Roasted Miso Mushroom & Sweet Potato

Roasted Miso Mushroom & Sweet Potato

Still looking for a last minute side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner? Look no further than this sweet and savory Roasted Miso Mushroom & Sweet Potato recipe.

Roasted Miso Mushroom & Sweet Potato

Awhile back my wife and I discovered a restaurant around us called Urban Plates. They have fresh sautéed and roasted side dishes, salads, soups and pastured meats. The food is delicious, but one side dish stuck out to me that they made that was absolutely delicious: Miso Mushroom Sweet Potato Sauté. I looked everywhere online to find their recipe or ingredients but I couldn’t find anything concrete. So I checked out this recipe and this recipe for some guidelines on cooking with miso, so that I didn’t add to much.

Miso

If you’re wondering if miso is Paleo or Primal, rest assured that even though it’s soy – it’s fermented soy – which changes things a bit. When soy is fermented it goes from harmful to less harmful/beneficial for your body. Read more about the benefits of fermented soy here and here.

Before the oven
Before the oven

After the oven
After the oven

Roasted Miso Mushroom & Sweet Potato
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 sweet potatoes
  2. 8oz mushrooms
  3. 1T butter
  4. 1T olive oil
  5. 1T miso
  6. Salt pepper
  7. 1 minced garlic clove
  8. 1t chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 425.
  2. Skin and cut up your sweet potatoes into bite sized chunks. Wash and cut up your mushrooms as well.
  3. In a bowl melt the butter with the miso in a microwave for 15-20 seconds.
  4. Put mushrooms and sweet potatoes onto a baking tray and toss on the tray with olive oil, the melted butter and miso, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place tray in the oven for 30 minutes tossing once at 15 minutes.
  6. After 30 minutes take it out of the oven and top with chopped parsley.
  7. Enjoy!
That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/

Wilde Snack Bar Review

Wilde Snack Bars

If you’ve been around this blog for awhile now you’re probably aware that I’m always on the hunt for the perfect primal protein bar/snack. And I’d say we’ve come pretty close to some great primal bars out there, ones that are made of crickets, egg whites or straight up real meat. Today though I have another review of some really tasty and surely primal bars for you guys to check out called Wilde Snack Bars (not to be confused with the Wildway Granola I reviewed). For this Wilde Snack Bar Review we’re gonna take a look at how they stack up against other protein bars in regards to Nutritional Profile, Affordability and Taste.

Wilde Snack Bar Review

Wilde Snack Bars come out to be very similar to the Epic Bars that are out there since their protein source is real meat: turkey, beef, chicken, etc… – but Wilde’s unique blend of ingredients make these bars slightly sweeter and crunchier. I first saw them on someone’s Instagram and immediately reached out to Wilde to see if I can review some of their bars and they were more than willing to hook it up – and hook it up they did. They sent a giant box of all their flavors for me to review. So let’s get to it!

Wilde Snack Bars Nutrition

Nutritional profile

Since both Wilde and Epic make their protein bars with real meat, I think it’s only fitting to look at how the two stack up against one another. Epic has a lot of different flavors but I picked out the Bison, Bacon and Cranberry bar to compare with Wilde’s Maple Bacon Blueberry bar.

Wilde’s Maple Bacon Blueberry bar
Total Fat: 1.5g
Total Carbohydrate: 10g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 5g)
Protein: 11g
Ingredients: Free Range Turkey, Cane Sugar, Rice Syrup Solids, Uncured Bacon – No Nitrates Or Nitrites Added Except For Sea Salt And Celery Juice (Pork, Water, Sea Salt, Sugar, Natural Flavoring, Celery Juice, Lactic Acid Starter Culture), Date Paste, Organic Whole Grain Yellow Cornmeal, Vegetable Glycerin, Chia Seeds, Dried Blueberries, Ground Flaxseed, Sea Salt, Quinoa, Maple Syrup, Natural Flavors, Hickory Salt (Salt, Molasses, Natural Hickory Smoke Flavor)

Epic’s Bison, Bacon and Cranberry bar
Total Fat: 8g
Total Carbohydrate: 10g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 7g)
Protein: 8g
Ingredients: Bison, Uncured Bacon- – No Nitrates Added (Pork, Water, Brown Sugar, Salt, Vinegar, Celery Powder, Sea Salt), Dried Cranberries (Cranberries, Apple Juice Concentrate), Lactic Acid (Not from milk), Celery Powder, Sea Salt.

