Nom Nom Paleo

Hijacked!

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Hello Nom-Nommies,

It’s Hayley and Bill, from The Food Lovers Kitchen. Today, we hijacked Nom Nom Paleo’s home, kitchen, and have now taken over her blog as well! We’re in town for the Weston A. Price Conference to be held Friday through Sunday in nearby Santa Clara. Before flying in to town, we demanded begged Michelle to let us shoot some photos in her gorgeous kitchen for our upcoming cookbook, Gather

The shoot went flawlessly, despite the intense jet lag (don’t mind the dark circles and lack of makeup! -Hayley). And best of all, we only had to tie up one small child (Lil-O) to get our work done…Big-O was at school! 

This morning we woke up bright and early to the sound of little voices saying “Where’s Bill and Hayley? Where’s Bill and Hayley?” Then after a quick bite of bacon, Michelle and Lil-O took us shopping around town to grab the remaining necessities for our shoot. When we got back, we quickly set to work (though it looked more like destruction and chaos). While “in reality” we would normally prepare a lot of food ahead of time if we were truly throwing a party, this was a one-day ordeal with we couldn’t have accomplished without Michelle helping us. She was the best

We’ve come to learn that each shoot brings its own set of unique challenges and constraints, and this one was no different. For this particular shoot, we were racing to capture the photos with ample daylight. Given the recent time change, we knew we would lose light around 4:30 - so every second counted! Despite the challenge of hurrying to execute six dishes in just a few hours, everything turned out great and we are very happy with the results! 

Thanks for letting us take over the blog, folks. Michelle sends her best - she’ll be back tomorrow (maybe). 

-Hayley & Bill

Book Review (& Video): Make It Paleo!

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HOT DAMN! We just got our review copy of Bill and Hayley’s new cookbook, Make It Paleo, and it’s incredible! Not only is it chock-full of GORGEOUS photos and over two hundred mouth-watering recipes, it also lists me and my hubby in the “Resources” section. I’m sure I audibly squealed. How could I help but fall head over heels in love with this cookbook? ;)

Seriously, as I flipped through the humongous tome (448 pages!) I marveled at the meticulous attention paid to every single aspect of this book. I’m an avid cookbook collector — if you prefer, you can call me a junkie — so I’ve purchased more than my fair share of cookbooks. Without a doubt, Make It Paleo has food photography that rivals the best of the best on my shelves; each dish (and did I mention there are hundreds?) are beautifully lit and shot. (Trust me: I know how difficult food photography can be!) The tantalizing full-color close-ups of Bill and Hayley’s food make me want to attack the pages with a fork and knife. 

When we met up with Bill and Hayley a couple of months ago, they mentioned that they wanted their book to stand on its own as a polished reference guide for all foodies — not just a niche product for Paleo nerds like you and me. Did they succeed? Hell to the yes. This book will have a place of honor on my nightstand, alongside the other cookbooks I gaze at longingly before bedtime.

Unlike many of the cookbooks in my ever-growing collection, every single recipe in Make It Paleo is paired with an eye-popping photo of the dish. I read through a bunch of the recipes today, and each one looks approachable and totally manageable — even for a novice cook. (In contrast, despite having pored through each page of my  Alinea cookbook, I’ve never once attempted to re-create even one of its hyper-technically challenging recipes.) The concise step-by-step instructions in Make It Paleo are elegantly laid out on uncluttered, unfussy pages, making it super-easy for anyone to follow along and compare their handiwork to the accompanying photo of the finished product. As Bill and Hayley make clear, anyone can cook Paleo.

My first-grader, Big-O, is — like me — a cookbook addict, and ever since our copy of Make It Paleo arrived in the mail, he hasn’t put it down. Big-O has a special place in his heart reserved for my dessert cookbooks, so he was giddy over the fact that Make It Paleo contains over 40 grain-free “Treats and Cheats.” He’s already stuck a pad full of little Post-It notes on all the recipes he wants to try. We probably could’ve saved a tree if he’d tabbed just the ones he didn’t want to eat instead. Oh, well.

Like the recently-published Paleo Comfort Foods, this book will inspire you to break out your pots and pans and fire up the stove — IMMEDIATELY. 

