Today—March 12—is my sister Fiona’s birthday! As longtime readers know, my big sis is my go-to source for hands-on cooking knowledge, and one of my biggest culinary heroes and influences. When we were little girls sharing the same tiny bedroom in Menlo Park, California, we never once thought we’d both grow up to have careers in food. I mean, I always figured I’d be a radio DJ or a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. And my sister? She was always a SUPER READER.
But all these years later, we somehow both gravitated back to the tastes and smells of our mom’s kitchen that entranced us when we were kids. Fiona’s cooked with some of the biggest names in the culinary world, kicked butt as a sous chef at hip restaurants in San Francisco and Los Angeles, served as a contributing editor at Vegetarian Times, worked as a private chef in L.A. and Miami, and now, she’s doing all sorts of awesome recipe testing and development for a spice company.
Along the way, she’s also influenced and inspired the recipes I’ve shared with you...
Wanna learn how to stock your paleo kitchen like a boss? (That boss being me, naturally.)
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of speaking at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as part of its Worklife Author Speaker Series. After passing through all the security checkpoints(!) and armed guards(!!), I had a blast meeting all the warm and friendly folks at LLNL, and sharing my story to a packed auditorium of scientists, engineers, and staff—all excited to hear me blather about nourishing, delicious eats.
Here I am at LLNL, behind a big podium and flanked by flags, looking like I’m running for office:
LLNL just posted the video of my presentation (complete with slides!), so if you’re itching for tips on how to paleo-ize your pantry and fridge, watch me do my thing here:Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my
Man, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’ve been hopscotching around like crazy—from Portland to Palo Alto to New York City and then back to California—and then my mother-in-law landed in the hospital at the same time my sister was visiting from Florida for a blink-and-you-missed-it visit.
But you know what helps keep me sane? Home cooking—with amazingly delicious and comforting ingredients.
Case in point: My classic Swiss Chard with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Porkitos, a Catalan-inspired dish I first concocted six summers ago. It combines some of my favorite things: vibrant rainbow chard…
…sweet, golden raisins…
…toasted pine nuts…
…and the pièce de résistance: crispy prosciutto chips (a.k.a.
Can you believe that I first came up with this Paleo Walnut Shrimp recipe over five years ago, and I’m only getting around to posting it now?
Okay—I actually did publish it…waaaay back in 2013. It’s one of my favorite dishes from our first cookbook (and our app), but for years, I held off on publishing this recipe on my blog, waiting (and waiting, and waiting…) for a super-special occasion to do so. After all, in my family, Walnut Shrimp was only served at happy gatherings—which is probably why I associate this dish with such fond memories. And when my parents would take us out for celebratory feasts (in Chinese restaurants, naturally), I could never resist the siren call of crunchy shrimp and candied nuts—all slathered in a creamy, tangy-sweet sauce.
Well, I suppose the start of the Lunar New Year is a good enough reason to finally whip out this beloved dish. My Paleo Walnut Shrimp is an utterly authentic-tasting real-food version of this Hong Kong classic; once you try it, I bet you’ll love it as much as I do.
Ready to make some Paleo Curried Meat Pies—a.k.a. better-for-you grain-free hot pockets?
Longtime Nomsters know that I don’t publish a lot of paleo baking recipes—mostly because I know I’ll gobble up all my test batches with abandon. But once I’ve tasted something that I really, really, really want to make grain-free, I’ll make a rare exception to my no-baking rule. And then, I go nuts, experimenting over and over again ’til I crack the code.
One of the dishes that have gotten this treatment is my mom’s curried meat pies. When I was a kid, my mom used to bake up these buttery hand pies stuffed with a fragrant, curried ground beef filling. These portable pies were my first introduction to fusion food—flaky and savory pastries filled with Indian curry-spiced meat by way of a Chinese mommy. This type of melting pot cuisine is totally my jam.
