How to Make Gluten-free Roux

Roux (pronounced “roo”) is a thickening agent that chefs add to sauces, soups, and stews to give them a more pleasing texture. It is a staple of French cooking, though in the U.S. we typically associate it more with Cajun or Creole staples like gumbo.

Roux is made by cooking one part fat and one part flour together to form something resembling smooth gravy. White flour is a no-go when eating Primally, but never fear, you aren’t doomed to a lifetime of thin, runny étouffée, moussaka, and scalloped potatoes!

Today, I’ll show you how to make a traditional roux and how to swap in Primal-friendly ingredients for a gluten-free option.

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 175

Research of the Week

Evolutionary trajectories of various traits in different European populations over the millennia.

A ketone body suppresses colorectal cancer.

Sunlight, strength training, and seafood are a powerful combo.

Beautifying filters and hireability.

Remote learning decreased learning.

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Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste and Pitch in for the Planet

Experts estimate that people around the world waste 1.3 billion tons of food each year. The costs to individuals, families, and the environment are astronomical. You can make a difference by making a personal commitment to minimizing food waste. At Mark’s Daily Apple, we’re joining Primal Kitchen in an effort to #MaketheMost of mealtime this National Food Waste Day. Scroll down to find tips and techniques for being more sustainable and reducing your environmental footprint by reducing food waste, optimizing your grocery budget, and contributing less to the landfill. For more information, head to and sign up to receive an exclusive e-book to fight food waste with tasty recipes, packaging hacks, and more tips!  Store and Preserve Food Properly So It Doesn’t Go to Waste Food spoiling before you get a chance to eat it is a huge contributor to food waste. In additional to shopping smart (more on that below), you can nip this problem in the bud by storing food properly after you bring it home from the store.  For those times when you buy a little too much or you’re lucky enough to have a bountiful garden harvest, learn how to preserve that food and enjoy it for months to come. Avoid spoilage: Vegetable Victory: How to Best Preserve Produce When Do Foods Really Go Bad? Freeze:  How to Freeze Produce Fresh Versus Frozen Food: Which Is More Nutritious? Dehydrate: Dehydrating Food at Home: How to Get Started Easy Camping Meals You Can Prepare at Home How to Make Your Own Jerky How to Make Turkey Jerky (That’s Super Easy and Tastes Like Thanksgiving) Pickle and ferment: Sauerkraut Benefits (with an Easy Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe) Pickled Vegetables, Two Ways: Home Fermented and Quick Pickles   What to Do with Food Scraps: Trash to Treasure Those food scraps aren’t trash! There’s still a lot you can do with them. Turn them into compost: How to Start Composting Make bone broth:  Chicken Bone Broth Four Ways Beef Bone Broth Variations Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth Recipe (with Stovetop Option) Get creative: The Many Uses of Junk Food   Eat Nose to Tail We know, those bits and bobbles can be a little off-putting at first, but organ meats are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet! Eating the skin and gristly bits nets you a bunch of collagen to balance out the methionine in muscle meat. The bones of small, oily fish contain calcium and other minerals. And best of all, almost nothing goes to waste.  This is huge at a time when we’re fighting against a tide of anti-meat sentiment and claims that meat eating is bad for the environment. The best thing we meat consumers can do is advocate for and practice responsible omnivory or carnivory. Get started with nose-to-tail eating: Guide to Organ Meats Why We Should All Be Eating Organ Meats How to Eat More Organ Meat Organ Meat Recipes 6 Sneaky Ways to Work Offal Into Your Diet Learn more about … Continue reading “Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste and Pitch in for the Planet”

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Easy Camping Meals You Can Prepare at Home

The weather turns, the clouds disperse, the sun returns, and one’s thoughts wander to camping, backpacking, and just generally tromping around in the great outdoors. It is the human imperative to conquer the wilderness and to exult in its grandeur, beauty, and danger. The true frontier is mostly gone now, but we can emulate that most fundamental and ancient human experience by going camping.

I’ve explained why camping is so important for your health and happiness:

It restores your circadian rhythm.

It encourages healthy movement outdoors.

It places fire at the center of the communal nighttime setting rather than TV or smartphones.

It’s fun.

But you gotta eat out there.

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Dehydrating Food at Home: How to Get Started

It’s easy to see why food preservation would have been critical to our ancestors’ survival. Being able to store food to eat later meant they were protected against unsuccessful hunts and less-than-fruitful gathering. Moreover, they could migrate into regions where access to fresh food varied by season.

Drying was probably one of the earliest methods of food preservation paleolithic humans discovered, no doubt quite by accident. There’s evidence that our ancestors were drying food to preserve it as early as 10,000 to 12,000 BCE. Along the way, they also learned how to ferment, smoke, and use ash, salt, fat, and even peat bogs to keep food from spoiling. Each of these methods works in its own way by discouraging the growth of microorganisms that cause food to go bad. In the case of dehydrating, microbes require water to proliferate. No water, no rotting.

As food preservation methods go, drying, or dehydrating, has several advantages. Dehydrated food is shelf-stable and lightweight, making it a space-efficient and energy-efficient option—no refrigeration required. It’s perfect for homesteaders, parents, hikers, and backpackers who want to make portable, healthy snacks and meals to reconstitute later.

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Chinese Five Spice Baked Pork Chops with Sautéed Escarole

This recipe for baked pork chops seasoned with Chinese five spice powder and served with sautéed escarole is a fantastic way to add some flavor to your usual dinnertime meal while still keeping it quick and easy!

If you’re not familiar with these ingredients, Chinese five spice powder is a blend of—you guessed it—five different spices: star anise, fennel seeds, peppercorns (traditionally Szechuan peppercorns), cloves, and cinnamon. It really punches up these pork chops, giving them both a little heat and a sweet aromatic flavor.

You might know escarole as a salad green, but like most greens, it’s capable of so much more than that. In this recipe, a hint of vinegar, a pat of butter, and a scant drizzle of maple syrup turn escarole into a warm side dish that’s perfect with pork. It’s a bold medley of sweet, salty, and pleasantly bitter flavors. The bitter flavor of escarole can be a “love it” or “hate it” thing. This recipe is meant to woo the haters and please those who enjoy escarole’s natural bitterness.

A very large head of escarole wilts down to four small servings when cooked. Plan to serve another side with the meal, or, if you really love escarole, cook two heads instead of one.

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