Wilde Snack Bar Nutrition

Woah, at first glance what do you see? Wilde has a bunch of ingredients and both are pretty low in fat more or less. Let’s focus on the ingredients first. These type of bars are really a take on Pemmican. What’s Pemmican you ask? According to Wikipedia it’s “a concentrated mixture of fat and protein used as a nutritious food. The specific ingredients used were usually whatever was available; the meat was often bison, deer, elk, or moose. Fruits such as cranberries and saskatoon berries were sometimes added. Blueberries, cherries, chokeberries, and currants were also used…”

So that’s pretty much what you see in the ingredients of both bars: Lean Protein, Fats and Dried Fruits. The only things that stick out to me in the ingredients of Wilde’s bars are the rice solid syrups, cornmeal and vegetable glycerin. Rice syrup is basically a glucose syrup like corn syrup, but it’s deprived from rice. Not a big deal, but it’s still a grain, and it definitely makes these bars sweet. Cornmeal, well corn is not a vegetable it’s a grain also, but cornmeal is basically a flour made from corn. Both ingredients still gluten free but not necessarily paleo or primal. Then we have vegetable glycerin which according to this is a “clear, odorless liquid produced from plant oils, typically palm oil, soy, or coconut oil”. I’m not sure what this one is derived from in this particular case, but the package doesn’t say contains coconut or soy so I don’t think it’s coconut oil or soybean oil. So it could be palm oil. Nevertheless the rice syrup and corn aren’t necessarily paleo, but their still gluten free in nature and shouldn’t be an issue because they’re probably such small amounts in each bar.

Wilde Snack Bars Card Back

Compared to Epic bar, their list of ingredients is a lot smaller but contains a similar nutritional profile. Epic’s has a little more fat per bar than Wilde – However I would like to see these bars have much more fat per bar since we know fat is the body’s preferred source of fuel. Once again that’s why I love the nutritional profile of Exo bars because it has such a high fat content therefore sustaining you longer.

All in all both bars are great bars and we’ll get into this in the taste section but it would come down to if you want a bar that is sweeter or saltier. If sweeter – then the unique blend of ingredients in Wilde’s are probably your best bet but if you want a saltier/meatier tasting bar I’d go with Epic’s.

Wilde Snack Bars

Affordability

As we know by now, food that’s good for you is always expensive. Every affordability comparison I do of these bars comes out way more than a nutrigrain bar I know. But we are’t concerned with those junk bars. We are looking for a nutritious primal protein bar that will sustain us through whatever our day throws at us! So let’s see what it’ll cost us to get our hands (and teeth) on these bars.

Wilde’s Maple Bacon Blueberry bar
Price per bar: $2.96
Price per 15 bar box: $44.53
Buy on Amazon

Epic’s Bison, Bacon and Cranberry bar
Price per bar: $2.35
Price per 12 bar box: $28.31
Buy on Amazon

Both of these bars are up there in price, around $2-$3 per bar. The Epic bars are a little cheaper per bar and may even be cheaper in stores if you see them. I think they are in a lot of grocery stores now. I’m not sure yet how widely Wilde’s bars are distributed so they come out to be a little more expensive. But you are paying for quality ingredients made from a real protein source – lean meat. They are pretty similar in price though to RXBARs or Exo bars. All in all they’re still a great option, price wise, for a quick on the go snack that is made from real food – you’re just going to have to pay for the quality and convenience.

