Nom Nom Paleo

Forky Friday: 9/26/14

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Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Ready for my favorite food-related links o’ the week? Go grab your amber goggles and dig in!

Lego Kitchen

First things first: There is a kitchen made of Legos. Did you hear me? MADE OF LEGOS.

Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I suspect at least one of my children is already planning a kitchen remodel.

I Wear My Orange Glasses At Night

Who here saw last weekend’s Sunday Style section of The New York Times? It featured a surprisingly extensive article about the Paleo lifestyle, declaring that “the time has passed when it could be written off as a fringe movement.”

Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The newspaper of record has explored the Paleo lifestyle before, but the first time was almost five years ago. (Trivia: as longtime readers know, it’s how Henry and I originally learned about the “caveman diet.”) This time around, the Times contacted me out of the blue to interview me for the article. They even sent a photographer to get a shot of me in my goofy amber goggles, sitting on the kids’ messy bunk bed (because I refused to let the photographer into my even-messier bedroom).

So glamorous.

Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The article’s pretty fair, albeit a tad sensationalistic—especially when it refers to me as “something of a Martha Stewart of Paleo.” I’m fairly certain Martha would call that bit of hyperbole not “a good thing.”

(She wouldn’t be the only one. In fact, there are hundreds of Paleo-unfriendly comments on the online version of the article. I guess not everyone wants to be weirdos like us.)

Food Waste

On a less self-aggrandizing note, I came across an eye-opening report from Harvest Public Media about the excessive amount of food we waste in America. Get this: in 2012, we dumped 35 million tons of food in landfills—even though 1 in 6 Americans goes hungry. Yikes.

Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I go to great lengths to score the healthiest food available to my family—but I know I don’t always cook or eat it all.  After checking out this report, I’m reminded of the importance of doing my part in reducing food waste.

My actionable takeaways:

  1. Buy what we need, and eat what we buy.
  2. Meal plan like a champ.
  3. Finish our leftovers.

It’s that simple.

Oh—one more thing: I’m putting a “bucket of judgment” on my kitchen counter to collect all the food I toss. Shame’s the best motivator, right? If you’re ready to get inspired, watch the 30-minute video here.

Tomato-gate

Serious Eats recently posted three articles about tomato storage that blew my mind. (You can read them here, here, and here. I suggest strapping on a helmet first, to keep your brains in.) I’d always been taught that one should always keep tomatoes at room temperature because refrigerating ’em dramatically diminishes the flavor and changes the texture. My childhood memories of bland, mealy, refrigerated tomatoes reinforced this belief. I never questioned it.

Forky Friday: 9/26/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Well, until now.

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Forky Friday: 9/19/14

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Forky Friday: 9/19/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I turn 40 tomorrow, so you have to be nice to me. For starters, I think you should crack me a joke. Big-O will go first:

Forky Friday: 9/19/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Now, it’s your turn: leave me a joke in the comments below! Make me giggle for my birthday, and I just might send you a Mini-Michelle!

Ready for my favorite links from around the Interwebs?

No Joke

Henry took the day off work, and as I write this, he’s making the Chocolate Layer Cake from the Zenbelly Cookbook (a.k.a. my pal Simone’s No Joke Dark Chocolate Cake) for my birthday. (It’s kind of my favorite—I even strong-armed Simone into serving it at our cookbook launch party, remember?) Let’s see how close Henry gets to replicating this:

Forky Friday: 9/19/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Right now, he’s muttering about how he doesn’t have the right pans, so my fingers are crossed.

[Update: He used Simone’s recipe to make cupcakes! And they’re perfect!]

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And by the way, if you’re wondering if Simone’s cookbook kicks butt, the answer is TOTALLY. I’ll be sharing her recipe for Pan-Roasted Chicken with Bacon and Apples with you soon, but here’s a peek at how it turned out:

Forky Friday: 9/19/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Our family loved it so much that I’ve already made this dish twice this week.

Cheftastic Stamps

If I still used good old fashioned snail mail, I’d be all over the U.S. Postal Service’s new set of stamps featuring five celebrity chefs: Julia Child, James Beard, Joyce Chen, Edna Lewis and Felipe Rojas-Lombardi.

