Podcast Episode #152: Special guest Simone Miller, author of The Zenbelly Cookbook

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1.  Diane’s updates [3:83] 2.  Introducing our guest, Simone Miller [5:15] 3.  Simone’s pop up dinners [14:32] 4.  Inspiration for the Zenbelly Cookbook [20:07] 5. Paleo treats from Zenbelly [27:47] 6.  Handling the stress of the job [31:53] 7.  Go-to no cook paleo meals [34:15] 8.  Must try recipes from the book [39:37] 9.  The broth Jedi master on broth [44:38] 10. The UPS man arrives [48:57]


The Zenbelly Cookbook

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Diane Sanfilippo: Hey everyone! Welcome to episode 152 of the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane, and I’m here with a special guest today who I will introduce to you all in just a moment. But before I do that, I want to talk to you a little bit about our sponsors.

We have Pete’s Paleo, bringing fine dining to your cave. If you’d like to make eating paleo a little bit easier on yourself, check out Pete’s meal plans. They are great for those nights when you’re just on the run or out of time and need real food fast. And, if you did not catch the message yet, Pete’s Paleo is now offering 21-Day Sugar Detox friendly meals, which is super amazing, because it will just make your life that much easier while you’re on the 21-Day Sugar Detox. You can go to for all those details. Check out chef Pete’s new cookbook, Paleo By Season, which has just released. And they actually also have other meal plans that have been released, I think fairly recently. I believe there’s a gut healing meal package, so check that out too.

Of course our next sponsor, Chameleon Cold-Brew. Our favorite smooth, rich, cold-brewed coffee. They have new ready to drink single serving bottles that are hitting store shelves all over the place. They also have different flavors in their concentrate, as well as in the ready to drink. The vanilla and mocha ready to drink have a tiny bit of organic cane sugar in them, but the black coffee is completely plain. You can check all of those out, pretty much nationwide. I think they’ve got a whole bunch of new stores carrying them, a bunch of Target stores all over the place. Check out and just keep your eyes out for them in stores all over, because they kind of can’t keep the website updated with as many new places as the product is hitting, so keep looking. I even had somebody on Instagram last week or a couple of weeks ago tell me she was sure it wouldn’t be in her store, and then there it was. So, just keep your eyes out for that.

And then, I am super excited about our newest sponsor, Splits59. They are a high performance and high fashion active wear company based in LA. They’re launching a new line, it’s called Noir de’Sport, which is innovative with a hyper-modern aesthetic, like welded seams, contrast geometric patterns, textural blocking, lots of little details. So, really cool designs. They have a couple of different concepts going through the collection, so just check them out and see what may appeal to you. Just all different looks. If you have looked at their stuff before and you haven’t really connected with it, check it out again. I think it’s really fun, because they have a really nice transition from what you might wear around town, and then be able to wear it to the gym. Their stuff is super cute, but also highly functional. They have generously offered our listeners 15% off any regularly priced merchandise, just use the promo code BALANCEDBITES at checkout. And their website is splits, like I’m going to do a split, And I think that’s pretty much it.

1. Diane’s updates [3:83]

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I wanted to give you guys a really quick update. This episode will be airing originally; I know lots of you guys don’t listen the first day that the episode goes live, but this episode is airing on August 14, 2014, so as of today, the new 21-Day Sugar Detox program has been available for about 3 weeks or so. The last program kick off for the big group that we start would have been August 4th. The next one is starting September 1st. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new online program, definitely check it out. If you’ve been hearing us talk about the Sugar Detox or you’re just ready to kind of get a kick start for the fall, check it out. Just go to or 21-Day Sugar Detox or you can go to Balanced Bites, where ever. Get linked through. Check out what’s included. The program is so huge, and I’m just really excited to bring it back online, because one of my favorite things about just being able to share information over the internet is that I can continue to update and expand information. As much as I love books, and I’m going to talk to our guest today about her new book, it’s limited. So, I’m somebody who is constantly creating and thinking of new ideas and ways to share additional resources with you guys, so the online program is a fantastic way for me to be able to do that. So, check it out, and I think that’s pretty much it.