We certainly felt the urge to dive right into a recipe today. And since I didn’t have to whip up dinner — Dr. HA took care of that! — we decided to jump right to dessert. We knew just the recipe to make: Even before the boys cracked open the cookbook, they insisted on making Bill and Hayley’s chocolate chip cookies again. 

We’ve made these cookies before, and each time, we’ve had a hard time keeping our hands off of ‘em. 

And yes, they taste even better than they look!

Wanna see how we made these cookies? Fitbomb put together this video of us baking up a few batches — check it out!

And if you haven’t pre-ordered a copy of Make It Paleo yet, what are you waiting for? Do it already! The book’s going to be shipping out on October 20 — just two weeks away! — and this is a MUST-HAVE cookbook, folks.

Day 27 of Whole30 Eats

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Today was a fairly typical full-time-mommy-mode day. After walking to school with the kids to drop off the older one, we came home. While the little guy entertained himself with his ever-expanding collection of Thomas the Tank Engine trains, I re-heated some leftover seasoned ground beef, garlic cauliflower puree and mixed veggies.

After scarfing down my breakfast, the two of us went to the park and synthesized some vitamin D while we goofed around on the swings and jungle gym. At lunchtime, we swung by the school to pick up the kindergartner and then headed home to eat.

For my lunch, I made a salad with a bunch of items I’d prepared yesterday, including mixed greens, roasted bell peppers, roasted beets, a hard-boiled egg, sous vide pork chop, cucumbers, and shredded carrots.

It’s a snap to whip together a meal when your ingredients are ready to eat. I gotta keep this in mind the next time I’m feeling too lazy for meal prep.

By the time lunch was done, I was already thinking about dinner.

The Food Lover’s Primal Palate just posted a tantalizing recipe for Paleo spaghetti and meatballs on their blog — and that’s EXACTLY what my older son has been nagging me to make this past week. (Okay, he didn’t specify that it had to be Paleo. Whatever.) So after I put the three-year-old down for a nap, the six-year-old and I began making Paleo meatballs for dinner. 

We gathered up the ingredients…

…and set to work.

My kiddo helped blitz the onions — though his itchy trigger finger lingered a bit too long on the “pulse” button, which just about liquefied the onions.

Another unwanted side effect: The whirring of the mini-prep woke up the napping rugrat (sigh), who then decided to groggily join our kitchen antics. 

See his bed head? He gets that from his dad.

After we incorporated the onions and other ingredients into the meat and formed the raw meatballs, we stowed ‘em in the fridge and drove off to the big kid’s kung fu class.

When we got home, I began making dinner in earnest by preheating the oven to 350 F and grabbing the meatballs out of the fridge. After sitting in the refrigerator for three hours, the slushy wetness of the too-finely-minced onions had combined with the meat to produce some brown ooze which pooled around the balls o’ meat. The stuff congealed as the meatballs baked. Not pretty. Next time, I’ll make sure the onions aren’t pulverized to death, and if they are, I’ll just add a little coconut flour to absorb the moisture.

While the meatballs browned in the oven, I sautéed some sliced mushrooms…

…and added half a jar of store-bought sauce.

Sorry folks, but I’m too lazy to make my own marinara sauce. I love Rao’s but Cucina Antica is tasty, Paleo-compliant, and cheaper to boot.

I simmered the sauce and mushrooms for a few minutes and set it aside until the meatballs were finished.

Then, I cooked up some green beans to go with the meatballs. I don’t really like the texture of spaghetti squash and I wasn’t gonna go out and buy one.

Since the meatballs weren’t super browned at the 25-minute mark (due to the excess moisture), I cranked on my broiler and blasted them for an additional 4 minutes. When I took them out…

…I scraped off the aforementioned goo around the meatballs…

…and tossed the meatballs in the sauce.

I plated the meatballs with some green beans and we dug in.

These meatballs were really easy and yummy — my favorite combination! (I mean, who in their right mind wants difficult and gross?) I can’t wait to revisit this dish and rectify the minor mistakes we made today. My older son was beaming with pride over the meatballs he made AND he wolfed down two helpings. Of course, the younger one didn’t like it at all (he covered his mouth with the crook of his arm and refused a second bite) but that’s another story entirely. He’s one stubborn mo-fo. We’re just relieved that he’s willing to eat scrambled eggs now, albeit reluctantly.

Thanks Bill and Hayley for another great kid-friendly recipe!