Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy from Down South Paleo

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!♥

We’ve met many wonderful people in the paleo community. Some have even become close friends. One of those who has not only become one of our best friends, but also continues to inspire us with her innovation and talent is Jennifer Robbins, the brain behind Predominantly Paleo and the author of the new genius comfort food cookbook Down South Paleo!


I originally met Jennifer at an event I hosted for a book signing with Danielle Walker. Despite a very brief encounter, I remembered Jennifer’s southern charm, gorgeous eyes (we have a kindred love of thick mascara), and perfectly coiffed bangs. So, while I am notoriously bad at remembering people I have met (sorry to the hundreds I’ve offended in not remembering!) I distinctly recognized Jennifer as she later showed up at subsequent paleo events I hosted. Turns out, she also has 3 kids around our boys ages and it wasn’t long before we were picking fruit at you-pick farms together. The minute I knew Jennifer had to become someone we spent much more time with, was when she brought her perogies made with her now legendary yuca dough to a potluck. They’re just like the original dish! It’s hard to imagine, but back then there was no such thing as “yuca dough” or “cassava flour” yet and we were blown away. We knew she had a special talent that we wanted to make sure you all found out about – and let’s be real,  to also exploit as much as possible by dining with her as often as possible.

ChimichangaOur Texas-inspired dinner included Chimichangas and Taco Salad –
including queso, guacamole, and ranch – all grain & dairy-free!

Case in point: when Jennifer had us over for dinner to help try out some of her recipes from Down South Paleo. These Chicken Chimichangas were a highlight of our month year! I couldn’t believe how well she’d perfected dairy-free ranch, queso (which we easily adapted to be nightshade-free), and other foods shared that evening.

I have to tell you, it is an absolute honor to have been asked to write the foreword to this book. As you know, we don’t endorse things we don’t personally use and love. This book meets both of those criteria, hands-down. Not only can I personally attest to the food being absolute amazeballs, I also have Southern blood buried down deep within my yankee exterior – which is why I know what Jennifer’s created with this book is genuine, authentic, and will bring about the memories of grandma’s cooking with innovative and unique approaches to making those old unhealthy foods something you can once again enjoy.

Y’all listen up now. If you’re not already in love with Jennifer’s food, her welcoming smile, and southern charm – well then, bless your heart because I’m here to tell you it’s time! I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Jennifer for years, and loving her food for almost as long! As a friend with experience writing cookbooks, I had the good fortune of talking with Jen as she worked busy as a cat on a hot tin roof pulling this book together. But even knowing all that went into it along the way, I was blown away from the end result.

After our own experiences running our blog and writing several cookbooks, we know first-hand how difficult it is to recreate recipes that people associate with memories, classics passed down generation after generation. Navigating social situation can be impossible and failure to succeed inevitable without the right tools in your arsenal. That’s where Down South Paleo is such a gift! With these recipes, Jennifer has accomplished something I could never – each recipe will bring back a flood of memories with its traditional southern flavors and textures, without the gluten, dairy, or processed junk.

As I sat with Jennifer and her family, over a meal we both cooked entirely from Down South Paleo, her passion and love for her craft rang loud and true. She made this book for those of us who have longed for the classics she loved to eat before her own health journey drove her to find healthier alternatives. She cooks from the heart, a place where only the best recipes are created. After trying out many of the recipes from this book, I can assure you that all of the recipes are not only fantastic, but also manage to be classic, traditional, and true to their culture, as well as innovative in their approach to using healthier ingredients!

My maternal family is all from the south; my grandmother was using a coffee tin in the freezer to store her bacon grease before the paleo community said it was cool. My entire youth I grew up with my mother’s renditions of southern favorites, like sausage & gravy (those true southerners know why it’s called SOS), enchiladas, and pecan pie. Some of those family recipes are classics I have never dared to recreate, for fear of my grandmother rolling over in her grave. But now I don’t have to, because Jen has perfected them all!

