The Paleo Kitchen’s Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs

Pin It

The Paleo Kitchen's Honey Mustard Chicken Wings http://nomnompaleo.com

Unless you’ve been living underground (like a good cave-person should!), you know that Juli Bauer and George Bryant just released one of the most highly anticipated cookbooks of the summer, The Paleo Kitchen. And if you  know about this extraordinary book, then I’m sure you’ve already scooped up a copy—and helped it debut on the New York Times best sellers list!

The Paleo Kitchen's Honey Mustard Chicken Wings http://nomnompaleo.com

It’s difficult for me to be objective about The Paleo Kitchen because I’m pals with George and Juli. In person, they’re exactly how you picture them from their respective blogs: Juli is smart, sassy, and funny, and George is savvy, passionate, and loyal. Together, their Wonder Twin powers activate like nobody’s business, and you can see this in their exceptional cookbook. Its pages are packed with tantalizing recipes, luscious food photography, and a whole mess ’o useful cooking tips. I love their light-hearted, devil-may-care approach to Paleo, showing folks that anyone can be fit and happy without going to extremes. 

The Paleo Kitchen's Honey Mustard Chicken Wings http://nomnompaleo.com

While George and Juli are renowned for their Paleo treats (and yes, those are pancakes on the cover of their book), don’t be fooled into thinking that  The Paleo Kitchen is nothing but desserts and grain-free baked goods. Inside, you’ll discover a healthy balance of savory and sweet dishes for every occasion. In fact, one of my favorite recipes turns out to be one of the easiest main courses in the book: Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs. I love that can throw this dish together on a busy weeknight with items that are already sitting in my kitchen. Besides: who doesn’t love honey mustard chicken, for cryin’ out loud?

When I told George and Juli how much I wanted to share this super-simple recipe with you, they generously gave me the green light. Ready to get cooking?

Read more

Happy Poppa’s Day!

Pin It

image

My dad is patient, funny, and loves lamb. Thank you, pops, for keeping your cool back in 1989 when I smashed our brand-new Volvo into the neighbor’s mailbox. I love that you always laughed whenever I’d slap down the newspaper you were reading—even though I did it just about every day until I was in high school. (Sorry I was so annoying.) Most importantly, thank you for nurturing my picky palate, offering me honest and actionable feedback on my dishes, and being one of my biggest cheerleaders. I love you, dad!

Forky Friday: 6/13/14

Pin It

Forky Friday: 6/13/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Happy Friday the 13th! Yeah, I know it’s been a while. At the end of each week, my dear old dad’s been reminding me that I haven’t put up a new Forky Friday in eons, so I think it’s past time I put up a new post packed to the gills with my favorite finds from ’round the world wide web. So in advance of Father’s Day, this one’s for you, Pop!

Celebrate Your Dad!

Yep—Father’s Day is Sunday. THIS Sunday. Got something special planned for the big poppa in your life? If you’re still searching for a cool gift, I’ve got a feeling all the grilling guys (and gals) out there will love Chris Schlesinger’s and John “Doc” Willoughby’s The Big-Flavor Grill

Forky Friday: 6/13/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Ever since I received a review copy a few weeks ago, I’ve been testing many of the no-marinade, no-hassle recipes on our grill. The simple techniques in this book are a revelation: simply pick the right cut of protein, slap on a zero-fuss rub, grill the meat, and then toss the fire-charred goodness with a flavorful sauce. That’s it.

The Big-Flavor Grill has made a spontaneous griller out of me. It’s a game-changer.

One of my favorite dishes in the book is the recipe pictured on the book’s cover: Grilled Skirt Steak with Smoky Red Onions and Grilled Avocados. 

Forky Friday: 6/13/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

From start to finish, this meal took just 30 minutes to make. If—like me—you’ve had an irrational fear of grilling over an open flame, this book’ll get you over the hump, and it makes for an incredible Father’s Day gift.

