Meet Mark

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

Tender Braised Brisket with Carmelized Onions and Tomatoes

Brisket is a little like meatloaf, in the sense that it’s a simple, unglamorous comfort food that everyone claims to have the best recipe for. The recipes all turn out to be pretty much the same, with minor variations, and they all lead to the same place: a hearty, gut-warming meal that will have you licking your plate at the end.

Brisket is a cut of beef that comes from the breast section. It’s relatively thin and relatively tough, which means that long, slow cooking is the best approach. Many people favor slow grilling for brisket with a crispy coating and smoky flavor. This time of year, however, we favor braising because it requires very little effort and warms our house up with a savory, meaty aroma. The magic of slow-cooking never ceases to amaze, as the transformation brisket undergoes from a relatively inexpensive cut of meat to a meal that literally melts in your mouth is truly astonishing. In an oven, this transformation takes place in about 2 1/2 hours for a two-pound cut of brisket. In a slow cooker on high heat, about twice that.

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Vegetable Latkes

Call them what you want – latkes, vegetables pancakes, fried-deliciousness – they’re a holiday treat many of us crave this time of year. They’re also traditionally made with potatoes,  a food some of us Primals feel better avoiding. The tuber’s low-moisture and high-starch content creates a crispy exterior and fluffy interior when fried in oil. The high starch content, unfortunately, is also the reason the insulin resistant among us are better off turning to less starchy vegetables to satisfy latke cravings.

Although latkes made with vegetables like carrot, turnip, daikon radish and zucchini will never be quite as crispy as potato latkes, they are darn good in their own right. The flavor of each vegetable is mild enough that you’ll still feel like you’re eating a latke, yet the latke is turned into something new and interesting. Zucchini latkes are mildest of all, the carrot and turnip are slightly sweet and the daikon version has just a hint of spiciness.

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Primal Breakfast Casserole

You know the scenario. It’s the morning after Thanksgiving and you’re recovering from a day of marathon cooking and pulling off a holiday feast with all the fixins, Your kitchen still looks like it’s been ransacked, you still have dishpan hands and the only thing you want to do is pull your duvet cover over your head and sleep in. But everyone else in the house seems to be awake and suddenly you hear someone say the four words you’ve been dreading. “So, what’s for breakfast?”

Breakfast?

After killing yourself putting together a holiday meal, the last meal any host wants to think about is breakfast. But the thing about house guests (especially those permanent house guests also known as your kids) is that it doesn’t matter how much turkey they ate the day before, they’re going to wake up hungry.  As any veteran host knows, the best defense is a pan of something wonderful tucked away in your freezer that requires no more work from you other than turning on the oven. For this reason, even though it’s a simple, no-frills dish, the breakfast casserole is pure genius.

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Crispy Roasted Duck with Holiday Seasonings and Sauces

Who knows why turkey became the fowl of choice this time of year, leaving duck forgotten by most. I guess the ducks themselves are just fine with this arrangement, but if you’re looking for a less-traditional and more adventurous Thanksgiving dinner, why not give duck a try?

A whole, roasted duck tends to work best for smaller groups, as there is less meat on a duck carcass than on a chicken or turkey and depending on where you buy it, duck can be more expensive. Duck is prized for its rich flavor and thick, fatty skin that is hard to resist when cooked until crisp. Duck is often cooked with a sweet glaze because it helps the skin caramelize and crisp up. A hint of sweetness also goes well with the slightly gamey flavor of the meat. You don’t need to go overboard with this, however, as our recipe below for a Tamari Honey Glaze proves. You can skip a glaze completely, of course, and simply season the duck with spices that give the impression of sweetness, like cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and Chinese five spice powder.

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Breadless Cauliflower and Mushroom Stuffing

The name says it all. Stuffing, when made with the traditional loaf of bread, is a heavy addition to the holiday table that can leave you feeling, well, stuffed. As if the table weren’t already collapsing under the weight of a giant bird and a half-dozen side-dishes, tradition demands that a big dish of what is essentially just a loaf of bread cut up into pieces, be included, too. Well, phooey on tradition. We’re not saying that stuffing shouldn’t be served at all, we’re just saying, why limit yourself to stuffing made with bread?

The attributes that make stuffing so popular – a mild, comforting flavor and rich, indulgent texture – can be achieved with all sorts of different ingredients. Our favorite combination this holiday season is a buttery blend of cauliflower, mushrooms and leeks baked until soft and caramelized and covered with an intensely nutty blend of hazelnuts and fresh herbs.

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Succulent Bison Roast

A roast is a beautiful thing. With very little work on your part, a roast can easily feed a large group of people and more often than not, provide leftovers for the next day. Roasts can be casual and budget friendly, like a good ‘ol pot roast, or you can step it up a notch for upcoming holiday dinners by roasting something a little different, like bison.

Although similar in flavor to beef, bison is often described as having a sweeter, richer flavor that needs only minimal seasoning to enhance it. When cooked rare or medium rare, bison has a delicate texture that is less stringy and chewy than beef can be. Bison rump, chuck or round roasts are the least expensive, but also the least tender cuts and are best cooked for hours in a slow cooker. We all love comfort food from a Crock Pot, but when the holidays roll around you might have your sights set on something a little fancier. If this is the case, start scanning your meat department for either bison tri-tip, or if you really want to splurge, bison prime rib.

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