I thought it was going to be teeth-chatteringly arctic in Chicago today – a stinging reminder for this California girl that spring has not yet sprung in all parts of the US of A. But happily, it’s not nearly as frigid as I expected. Yay!
I’m in town for the weekend to attend a conference, eat my way around the city, and do two joint book events with my gal pal, Diana Rodgers. (If you’re interested in coming, go RSVP for our free book events at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville and CrossFit 312 right here in Chicago!)
But before I do, I suppose I better get caught up with another edition of Forky Friday. Are you ready?
Reading is Good For You
I know that Paleo books are hitting shelves at a fast and furious pace. Yes, our cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, is my personal favorite (shameless plug alert!), but there are two brand-spankin’ new books you really must check out:
Joshua Weissman, the talented young man behind the gorgeous Slim Palate blog, has just released his first cookbook, The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook. I’ve hung out with Josh a few times, and each time, I’m awestruck that he’s already figured out – at the tender age of 18! – what most folks never get: that the key to good health is getting into the kitchen and cooking nourishing food from scratch. Heck, it took almost 40 years on this planet for this old lady (I’m pointing at myself) to come to that realization.
When I was a senior in high school, I was still buying lunch from the school vending machines (Doritos and Hawaiian Punch, thankyouverymuch) and mainlining non-fat frozen yogurt. Josh is a wonderful role model for eaters of all ages – and he has amazing skills behind the stove and camera to boot.
Next up: Dr. Ronesh Sinha, a well-respected physician from the Silicon Valley (my neck of the woods!), has been helping South Asians improve their health with a primal/Paleo approach for close to a decade. His new book, The South Asian Health Solution, is a fantastic resource for a subset of the population that has been devastated by cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders. The book is written in a way that respects cultural differences and addresses specific roadblocks that often hinder South Asians from considering a Paleo approach (e.g. vegetarianism, a diet reliant on grains, etc.).
My favorite thing about Dr. Sinha’s book is his collection of accessible, relatable case studies; I’m betting that they’ll resonate with a lot of folks who are struggling with health issues. I’m gifting this life-changing, life-saving book to a bunch of my South Asian pals. Even if they’re already on board the Paleo train, I’m hoping they’ll show the book to their skeptical parents and spouses. I know they’ll read it because after all, IT WAS WRITTEN BY A DOCTOR. (I kid you not: I know that’s what convinced at least one friend’s mom to crack open the book.)
Speaking of Books…
With Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans expanding into more Costco locations later this month, it’s time for me to do a signing in one, don’t you think? I’ll be greeting readers and signing books at the Costco in Mountain View, California on Saturday, March 29 from 11am to 1pm; come meet me and stock up on toilet paper at the same time!
Plus: Want to win a free copy? Simple Bites is offering two copies of our book as a giveaway, so go enter! (Plus: a new Q&A with yours truly!)
Fluffy, Unimportant Gossip (I.e., The Best Kind)
It’s no secret that I love reading celebrity gossip. I know a TON more about what’s happening in Justin Bieber’s life than what’s unfolding in Crimea. So it should come as no surprise that instead of diligently developing recipes or doing laundry, I voraciously devoured this salacious article in Vanity Fair about Google bazillionaire co-founder Sergey Brin’s affair with a young employee. The most revealing tidbit of all? At the end of the article, it’s revealed that Sergey is a PALEO EATER.
I wonder if this means he’ll keep funding his petri-dish-grown fake beef project.
Talk to You in 20 Minutes – My Mouth’s Full of Fat
Recently, I noticed a bunch of chatter on Facebook and the Interwebs about the benefits of oil pulling. You’ve heard of this, right? There are all sorts of high-faluting claims about how swishing a mouth full of coconut oil for 20 minutes a day can improve your EVERYTHING. Yes, I know that Snopes has debunked most of the health claims, and no, I don’t believe everything I read.
But I was intrigued by anecdotal reports that this simple hack can improve people’s oral health. I’ve never had any cavities, I floss and brush religiously, and I visit my dentist three times a year for a professional cleaning. Despite these measures, I’ve been a longtime sufferer of canker sores and sensitive gums. Both the canker sores and gum issues have mostly been resolved since I started eating Paleo, but I figure the health of my mouth can always use some improvement.
Besides, I’ve got coconut oil coming out of my ears (not really – that would be really gross), and I wanted to see for myself if it can make my teeth cleaner and improve my gum health. So this past week, I’ve been swishing a mouth full of coconut oil for 20 minutes when I get up. And weirdly enough, my teeth are noticeably cleaner, and feel smoother, too. Not being able to talk for 20 minutes each day has been a little awkward (I can be a motor-mouth sometimes), but other than that, I have zero complaints.
Perhaps my teeth would be cleaner and smoother if I swished with anything for 20 minutes (like, say, mouthwash), but I’m going to keep oil-pulling for the time being.
Besides, I kind of like the taste of coconut oil.
Any Ballers Out There?
Everyone loves meatballs, right?
My pal Melissa Joulwan is a culinary whiz who happens to love, love, LOVE meatballs. She’s devoted her blog this month to March Meatball Madness and the line-up looks amazing. Go give it a look-see!
Sadly, I missed the deadline to submit my meaty balls to Mel, but if you’d like to give mine a try, check out my recipes for Asian Meatballs (here on my blog) and Polpette di Vitello (in our new cookbook).
Who’s Craving Soup Noodles?
One of my favorite pre-Paleo comfort foods was a piping hot bowl of noodle soup. I didn’t discriminate: ramen, phở, my mom’s special Cantonese noodle soup – all of it hit the spot. But while I loved the noodles, when push comes to shove, it’s the other ingredients that I really miss.
Mark’s Daily Apple just posted a recipe for a Primal/Paleo ramen sans the noodles. (Take note: authentic ramen is very different from the cheapo, packaged crunchy noodle cakes that you and I hoarded in college.) Mark’s recipe looks legit – my only hack is that I’d probably pressure-cook the broth to get it on the table sooner.
Feel like phở instead? Jaden Hair, my sister from another mother, recently posted her adaptation of my Fast Phở from our new cookbook. I’m honored and delighted that she’s digging our cookbook. Check out her post and accompanying video here:
Cultured Caveman – the Restaurant!
Joe and Heather – the dynamos behind the Cultured Caveman carts in Portland – make for one of the cutest and nicest Paleo couples in the world. A couple of years ago, they had a dream to start one of the first Paleo food carts in Portland, and now, they run three. And all of ’em are awesome.
This week, they announced that they’re planning to open an honest-to-goodness restaurant! I supported Joe and Heather’s original Kickstarter, and now I’m backing their new one ’cause I want even more Paleo options when I visit Portland – one of my favorite cities in the country. If you want to contribute, too, click on this link.
Save Your Avocados!
Before I go: Here’s an excellent trick from The Kitchn to help keep your avocados fresh – and no, it doesn’t involve plastic wrap!
Ciao for now! Chitown beckons!
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).