Sure, these portraits are a smidge creepy, but I still dig ’em.

Forky Friday: 9/19/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Germs Rule

Once upon a time, my hubby had a crazy-unstoppable Coke Zero habit. Like many others, he guzzled artificially-flavored zero-calorie beverages thinking that they were better than their high fructose corn syrup-sweetened brethren. Those chemicals, additives, and lab-concocted sweeteners can’t possibly be harmful as long as the drink is calorie-free, right?

Forky Friday: 9/19/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Forky Friday: 9/12/14

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Forky Friday: 9/12/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

It’s been weeks since I last curated a bunch of tasty links from the interwebs. Sorry, Pops! (As I’ve mentioned before, my dad is probably my most faithful Forky Friday reader; when I fail to write a post, he communicates his disappointment via my mother—a champion at making me feel guilty and lazy.) Learning to balance my blogging along with full-time mommy duties has forced me to juggle like crazy, but things are finally starting to click now that the kids are back in school. Lesson number one: my productivity goes waaaay up when I stay off of Facebook and Gawker.

Without further ado, let the link love begin!

Kale, I Hardly Knew You!

Yup. I’m one of those hipsters that kowtowed to kale as the all-time Queen Bee vegetable.

Forky Friday: 9/12/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

My recipe index is filled with ideas that involve stir-frying it with bacon, braising it with carrots, and baking the frilly leaves into chips.

Forky Friday: 9/12/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

So naturally, my stomach dropped when I spotted this article in The Smithsonian that “exposed” kale and a bunch of other popular foodstuffs as genetically modified. The horror!

But after skimming the contents, I’m not all that concerned. Selective breeding’s been used for centuries in growing crops and raising animals, and this form of genetic modification doesn’t skeeve me out. I’ll still eat the stuff. (Heck, I’m pretty sure there were some arranged marriages somewhere in my ancestry, so I may be a genetically modified organism myself.)

Eggs: To Chill or Not to Chill?

Have you ever wondered why eggs in the U.S. are always refrigerated, but when you travel to other countries, the oeufs abroad are stored at room temperature?

Forky Friday: 9/12/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

NPR has an informative article about the history of egg preservation in the U.S., and why you should keep your eggs in the fridge if that’s how you bought ’em.

Paleo On The Telly (Down Undah)

Remember when Chef Pete Evans came to visit me in my home kitchen to film a cooking segment?

Forky Friday: 9/12/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration

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Participating in the worldwide official Whole30® challenge this month? Congrats—you’re halfway there!

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

You’ve valiantly persevered through bouts of carb flu and white-knuckled your way past the infamous “KILL ALL THE THINGS” phase. At this point, that Tiger Blood coursing through your veins is feeling pretty good. But despite your newfound superhero status, one nagging thought keeps flitting in and out of your brain like that jerkwad mosquito that buzzes by your ear at bedtime:

“I’m sick and tired of cooking every meal.”

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Yep. You’re thisclose to throwing out all your organic veggies and falling face first into a bag of cheesy poofs.

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I totally sympathize. Cooking and planning meal after meal (after meal after meal) can be a royal pain in the butt, so that’s why I try to make my dishes as pain-free and flavor-packed as possible. As much as it seems like a thankless chore, cooking at home with wholesome ingredients is one of the most important things you can do for your family—and it doesn’t have to suck the life out of you.

Here’s the thing: As I said in my Whole30 primer/survival guide, simple and quick does the trick. The majority of the recipes on my blog (and just about all of the recipes in my cookbook!) are Whole30-friendly, and all of ’em are rookie-proof. In fact, they all reflect the way I eat on an everyday basis. I’m the queen of lazy, so if I can do it, you can, too.

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

And now, I’ve got even more Whole30-compliant recipes that you can whip up as you enter the home stretch, including essential flavor boosters, simple veggie sides, and family-friendly entrées! Best of all, these dishes pack a whole lotta bang for the buck, and belong in your repertoire even if you’re not on a Whole30.  

Ready to get reinvigorated?

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Forky Friday: 7/25/14

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Forky Friday: 7/25/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I know: it’s hot, you’re tired, and you need to rest your sweaty noggin. The remedy? Pour yourself a large glass of pineapple coconut water and lose yourself in my favorite links of the week!