2. Introducing our guest, Simone Miller [5:15]

Diane Sanfilippo: So, today my guest is Simone Miller. She is the owner of Zenbelly, which is a 100% gluten-free, paleo focused catering company. Her own serious sensitivity to gluten inspired Simone to prove that gluten-free paleo cuisine could be gourmet, refined, and artfully presented. She firmly believes that healthy food can be delicious enough to impress the most serious gourmand, and she offers a chef’s perspective on paleo recipes on her blog,, where she also shares grain-free recipes and encourages readers to roll up their sleeves and have fun creating simple, delicious, healthy food. Welcome, Simone!

Simone Miller: Hey, thanks! I’m so glad to be here.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, my San Francisco buddy over there. I’m kind of bummed I’m not in San Francisco doing this live with you.

Simone Miller: I know, that would be even more fun.

Diane Sanfilippo: It would be. So, I just gave folks a really quick rundown about you, but why don’t you tell people a little bit more about how you got into cooking and how you discovered that you had a gluten sensitivity, or any of that. I just want to hear, how did your story unfold?

Simone Miller: Well, I have actually been cooking since I was about 19, which, this makes me feel old, but that’s almost 2 decades now. I got my first job cooking in a little vegetarian café while I was in college. It was a really sweet mom and pop business, and that really gave me my foundation of running a small business and just cooking real food, even though, clearly, I’m not doing the vegetarian cooking anymore. That was all about cooking food from scratch and feeding people that way. I sort of did it on and off, the cooking thing. I would get a job in a restaurant, and then I would get sort of burnt out on that because the hours were horrible, and it was always really; it’s hard work. I’m not going to lie. It’s not a fluffy kind of job. {laughs} so, I would get burnt out on that and then I would do the other thing I love, which is massage therapy, which is a sort of an opposite kind of thing. And then I would get burnt out on that, and go back to the food business

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: Neither of them really felt completely right to me, even though I loved them both on some level. And then about 7 years ago, I moved to San Francisco, or just north of San Francisco to this area, and I started cooking for a family as a personal chef. And then everything just sort of fell into place that way. I was able to realize my passion, which was cooking for people, but just not in a restaurant kind of setting. So being in this area, where there’s a need for catering, and there’s a need for personal chef services, I was able to actually do what I loved, and cook for people in their homes, and throw parties for people, and cater dinner parties, and that’s really what I love to do and really where my passion lies. And it was only, really within the year that I said, ok, this is what I’m doing. I’m going to start a catering company. It’s going to be organic and California style, and the farm to table, and all of that, and it’s going to be so much fun.

And then I kept getting more and more symptoms. I don’t know if my symptoms were necessarily increasing, or if I was just finally paying attention to them, acknowledging that they were, in fact, real. After a food allergy test, it was very apparent that gluten was not something that I could be friends with any longer. Which was really horrible timing, as far as starting a catering business, because gluten is definitely a key ingredient {laughs} in most catering menus.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, for sure.

Simone Miller: And just eating in general. If I wasn’t a chef, it would be a lot easier to live a diet that was restrictive, but I really do need to taste all of the food that I’m making. I don’t just follow these recipes that are precontrived, measuring every ingredient, and knowing it’s going to turn out a certain way. I’m tasting as I go. So, there was definitely a good chunk of time for denial when I first found all this out.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: I thought, oh, it’s fine, I can still eat pizza when I’m in New York, and baguettes when I’m in France, and everything will be fine, and I’m fine, and everything’s fine.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: I just really wasn’t, it wasn’t fine. It was just so not fine at all. So, I thought it was a pretty big risk, and I wasn’t sure exactly what would happen, but I figure it’s the Bay area, if I’m going to do something weird,

