Hayley and Bill - Primal Palate
Hayley and Bill are primal eaters (they don't eat processed foods, sugars, grains and dairy), and have a great blog where they share recipes and photos of their creations. Hayley comes from a family background of clean eating, and Bill honed his skills in the kitchen at a young age. Together, they inspire each other (and their readers) to come up with creative ways to make tasty meals using the freshest ingredients available. Follow Hayley and Bill on Twitter and Facebook.
Q: How did you get involved in cooking to begin with? Was it something you learned to love early on or did you come to it later?
A: H- When I was very small I would cook often with my grandmother. She always involved me in the cooking, and was very good at teaching me. I started cooking for myself at a young age, so I learned as I went.
B- I always had a working knowledge of cooking and baking in my teen years from cooking alongside my mother. However, things got really interesting for me in college and the years after when I started entertaining friends more often.
Q: Why is eating grass-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish different? How does it affect your cooking?
A: H&B- For starters, we do not consume any grains, so choosing cuts of meat and fish that are also free of grains is very important to us. Beyond that, grass-fed meat and sustainably-caught fish is not only better for humans to consume, but also better for the environment.
Q: Is it just about health? Or is there more to it than that?
A: H- Health is the top priority for us. We strive to keep our recipes as clean as possible. We want to encourage others to follow a healthy lifestyle, and providing recipes with grass-fed meats, and sustainably-caught fish promote health beyond just avoiding processed foods and refined sugar.
B- Along with everything Hayley said, we also talk often about how important the ethical treatment of animals is, regarding our food choices. We are both animal lovers, and take comfort knowing that our food has been ethically raised or wild caught - not fattened up on a crowded feed lot.
Q: How did you learn about grass-fed meat?
A: H- Being food bloggers in the Paleo community, it's hard not to know about grass-fed meat. I was unaware of it before switching over to a Paleo lifestyle, but I am extremely grateful to have gained this knowledge.
B- I started hearing it a few years back and would sometimes see the differing labels in the store. When I went Paleo, searching out grass-fed meat was something I adopted as part of my 'food morals'.
Q: Why is it so important to have the right ingredients?
A: H&B- It's really about integrity for us. The right ingredients play a huge role in the execution of the dish, how it cooks, and how it tastes. Often when you have quality ingredients, the meal doesn't need much work to make it taste right, but for us we want to have integrity around the foods that we eat. It goes beyond avoiding "unhealthy" foods, and more towards feeding our bodies in the best way that we can.
Q: What are the most important keys to success for the home chef?
A: H- The most important key to success in my mind is to keep things simple, and don't try to go beyond your skill level. You learn and grow the more you cook, and it doesn't take much to create a delicious dish. Keep things simple in the beginning, and once your confidence builds then experiment with more challenging recipes. Any failure is just a lesson. Don't get discouraged if something doesn't turn out right, a mistake just leads you in the right direction.
B- I agree. Just to put it in a different light — master the basic ingredients that work with a variety of dishes: garlic, lemon, olive oil, shallot, sea salt, pepper, bacon … yes, bacon. If you season your dishes based around these core flavorings, you'll find cooking success quite easily.
Q: What are your best tips for home cooking?
A: H- Less is more, and when in doubt, season with olive oil, salt, and pepper-that is always a recipe for delicious success.
B- Always have a game plan. When you plan ahead, you make better food decisions. It leads to eating a lot more grass fed beef than trips to the drive through… and who doesn't want that?
Q: What is your favorite recipe using grass-fed meat?
A: H- The flavor of grass-fed meat is so wonderful on it's own, that I have to say my favorite recipe is for a simple ribeye steak seasoned only with salt, hot off the grill. Nothing beats that!
B- I would have to agree — a grilled ribeye with sea salt is my absolute favorite. Another really stellar dish we do is a mustard and spice crusted beef tenderloin, which is a close second for me.