But if you’re strapped for cash, you don’t need to buy a present to make your dad feel appreciated. Just let him know you’ll be making brunch, and reconnect with your old man over a plate of Bacon Pancake Sandwiches

Forky Friday: 6/13/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…or grill him a Chili Rib Eye Steak by following Chef Pete Evan’s drop-dead-simple technique!

Read more

Shepherd’s Pie from Russ Crandall’s The Ancestral Table

Pin It

I know, I know: potatoes aren’t “Paleo™.” And neither is white rice, heavy cream, or butter.

Shepherd’s Pie from Russ Crandall’s The Ancestral Table http://nomnompaleo.com

Well, at least according to the version of Paleo that many of us eagerly adopted when we first discovered this way of eating. But as I’ve said before

…there isn’t just one definitive, monolithic, one-size-fits-all “Paleo diet.” Some Paleo eaters choose to go super-low-carb, while others of us are happy to munch on a baked potato or a bowl of white rice every now and then. There are Paleo eaters who can’t imagine life without dairy, and more orthodox folks who refuse to touch even a pat of butter with a ten-foot pole. The Paleo tent is big enough to fit a host of different approaches, but the core tenets of ancestral eating remain the same:

  • Prioritize whole, unprocessed, nutrient-rich, nourishing foods. Eat vegetables, grass-fed and pastured meats and eggs, wild-caught seafood, and some fruit, nuts, and seeds.
  • Avoid foods that are likely to be more harmful than healthful. Especially when regularly consumed, certain foods can trigger inflammation, cause digestive problems, or derail our natural metabolic processes, including many grains, improperly cooked legumes, sugar, and highly-processed seed and vegetable oils.
  • Once a baseline of health is established, we can reintroduce some of these foods (like dairy, white potatoes and rice—not processed junk foods) to see where each of us sits on the spectrum of food intolerance.

In the beginning, I was briefly Primal (remember my early cheesy phase?) before going strict Paleo. And then, for a couple of years, I pretty much ate according to Whole30® rules, except for some dark chocolate and an occasional restaurant meal. But these days, I find that a bit of white rice and potatoes, along with heavy raw cream in my coffee, agree with me just fine.

Shepherd’s Pie from Russ Crandall’s The Ancestral Table http://nomnompaleo.com

And I’m not alone. Some think this is absolute heresy, but others of us now see Paleo as a springboard that helps us thoughtfully figure out what works best for our own health—not as a set of inflexible commandments to apply unquestioned.

That’s why I appreciate Russ Crandall so much. On his blog (The Domestic Man) and in his book (The Ancestral Table), Russ shines a light on traditional recipes for a modern Paleo lifestyle—dishes that thoughtfully re-incorporate rice, potatoes, and full-fat dairy. Some purists may scoff that Russ’ delicious and healthy dishes aren’t really “Paleo™,” but I don’t care. After all, mine aren’t, either. Also, my take on Paleo puts the emphasis on the “Nom Nom” part, and dogma leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Shepherd’s Pie from Russ Crandall’s The Ancestral Table http://nomnompaleo.com

Since Russ’s The Ancestral Table was published, it’s been a go-to resource on my overflowing shelves. So the other morning, when Big-O asked me to make shepherd’s pie for dinner, I knew just where to turn.

Shepherd’s Pie from Russ Crandall’s The Ancestral Table http://nomnompaleo.com

I was eager to make an authentic shepherd’s pie with mashed potatoes crowning the top of a meaty stew. (If you’re a tater abstainer, feel free to substitute the topping with Garlic Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes” or make Julie and Charles’s Farmer’s Pie.)

Read more

Panna Cotta with Strawberry Balsamic Compote

Pin It

Panna Cotta with Strawberry Balsamic Compote by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

As a child, my love for sweets was indiscriminate. I had no standards; if it was sugary, I figured it belonged in my mouth. I am, after all, the girl who used to go to bed with a sticky plastic bag of sugary drink mix powder next to my pillow.

