-free
Forky Friday: 8/2/13

Forky Friday by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Howdy, folks! 

Although we’re spending the next few days in Sonoma County (the wine country!), I’m no slacker, and I’m not abandoning my Forky Friday post.

In this week’s edition, I share links to the best new cooking tips, posts about the brouhaha over Kerrygold butter, a field guide to pork, inventive takes on eating weeds and bugs, tasty cartoons, and more!

Forky Friday: 8/2/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#Forky Friday #paleo #primal #gluten-free #comics

July 2013

14 posts

More Recipes for Your August Whole30®!

So: who’s doing the August Whole30® starting Thursday?

More Recipes for Your August Whole30®! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

If your hand is raised, you’re not alone. Tons of folks are cleaning out their pantries of all the bad stuff and getting ready for a month of clean, whole, nutrient-dense foods. No matter if you’re doing it for the first time or the twelfth, this month will give you an improved sense of how different foods affect the way you feel.

More Recipes for Your August Whole30®! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#whole30 #whole30 meal planning #whole30 recipes #paleo #gluten-free #nomnompaleo
Peachy Pork-A-Bobs

I grew up in suburban Menlo Park, California. You wouldn’t know if from the tree-lined residential streets and quaint downtown, but my hometown’s the birthplace of Google, Round Table Pizza, and the psychedelic 60s. I lived a block away from what is now the first-ever Tesla Motors dealership; as a high schooler, I worked there as a file clerk when it was a Chevy showroom. (I got hit by a truck while sprinting across the street after work to watch Donahue. If only I’d owned a DVR in 1989, I would’ve skipped the ambulance ride to the hospital.)

Menlo Park is also home to the Connoisseur’s Marketplace, a difficult-to-spell mid-summer festival highlighting food, wine, music, and art. As kids, my sister and I would peer into each of the stalls, tug on our parents’ arms and beg to buy trinkets and snacks. “Too expensive,” they’d say. 

"Can we at least buy a lemonade? It’s hot out!"

"No. We have lemons at home, and we live two blocks away."

Argh.

The one thing—the only thing—for which my mom and dad would gladly shell out their hard-earned bucks? Pork-a-bobs. We always made a beeline for the Filipino stand offering grilled swine slathered with a sticky-sweet barbecue glaze. I haven’t been back to the Connoisseur’s Marketplace in over twenty years (even though it’s just the next town over from Palo Alto), but I still think about those skewers.

This year’s Connoisseur’s Marketplace just took place last weekend. So when the fine folks over at U.S. Wellness Meats asked me to develop a new recipe for them, Pork-a-Bobs were the first thing to spring to mind.

Peachy Pork-a-Bobs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

My version incorporates sweet summer peaches in the smoky, fruity sauce, because I really don’t know of a better flavor combination than grilled pork and peaches. The pork is marinated in a simple, flavorful marinade, which means the sauce isn’t absolutely necessary. But I brush on the sauce after the pork’s off the grill (so it doesn’t burn) to give the meat an extra boost of flavor and to make it a fun, messy, lick-your-fingers treat.

Although I normally reserve pork shoulder for low and slow cooking preparations, it’s also fantastic cubed and grilled. This recipe keeps on giving because the pork reheats beautifully and the leftover sauce (which can be smeared on your favorite meats) will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

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#recipe #barbecue #pork #paleo #primal #food #gluten-free
Forky Friday: 7/26/13

Forky Friday by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Ready for another Forky Friday? There’s lots happening on the Interwebs this week, including some knock-down, drag-out fighting in the world of real food…and some tasty recipes! I get slightly rant-y today, so if you’re just looking for something to eat, skip to the bottom, y’all.

Now if I could only wrest control of my computer away from my Minecraft-obsessed kiddos…

Forky Friday: 7/26/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Can’t We All Just Get Along (and Eat Some Bacon)?

When a bunch of us Paleo-blogging folks shared a house together at the inaugural PaleoFX, I learned a ton from DianeDianaLiz, and Laura about The Weston A. Price Foundation. They explained the overlap between Paleo and WAPF principles: both approaches stress the importance of nutrient density and food quality. I liked what I saw, and after joining WAPF, I attended last year’s Wise Traditions conference because I was excited to hear from the impressive roster of speakers and sample the traditionally prepared food. 

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#Forky Friday #links #link love #Paleo #Primal #gluten-free
Life Lessons From My Seventh Grade Yearbook

When I heard my boys guffawing while flipping through my seventh grade yearbook, I had to see what was so funny.

Life Lessons from My Seventh Grade Yearbook by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Two key life lessons I’m taking from my classmates’ circa-1987 notes:

  1. Be nice. People notice.
  2. Summertime is for rad, tubular partying.
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#kids #yearbook #seventh grade #nomnompaleo #tubular #rad
Photo Essay: Cooking From The Against All Grain Cookbook

I love getting stuff in the mail—especially awesome new cookbooks. Not too long ago, I was delighted to see that the mailman had delivered a review copy of Danielle Walker's new cookbook, Against All Grain. After flipping through page after page of Danielle’s gorgeous photographs and tempting, family-friendly recipes, I was inspired to devote an entire afternoon to cooking from her book—and photographing the results to share with you.

