Your Online Paleo Recipe Resource Mon, 19 Jan 2015 19:23:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Paleo Ragu Alla Bolognese Fri, 08 Nov 2013 21:51:51 +0000 Read More]]>

Ragu alla Bolognese

To make a Northern Italian meat sauce, many people, especially untrained American-Italian restaurant chefs, head down the wrong path by trying to doctor up a tomato-heavy sauce like marinara, with some meat and garlic, and call it good.

Bolognese, originating from Bologna, in Northern Italy, is the complete opposite. It’s lot’s of different meats, with just a touch of vegetable mirepoix (called a soffritto in Italian cooking) and then just a smidge of tomato paste, so as not to get in the way of all the super tasty MEATS!

This recipe works best if you make your own Beef stock as the extra collagen in home-made stock will dramatically increase the finished texture of the dish. If you don’t have any homemade, then you can sprinkle plain gelatin (paleoish!) in your broth to mimic the collagen effect of homemade stock.

To keep it Paleo, I removed the heavy cream finish to the sauce, instead utilizing chicken livers at the end.

Don’t get sidetracked if you cannot find authentic Mortadella or Pancetta for this recipe, simply substitute some plain side pork or bacon for the pancetta, or try some finely chopped salumi or prosciutto (reduce salt at end.)


  • Blender or Food Processor



    • 1 lb. Beef  – Ground (80% Lean)
    • 1 lb. Veal – Ground
    • 1 lb. Pork – Ground
    • 8 oz. Mortadella – Chopped into small cubes
    • 8 oz. Pancetta – Chopped into small cubes
    • 8 Oz. Chicken Livers


    • 1 Medium Onion – Coarse Chopped
    • 1 Medium Carrot – Coarse Chopped
    • 1 Rib Celery – Coarse Chopped
    • 2 TBS Dried Sage
    • 1 Can (6 Oz.) Organic Tomato Paste


    • 2 Cups Red Wine (or substitute 2 additional cups of beef stock)
    • 2 Cups Beef Stock
    • 1 Oz. (1 pkg) Unflavored Beef Gelatin (if using store bought stock)


    • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 1 TBS Garlic – Chopped Fine
    • Salt & Pepper to taste



If using store bought stock for the broth to prepare THE BRODO, pour 2 cups of it in a bowl and bloom the gelatin by sprinkling it over the stock. Set aside. Prepare THE MEATS by pulsing the Mortadella and Pancetta in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. If additional moisture needed to keep the items moving in the hopper, use a splash of the wine or stock – don’t overheat the ingredients while blending them. Set aside. Puree the Chicken Livers in a blender or food processor until liquefied – aprox 10-15 seconds. Set aside in fridge. Prepare THE SOFFRITTO by pulsing the onion, carrot, celery, sage and tomato paste until finely chopped and combined. Set aside.


Heat oil on medium high heat in a large, heavy bottomed dutch oven, sauté pan, deep skillet or stock pot. Add the beef, veal and pork and sauté them until all the moisture has evaporated and the meat begins to sizzle (rattle) aprox 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté with the meats for 2-3 minutes. Add the Mortadella mixture to the pan and sauté until the pancetta is translucent, aprox 7-10 minutes. If necessary, adjust heat to prevent bottom of pan from burning. Add the Soffritto to the pan. Stir well and sauté until vegetables are softened and the entire contents are reddened by the tomato paste, aprox 10 minutes. Deglaze mixture with the wine and loosen the fond from the bottom of the pan by gently scraping with a wooden spoon or a whisk. Cook until wine has reduced and the sauce has thickened, aprox 5 minutes. Stir in the beef stock, stir well and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, until sauce is thickened, aprox 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off heat, adjust flavor with salt and pepper and add the Purre’ed chicken livers. Stir well, cover pot and allow to stand while you prepare pasta for a cheat meal, or some Paleo Spaghetti Squash Noodles.


8 Large Servings – enough for dinner for 4 and some leftovers!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013]]> 1
PALEO LIFE – Balanced Bites Invades Tacoma Strength. Part 1 I Cook Dinner For Her Wed, 05 Dec 2012 20:22:14 +0000 Read More]]> Have I told you that I love my day job? Well I do!

As many of you know, part of the work I do is as Hero Support for Tacoma Strength and Conditioning, a CrossFit style gym in Tacoma, Washington. I work with gym members interested in learning about Paleo cooking and adopting a clean eating lifestyle. If it has to do with Paleo or healthy food at the gym, you probably will find me close by. A large part of my job there is also spent planning Events, leading Clean Eating Challenges, teaching Cooking Demos, holding Social Gatherings and conducting Educational Talks for the gym members to take part in.