Wilde Snack Bars Taste

Taste

Now onto taste! The four bars that were sent to me are listed below and I made some notes about how each tasted. I do believe my favorite was the Maple Bacon Blueberry Bar. All of the bars, however, are very tasty and very moist. Very easy to eat and as I mentioned earlier they all tend to be on the sweeter side so if you like sweet snacks then these are a great option for you, but if you’re a salty snack kinda person I would say check out the Epic bars.

Maple Bacon Blueberry bar
Just the right amount of sweetness and smokiness. It’s a pretty good bar. Not too chewy just the right amount of moisture.

Turkey Cranberry Bar
Really soft and I could taste the peppery and slight sage. Just the right amount of sweetness. Not overpowering.

Peach BBQ bar
Super soft. Perfect flavor. Reminds me of the softness of Krave jerky but even softer. Not overly sweet. Just a little hint of sweet peachy flavor. This one was really good.

Sweet Thai Basil Bar
Once again very soft and sweet. This one has a little kick to it and a nice little touch with the basil. I love the taste of basil and you can pick it up a little in this.

Wilde Snack Bars Card

Conclusion

Thank you Wilde Snacks for sending me these amazing bars. These are all definitely up there on my go-to primal protein bar list as they use a real protein source, they actually taste pretty darn good and they don’t taste like anything out there on the market right now. So be sure to check them out. You can order some online in the links below or their site says they’re available at these stores: Alfalfa’s, Natural Grocers, Bristol Farms, Lucky’s Market, Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Market of Choice and Sprouts. Thanks for reading!

Buy some for yourself:
Amazon

Melissa Joulwan Interview

Melissa Joulwan

Melissa Joulwan is the author of Well Fed, Well Fed 2 and her new book coming out called Well Fed Weeknights. My wife and I fell in love with her first two books because they really helped us make super easy meals that were both nutritious and tasty. I continue to cook recipes from both of these books pretty much every week. I was thrilled to be able to connect with her because of the impact her books have had on my family’s Primal journey.

Melissa was able to answer some questions for me about how she got into Paleo and how her Paleo journey has evolved over the last few years. She even shared some insight to some new things she’s working on. We’re also offering a chance to win a free copy of her new book if you sign up for my newsletter. So go ahead and fill out your email in the newsletter box for a chance at winning her new book: Well Fed Weeknights. You’ll have until October 9, 2016 to enter!

Again, I’m thrilled she agreed to do an interview for That’s So Primal, so here is our interview!

Before we get into it, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into Paleo.

From grade school to the day I graduated from college, I was a chubby nerd. My parents are both exceptionally good cooks—my dad brought his restaurant training home and my mom won almost every cooking contest that she entered. By the time I was about eight, I was wearing Sears “Pretty Plus” jeans. My overweight state was mostly because I really liked food but also because I really didn’t like to sweat.

After a broken ankle and vicious playground taunts, I stuck with reading, practicing the piano, and roller-skating to the library. I don’t know how many gym classes I missed because I was “sick” or “forgot” my gym clothes. I do know that my P.E. attendance put my otherwise stellar grade point average in jeopardy. Even though I avoided sports, I secretly admired the athletic kids; they walked taller than the rest of us.

When I was in tenth grade, my dad took me to Annapolis to see the Navy band play a concert, and for about three weeks, I was determined to get in shape so that I could apply to the Naval Academy. I abandoned that dream because I was incapable of doing pushups and situps, and I was too embarrassed and overwhelmed to ask for help.

For most of my life, I was haunted by a deep desire to be different than I was. To be thin. To feel confident. To break the cycle of thinking of food—and my behavior—as “good” or “bad.” I joined Weight Watchers and eventually became a Lifetime Member with a weight loss of more than 50 pounds. I joined a CrossFit gym and learned to love being intimidated by my workouts. I developed a deep affection for lifting barbells. But despite my successes, it was still my habit to celebrate and to grieve and to stress out and to relax with food. Although I worked out regularly, I didn’t feel as strong, inside or out, as I wanted. I had insomnia, allergies, and stomach aches. My body didn’t feel like it belonged to me.