Photo Essay: Cooking From The Against All Grain Cookbook by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

After all, photographs are the best way to show off the deliciousness of a cookbook’s recipes, don’t you think? 

Yesterday, as soon as I stopped sweating from my morning CrossFit class  and inhaled a plate of leftovers for lunch, I rolled up my sleeves, threw on an apron, and started cooking. I’d originally intended to make just two dishes from Danielle’s book, but in the end, I couldn’t pass up the chance to make one of her super-chocolatey grain-free treats, too.

During my Against All Grain cooking marathon, I made a pot of Granny Sarella’s Spaghetti Sauce, Fruit Juice Gelatin Shapes, and Dark Chocolate Cake Brownies. Wanna see?

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#Against All Grain #paleo #primal #cookbooks #grain-free #gluten-free
Mango + Avocado Salsa on Pan-Seared Salmon

Mango and Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

As the defiant second child growing up in a multigenerational household, I made it a point to assert my contrariness whenever I could.

You want me to wear a coat because it’s 30°F outside and the windows are frosted over? No way! I’m wearing a TANK TOP. And the reason my teeth are chattering is ‘cause I’m sooo HOT.

The power struggles spilled over to the kitchen table, too. My parents and grandparents loved tropical fruit—papaya, guava, durian—but I would cross my arms and turn my nose up in disgust. I don’t want to try that mango. Papaya and durian? YUCK. I despise tropical fruit! Blech! [Insert gagging, retching noises here.]

I hate to admit it, but I should’ve listened to my elders. Especially about mango—I crave that fragrant, tender fruit now, especially the golden Ataufo variety from Mexico, which is similar to the Manila mango (a.k.a. champagne mango).

(I still can’t stand papaya and durian, though. Gross.)

Mango and Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

One of my favorite summer dishes is pan-seared salmon topped with a tangy and refreshing mango and avocado salsa—it’s quick, simple, and delicious. It’s easy on the eyes, too.

Mango and Avocado Salsa by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#paleo #primal #gluten-free #dairy-free #vegan #vegetarian #recipe #nomnompaleo
Forky Friday: 7/19/13

Forky Friday 7/19/13 by Michelle Tam of http://nomnompaleo.com

How can summer be half over already? My kids return to school in less than a month, and I haven’t even cracked the spine of a single novel while laying out at the beach. Who am I kidding? I don’t read novels—I just scour the Internet for cool links to share on Forky Friday. Oh, and cookbooks. I’m all about those.

In this week’s edition: vegetables, meat, and Ryan Gosling—all the key ingredients for a perfect weekend.

A Whole30 August

Are you embarking on a Whole30 on August 1st? Hooray! Although it might seem like a daunting task, eating delicious, nutrient-dense food for a month is 100% doable. And besides, you owe it to yourself to eat nourishing food, right?

If you’re looking for help, you’ll get lots of free support on the Whole30 forums, and you can always refer to my Whole30 Rundown for tips and tricks for staying on track. Good luck, and get cooking!

Forky Friday 7/19/13 by Michelle Tam of http://nomnompaleo.com

Back Away Slowly From The Bagged Lettuce

Okay, I’ve definitely bought more than my fair share of bagged, pre-washed salad greens. It can be super convenient, especially when I’m pressed for time or just too lazy to do any vegetable prep. But after reading The Truth About Bagged Lettuce in Mother Jones, I think I’ll just spend a few extra minutes bonding with my salad spinner and a fresh head of lettuce.

Forky Friday 7/19/13 by Michelle Tam of http://nomnompaleo.com

What The %$*@ Is In My CSA Box?

Thankfully, I don’t often have to resort to bagged lettuce. I’ve been a member of my vegetable CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for almost ten years, so I’m treated to wonderfully farm-fresh lettuce and other greens every week.

Forky Friday 7/19/13 by Michelle Tam of http://nomnompaleo.com

I love my CSA and the fantastic assortment of veggies that come in my weekly box, but I still occasionally get a few items that leave me wondering how I’m going to prepare them. Lucky for me, Buzzfeed has a great post on 31 Things To Do With Confusing Vegetables.

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#forky friday #ryan gosling #paleo #primal #gluten-free #sarah fragoso #nomnompaleo #veal #whole30
Paleo Eats: 7/16/13

I love spoilers. I rarely get to watch TV or movies these days, but I still comb the Internet for plot twists in current films and television shows—usually via my Twitter feed (sexy nanny replaces Lady Sybil!) or spoiler-packed websites. I still remember grinning smugly when the theater collectively gasped at the big reveal at the end of The Crying Game. (I love real-life spoilers, too. As soon as my unborn children’s privates were detectable via ultrasound, I had to see them. Okay, that sounds wrong, but you know what I mean.)

