Grokfeast in Virginia

On September 13th I asked Mark’s Daily apple readers to host a Grokfeast (a picnic/party celebrating the Primal lifestyle) and to send me the results. The following is one of 13 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow courtesy of US Wellness.

This year we had a Grokfeast in and around in our own backyard. Though we had some grandiose plans for a Grokfeast at a local state park, the weather looked bad for this weekend, so we stayed close to home in case of rain.

The participants were two families – each with two young girls, including one exclusively breastfed (so primal!) infant and two still-nursing toddlers. There were: Craig, Audrey, Annika, and Natalie, and Matt, Adrienne, Joelle, and Rose. There was also an enthusiastic labradoodle, Otis.

Our Grokfeast was a wonderful family date – our families have been friends for 6 years, so now that we have a passel of young girls between us, our get-togethers have only evolved to a state that we’d describe as “delightfully chaotic”. One passion our families share is sourcing tasty, healthy, high quality food, so the opportunity to meet up over a deliciously fresh meal and have it count as a “Grokfeast” was a no-brainer!

We started things off with Matt harvesting from the family garden – he was picking cherry tomatoes for the salad, doing a bit of very local and very fresh gathering. Next, the grill was fired up. We grilled skewered chicken breast and chicken tenderloins – as well as a vast abundance of fresh veggies.

Lunch was a huge success – both families contributing such fresh ingredients and the assist from the grill made for good eats. Though we are right in the thick of raising our broods of busy anklebiters, we still managed to prepare quite a spread.

Besides our shared passion for nourishing foods, we also make it a point to regularly seek fresh air and Vitamin D for our families. At our Grokfeast, we spent a lot of time in Matt and Adrienne’s back yard, where we and our girls engaged in classically primal exploration – picking flowers, stalking a spider, blowing bubbles, barefoot shenanigans, and clowning around on the hammock.

After our outdoor time, our girls played together indoors while we adults snuck in some brain exercises by playing a few lightning rounds of Bananagrams over some decaf coffee.

We were so glad to have a chance to reconnect and dream up fun ways to celebrate our Grokfeast – murky weather forecasts notwithstanding. Hopefully it won’t be long before we get to do it again!

The Feast

Main course:

Skewered chicken breast with tahini dressing (recipe below)
Chicken tenderloins with the hot wings sauce from Paleo Comfort Foods


Roasted broccoli, recipe from Paleo Comfort Foods
Grilled mixed veggies, recipe from Paleo Comfort Foods
Green spinach salad with home-grown cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette

For dessert:

Sliced organic pears sauteed in Kerrygold salted butter with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, accompanied by ice cream and/or unsweetened bourbon whipped heavy cream

Here’s our Grokfeast 2011 Recipe – for today’s chicken and salads. We hope that you enjoy it!

Tahini Dressing

Makes one very large batch, about 2.5 – 3 cups’ worth.

All measurements are approximate/to taste.

  • 1 cup sesame tahini (ours had Ziyad brand)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (or more if you want it to be extra lemony)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • honey to taste (1 tablespoon is a good starting place)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (may need more)
  • 1/2 cup water (may need more)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: chopped fresh cilantro

Blend together all ingredients with whisk/food processor/immersion blender. Strangely, tahini often gets thicker when you mix it so you may need more oil/water than you might expect. Add oil and water until dressing reaches desired consistency. Adjust seasonings to taste. Use as marinade, salad dressing, dipping sauce, etc. Keeps in the refrigerator for a week or two.

The Tribe

Craig, Audrey, Annika, and Natalie, and Matt, Adrienne, Joelle, and Rose. There was also an enthusiastic labradoodle, Otis.

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.

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