Jimmy Kimmel’s No Master Chef

If your gut is friends with dairy, Gordon Ramsay’s method for making creamy scrambled eggs is well worth a try. The dish appears dead-simple to whip up—especially when Chef Ramsay (yes, that’s Ramsay with an “A”—caution butt photo ahead) makes it on TV—but looks can be deceiving. His recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live proves that not everyone can be a Master Chef. 

Don’t worry, Jimmy—practice makes perfect!

Hot Tubbin’ Steaks

It saddens me to report that my “defrost bowl” now sits empty most of the time. I’ve just been too lazy and forgetful to keep replenishing it with frozen meat from the freezer. 

Forky Friday: 7/25/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Still, I don’t sweat it if all my meat’s frozen solid ’cause I know of a sure-fire way to defrost steaks in a flash. You may have heard that you should only thaw meat in the fridge or in cold water, but in fact, you can dunk frozen meat in hot water to get it ready for the grill in just minutes.

Food scientist Harold McGee was recently interviewed on The Splendid Table about how it’s perfectly safe (and smart!) to thaw steaks in 100°F water. (And by the way, if you’re a self-proclaimed food nerd and you don’t have copies of McGee’s Keys to Good Cooking and On Food and Cooking on your bookshelf, I’m calling you out RIGHT NOW.)

Forky Friday: 7/25/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Slice and Dice Like A Ninja

You already know that the most important weapon in your kitchen arsenal is a sharp chef’s knife (and not just because it’s all sharp and stabby), but are you cutting your veggies in the most efficient way possible? If not, check out this great video by Andrew Zimmern as he demonstrates how to cut perfect batons, matchsticks, ½” dice, and brunoise (a.k.a. super-teeny-tiny dice).

Bonus round: Want an ingenious tip for slicing a bunch of cherry tomatoes all at once?

Grab two plates (or container lids), a sharp knife, and a handful of cherry tomatoes. And watch this video. Don’t forget to take a moment to admire how the posh British narrator calls ’em to-MAH-toes.

Really—this works like a charm. See?

Forky Friday: 7/25/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Forky Friday: 7/25/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Forky Friday: 7/25/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Mind blown, right?

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Forky Friday: 7/11/14

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Forky Friday: 7/11/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Dying to know what food-related links are top-of-mind for me this week? No? Well, just humor me anyway.

Taco Bell: Going Paleo?

Once upon a time, I proudly declared Taco Bell to be my favorite fast-food joint. As a high schooler, I made a Run To The Border™ on a regular basis with my fellow pimply-faced pals to order (and then annihilate) pile after pile of crunchy, cheesy Taco Supremes. I even wanted my very own caulking gun to squeeze reduced-fat sour cream on…well, everything. Weirdly and disgustingly enough, I have fond memories of Taco Bell. That’s why this Bloomberg article suggesting that Taco Bell’s attempting to tap into the Paleo market actually made me hopeful…for a nanosecond.

Forky Friday: 7/11/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Upon closer inspection of Taco Bell’s press release announcing its new “Cantina Power Menu,” though, it’s painfully obvious that the company’s just upping the protein on the menu without doing anything to improve the quality of the ingredients. And despite the misleading headline of the Bloomberg piece, Taco Bell’s new menu clearly doesn’t aim to be Paleo at all. After all, they should know that Paleos won’t stuff junk into our mouths just ’cause the protein volume’s been doubled. Our mascot may be a caveman, but we’re not stupid; Taco Bell’s food products—no matter how high protein or low carb—are nowhere near Paleo-friendly.

I still kind of want a Taco Supreme, though.

Guess Who (I Wish) Was Coming to Dinner

I’m not usually a fan of icebreaker activities, but there’s one get-to-know-you question I really dig. Melicious posed it to me a while back: “You can have dinner with any characters from movies, TV, or books that you want. Table for 8. Who’s at the table?”

Clearly, I have a hard time with reading comprehension, because instead of offering up a bunch of fictional characters like she asked, I spat out a list of celebrities like Andy CohenAnthony Bourdain, and George Takei. The only non-celeb on my list was BMO from Adventure Time — the best robot companion in the Land of Ooo.