For my fellow spoiler-hounds who flipped to the end of every Encyclopedia Brown book before reading the mysteries, I fistbump you in solidarity. Let’s do the same with this post, and start with a picture of my dinner:

Paleo Eats:7/16/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

(Of course, if you follow me on Instagram, you already know what I ate, right?)

Now, let’s backtrack to the morning…

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#paleo #primal #gluten-free #sugar-free #food
Doro Wat (Spicy Ethiopian Chicken Stew)

Doro Wat (Spicy Ethiopian Chicken Stew) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Half a lifetime ago, I moved to Berkeley to attend college at the University of California—the birthplace of the countercultural revolution of the 1960s. I missed the action by a generation, but even as a wide-eyed freshman in the early nineties, I saw that the hippie flag still flew proudly. Aging Deadheads, Telegraph Avenue panhandlers, and hackey-sacking students alike reveled in the free-wheeling, anything-goes spirit of the community. For many of us who were living on our own for the first time, the intoxicating scent of freedom was in the air. (The air smelled like other things, too. We’re talking about Berkeley, after all.)

And why not? College is the time for experimentation. Some of my peers dabbled in mind-altering substances. Others explored alternative cultures, music, religions, sexual identities, and politics. Some took off all their clothes and strolled around campus naked.

Me? I was just there for the food.

Doro Wat (Spicy Ethiopian Chicken Stew) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’d never tried African cuisine before college. But not long after my newly-laminated student ID was in my wallet, one of my friends—an oh-so-worldly sophomore—invited me to dinner at The Blue Nile, a now defunct Berkeley institution (right next to People’s Park!) that served up rich, spicy Ethiopian stews and a sweet honey wine called tej.

There, in the restaurant’s dark and cozy dining room, I was introduced to a multitude of fragrant, assertively spiced dishes, from yebeg alicha (a hearty lamb stew) to siga tibs (beef sautéed with onions and tongue-tingling spices). These long-simmered stews came served atop a thin layer of soft injera bread. My friend showed me how to tear off bite-size pieces of the spongy, sour bread and use them to scoop the stews into my mouth. Everything was lip-smackingly delicious. I was hooked on Ethiopian food.

After that, I made a point of seeking out Ethiopian and Eritrean joints. Wherever I happened to be—from Berkeley to Harlem, San Francisco to Boston—I’d make sure I wound up seated before a wicker mesob, hungrily tearing into a platter of slow-cooked meats, vegetables, and lentils.

Doro Wat (Spicy Ethiopian Chicken Stew) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Henry never really understood my all-consuming obsession with this cuisine. The glacially slow service at my favorite Ethiopian restaurants in San Francisco always drove my impatient husband nuts. Still, when prodded, even he would admit that the dishes are worth the long wait.

We both especially love doro wat—a slow-simmered spicy stew with fork-tender pieces of fall-off-the-bone chicken meat. Sadly, most Ethiopian restaurants only serve one or two chicken drumsticks with each order.

That’s one reason I decided to create my own Paleo-friendly doro wat recipe: I wanted to load up this fiery stew with as much chicken-y goodness as possible.

Doro Wat (Spicy Ethiopian Chicken Stew) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#recipe #chicken #paleo #primal #gluten-free
Forky Friday: 7/12/13

Forky Friday: 7/12/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Hooray! It’s Friday again and I can share all the fun, crazy, and delicious food-related links I’ve discovered on the interwebs.

News Flash: Chickens Aren’t Toilet Trained.

I’ll admit it: I happily shell out for my weekly delivery of farm-fresh oeufs from Good Eggs ’cause I don’t have the patience to raise my own hens. Plus, I don’t want my lawn covered with guano.

Unfortunately, in their eagerness to become urban chicken farmers, many people don’t stop to consider that chickens have poopholes for a reason.

Forky Friday: 7/12/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Okay, fine—technically, chickens have cloacae.

Speaking of cloacae, this video (which you can skip if you’re easily offended or humor-impaired) will sear the word into your brain forever. And then you can use it to impress your friends over cocktails.

Where was I…? Oh, right. Chicken poo. Some rookie chicken farmers don’t realize that chickens excrete guano until it’s too late—and end up dumping their neglected chickens at the local animal shelter. Not good.

Lesson: don’t even think of becoming an urban chicken farmer until you’ve come to grips with the true hazards of backyard hens.

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#Forky Friday #Paleo #primal #gluten-free #sugar-free #food
Surviving the Night Shift

A few days ago, a reader named June left this comment on my site:

"Michelle, I know this is a food blog, but I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about how you make nightshift as healthy as possible for you. I am a new nurse and I love night shift, but I am freaked out about the health consequences of flipping back and forth all the time."