Here’s a pic of me in action teaching a Paleo Blender class using my favorite red Blendtec Total Blender: We prepared an entire Paleo meal, including beverages, appetizer, entrée and dessert in a blender that day!

CavemanBistro Blender Class

Recently, one of our gym members Ben, of Cool Dudes With Fanny Packs fame, asked if Tacoma Strength would be interested in having a friend of his come give a talk at the gym. She had just written a new book about Paleo health, lifestyle and cooking and was looking for seminar opportunities and book signing events. Seems Ben had seen an early copy of the book and thought it might be pretty cool.

TACOMASTRENGTH: “I don’t know, we’re kinda busy doing BURPEES here Ben. Maybe… Who is your friend?”

BEN: “Oh, her name is Diane, and her company is Balanced Bites.”

TACOMASTRENGTH: Long, long pause… “Wait. What?!!!”

BEN: Smiles.

TACOMASTRENGTH: HEAD SMACK “Are you kidding me? Hells Yeah!”

So, as I said earlier, I love my job!

At some point in the planning process though, the higher-ups at Tacoma Strength decided that since Diane travels and eats out so much, she might appreciate a good home cooked meal for once. Therefore, we will all go over to Craig’s house, the “CavemanBistro” as it were, for dinner Friday night before the seminar…

CAVEMANBISTRO: Long, long pause… “Wait. What?!!!”



Let me get this straight. Not only am I going to meet Balanced Bites, one of my absolute Paleo idols, but now she’s coming to my house, AND I’m going to cook a Paleo meal for her?

No pressure… Paleo chef reputation hanging in the balance…

After I came to grips with the situation, I got busy shopping and cooking!

To start the evening we enjoyed NorCal Margaritas, Kombucha, Sparkling Spa Water and Red Wine.

Bottles of Kombucha

We enjoyed Paleo Pork Belly Porchetta Roll, prepared in the SousVide, served on a bed of Organic Spring Greens, Sided with Fermented Probiotic Carrots, Toasted Butternut Squash Seeds and a Besar Spiced Cranberry Apricot Chutney.

Paleo Pork Belly Porchetta

For dinner we enjoyed Spanish Braised Beef Oxtails With Homemade Chorizo, sided with Roasted Root Vegetables with Savory & Garlic, and Organic Baby Kale sautéed in Bacon fat.

Braised Beef Oxtails With Spanish Chorizo

We also passed several jars of OlyKraut around as garnish. They make my favorite live, raw sauerkraut varieties.

OlyKraut Raw Live Kraut

For dessert I served simple pieces of dark chocolate, made locally by Theo’s Chocolates, along with coconut shavings, dates, nuts and berries. The Theo’s 85% Dark is one of my personal favorites!

Chocolate Berries Coconut Chilies Mint Dates

Joining the CavemanBistro Clan and the Tacoma Strength Crew to welcome Diane and her new seminar partner Anthony DiSarro from CrossFit Redline, was the gang from

Balanced Bites Dinner

We had a blast and I cannot remember a more memorable Paleo dinner party with tasty food, great Paleo & CrossFit conversations or awesome enthusiastic guests! I’ll post the individual recipes shortly as well as a wrap-up about Diane and Anthony’s seminar at Tacoma Strength. Thanks Ben for setting this opportunity up. To hear a podcast of Diane Sanfilippo/Balanced Bites being interviewed by Cool Dudes With Fanny Packs, Click HERE.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012-2015]]> 0
PALEO LIFE – Pan-Fried Grass Fed Beef Liver With Sauteed Onions, Apples and Sage Tue, 04 Dec 2012 16:56:40 +0000 Read More]]> Grass Fed Liver and Onions with Sage and Apples

Last week I got a call from the guys over at looking for help with a little situation they had. When they placed their last butcher order, they requested the liver be delivered in one pound containers. Instead, it had shown up whole & frozen! Now, if you don’t know much about meat cutting, a whole Grass Fed cow liver weighs about thirteen to fifteen pounds and takes up a fair amount of real estate!

A Big Piece Of Grass Fed Direct Beef Liver!

Now that’s an “offal” lot of “nature’s multivitamin” for one family!

