Grokfeast in North Carolina

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.

My extended family is becoming more and more interested in eating “clean” food, and so when they wanted to have a get-together this weekend, I jumped at the chance to make it primal. My sister was hosting, and while she is not exactly primal, she did agree to serve the grains on the side. She made up all of the fixins’ for a taco salad, and put them in separate bowls so people were free to choose the grass-fed beef and organic salsa, veggies, and avocado (for the purists); add a little cheese and sour cream (for the 80%-ers); and throw on some rice and beans (for those who aren’t quite ready to take the primal plunge).

We live in North Carolina, where we looove our collard greens. So, in honor of the occasion, I came up with a primal version of stuffed grape leaves. I call it Stuffed Collard Greens with Lemon Gravy. Everyone loved it! I also made a fruit salad with honeydew, blackberries, cilantro and a little lemon juice. I used to make this with powdered sugar, which I now leave off.

It was great to get together with everyone. They were interested in the nutritional and animal welfare aspects of the PB most of all. Luckily, I have been doing some research in our area, and was able to share that information with them. Baldwin Farms (about an hour a way) sells cows by the side and half side. My brother’s family and mine are thinking about “cowpooling” so we can fill up both of our freezers (unless we win the Grokfeast contest and get one for free!). There is also a Polyface-style farm starting up about 30 minutes away. I went to visit last week, and I was amazed! They have pastured eggs, cows, heritage chickens, you name it!

My favorite part of the evening was the “play” component. You know how you always hear parents say they don’t know where their kids get all that energy, or how they can’t keep up with them. Well, I thought yeah, Grok and Grokette certainly had to keep up with them! It’s not like everyone in the tribe was strapping their kids in containment units for the first 4 years of their lives. So, we decided to play “Follow the leader,” starting with the youngest. I’m not sure if the video does it justice, but we had a lot of fun, and yes, they are impossible to keep up with after a while.

The Feast

Taco Salad with all of the trimmings
Stuffed Collard Greens with Lemon Gravy
La Vielle Ferme – Rhone Valley Red

Recipe: Stuffed Collard Greens with Lemon Gravy (previously published on Primalology)


  • 2 bunches collard greens
  • 2 T fresh mint
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork or lamb
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice from 3 lemons
  • 3 eggs


  1. Boil collard greens for about 10 minutes. You can put them face down in a pan with 4 c water and just let the stalks stick up in the air. Reserve liquid. Plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process and cool them down.
  2. Mix mint, garlic, onion, beef, pork or lamb.
  3. Cut the center stalk from each collard green leaf. You should end up with a v-shaped piece.
  4. Line your baking dishes (you’ll probably need two) with the smaller leaves to keep the rolls from sticking.
  5. Put about a golf-ball sized amount of the meat mixture onto the leaf, and roll, flattening it a bit and shaping it like a stuffed grape leaf.
  6. Place rolled leaves in the pan, seam side down. Set aside 2 c of the reserved liquid. Salt and pepper generously – this will be the broth the meat cooks in. Pour 1 c of this liquid over each pan.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.

Lemon Gravy

  1. Beat 3 egg whites until creamy, then add yolks. Heat on low on the stovetop.
  2. Mix lemon juice with 1/4 c water and add slowly to the egg mixture, stirring constantly.
  3. Add 1 c remaining stock and salt to taste.

Can be served hot, warm or cold as appetizer, side, or main dish. Definitely worth the effort!

The Tribe

Janet Lloyd, Frank Lloyd, Elizabeth Millar, Eric Moore, Charlotte Millar, Robert Mihaly, Caroline Smith, Chloe Mihaly, Lystander Mihaly, September Mihaly, Eric Johnson, Matilda Johnson, Adelaide Johnson, Tara Mihaly

Subscribe to the Mark’s Daily Apple Newsletter and Get Challenge Updates All Month Long

About the Author

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.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!