Dr. Loren Cordain is one of my most favorite nutrition scientists and the foremost published authority on the evolutionary basis of diet, disease and Paleolithic nutrition.
I have been lucky enough to work with Dr. Cordain during Ocular Nutrition Society (ONS) continuing education courses. He is the chair at Colorado State University’s Department of Health and Exercise Science and he published the original best-selling books and peer-reviewed academic papers on the Paleo Diet.
Now, every time I prepare this San Francisco staple, perfect for any meal of the day and it dates back to the 1920s, I think of Loren, particularly when I skip serving the toasted sourdough bread that’s also a San Francisco staple served with this dish.
My version of Joe’s Special (ingredients for four servings)
1 lb. ground beef (I frequently use ground buffalo and that works well, too)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 or 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 jalapeno or other hot pepper, seeded and finely sliced (optional)
1 bag fresh baby spinach (stems clipped off if that’s your preference)
1 box fresh or canned mushrooms of your choice (optional, but they add interesting texture to this beloved dish)
4 eggs, beaten
Prepare all ingredients so they are ready to quickly add to pan.
Add ground beef or buffalo to large sauté pan, over medium heat. Break into small pieces as it cooks, but do not brown or overcook. Add chopped onion, jalapeno, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté for just a few minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Pile on the raw spinach and keep mixing it into the meat mixture until the spinach wilts slightly.
Add the beaten eggs to the pan and stir constantly until eggs are incorporated and no longer runny.
Adjust seasonings to taste.
Plate and serve immediately with a beautifully roasted tomato or sliced raw tomatoes. (I frequently add thinly sliced fresh basil before serving, if I have it in the house in the winter or herb garden in the summer, and I offer a wedge of aged Parmigiano-Regiano to those who prefer to grate a bit on top since it’s almost lactose-free).
Tabasco, the legendary pepper sauce is usually brought to the table when Joe’s Special is ordered in any San Francisco restaurant.
This healthy, fairly low-calorie, nutrient-dense, high-protein dish is guaranteed to help keep you warm during cold winter month’s outdoor activities.
Ellen Troyer with the Biosyntrx staff
Loren Cordain has a new cookbook titled The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook that will be released in less than two weeks. You can preorder it from Amazon here. I can’t wait for mine to arrive.