In 2008, I learned I had a nodule on my thyroid. The risk of cancer was high, so I had the nodule surgically removed, and the doctor hoped that the remaining half of my thyroid would continue to function. It held on for a few months but then stopped working. That was a very difficult time. It was like constantly having a case of the blues; I was sluggish, foggy-headed, and desperately worried about re-gaining all the weight that I’d worked so hard to lose.

Then I found Whole9 and the Whole30 and their unique approach to paleo. It was surprisingly easy for me to give up grains, despite my deep affection for toast, but saying goodbye to my standard breakfast of blueberries with milk almost pushed me to the edge. I did not approach the paleo rules with an open heart. But I committed. I followed the eating guidelines. I made it a project to get eight hours of sleep every night. I worked with my doctor to try to find the right doses for my thyroid hormones. I was on track with my nutrition, but my training was all wrong for a girl with no thyroid. The constant physical stress of my sometimes twice-a-day workouts and beat-the-clock CrossFit—without restorative activities like yoga, meditation, and walking to balance it out—took its toll. I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue.

So I started over…again.

My routine now includes daily meditation, gentle yoga classes, walking, strength training, and occasional sprints. What’s never wavered is my commitment to and affection for my paleo diet. I’ve been through a lot of self-experimentation in the last half decade to get back to optimal health. The solid foundation provided by the paleo diet makes it possible to measure other health and quality of life markers and tinker with them. After five years, I’m more convinced than ever that this is the healthiest way for me to feed my body and mind—and it is sustainable in a way that no other “diet” has ever been.

Can you tell us about your new cookbook you’ve been working on?

Well Fed Weeknights

It’s called Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes Or Less. The recipes are inspired by takeout classics, food trucks, and cuisines from around the world—all totally free of grains, dairy, legumes, and soy. There are more than 200 recipes in the book, and they’re put together so you can make 128 complete meals: protein, veggies, and fats. It’s super simple to make amazing meals with this cookbook.

Every meal is thoroughly tested and easy to make, with affordable ingredients you can find at your neighborhood grocery store. And all of the recipes include my super-popular “You Know How You Could Do That?” variations, as well as Cookup Tips to help shorten meal prep time. There’s a “Mini Cookup” with step-by-step instructions for cooking six paleo kitchen staples—like cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, homemade mayo, and more— in under an hour. We’re offering a free 70-page PDF sampler that includes 18 recipes so people can check it out before they buy: bit.ly/WFWsampler

How has your approach to Paleo evolved from the beginning of your journey to now, if at all?

I think the biggest change since the beginning is that I eat more starchy carbs now. When I first started, I was very, very low carb. But I had my thyroid removed, and I’m a woman, so I have more energy, sleep better, and just generally feel better when I eat about 30–40% of my calories from carbs like sweet potatoes, plantains, and white potatoes.

Zucchini Soup
Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup

I’ve also made a commitment to eating bone broth and a serving of fermented foods every day. It’s really easy to eat a bowl of Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup made with bone broth, and I make homemade sauerkraut, fermented beets and carrots, stuff like that. Also super easy! But if people don’t have time to make their own, it’s easy to buy awesome sauerkraut or kimchi from the farmer’s market or grocery store. (But try making your own! This recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo makes is very approachable.

What is your approach to fitness?

Box Jump

I lift heavy stuff twice a week, I walk at least 10,000 steps every day, and then once or twice a week I do some interval training if my energy level is good. At 49 and without a thyroid, I really have to pay attention to my body signals. But I would also argue that super healthy and/or young people will also do great if they listen to their bodies instead of pushing pushing pushing all the time. I also meditate most days and try to do yoga twice a week, although I’m not as consistent with that goal as I would like.

What would you say a healthy diet and lifestyle looks like for you?

I have excellent habits 95% of the time. I sleep eight to nine hours per night to recover from and prepare for lifting heavy barbells, occasional sprints, and plenty of yoga and walking. I keep the house stocked with paleo ingredients and cook nutrient-dense food so my husband Dave and I can eat real food every day. Then on rare occasions, I indulge. I become a temporary slug and give in to the temptation of corn-based chip products, buttered popcorn, an icy-cold glass of Prosecco, or a shot of Ouzo. I should mention that I have a known whipped cream problem.