I’d be happy to bring any one of them to a gathering with family or friends! In fact, Jen has personally brought a number of these recipes to potlucks and parties that I have attended, and they are always the first to go and the item the whole crowd is talking about. If you want to prove to people that paleo foods can be delicious as well as nutritious, and that no one needs to let go of their comfort food culture, then Down South Paleo is the cookbook you’ve been waiting for.

If you’re like me, you’ll be amazed at the variety of delicious southern classics you’ll find in Down South Paleo. The moment I saw the book for the first time, I was in awe. Right after I wiped the drool off of my chin from the beautifully photographed food, I starting combing through and marking page after page of recipes I needed to try. From classic southern favorites like Mama’s Fried Chicken, Grandma’s Grain-Free Biscuits and Sausage Gravy, Lemon Pepper Fried Okra, and Chocolate Chip Georgia Pecan Pie to fun and flavorful regional classics like Bourbon Street Bread Pudding and Caramel Sauce, New Orleans’ Café Au Lait, Texas Grilled Rib Eyes, and the ah-maze-ing Paleo Chicken Chimichangas (my personal favorite) – everything sets my taste buds on full excitement mode.

For those of you with food intolerances beyond just gluten-free, Down South Paleo also offers something special you won’t find in most Paleo cookbooks. With each recipe marked to reflect when it is free of the top allergens, you’ll know exactly if a recipe is for you at a quick glance. As someone with multiple food intolerances, including nightshades such as tomatoes and chilies, I was amazed that I was able to eat a full Mexican-inspired meal from Down South Paleo and still meet my dietary restrictions. Finding recipes that still deliver on flavor and texture when basic paleo ingredients aren’t involved (such as nuts, eggs, nightshades) is quite a feat that says a lot about the superb quality of these well-tested recipes!

I hope that you, too, will be reminded of loving, comforting memories with the foods you enjoy from Down South Paleo. I recommend curling up with a cup of Naturally Sweetened Sweet Tea and reading the entire book cover to cover. You’ll find stories to warm your heart and recipes to whet your appetite, so make sure you’ve got pen and paper handy – you’re going to want to write down a list of recipes to try! – Stacy Toth

When the book was finally in our hands earlier this month, the boys went to town flagging all the recipes they wanted to try. It was time for a serious meal of Southern food from Down South Paleo and the Chicken Fried Steak with Gravy was the first on our list.

IMG_1849Instagram went nuts when I posted this pic of our first dinner cooked from Down South Paleo

All of the boys loved their meal, like licked their plate love. No, seriously. Wesley wants me to let you know it was delicious!

FullSizeRenderThese are taken from a highly embarassing video that only Jennifer and Wesley’s future spouse will get to see

Given how much the boys enjoyed making and consuming this fantastic recipe, we asked (begged) to share it with all of you. And much to our delight, Jennifer agreed that we could. You will ONLY find this recipe here and in Down South Paleo! If you love it, I HIGHLY encourage you to get the book, right now (TODAY IS RELEASE DAY – YIPEE) it’s only $10 on Amazon. It’s also only around $20 at your local book store if you want to get it today – and it’s also in select Costcos at a discount. There is NO excuse not to get at this book!

 Lemon Pepper Fried Okra copyThe real photo from Down South Paleo – see what I’m sayin’, who doesn’t want to eat their computer right now?

Home-Style Chicken-Fried Steak and Cream Gravy



  1. To make the steaks, combine the three flours, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper and paprika on a clean plate. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and egg to make an egg wash. This will help the crust adhere nicely to the meat.
  2. Heat the cooking fat in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. You’ll want to generously coat the bottom of the pan.
  3. One at a time, coat each cubed steak in the egg wash on both sides, then dredge in the flour on each side until well coated. Fry one or two coated cubed steaks at a time until browned on each side. By using a thin flexible spatula, you can help prevent the crust from breaking off as you flip them. Once nicely browned and cooked throughout, remove from the heat and repeat as necessary until all the steaks are cooked.
  4. To make the gravy, combine all the ingredients in a pan over medium-high heat and whisk continually until the gravy starts to thicken. Remove from the heat at once before the gravy congeals too much. Serve hot with the steaks.

