My family is in that stage of life where our schedule is not our own. With involved children and 2 full time jobs, there is very little time for unstructured activities. Like other families in this stage, when we do have free time we are cleaning, grocery shopping or running errands.
When I read Mark’s call to attempt a a Grokfeast, a little seed of excitement was planted in me. I tried to reason myself out of it, but couldn’t. We were going to have a perfect weather weekend in Wisconsin, and why would I pass up an opportunity to make a great memory with my family and friends. God knows there was going to be no memory-making going on folding 10 loads of laundry in the basement like I had planned.
So, once I committed to the idea, I emailed some of my best peeps. My husband is the high school wrestling coach in our town, so a lot of our friends are wrestling families and love physical activity. In other words, they were game.
The invitation asked our friends to participate in the “First Annual Grok Feast Games”. I asked them all to bring Primal food. A couple of our friends eat Primal, the rest don’t. So, we had fun discussing what our options were.
We turned the day into a series of games for points. The person with the most points at the end of the day won. Listen, I love nature as much as anyone, but these guys are great wrestlers and very competitive. I knew no offer to frolic in the meadow was going to sound fun to this group of mostly teenage athletes. So, here’s what we played:
- Rock Relay
- Jump Rope
- Arrow Toss
- Rope Climb
- Bear on your Back Sprint
The contest was close, but we did have a winner. Everyone shook hands and they were all good sports. There was a lot of laughing, especially watching our Grok and his inflated ego (see video) participate. There was a little more laughter when they all watched me turn the rope climb event into the rope hang event. I couldn’t move an inch. I think there must have been something wrong with the stupid rope!
We decided that next year we’re going to have two separate contests with our own women’s division.
After a couple of hours of Grokfeast Games, everybody was very hungry. The spread we had was simple, but outstanding: Shredded BBQ Beef, shrimp, salami, cheese, olives, nuts, raw vegetables, fruit, sweet potato fries, hard boiled eggs, Primal cookies and primal chocolate cake. We had water and sparkling water to drink.
We ate in the afternoon sun and laughed as we replayed all the funny things that happened during the games. Everyone was stuffed, but we all agreed this was one of the most fun afternoons we’ve had in a long time. Not that I don’t party hard in the laundry room, but still some decent fun!
Here is a recipe for the Shredded BBQ Beef.
I used a 5 pound beef roast. I salted it and put it in the crock pot with onions and water. I put the crockpot on low at 10 pm the night before the picnic. Saturday morning at 8:00 I shredded the pork with a fork and drained the juices. I reserved 1.5 cups of the juice for the sauce. Then I added this BBQ sauce:
- 1.5 cups cooking juice from roast
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp celtic sea salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- Black pepper to taste
Here is the recipe for the chocolate chip cookies I made. This recipe is from the Against All Grain website:
Ingredients (yields 1 dozen):
- 1/4 cup palm shortening
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1½ cups blanched almond flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup dark chocolate pieces (just chop up a dark chocolate bar)
- ¼ cup enjoy life chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor, cream the palm shortening, coconut sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla for about 15 seconds until smooth and fluffy.
Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt and mix again until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed in order to incorporate all of the flour. Pulse once or twice more.
Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
Place golf-ball sized balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a SilPat. Using another sheet of parchment on top of the dough, flatten them slightly with the palm or your hand or a spatula. The cookies don’t spread much so create the size and thickness you want prior to baking them.
Bake for 9-12 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges.
*These keep best in an air-tight container in the fridge.
My mom brought this delicious chocolate cake from the The Food Lover’s Kitchen.
- 1 cup Coconut Oil, Organic, melted
- 1 cup Maple Syrup, Grade B
- 1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup Cocoa Powder, Organic, unsweetened
- 10 whole Eggs, Pastured
- 3/4 cup Coconut Flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup Hazelnut Frosting
- 1 cup Chocolate Ganache
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a small bowl, combine sifted coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
- In a large bowl, or Kitchen Aid mixer, blend eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil.
- Add dry ingredients to wet and blend.
- Grease two 9-inch cake pans with coconut oil.
- Pour batter into pans.
- Bake for 35 minutes.
- Test center with a tooth pick—if the tooth pick comes out clean, then the cakes are done.
- Remove cakes from oven and cool.
- Frost the middle layer of the cake with hazelnut frosting.
- Frost the outside of the cake with chocolate ganache or chocolate frosting.
Our version of ganache tends to dry very fast. We recommend working with this quickly so that you have even coverage over the entire cake. Reheating the ganache during use is expected, and perfectly fine.
My friend, Amy, brought these Sweet Potato Fries. The recipe is from the Paleo Diet Lifestyle website:
You will need:
- 2 Lb of sweet potatoes cut in large wedges. You can leave the skin on or peal it, I prefer to leave it on.
- 1/4 cup of olive oil, coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter). You can also do something like 1/8 of a cup of olive oil and 1/8 of a cup of coconut oil, this way you make sure your olive oil doesn’t burn
- 2-3 teaspoons or your favorite fresh or dried herb (thyme and rosemary a well suited for baking because they won’t burn as easily as other herbs and will leave a great taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste. You can easily omit the salt, but it is a great addition if you don’t mind it.
- Preheat your oven to 425 F. In a bowl, coat evenly the sweet potato wedges with the oil and the herbs.
- Add the salt and pepper
- Place the wedges on a baking tray in a single layer so they cook evenly
- Roast to sweet potato fries for about 20 minutes
- Test with the tip of a knife and see if the knife easily slips in. If not, bake for another 5 minutes and test again
That’s it! One of the simplest recipe out there, but oh so satisfying. You can easy roast just any root vegetable using this method.
Amy Chrisler, Jeff Chrisler, Christopher Chrisler, Christian Chrisler, Reagen Chrisler, Lisa Powell, Jordan Powell, Austin Powell, Joy Maher, Dale Maher, Scott Smith, Miki Smith, Eddie Smith, Zeke (Grok) Smith, Olivia Smith, Reggie (our dog) Smith, Mariah Chao, Andy Schmitt.