Meet Mark

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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Category: Sides

Jicama, Carrots and Raspberries in a Thyme Dressing

Mark’s daily salad is so good that it’s easy to eat it every single day of the year. But it’s nice to change things up from time to time, so with the Primal Challenge in mind I wanted to share a rustic salad recipe that’s both tasty and uncomplicated. I frequently use it as an alternative to the Big Ass Salad. This salad is not “technically” a salad in the conventional way, as it contains no leafy greens, but it’s easy to put together and complements most poultry and seafood. The dish itself would also make a great midday snack.

The recipe starts with with healthy fats. Extra virgin olive oil and pine nuts are the central sources of nourishment, while fresh thyme gives the salad added flavor and aromatic oils. The raspberries, which are optional, add a delicious tartness. If you can get your hands on a fresh handful to throw in, it’ll be worth it, especially with the lime juice spritzed on top. Jicama, in all its wonderful versatility, provides crispness to the mixture that reminds me of kohlrabi or cucumber, but more satisfying.

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Asian Cucumber Salad

Cool as a cucumber. In the summer months, this phrase takes on a literal meaning. Cucumbers are primarily composed of water, making them the perfect summer thirst-quencher. Look for cukes that are dark green, firm, slender and un-waxed so you can eat the fiber-rich skin. Persian cucumbers, smaller and rarely bitter, are especially popular these days.

When you have a stash of cucumbers on a hot summer day, the first step is cutting four round slices. Next, find a relaxing place to sit, preferably by a pool. Place two slices in a glass of ice water for sipping. Place two slices over your eyes. Ahhhhh. Pure relaxation. When your stomach starts to growl it’s time to slice more cucumbers, this time for dinner.

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Summer Squash Noodles

Sometimes chefs seem like magicians. How else could they transform food into shapes and flavors that seem impossible to replicate at home? Training, yes, but let’s also not forget that just like every good magician has a few props, (a double-sided quarter here, some disappearing ink there) so does a good chef. Maybe the perfectly sliced and diced vegetables on your plate were the work of a well-trained prep cook, but it’s just as likely they were quickly cut on a nifty device called a mandoline.

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Wandering in the Kitchen

Yesterday we brought you Scallops and Bacon from a brand new Worker Bee. Today new Worker Bee #2 has another delicious Primal recipe. Enjoy!
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There is something to be said for letting your mind wander. Even in the kitchen. Even when you have a rather sharp kitchen tool in your hand. Even when you’re cooking meat that is notorious for turning dry and flavorless if you’re not careful. I have often aspired to take part in the disciplined mind-wandering of meditation or to be lulled into a peaceful mental vacation on a yoga mat. But in my busy life this is unlikely. More often than not, my mind enters the blissful state of thinking about absolutely nothing when I am in less zen-like places. Like in front of the kitchen sink. It happened the other day when I was peeling a carrot. I kept peeling and peeling, my hands focused on the task but my mind …well, I don’t know exactly where my mind was.  But before I knew it I had peeled the entire carrot instead of chopping it into rounds like I had intended. But this is the beauty of letting your mind wander. Sometimes it leads you to an interesting place; a place you never would’ve gotten to had you been following an exact recipe. The carrot had turned into a beautiful swirl of thin ribbons that I sautéed quickly with fennel and red pepper flakes.  The carrot was still a carrot, but changing its shape and texture made it taste like an entirely new vegetable, one that I hadn’t already eaten thousands of times during my life.

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Apple-Stuffed Roasted Chicken With Sweet Potato Chips

After all the animal fat talk this week, I figured a recipe was in order. But how could I make a dish that revolved around animal fat? Animal fats usually are just cooking aids, rather than stars of the show – it wasn’t like I could just plop a few ounces of rendered lard on a plate and serve that up – so I had to somehow emphasize them. To accomplish this, I used three different animal fats in the making of the dish. Bacon lard coated the oven-roasted chicken, the apples cooked in goose fat, and the sweet potato chips were fried in freshly-rendered beef tallow.

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Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Hardboiled Eggs and Avocado

With summer basically here, I thought a nice gazpacho recipe was in order.

Gazpacho is the chilled, tomato-based raw soup that originated in Andalusia, Spain, possibly after the Moorish incursion brought a simple peasant’s soup of olive oil, water, garlic, and stale bread to the region. Fortunately, those peasants soon grew tired of their meager gruel and began incorporating fresh vegetables from the fields to liven up the dish. Onions, cucumbers, and various herbs were standard fare until Columbus brought back tomatoes and peppers from the New World. Today, gazpacho is best known as a cold tomato soup, but good gazpacho is much, much more than throwing a can of Campbell’s in the fridge. Truly excellent gazpacho must be fresh and feature a wide range of interplaying flavors. Consistency ranges from truly smooth and soupy to thick and chunky (almost like a salsa), but fresh vegetables and quality ingredients are always key.

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