Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year’s Resolution: "Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog"

What, kale is out? [along with sugar and most carbs]. And what in the world are kettlebells? [whole body workout is best].

“Forget every assumption you might have about diet and exercise. In more than 100 short, compelling essays, Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog shows us why eating fat makes us thin, cardio makes us stressed and hungry, and not all calories are created equal - with the latest science to back it up.” (from the back cover)

The author has also published Just Ride and his essays have appeared in Outside, Men’s Journal, and Bicycling. He is the founder and owner of Rivendell Bicycle Works and can be found at his store, Rivendale Bike, Book & Hatchet, in Walnut Creek, or online at

If you’re looking for a new direction or inspiration for your New Year’s resolution, I highly recommend this book.

#paleo #bacon #fitness #weightloss #grantpetersen #rivbike

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Three New Cookbooks, Three Home Cooks - Part 3

We’ve been good long enough! It’s time to lighten up with an adult beverage, “Cucumber Gimlet,” from Erin Scott’s new book yummy supper, 100 Fresh, Luscious & Honest Recipes from a {Gluten-Free} Omnivore.

Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, author/photographer/chef Erin Scott has turned her food challenge into an asset by reinventing herself as a successful food blogger with over 100,000 followers, and now cookbook author. By focusing on what she and her family could eat, and going back to the basics, Ms. Scott did what many of us do: she abandoned trying to substitute gluten-free pre-made products and instead created her own delicious recipes which are featured in this beautiful book.  

Photo by Erin Scott
Susa, our third home cook, chose a classic cocktail recipe, “Cucumber Gimlet,” from the book. But how does alcohol fit into the Paleo diet, I can hear you asking now, much less one that is grain-based as it is made with gin?

First, a strict Paleo regimen never allows alcohol, but we are "Paleo-inspired” here so an occasional glass of dry red wine (Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) or dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc), tequila, rum or potato vodka can be enjoyed on occasion and in moderation.

Regarding gin and the gluten-free issue, I emailed Ms. Scott with this question; she answered that "distilled liquors are considered gluten-free and Celiac safe even though they are made from grain, but you can always buy gin made from potato if you’d like.” She prefers Hendrick’s Gin with its “flowery, botanical flavor."

Photo by Susann Gaska-Gutschmidt

1/2 cup chopped Persian cucumbers (2-3 cucumbers); plus thinly-cut rounds cut for garnish
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light agave nectar

1 cup Gin, preferably Hendrick's
Ice cubes


1.  In a food processor or blender, thoroughly puree the chopped cucumber, lime juice, water, and agave nectar. Strain the puree (syrup) through a fine sieve.

2. To each glass, mix 1/4 cup syrup and 1/4 cup gin. Add ice cubes and cucumber rounds for garnish.

Enjoy! and Happy New Year!

Serves 4.  

Note: This is also delicious as a non-alcoholic drink!

#yummysupper #gimlet #glutenfree #cocktail

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Kale & Pomegranate Salad

Happy Holidays, Everyone!
With a little stretch of the imagination, this Kale and Pomegranate Salad looked to me like an edible tree, beautiful on any table for the holidays.

The recipe is online at the yummy supper website. Ingredients in my salad included: lacinato kale, maple syrup, lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, Fuyu persimmons, and pomegranate seeds.

Serves 4 side salads.

#paleo #kale #salad #fuyu #pomegranate #glutenfree #diaryfree #yummysupper

Sunday, December 21, 2014

'Fear of Flying’ Apple Galette

'Fear of flying' is defined as a specific phobia of the situational type, as in the tension I feel every time a recipe has a pie crust.

I have tried to make a pie crust my whole life that didn’t have the texture of shoe leather.  At long last, thanks to Erin Scott’s great instructions in the yummy supper cookbook, I have finally succeeded. 

Recipe from the yummy supper cookbook by Erin Scott


Pie Crust:

1 1/2 cups Pamela's Gluten-Free Bread Mix
Pinch of sea salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
6-7 tablespoons ice water

Galette Filling:

All-purpose gluten-free flour for rolling out crust

4 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced, preferably with a mandoline
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
1 egg yolk, whisked
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar, turbino or muscovado
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Pie Crust

1.  For the directions on how to make the pie crust, see yummy supper's post at this link, but use the quantities in the Ingredient list above.  For a large galette, put the ball in plastic and flatten it to a thick round with your hand; for smaller galettes, divide the dough into four balls, wrap, and flatten.  P
ut the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Pie dough after mixing in cold butter and water

Pie crusts ready to refrigerate


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Pie crust rolled out and ready for filling

1. Dust a piece of parchment paper with flour, and roll out the chilled dough under a piece of plastic wrap.  Put the rolled out dough back in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.

