love at first site


I could’ve named this post, “How to show paleo hater’s that real food can be amazing”… or “more delicious than Sawyer on Lost” or simply “drooooooolll”.  This one is a winner!  And it’s SO EASY! I dedicate this post to my fellow Spring Leaner’s – try this one out for yourself…just give credit to me when your significant other proposes immediately. 

Another bonus: this roast was only $12.  It’s naturally raised, local venison from The Healthy Butcher.  And the piece I bought could feed 4 people – we just happened to devour it between the 2 of us and settled into a nice meat-coma afterwards.  

Ingredients (serves 4 or 2 for a meat-coma)
– 1lb venison roast
– 5-10 slices of bacon depending on your bacon desire  – naturally raised, nitrate free
–  1 leek – sliced 
– 1 C broccoli florets
–  2-3 C cauliflower florets
– 5 garlic cloves
– fresh ground pepper 


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. In a roasting pan lined with foil place the venison roast.  Sprinkle all sides with fresh ground pepper.
  3. Wrap the bacon around the venison
  4. Spread the veggies and garlic around the venison
  5. Roast in the oven until the venison reaches an internal temp of 135 (ours took about 45 min).  Remove immediately and tent with some foil.  Let it ‘tent’ for 10 minutes.  This will get it to a nice medium rare.
  6. Enjoy!!!  

Semi-Primal Husband gave the following testimonial, “oh, this is so good.  This is more like a weekend meal.”  (we eat luxury on weekends)



Served with a side of green beans and red cabbage salad (check the recipe index page!)

Semi-Primal Husband sent me a link to this Globe & Mail article about people who took on a 28 day real food challenge.  It’s a good article that speaks to how people found it challenging to purge their pantry of processed foods because they are so accustomed to eating that way.  Reading the comments that people posted was the most interesting piece because it shows a major divide in people’s feelings about eating this way.  On one hand you’ve got people who claim it’s easy to eat real food (yay!).  But there is another group of people who think it’s not realistic – One of the points that people kept bringing up was that it is too expensive to eat real food.  People tend to throw their hands up and say, “there is no way i’d eat like that” because it takes too much time or costs too much money.  In some cases, this unfortunately might be the case – but I believe that there are many people who could afford to eat real food, but they just don’t want to give it a chance and find the easiest excuse.  This meal is a perfect example that it does not need to cost that much and you can prepare a meal in less than 20 minutes.  You just need to be smart about it.  Look for veggies that are local and in-season or will go a long way for the money.  I buy 1 head of red cabbage, chop it up and toss it with some oil and vinegar and I have a side dish for every dinner of the week.  As for the meat, Venison sounds so gourmet and exotic – but these 2 (large) strips which are naturally raised and organic were only $9 in total!  That’s the same price as a 2 pack of factory farm boneless skinless chicken breasts from a grocery store.  Every time I visit the Healthy Butcher (my local shop) they have a variety of cuts and some are more expensive than others.  If you’re willing to be a bit more adventurous you can usually find a cheaper cut – ask the butcher about the best way to prepare it and they’ll be happy to tell you – or google it.  You can also look into buying a farm share or cow share from a local farm (check out which will save you dough on grass-fed and naturally raised meats.  They even have places where you can go and work at the farm to earn your meat.  You just need to invest in some freezer space to store all the meat.  I could go on and on about all the other excuses that people have, but we’ll save some of that for another post.  Here is the recipe I used for the Venison (note that you want to marinate it for 24 hours if possible – i only marinated mine for 20 minutes and it was still delicious):

Ingredients (serves 2)
– 2 piece of venison loin (this recipe would work with any venison cut except a roast)
– 2 Tbsp olive oil
– 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– pinch of red pepper flakes
– 1 tsp dried parsley (or 1 Tbsp fresh chopped)
– 1 tsp dried basil (or 1 Tbsp fresh chopped)
– ground pepper
– pinch of salt


  1. Mix together all ingredients (except meat).  
  2. Pour into bag with the venison and let it marinate (24 hours is best).  This marinade will tenderize the meat and make it less tough when you cook it.
  3. In a non-stick skillet, turn it to high-heat and heat up some olive oil.
  4. When the pan is hot, throw in the venison strips.  Cook for about 4 min on each side (depending on how thick they are – ours were 1 1/2 inches thick).  Then tent them for 5 minutes.  You want them medium-rare (internal temp of 135-140)…no more than that or they get tough and gamey.
  5. Enjoy!

Semi-Primal Husband gave the following testimonial, “Man, these are so good – i love this.  You need to post that they were only $9.”


Photo Courtesy of Sara Salahub


Here is another appetizer that could be eaten as a main dish.  Elk or Venison are a wonderful alternative to Beef.  They are a much leaner source of protein and have a greater protein-to-fat ratio compared to boneless-skinless chicken breasts.  You can find Elk or Venison at specialty butcher shops – I get mine from The Healthy Butcher.

Sauce (This recipe is from Son of Grok – SoG Zesty BBQ Sauce) –  It’s a great recipe because you can modify the consistency with the texture of your onion/garlic and the amount of stock that you add.  I made this one more smooth by mincing the garlic and onion and adding more stock.  Here is the formula I used:

Ingredients (Makes about 4 Cups)
– 1 6oz can tomato paste (preferable organic)
– 2 Cups beef stock
– 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
– .5 of an onion – minced
– 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (i used a spicy garlic dijon that added a bit of a kick)
– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
– 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
– 1 teaspoon sea salt
– 2 tablespoons chili powder 
– 1 sprinkle of cinnamon (1 tsp)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Stir together well.
  2. Bring it to a simmer and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.
  3. Easy!

Mini-Elk Meatballs (makes about 18 -24 meatballs)

– 1.5 Lb of Ground Elk or Venison
– 1 onion – minced (almost pureed – you don’t want chunks because otherwise the meatballs will fall apart) 
– 1 Tbsp minced garlic
– 1/4 C chopped parsley
– 2 tsp tomato paste
– 1 Egg
– 1/4 C almond flour
– 1 tsp ground red chili’s to spice it up
– salt & pepper to taste
– 2-3 Tbsp olive oil (to use in the pan) 


  1. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients (except olive oil).  Mixing by hand works best.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil – enough to thoroughly cover the pan
  3. Use a Tbsp to scoop out meat and roll into a meatball.  Repeat.  Place them in the pan.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Gentley (I repeat…GENTLEY – these guys are fragile)  flip the meatballs to cook the other sides.  In total, they take about 8 minutes to cook around (depending on their size).  You can get a feeling for when they are done cooking by pressing down on them to see if they’ve firmed up.  
  5. If you’re doing multiple batches, add more olive oil to the pan in between batches.
  6. Pour some of the Sauce on top of the meatballs and serve.