Tag Archives: skillet



Paleo Master Ronny Joseph (cookingprimalgourmet.com) has created the following simple, yet divine recipe.  All photos currently of Ronny Joseph.

Aside from bacon, I’m not a huge fan of pork. I’m much more of a beef guy. Also really big into fish, in case you were wondering. Setting my carnal preferences aside, the folks at RealFoodToronto.com, which is the grocery delivery service offered by The Healthy Butcher, carry some of the absolute best pork products you can find in Toronto. In fact, I’m going to venture a guess that it’s about as good as you can get anywhere in the world. They carry heritage breed pork, Berkshire and Tamworth, and the animals are raised on a happy, local, Ontario farm. By happy I mean free of antibiotics, hormones, and allowed to pasture year-round. Believe me when I say that you can taste the difference. You may already know that I am a huge fan of their grass-fed beef, which I used in my YouTube recipe on How to Cook the Best Steak. If you want to take a break from beef, this Pork chop will hit the spot.

I love these bone-in, centre-cut loin chop with the fat cap still in tact. Maximum flavour at a very reasonable price. Especially considering the quality and size of the chop. You can have a look at their website for the different prices but it was low enough that I decided to order two.

This pork is very rich in flavour, partly because of the bone and amazing fat cap. Look at that thing. It’s a crescent moon of all things right in this world. If you’re looking for something to pair the meat with, try dandelion greens. They are bitter and cut through the rich, fattiness of the pork. You’ll want something to counteract the bitterness of the greens though. I like to make a really simple vinaigrette with maple syrup and whole-grain mustard. The grains of the mustard also give a really nice texture.

If you go to Big Crow in Toronto, my favourite BBQ joint in the city, you may come across a similar dish. A few years back I had a spectacular BBQ pork belly with dandelion greens and honey mustard. This dish is my riff on the flavour combination. Sadly the dish is no longer on their rotating menu. So if you work at Big Crow and are reading this, please put it back on the menu. Pretty please!

This is also my first time cooking with my brand new Hestan Nanobond Stainless Steel Skillet. The generous folks at Hestan very kindly sent me this pan for free. It’s still too early to give the skillet a fair review but I can tell you that it worked wonders with this recipe. Very responsive, even heat distribution, comfortable handle and superior non-stick capabilities. It will be very interesting to see how this pan performs after a month or two. I will be sure to follow-up with a separate review of the pan after I have a chance to cook some more with it.

Give this recipe a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!






  1. To a mason jar, add the mustard, maple syrup, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Seal the top of the jar and shake the Dickens out of it. Taste for seasoning and adjust as required. Set aside.


  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Pat pork chop dry with paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Drizzle one tbsp avocado oil into the pan and carefully add the pork chop by laying it away from you to avoid oil splatter.
  3. Sear the pork for 4-5 minutes per side (depending on thickness). Remove pork chop once internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 145F – use a meat thermometer for accuracy. Let rest on a wire rack or cutting board.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add dandelion greens to the skillet. If the skillet is dry, add 1 tbsp avocado oil.
  5. Season the greens with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook greens for 3-4 minutes while stirring constantly. Note: it’s ok if the leaves get a bit charred.
  6. Transfer the dandelion greens to a serving dish along with the rested pork chop. Drizzle everything with the Maple-Mustard and enjoy!









Real Recipe: Eggplant, Feta & Crispy Lamb Crumbs

Photo by Chef Mike Ward

Photo by Chef Mike Ward

Chef Mike Ward (www.chefmikeward.com) came up with this simple, yet delicious recipe…

We all know eggplant left to it’s own devices is kinda meh. This dish however brings an entire army of monster flavours and textures. You’ll never see these humble little fruits in the same light again (yes, it’s a fruit).



Serves 4 – prep 25 mins, cooks in 1 hour


  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Place eggplant on parchment paper lined oven-roasting tray (slicing a slither off the skin side will help them lay flat). Drizzle soy into the scores of the eggplant, then drizzle over a healthy splash of olive oil. Don’t add salt. Roast for 40 mins.
  2. Meanwhile, in fry pan on med/high heat add a splash of olive oil, add onion and garlic, sauté for 2 to 3 mins. Then add lamb and a good pinch of salt. Fry until lamb is crispy (but not burnt). With the back of a wooden spoon crush ground lamb into a chunky crumb like texture. Reduce heat if required.
  3. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine crumbled feta, cumin, chili flakes (if desired), lemon zest and juice. Don’t add salt. Set aside.
  4. After 40 mins remove eggplant from oven and top with feta mixture. Switch oven to broil and slide back in for 10 to 15 mins (until feta has browned slightly). Remove from broiler, spoon over warm lamb crumbs, garnish with coriander and finely sliced chili peppers to taste. A drizzle of olive oil is always welcome.