If you’ve been checking out my Instagram Stories, you know I’ve been experimenting for weeks. Now, at long last, I think I’ve succeeded in creating a portable meat pie that’s both reminiscent of my mom’s, but also completely nut-free and grain-free. These unfussy hand pies...
Remember when I shared my recipe for Spiced Keema waaaaaay back in 2013?
Well, this winter, I’ve found myself making batch after batch of this traditional Indian curried ground beef. Keema is savory, spicy, and fragrant, making it the perfect way to level up your ground meat game. It’s just as fantastic over a bowl of cauli rice or zoodles as it is tucked inside lettuce wraps and omelets.
Here’s a tip: Make enough for leftovers, and keep ’em in the fridge. Then, check back later this week, and I’ll show you how to re-purpose your Spiced Keema into an awesomely portable grain-free hot pocket. Deal?
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!
Who’s ready for some Instant Pot Orange Duck?
If you ask me to pick a bird to prepare for dinner, I’m always going to choose duck. Trust me: You have not lived until you’ve experienced the pleasures of fatty, crispy duck skin giving way to perfectly cooked flavorful meat. Duck, whether roasted, braised, or shredded in stir-fries, has been a favorite of mine since childhood. It was a special-occasion food; it would make welcome appearances at birthday dinners, holiday suppers, and Chinese New Year celebrations.
Thankfully, as an adult, I no longer have to wait weeks on end for my mom to bust out my favorite bird. I’m a big girl (a.k.a. old lady) now, so I can make it myself—and in an Instant Pot, no less! Of course, no electric pressure cooker has the ability to crisp up duck skin like I want, so a skillet is still needed to finish the recipe for this hearty, flavor-packed Orange Duck. But with an Instant Pot, I can make deliciously tender duck legs in just a fraction of the usual time. And you can, too!
Best of all, this Orange Duck + Gravy is a perfect make-ahead recipe; just crisp up the cooked duck legs and reheat the gravy when you’re ready to serve!
Hey! Did you get a chance to taste my Spicy Pineapple Pork when it was available at the hot bar at Whole Foods Market stores this January?
Apparently, it was a big hit: I got a bunch of emails asking where to find the recipe. Surprise: it’s brand new! This Spicy Pineapple Pork is actually a riff on my classic Kalua Pig recipe, but I never bothered to publish the step-by-step instructions…until now. For those of you who demanded a simplified home-kitchen version of this succulent dish that can be made in your trusty Instant Pot, it’s your lucky day!
This Whole30-friendly pork stew is savory, pineapple-y, a tad spicy, and so dang easy to make in a pressure cooker. If you don’t love spicy food, make sure you remove the ribs, pith, and seeds from the serrano peppers—or just leave ’em out entirely. Conversely, you can crank up the heat even more by adding cayenne pepper to the dried spices or increasing the amount of serrano peppers. The leftovers taste great simply reheated (I plop ’em in my Instant Pot and cook for...
Wanna do a Whole30, but don’t know what to do/cook/eat? I’ve got tons of inspiration, tips, and recipes for you! Just click on a photo in my Whole30 roundup and go crazy!2018 WHOLE30 ROUNDUP: 30 DAYS OF RECIPES!
It’s Day 30(!!!), and I saved (one of) the best recipes for last: Whole30-friendly Instant Pot Carnitas!
Here you are, on the last day of your Whole30, so let’s take a moment to reflect on all the changes you’ve experienced this January. Remember when you first got started, a little sluggish, a little scared, and kinda-sorta unsure whether you were going to make it through all 30 days? And look at you now: You feel like a new person. You ARE a new person. You’ve mustered up an awesome amount of determination, and you followed through with something incredibly challenging. Now, you stand to reap the benefits!
When you were in the thick of it all, it might have been tough to remember why you put yourself through a Whole30 in the first place. Remember: the Whole30 is designed to help you understand how different foods affect you. By cutting out foods that are commonly problematic for 30 days, you’ve managed to re-set your...
