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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. Iโ€™m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything weโ€™ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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October 07, 2010

Grokfeast in North Carolina

By Mark Sisson
22 Comments

On September 8th I asked my readers to host picnics and to send me the results. The following is one of 27 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow, courtesy of US Wellness. Vote for your favorite on October 8.

My extended family is becoming more and more interested in eating “clean” food, and so when they wanted to have a get-together this weekend, I jumped at the chance to make it primal. My sister was hosting, and while she is not exactly primal, she did agree to serve the grains on the side. She made up all of the fixins’ for a taco salad, and put them in separate bowls so people were free to choose the grass-fed beef and organic salsa, veggies, and avocado (for the purists); add a little cheese and sour cream (for the 80%-ers); and throw on some rice and beans (for those who aren’t quite ready to take the primal plunge).

We live in North Carolina, where we looove our collard greens. So, in honor of the occasion, I came up with a primal version of stuffed grape leaves. I call it Stuffed Collard Greens with Lemon Gravy. Everyone loved it! I also made a fruit salad with honeydew, blackberries, cilantro and a little lemon juice. I used to make this with powdered sugar, which I now leave off.

It was great to get together with everyone. They were interested in the nutritional and animal welfare aspects of the PB most of all. Luckily, I have been doing some research in our area, and was able to share that information with them. Baldwin Farms (about an hour a way) sells cows by the side and half side. My brother’s family and mine are thinking about “cowpooling” so we can fill up both of our freezers (unless we win the Grokfeast contest and get one for free!). There is also a Polyface-style farm starting up about 30 minutes away. I went to visit last week, and I was amazed! They have pastured eggs, cows, heritage chickens, you name it!

My favorite part of the evening was the “play” component. You know how you always hear parents say they don’t know where their kids get all that energy, or how they can’t keep up with them. Well, I thought yeah, Grok and Grokette certainly had to keep up with them! It’s not like everyone in the tribe was strapping their kids in containment units for the first 4 years of their lives. So, we decided to play “Follow the leader,” starting with the youngest. I’m not sure if the video does it justice, but we had a lot of fun, and yes, they are impossible to keep up with after a while.

The Feast

Taco Salad with all of the trimmings
Stuffed Collard Greens with Lemon Gravy
La Vielle Ferme – Rhone Valley Red

Recipe: Stuffed Collard Greens with Lemon Gravy (previously published on Primalology)

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches collard greens
  • 2 T fresh mint
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork or lamb
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice from 3 lemons
  • 3 eggs

Rolls

  1. Boil collard greens for about 10 minutes. You can put them face down in a pan with 4 c water and just let the stalks stick up in the air. Reserve liquid. Plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process and cool them down.
  2. Mix mint, garlic, onion, beef, pork or lamb.
  3. Cut the center stalk from each collard green leaf. You should end up with a v-shaped piece.
  4. Line your baking dishes (you’ll probably need two) with the smaller leaves to keep the rolls from sticking.
  5. Put about a golf-ball sized amount of the meat mixture onto the leaf, and roll, flattening it a bit and shaping it like a stuffed grape leaf.
  6. Place rolled leaves in the pan, seam side down. Set aside 2 c of the reserved liquid. Salt and pepper generously – this will be the broth the meat cooks in. Pour 1 c of this liquid over each pan.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.

Lemon Gravy

  1. Beat 3 egg whites until creamy, then add yolks. Heat on low on the stovetop.
  2. Mix lemon juice with 1/4 c water and add slowly to the egg mixture, stirring constantly.
  3. Add 1 c remaining stock and salt to taste.

Can be served hot, warm or cold as appetizer, side, or main dish. Definitely worth the effort!

The Tribe

Janet Lloyd, Frank Lloyd, Elizabeth Millar, Eric Moore, Charlotte Millar, Robert Mihaly, Caroline Smith, Chloe Mihaly, Lystander Mihaly, September Mihaly, Eric Johnson, Matilda Johnson, Adelaide Johnson, Tara Mihaly

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22 Comments on "Grokfeast in North Carolina"

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MeatMe216
MeatMe216
5 years 11 months ago

mmm greens stuffed with meat!
I love!

Peggy
Peggy
5 years 11 months ago

Very imaginative to stuff collard greens! I love how creative PBers are! I also love how you incorporated “play” into the scene. Who knows better than the kids?

Ryan
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

Glad to hear that extended family is moving towards Primal. Great job!!

Funkadelic Flash
Funkadelic Flash
5 years 11 months ago

The kids looked like they were having SO much fun! Keep up the good work, guys! ๐Ÿ˜€

Mark
Mark
5 years 11 months ago

Looks great I will have to try a version of the stuffed collard greens.

Craig
Craig
5 years 11 months ago

Where is the Polyface-style farm? I live in the Triad, NC and have been looking for a good source, Baldwin was on my list as well.

September
5 years 11 months ago

It’s called Cozi Farms out near Saxapahaw, NC. So far they just have a few acres, but they are looking for more land. They have a few pigs, goats, cows, broilers and layers. You can watch their progress on facebook.

The Martial Fitness Guy
5 years 11 months ago

Good post… i will ahve to give these a whirl sometime.

It’s nice to try new things so thanks for sharing this : )

Richard
RH Martial Fitness

Marti
Marti
5 years 11 months ago

cute video

mayness
5 years 11 months ago

Looks like you had fun. What adorable kids!

Larry
Larry
5 years 11 months ago

Those stuffed collards sound good and I LOVE the follow the leader game with the kids! They help the adults REMEMBER how to play and the “positive reinforcement” (aka fun) helps to insure that they NEVER FORGET how to play. Everybody wins!

Sarah D
Sarah D
5 years 11 months ago

Ooo stuffed collard greens. Those would be a sure hit in my family (most of whom are also originally from NC).

Kris
Kris
5 years 11 months ago

Great example of how primal living is transitioned easily into modern life. Your sister was hosting something anyway, and made a slight accommodation to put the grains and legumes on the side. You brought delicious primal fare (love collards!) and everyone had fun. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, we can just live our lives. Nice!

mike
mike
5 years 11 months ago

love the support of farms

Ryan
Ryan
5 years 11 months ago

Yes! Another awesome recipe for greens. I’ve been stuck in a rut with my collard and other greens cooking. This is an amazing idea. Thank you!

Cindy Hanna
5 years 11 months ago

Nice! Love the local farm support!

Julie
Julie
5 years 11 months ago

I am psyched to make those collard greens! Every fall I search for new methods as our CSA loads us up on them. Nice job supporting local farms.

christie
christie
5 years 11 months ago

Truly beautiful stuffed collard greens. I have done mustard greens a similar way.

Whitney
5 years 11 months ago

I never thought I’d say this….but Lemon Gravy sounds delicious!

Fatkid
5 years 11 months ago

The video looks like fun ๐Ÿ˜€

carol
carol
5 years 11 months ago

interesting food!

Liz Toll
5 years 11 months ago

Today at the store, my husband found a can of stuffed grape leaves and was elated until he read the ingredients and found they were vegetarian. Horrors! I told him we could probably find a paleo version of them and now here I am copying down your recipe. Thanks!

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