Surviving the Night Shift by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

This question has popped up more than once, so I thought I’d share in detail what my work schedule looks like, and how I’ve managed to cope with working night shifts for over a decade. I’ll also pass on some sleep strategies that apply to everyone—even you lucky ducks who don’t have to work through the night.

Interested? Read on!

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#paleo #primal #shift work #graveyards #third shift #night shift #nightshift
Chunky Monkey “Ice Cream” Bon Bons

Who’s in the mood for a frosty, nutty, chocolatey treat?

Chunky Monkey "Ice Cream" Bon Bons by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

By merging together two of my favorite recipes—The Kitchn’s One Ingredient Ice Cream and Irvin Lin’s homemade Magic Shell—I came up with this simple, bite-sized confection.

Chunky Monkey "Ice Cream" Bon Bons by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The steps are easy, but timing is key. You must wait for the “ice cream” to freeze completely (twice!) before proceeding, and then you gotta work fast. Otherwise, you’ll end up with melty brown lumps.

Six Ingredients + Patience = Happy Little Monkeys.

Chunky Monkey "Ice Cream" Bon Bons by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Here’s what to gather to make 24 bite-sized Bon Bons:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas, frozen and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher), finely chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons almonds or walnuts, toasted and finely chopped (Chunky Monkey ice cream typically contains walnuts, but I prefer almonds)

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#dessert #Paleo #primal #gluten-free #dairy-free #recipe
Forky Friday: 7/5/13

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My work schedule hasn’t changed for over a decade: I work seven consecutive ten-hour graveyard shifts, and then I get a week off. I often end up working many holidays, but thankfully, Independence Day coincided with my regularly-scheduled break, so I happily kicked back with family and friends both outdoors (e.g. swimming and fireworks!) and indoors (e.g. quality boob tube time).

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But with the kids back at day camp today, I’m back to work at my second job, busily compiling links for my Forky Friday round-up. This week, I link to stories about some of your best choices for protein, how utensils influence the taste of your dish, folks going bonkers for cronuts, and a bunch of tasty Paleo-friendly recipes.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

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#Forky Friday
Throw a Paleo Summer Shindig!

My week of graveyard shifts ends on Wednesday morning—just in time for me to kick back with my family on July 4th. [Insert fist pump here.]

Because the Fourth of July lands midweek this year, something tells me you haven’t had a lot of time to plan the menu for your Independence Day bash. Never fear: I’ve got tons of ideas for your own Paleo-friendly party!

Paleo Summer Party! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#Fourth of July #summer party #paleo #primal #gluten-free #nomnompaleo

June 2013

16 posts

Swiss Chard with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Porkitos

Swiss Chard with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Porkitos by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Swiss chard's like the Jennifer Lawrence of the produce aisle—it's more than just a pretty exterior. This gorgeous vegetable's also nutrient dense (with a whopping ANDI score of 670), quick-cooking, and delicious in so many different preparations.

Swiss Chard with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Porkitos by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Although there are numerous ways to serve chard, my favorite is the classic Catalan approach, in which the greens are wilted in a pan with sizzling minced garlic and then tossed with toasted pine nuts and golden raisins. I also crumble on a few Porkitos to add a salty, swiney crunch to each bite.

Here’s what to gather (serves 4):

  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins

  • 3 pounds Swiss chard

  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts

  •  2 tablespoon ghee

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Juice from ½ lemon

  • Porkitos

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#paleo #primal #gluten-free #recipe #food
Forky Friday: 6/28/13

Forky Friday 6/28/13 by Michelle Tam of http://nomnompaleo.com

It’s Friday…but I’m smack-dab in the middle of my week of graveyard shifts. Please don’t rub it in that you’re off for the weekend, ‘kay?

Before I pass out, I want to share with you this week’s edition of Forky Friday, which features links about weird food sightings, how to eat Paleo on a budget, and cool dishes to beat the summer heat.

Forky Friday 6/28/13 by Michelle Tam of http://nomnompaleo.com

Ready?

You can’t surf the Interwebs without stumbling across some seriously wacked-out stuff, but I found some exceptional doozies this week. For example:

Forky Friday 6/28/13 by Michelle Tam of http://nomnompaleo.com

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#Forky Friday
Giveaway Time! Hamilton Beach Slow Cookers Up For Grabs!

Giveaway Time! Hamilton Beach Slow Cookers Up For Grabs! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Hello, friends! It’s been a while since I last hosted a giveaway. How do I know? Recently, a bunch of people have been entering my old giveaways…from 2012.

That tells me three things:

  1. I’ve got some new readers!
  2. The new folks love giveaways as much as my loyal Nomsters.
  3. Reading comprehension tends to go out the window when free stuff is involved.

Anyway, I got the hint, and have been hard at work lining up some fantabulous giveaways. Really—you won’t be disappointed.