What should you cook on the penultimate day of your Whole30? Whole Roasted Cauliflower!
There’s nothing like a beautifully golden-crusted whole roasted cauliflower, people. Tender and almost meaty in texture, this cauliflower isn’t just visually enticing—it’s out-of-this-world delicious. Best of all, it’s cheap, easy to make, and satisfies folks of all dietary stripes—Whole30ers, Paleo peeps, omnivores, vegans, and even my picky kids!
By seasoning a whole roasted cauliflower head with just salt and olive oil, you’ll have yourself a blank slate that can be paired with your favorite sauces and herbs. I have a bunch of sauces in my Recipe Index you can choose from, like Arugula Pesto, Leon’s Caper and Anchovy Miracle Sauce, and Tonnato Sauce.
Or even better: Try drizzling a whole roasted cauliflower with the Hazelnut Garlic Sauce from my latest cookbook, Ready or Not! 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo! The warm, nutty flavors...
It’s Day 28, and you’re this close to the end of your Whole30—you’ve put in four solid weeks of hard work!—so now’s definitely not the time to blow it by caving to your fast food cravings. When you feel the itch to head to the drive-thru for a breakfast sandwich this morning, make my Paleo and Whole30 Sausage Egg “McMuffin” instead!
Yes, those are eggs that I’m holding in my hands—not English muffins. And no, substituting good ol’ eggs for bread isn’t SWYPO. Remember what the Whole30 said? “If you’re subbing something unhealthy with vegetables or high-quality meat, that’s almost certainly a thumbs-up.” (For my purposes, eggs count as meat!)
This recipe does call for some special equipment—namely, two stainless steel 3½-inch biscuit cutters. (Mason jar lid bands work, too.) But trust me—it’s worth buying these cheap doodads to make these handsome, hold-in-your-hand breakfast sammies, especially if it keeps you from stuffing your...
Got the cooking doldrums? I’ve got the cure: a deeply flavorful, Asian-inspired meal of Whole30-friendly Korean-style short ribs!
Bonus: There are TWO ways you can prepare this dish: in a slow cooker (a.k.a. Crock Pot) or in a pressure cooker like an Instant Pot. And you can set it and forget it with both methods! That means you can chill with your family instead of slaving over the stove!
As I mentioned in my Whole30 prep post, an Instant Pot is a useful gadget to have around the kitchen. My loyal Nomsters know that I’m a raving Instant Pot evangelist, and have been on a mission to convert my classic recipes so they can be prepared in this magical device. One of my readers’ all-time favorites is my easy-peasy Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs, an umami-packed dish that’s perfect for winter. So naturally, I had to convert it for the Instant Pot, too!
For slow cooker instructions, click here…
Nothing goes better with pork chops than apples. Except maybe Brussels sprouts. Oh, and sweet red onions. And olive oil and lemon juice, too. Don’t forget some nice aged balsamic vinegar.
What the heck, let’s just throw it all on a sheet pan and call it a meal!
Makes 4 servings
Set the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, sage, garlic, and 1½ teaspoons salt.
Okay—now that we’ve been practicing cooking all month long, let’s put our skills to the test with these Whole30 parchment packets!
By now, your old (bad) food cravings are probably in the rear-view mirror, but you may still have some friends and family who are intentionally or unintentionally sabotaging you by eating or dangling unhealthy food choices in front of you. You can always just turn away…or better yet, teach ’em what a better alternative looks like. Case in point: If someone’s yammering on and on about the awesomeness of Hot Pockets, show off your ability to quickly whip up these Whole30-friendly parchment packets!
You remember the Paper-Wrapped Chicken we made earlier this month, right? We did some fancy origami work to fold up some fresh veggies and protein inside a heart made of parchment, and then baked it up.
