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.
Our 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.
Instagram 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!
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!
The real photo from Down South Paleo – see what I’m sayin’, who doesn’t want to eat their computer right now?
- ¼ C coconut flour
- ¼ C water chestnut flour
- ¼ C arrowroot flour
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cracked black pepper
- Paprika to taste
- 1?3 C full-fat organic coconut milk
- 1 egg
- Lard, avocado oil or preferred cooking fat for frying
- 4 cubed steaks (1 lb total),
- 1 C flax milk (or preferred nondairy milk)
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- 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.
- Heat the cooking fat in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. You’ll want to generously coat the bottom of the pan.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
My mom is SO excited to come over to dinner tonight for Fried Chicken (on the cover) and Fried Okra!
Lemonade is just perfect for our hot Virginia summer!
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 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 Oil! Normally 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!