After a three decades of “being on a diet,” my philosophy now is to “just eat.” I don’t have strict food rules anymore, but now that I know how non-paleo foods affect my mood, energy, and digestion, I eat them on only rare occasions. A few times a year, I make a conscious choice – “maybe I’ll get a tummy ache, but I’m OK with that” – and indulge in non-paleo foods. I savor every bite! Then I go back to the way I usually eat, which is pretty strict by most peoples’ standards, but feels good and delicious to me.

I have cooked so many recipes from both of your cookbooks, I think I’ve cooked the Shepherds Pie the most, my wife and I absolutely love that recipe! What’s your favorite recipe from your books?

I love them all! But I can tell you that my husband’s favorite from Well Fed is the Chocolate Chili. From Well Fed 2, it’s the West African Chicken Stew.
Chocolate Chili
Chocolate Chili

Two recipes I make all the time because they’re delicious and they’re an easy way to add flavor to meals are Zingy Ginger Dressing and Homemade Mayo. Oh! Plantain Nachos! That’s another good one.

Zingy Ginger Dressing
Zingy Ginger Dressing

Plantain Nachos
Plantain Nachos

What’s your favorite recipe from your blog?

These Pumpkin-Spiced Pepitas are really fun and tasty!

Pumpkin Spiced Pepitas

What does a typical week of meals look like for you?

Breakfast is almost always leftover protein (chicken, ground beef) sautéed with leftover veggies, sweet potatoes, and duck fat. I usually don’t eat eggs for breakfast, only because I don’t like them at breakfast; I like them for dinner. Lunch is usually some kind of salad plate: a pile of tuna salad or egg salad or a pile of cold cooked chicken with a bunch of raw veggies, fermented veg, pickles, olives, some fruit. At dinner is where I usually get more creative and make recipes from my cookbooks, but when we’re busy, dinner is usually grilled or roasted protein—pork loin, steak, burger patties, chicken thighs—with cooked veg on the side, Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup, and a salad with homemade salad dressing. A few times a week, we pick something from the cookbooks and get a little fancier.

How do you do meal planning?

Honestly, I’m not much of a meal planner—but that’s because after eating this way for 7+ years, I have a good idea of how to manage groceries and the kitchen. What I do is less a “plan” and more a “buy a bunch of stuff I like and stock the fridge so I can grab whatever, whenever.”

I think this approach can also be helpful to people who are just starting out because a full week of all new recipes—that could mean 21 new recipes!—is really overwhelming. Rather than planning what to eat each day, you can stock up on the basics that you know fit within your eating template. For example, stock up on lots of veggies and fruits, a variety of proteins, cooking fats like coconut and olive oil, and the extras that make meals special like nuts, dried fruit, nut butters, and fresh herbs. Instead of buying ingredients for specific recipes, you’re buying raw materials that you can turn into spontaneous meals. This is the method I usually turn to when I’m very busy because it removes the thinking involved in eating well. I know my husband and I eat about 2 1/2 pounds of protein per day, so I use that as a guide and load up on pork loin, chicken thighs and breasts, ground beef, little steaks, eggs, canned tuna and salmon, and shrimp. At meal time, I pick a protein, choose some veggies, and throw it together according to what we’re craving that day.

But for people who enjoy “real” meal plans, I 100% recommend the Real Plans service. It will generate a meal plan for you based on the number of people you want to feed, their food restrictions and preferences, and how many days of the week and meals per day you want to include in your plan. Real Plans also provides detailed shopping lists for the grocery store and farmer’s market, and supplies a Timeline that reminds you which tasks need to be performed when. Real Plans includes all of my Well Fed recipes, Whole30 recipes, and Nom Nom Paleo’s recipes, too.

