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

Pancetta with Halibut and Asparagus

If something akin to “meat butter” sounds good to you, then head to your favorite local (or online) butcher shop and ask for pancetta, guanciale or lardo. All three are fatty cuts of pork – with an emphasis on fatty – that are dry cured with salt, herbs and spices.

Guanciale comes from the jowl, lardo comes from the back and pancetta comes from the belly. The long curing time (usually a couple months or so) means these seriously tasty slabs of mostly fat marbled with a little meat can be eaten raw. This is usually done by draping very thin slices of pancetta, guanciale or lardo over cooked meat, fish or vegetables, so it melts like butter. Meaty, salty, extremely rich butter.

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Crispy and Creamy Avocado Fries

Avocado fries have that tempting combination of a crispy outer layer, creamy middle and addictive fried flavor. Made with nothing more than avocado, coconut, egg, salt and spices, it’s a pure and healthful snack or salad topping loaded with beneficial fatty acids.

Before you scarf down an entire plateful, keep in mind that a little bit of avocado goes a long way. The good news is that avocado fries are both rich and filling so a small portion is plenty satisfying. This simple recipe gives avocado fries a Southwest flair, adding cumin and chili powder to the mix. You could take this theme a little further by adding finely chopped cilantro to the coating and finishing them with a squirt of fresh lime.

One last thing: Don’t make this recipe unless you have a bottle of hot sauce in the fridge. It adds the extra kick that sends avocado fries over the top.

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How to Make Flavored Salts

At first glance, flavored salt might strike you as a “why bother?” type of project. Who has time to make their own flavored salt when you can just grab a jar of seasoning salt from the spice aisle at the grocery store? But the arguments for making your own seasonings are much stronger than the lazy argument against.

Making flavored salt is quick and easy. You probably already have some of the ingredients right at your fingertips: kosher or sea salt, fresh herbs, spices, dried mushrooms and citrus fruit are a great place to start.
Making flavored salt is fun. Make one and you’ll immediately find yourself brainstorming new combinations. What about cocoa powder-espresso salt for steak? Or spicy sumac salt for seafood and vegetables? Stock up on glass jars, because you’re going to want to make one batch after another.
Fresh is best, even when it comes to dried seasonings. Homemade flavored salt adds more vibrant flavor to your meals and has health benefits to boot. No one really knows how long that store-bought seasoning salt has been sitting on the store shelf or how long that same seasoning salt then sits in your pantry. Homemade flavored salt can be made in small batches with organic ingredients, promising fresh flavor and antioxidants.

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A Primal Thanksgiving Menu (plus a Contest)

It’s two days away from Thanksgiving here in the United States, and that means a significant portion of my readership is scrambling to put together a Primal menu. Things are easier now with the rise of the ancestral health community and the growing preponderance of related recipe blogs, but a lot of you are still wasting precious time combing through their volumes or converting standard Thanksgiving recipes into Primal-friendly recipes. You have better things to do. You have family and friends to visit, footballs to toss (or kick, as the case may be), piles of polychromatic leaves to roll around in, and thanks to give. Even if you’re an international reader, don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or know quite what it’s all about, you still like to eat great food.

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Grilled Okra with Spicy Sumac Seasoning Salt

Okra lovers and haters, rejoice. Grilled okra with spicy sumac seasoning salt is an untraditional and finger lickin’ good recipe that will make you fall in love with okra all over again, or, for the very first time.

Okra is rarely described as addictive. All it takes, though, is a few minutes on a hot grill and a tart and spicy seasoning salt to transform okra into finger food that will fly off the table. Crispy, salty, spicy veggies hot off the grill are better than a bowl of chips, any day. Set them out as an appetizer or snack and eat as many as you like without worrying about spoiling your dinner or your waistline.

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Pickled Shrimp

If you’ve grabbed one too many handfuls of nuts or jerky when the munchies strike and you’re craving something new to snack on, here’s an idea: ice-cold, pickled shrimp. Firm and fresh with a tangy kick of lemon and vinegar plus subtle spices, this Southern specialty tastes especially good when the weather is hot.

Pickled shrimp aren’t only an answer to snacking boredom. You’ll also get a decent amount of protein, selenium, calcium and iodine. Dip deeper into the vinegary marinade for crisp slices of sweet red pepper or spicy jalapeño and a dose of lycopene and vitamins C and B.

Beyond snacking, pour pickled shrimp over salad greens or shredded cabbage for a full meal.

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