Hey! It’s Day 24 of your January Whole30, which means you’re just SIX DAYS FROM COMPLETION! But don’t get complacent on me—you’ll kick yourself if you suddenly face-planted into a plate of mac ’n cheese right before crossing the finish line. Instead, take advantage of your newfound energy, and sprint to the end of this marathon. That’s when you’ll take the Whole30 winner’s podium, but in the meantime, you can sink your teeth into these Whole30 winner winner chicken dinners!
These recipes are all bursting with flavor, and perfect for busy weeknights. Chicken is budget-friendly, and let’s face it—it’s pretty much everyone’s favorite protein. Pick one (or more) of these chicken dinners to make this week, and I bet no one’ll give you guff about Whole30 food being boring, restrictive, or bland. In fact, I see some high-fives in your future. Time to get your Whole30 winner chicken dinner on!FIONA’S GREEN CHICKEN
Fiona happens to...
Asian food is my lifeblood, but as I’m sure you know, it ain’t easy finding Whole30-compliant dishes from the land of my peoples. It’s not that the cuisines of Asia aren’t rooted in real, whole foods. (Remember our hand-harvested, on-site farm lunch in Northern Thailand?) But especially over the past few generations, industrialized food production—which has helped feed billions—has also led manufacturers down the path to using hyper-processed ingredients that are adulterated with all sorts of badness.
Need an example? Behold: Fried Gluten with Peanuts (“Also for Vegetarians!”):Pretty sure this isn’t Whole30-compliant.
Years ago, I resigned myself to the fact that there were some Asian dishes (and...
Hey! If you’ve been doing a Whole30 all this month, you’re in the home stretch! By now, you’re probably feeling mighty fine—you’re starting to see the changes in your mood and your body, and you’re even sleeping better, too! You have just a week or so left to go, so keep at it, tiger. And in the meantime, let’s make some Whole30-friendly Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup!
It’s winter, people—and there’s nothing more warming to the body and soul than a piping hot cup or bowl of creamy soup. This Whole30-friendly Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup is a certified Nom Nom Paleo classic; I first posted it on this blog in 2010—almost 8 years ago!—and it’s still a staple in my house when the weather calls for soup.
Of course, now that I’m a crazy Instant Pot disciple, I prefer to crank out my Whole30-compliant Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup in my trusty countertop electric pressure cooker. It’s just as good as the stovetop version, but even easier to make ’cause I can set it and forget it!
Okay—this one needs no introduction: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon!
You can’t go wrong with bacon and Brussels sprouts. It’s not just about combining smoky, crispy bacon and nutty, caramelized Brussels sprouts—we’re also adding the sweetness of aged balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper. Plus, my Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Bacon recipe is ridiculously easy to prepare—you pretty much just toss Brussels sprouts and bacon onto a pan and roast it off in the oven. Follow my step-by-step instructions, and even a total kitchen noob could make this perfectly!
It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular Nom Nom Paleo recipes of ALL TIME. Just remember to use Whole30-friendly sugar-free bacon, like Wellshire Farms’ Sugar Free Paleo Dry Rubbed Bacon. It’s not hard to find; just stroll over to the bacon section at your local Whole Foods Market, and look for the little Nom Nom Paleo sign....
I’ve got another new and nomtastic recipe for you: Whole30-friendly Joe’s Special Scramble!
This 1920s Italian-American classic originated in a restaurant on Broadway Street in San Francisco called New Joe’s. But over the the past century, this hearty, comforting scramble has made its way onto the breakfast—and dinner!—tables of families throughout the West Coast. It’s not hard to see why: Joe’s Special is easy to prepare, using pantry and fridge staples found in just about every home. My Whole30-friendly version kicks up the umami with a bit of fish sauce (don’t worry—it doesn’t make this taste fishy!), but otherwise, it’s true to the original.
I like to flavor it up even further with cayenne pepper sauce at the table, like Frank’s Red Hot Original Sauce. And don’t worry, Whole30ers—Frank’s is Whole30-friendly, according to Melissa Hartwig herself!
Makes 4 servings