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You’ve heard the saying “everything tastes better with bacon!” right? 

Well, after reading and trying out a few of the recipes in Paleo Parent’s new “grown-up” cook book “Beyond Bacon”, I have to add that everything tastes better with ” pig”, PERIOD!

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Having devoured many of the recipes from Eat Like A Dinosaur, the Cavegirls were very excited to get their hands on a pre-release copy of Beyond Bacon, and I have to admit I have kind of “hogged” it from Cavegirl Angie so far. (Like the pun?)

ALL my family are pork lovers and eaters. Whether it be sausages, bacon or pork steaks, we do eat pork on a regular basis. Having thumbed through Beyond Bacon many times now, I have realized that I need to buy a whole pig and try my hand at some of the more unconventional recipes.

Beyond Bacon has a great section at the front that teaches you all about pork. Health benefits, misconceptions, the best ways to buy it and the science behind it! Thank you for that! 

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So, ready with my yellow “post it” notes and recipe book, I decide to mark each recipe that I really HAD to make. My first realization was that the first item I would HAVE to make was lard, or buy some, I suppose.

The layout of each recipe is easy to follow and the opening paragraph on every recipe is a personal and friendly touch which I really enjoyed reading.

Photos are spectacular and the “Tips” and “Notes” are very handy! It’s always good to get an “Oh and also…” If you have every created a recipe or tweaked an existing one, these moments frequently arise.

I think if you have a good meat source or helpful butcher then the hog parts can be bought. Actually, I was just on a field trip to the International District in Seattle and we paid a visit to Uwajimaya. They had a huge variety of meats. I did notice pigs feet and ears and even a whole head. Definitely a great place to check out!  Many of the recipes use cuts that we have all used before or can be bought with ease. 

I liked that the recipes were Basic/Intermediate/Advanced rated and I thought they were appropriately ranked.  The average person could cook and be successful at making the majority of these recipes. 

Here are just a few of my favorite recipes from Beyond Bacon:

  • Asian Short Ribs
  • Ham Pot Roast with Horseradish Mustard Glaze (never thought to have horseradish with pork; I do like horseradish :) )
  • Hawaiian Pork Roast
  • Porktastic Frittata
  • Ham and Broccoli Pasta – I love Sapghetti Squash
  • Meat loaf – ALWAYS wanted to make a meatloaf
  • Apple and Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops
  • Kale and Pistachio Stuffed Pork Chops
  • Cracklin’ Pork Belly
  • Grilled Cubed Pork Kabobs
  • and more…

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                                         (prepping pork kabobs and pork crackling)

Then I reached the veggies, sides, sauces, and sweet things, and well… I ran out of “post it” notes :)

Loved the look of…

  • Pork Stuffing Casserole
  • Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad
  • Sweet Potato Casserole.

My favorite from the Sweet Thangs would have to be…

  • Salted Mocha Biscotti
  • Dutch Apple Pie
  • Apple Fritters
  • Harvest Muffins

… Hmmm,  I actually liked the look of them ALL!

Having read this book, I’m inspired to invest in a ranch hog, that’s been raised from birth to slaughter in a humane, natural, and healthy environment. If you have freezer space then this is a great way to buy good meat in bulk for less $$. More cash is needed upfront but the quality of the meat is superb and overall the “$$ per lb..” works out less.

I also plan on making my own sausages. I’m going to buy the necessary fitment for my Kitchen Aid and some casings and see if I can recreate the Great British Banger w/o bread crumbs – EXCITING!

Thank you Paleo Parents for not only asking Northwest Cavegirls to review your book (we were truly humbled and honored), but THANK YOU for the insight, inspiration and opportunity to step outside the conventional pork eating box in educating us on how we can use EVERY part of the pig to make great recipes, eat real food and to loose those misconceptions that saturated fat intake is bad for us, pink pork will poison us, and that animal organ eating is gross. 

