January Jumpstart: Week Two

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Okay, gang—we’re entering the second week of our January jumpstart. You still with me? Good!

January Jumpstart: Week Two by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Before we dive in, I’ve got a special treat for those of you who’ve embarked on a Whole30 this month: due to popular demand, I’ve created a free downloadable list of all the Whole30-friendly recipes in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans. Click here to get it!

Spoiler alert: Over 100 of the recipes in my book are Whole30-compliant! As the review of our book on the Whole30 site points out:

A few of the sauces and dressings call for honey or some other form of added sugar, but she does her best to give you a Whole30-compliant substitute, like using a pitted date instead of honey in her sriracha. Which means the entire cookbook, right up to Page 249, is almost completely Whole30-friendly.

Haven’t gotten your hands on a copy of my book yet? No worries—here’s another nomtastic batch of recipes to try as you tackle the New Year and punch it in the face!

Easy Paleo Frittata

I love eating leftovers for breakfast, but I know that for many folks, it’s absolutely unthinkable to start the day with something that resembles dinner food. The solution? Throw your leftover meat into a sunny, eggy frittata

January Jumpstart: Week Two by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Garbage Stir Fry with Curried Cabbage

This is a fantastic way to quickly and easily transform that package of ground meat in your fridge into a fragrant and hearty weeknight meal. And don’t be put off by the name—after all, one person’s garbage is another person’s stir-fry, right?

January Jumpstart: Week Two by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Tonnato Sauce

Going Paleo doesn’t mean getting stuck with bland, boring foods. Instead, give your taste buds a big bear hug by making sure you’ve got plenty of delicious sauces and flavor-boosters on hand, like this classic, umami-packed Italian sauce.

January Jumpstart: Week Two by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Food for Humans Book Tour: Bay Area Launch

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Food for Humans Book Tour: Bay Area Launch by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Wondering why I’ve been absent from this little corner of the Internet these past few days? It’s ‘cause this weekend marked the kick-off of my January book tour to promote Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans—and I’ve been way too freaked out to be productive.

That’s not to say I haven’t had a blast.

First up was a rollicking gig with my buddies Melissa Joulwan and Diana Rodgers on Thursday night at CrossFit Palo Alto, where we answered questions from a packed house…

Food for Humans Book Tour: Bay Area Launch by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…signed copies of our books, and got an opportunity to crack wise with many of you.

Food for Humans Book Tour: Bay Area Launch by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Then, bright and early yesterday, with the invaluable assistance of Diana and our superstar pal Julie Mayfield, we hand-packed a couple hundred swag bags and headed for the city. With less than two hours before guests were set to arrive at The Box SF, we scurried around the venue to get it ready for our official book launch party.

But to be honest, the space needed almost no sprucing up at all. It’s simple and gorgeous, and our only real additions were a couple of tablecloths and banners, a place for the lovely folks from Books Inc. to sell copies of our cookbook…

Food for Humans Book Tour: Bay Area Launch by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…a special Nom Nom Coffee Bar (courtesy of Four Barrel Coffee and Highwire Coffee)…

Food for Humans Book Tour: Bay Area Launch by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…a kombucha stand (serving up amazingly delicious booch on tap!) by Revive Drinks… 

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…and a photo booth by Photo-matica (sponsored by, well, me and Henry!) that would crank out endless shots of our guests.

Food for Humans Book Tour: Bay Area Launch by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Plus, with a menu of delectable brunch bites by Zenbelly’s Simone Shifnadel… 

Food for Humans Book Tour: Bay Area Launch by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…I knew the food situation was in good hands.

Food for Humans Book Tour: Bay Area Launch by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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January Jumpstart: Week One

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January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Who’s ready for a fresh start to the year?

To inspire you to kick off 2014 with some deliciously healthy eats, over the course of January, I’m going to lay out four weeks’ worth of lip-smacking, nourishing grub. And don’t worry if you’re on the straight-and-narrow this month—I chose recipes of mine that should fit into any Paleo template, whether you’re on a short-term dietary reset like the Whole30 or 21 Day Sugar Detox, or you’ve settled into an everyday real-food approach.

Before we get started, I should point out that this isn’t meant to be a meal plan. In these posts, I won’t be telling you what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and you certainly shouldn’t feel compelled to make every single thing listed (though you certainly can, if you feel like it!). Instead, I hope that some or all of these recipes will strike your fancy, and spark ideas about other dishes you can make this month and beyond. My goal is simple: to inspire you to cook and eat Paleo without sacrificing flavor or fun.

So with that out of the way, here are my picks for Week One:

Shrimp-Stuffed Mushrooms

This simple Asian-inspired appetizer is a crowd-pleaser that never disappoints—even when the “crowd” consists of just me and my boys.

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Ghee

As you go through January—heck, as you go through life—you’ll find that you need ghee, and plenty of it. Trust me on this.