I also have a very extensive 4-week cooking plan on my site that includes menus, shopping lists, and step-by-step instructions to get everything cooked in one afternoon. You can find the first week here.

Every week, I also do a blog post called “Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week” that recommends five dinner recipes, a condiment, and a treat, along with instructions for how to work the recipes into a Weekly Cookup to save time. I send a reminder out in my weekly newsletter about those posts so it’s almost like having free meal planning.

Can you always afford to buy top quality meat, grass fed/pastured? Or if your budget doesn’t afford it do you do conventional meat?

I do both! I get large quantities of meat from a local farm to stock the freezer, but I also buy grass-fed or local organic meat at the grocery store. I’m not militant about it, but I try to make good choices. We always buy organic, pastured eggs, and organic chicken. If grassfed, pastured meat is outside someone’s budget, I recommend they buy the leanest cuts they can because the fat is where the impurities are stored. Plus, then you get to add fat to your protein, which is always fun.

On the spectrum of very strict Paleo to very lenient Paleo where do you fall and why? What foods do you eat that are on the boarder of Paleo-Non-Paleo?

I eat very strictly at home so I don’t have to stress out about questionable ingredients when I eat in restaurants. We generally don’t eat paleo treats unless it’s a holiday or special occasion. I eat white rice sometimes, and I have ½ ounce of 85% dark chocolate most days, but always with other food so it’s part of my meal, not a snack.

What kind of food do you eat when your not cooking something up at home?

I always eat gluten free and avoid dairy, even when eating out. My biggest splurge in a restaurant would be flourless chocolate cake, and if it’s just a regular meal out—not a celebration of some kind—I eat the same things I do at home: eggs, bunless burgers, big salads, Thai coconut milk curries. I have a big blog post about eating in restaurants that might be helpful to you readers.

What are some struggles/roadblocks that you’ve run into eating Paleo?

Once I got over the shock of not eating stuff like pasta and bread and cereal or yogurt for breakfast, the real challenge of paleo began to emerge: socializing. I’m fortunate because many of my friends are at least paleo-aware and some of them are as committed as I am to this lifestyle. I also know and love a bunch of people who fall into the “eat whatever they want” category, as well as the “stay up late” and “enjoy adult beverages every evening” groups. Over the years, I’ve figured out tips that help me navigate social situations and travel. You can read them all here.

What inspires you to try out new recipes and dishes? Are there certain foods you have a hard time experimenting with?

I love to travel and eat local foods, and that’s my biggest inspiration for inventing new paleo recipes. I eat something delicious out in the world, then try to figure out how to recreate with healthier ingredients. Later, it’s a really nice reminder of where I’ve been, and it’s a way to understand more about other cultures by learning how ingredients and dishes fit into their lives.

Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting out on Paleo?

One of the things that was the most difficult to get used to when I first switched to paleo was the sheer volume of food I had to buy – here’s a post I wrote about how to estimate how much food you might need each week – and the amount of time I spent cooking. There are ways to make it all less time-consuming: buy in bulk, do a weekly cookup, get really organized about grocery lists and shopping… but there is no getting around the fact that eating very clean and very well means eating at home. A lot.

For me, switching to paleo became about more than just what I was eating. I realized it meant I had to get my whole life in balance. It is not outrageous to spend an average of an hour a day to feed myself well. But in our hardcharging culture, we’re conditioned to think meals should be fast; we’ve been taught – mostly by the media – that dinner in minutes is not only possible, but required, to have a great life. I say, “Wrong!” It is very satisfying to cook a meal that tastes delicious and nourishes the body. Cooking and eating quality food is among the most caring things you can do for yourself and others. My new cookbook Well Fed Weeknights is the best of both worlds: really delicious paleo meals with very short cook times.

My other piece of advice would be to keep it simple at first: build meals around delicious ingredients and don’t worry too much about recipes. Cook a bunch of protein and vegetables in advance, then mix and match throughout the week to make your meals. For example, browned ground beef can go Italian when it’s sautéed with zucchini, tomatoes, and oregano – or make a quick stir-fry with snow peas, broccoli, ginger, and coconut aminos for Asian flair. You can find more details on how I do that in this article The Method Behind My Madness. There’s also a TON of information about this approach in my first book Well Fed.