Up for grabs this week: my favorite slow cooker!

Giveaway Time! Hamilton Beach Slow Cookers Up For Grabs! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I gave one away last year, but this model—the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker—is even better. Plus, it includes a super-groovy 2-cup warmer/thermos thingy.

And that’s not all: thanks to the generous folks at Hamilton Beach, THREE lucky winners will each receive this butt-kicking prize!

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#giveaway #Hamilton Beach #slow cooker
Falling Hard For Chard

Falling Hard For Chard by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’ve belatedly become smitten with Instagram. Though I’ve had an account forever, I’ve only recently started using it with any frequency. Instagram frees me from the pressure of having to compose the perfect shot. These days, if I feel like taking a quick photo of breakfast or my CSA basket, I just casually snap away with my iPhone. There’s no overthinking or postproduction magic—what you see is what you get. (Unless, of course, the pic’s terrible. Then, I just throw on one of Instagram’s groovy filters.)

Plus: video!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram or Twitter, you might have seen my recent pic of rainbow chard. I bought bushels of the stuff from multiple vendors at the farmer’s market on Sunday ‘cause each stand I visited seemed to offer lovelier chard than the last. 

But while Instagram was perfect for a quick snapshot, I knew we couldn’t cook up these beauties without first giving them their due with a proper camera.

Falling Hard For Chard by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#paleo #primal #chard #gluten-free #instagram
Whole30® Sriracha

I’ve gotten tons of positive feedback about the Paleo Sriracha recipe I posted back in December (thank you!), and I love hearing that many of you have whipped up batches of the stuff to serve with…well, everything. After my recipe was picked up by websites like BuzzFeed and Grist, even non-Paleo eaters have been making their own junk-free versions of the famous Rooster Sauce. Yay!

BUT…what if you’re a sriracha lover who’s doing a Whole30®, and can’t have honey for a month? It’s your lucky day, ‘cause I have a solution:

Whole30® Sriracha by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Just like the original recipe, this’ll take just 20 minutes, and yield 2¼ cups of what Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal calls “a delicious blessing flavored with the incandescent glow of a thousand dying suns.”

Ready for the recipe?

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#whole30 #sriracha #paleo #gluten-free #recipes
Forky Friday: 6/21/13

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnopaleo.com

Is it Friday already? Hooray!

We submitted our pretty-much-final draft of the cookbook to our publisher late last night, and we’re more than ready to catch up on sleep and laze around with the Double-Os this weekend. 

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnopaleo.com

Oh, and our 13th (!) wedding anniversary is on Monday, and neither of us made plans to celebrate. Whoops.

But first: Forky Friday! This week’s edition is devoted to pork, berries, exotic spices, and some cool new Kickstarter campaigns.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Oh pork, how I love you!

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnopaleo.com

Forky Friday: 6/21/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnopaleo.com

(These are photos of Siu Yoke—a.k.a., crispy Chinese-style roast pork belly; the recipe’s in our cookbook.)

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#forky friday #paleo #primal
Paleo Eats: 6/18/13 (Paleo Cooking From Elana's Pantry)

I’m smack-dab in the middle of a three-week hiatus from my zombie drug dealing duties, but that just means I’m only wearing three hats this week: full-time mommy, food blogger, and crazed cookbook author. Our final edits for our forthcoming cookbook are DUE TOMORROW, and it’s all hands on deck.

Paleo Eats: 6/18/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

When I’m not corralling the kids, I’m poring over our proofs and cringing every time I find a typo. Henry’s exhausted, too; after the kids are in bed each night, we’ve been cranking away on edits and design. Both of us are staying up waaay too late and and waking up waaay too early.

As a result, my coffee habit has bloomed into a full-blown addiction. Every morning, I’ve been mainlining coffee as I get the boys ready for day camp—and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. I found this sketch in Big-O’s notebook:

Paleo Eats: 6/18/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Busted.

Yesterday, after I packed the kids’ lunches, I made myself a quick breakfast of fried sausage, sauerkraut, and sliced cherry tomatoes. 

Paleo Eats: 6/18/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our meals this week have mostly consisted of slapdash, uninspired fare because I haven’t had the time or energy to make anything elaborate. But this night would be different: I promised the kids that I’d make up for my negligence by preparing a proper dinner from Elana Amsterdam’s wonderful new cookbook, Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry.

Paleo Eats: 6/18/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

For years, I’ve been a huge fan of Elana Amsterdam’s simple, fool-proof, and delicious culinary creations. I love that she healed herself with food, and I draw inspiration from her fierce commitment to her boys. Ever since I received an advance review copy of Elana’s cookbook several weeks ago, it’s been taunting me from the top of the pile of books on my nightstand:

Pick me up! Cook from me! Can’t you see that I’m filled with almost 100 gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free recipes? Didn’t you see my Bacon Tart recipe?! 