So, being in a mood to help, and having many hungry, healthy, Paleo friends, I took that bad boy off their hands and put the word out! In no time flat, five of my Paleo CrossFit buddies each wanted 2-3 pounds of 100% Grass Fed Beef Liver.

After thawing it over the weekend, I portioned it up, kept a big chunk for dinner here at the Cave, and using my spiffy, BalancedBites Freezer Bag, delivered the rest of the Grass Fed Goodness to the Tacoma Strength gym refrigerator. Woo hoo! Enjoy everyone!

Balanced Bites Freezer Bag

Eating liver is one of the best things you can do for your health. It is a veritable SuperFood! Don’t believe me? Well then check out what Diane Sanfilippo at Balanced Bites has to say about it when discussing 10 Ways To Be Healthier (Inside & Out). Still not convinced? Then also check out what Chris Kresser L.Ac has to say about Nature’s Own Multi-Vitamin HERE.

But, not all multi-vitamins are created equal and not just any beef liver will do. Here is a clear case where the Grass Fed version will have higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids over its traditional grain fed counterpart.

So, when you’re ready to buy some awesome 100% Grass Fed Beef Liver, go see the guys at Their new inventory has Grass Fed Liver for you in much smaller portions than what I got from them!

GrassFed Direct

Preparing Grass Fed liver and onions is one of the easiest, healthiest dishes you can make. But liver also scares a lot of people, as they conjure up terrible memories of their grandmother’s tough “shoe leather” dinner. Also, people who don’t enjoy liver often cite a heavy, awful, liver flavor as the main reason. To combat that we are adding apples and sage which sweeten the already tender flavor of the Grass Fed liver.

The secret to a great liver is to just flash fry it quickly in a pan, no more than a couple of minutes per side, then reserve the cooked pieces in a 180F warming oven while the rest of dinner finishes up.

Traditionally, chefs dust liver in flour, then pan-fry it in butter, which helps to create a roux. This pan sauce works because of the gluten in the flour. To make it Paleo, we don’t use any flour. In fact, we don’t actually need to dust it with anything. There are several Paleo recipes calling for coating the pieces in ground almond flour, flax or coconut flour. But these ingredients don’t contain gluten, won’t create a decent roux, and are thus not necessary. They do help dry the surface of the liver, but our version achieves the same effect with paper towels, and we simply use well-flavored bacon fat to get dinner moving quickly!

Serves 4

2 lbs. Grass Fed Beef Liver
2 LG Sweet Yellow Onions, Julienne
1 Med Red Onion, Julienne
1 LG or 2 Med baking quality apples, Dice
3 TBS Fresh Sage Leaves, Chop
4 TBS Bacon Fat
Sea Salt & Pepper

If the liver is whole, slice it into pieces approx 1cm thick and 3-4 inches in diameter. Season the pieces with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, then layer them on a clean platter lined with paper towels.

Grass Fed Liver Pieces

In a large sauté pan, heat 2 TBS bacon fat. NOTE: You may also use GrassFed Butter as a fat! When the fat is hot, add the onions and sauté them well about 7 to 10 minutes. When the onions have started to brown, add the chopped sage and the diced apples. Add some sea salt and fresh ground pepper to the mix, and continue to sauté, covered, for about 5 minutes just to soften the apples.

Sauteed Onions With Apples and Sage

When the onions and apples have finished cooking, place them in a 180F oven to keep warm until the liver is finished. Reheat the sauté pan, adding the remaining 2 TBS bacon fat. In batches, add the liver pieces, making sure not to crowd the pan. Depending on thickness of the pieces cook 1-3 minutes per side, flipping once at midpoint to yield a beautiful medium rare. Reserve the finished pieces on a sheetpan and place them in the warming oven.

Pan Fried Grass Fed Beef Liver

When the batches of liver are cooked, remove the onion mixture from the oven and add it back into the hot sauté pan. Using a wooden spoon, stir mixture well to remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When finished, remove from heat, place in a serving bowl, and serve with the liver. Enjoy!

Grass Fed Liver and Onions with Sage and Apples

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012-2015]]> 1
PALEO LIFE – Movember Ends Tue, 04 Dec 2012 01:31:59 +0000 Read More]]> Friday ended MOVEMBER 2012.

For those of you unaware why everyone at CrossFit, especially at Tacoma Strength, was growing Trucker Mustaches during November, you can click HERE for an explanation.

