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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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Keto-Friendly Dinners

inline_lemon sage chicken 2Lemon and Sage Chicken in Cream

Primal lemon and sage chicken in cream is a riff on Jamie Oliver’s recipe for chicken in milk, an unusual recipe with a fervent following. In Oliver’s recipe, a whole chicken is roasted with an odd combination of ingredients: milk, cinnamon, garlic, sage and lemon. That odd combination turns into a roasted bird swimming in an amazing sauce scented with lemon and sage. You really have to try it to believe how good it is.

But consider trying this version first, which is richer, creamier and even more succulent. Using bone-in chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken cuts down on the cooking time and guarantees juicy, succulent meat. Using whole cream instead of milk results in a sauce that is rich and smooth instead of curdled.

The combination of whole cream, chicken drippings and butter sends the fat content of this dish soaring, which is a good thing if adding healthy fat to your diet is a priority. This lemon and sage chicken is so good and so easy to make that it’s sure to become a favorite.

Servings: 4 to 6

Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes, plus 45 minutes in the oven

Ingredients

flavors

  • 6 to 8 bone-in chicken thighs, seasoned generously with salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon PRIMAL KITCHEN® avocado oil or red palm oil (15 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (30 g)
  • 8 cloves garlic, skin left on
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • Zest from one lemon (see note below)
  • 2 cups whole cream (1 pint/473 ml)

Instructions

cream

Preheat oven to 375º F/190º C.

Recipe Note: For this recipe, strips of lemon zest are better than grated zest. Using a vegetable peeler or paring knife, remove the yellow peel from most of the lemon, being careful to leave the white pith behind. Use a knife to cut the pieces of peel into thin strips.

In an ovenproof skillet that will fit all the chicken, heat the avocado oil/red palm oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin side down. When the chicken is nicely browned, flip it over. Carefully tilt the skillet and pour some of the oil out, leaving only a thin layer.

Add the butter, garlic, cinnamon stick, sage leaves and lemon zest. Right when the butter just begins to turn brown, pour in the cream. Bring the cream to a gentle boil and then put the skillet in the oven.

Cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, until the chicken is done and the sauce is bubbly and thickened.

If needed, add a little salt to the sauce before eating. (The garlic cloves can be easily slipped out of their skins while you eat.)

lemon sage chicken 1

PrimalCoconut Marinated Short Ribs and Sautéed Kale

Boneless short ribs aren’t just for slow winter braises. Briefly thrown on the grill, boneless short ribs are also a delicious alternative to steak. The fatty marbling throughout keeps the ribs tender and flavorful. Grilled short ribs don’t necessarily need a marinade, but this one, made from coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, and lime is a great one to try.

It’s no secret around here that coconut milk is a much loved, keto supportive healthy fat. Used as the base for a marinade, coconut milk gives meat an extra boost of fat and also adds flavor. It does the same for kale, adding richness and slight sweetness that tones down kale’s natural bitterness.

Coconut marinated short ribs and sautéed kale are best eaten hot, but both the leftover meat and kale will also satisfy as a cold lunch the next day.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour, and at least 1+ hour for marinating

Ingredients

Primal Aviary

Short Ribs

  • 2 pounds (907 G) boneless beef short ribs, cut into 8 to 10 pieces. If the pieces are more than 2-inches/50 mm thick, cut them horizontally into 1-inch/25 mm thick pieces.
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-inch piece peeled ginger, chopped (25 mm)
  • 1 13.5 ounce can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk (divided between short ribs and kale) (400 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (15 ml)

Kale

  • 2 bunches kale, leaves torn from stems and sliced or ripped into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (15 ml)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red chile, thinly sliced, or 1/4 to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (2.5 ml)
  • 2 shallots, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 cup high-oleic sunflower oil, tallow, or lard (for frying) (240 ml)

Instructions

short rib marinade

Remove tough outer layer of lemongrass. Bruise and flatten the stalk by crushing it with the flat side of knife. Cut the stalk into 3 or 4 pieces.

Combine lemongrass with garlic, ginger, 1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk, fish sauce and lime juice. Pour the marinade over the short ribs. Chill and marinate at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

While the ribs are marinating, fry the shallots for a garnish. In a small pot or saucepan, combine the sunflower oil, tallow or lard (or a combination of two) with the sliced shallots. Turn the heat up to medium. Cook until shallots are deeply browned (not burnt!), about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, and turn the temperature up or down as needed as the shallots cook. Strain the oil from the crispy shallots. Set the shallots on a paper towel and set aside.

Pull short ribs out of the marinade and wipe off excess coconut milk.

Heat a clean and well-oiled grill to medium heat. Place short ribs on the grill. Don’t move for at least 4 minutes, and flip only when lightly charred. Once the short ribs are flipped, cook 8 to 10 minutes more, or until the internal temperature reaches 135º F (medium rare).

Take the short ribs off the grill and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.

While the ribs are resting, sauté the kale. Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a wide skillet. Add garlic and hot pepper. Cook 1 minute, then add kale in handfuls, stirring and letting each handful wilt slightly before adding more. When all the kale is in the skillet, add the remaining coconut milk from the can. Cook a few minutes more until most of the coconut milk is absorbed. Add salt to taste.