FullSizeRender copyBefore it was smothered in gravy… We served our version with the collard recipe in the book, too. Perfection!

As I’m sure you noticed above, I wasn’t kidding about how many recipes we all flagged to try. Some of the others we will definitely be making in the near future are pictured below, including the lemonade – which the boys are hoping to sell at the street corner to make enough money for something I should probably be concerned about.

Lemon Pepper Fried Okra copy
My mom is SO excited to come over to dinner tonight for Fried Chicken (on the cover) and Fried Okra!

  Lip Smacking Lemonade copy

Lemonade is just perfect for our hot Virginia summer!

 Chocolate Pecan Pie-384 copy
OK, I admit it. I already had this Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie once at Jennifer’s house. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to make it again. And again! This one is definitely on the Holiday dessert menu! Also, in my immediate future is the Chocolate Zucchini Bread, perfect for summer squash season ♥

Book Tour Details!

Meet Jennifer (and us! and more of your favorite authors!) at her Launch party and book signings over the next couple weeks!

AUGUST 15: 2pm, Alexandria, VA
We’d love to meet you! Come to a book signing with Paleo Parents and Jennifer of Predominately Paleo and Down South Paleo! Details and RSVP —> HERE!

AUGUST 16: 4pm, Alexandria, VA
Woot woot! Come down to launch party and help us celebrate with Jennifer! Details and RSVP —> HERE!


And last but not least – to celebrate release day and show you how much we are SO excited about this book, we are giving away a Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo Cooker, 3 Quart AND a bottle of Chosen Foods Avocado OilNormally we’d give a copy of the book away, but we want to encourage you all to run out and buy your own copy TODAY without waiting to see if you won a giveaway. Plus, since it’s only $10 on Amazon this is a much more awesome prize pack. Go get your book, and then cook your way through the book with the tools of the southern trade: cast iron and fat!

Down South Paleo Giveaway

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  • Caitlin Casey

    Oh, I’ve already purchased the book! I have been waiting for this for a long time. I am from the south and really miss that style of cooking. I can’t wait!

  • Bethany

    I want this cookbook because I haven’t done much southern cooking, but I’d love to learn some new techniques and recipes!

  • Kimberly Harper

    I already pre-ordered the book on Amazon! I cannot wait to try the recipes!

  • Amy Hughes

    The food in this cookbook looks fantastic! New cast iron cookware and avocado oil would be great to make the recipes with.

  • Lorie Cotton

    Finally someone writes a book with recipes from the south ! Now we don’t have to miss out! Thanks so much!

  • lsqueo

    This cookbook looks great!!!!

  • Faith Mitchell

    OMG I love CFS!

  • Danielle Blauvelt

    I want to lick my computer screen just looking at the chicken fried steak!

  • Awesome, great Southern favorites that I can actually eat!

  • Karen S.

    Looks yummy!
    I have a question though. Water chestnuts and chestnuts are two differents things. Which one is in the recipe?

    • Hi Karen, the recipe calls for chestnut flour, which is what we linked to. Here is the description of the flour, “Our Chestnut powder is pale white and fine, made from the grinding of whole Chestnuts without their bitter skins.”

      • Karen S.

        Thanks! I’ll try subbing it and see how it goes because I can’t do chestnuts. It’s looks soooo good.
        Do you realize you have “water” chestnuts typed above?
        After doing some research, I learned there was such a thing as water chestnut flour. Who knew? 🙂

        • Sooooo, egg on my face, and apologies! The recipe should use water chestnuts flour and I have updated the link to direct folks to the correct ingredient. So sorry for that mix up!!

          • Karen S.

            I really didn’t even know that flour existed.
            I’m sure it’s a nice mild starch. I’m excited!

  • Lynn Smith

    I so need this in my life!!!!

  • Lindsay Buckles

    Looks awesome!