But with age comes wisdom—and a better-developed palate. I’m turning 40 this year, and after a lifetime of mindless dessert consumption, I’ve actually become one picky mother. These days, I rarely indulge in sweets—and only when it meets my demanding standards. If I’m going to treat myself to something that’s less than healthy (and let’s face it: dessert ain’t health food), it better knock my socks off.

Homemade panna cotta is one indulgence that fits the bill. Offering up  spoonfuls of silky sweetness at the end of a meal, this Italian gelled cream custard has long been one of my favorites. Panna cotta is incredible all by itself, but a dollop of tangy fruit sauce makes it truly special. And what better topping than the classic combination of fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar?

Panna Cotta with Strawberry Balsamic Compote by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

This recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients, but the quality and ratio of the components are critical to a good panna cotta. Let me be painfully frank: Too many people are making mediocre panna cotta. Some of the offenses I’ve seen? Overly sweet custards or toppings, poor quality cream/nut milk, and incompatible and overpowering toppings.

But the worst infraction of all? Adding too much gelatin. Yes, gelatin’s important for gut and joint health — but I’d much rather down a mug of steaming bone broth rather than chew on rubbery, over-gelatinized panna cotta. Pro tip: If you can hold a bowl of panna cotta upside down over your head with nary a care about messing up your beautifully coiffed head of hair, you used too much gelatin in your dessert. (Or you’re a total slob. Or both.)

Made properly, a panna cotta should be fragile and quivery in texture. This creamy dessert should collapse in on itself when you pierce the surface with your spoon, allowing the fruity sauce and slippery custard to mix and marry.

Panna Cotta with Strawberry Balsamic Compote by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Panna Cotta with Strawberry Balsamic Compote by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Now: who’s ready to make panna cotta? 

Here’s what to gather to make 4 servings: 

Read more

Giveaway Time: Vitamix S30!

Pin It

**THE GIVEAWAY IS OVER! CONGRATS TO DANIELLA H.!**

I’m still recovering from my blink-and-you-missed-it trip to New York City. When I get a second, I’ll write about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of partying at the 18th Annual Webby Awards with George Takei (okay, we were just in the same room). Plus, I got to do what I always do in NYC: eat my way through the city. But to be honest, I’m glad to be home. I’m thrilled to have this holiday weekend to make up for lost sleep and snuggles with my favorite guys.  

While I recharge, how ’bout I host another giveaway?

Giveaway Time: Vitamix S30 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Thanks to the fine folks at Vitamix, one lucky reader’s going to win a brand-new Vitamix S30 Blender—a $409 value!

I’ve been a loyal fan of Vitamix for years, and my trusty 5200 is still a workhorse in my kitchen. Still, I’d long eyed a more compact version of my super-powerful blender—one that takes up less storage space and can be used whenever I whip up small-volume recipes.

Giveaway Time: Vitamix S30 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Then, out of the blue, Vitamix contacted me a few months ago to test-drive its new personal-size blender, the S30—and as soon as I unboxed it, I knew I was in love. The S30 may be smaller, but it’s still crazy powerful. Plus, it comes with two blending containers: a 20-ounce double-insulated portable carafe and a 40-ounce unit, too.

Giveaway Time: Vitamix S30 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Read more

Nom Nom Paleo Dinner Party At Cookhouse

Pin It

Last month, as part of a special sweepstakes on this site, twenty of my readers scored an invite to a cozy Paleo dinner party in San Francisco with me and Henry. This exclusive shindig had secretly been in works since January, when Amanda Nudelman of Disqus (the company that powers the comments on my blog!) reached out to me with an idea to create an “IRL” (in-real-life) community event. It sounded like a whole lotta fun, and I couldn’t wait to see how it would turn out.