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#paleo #primal #food #gluten-free
Paleo Sausage Egg “McMuffin”

Paleo Sausage Egg "McMuffin" By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In honor of Father’s Day, I created this recipe for my Pop. He’s a lifelong fan of breakfast sausage and eggs…and, um, English muffins. But who needs bread when the filling’s the best part?

To make this breakfast sandwich resemble those from a certain fast-food joint (you know: the one with the freaky clown mascot), you’ll need some special equipment—namely, stainless steel biscuit cutters—but if you’ve got ’em, this recipe’s a snap. Plus, you can totally eat these sammies with your hands.

Paleo Sausage Egg "McMuffin" By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Here’s what you’ll need to make one “McMuffin”:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee, divided (plus more for greasing the biscuit cutters)
  • ¼ pound bulk raw pork breakfast sausage
  • 2 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 heaping tablespoon guacamole (optional)

Here’s what to do:

Grab two stainless steel 3½-inch biscuit cutters, and grease the insides well with melted ghee. Place one cutter on a plate and fill it with the sausage meat. (You can also easily make your own bulk breakfast sausage. Here’s Jen Cereghino’s recipe. I also have a Maple Breakfast Sausage recipe in my forthcoming cookbook.)

Paleo Sausage Egg "McMuffin" By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

(If you don’t have bulk sausage handy, just cook up some bacon. I just Instagrammed a photo of a Bacon Egg “McMuffin” this morning—and if you’re not already food-stalking me on Instagram, you really should.)

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Forky Friday: 6/14/13

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Gadzooks! Father’s Day is THIS SUNDAY! But don’t fret if you’re unprepared—I’ve got you covered. In this edition of Forky Friday, I’ll share links about how to make the perfect steak and the best grills to cook it on. I have plenty of other ideas for gifts, too. Nothing’s too good for the top Pop in your life, right?

Even if dear old dad prefers Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joes to real food, I bet he wouldn’t turn down a home-cooked meal. For breakfast, you should make him a satisfying plate of Paleo-friendly Eggs Benedict (by Spoon & Knife, the self-described “gluten-free meat-atarian” site by my new pal Christine and her husband Mike), or my personal fave: steak and eggs!

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Want some great tips on making the PERFECT steak?

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#forky friday #paleo #primal #gluten-free
Today’s Lunchbox

School’s out for the summer, but the lunchbox-packing continues. To keep the boys’ tummies full while they run around at camp, Henry and I still find ourselves scrambling in the morning to make sure they have plenty of fuel to get them through the middle of the day.

Sometimes, the protein consists of scrambled eggs, frittata slices, or rolled-up deli meat, but today, it’s sausage with marinara sauce.

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We rounded out the Double-O’s lunches with a handful of cherries, strawberries, and carrots. (In case you’re wondering, the stainless steel food containers are by LunchBots, and the creamy stuff is homemade Paleo Ranch Dressing. The recipe’s in my forthcoming cookbook.)

Looking for more ideas about what to pack for lunch? Check out my series of posts about A Week of Paleo School Lunches!

What are you having for lunch today?

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#paleo #lunch #primal #gluten-free #real food
Paleo Eats: 6/10/13

Can I tell you how happy I am to be home? Getting back from Texas in time to tuck the boys into bed made my heart sing, though it’s a bittersweet tune. Every time I give my kids a fierce bear hug, I know I’m on borrowed time; one of these days, they’ll refuse ’cause it’s no longer cool to hug their mom.

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Ai ya! Enough kvetching already. Let’s cut to the chase and take a peek at my meals for the day. I didn’t make anything fancy—just a few dishes I threw together with the odds and ends I scavenged from the fridge. 

Although the school year is officially over, the Double-Os still wake up at 7 a.m. on the dot every morning. We even took the clock out of their room, hoping they’d sleep in a little longer—but to no avail. They’re like machines.

For breakfast, I sautéed sliced mushrooms…

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…and tucked them into omelets, one for each member of the family.

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At five to nine, Henry hustled the boys off to day camp, and I headed over to CrossFit Palo Alto to get my sweat on with the women’s class. After a challenging workout alternating rowing, running, and deadlifting, I came home and scarfed down a half a small sweet potato and a few slices of prosciutto.

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Slim Palate's Lamb Osso Bucco With Gremolata

I’m still in Austin, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you and your cooking needs. Here’s a fantastic recipe you can braise in the oven TODAY for your Sunday supper:

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Doesn’t this dish look fantastic? What’s even more amazing is that my guest blogger, Joshua Weissman, isn’t even old enough to vote yet. In fact, he just finished his finals for junior year last week. Of high school. Boy, do I feel old.