  • Adrienne

    I would like this book to add more Paleo options to my limited selections that I have now.

  • Kelsey Michele Heathers

    I would love to try some good, healthy southern cooking 🙂

  • Ann Wilson

    I’m already getting the book… Should be shipped tonight! 🙂 I’m most looking forward to the amazingly delicious and unique twists on southern foods. I love chimichangas and chocolate pecan pie. Cannot wait to make these (may be after my weight loss challenge is over though… After 10/31).

  • Sara Newman Gall

    I just ordered the book and now I really need the cookware to whip up some of those tasty southern dishes!

  • Laura Butts

    I can’t wait to try this delicious recipe and many more.

  • Debbie M.

    I want this book because I love southern food and would like to know how to make it “clean”.

  • Amanda B

    Oh my! I would love this book to try out the ultimate comfort foods – paleo style! So delicious!

  • Lisa

    Looking forward to getting this book!

  • Laurel K

    Thank you for posting this recipe! Super excited to incorporate these recipes into our weekly menus. Nothing like healthy homestyle food to keep the family happy! My mom won’t part with the cast iron skillet I grew up with, so I guess I better get (or win) one of my own.

  • Gwen Trussler

    Looking forward to the book. I come from the south and miss this stuff. Hoping to cook up some of these vittles when I go home so my folks can see how good Paleo can be.

  • Krisia

    I really need to have this book to show my southern husband that southern food can be paleo and still be delicious!!

  • Lynn

    This book looks amazing! Can’t wait to try out all those drool-worthy recipes.

  • Susanna White

    Off to amazon as week speak! err, type!

  • sabrina

    Uhhhhhhhhhh….because it looks “down-right” delicious??????? (pun intended!!!!) 😉

  • Jaclyn Burke Barcroft

    These recipes look amazing! Can’t wait to check out the cookbook!

  • Debra

    Book is ordered! New to Paleo and would loooove to keep some southern favorites in my arsenal!

  • Sharon Meagher

    used cast iron pans growing up but never had one as an adult. yet.

  • Sara Hawker

    LOVE my cast iron, and it’s super tiny, so a full size pan would be fantastic!

  • Holly Shively

    I want this book to add diversity to the menu! There are a lot of great comfort foods that I never dreamed I could make but now I know I can and will!

  • Caitlin

    I’m interested in this book so I can make “comfort” paleo foods!

  • Marie

    I’ve been looking for a way to help me eat better, get away from this current trend of junk food everywhere.

  • Barbara Logan

    The book looks interesting.

  • Matt

    Loge skillets rock! We’ve been using grape seed or olive oil, but avocado oil sound neat too.

  • Peggy Bell Hendrickson

    I’ve been trying to recreate southern food myself, but I’m not confident in the kitchen, so I’m really psyched about this cookbook!

  • Adrienne Smith

    Ordered my copy yesterday! I can’t wait!

  • Kelly S

    Can’t wait to get this book!

  • Kerrey

    Just got it today and it is just as good as you say! I’m so happy for Jennifer. She seems so nice and genuine on FB and deserves this success. Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Adrienne Wilhelm McGurran


  • Brandi

    Ordered! Can’t wait to get it so we can add some more comfort food recipes to our recipe library!

  • Jamie

    I’ve never heard of water chestnut flour. I may try making this and sub almond flour for this.

    • Hi Jamie! We suggest subbing the chestnut flour with a starch, so tapioca or potato flour, which will give you the consistency you are going for. Thanks!

  • Dee

    Already ordered

  • looks delish!

  • KM

    The picture of the chimichanga had me sold!

  • mrwisley

    I can’t believe how good that chicken fried steak looks. I need this!

  • Olivia

    Would love to share this with my family!

  • heidi jo

    Oh my goodness. ….this is my kind of paleo!

  • karen

    The blondies looks amazing!

  • Kymber

    south comfort food that won’t kill my stomach…I’ll take it!

  • Barbara

    I need the lemonade! Now!