2. Peel, core and slice the apples.  Toss the slices with the juice.

3.  Take out the pie crusts.  Trim if desired.  Arrange the apples in a circular pattern, leaving about 1-1/2" - 2" clear at the edge.

4.  Fold up the crust and brush it with egg yolk.  Slowly pour the melted butter into each galette.


5.  Put the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, mix and sprinkle over the top of the galettes.

6.  Bake the galettes on a parchment lined baking sheet for 35 minutes, or until the crust is browned.

Cool on a rack and serve.

Makes 4 small or 1 large galette.

#dessert #galette #glutenfree #yummysupper

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Homemade Chicken Bone Broth (Stock)

In “How to Cook Everything Fast" by Mark Bittman,* he writes that if you don’t have homemade chicken broth for a recipe, just use water.

After making my first batch of chicken stock, I see why: the clarity of the gelatinous broth and the depth of flavor totally surpass anything I’ve bought at the market. And, for pennies on the dollar of what I've been paying, I’ll have fresh, healthful soup at lunch for the next several months.

Note: This is up to a 24 hour commitment, but does not require constant attention.


1 pound chicken feet
1 pound chicken backs
1 pound chicken necks
1 pound beef soup bones

1 onion, peeled and sliced in half
2 carrots, peeled and cut in thirds
2 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Red Boat Fish Sauce

Salt to taste


1. Place the bones (can be frozen) in a roasting pan. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and roast the bones for about an hour.

2. In a large stockpot, combine the roasted bones, prepared vegetables, vinegar and fish sauce. Add just enough water to cover all of the ingredients.

3. Bring the water to a boil; turn the heat down and cover the pot. Adjust the heat so the water maintains a low simmer. Keep the pot covered, and the water at a low boil for up to 24 hours to attain the maximum flavor and gelatinous texture. However, if you only have 6 - 8 hours, the result is still better than store bought. If necessary, add just enough water to keep everything covered during the cooking process (the level did not drop for me).

4. When the stock has cooked, cut a piece of cheesecloth to fit over the top of another large pot and tie it in place under the lip of the pot with cooking twine. Strain the broth through the cheesecloth. Taste and adjust for salt.

5. Divide the stock among glass jars. Freeze the stock that won’t be used in the next 3 days, and defrost as desired. The stock will keep for about 3 days in the refrigerator.

Makes approximately 4 - 6 quarts of chicken stock.

#paleo #broth #bonebroth #chicken #soup #glutenfree #dairyfree #markbittman

*Many thanks to Julie Dalton and family for the holiday book gift!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Grandpa Chandra's Chicken Curry

In the Nepali village where my daughter was born, rice and dal (lentil soup) is the usual mid-day and evening meal. Chicken is typically reserved for honored guests, or a special occasion. But when her maternal grandfather, Chandra Tamang, would join us for breakfast, lunch or dinner at our hotel, he always ordered chicken curry. In his honor, we worked together on this recipe for Chandra's Chicken Curry.


[To Make the Ghee: 1 cup of unsalted butter]
[To Make the Ginger/Garlic Mixture:

1/2 cup of peeled, chopped ginger
1 -2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ghee]

Chicken Curry:

3 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons ginger/garlic paste
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup water

1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 - 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes, juices drained and set aside
2 pounds chicken legs and thighs, skin on, bone in
1 cup water and 1/2 cup juice from tomatoes

Finishing Touch:

1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
Salt to taste

Cooking Directions:

Step 1:  To make the ghee:

Melt 2 sticks of butter (1 cup) in a small pot.  When the white milk solids bubble to the top, discard them with a spoon.

Let the butter cook until it turns a golden color.

Drain the oil through cheesecloth to catch the brown particles.

Let the ghee cool and store in a jar or container.

Step 2:  To make the ginger/garlic mixture:

Put all ingredients for ginger/garlic mixture in a food processor to combine.  

Store in a jar or container.

Step 3:  Cooking the Curry Spices

Put 4 tablespoons of ghee in a cast iron pot.  The ghee will heat up very fast.  Add the cumin seeds; let them cook for about 1 minute.  Add the ginger/garlic mixture; stir this all together constantly until very fragrant.  Add the turmeric, curry powder, and chili powder; stir.  Add about 1/4 cup of water and stir to allow the spices to blend all of their flavors together. Check for taste.