Real Recipe: Chicken Barley Biryani

This deliciously simple recipe by our friend Chef Mike Ward.  Visit his website for more great recipes and videos: www.chefmikeward.com

Great cooking for me is about trying new ingredients, I created a similar dish to this recently using rice, But this time I tried it with barley. Holy smokes, what a gorgeous change. Barley has a nuttiness and texture you don’t get from rice.


Serves 6 – prep 15 mins/cook time 50 mins.


  1. Preheat oven at 350°F.
  2. In an ovenproof pan with high sides, heat a splash of olive oil on medium-high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt/pepper, lay thighs skin-side down once pan is hot. Let chicken sear until skin is golden then flip and do the same on the other side. Don’t fuss around with them or you’ll tear the skin, place them and let them sear. Once golden brown on both sides remove from pan.
  3. Add chopped onion and chili flakes to the pan, sear until the onions are brown and crispy.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook for a few seconds (you may need to turn the heat down).
  5. Add the chicken stock and stir with a wooden spoon. Remove all the crispy bits from pot base.
  6. Add thyme and barley, give a quick stir, place the seared chicken thighs back into the pan.
  7. Place the lid on and bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove, add a little more fresh thyme for garnish and check barley for seasoning.
Chicken Barley Biryani by Chef Mike Ward

Chicken Barley Biryani by Chef Mike Ward


RealFoodToronto.com partners with Penguin Pickup to offer Click & Collect throughout the GTA!


RealFoodToronto.com is proud to announce a partnership with Penguin Pickup locations.

We now have pickup locations throughout the GTA, offering a convenient Click & Collect option for customers!

To read the official Press Release, CLICK HERE.

For a chart of all Pickup locations and associated pickup windows and cut off times, CLICK HERE.


Real Recipe: Sunday Shepherd’s Pie with Yams (Paleo Friendly!)

Shepherd's Pie by Ronny Joseph

Shepherd’s Pie by Ronny Joseph

by Ronny Joseph, cookprimalgourmet.com

Sunday’s should be about relaxing and catching up on a bit of me-time. But the old adage rings true, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Unless you’ve got a game plan for the coming week of meals, you’re likely going to scramble for unhealthy options at the last minute. If you’ve ever meal prepped before you know that some foods simply don’t stand the test of time and taste goes out the window by day 2.  My absolute favorite way to avoid this is to cook a big shepherd’s pie. Not only does it taste better the second and third day, you can portion-out individual servings and freeze them for a few weeks if needed. Problem solved! Once again, swap traditional potatoes with Japanese yams for a delicious, low-glycemic alternative.



  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with a pinch of salt and add-in the cubed yams – cook until fork tender (approx. 12-15 min).  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the yams to a food processor along with 1.5 tbsp ghee and a pinch of salt.  Purée until very smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Heat a large Dutch Oven or heavy-bottomed stock-pot over medium-high heat. Drizzle ½ tbsp. avocado oil and add-in the ground lamb – cook until browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Lower the heat to med-low and discard all but 3 tbsp of the rendered fat in the pot. Add-in the onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms. Cook until the carrots have softened (approx. 12-15 min), stirring occasionally. Add-in the zucchini and garlic and cook an additional 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add-in spicy paprika, smoked paprika, onion powder, a pinch of salt and pepper, stir to coat and toast the spices for 60 seconds. Add the browned lamb back to the pot along with the chicken stock and chopped parsley. Bring everything to a steady simmer and allow the liquid to reduce by half.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400F. Meanwhile, spoon the meat mixture into a shallow baking dish or casserole and spread mashed yams overtop. Place the baking dish onto a baking sheet to catch any spill over from the juices. (Tip: To achieve a fancier look, spread the yams using a piping bag or heavy-duty zip-top bag fitted with a metal tip.)
  6. Bake at 400F approx. 20-25 minutes or until yams are golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes before serving.


Butter: Good or Bad?


By Andrea Cole, our in-house Registered Holistic Nutritionist. 

