Vanilla Almond Milk

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Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

A while back, one of our old college pals posed an interesting question: What would the ’90s version of me think of my modern-day cave-person incarnation? Without hesitation, I blurted out, “She would’ve hated the current me.”

It’s the truth. Despite having spent my college years among the tie-dyed masses at Berkeley, ’90s-Me would ridicule my new hobbies: home-brewing kombucha, collecting bones in the freezer for broth, and soaking almonds overnight to make dairy-free milk. To top it off, the eye-rolling, Doc Martens-wearing ’90s-Me would mock any near-40-year old who still sports pigtails. Seriously: when did I become this person?

Thankfully, the 2014 version of me fully embraces my midlife crisis transformation. She would tell ’90s-Me to go barefoot, stop eating gut-irritating foods, turn off the TV, and make some almond milk already.

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Have you ever made your own almond milk? A frosty glass of this homemade stuff totally hits the spot—particularly for those of us who are dairy-abstainers or lactose-intolerant. It’s so lumpin’ delicious that I don’t care if activating my almonds makes me an easy target. Call me an aging hippie—I don’t care.

Making your own almond milk is super simple, too. As long as you remember to soak your almonds for 12 to 18 hours, you can blitz a batch of homemade almond milk in about 5 minutes. Plus, squeezing nut bags relieves a lot of stress. (Heh, heh.)

Vanilla Almond Milk by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

There are tons of recipes for homemade almond milk on the Interwebs, like this one, this one, this one, and this one. I know I’m not reinventing the wheel with this recipe, but I wanted to share my own method for whipping up a satisfyingly creamy, nutty, vanilla-y bottle of almond milk. I don’t add any sweeteners to it (mostly ’cause this old lady doesn’t need to swig cloyingly sweet drinks like I did in the ’90s). Confession: Once upon a time, I chose to drink Zima at college parties. Don’t hate.

Let’s make some almond milk together!

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Egg-stravaganza!

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Eggs: they’re pretty magical. They’re amazingly portable, wonderfully versatile, and my favorite emergency protein by a mile. Like me, Henry loves eggs, no matter how they’re prepared: scrambled, poached, soft-boiled, over-hard, you name it. (My pun-loving husband might even describe them as eggceptional, but that’s going a yolk too far.) Plus, eggs are quite possibly the most nutrient-dense super-food around.

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[Photo: Bacon-Topped Deviled Eggs from my iPad® app]

Yes, we’ve all heard about eggs and cholesterol. But as Liz Wolfe writes in Eat the Yolks, “[t]he notion that cholesterol causes heart disease has been abandoned by many physicians and scientists. Why? Because after decades of studies and spin, there’s still no hard evidence to prove the hypothesis.” In fact, lowering dietary or blood cholesterol hasn’t been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease at all.

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I love how the late, great Nora Ephron put it

I have friends who eat egg-white omelettes. Every time I’m forced to watch them eat egg-white omelettes, I feel bad for them. In the first place, egg-white omelettes are tasteless. In the second place, the people who eat them think they are doing something virtuous when they are instead merely misinformed. Sometimes I try to explain that what they’re doing makes no sense, but they pay no attention to me because they have all been told to avoid dietary cholesterol by their doctors.

According to yesterday’s New York Times, the doctors are not deliberately misinforming their patients; instead, they’re participants in something known as an informational cascade, which turns out to be a fabulous expression for something that everyone thinks must be true because so many reputable people say it is. In this case, of course, it’s not an informational cascade but a misinformational cascade, and as a result, way too many people I know have been brainwashed into thinking that whole-egg omelettes are bad for you.

Seriously: most folks need not fret about limiting their egg intake. So listen to Liz: “Eat egg yolks with abandon—they are a health food. Why? Because the cholesterol in real food, like egg yolks, is not just a powerful antioxidant. It’s also packaged with other nutrients we need.”

Yolks aren’t just chock full of awesomeness—they’re the tastiest part of the egg, too.

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On average, our family of four goes through about four dozen pastured eggs each week—and we never get bored with ‘em. Want to be an eggspert in eggceptional egg cookery? Here are a bunch of ways to keep your palate eggcited and eggstatic! (I promise to stop with the egg puns now.)