Served sliced short ribs over kale. Garnish with fried shallots.

short rib 2

Inline_Salmon with Pistachio PestoSalmon with Pistachio Pesto

This dairy-free pesto is heavy on pistachio nuts and light on basil. Spiked with garlic and lemon zest and blended together with olive oil, this is a thick, rich sauce that’s more than a little addictive. It’s tempting to eat this pistachio pesto with a spoon, but it’s even better slathered over fatty, pan-seared salmon.

This recipe couldn’t be easier, and it magically transforms a simple salmon dinner into something extra special. Make this, and you’ll feel like a talented chef instead of a home cook who’s stuck in a rut of salmon dinners that are just ho-hum.

With a few variations, this pistachio pesto can lead you to other amazing meals, too. Add a dash of red pepper flakes, and serve a spicy version of the pesto with roasted pork. Use parsley, instead of basil, for a new flavor. Or, thin the pesto out with full-fat Greek yogurt, and drizzle it over roasted vegetables.

Like any nut, pistachios are best enjoyed with a little self-control. Don’t worry, this pesto is so rich you aren’t likely to overindulge in one sitting. That said, pistachios aren’t really a nut to fret over, unless you have an allergy. They’re pretty low in phytic acid, a potent source of prebiotic fiber, and can reduce the glucose response to carb-rich meals.

Not that this is a carb-rich meal. Quite the opposite, actually. Skin-on salmon + pistachio pesto can be a go-to recipe when you want a high-protein, high-fat meal that’s also high in flavor.

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

pesto ingredients

  • 1 1 ½ pounds skin-on salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces and seasoned with salt (680 g)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (15 ml)
  • 1 cup raw pistachios (150 g)
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (5 ml)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped or thinly sliced basil (30 ml)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (120 ml)

Instructions

Pistachio Pesto

Blend the pistachios, garlic and lemon zest in a food processor until very finely ground. With the blade still going, slowly pour the olive oil into the food processor and blend just until combined. Add salt to taste. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350º F/176º C

Heat avocado oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.

Place the salmon in the hot skillet, skin side down. Once the fillets are in the pan, do not move the salmon. Cook about 5 minutes, pressing down on the salmon once or twice with a spatula to press the skin against the hot pan.

Put the skillet into the oven. Cook 4 to 6 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the fish.

Serve the salmon warm or at room temperature, with pistachio pesto dolloped on top.

Feature_Salmon with Pistachio Pesto

Primal AviaryBeef Satay

Satay is often served as an appetizer, but it makes a fantastic main course when served with a rich, creamy satay sauce and crisp raw veggies on the side.

In this Primal version of beef satay, sugar is skipped entirely in both the marinade and the satay sauce. It isn’t missed, with coconut milk and macadamia nuts adding plenty of natural sweetness. The meat gets its intense flavor from soaking just 1 hour in a richly seasoned marinade that is sweet, salty and deliciously pungent. The mellow macadamia satay sauce served on the side balances the bold flavors of the meat, although giving the sauce a good, spicy kick is essential—without it, the sauce isn’t nearly as good.

Macadamia satay sauce is amazing with any type of grilled meat and should not be overlooked as a dip for cold, chopped veggies. Plan to serve sliced cucumber, carrots and/or red bell peppers with Primal beef satay for a colorful, flavorful main course or appetizer.

Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes, plus 1 hour to marinate

Servings: 4

Beef Satay

Primal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef top sirloin or flank steak, cut into strips about 2 inches/5 cm long and 1/8 to ¼ inch thick* (900 g)
  • 1 2-inch/5 cm piece fresh lemongrass (white part only), roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 2-inch/5 cm piece peeled ginger, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (15 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce (10 ml)
  • ½ cup coconut milk (120 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (5 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander (10 ml)

*Meat is easier to slice thinly if it’s really cold. Put the beef in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes before slicing it.

In a high-powered blender, combine the lemongrass, shallot, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce/tamari, coconut milk, cumin, and coriander.

Combine the beef strips and marinade so the meat is completely coated. Refrigerate and marinate 1 hour. Don’t marinate too much longer than this, or the meat can get mushy.

Remove beef from the marinade and shake off excess marinade. Thread 2 to 3 pieces of meat onto each skewer, spacing the meat out on the skewer. If the skewer is too crowded, the edges of the meat won’t get crispy and charred.

On a heated grill over high heat, grill the skewers 3 minutes per side, or until slightly charred on the outside and barely pink in the middle.

Macadamia Satay Sauce

Macadamia Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts (or ½ cup raw macadamia butter)
    (5 ounces nuts, or 142 g)
  • 2 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce (5 ml)
  • ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil (1.2 ml)
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce (2.5 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (30 ml)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (1.2 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk (30 ml)
  • 2 tablespoon water (to thin out the sauce) (30 ml)

In a food processor or blender, blend the macadamia nuts until very smooth.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients: garlic, tamari, sesame oil, fish sauce, lime juice cayenne, coconut milk and water. Pour into the blender with the macadamia nuts. Blend just until combined.