Butter is a health food, a superfood really. This is your Nutritionist speaking, you can trust me. For many of us this might go against what we’ve always been told. Over the last thirty years or so, we’ve been told that saturated fat is bad and low fat, low cholesterol foods are the healthier option. Newer research and scientific studies are proving that that’s just not true (1). In fact, a recent report on over 70 studies from the Annals of Internal Medicine (2) showed that consumption of saturated fats does not influence cholesterol levels, for better or for worse. It is in fact vegetable oils, rancid fats, high ratios of Omega 6 fatty acids vs Omega 3 fatty acids and trans fats created in things like Margarine that negatively influence health. Perhaps it is time we learn from our grandparents and use good old saturated fats like lard and butter to cook with, and skip the canola.

Now, to be clear, I’m not going to tell you to go on an all-butter diet (although you’ll soon be getting my article on the Ketogenic diet which is a very high fat diet), but I do want to make clear that our general fear of butter is unfounded. There are many health benefits of consuming butter which I’ll review below, but it is important to note that not all butter is the same. It is important to get quality butter made from Organic or Grassfed milk – good examples are Kiwi Pure or L’Ancetre. Food that is derived from animals gets it nutrition (or lack thereof) from what the animal ate. The healthier the inputs, the healthier the outputs – it’s that simple. Stick to Organic or 100% Grassfed whenever possible.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of our new hero, butter:

  • It’s a great source of vitamins and minerals like fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E and K and minerals like Manganese, Chromium, Zinc, Copper, Iodine and Selenium. Actually, butter has more Selenium per gram than Herring or Wheat Germ.
  • The saturated fat has short and medium chain fatty acids which the body uses for immediate energy, immune support and boosting metabolism. Remember this, eating fat doesn’t make you fat! Eating fat helps your body start using fat for energy and burning some of your own fat stores.
  • It has a healthy ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids. Much of our modern diets are too high in Omega 6’s, that can cause inflammation and lead to disease. Ideally we need an almost equal ratio of like 1:1 or 1:2 but the standard North American Diet contains more like 1:20 or even 1:30.
  • Grassfed butter contains good amounts of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) which helps fight cancer and helps the body store muscle instead of fat. Again, eating fat doesn’t make you fat!

If you are sensitive or allergic to lactose a good option is to use Ghee. Ghee is made by simmering butter, which evaporates the water and separates out the milk solids including most of the remaining lactose and casein leaving behind pure butter oil that’s even more nutrient dense and packed with antioxidants as well as a rich buttery flavour.

The long and short of it is, go ahead and enjoy your delicious tasting butter and don’t feel guilty about it. The more we know about how our foods are medicine the better we feel about eating nourishing healthy foods. A big part of health is our mindset, if we feel guilt or negative feelings when we eat, it can affect how well we use the nutrients it contains. Stress and negativity can shut down digestion keeping us from absorbing nutrients and leaving us hungry for more food or cravings for low-nutrient or sugary snacks. Eat good fats like butter, avocados, coconut oil, nuts and seeds and feel good about it. As Julia Child said “you can never have too much butter”!


1. See: Why Butter is better at: http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your-fats/why-butter-is-better/ or Top 8 Health Benefits of Butter at: http://draxe.com/top-8-health-benefits-of-butter/;

2. See: Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis at http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1846638

3. See: https://www.diabetes.ca/publications-newsletters/canadian-journal-of-diabetes

4. https://www.diabeticlive.com/diabetes-101/diabetes-news/obesity-rates-have-doubled-in-past-30-years/

Tara’s Fav 50 Grocery/Pantry Foods

Tara Longo and her favourite bone broth

Tara Longo and her favourite bone broth

Tara Longo is co-owner and co-founder of The Healthy Butcher and RealFoodToronto.com, she’s a super mom of two young kids, and a great cook.

In this video series, Tara takes us through her top 50 grocery & pantry items.  Of course, fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and fish don’t qualify for the list otherwise they would take all 50 spots. Eat real. Live healthy.  Browse http://www.realfoodtoronto.com for thousands of amazing products, delivered to your door (if you live in Toronto!)

