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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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Category: Recipes

Quick & Easy Salmon Cakes

This is a guest post from Diane Sanfilippo, author of Practical Paleo and the wildly popular blog, BalancedBites.com.

Diane often leaves a lot of space to make her recipes your own, and this one is no exception. This recipe can easily be modified to switch up flavors, or for those following a low FODMAP diet.

If you’re looking to dress-up the wild canned salmon you’ve been buying, this is the recipe for you! It’s quick and easy, and it can be made mostly from the ingredients you tend to have on-hand.

Bonus recipe: Use Primal Kitchen™ Mayo to make an amazing dipping sauce/topping for these salmon cakes using the recipe at the bottom of the page.

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Beef Tamale Pie

Tamale pie is simple fare, an unfussy but delicious casserole topped with a cornbread crust. The crust is an essential part of tamale pie. Without it, you’ve just got a skillet of ground beef and bell peppers. But cornbread just isn’t a tempting topping (especially when made from a box of Jiffy cornbread). So what’s a tamale pie lovin’ person to do?

A quick flip through Primal Cravings, a book filled with innovative, Primal-approved recipes, brings inspiration. A riff on the Primal Cravings biscuit recipe, this tamale pie topping is everything you want it to be. It has a soft, crumbly texture that soaks up the meaty flavor below. It has a slight sweetness like cornbread does, but doesn’t scream out “coconut!” like some coconut flour recipes do.

A spoonful of the warm, savory bread-like topping with the seasoned ground beef below will definitely satisfy your tamale pie cravings. It’s a classic, comforting casserole, the Primal way.

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Beef Curry Stew in Edible Acorn Squash Bowls

In this acorn squash recipe you get a two for one: A delicious edible bowl, plus the generous amounts of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium that acorn squash provides.

Any type of squash can be a bowl, but the size and shape of acorn squash makes it an especially good choice. Cut the squash in half, lightly coat in oil or butter, then roast until soft. Fill it with soup, stew, chili, or meat sauce. A pile of sautéed greens in a squash bowl isn’t a bad way to go, either.

In this recipe, a spoonful of the roasted squash bowl with a spoonful of the coconut beef curry stew poured inside is like edible autumn. Warm spices, creamy coconut milk, tender beef, sweet squash…this dish has it all. Plus, crunchy, salty squash seeds sprinkled on top if you like.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 40 minutes, plus 1 hour to roast in the oven

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Primal Baked Pasta

All the comfort and flavor of baked pasta, without the carbs or gooey cheese? Sign me up! This recipe for Primal baked “pasta” uses a favorite noodle substitute, celery root, as a stand-in for the texture of penne pasta. Italian sausage, mushrooms and marinara fill out the dish, along with a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.

The marinara sauce is homemade and it’s a keeper, for its perfect simplicity and rich flavor. It’s a sauce that can be used for all your pasta-like dishes, from zucchini noodles to spaghetti squash.

This recipe uses canned, whole tomatoes because they have a more consistently intense flavor than fresh tomatoes do as the seasons change. Canned whole tomatoes also tend to taste better than diced/chopped or pureed canned tomatoes. Unfortunately, they’re harder to find in BPA-free packaging, but not impossible. If you can’t find BPA-free whole tomatoes, then use a good brand of BPA-free chopped tomatoes instead.

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Southwest Brisket with Pickled Jalapeños

Brisket is comfort food, there’s no doubt about it. It’s nothing fancy, just
a big ‘ol piece of meat slow-cooked until tender, but man, is it good. In this recipe, traditional brisket is given Southwest flair with spices, peppers and pickled jalapenos. You can even add cilantro, if you like.

This recipe is loaded with peppers, both sweet and spicy. The bell peppers slow cook along with the meat, and the jalapeños are quick-pickled with vinegar and used as a garnish. Peppers are there for Southwest flavor, but also because they have vitamin C and B and carotene, and the capsaicin in the spicy ones can potentially be an effective anti-inflammatory.

This is a plan-ahead type of recipe, one you might want to start on the weekend with the intent of feasting early in the week. Mainly because time is brisket’s best friend. Time to soak up the seasoning, time to cook, and time to lie around before being reheated and eaten.

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Lamb Chili with Harissa

Your next pot of chili doesn’t have to be the same old ground beef chili.

Instead, cook up a pot of ground lamb seasoned with things like turmeric and ginger and a few tablespoons of fiery harissa. The end result is a meal that’s still recognizable as chili but has delicious new flavor.

You know the drill with lamb by now: it’s a nutritionally complete protein packed with all 8 essential amino acids and a whole lot of vitamins and minerals. Lamb can be challenging to cook, but when your butcher grinds it for you and it’s used as the base for chili, there aren’t any worries about overcooking the meat and making it tough. This is an easy and stress-free way to cook lamb.

Harissa is used as the main spice component in this lamb chili. This Middle Eastern condiment gives chili (even beef chili) amazing flavor and adjustable heat. Two tablespoons of harissa adds a slow, robust burn to a pot of chili. Cut back to 1 tablespoon for less heat, or, use the harissa strictly as a condiment. That way, everyone can give their own bowl of chili as much or as little heat as they want.

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