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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’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 we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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February 13, 2009

Spice it Up: Perfectly Primal Pepper Recipes

By Worker Bee

As a follow-up to our Tuesday post, A Visual Guide to Peppers, we figured it made sense to offer up a few Primal recipes that can help you put your new pepper knowledge to good use.

Codfish, Peppers and Mushrooms

Looking for a simple dinner that you can rustle up in mere minutes? This might be just the ticket.

2 lbs codfish, cut into 4 “steaks”
4 medium green bell peppers, cut into bite-sized chunks
½ lb mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
4 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, melt butter until frothy. Add all other ingredients and cook on medium for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dish up. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information:
Once again, we turn to our friends at for the nutritional analysis

Calories: 360 per serving
Fat: 16.5 grams (40% calories from fat)
Carbohydrate: 9.6 grams (9% calories from carbs)
Protein: 43.5 grams (50% calories from protein)

Tilapia Fillets in a Spicy Poblano Sauce

While this recipe does include a little dairy – which Grok would typically forgo – it really helps take this dish to the next level (and is a reprieve from the cheese-centric dishes common in Mexican cuisine).

4 fillets of tilapia
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

For sauce:
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
3 sprigs of fresh cilantro
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the sauce, warm the butter in a large skillet until hot. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onion browns. Add the poblano peppers, and cilantro and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, empty the ingredients into a food processor. Add chicken stock and process until smooth. A few minutes before serving, return mixture to saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer for three minutes, remove from heat and serve.

To prepare the tilapia, warm half of the oil in a large skillet over high heat and add half of the garlic. Saute 1-2 minutes. Add two pieces of the tilapia, cook for two minutes on each side and remove from pan. Repeat with remaining tilapia. Arrange on plate, layer on poblano sauce and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information:
Calories: 461 per serving
Fat: 24.4 grams (47% calories from fat)
Carbohydrate: 16.3 grams (12% calories from carbs)
Protein: 46.9 grams (41% calories from protein)

Thai Lemongrass and Chile Soup

While this one might require a trip to your local ethnic food store, the soup is a refreshing – and incredibly healthy – option for spicing up your next meal.

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 medium lemon grass stalks
1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp peeled ginger root, minced
2 tsp roasted chile paste
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3 small thai chiles, seeded and chopped

In a medium saucepan, place broth and lemon grass stalks and simmer for five minutes. Remove stalks, return broth to stovetop, add chile paste and bring to a boil. In a small skillet, heat oil and sauté garlic and ginger about 30 seconds. Next, add mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms become wilted (again, about 30 seconds). Add mixture to saucepan and stir. Add lime juice and fish sauce. Simmer another 5 minutes, remove from heat and ladle into bowls. Before serving, top each bowl with tomatoes, cilantro and the hot chiles. Serves 4.

Nutrition Analysis:
Calories: 77 per serving
Fat: 3.2 grams (36% calories from fat)
Carbohydrate: 11.2 grams (53% calories from carbs)
Protein: 3.0 grams (11% calories from protein)

Further Reading:

Smart Fuel: Hot Peppers

How to Make the Ultimate Salsa

The Many Uses of Almond Meal

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17 Comments on "Spice it Up: Perfectly Primal Pepper Recipes"


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8 years 6 months ago

8 poblano chiles? Holy guacamole that tilapia sauce looks good.

Son of Grok
8 years 6 months ago

Mmmmmm fish and peppers. It doesnt get much better than that. With a Thai wife and mother in law i get plenty of spicy spicy fish.

The SoG

Chris - Zen to Fitness
8 years 6 months ago

Mark that lemongrass and chili soup looks unbelievable! bit of a thai feel going on…… Nothing better than a nice warming soup to tide us through these winter months, I look forward to making a batch this weekend!

8 years 6 months ago

Oh man, that lemongrass and chili soup? YUM!

I’ve been craving soup in the past few days. I’m so excited to try this weekend!


David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts

I love these recipes. I think I’m going to try the soup first. Thanks for the great meal ideas!

– Dave

8 years 6 months ago

Super excited about the fish recipes. Always looking for a way to add new flavors to fish (obviously in a primal way) and it looks like this is gonna do it!
Happy almost weekend MDA and fellow readers!

Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips
8 years 6 months ago

I think bell peppers go great with a joint of beef. Especially if you slow cook the beef and let the peppers soak in the juices for a couple of hours.

Overall they’re a great vegetable because they’re so versatile. They go with almost anything.

Zen Fritta
Zen Fritta
8 years 6 months ago

Nice, I’ve been looking for a Thai soup recipe, thanks Mark!

8 years 6 months ago

I absolutely love using peppers in my cooking. Check out my easy wheatberry salad recipe on, that uses a couple of bell peppers.

8 years 6 months ago

aren’t these a member of the dreaded nightshades?

8 years 1 month ago

I love your recipes. Is there a way to see all of them in one place?

Mark Sisson
8 years 1 month ago
Jayne Collins
Jayne Collins
6 years 7 months ago

A “virtual” recipe box where you could deposit your favorite recipes would be a great idea too.

7 years 2 months ago

do you have any recipes for sweet treats ie. brownie, fruit bar etc etc
thanks, stacy

6 years 6 months ago

Hi, My other half brought home a Thai Pepper plant. T\It says ornamental. The fruit is very small, app 1/2 inch long. Is it the edible pepper you discuss in recipes or just a pretty little plant?

Rupert Fallenstein
5 years 10 months ago

Normally I do not learn post on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, very nice post.

4 years 6 months ago

I truly thought that tilapia was not “primal” is good to see it here since is so budget friendly. Thank you Mark!