Serve the beef satay skewers with the macadamia sauce and crisp, raw vegetables like cucumbers, carrots and red bell peppers.

Primal Aviary

Primal AviaryGreen Goddess Chicken

A blend of heart-healthy avocado oil, vinegar, and zesty herbs and spices make PRIMAL KITCHEN® Green Goddess Dressing the perfect marinade for chicken. Chives, tarragon, parsley, savory and rosemary, plus black pepper and garlic, turn plain chicken breasts into a sensational meal. All you have to do is twist off the lid and pour on the flavor.

Green Goddess dressing isn’t the only secret weapon PRIMAL KITCHEN® is wielding against bland, dry chicken. The other secret ingredient in this marinade is PRIMAL KITCHEN® Mayo. Whisked into any chicken marinade, mayonnaise adds fat and flavor, two things that boneless, skinless chicken breasts can always use more of. Mayo coats the chicken, locking in flavor and moisture and turning out chicken breasts that are tender and flavorful.

For an easy lunch or dinner, slice this green goddess chicken over a salad and top with more PRIMAL KITCHEN® Green Goddess Dressing (of course!).

Servings: 4 to 6

Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes to cook, plus at least 4 hours to marinate

Ingredients

Primal Aviary

Instructions

Primal

Pound the chicken breasts to uniform thickness. The easiest way to do this is to put the chicken in a resealable plastic bag, then use a meat pounder or rolling pin to even out the thickness of the chicken. Aim to make the whole breast about ¾-inch thick.

Whisk together the PRIMAL KITCHEN® Green Goddess Dressing and Mayo. In the same resealable plastic bag used to pound the chicken, pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag and marinate at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours.

Preheat oven to 450º F/232º C, or heat a grill (clean and oiled) to medium-high.

Take the chicken breasts out of the marinade and use a paper towel to blot excess marinade off the meat.

If grilling, cook the chicken for approximately 6 minutes per side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 160º F/71º C to 165º F/74º C.

If baking, spread chicken out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 160º to 165°. To brown the outside, turn off the oven and turn on the broiler (placing the baking sheet directly below) for the last 5 to 7 minutes of cooking.

Let the breasts cool 10 minutes before slicing. Green Goddess chicken is delicious served warm or cold.

Lay the chicken over salad greens and pour PRIMAL KITCHEN® Green Goddess Dressing on top.

Primal

Inline_Steak Salad 3Steak and Avocado Salad with Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo Dressing

Set a platter of this steak and avocado salad on the table and watch it disappear. Whether it’s a family dinner, a dinner party, a potluck, or a weekend BBQ, this is a go-to summer recipe that will make everyone happy.

Primal and keto-friendly, this salad features grilled steak tossed with greens, avocado, scallions and cucumber, plus a sprinkle of crunchy pepitas. The creamy chipotle dressing couldn’t be easier to make; just whisk Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayonnaise with fresh lime juice.

Actually, this is more than just a salad. It’s a main course meal loaded with flavor, protein, and healthy fat. Just thinking about all the healthy fat in this recipe will make you salivate: avocado oil, avocados, grass-fed beef, pumpkin seeds, and a creamy and healthy dressing that delivers loads of monounsaturated fat.

Prepare this steak and avocado salad ahead of time so you can sit back and relax, knowing that your work is done and that an amazing and healthful meal is ready and waiting.

Servings: 8

Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes, plus 30 minutes to marinate

Ingredients

marinade

  • 2 pounds flank steak (or other boneless steak of your choice) (900 g)
  • Juice of 3 limes, divided
  • ¼ cup Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil (60 ml)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (5 ml)
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (2.5 ml)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (2.5 ml)
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (or parsley, if you don?t like cilantro), plus extra for garnishing the salad (25 g)
  • 1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
  • 2 large handfuls arugula, baby kale, or other dark, leafy baby green
  • 2 avocados, sliced or cubed
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (75 g)
  • ½ cup Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo (115 g)

Instructions

Steak Salad 3

In a blender or food processor, combine the juice of 2 limes, avocado oil, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and cilantro. Blend until smooth with small flecks of cilantro. Pour the marinade over the steak in a sealable plastic bag or long shallow dish, so the beef is completely covered.

Let the meat marinate at least 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Prepare grill for medium-high heat; make sure grates are clean and lightly oiled. Remove steak from marinade, shake off extra marinade, and grill 8 to 10 minutes (or longer for a thicker steak), flipping the meat once or twice until both sides are lightly charred and the steak is medium-rare. Let the meat rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Juice the remaining lime into a small bowl. Whisk 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lime juice and 1 tablespoon cold water into the Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo. Continue to add lime juice and water until the mayonnaise reaches the desired flavor and consistency you want for the salad dressing.

Arrange butter lettuce and greens on a large platter. Scatter cucumber, scallions, pumpkin seeds, and a handful of cilantro leaves (or parsley) on top. Arrange the sliced steak over the salad. Up to this point, the salad can be made several hours ahead and refrigerated.

Right before serving, slice and add the avocados, and drizzle the Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo dressing on top.

Steak Salad 1