October 12, 2011

A New Cookbook, a Salmon Recipe, and a Mini-Rant

     There has been a lot of paleo buzz about a new cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods, by Julie and Charles Mayfield.  I got my copy a couple of weeks ago, but hadn't had a chance to crack it open yet until tonight.  I had a huge piece of wild-caught salmon in the freezer and several locally grown sweet potatoes so I checked the book for a recipe and decided to try the Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Sauce and to simply bake the piece of salmon.
     I hardly ever follow a recipe to the letter.  I usually have to alter the ingredients a bit to fit what I have in my kitchen and tonight was no exception, but I think I captured the essence of the recipes.  I cut the sweet potatoes (I prefer the less sweet white varieties) into triangular spears, sprinkled and coated them with olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper (according to the recipe) and popped them in the oven.  I added the salmon, sliced into portions, alongside (a bit later in the cooking process) and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Then I made the chipotle sauce from the book, changing it up a bit.   I used a close-to-paleo mayo I have found in the store (yes, in the local natural foods store!).  Here's the link:  http://www.selinanaturally.com/Organic-Mayonnaise-Organic-Mayo-with-Coconut-Oil-P2201.aspx  It's good stuff (and not as expensive in my local store as it is on the website).  Anyway, I used that as the paleo mayo base because I was too lazy to make mayo from scratch.  I added in some olive oil, chipotle peppers, cilantro, and garlic.  This made an awesome sauce in which to dip the fries and salmon!
     So, based on my first try, I would give a thumbs up to this latest paleo cookbook. I'm looking forward to trying a few more because the pictures of the recipes are literally mouthwatering.  In my picture below, what you see of the salmon is mostly the skin laying on top.  Crunchy, crunchy salmon skin - yum!
P.S. I started this month saying that I wanted to make October a "real food" month and I would say that I have mostly stuck with that theme.  I've had a few treats here and there, but even most of these have been real food. What I have found is that I eat almost all real food anyway - thanks to a paleo way of eating.  My favorite quote from Facebook this month:  "Come to the dark side - we have bacon."
Second P.S.  There is a lot of discontent brewing among the paleo community lately.  It seems to me the conflict is mostly about a small variation in whether we should be eating carbs and which carbs we should be eating.  I think the mistake these folks are making is that there is not one prescriptive paleo way of eating.  As Mark Sisson so perfectly put it in a response to Jimmy Moore's post on the debate over "Safe Starches," we should be looking for commonalities, not differences in the paleo lifestyle.   The ability of people to tolerate carbohydrates surely depends on their state of health at the moment, how much and what type of exercise they do, perhaps gender and age, and just normal genetic variability in the population.  I have found that with strength training, for example, my tolerance of a few more carbs (usually still under 100 g per day) is definitely higher, but certain carbs like grains will always be a no-no for me.   So, relax, folks, and let's not lose the overall message.  Eat real food and figure out what works for you within the paleo paradigm.


  1. I disagree that there's any real 'discontent' brewing in the larger paleo community - especially in regard to carbs. Paleo folks have ALWAYS had the right idea when it comes to that; what's changed is the influx of low-carbers trying to co-opt a successful movement (because theirs has been relegated to the dustbin of failed nutritional paradigms). Jimmy Moore is more a franchise than a blogger and, judging from his own dismal track record, the LAST person to be proffering diet advice of ANY kind...

  2. Seems like you might have a bit of an agenda against Jimmy Moore? I hardly think that losing the kind of weight Jimmy has counts as a "dismal track record." He is willing to put himself out there pre- and post-weight gains and seems willing to do some experimentation to find out what works for himself. I don't think the low carbers are trying to co-opt a successful movement - I think they are discovering that low-carb does not need to include processed low carb substitutes and that points them to paleo. The more the merrier. Several paleoists have come up with commercial paleo junk food substitutes as well. It is up to the rest of us to champion real food. The discontent I mentioned was more about the quarrels among the paleo "gurus" who each want to be the one with all the answers, when as Sisson says, its the commonalities that count most.