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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

Polish Hunter’s Stew (Bigos)

There are a lot of different recipes out there for Polish Hunter’s Stew (also called Bigos). But in the end, it’s always about two things: meat and cabbage. Hunter’s Stew is a hearty dish made from bacon, kielbasa, a pound or more of meat, plus both fresh cabbage and sauerkraut. If you’re a real hunter, the stew meat in Bigos is whatever you’ve hunted.  If your “hunting” is done at the meat counter, then buy what you’re in the mood for or what’s on sale. Venison, pork, beef, lamb…they’re all good in Bigos. This can be a clean-out-your-freezer type of meal.

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Sardine Butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano Sesame Crisps

Sardine Butter. Does the combination of these two words have you salivating or grimacing? Canned sardines are a delicious, nutritious fish, but they aren’t everyone’s favorite. The flavor can be a little, well, fishy. But there are a lot of omega-3s and other nutrients packed into those small, oily little fish, so finding a way to love ‘em is a worthwhile endeavor.

Butter, on the other hand…who doesn’t love butter? Mashing butter and canned sardines together with lemon and cayenne makes a simple but stunning spread. Sardine butter has a more assertive, less delicate flavor than anchovy butter. But sardine butter is much less “fishy” than sardines straight out of the can (if that’s a plus for your taste buds).

In recipes like this, with so few ingredients, quality matters. Use your favorite salted butter, hopefully one that’s pastured or cultured. Grab a few cans of sardines from the grocery store, taste-testing to find you favorite. Boneless sardines give the butter a smoother texture, but if you don’t mind a little crunchiness (and want the calcium) then go ahead and use bone-in. Whether they’re smoked or un-smoked, packed in water or olive oil, is your choice.

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West African Nut Stew

West African nut stew is usually West African peanut stew. Peanut butter is whisked into the broth to give the stew a rich texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor. Although a little peanut butter isn’t something that most people, even those following a Primal diet, need to avoid at all costs, it’s good to have options.

You could leave the nut butter out entirely, and the stew is still good, but the nut butter is what makes this stew unique and gives it a really satisfying flavor and texture. In place of peanut butter, almond butter can be whisked into West African stew with little noticeable difference in flavor. Cashew butter or sunflower butter can also be used.

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Quick-Pickled Mussels with Seared Cherry Tomatoes

Pickling mussels after they’re cooked is a good way to serve them as an appetizer. A large batch can be made the day before and set out at room temperature with toothpicks. Although, when the mussels are served with seared cherry tomatoes, you’ll need a spoon to scoop up all the garlicky, juicy goodness. And a fork will be necessary if you choose to eat the mussels and tomatoes over a bowl of salad greens, which is a fine idea, too.

When mussels are quick-pickled, for an hour or overnight, it gives them a vinegary kick, plus the heat of smoked paprika and red pepper flakes. The more ways you know to prepare and serve mussels, the better, since they’re a food that should regularly show up on your plate. Why? Mussels are nutrient-dense morsels filled with B vitamins, selenium, zinc, magnesium and manganese. You don’t need to eat a ton of mussels, or other shellfish, to get a healthy serving of nutrients. So share this batch of pickled mussels with friends, or cut the recipe in half for a smaller serving.

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Marinated Olives and Nuts

Olives and nuts marinated in extra virgin olive oil with rosemary, lemon zest, fennel seeds and hot pepper, is a savory, salty snack swirling with healthy fat, antioxidants, fiber, iron and copper. Plus, it’s a two-for-one recipe, in that you can eat the olives and nuts and then use the flavored olive oil for cooking or making salad dressing.

Walnuts taste great with olives, but, for this recipe, any type of nut will work, so take your pick. Same goes for olives. Buy black and green olives with pits, of any variety and size. Give them a few days to soak up the flavors in the spicy, herbal, citrusy marinade then serve the olives and nuts as an appetizer, bring them as a hostess gift, or use them as a garnish for roasted vegetables and meat, a whole chicken, or fish.

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Beef Bone Broth Variations

Bone broth has been getting so much buzz, it doesn’t need a lengthy introduction. By now, you probably know that sipping a warm mug of broth is not only soothing, but also a nourishing source of gelatin. So you keep a supply of bone broth in your refrigerator or freezer*. And you’re sipping mugs of it, and it’s soothing, and nourishing, and all that—but it’s also getting a little boring. Not because you don’t like bone broth. It’s just that you’re craving a little more flavor, a little more pizazz, a little something different than a basic mug of broth. Perhaps broth with the rich flavor of porcini mushrooms? Or the spicy kick of Sichuan peppercorns? How about of mug of broth laced with the exotic flavor of cinnamon, ginger and star anise, or the comforting flavor of butter and leeks?

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