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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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How Green Was My Chicken

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Scratching your head about what to make for St. Patrick’s Day? Try my sister’s phenomenal Green Chicken. It’s not exactly a traditional Irish dish, but it’s butt-kickingly delicious. 

Plus, it’s green! (Hence the name.)

This stuff’s even greener than the Chicago River right now!

If you don’t have chicken at the ready, you can use the emerald-green marinade as a sauce — just drizzle it in soups or on grilled meats for an instant boost of flavor (and color).

One more reason this recipe’s perfect for St. Patrick’s Day: my sister’s (married) name is Fiona Kennedy, which is just about as Irish as a Chinese-American gal can get.

Convinced? Then go get the recipe here!

(Want more Paleo-friendly St. Paddy’s Day recipes? Check out these recommendations from the Philadelphia Inquirer, A Girl Worth Saving, and Against All Grain!)


Looking for more 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).

Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, & Shiitake

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Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, & Shiitake by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

By the time I get home from a long nightshift, I’m hungry for “dinner”—even if it’s 8 in the morning. While it’s mighty tempting to just mash up some canned tuna with avocado, the food snob in me sometimes demands a fancier meal. One that doesn’t come out of a can. 

In an ideal world, someone else would cook for me (and clean-up, too), but with the kids at school and Henry at work, I’m left to my own devices. Luckily, what I’ve devised for this type of occasion is a frou-frou fancy-pants dish that’s a breeze to assemble: Fish en Papillotte with Citrus, Ginger, and Shiitake.

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The name may sound complicated, but it really doesn’t get much simpler than this: fish and vegetables are steamed in a tightly sealed paper packet with aromatics and a bright, tangy sauce. (Not sure what kind of fish to buy at the market? Check the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.) 

Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, & Shiitake by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

After all, even if you’re cooking for just one, you deserve to eat something special. It’s important to practice self-love, right? In fact, as you’re preparing this dish for your seafood-loving self, I insist that you belt out The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston and/or chant this daily affirmation:

Here’s what you’ll need to feed one lucky person:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounce skinless white fish fillet (like cod, which is what I used)
  • kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal brand)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 thin orange or lime slices
  • 1 green onion, trimmed and cut into 2 inch sections

Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, & Shiitake by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

Here’s what you do:

Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 450°F. In a small bowl, combine the coconut aminos, orange juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and sesame oil.

Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, & Shiitake by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Paleo Eats: 3/1/14

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The kids spent the night at their grandparents’ last night, but we didn’t have the luxury of sleeping in. At the crack of dawn, Henry and I rolled out of bed, made a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs with furikake (I use Urashima All Natural) and homemade sriracha

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and headed out to San Francisco to meet up with Chef Pete Evans at the Ferry Building Farmers Market.

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Pete’s visiting from Down Under, where—as my Aussie readers know—he’s an acclaimed mega-celebrity chef, having launched the hugely popular and award-winning Hugos restaurants before becoming a cookbook author and television heartthrob. For the last few years, Pete’s been a judge on the TV cooking competition show My Kitchen Rules—a ratings monster for Channel Seven. Americans may recognize Pete as the host of his PBS series, Moveable Feast.

Best of all? Pete cooks and eats Paleo.

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Pete’s newest book, Healthy Every Day—which makes its debut next month in Australia—is filled with delicious and nutrient-dense real-food dishes. Yes, quinoa makes an appearance here and there, but even the most fanatical orthodox Paleo eaters will heartily agree that the pages of Pete’s cookbook offer brilliant, creative takes on the healthy, nourishing foods we all enjoy.

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

And let’s face it: his dishes are pure eye candy.

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Pete and I have corresponded via email for months, but we hadn’t met in person until today. In town to shoot footage for his new “Recipes for Life” series, Pete asked me to accompany him on a trip to the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market. Our plan was to pick out some fresh, local ingredients (with a small camera crew in tow), and then head back to our house to film our cook-a-thon for his show.

