On September 8th I asked my readers to host picnics and to send me the results. The following is one of 27 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow, courtesy of US Wellness. Vote for your favorite on October 8.
When I saw this contest description, I knew that I had to get my kids involved. By ‘my kids’ I mean my 4th grade class. From the beginning of the school year, they’ve listened to me talk about just eating fruits, vegetables and meat and this contest was my chance to demonstrate a good time, Old-School err…. Primal-School. The parents think I’m a bit nuts, but they’ve seemed to embrace, or at least can’t deny, the nutritional value of eating more fruits and vegetables (I always mention organic of course). Several have thanked me for my influence on their kids eating habits already. As such, 9 families embraced the spirit of the event and joined the fun, each bringing primal-styled foods.
We started off by hunting for twigs and sticks to get the fire going, picking up pokin’ sticks and spears along the way, of course! The natural lump charcoal fire had to be contained in the State Park’s grill, but a stone slab provided the primal cooking surface. As the adults worked on the fire using some rendered chicken fat I’d brought for the accelerant, the kids began their hunt for shells (see photos for shell-usage). Once the fire under the slab was blazing, we started cooking the skewers and the shrimp, which are great for temperature gauging. I brought an all natural, grass-fed bison hot dog for one little girl that only eats hot dogs – she ate it with glee! After these foods were cooked and consumed, I brought out the TEST: seasoned, ground cow heart. All but two of the kids tried it and of those, all but two had extra helpings! One brother-sister team had to be stopped by their parents from eating it all!
During the meal I explained various aspects of Primal eating to the parents and told them of my efforts and success. I’m happy to say that I’ve lost 30 pounds in 6 months without hardcore exercise and have recently begun going to a Crossfit gym. After eating our main meal, it was time to play. We went to the beach to have bear crawl and crab crawl races – the winners receiving precious drops of Organic Agave Nectar on their fingers, which I explained, would have been the Prize of Prizes for a Paleolithic Champion (then, of course, they all got a taste). All in all, it was a great day at the park. The kids had a good time and I think they will remember it for a long time – which is, of course, my goal as a teacher – learning while having fun!
Raw foods enjoyed:
Tropical fruit salads (2)
Lettuce (for wraps)
Venezuelan tuna antipasta (no pasta, of course)
Cuban scallop ceviche
Veg & beef skewers
Juice marinaded vegetables
Shrimp with salt and lime
Recipe: Seasoned Cow Heart
2 lbs. cow heart. The key is the double grind. The butcher can do it easily. It’s a really tough muscle.
2 tsp of Kosher salt
2 tsp fresh ground cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp of fresh nutmeg
Mix well and set overnight. Why overnight? So that it’s already prepared in the morning! There may be some flavor absorption during that period, but I can’t verify that. For the sake of the kids’ palates, I kept the seasoning light. Personally, I would have added some heat.
Pre-heat a scrubbed clean, hardware store bought, stone slab to 500+ deg. How will you know it’s hot enough to cook on? Toss a shrimp on it. When it starts to change color, add another to see how fast it starts to cook. Once the shrimp start cooking quickly, you know it’s ready. Add a lump (~tbsp) of coconut oil, spread around and then add the meat. I chose to break it up into smaller chunks rather than burgers so that the kids would have small options available. Cook until desired doneness is achieved. Squeeze fresh lime over the meat.
For those that have never had beef heart, it is one of the beefiest beef flavors you’ll ever have. Adding just a little to a soup or meatloaf or burger or whatever – it adds a great amount of flavor!
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.