1. Acropolis Organics 3L Tin of Biodynamic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2. Thomas’ Utopia Organic tomatoes

3. The Healthy Butcher’s Organic Chicken Fingers

4. Max Mexican Salsa Verde

5. Nutiva 1.6L Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

6. EPI health bread loaf

7. Derlea Organic Minced Garlic

8. ChocoSol Traders chocolate

9. Pinehedge Kefir

10. Moss Berry Farm Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

11. Niagara Specialties Prosciutto

12. Chosen Foods Avocado Mayonnaise  AND The Ojai Cook Organic Mayonnaise

13. Kiwi Grassfed Unsalted Butter

14. Alba Lisa Corn Tortillas

15. Bulletproof Vanillamax Collagen Bar

16. RealFoodToronto.com’s House Brand Coffee Beans – Italian Espresso blend

17. Sunflower Kitchen’s Babaghanouj

18. Cheese Boutique Housemade Cream Cheese

19. TruRoots Ancient Grain Gluten-free Pasta

20. Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour

21. Prana’s nuts – great for snacks, especially: Organic Amandine Maple Almonds  and “Go Nuts” Maple Nuts Snack 

22. The Healthy Butcher’s “The Cleaver” Original BBQ Sauce

23. Petit Pot Organic Fig Yogurt

24. Organic Ezekiel 4:9 – 100% Sprouted Whole Grain Loaf

25. The Healthy Butcher’s Duck Confit

26. Lee’s Ghee – the best fat to use for high heat cooking

27. Orasta Organic Sun Dried Whole Figs – Amazing snack, soft & sweet. Non-irradiated, No Sulfites.

28. Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crips – A pantry favourite – unique mixes of nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Perfect for cheese plates. Kids love them too!

29. Bio-K Probiotics – a great way to get a 50 billion live bacteria shot.

30. The Healthy Butcher’s Chicken and Rib Spice – Ideal for Chicken, Ribs, or pretty much anything grilled!

31. Nomz Energy Bites – delicious, clean nut based snacks

32. The Cheese Boutique’s Jackhammer Cheese – A raw, Organic Guernsey cow’s milk cheese from Monterigie, Chambly, Quebec is aged for 18 months and has a nutty, smooth, buttery flavour.

33. Pita Break’s One Buns – thin whole wheat buns perfect for reduced-bread sandwiches or burgers.

34. Dutchman’s Gold Raw Honey – raw, unheated, unpasteurized and only lightly filtered. It contains all of the wonderful compounds that nature intended including natural bee pollen, royal jelly and beeswax.

35. El Tounsi’s Harissa – This fiery staple of Tunisian cuisine can be used as a base for sauces or soups, a condiment, a dip or a spread, made from red chilli peppers.

36. My Little Chickpea’s Herb Infused Falafels – perfect for a healthy lunch or snack:

37. Bella Casara’s Burrata – fresh local cheese that gives you a taste of Italy.

38. Mary’s Gluten Free Crackers – not only delicious, but healthy… a lovely option for a charcuterie or cheese plate.

39. Pacific’s Organic Vegetable Broth Tetra Packs – small tetra packs make it a convenient way to have broth in your pantry for any recipe.

40. Belly Ice Cream – local, made from scratch ice cream that is your perfect treat during the summer.

41. Ever spring Farm’s Sprouted Flax Powder – a nutty, delicious flax that is an excellent source of fibre, Omega 3s, and sprouting improves digestion.

42. The Healthy Butcher’s Jerky – real jerky! Made with zero nitrates of any sort, and no crap. The best jerky on the market. Several varieties:  Beef – Mild,  Beef – Hot, Bison – Mild, Bison – Hot

43. LunchSkins Sandwich bags – a perfect reusable bags for lunches and snacks.  Large/Sandwich side and Small/Snack bag

44. Altura’s Andean Pink Salt – non-treated salt from the Andes Mountains contains many minerals to give it it’s natural pink colour.

45. Marty’s Chicago Pickles – Small batch delicious pickles that are grown, cured, and hand packed in Ontario!

46. The Healthy Butcher’s Bone Broths – made with real ingredients from scratch, packed with nutrients and healing power.
Organic Ancho Pepper Beef Broth
Grassfed Beef Broth
Ginger Duck Broth
Organic Lemongrass Chicken Broth

*** Check out our own Andrea Cole discussing the Benefits of Bone Broth here: https://youtu.be/m79911ohBm0

47. Holy Crap Breakfast Cereal (Dragon’s Blend) – delicious and nutritious featuring super food chia, sprinkle on your cereal or yogurt daily!