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Joshua Weissman is a 17-year-old food blogger with a passion for cooking, food and health. Joshua always loved food but his love for food led to an eventual weight gain. After years of endless ridicule and physical harassment, he decided to change his life and lost over 100 pounds through healthy eating and exercise. On his blog, Slim Palate, he documents his latest culinary creations with fun stories and gorgeous photography.  To keep abreast of his kitchen shenanigans, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Take it away, Josh!

Before I start rambling, I have to take a moment to thank Michelle for having me guest post. Of the many food bloggers that I adore, she has a special place in my heart because we share a similarity in cooking styles and tastes. At my house, we joke around and call Michelle one of my “second mothers” along with Stacy from Paleo Parents. Now look what I’ve done; I’ve begun rambling and I haven’t even gotten to the post.

The dish I’m writing about is Lamb Osso Bucco With Gremolata.

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I’m in love with braising because the technique’s practically foolproof and almost always yields perfectly voluptuous, tender and flavorful meals. When braising meat, you can opt for tougher cuts because the low and slow cooking melts the tough connective tissue. 

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#lamb #recipe #paleo #primal
Forky Friday: 6/7/13

Forky Friday 5/10/13 by Michelle Tam of http://nomnompaleo.com

This week, we’re back in Austin—this time, for BlogHer Food 2013. At last year’s event in Seattle, I attended all by my lonesome (remember?) while the boys hit the town, but this year, I dragged my hubby along ‘cause I’m speaking today on the Mobile Development for Food Blogs panel.

Right now, I just finished watching the always-awesome Hank Shaw of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook teach a group of us about knife skills (did you know that the money zone of your chef’s knife is the back 2 to 3 inches?) while impersonating Napoleon Dynamite.

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I could certainly use some better knife skillz.

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So anyway, life’s been pretty hectic lately, especially with parenting, cookbook editing, and tons of travel. Oh, and don’t forget the zombie drug dealing, too. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have time to put together a Forky Friday for my loyal readers. See how much I love you?

On tap this week: a bunch of articles on fake food, sustainable farming, and as always, tasty recipes. 

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#kickstarter #poultry
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Las Vegas, NV)

My co-pharmacist (a.k.a. Work Husband) is on vacation in Spain, so I had to deal drugs all by my lonesome last night after 2 am. I’m exhausted and hungry and sleepy, so rather than blathering on and on, I’m just going to post a bunch of photographs from our meal at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon when we were in Las Vegas last week for the 2013 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Geez. Was that really less than a week ago?

LAtelier de Joël Robuchon (Las Vegas, NV) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves (mostly because I desperately need to pass out), but I’ll say two quick things about the experience:

Not surprisingly, the food and service were exceptional. This shouldn’t be a surprise; Chef Robuchon was named Chef of the Century by Gault Millau for good reason. Even though the kitchen is run by his Vegas team in his absence (I’m assuming the chef doesn’t spend much time out in the desert), the restaurant here (located in the MGM Grand) must make him proud.

It was a surprise, however, to see that the restaurant is situated right off the casino floor. The floor-to-ceiling windows at the front of the restaurant reveal row after row of flashing slot machines, and the wafting odor of cigarette smoke seeps into the restaurant unless the host is diligent about sliding the glass door shut. As a diner, if you happen to sit facing the back of the restaurant, your view is of a sleek, dark, high-end eatery punctuated with vibrant bursts of color. If, on the other hand, you’re seated near the front of the restaurant and facing the gaming floor, your view is of people losing their money at slot machines and shuffling past the restaurant in search of the restrooms.

We ordered the Seasonal Discovery Menu, nine small tastes of L’Atelier’s signature dishes. You’ll see 10 dishes below, but that’s because you have a choice of quail or steak and we got one of each. Almost everything was gluten-free, except for the desserts and the soy sauce in the quail dish. It was definitely a splurge meal and we savored every bite.

Okay, I’ve written enough. Here are the pics:

LAtelier de Joël Robuchon (Las Vegas, NV) by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#dining out #eating out #Joel Robuchon #fine dining
Surprise!

I’ve already kept this secret for longer than I thought possible, so I’m just going to blurt it out: we wrote a cookbook.

Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam & Henry Fong http://book.nomnompaleo.com

I’m not talking about our iPad® cooking app, but a hardcover, 8- by 10-inch, 288-page full-color book stuffed with over 100 recipes and more than 900(!) photos and cartoons. Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans will be published by Andrews McMeel and available on December 17—just in time for the holidays! 

Surprise! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I guess it’s no secret that I’m obsessed with cookbooks. Growing up, I dreamed of writing one, though I always dismissed the notion as insanely presumptuous even after this blog’s readership began to take off.

Then, two years ago, I suddenly started receiving inquiries from book publishers. Their unsolicited offers were incredibly tempting, but after much hand-wringing, I turned each of them down. At the time, Henry and I were up to our eyeballs in app development—not to mention our day jobs and parenting duties. If we threw a cookbook on top of our mounting pile of responsibilities, we’d drown. 

