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[BOOK REVIEW + RECIPE] Practical Paleo 2nd Edition + Orange Sesame Meatballs

Rewind to Christmas 2013. I opened a present from my sister-in-law - a book called Practical Paleo. She told me it had the best reviews on Amazon and knew I was interested in reading more about nutrition and specifically the Paleo diet [did she know I wanted to learn more because Kate Middleton was rumored to be "eating Paleo?" I'm not sure, but that's a detail I still laugh about.]

I was mesmerized when I opened the book. I remember laying by the fireplace and just bingeing on the first third of the book: Part 1 - Food and Your Body. I could not believe HOW MUCH content was in the book! And how much was DIFFERENT than what I had read in magazines and on websites through the years.

I became obsessed researching more about Diane and found the Balanced Bites Podcast. I instantly began listening to every episode and was won over by Diane and her podcastin' partner, Liz.

The was the beginning of the end, I guess you could say.

February 2015, I was nervously began the Nutritional Therapy Consultant program through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Little did I know it was going to completely change the course of my life. After months of reading, studying, and practicing, I graduated from the program in October.

Murph & I read Practical Paleo 2nd Edition

December 2015, Diane and Team Balanced Bites put out a call for a Content Coordinator. I figured, I may as well apply - Diane's book was the reason my entire career path changed, and soon in January 2016, I was live on the team call, getting a glimpse into the "back end" of the business that inspired me!

This was the first time I learned that Diane was working on an updated & expanded version of Practical Paleo, the book that started it all!

It made my heart swell when I got texts and social media messages from friends - Kate, your name is in Practical Paleo with Team Balanced Bites!!! Full circle love ❤

This second edition is fantastic. For less money than a date night out, a decent pedicure or even a beauty product, you can learn everything you need to transform your life, choose a meal and lifestyle plan to follow, and access over 150 delicious and easy recipes.

When people feel stuck or confused, I never hesitate to send over the Amazon link to purchase this book first and foremost - before even speaking. In fact, I'd rather them have the knowledge and resource to go through together.


What's so special?


Practical Paleo Updated & Expanded

This massive book has been dubbed the PALEO BIBLE by readers and rightfully so! This updated edition has 480 pages - it's massive - and every inch of the book is used to pack in as much information as possible!

I ordered the hardcover edition (softcover is available) and I could not be more pleased - it feels like the "textbook" it is now!

Part 1: The Why - Food and Your Body

The book's first section is full of the foundational information. One of my favorite chapters is entitled "Everything We've Been Taught About Good Nutrition is Wrong" -- this is the chapter that snapped me back to reality and made me start to question everything I was being "fed" [pun intended]. Now I put EVERYTHING through my own lens and context... learning this skill matters SO much when it comes to nutrition.

If you have the first edition, the second edition is expanded to include two more awesome chapters: Getting Started with Paleo [fantastic for those that are new to this lifestyle] and Clearing Up Carb Confusion - a much needed discussion that has changed from when the book was first previously published in 2012.

Part 2: The Meal Plans

14 of them to be exact!! However, they are NOT just meal plans... they are also lifestyle guides.

Each plan includes:

  • an introduction

  • lifestyle & diet recommendations

  • nutritional supplements & herbs to consider

  • supportive nutrients & foods that contain them

  • AND THEN the 30 day meal plan [based on recipes from the book]

Like what the what?!? That's SO MUCH valuable information.

The updated edition includes 3 more meal plans... all of which are the most popular episodes from our podcast, The Ladies Dish: Adrenal Health / Stress Management, Liver Detox Support, and Healthy Hormones.

Part 3: The Recipes

We LOVE so many of the recipes from the first edition of PP, so we knew that this edition would be NO different and I have been devouring every single recipe I've made... but don't just ask me! My husband can tell you, as well as my sister-in-law and brother-in-law because they have been here testing them as well.

This edition has 40 NEW recipes, bringing the total to 150+ recipes. It could be a standalone cookbook, for sure!

PLUS if you order during the month of September 2016 [the release month], you can get a copy of "Diane's Salad Madness" for FREE. [Details here].

Here are a few of the recipes we have tried so far... AND I have a special recipe to share from the new edition FOR YOU: Orange Sesame Meatballs... scroll on!

  • Paleo Avocado "Toast" [page 264 -- recipe here.] I made one traditional avocado toast and the other I used organic full-fat cream cheese, cucumber, smoked salmon, and dill. YUM!

  • Meatball Sandwich Burger with Marinara [page 340]. This recipe is going out to Diane's subscribers soon! If you aren't on her list, subscribe here.

  • Dairy-free Spinach Artichoke Dip [page 429 - not new to this edition. You can actually get a similar recipe here.]

  • Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken [page 310]. Sadly, I was so hungry for this one I forgot to snap a picture!

  • Swirly Crustless Quiche [page 270]. Also forgot to photograph this one before dicing it up for individual servings - great for meal prepping!


Buy your copy of Practical Paleo here!


Take a tour of the new edition:


Orange Sesame Meatballs


Orange Sesame Meatballs | Practical Paleo

Skill level: Beginner | Serves: 6 servings

Start to Finish: 50 min | Prep: 15 min | Cook: 35 min


  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos

  • 2 to 3 dashes of fish sauce

  • 1/4 cup minced green onions (scallions)

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger (about 1/2-inch piece)

  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey, preferably dark meat for the best flavor

For Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup coconut aminos

  • Juice of 1 orange (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion

  • 2 to 3 dashes of fish sauce

  • 2 pinches ginger powder

For Garnishes:

  • Sliced green onions

  • Red pepper flakes

  • Finely sliced orange zest (from orange, above)

  • Toasted black and white sesame seeds

  • Chopped fresh cilantro


1) Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a cooling rack in the baking sheet.

2) In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut aminos, fish sauce, green onions, cilantro, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper.

3) Add the meat to the bowl and mix to thoroughly combine with the seasonings. Form the meat into thirty-six 3/4-ounce meatballs.

4) Bake for 30 minutes on the prepared baking sheet.

5) In a small saucepan, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-low heat, then continue to simmer until the sauce reduces by half, 5 to 7 minutes. Tilt the pan frequently to prevent the sauce from burning.

6) Remove the meatballs from the oven and toss them in the sauce, while the meatballs are still warm from the oven.

7) Garnish with green onion, red pepper flakes, orange zest, sesame seeds, and cilantro.

Nutritional information (per serving): Calories: 577*; Carbs: 21g; Fat: 34g; Protein: 40g *This is for six meatballs. If you're cutting calories, start with four for a lower calorie meal.

Photo and recipe by: Diane Sanfilippo author of Practical Paleo

Here is a picture of the Orange Sesame Meatballs we enjoyed!

Orange Sesame Meatballs | Practical Paleo

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