4.  Making the Curry:

Add the chopped onions to the spice mixture (and more ghee if needed).  Cook the onions down for a few minutes.  Add the drained chopped tomatoes and stir until the mixture looks like jam, about 5 minutes.

When the tomatoes have thickened, push them to the back of the pot with a wooden spoon.

Add 1/2 the chicken pieces in the front of the pan and lightly brown on all sides for a couple of minutes.  Put the browned pieces on top of the tomatoes and add the rest of the chicken to the cleared space.  When these pieces have browned, stir the mixture all together and add salt.

Add the water and tomato juice to cover the chicken.  Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium, cover with the lid, and cook the chicken throughly for 30 -40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pieces (chicken temperature should be 165 degrees F with instant read thermometer). Stir occasionally.  The chicken will start to fall off of the bone when it is done.

Step 5.  Finishing Touch

Add the garam masala, stir and let simmer uncovered for 5 more minutes. Adjust for salt.

Serve with rice and/or salad.

Makes 5-6 servings.

Recipe updated on 4.6.18 by Chandragranddaughter, Anu Tamang Vaughan, shown in “About Me” photo above. 

#paleo #chicken #curry #glutenfree #indiancooking 


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Spinach & Pecan Stuffed Mushrooms

I had planned to reshoot the photo of stuffed mushrooms when there was more natural light, but my daughter, the picky eater, came home from school on Friday and devoured almost the entire plateful. “I don’t like pecans,” she said as she plopped another one in her mouth.  “Oh?” I said, and smiled to myself as she ate all but this last one.


12 mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed and finely chopped
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts), toasted in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, chopped

2 tablespoons ghee, or olive oil (for strict vegan)
2 shallots
4 cups chopped baby spinach
1/2 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Fine sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1/3 cup olive oil to coat bottom of mushrooms and baking pan

Cilantro for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1.  Prepare the mushrooms and nuts.

2.  Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a large frying pan.  Sauté the shallots for about 5 minutes. Add another teaspoon of oil and sauté spinach and chopped stems until softened - another couple of minutes. 

3. Add the nuts, panko, and vinegar to taste; stir.  Season with salt and pepper.

4.  Rub the bottom of the mushrooms with olive oil (I poured the oil in my palm), and place them on an oiled baking sheet. Stuff the mushrooms with the vegetable mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes.

5.  Let the mushrooms cool for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. 

Serves 4, or one hungry teenager.

Recipe inspired from

#paleo #vegetarian #vegan #glutenfree #appetizer

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

5-Star Pot Roast

My sister made this dish last August for her 26th wedding anniversary dinner.  When my nephew asked her to make it again for Thanksgiving, I thought I should give it a try.

As soon as the aroma of the balsamic vinegar hit the bottom of the hot cast iron pot, I knew something special was in store.  Later, we “dined" on tender and succulent meat, with the au jus begging to be mopped up with biscuits or bread. This easy recipe* elevates the lowly pot roast to new heights for any family dinner or special occasion.


3 1/2 pound beef chuck roast
4 tablespoons olive oil, or ghee
3 cups organic beef or bone broth
2 leeks, white part thinly sliced
3 carrots, sliced into diagonal pieces
3 celery sticks, sliced into diagonal pieces
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
1/4 pound Shitake mushrooms, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried herbs (thyme, oregano, etc.)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Parsley or cilantro for garnish


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a (preferably) cast iron pot. Sear the pot roast about three minutes per side, including around the outside. Remove the roast and set it aside.

2.  Add the remaining oil, and sauté the leeks, carrots, and celery until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté a few minutes longer.  Sprinkle the dried herbs and salt over the vegetables and stir to mix.

3. Pour the vinegar in the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot to mix everything together.  Place the meat on top of the vegetables, and add stock to reach 1/2 way up the roast. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside the pot.  Press the paper down to sit on top of the roast. Cover the pot and place it  on the lower rack in oven. Bake for 3 hours.

4. Place the cooked roast on a platter and gently tear it apart with a fork. Add the vegetables and garnish with cilantro. Serve the au jus (can be reduced (boiled down 1/2 way, or served as is) on the side.

Serves 4.

Recipe inspired by and the Nom Nom Paleo Food for Humans book available for purchase here.

#paleo #potroast #glutenfree #dairyfree #nutfree #comfortfood