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Paleo Mayonnaise

You’ll need mayo, too. And making it with an immersion blender is even easier, so what are you waiting for?

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Sriracha

And since we’re on the topic of flavor-boosters, why not make yourself a batch of homemade sriracha—the kind that isn’t loaded with unpronounceable preservatives? Sriracha is, after all, a delicious blessing flavored with the incandescent glow of a thousand dying suns.

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Doro Wat

Need to warm yourself from the inside-out? This wonderfully spicy Ethiopian chicken stew should do the trick.

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Roasted Chestnuts

On finger-numbing winter evenings, there is nothing better in this world than a bag of freshly-roasted chestnuts. I repeat: nothing.

January Jumpstart: Week One by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com 

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Nom Nom Paleo’s Top 15 Posts of 2013

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Nom Nom Paleo's Top 15 Posts of 2013 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

As the year draws to a close, let’s step into our time machine and revisit my top posts of 2013. I dug through our site metrics, and learned that of the roughly 200 (non-cookbook-related!) posts I published on Nom Nom Paleo over the past 12 months, these 15 were the most popular, as judged by traffic, notes, comments, and dissemination on social media:

15. Orange Sriracha Chicken (October 27)

I don’t know if it’s the sweet, citrusy notes in the sauce or the spicy sriracha kick—or if readers were just freaked out that the Huy Fong Sriracha plant in southern California was seemingly under constant threat of shutdown—but my recipe for Orange Sriracha Chicken was a fan favorite. (It’s one of mine, too.)

Orange Sriracha Chicken by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

14. Forky Friday: Thanksgiving Smorgasbord (November 22)

Every November, we’re faced with a conundrum: How do we prepare a Turkey Day feast for a house full of Paleo eaters? This year, I posted a series of Thanksgiving recipes, ranging from Spatchcocked Turkey and Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw to Cran-Cherry Sauce and Umami Gravy. And in advance of the big dinner, I posted a rundown of all the recipes—and added a bunch more, too. Wanna see?

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13. Kelly Brozyna’s Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust (September 30)

I adore Kelly and her family. And when I received an advance review copy of her latest book, The Paleo Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook, I couldn’t wait to get cooking. Everything looked incredible, but Kelly’s Chocolate Pie recipe jumped off the page at me. See what I mean?

Kelly Brozyna's Chocolate Pie + Raw Graham Cracker Crust by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

12. Round-up: Another Week of Paleo Lunches (August 23)

For the second year in a row, I partnered with Jackie Linder of Lunchbots—the best and most stylish stainless steel lunch containers in the known universe!—to present a week’s worth of Paleo-friendly packed lunch ideas. We had a great time putting these lunches together, and happily, it looks like you guys enjoyed reading about them, too!

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Forky Friday: 12/27/13

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Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Howdy, gang!

It’s been a while since my last Forky Friday, and in that time, our first cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, was published! I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see our labor of love out there in the real world, and to see the reviews that have been posted around the web. We love the comments and photos that so many of you have posted on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Keep ’em coming — we can’t wait to see what you’re cooking up!

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

(In the meantime, if you have our book and like it, will you consider posting a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble? It would be a huge help, and I’d be incredibly grateful!)

In the meantime, let’s get back to our regularly scheduled links from around the web…

Back on Track

As much as I’d like to report that I’m still eating my way through northern Thailand, I’m not. We got home from Asia earlier this week—just in time for me to don my gay apparel (a.k.a. hospital scrubs) and start another week of graveyard shifts on Christmas night. I missed the usual holiday feasting…but it was probably for the best. I’d already enjoyed my fair share of incredible meals (and dietary off-roading) in Chiang Mai, and was glad for the chance to avoid further gastronomic temptations.

Forky Friday: 12/27/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

If, like me, you took a nutritional detour over the holiday season, don’t freak out. An occasional indulgence won’t derail you from your journey down the Paleo superhighway.

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Nom Nom Chocolate Truffles

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Every Christmas, I get my truffles on. This is the same recipe (and post) that I’ve whipped out every holiday season—for good reason.

If you’re panicking because you need a last-minute, homemade gift to bring to a holiday party, make some of these chocolatey balls. These deliciously dairy-free treats will make you the superstar of the soirée.

Nom Nom Chocolate Truffles by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Patara Elephant Farm - Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Well before our arrival in Chiang Mai, our friend Mark (of CrossFit Chiang Mai and the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute) had asked if we wanted him to arrange for us to visit Patara Elephant Farm. Crazed with our cookbook launch, I hadn’t given it much thought, but I figured the kids would get a kick out of seeing some elephants, so I said sure. Why not?

I had no idea that by the end of the day, our kids would be doing this…

Patara Elephant Farm - Chiang Mai, Thailand by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and this…

Patara Elephant Farm - Chiang Mai, Thailand by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and demanding to know whether we have enough room in our backyard for a pachyderm.

