Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
7 Oct

Grokfeast in North Carolina

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)


  • 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


  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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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. mmm greens stuffed with meat!
    I love!

    MeatMe216 wrote on October 7th, 2010
  2. 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?

    Peggy wrote on October 7th, 2010
  3. Glad to hear that extended family is moving towards Primal. Great job!!

    Ryan wrote on October 7th, 2010
  4. The kids looked like they were having SO much fun! Keep up the good work, guys! 😀

    Funkadelic Flash wrote on October 7th, 2010
  5. Looks great I will have to try a version of the stuffed collard greens.

    Mark wrote on October 7th, 2010
  6. 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.

    Craig wrote on October 7th, 2010
    • 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.

      September wrote on October 7th, 2010
  7. Good post… i will ahve to give these a whirl sometime.

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

    RH Martial Fitness

    The Martial Fitness Guy wrote on October 7th, 2010
  8. cute video

    Marti wrote on October 7th, 2010
  9. Looks like you had fun. What adorable kids!

    mayness wrote on October 7th, 2010
  10. 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!

    Larry wrote on October 7th, 2010
  11. Ooo stuffed collard greens. Those would be a sure hit in my family (most of whom are also originally from NC).

    Sarah D wrote on October 7th, 2010
  12. 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!

    Kris wrote on October 7th, 2010
  13. love the support of farms

    mike wrote on October 7th, 2010
  14. 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!

    Ryan wrote on October 7th, 2010
  15. Nice! Love the local farm support!

    Cindy Hanna wrote on October 7th, 2010
  16. 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.

    Julie wrote on October 7th, 2010
  17. Truly beautiful stuffed collard greens. I have done mustard greens a similar way.

    christie wrote on October 7th, 2010
  18. I never thought I’d say this….but Lemon Gravy sounds delicious!

    Whitney wrote on October 7th, 2010
  19. The video looks like fun 😀

    Fatkid wrote on October 7th, 2010
  20. interesting food!

    carol wrote on October 8th, 2010
  21. 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!

    Liz Toll wrote on October 9th, 2010

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