48. Sopa Soups – vegan, zero processed ingredients, and delicious.  Several varieties:  Cheese Broccoli, Black Bean, Minestrone, Beet

49. Grainstorm’s Ancient Grain Pancake Mix – rich, grainy flavours without the insulin-spiking refined flours!

50. Fruit Dome’s Pre-Cooked and Peeled Red Beets – eat Organic beets without the fuss


Real Recipe: Burrito Bowl

Burrito Bowl, by Michelle Tirmandi

Burrito Bowl, by Michelle Tirmandi

Toronto-based Holistic Nutritionist Michelle Tirmandi (michellenutrition.ca) brings us this quick and easy Burrito Bowl recipe.  This is truly a go-to quick, easy and healthy dish that can be changed up depending on what you have in your fridge and pantry.

This recipe takes 30 minutes start to finish, including cooking the rice.  And if that’s not reason enough to give it a try, I will let you know that it’s colourful, plant-based ingredients are filled with phytonutrient power:

  • Black Beans: contain fibre, folate (mega important for mamas-to-be), and a decent amount of protein to help with blood sugar stabilization.
  • Cilantro: contains a high amount of antioxidants (required for healthy, glowing skin) and also acts as a natural cleansing agent, specifically binding to heavy metals and helping them to be removed from the tissues.
  • Tomatoes: a very rich source of antioxidants including Lycopene and Vitamin C (the precursor to collagen production). They also contain Vitamin A which helps to keep your hair shiny and strong.
  • Avocados: an excellent source of good fats, as well as folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and fibre (a major pregnancy power food!).
    Bell Peppers:  an excellent source of carotenoids, which help to protect the skin, tissue and cells from environmental toxins and disease.
  • Brown Rice: contains fibre (important for natural detoxification) as well as the beautifying & anti-cancerous antioxidant, Selenium.

Ingredients for the Burrito Bowl:

 Ingredients for the Seasoning Mix:


  1. Add 1 cup rice and 2 cups water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 25 minutes.
  2. While the rice is cooking, chop the onions and peppers.
  3. Chop tomatoes, avocado , cilantro, set aside.
  4. Shred the cheese, set aside.
  5. Add 1 Tbsp coconut oil to a pan over medium heat and sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes. Add the peppers and stir together.
  6. Add all of the spices together and stir in to the onion and pepper mixture, continuing string for another few minutes until everything is well mixed.
  7. Heat the corn and beans in a separate pan.
  8. Once the rice is cooked add all ingredients together and enjoy!


Real Recipe: Kale, Sausage & Pepper Skillet

Photo by Ronny Joseph

Photo by Ronny Joseph

Primal Gourmet writer Ronny Joseph brings us this simple, delicious and healthy paleo recipe.

This kale, sausage and pepper skillet recipe is a perfect example of how you can make a delicious and healthy meal with plenty of leftovers in around 30 minutes. It’s especially great for anyone trying to work more greens into their diet. Braising roughage like kale, spinach or collards softens the leaves, gets rid of excess moisture, and saves your jaw from all that unnecessary chewing. Feel free to use your favorite sausages as long as they are free of junk like wheat-fillers, sugars and preservatives. Best bet is to get sausages that are made by a quality butcher in-house, like The Healthy Butcher or RealFoodToronto.com.



  1. Preheat your oven to 400F
  2. Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add 2 tbsp EVOO. Add sausages to the skillet and brown for 4-5 minutes or until a golden brown crust is formed. Flip and brown the other side for another 4-5 minutes.
  3. Transfer sausages to a plate and set aside for the moment.
  4. Drain all but 3 tbsp of the rendered juices in the skillet. Add in the onions, peppers, garlic and chilies. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sautée until the onions are translucent and the peppers have softened (approx. 7-10 minutes). Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
  5. Add 1 tsp fennel seeds and cook for 1 minute to release their essential oils.
  6. Add 1/2 cup water and scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the skillet with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  7. Working in batches, start to add in the kale 1-2 handfuls at a time. Don’t worry, as the kale heats, it will significantly reduce in volume. Continue to toss it with the hot vegetables and water until it all fits into the skillet. Taste for seasonings and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Once all of the kale is all in, lay the sausages overtop of the wilted greens and transfer the skillet to the preheated oven. Cook approx. 15minutes at 400F (cooking time varies according to size of sausages and heat of oven).
  9. Remove from oven and serve directly in the pan alongside some baked sweet potato or cauliflower rice.

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