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

We got to the Ferry Building early to avoid the crush of the Saturday morning crowd. As I chatted with Pete, his producers and camera-wielding geniuses, Rob Tate and Gustavo Monroy, circled and swooped around us…

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…while I did my best to avoid looking awkward.

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Forky Friday: 2/14/14

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Forky Friday: 2/14/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Forky Friday: 2/14/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Because I heart you guys so much, I’m going to treat y’all to a special Forky Friday roundup of recipes from my new cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans, that have been reprinted (with permission!) around the web. Some of ’em (like my Bone Broth and Slow Cooker Kalua Pig) are classics that are familiar to loyal readers, but many of these recipes have never before appeared on my site, including my umami-packed Magic Mushroom Powder and Macadamia Nut “Ricotta.” You won’t find these exclusive recipes on my blog’s Recipe Index, so bookmark this post and share it with your friends.

Forky Friday: 2/14/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Alright—enough of the jibber-jabber. On to the recipes!

Asian Cauliflower Fried “Rice”

This is one of my signature dishes, so there was zero chance of me leaving it out of my cookbook. Since the book’s release, I’ve loved seeing how my fried “rice” has been re-created (and in some cases, re-imagined!) by some of my favorite bloggers, including Diana Rodgers of Sustainable Dish, Kate Williams at Serious Eats, and Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

Check out this video of Jaden’s wonderfully pared-down riff on my recipe:

(Can’t view the video? Click here!)

Bone Broth

Are you sick of hearing me extol the virtues of meaty bone broth?

Well, too bad, because I’m here to tell you to read this Serious Eats article about my recipe, in which my bone broth is put to the test. 

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Pressure Cooker Mexican Beef

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For the past couple of years, I’ve been making Oven Braised Mexican Beef at least twice a month because it’s simple and delicious—and because the kids’ll actually eat it. But here’s a dirty little secret: these days, I rarely braise it in the oven ’cause I can get similar results in a fraction of the time using a pressure cooker.

I’ve extolled the virtues of pressure cooking before, but it’s truly become one of my favorite cooking methods. (I love pretty much anything that helps me get satisfying meals on the table before I have to rush off to the hospital.) My trusty stovetop pressure cookers have been workhorses in my kitchen for some time now, but I recently treated myself to an Instant Pot because I’d read so many great things about this electric programmable multi-cooker. Also: I’m a gadget hoarder.

In fact, I’m such a hoarder that I’d neglected to break out my Instant Pot for months after buying it. It sat in a box in my garage for months before I managed to de-clutter my kitchen enough to make room for it.

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And now, I’m totally crushing on my Instant Pot. I love that I can make bone broth at a moment’s notice without having to babysit it like a stove-top pressure cooker. Also, the sauté function lets me brown aromatics or meat right in the pot before I throw in the rest of the ingredients. Yippee!

One thing to note: The Instant Pot cooks at a slightly lower pressure (11.6 psi) than my stove top pressure cookers (15 psi), but that just means having to add a few minutes to the cooking time. I increase the cooking time by 7 to 15%, and refer to my friend Laura Pazzaglia’s Hip Pressure Cooking website and charts for specific cooking times. If you’re at all a fan of pressure cooking, I suggest that you do the same. One more thing: even though the dish is finished in about an hour, I often don’t serve it ’til the next day. There’s a scientific reason why stews and braises taste better as leftovers.

So with all of that out of the way, wanna see how I’ve modified my Mexican Beef recipe to work in a pressure cooker?

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Forky Friday: 2014 Paleo Super Bowl Party Edition

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Forky Friday: 2014 Paleo Super Bowl Party Edition by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Before launching into this week’s links—which are all about Super Bowl party planning tips!—I want to take a second to wish everyone a Happy Lunar New Year. (And if you have no clue what I’m talking about, I’m sorry; I’m guessing you missed out on a lot of red envelopes growing up!)

Now—who’s ready for some football?

Forky Friday: 2014 Paleo Super Bowl Party Edition by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Not me, that’s for sure.

Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE the Super Bowl. I just happen to like the stuff that happens in-between the action on the field, namely the commercials and halftime show. Each year, I giddily anticipate the potentially-scandalous, FCC-angering, lip-synched halftime show, and I’m already excited about critiquing the bazillion-dollar commercials for processed food and insurance. I wonder if any of this year’s commercials will top my all-time favorite

I‘ve hosted tons of Super Bowl parties in my time, but while others in the house are on the edge of their seats for every play, I’m usually clueless as to which two teams are actually vying for the Lombardi Trophy. This year’s different, though; I actually know that the Seahawks are playing the Broncos because my book signings in Seattle coincided with the NFC championship game between the ’Hawks and my hometown Niners. I even know who Richard Sherman is. Kind of.

Forky Friday: 2014 Paleo Super Bowl Party Edition by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Confession: I might’ve told folks in Seattle that if they came to my Book Larder signing, their home team would win.

I’m pretty sure my father-in-law will never forgive me.

(By the way, if you missed my January tour, there a bunch of signed copies available on-line and in-store at Book Larder. Go grab ’em!)

Forky Friday: 2014 Paleo Super Bowl Party Edition by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Anyway, enough jawing about football. Let’s talk instead about hosting a Super Bowl party!

Don’t freak out if you’re not feeling prepared. If you’re a calm and gracious host, your party will go swimmingly. The best way to ensure an even keel—besides downing pharmaceuticals or adult beverages—is to prep almost all of your food ahead of time. Right before your pals arrive, lay out a buffet of finger foods and a do-it-yourself taco bar, and you’ll be all set. People like to get up and yell at the TV, so foods that you can gobble up in a flash are the way to go if you don’t want a big mess on your floor. I don’t know about you, but if I need to mop up after sloppy guests, I tend to hulk out. (I will not tolerate missing any wardrobe malfunctions, people.)

Wanna see what you can put together for your buffet bites/taco bar bonanza?

Super Bowl Party Two-Bite Delights :

Dolled-Up Hard Boiled Eggs!

Deviled eggs are almost always a crowd-pleaser. Our new cookbook has a dead-simple, deceptively elegant variation called Lazy Devils. You start with a batch of perfect hard-boiled eggs

Forky Friday: 2014 Paleo Super Bowl Party Edition by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and cut ’em in half…

Forky Friday: 2014 Paleo Super Bowl Party Edition by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…slather on flavored mayo, and add on your favorite toppings. You can’t go wrong.

Forky Friday: 2014 Paleo Super Bowl Party Edition by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

( Oh, and I won’t tell anyone if you start with pre-boiled, pre-peeled eggs from Trader Joe’s.)

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Forky Friday: 1/24/14

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Forky Friday: 1/24/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Ready or not, here I come—with my favorite links of the week!

In The Kitchen

When I first started eating according to a Paleo template, the biggest challenge wasn’t removing ”heart-healthy” whole grains or beans from my diet—it was the prospect of having to cook ALL THE TIME. I didn’t want to spend my entire life in front of the stove—especially when I could be catching up with The Real Housewives on TV.

Forky Friday: 1/24/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

But now, having logged thousands of hours in the kitchen, I no longer feel like pulling out my hair in clumps when faced with dinner prep. Of course, it also helps that I’ve continued to learn and employ time- (and sanity-) saving tips and tricks that streamline the cooking process.

Case in point: I love this post in The Kitchn about 18 Daily Habits that Make Life in the Kitchen Better.

Forky Friday: 1/24/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

And thanks to this HuffPo article, I’ve eliminated a number of bad kitchen habits, too.

My favorite new shortcut in the kitchen? I’ve been keeping a large stainless steel bowl filled with warm, soapy water in the sink so I can chuck dirty utensils and dishes into it as I cook. Presto! Washing dishes just got a lot easier!

Forky Friday: 1/24/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I just need to keep reminding myself not to toss any knives into the suds. (Because “Surprise! You just lost a finger!” ain’t my idea of a good time.)

Still Whole30in’ On?

For all of you who soldiered through the KILL ALL THE THINGS phase of the Whole30 (like my super-awesome sister Fiona!), welcome to the home stretch!

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