Beyond Bacon provides you with the knowhow and the motivation to get creative in the kitchen. It will inspire you to make a trip to your local butcher and dabble in some of those less sought after pig parts. For me, it took me down memory lane of Granny’s great British scones and pie crusts made, of course with lard. Crispy pork rind crackling, Sunday pork roasts, and liver and bacon, old-school style. Thank you! 

Beyond Bacon will be released July 2, 2013. Go order your copy now, it’s a must have for pork lovers, paleo followers and Paleo Parent supporters. 

Paleo Parent’s, Stacy and Matt have a few recipes that we’re able to share with you as a taster. 

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Click on the photo to see a bigger version, if you’d like.

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Having trouble viewing? You can better look and also find a number of other sneaky peek recipes to wet your appetite further over on Paleo Parent’s Beyond Bacon website HERE. 

OK, I’m off to render me some lard!

Praise the Lard!  - Stacy Toth


Happy Love day to you! Valentine’s Day is all about chocolate as far as I’m concerned, which is completely appropriate since dark chocolate is good for your Valentine’s Heart. According to Livestrong:

Cocoa beans are processed into cocoa solids, and these solids contain antioxidants that are thought to be helpful in battling high blood pressure, heart disease, arterial plaque, cancer and stroke. Pure, dark, unsweetened chocolate tastes bitter and has high amounts of cocoa. The greater the cocoa content, the more antioxidants are in the chocolate.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/347783-dark-chocolate-health-benefits-for-blood-pressure/#ixzz2KcCO0Sex

I’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite dark chocolate recipes and reviews that might just  hit the spot for Valentine’s Day. Eat some dark chocolate today; it’s good for you!

The Cavegirls Review Several Brands of Dark Chocolate

 

Chocolate Pudding and Fudge Babies

 

Dark Chocolate macaroon Cookies

 

Almond Butter Cups Candy

 

Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries

 

Red Velvet Chocolate Beet Cake

 

Stephanie here…

Thursdays are Asian Food Night at our place. Last week, I made a new version of pad thai for my family, a ketchup containing one which is unusual for us. It came from this recipe, and I had some broccoslaw that I steamed for my own noodles and made a paleo modified version. I really liked it. It’s not my favorite, but it was really tasty and hit the pad thai spot. If you’re an adherent to a certain pad thai school, this one may not be for you. One of the Thai chef’s notes that I was reading said that there are as many variations of pad thai as there are cooks and kitchens! Here’s a peek at my prep plate for this dish…

So, my modifications were to replace the ketchup with a paleo friendly one (Organicville has agave as it’s sweetener, for example), brown sugar with a bit of honey (I don’t like pad thai to be too sweet), coconut oil for the peanut oil, and use a good fish sauce! Also, pad thai isn’t pad thai to me whithout piles of cilantro, so I added that in as you can see on my prep plate. IF you’re going to take the time to make a pad thai dish, do yourself a favor and prep everything first into plates or piles as they go in at different times. It’s really NOT hard, just takes a bit of preparation!

P.S. I eat peanuts. They don’t bother me and there is nothing that tastes like them. If you don’t, choose something else for a crunch!

Stephanie here…

I’ve been looking for a quick pizza crust to throw together when pizza sounds good, but pizza eggs don’t. I’d looked into the almond crusts (too time consuming), the cauliflower crust (reports were that it was too soggy) and then landed on this one from Caveman Strong’s Josée (clever girl).

It turns out a pizza that looks like this:
Pizza!

I like. It is a bit more like a flatbread pizza than it is like the cracker-like pizza of the gluten days. This is quick to prep and is made easier if you have parchment paper or a Silpat liner like I use.

Also, I have to give a shout out to Applegate Farms Pepperoni. It is just so yummy and free of additives. I did use a smidge of “microplaned” sheep’s milk manchego on this, as I’ve learned that I don’t have the same ick from sheep or goat cheese.

I’ve been gazing at the zucchini pasta pesto at PCC all summer longing to be able to make my own zucchini pasta that looks and feels a little more like the “real” thing. Well, I finally broke down and bought a neat little gadget that will do just that. I got the Paderno Spiral Slicer.

 

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