But now, I’m thinking about swapping BMO out for the hardest working man in show business, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. Sorry, BMO, but a guy with 16 jobs trumps a cute little robot. Even one with an alter ego named Football.

Forky Friday: 7/11/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Not only has Questlove dazzled audiences (including Late Night fans) as the drummer/frontman of The Roots, but he also happens to be obsessed with eating fabulous food.

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Forky Friday: 6/27/14

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Forky Friday: 6/27/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

In the off-chance that there’s more than one person (hi, Dad!) who’s interested in what I’m checking out on the Internet this week, I’ve once again compiled my favorite food-related links of the week. Read ’em and weep!

Paleo + Celebrities

If there’s anything (other than food) I love, it’s celebrity gossip news. But it’s only now, after almost 40 years of studying trashy tabloids and Hollywood rags, that I’m starting to see Paleo elbow its way into the news (or at least the news that I care about, anyway).

In the past few weeks, a number of celebrities have publicly come out as Paleo (or Paleo-curious): not only did Robin Wright (Princess Buttercup a.k.a. Claire Underwood) open up about her (allegedly “no carb”) Paleo diet, but country superstar Tim McGraw also showed off the impressive eight-pack that he credits to CrossFit and Paleo.

Forky Friday: 6/27/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

News of weight loss and sexy washboard abs will no doubt appeal to folks on the lookout for the Next Great Diet Fad, but to me, A Great Big World’s Chad Vaccherino’s reason for going Paleo is the most inspiring: he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007 when he was still in college. After learning about Dr. Terry Wahl’s TED Talk, he started eating Paleo and lo and behold: his symptoms went away. Amazing.

See? Who said gossip rags are filled with garbage?

Dr. Oz on the Hot Seat

Dr. Oz may have talked up the benefits of Paleo on his show a couple of times over the past year, but he’s become known for promoting a ton of sketchy “magic” weight loss products, too. Recently, the doctor was grilled by Congress for making fantastical claims about potentially scammy supplements, and then skewered by John Oliver on HBO’s Last Week Tonight to boot. 

I think I liked it better when Dr. Oz was just the guy who showed up on Oprah in hospital scrubs (hey, I don’t blame him: I know how comfy scrubs can be) and talked about the shape of his poo.

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Forky Friday: 6/13/14

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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!

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Forky Friday: 3/21/14

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Forky Friday: 3/21/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I’m smack-dab in the middle of another week of zombie drug dealing graveyard shifts, but I’m still keeping one eye on the Internet. Here’s what’s piqued my interest this week.

But first: some shameless self-promotion!

Costco’s Got More Than Just T.P. For My Bunghole

Are you a card-carrying member of Costco? As a longtime Costco addict (who especially digs the unique products at Costco’s warehouse stores in Hawaii!), I was incredibly stoked to be interviewed for an article in the Costco Connection a few months ago. But nothing beats the news that our cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans, is now being sold in hundreds of Costco stores across North America!

Forky Friday: 3/21/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The fact that people across the continent can pick up copies of our book (at a steep discount!) while stocking up on batteries, sweatpants, diapers, and ginormous tubes of hair gel gives me the warm fuzzies. If you spy our cookbook at your local Costco, please snap a pic and tag me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter—I will love you forever!

Plus: attention, fellow San Francisco Bay Area residents! Henry and I will be signing books at the Mountain View Costco on Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 11am to 1pm! We’ll scribble in your books as you shop for Kerrygold butter, coconut oil, mac nuts, and other Paleo staples. Who knows? We might even hand out some of our exclusive Nom Nom Paleo action figures while we’re there. Click here to let us know if you’re planning to come say hello in Mountain View!

(Don’t worry: I promise not to inspect your shopping carts for packaged pasta and boxes of candy. I’ll leave it to my mini-minions to do the dirty work.)

Forky Friday: 3/21/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Austin, Here I Come!

Speaking of book signings, I had a blast meeting folks in Denver, Naperville, and Chicago last week (and hanging out with friends like Juli, Diana, and others) — thanks to all of you who came to say hi!

Forky Friday: 3/21/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Forky Friday: 3/15/14

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Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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!

Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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!) 

Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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

Forky Friday 3/15/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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. 

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