Located about 45 minutes south of Chiang Mai in the mountains surrounding the lush Hang Dong Valley, Patara Elephant Farm’s mission is to rescue and rehabilitate elephants. During the extensive orientation, we learned about the steep decline in the elephant population in Thailand over the past few decades, and Patara’s efforts to protect these magnificent animals. Patara has rescued and adopted a number of elephants, some from horrible (and illegal) working conditions. And unlike some of the other elephant camps around Chiang Mai that cater to tourists to the detriment of the animals, it’s obvious that the staff at Patara care deeply for their elephants. Each elephant at the farm is paired with one human guardian who’s responsible for bonding with and caring for the creature.

Patara Elephant Farm - Chiang Mai, Thailand by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement!

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Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Hello from northern Thailand!

I hope you’ve been enjoying our blog posts about our travels in Asia, but before we head out for more adventures in Chiang Mai, I wanted to shoot you a quick note because…drum roll, please…today marks the official release of our cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans!

(I’m using the word “official” because—much to my surprise—copies of my book have already been magically popping up in bookstores across North America. Woo hoo!)

Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

It’s been a long road. Henry and I painstakingly pieced this thing together from scratch—from the writing, photography, and recipe testing to the illustrations, cover design, and layout of each page. We even conscripted some underage labor into helping out.

Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Thankfully, we had the help of our wonderful, life-saving partners at Andrews McMeel, and the unflagging encouragement of our family and friends. Together, we crafted a book that we’re incredibly proud to call our own. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to finally share with you everything that Henry and I poured into the pages of this cookbook.

Our (Cookbook) Birth Announcement! by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans is packed with stuff—literally. We filled every last page to the very edge of the margins with over 120 recipes and more than 900 step-by-step photographs and cartoon illustrations—not to mention tips, tricks, and even a few off-color jokes. Our aim was to create a fun, engaging cookbook that’s as entertaining as it is useful for you. And now, after years of work, it’s finally here!

This is where you come in…

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Farm to Table in Mae Tha, Thailand

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Farm to Table in Mae Tha, Thailand by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’ve always been a firm believer in gastrotourism. When I travel, food experiences are my priority.

True story:Years ago, when Henry and I were tromping around Tuscany, I canceled a visit to see Michaelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia because it got in the way of finding the best bollito misto in Florence.

I don’t spend much on material things (other than kitchen gadgets), but when it comes to culinary fun, all bets are off. The way I see it, I’m paying for an experience; the food may disappear as soon as it slides down my gullet, but the memories remain. And looking back at the most cherished moments in my life, virtually all of them involve meals shared with my favorite people.

Farm to Table in Mae Tha, Thailand by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Farm to Table in Mae Tha, Thailand by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Farm to Table in Mae Tha, Thailand by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

That said, memorable meals don’t need to cost a fortune. In my book, all that matters is that the ingredients are sourced with care, prepared with love…and insanely delicious.

Case in point: one of my all-time favorite food experiences took place just a couple of days ago, when the boys and I spent the day at a small organic farm in rural Mae Tha, a hillside community about an hour’s drive from Chiang Mai. Our Saturday was so amazing that I already know I won’t be able to do it justice in this post, but I’ll try my best anyway.

Farm to Table in Mae Tha, Thailand by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Thanks to the fine folks at the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute (ISDSI), we had the unique opportunity to visit Bwosai Gantada’s family farm in Mae Tha. Our family spent the morning trailing behind her as she gave us a tour of her fields of painstakingly hand-planted and -weeded vegetables. Then, we picked and gathered fresh ingredients from her garden, which Bwosai used to prepare a hearty, multi-dish lunch cooked over open flames. We feasted on vegetables, meat, and rice that were all raised and harvested onsite.

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Chiang Mai’s Friday Morning Market & Khao Soi Islam

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A quick photo-heavy recap of our day before I stumble into bed and pass out:

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

We got off to a slow start this morning…

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…but after downing some coffee…

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and a hearty breakfast of hot khai jiao (Thai omelets)…

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…we were ready to venture out to the Friday morning market.

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

We’re incredible fortunate to have Mark Ritchie—founder of Chiang Mai’s International Sustainable Development Studies Institute and CrossFit Chiang Mai (and the guy who persuaded us to come halfway across the globe to northern Thailand!)—as our guide. 

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Henry and I love picking Mark’s brain. With his deep knowledge of Thai culture and language—and decades of experience living here in Chiang Mai—we have a rare opportunity to get a close look at the city around us, starting with the Friday morning market near the Night Bazaar.

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Located near a prominent mosque, this open-air market is crammed with farmers and vendors offering everything from fresh produce and exotic fruits…

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…to whole birds and wild honey.

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

(Yes, those are bees still in the honey. It’s that wild.)

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The bustling, vibrant market was a feast for all the senses. Everywhere we turned, we spotted something new, interesting, and delicious.

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Chiang Mai's Friday Morning Market and Khao Soi Islam by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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