  • Kelly

    The idea of it sounds so good, I want to try it.

  • Sandra Bijani

    Looking forward to trying these recipes as a “new” southerner! We are attending the book signing in Atlanta on the 29th. Wish you were going to be there too. We love your family!

    • You’ll be with Sarah and Jennifer, it’s like meeting my family – we are practically sisters! 😉

  • Kelly

    Can’t wait to try these recipes. Especially excited about the fried okra!

  • Heather Harris Jones

    Got my copy yesterday! I can’t wait to begin cooking from it. As a NC born and bred native southerner, I have been looking forward to this book for months!

  • Briita Noyes

    I miss chimichangas so much! Would love to make them!

  • katnalex

    Heading over to Amazon now…can’t wait to try some new recipes.

  • I am making this tonight except with chicken. I am SO excited!!

  • Kristen

    I just moved to Charleston, SC…one of the meccas of Southern cuisine and would love to learn how to make paleo-ified Southern dishes! I definitely will have to get this 🙂

  • jenniferganey

    This looks really good

  • chrissy c

    I want this book because I’m always looking for yummy new recipes.

  • Jaryn Finch

    the boy would kill for some chicken fried steak…

  • Bori Vekony

    Oh that looks yummy! I didn’t consider buying the book, because I already have more paleo cookbooks than I use, but now I’m not so sure…

  • Neena

    Chicken fried steak. Need there be any more reasons to buy this book?! 🙂

  • Amy Cooley

    These would be great to win for both home and camping purposes. Thanks!

  • Oh sooo yummy looking!! I already ordered the book, shared this with my Paleo Meet Up group AND posted a comment on my blog. This is my first time posting, but I have been a long time reader and the book Eat Like a Dinosaur has helped our family tremendously!! Thank you so much!!! 🙂

  • Oh sooo yummy looking!! I already ordered the book, shared this with my
    Paleo Meet Up group AND posted a comment on my blog (www.mcgyvermoms.com). This is my first
    time posting on your blog, but I have been a long time reader and the book Eat Like a
    Dinosaur has helped our family tremendously!! Thank you so much!!! 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting and coming out of the shadows! <3

  • Joanna

    Would love some food variety that still accommodates for my food intolerances!

  • Kirstie Starr

    Southern paleo . . . Need I say more? Looking forward to some amazing hearty fare!

  • Charmaine Taylor

    When I first glanced at your smothered chicken steak I observed the perfect speckles of back pepper. Then I came back to earth and remembered I was a junk food vegan for a long time and feared this book would derail me. But I’m thinking it’ll actually keep me on track, since eating out gluten free on my splurge day is probably derailing me more. I will be heading to Powell’s later today and check it out! Holy chimichangas!

  • Rust

    My kinda cooking!

  • Cindy Berryman

    Going to try recipe , have to double it , I have a big family

  • Alex

    Southern food is something I’ve never really had growing up in the Midwest, and now that I’m paleo, I can’t really indulge when I go there to visit. This book will help me understand what all the hype is about!

  • alex robertson

    I would love to win this so I can cook my way through the book and all the other paleo recipes! I am currently on day 7 of my first whole30 and plan to be paleo after it is done. The one thing I need is a cast iron!

  • leslie

    Looks awesome!

  • Samantha

    I think these would be great recipes to make when nonpaleo family members visit.

  • christiel

    I’m from and still live “down south” and have recently started AIP Paleo – this would be awesome!

  • cometmvp

    Looks yummy!/I want this book so bad, love all the recipes I’ve tried!

  • Melissa Anderson

    I just got my copy and am so excited to try recipes from it!

  • kelbelical

    I bought this from Amazon. I’m so excited to try the chicken fried stake

  • Crea Moon

    Sounds yummy

  • Jenna

    Just added this to our Amazon Wedding Registry (along with Real Lofe Paleo 😉

  • Stephanie KL

    I’ve always considered Southern food “untouchable.” This book proves that I can eat Southern food after all.