I know I know… you all were thinking where in the world have Julie and Charles been? Let’s just say we’ve had a lot going on. Will fill you in on all of that at a later post. For now, let’s just get back to our regularly scheduled programming! and to do just that, let us introduce you to Cindy Sexton!

We first met Cindy and Dustin Sexton at the first Ancestral Health Symposium in Los Angeles. For some reason, we found ourselves hanging out in the back of the room chatting with these fine Canadians for quite some time…perhaps it was finding these like-minded “we’re sort of the back of the classroom troublemakers (but not really)” folks. Future Ancestral Health Symposiums (aside from the 2014 one) proved to be mini reunions of sorts, with Charles and Dusty always scheming on how they could fit in some rounds of golf while still attending AHS (they haven’t figured that one out just yet).

Matter of fact, Cindy states that it was at our house during AHS 13 (we had a group of folks over for supper) when the idea of a cookbook penned by her really started cooking (pardon the pun). I’m not sure that’s fully the case as I think she already had some great ideas and just needed some gentle nudging/peer pressure to encourage her in making Paleo Takes 5 – Or Fewer a reality!

What's not to love about the Sextons? They're so much fun they even found an accordion player to hang out with!

What’s not to love about the Sextons? They’re so much fun they even found an accordion player to hang out with!

And what a reality it is! The book is beautifully broken down into recipes that necessitate just 5, 4 or even just 3 basic ingredients (with certain pantry staples not being counted in that mix), and yet every recipe is far from boring! We have marked the Green Curried Butternut Squash Skillet, Maple Chipotle Glazed Baby Back Pork Ribs, Bacon-Crusted Chicken Strips, Roasted Garlic Jerusalem Hearts with Hazelnuts, Zesty Lime Sriracha Wings, Chicken Heart Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce (pretty sure I was witness to Cindy’s first time trying these at the Brazilian churrascarria Mat introduced us to in Boston), Venison with Juniper Berry and Pomegranate Sauce and Burgundy Braised Beef Cheeks as recipes we’ll be trying just on our first pass through of the book. While the recipes are typically 5 main ingredients or less, they are far from boring and you’ll find something for everyone included! 

paleo takes 5 cover

 

Some other really cool things about this book: In addition to fabulous, mouth-watering photos, at the heading of each recipe Cindy has laid out what the 5 or fewer ingredients are that you’ll need to procure from the grocer, making it really easy for the reader. She also enlisted the help of The Kraken (Mat Lalonde) to provide some nutrient density info on a bunch of the recipes, giving you tidbits like “chicken hearts have over 3x the RDA for vitamin B12 and are also an excellent source of iron. They are a very good source of copper, zinc, vitamin B2 and B5, as well as a good source of phosphorus.” Who knew? The Kraken, that’s who. There’s even a neato chart at the back of the book that lays out the various vitamins in different foods, for those of you looking to up your real-food sources of particular vitamins. And of course there’s Cindy’s personal story as to what inspired her to begin her Paleo journey, and her journey to improved health.

Yes, there are a lot of cookbooks on the market (Amazon lists over 50,000). If you’re looking for delicious Paleo recipes that are simple, easy to make, yet doggone delicious, you’ll want to snag Paleo Takes 5 – Or Fewer!

Cindy was kind enough to let us post up one of her fab recipes that we tried at home – her Bacon ‘N’ Dill Sweet Potato Salad. We only had Japanese sweet ‘taters at home, and we didn’t have green onions or sunflower seeds, so our picture looks a wee bit different than Cindy’s. But I will say that I had to ask Charles to stop eating all the salad so that we’d still have some to go with our supper. It was scrumptious! And if you use the right kind of bacon (Pederson’s is pretty awesome in that there’s no sugar added) it can be a Whole30 approved dish too!

Be sure to check out Cindy’s awesome website and follow her in all those fun social media places too!

Bacon and Dill Sweet Potato Salad

Serves 4 servings     adjust servings

Recipe courtesy of Cindy Sexton (paleodish.com)

Ingredients

  • 10 slices of thick bacon, crumbled
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (we used Japanese sweet potatoes)
  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic, quartered
  • 4 tbsp (4 g) fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp (60 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • chopped scallions and pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. On an aluminum foil lined baking sheet, arrange slices of bacon and bake for about 20 minutes in oven, until crispy. When cooked, set aside on a plate to cool. Reserve the bacon fat for roasting the vegetables afterwards.
  3. Mix sweet potatoes, garlic and bacon fat in a large roasting pan. On the middle rack, roast this in the oven for 30 minutes or until they start to caramelize, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, chop up and prepare the dill and whisk together with the lime juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Transfer the contents of the roasting pan to a large glass bowl. Add the bacon, crumbling it as you go. Finally, drizzle with dill-lime dressing mixture and toss together thoroughly.
  5. I like to use my hands here to make sure all is coated well! Garnish with some chopped scallions and a sprinkle of pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

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Recipe Notes

  1. + Side note: This dish acts as a lovely leftover, as time allows all the ingredients to fuse together! Can be served warm or cold—it’s up to you!
  2. + Nutrient Density Fact: Although not typically consumed in large quantities, fresh dill is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a good source of vitamins A, B5 and B9.

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