What is your favorite: protein, vegetable (leafy or hardy), starch and fat?

Favorite protein: tie between pork shoulder and lamb shoulder

Favorite vegetable: another tie! Zucchini and cabbage

Favorite starch: Zero competition! It’s plantains.

Favorite fat: Duck fat. Always and forever.

What can we expect next from you?

The biggest thing on the horizon in my personal life is that my husband Dave and I are moving to Prague in 2017. I suspect our adventures will find their way into my recipes and my blog posts. On the professional front, our next project is a comic book about nutrition. My husband Dave is a cartoonist, and he’s going to apply his extensive cartooning skills to the tough subject of how we should feed ourselves.

More Melissa Joulwan

meljoulwan.com

@meljoulwan

Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat

Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat

Preorder: Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less

Signup for my newsletter for a chance to win Well Fed Weeknights!

Happy First Birthday

Happy First Birthday

Happy Birthday to me! Well it’s not my actual birthday, but it’s the birthday of this blog. I started this blog about a year ago now (August 10, 2015 to be exact). This last year for myself has been a little crazy. With the birth of our second daughter and work – life has been a little hectic to say the least. Well, I’m still here, granted I’m not publishing as many posts as I’d like but nevertheless I’m still here! So, I wanted to write this quick post to point out 5 things that I have goals for over the next year – so you can hold me accountable if I fall short on these goals.

1. New Recipes

Food is really the foundation of everything Primal. Sure there’s fitness and sleep and stuff – but food is the foundation for health. So this next year I will still be dedicated to getting new recipes out there – with the focus on easy recipes that really work for the whole family. I know I’ve done a few fun recipes with crickets and such, which there might still be a few of those ;), but there will also be more practical everyday recipes for families out there.

2. New Interviews

I hope to get a few more interviews out there as I’ve done a couple last year with Russ and Joshua. I think these were great because we are able to peer into others real lives on how they do Primal. It’s especially cool because we learn that Primal looks different for everybody. Be on the lookout for a new interview very soon – I promise!

3. New Reviews

Reviews are a huge part of this blog. I’ve actually learned that they are one of the most read things on this blog. My RXBAR review is the most read review actually. So naturally these will still continue and I hope to get a lot more brands on board. If you have any suggestions on products for me to review, please submit ideas here. I would love to hear from you on what Primal products interest you. Let me know!

4. New Lifestyle Posts

Figuring out how to do Primal is a challenge in and of itself. So hopefully the lifestyle posts about how to afford Primal or about how to fit in exercise have been helpful. That’s why I plan to continue to do posts on the Primal lifestyle in general. Again if you have any requests on what kind of lifestyle posts you would like to see please drop them here.

5. More Newsletters

I’ve been really bad at sending out newsletters. Maybe for some of you that’s a good thing because you hate newsletters – but I think they can be beneficial if they include interesting stuff – which is what I hope to do. I’ve only sent out a handful since last year but I hope to be more consistent with this. They will include cool recipes and lifestyle posts I see throughout the web and they’ll include some links to older posts on this blog that maybe you’ve forgotten about. I promise they’ll be worth your time! Sign up here:

Bonus: New Ebook

Now this is really a stretch goal I have for the year. I really would like to put all the recipes I’ve accumulated here on this blog in an ebook format for you guys so that you can have with you when you’re out and about grocery shopping or when you have no internet connection – or really I just want to design a book because that’s what I love to do as a graphic designer. So hopefully this one won’t be too hard to accomplish because I would just use the recipes I’ve already put together on this site plus a few extras – but I think it would be fun for my existing readers and new readers to download and have with them. So be on the lookout for that!

Thanks for taking the time to read through me droning on about my goals for the next year of this blog and I hope you enjoy the content that is yet to come!