Nom Nom Paleo Dinner Party At Cookhouse Photo by Irja Elisa Photography http://nomnompaleo.com

The deck was stacked in our favor—gorgeous venue, incredible chef, and cool peeps—but as the date approached, I began to fret. After all, our guests were picked randomly from the pool of readers who entered the giveaway, so no one would know each other. Would our dinner companions get along? Would there be awkward silences? Paleo food fights? Would I have to break out my Fake Call App to bail me out? Or would we be making 20 new friends?

Nom Nom Paleo Dinner Party At Cookhouse Photo by Irja Elisa Photography http://nomnompaleo.com

Nom Nom Paleo Dinner Party At Cookhouse Photo by Irja Elisa Photography http://nomnompaleo.com

My questions were all answered on Saturday night. And as I should’ve known, I’ve got some of the coolest readers on the planet.

Nom Nom Paleo Dinner Party At Cookhouse Photo by Irja Elisa Photography http://nomnompaleo.com

Amanda hired a professional photographer (yay, Irja!) to document the festivities, which meant Henry could actually put down his camera and enjoy himself for once. Of course, my compulsive husband ended up snapping some shots with his phone anyway because HE. CAN’T. STOP.

Nom Nom Paleo Dinner Party At Cookhouse Photo by Irja Elisa Photography http://nomnompaleo.com

Want to see how twenty modern cavepeople (who don’t know each other) party in a San Francisco loft? Then keep reading!

Read more

Upcoming Book Signing At Hu Kitchen in NYC + A Giveaway!

Pin It

In less than two weeks, I’ll be bound for the Big Apple to receive our People’s Voice Webby Award! Thanks to those of you who voted for our iPad app, we managed to best Jamie Oliver(!) in the popular vote. (Don’t worry, Jamie fans—the Naked Chef still managed to pick up three Webby Awards!)

image

NYC’s one of my favorite food cities in the world, so you can imagine how excited I am to return. This time, I’m definitely going to make it over to Hu Kitchen, Manhattan’s preeminent Paleo joint. Hu Kitchen serves up tasty, nourishing grub, and offers an incredible selection of grab-and-go options, too.

image

I know: I’m late to the game. Henry’s already enjoyed meals at Hu Kitchen, a bunch of my pals have hosted book events there, and the place even has a gigantic sign outside that says “FOOD FOR HUMANS”—the same phrase I used for the subtitle of my cookbook. Honestly, I have no excuses for not visiting sooner…except for the fact that I live 3,000 miles away.

Now, with the Webby Awards ceremony around the corner, I finally have the perfect excuse to haul my butt over there. In fact, I’m excited to announce that my one and only New York City book event will be hosted at Hu Kitchen on Tuesday, May 20th at 7 pm!

image

To date, I haven’t done any book signings on the East Coast, so I hope to see you at Hu Kitchen. Bring your books and/or buy them at the event, and I’ll happily scribble all over them. As an added bonus, I’ll be giving away stuff, including Nom Nom Paleo swag and a couple of Hamilton Beach slow cookers. Don’t miss out—the event is absolutely free of charge, but please RSVP by clicking here!

Not close enough to Hu Kitchen to come see me? Turn that frown upside-down, ’cause I have a thank-you giveaway that EVERYONE can enter. What’s up for grabs? Three lucky winners will receive a personalized Nom Nom Paleo prize package that includes a brand-spankin’ new copy of our cookbook, a limited edition Nom Nom Paleo action figure, a Nom Nom Paleo tote bag, and a pair of unisex Nom Nom Paleo knee socks. Anyone in the whole wide world can enter, and I’ll scrawl a personalized note in the book! (I’ll even force my kids to sign it!) Click the picture below to enter:

Giveaway Time! Score An Invite To A Private Nom Nom Paleo Dinner Party! http://nomnompaleo.com

The deadline to enter is 8 pm Pacific time on Wednesday, May 14th, so hop to it! Good luck—and I hope to thank you personally at Hu Kitchen in a couple of weeks!


Looking for recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).