Surprise! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

It wasn’t until after the Nom Nom Paleo app was released (and more than a few pep talks from Henry and some of our good friends) that I started to come around to the idea of penning a cookbook. If we were to pour our hearts and souls into this project, however, we had to do it right. Henry and I promised ourselves that we would throw everything we had into this book: there would be no compromise on content, design, or quality.

Surprise! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

So last year, my co-conspirator and I quietly began working in earnest on the book. When we weren’t working, parenting, blogging, or sleeping, we were developing, shooting, and writing recipes.

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Every chance I got, I experimented with flavor profiles and tested recipes; meanwhile, Henry worked doggedly on the book layout and design—usually after a long day at the office. He also started plotting and drawing the dozens of cartoon illustrations featured in the cookbook. 

Surprise! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#cookbook #paleo #primal #Nom Nom Paleo Cookbook

May 2013

17 posts

Vegas, Baby! (The Saveur Best Food Blog Awards)

Hello from Sin City!

Rather than posting in my usual Forky Friday format, I’m going to share with you a bunch of links to awesomeness inspired by our trip to Las Vegas for the 4th Annual Saveur Best Food Blog Awards.

Vegas, Baby! By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

We won last year in the Best Special Diets category, but due to my zombie drug dealing responsibilities, I couldn’t make it out to NYC for the celebration, which was held at the magazine’s test kitchen. So when I heard that current and past winners and finalists were invited to this year’s bash at the Bellagio, I immediately booked our flights. (We did our best to convince our pal Russ, a finalist in this year’s awards, to join us, but alas, The Domestic Man couldn’t make it out to the desert.)

After our arrival on Wednesday night, we treated ourselves to dinner at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. We were in a celebratory mood, but then again, any meal at restaurant without the kids feels like a special indulgence. Adult conversation? Sign me up.

Vegas, Baby! By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

We ordered the chef’s seasonal tasting menu. To our happy surprise, we discovered that it was virtually gluten-free…that is, until dessert. I’ll write a detailed post about my meal later, but for now, I’ll share with you one of my favorite dishes of the night: l’asperge blanche

Vegas, Baby! By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…white asparagus topped with prosciutto di Parma (shaved right off the leg on the counter) and served with a creamy butter sauce. Henry had to stop me from licking the plate clean. Next time, I’m packing a miniature spatula—a tip I learned after dining with Melicious and Dave at Barley Swine.

The next morning, the official festivities began. We headed down to breakfast at the Bellagio Pool Cafe with the whole gang from the Saveur Best Food Blog Awards.

Vegas, Baby! By Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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#toy food
Tonnato Sauce

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Okay: what do you think of tonnato, a creamy, tangy sauce made with anchovies, capers, and canned tuna? For those of you smiling—high five! And if your nose is wrinkled in disgust, hear me out. I was once in your shoes, but this umami-packed sauce is truly a cinch to make from pantry staples and tastes good on EVERYTHING.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

This classic Italian sauce is typically paired with chilled poached veal (vitello tonnato) and served as a picnic dish. Sadly, I almost never have poached veal lying around the house, so after I blitz a fresh batch of tonnato, I pour it on crudités, hard-boiled eggs, sliced heirloom tomatoes, poached or sous vide chicken, or steamed vegetables. Or all of the above.

Tonnato Sauce by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

It’s seriously good stuff.

Here’s what to gather to make 2 cups of sauce:

  • 1 (7-ounce) can tuna packed in olive oil, drained
  • 5 anchovies packed in olive oil, drained
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup Paleo Mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Dump all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. Done.

The sauce can be kept in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for a couple of days.

If you need more instruction and pictures before you’re willing to try this, read on, my skeptical friend.

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Forky Friday: 5/24/13

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Yes! It’s the Friday before a three-day holiday weekend, and most of you probably have grand grilling plans, right? You’re in luck — this week’s Forky Friday is filled with links to tasty recipes for all your barbecue party needs.

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But don’t worry: if you’d rather stay indoors and eat a bunch of worms, I got your back, too. 

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Let’s jump right in!

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Paleo Eats: 5/21/13

Late Sunday night, the Nombomb clan returned home from a quickie trip to Disney World in Orlando.

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Although we all had a blast — the boys flitted from park to park while I soaked up lots of great information and advice from the inspiring folks in attendance at Food Blog Forum — we were ready to crash in our own beds again.

Or on the floor near the baggage return carousel at the airport, snuggled up against a much-loved, well-traveled stuffed cat.

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This morning, everyone was finally ready to get back up and at ‘em. After I made the kiddos breakfast (seared sausages, sliced apple, and pastured raw milk)…

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…I assembled a quick frittata with spinach and seasoned ground beef for Big-O’s school lunch.

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I finished cooking the frittata in the toaster oven, divided it up, and stuck a slice in Big-O’s lunchbox and one in my piehole.

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#paleo #primal #food #gluten-free