Cricket Tacos

Cricket Tacos
Cricket Tacos

I guess I have a thing for crickets. I’ve already written about how my favorite protein bar is cricket based protein. I’ve also experimented with cricket flour in this chia flax pudding recipe. Next up in my obsession is cricket tacos.

Cricket Tacos

I first read this story on The Verge of Next Millennium Farms (Now Entomo Farms), the supplier for Exo, and how there was a Mexican joint next to the factory that sells cricket tacos. When I read that article I knew I had to try it! Well I can’t drive there, since they’re in Canada, so I decided to try to make my own. I contacted Entomo Farms and asked if they could send some crickets my way so I could take a stab at these tacos and they were more than willing.

Tortilla recipe
I used the tortilla recipe on the back of Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour package from Fork & Beans

Now the main issue with creating a Primal/Paleo taco is creating a good tortilla. Flour tortillas are a no go. Non-GMO corn tortillas aren’t the worst thing for you but corn isn’t Paleo. Lettuce shells just sound gross with crickets. I contemplated these cauliflower tortillas which I’ve made before and they were great. But then I started seeing people using cassava flour all over Instagram and I saw this recipe for cassava flour tortillas and I was in love! They looked so real and tasty. So I was set – cassava flour tortillas it was. Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour you say? Check out the FAQ from their site:

Cassava (also known as Yuca) is a root vegetable grown in over 90 countries. Cassava is a staple food for half a billion people across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It is the perfect alternative to wheat flour when dried and ground using our proprietary method. It is totally unique from the traditionally milled cassava flours on the market.

Cassava Flour

Cricket tacos aren’t a new idea necessarily. In Oaxaca, Mexico chapuline (grasshopper) tacos are a thing and eaten all the time. So this whole idea isn’t something too foreign or weird necessarily. It’s actually a really good protein alternative for tacos. There’s almost twice as much protein in crickets than ground beef and crickets are packed with omega 3s. I’m surprised cricket tacos aren’t touted in every Paleo blog out there!

Close up

What I wanted to do with this recipe was make a super simple taco: Tortilla, protein, diced onions, avocado, cilantro and cheese if you do dairy.

Cassava Flour
Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour

Flour
Flour before kneaded

Dough
Tortilla dough ready to be pressed

Press it flat
Pressed flat (I didn’t use a tortilla press)

Cook until bubbling
Cook until bubbling (1 minute)

Continue cooking
Flip and continue cooking

Whole roasted crickets
Whole roasted crickets

Close up
Ready to eat straight from the package

Assemble your ingredients
Get all your ingredients ready to go

Enjoy
Enjoy!

Cricket Tacos
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Ingredients
  1. Tortilla:
  2. 3/4 c. (90g) Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour
  3. 1/4 tsp. Sea salt
  4. 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  5. 1/3 c. (80g) warm water
  6. Fillings:
  7. Crickets
  8. Diced white onion
  9. Avocado
  10. Cilantro
  11. Queso Fresco or Monterrey Jack (optional)
  12. Chipotle Tabasco (optional)
Instructions
  1. I used the tortilla instructions printed on the back of Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour package. The recipe is from Fork & Beans

  2. To make the tortilla, whisk together the flour and salt. Then add the oil and warm water and knead dough until it’s smooth. Then roll into 6 balls.

  3. To make the tortilla flat use a tortilla press or press between two pieces of parchment paper. Try to get as thin as possible. Then heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is warm, place the tortilla on the skillet and warm for about 1 minute until bubbles form then flip and cook for another minute. Now you’re tortillas are ready to go.

  4. Once the tortillas are ready to go, now all you have to do is dice the onion and cilantro. Cut the avocado and bust out the queso fresco or Monterey Jack.

  5. To prepare the crickets you can use them straight out of the Entomo Farm bag or lightly warm them on a skillet. They’re already roasted technically. I suggest trying them without seasoning first. Then next time you can experiment with a dusting of traditional taco style seasoning. I like The Domestic Man’s taco seasoning recipe here.

  6. Now assemble your tacos and enjoy!

That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/