Now, my prostate is fine, and I don’t know anyone with a bad one. So I didn’t grow a 70’s ‘stache ONLY to support awareness for this important men’s issue. More importantly I grew it because Nick Offerman, aka Ron Swanson, said most men wouldn’t be able to do it.

Gauntlet thrown down. Then picked up by CavemanBistro!

I’m still waiting to hear the official results of Tacoma Strength’s competition, but the rules were simple:
1. Put a little money on the line for charity.
2. Be clean-shaven on Nov 1
3. Don’t shave till December 1
4. Go!

Here are my results:

November 1
Movember Before Photo

November 30
Movember After

I know what you’re thinking: THAT is a CrossFit Bad-Ass There!

Can’t Deny It!

After our Friday CrossFit WOD, my buddy Josh and I did a quick Tacoma Strength gym promo for Movember:

“Hey! How’s Your Prostate? Get it Checked.” This PSA Brought to you by Craig, Josh, Tacoma Strength & Movember.
Tacoma Strength Movember

Now with a Movember ‘stache like that, you do not hide at home on a Friday night.

Instead, you take that ‘stache out on the town!

So out into Tacoma Alisa and I went, hitting some of the hot Paleo spots. First, we enjoyed charcuterie and hand-made craft drinks at 1022 South. NOTE: I love attention to details in bar drinks! The “housemade” root beers, tonics and bitters do rock there! And they hand carve their clear snowball size ice cubes. Good Times! Highlights from the 1022 menu included white anchovies, a terrific mushroom pate’ and out of this world olive tapenade.

Afterwards, we headed over to Marrow, to enjoy a glass of wine and some of their super crunchy house made chicharonnes! Nom!

Saturday morning, clean-shaven once again, we went to watch as Little Q finished up her fall soccer season. During her warmup I got to sneak over to the Proctor Farmers Market to pick up some more OlyKraut Live/Probiotic Sour Pickles and then over to Bluebeard Coffee to pick up some CostaRican Coffee Beans that fit the “mold free” parameters that the BulletProof Exec says we should use, or else we will die!

Talk to you tomorrow.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012-2015]]> 1
A Shoutout To The Tacoma Strength Fall Clean Eating Challenge Winners! Wed, 21 Nov 2012 20:27:16 +0000 Read More]]> Tacoma Strength October Clean Eating Winners

I love my job! It is so very rewarding!

As part of my day job as Hero Support and Head Cheerleader at Tacoma Strength and Conditioning, I help gym members stay excited about their dietary and workout goals. I also lead gym members in Clean Eating Challenges three to four times per year. These challenges are a time to clean up SAD diets and toxic lifestyles and to explore Paleo cooking and healthy lifestyle choices.

We recently finished our Fall 2012 Clean Eating Challenge, and it was amazing!

Over 35 gym members registered for the challenge and pledged to clean up their diets. For this challenge, we followed Dallas and Melissa’s Whole30 program.


For each participant we tracked before and after photos as well as changes in weight, body fat percentage, and chest, waist and hip measurements. Also we logged gym WOD performance changes throughout the entire challenge. The tracking was exhausting but important!

Throughout the challenge we kept in constant contact with participants through the help of our already active Tacoma Strength Clean Eating FaceBook Group. This virtual eating group, separate from our regular Tacoma Strength FaceBook Page, has over 110 gym members who love to swap Paleo recipes and tips as well as post more pictures of Bacon than you ever thought possible.

In the end though, there could be only one winner, well two actually.

I wanted to give a shout out here to Bob and Shanan, the top male and female participants of the Fall 2012 Tacoma Strength Clean Eating Challenge. Nice Job and Awesome Work! Your hard work, determination and adherence to the established Whole30 parameters, not only earned you the esteem and envy of the rest of the gym, but also the top prize of a new Blendtec Blender! WooHoo! Go Blend a Paleo Smoothie now!

And a big cheer of congratulations goes out to ALL the Tacoma Strength participants. You have all worked hard, achieved some great results, and set yourself up for surviving the upcoming holiday season and its potential dietary and lifestyle pitfalls! And don’t worry! Shortly after the holidays are over, we will be back with the first Tacoma Strength Clean Eating Challenge of 2013!

Do you live in Tacoma? Are you ready to change your life through better exercise and better eating habits? Then come check out Tacoma Strength and Conditioning!

Tacoma Strength

They would love to see and help you! Then, in the New Year, you can join me and the rest of the Paleo gym members as we shake off the holidays, clean up our diets and compete to win some awesome Paleo prizes!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012-2015]]> 1