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: This is the place to do it, right? I mean, so what the hell. I figured, there’s no gluten-free catering company in San Francisco, I’ll just do that. And I figured, there’s a good chance I’m going to be back in a spa in a year {laughs} massaging people, but what the hell, I might as well give it a shot. It actually turned out to be the best thing. Having that kind of niche is completely worth it in this area. My biggest obstacle has been just convincing people who don’t call me for gluten-free catering that I can still cater their party, and no one at the party is going to be bummed and feel like they’re missing out on something. They’re not even going to notice. They’re not going to have any idea that the entire party is gluten free, or even that the entire party is paleo, because it’s just good food.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Simone Miller: And that’s been pretty much my point of view the whole time. It hasn’t been as challenging as I thought it would be. I’ve had a couple of people ask me, once I told them my catering company was gluten free, they’ve asked, “well is that going to be an issue with my guests if they’re not gluten free? And I’ve just said, no. You’re more than welcome to hire someone else, of course, but I can promise you that no one will notice, and they said, ok great. Sounds good. And no one has ever; I’ve catered parties where the subject has never even come up.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. It wouldn’t.

Simone Miller: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: People make that assumption, I think, what’s so funny is if you bring a dish to a party that’s paleo-friendly, 9 times out of 10 if not more, that’s the first thing that goes. And people are almost always shocked when they see it. And I know, different catering a party versus just going to one where you bring something like a potluck, but I think people underestimate what their guests will respond to.

Simone Miller: Right. Yeah. And I think that’s where a lot of the education part of it comes in. Because people hear anything; they hear paleo, vegan, pescatarian, low-fat, high-fat, you know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Simone Miller: They hear anything that applies to food, and they just go into this panic mode of, I can’t eat whatever I want! Oh my god, I’m going to die! This is horrible, I can’t do that.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Yes! How long ago was it that you figured out the whole gluten sensitivity thing, how many years ago now was that for you?

Simone Miller: It was about 6 years ago.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Simone Miller: So about a year after I moved here. Which was about when I was starting my catering company.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Simone Miller: Yeah, at first it really seemed like a sensitivity, and I didn’t have to be super careful about it yet, and I think that’s true for a lot of people where they almost eliminate it and feel a lot better.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Simone Miller: And then the less you eat it, the more sensitive you get to it, and I finally said, ok, I’m just going to eliminate it completely, and now when I do get glutened at a restaurant, or by accident, I know it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Simone Miller: So, it’s completely. I’m the person who asks a million questions at restaurants, because it’s not, you know, I’ll get basically, I don’t think it’s technically a migraine, but it’s a headache that feels like a migraine for two to three days.

Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.

Simone Miller: And I’m just not happy. So, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s crazy. So, just trying to remember back to how we met, whether it was the first time we actually met in person, but I think it was kind of more of an online thing. I think I backed your kick starter, for your kitchen.

Simone Miller: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: A couple of years ago, that was kind of the motivation, right? Is that right? I don’t even know what made me believe that you were legit. {laughing}

Simone Miller: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m just kidding. I was like, I don’t know, this sounds good. A gluten free kitchen.

Simone Miller: Are you still unsure? Well, yeah, I think that was the first time we interacted online, and the kitchen is still sort of waiting to happen. Which is making me crazy.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: But, the business and the book have been sort of, you know, there’s always something that’s more on the front burner, because it’s happening right now.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Simone Miller: So the kitchen has, unfortunately, between that and the San Francisco real estate market, has.

Diane Sanfilippo: Crazy!

Simone Miller: Made that happen kind of slowly. It’s insane. It’s so insane.

Diane Sanfilippo: It is so crazy, after I left, which has been, I feel like it’s been almost 3 years since I left, which also seems crazy. I think rents have tripled, so it’s just like, completely out of control.

Simone Miller: It really is, yeah. I’m really glad that we’ve lived here for a while {laughs}.

3. Simone’s pop up dinners [14:32]

Diane Sanfilippo: When you were doing, yeah! You were doing pop ups, which you are still doing some of those, so can you talk a little bit about why you decided to offer pop up dinners, and kind of what those are like, and obviously if anyone is in the area. I know probably a bunch of our listeners have actually come to some of your pop ups, but do you want to just talk a little bit about that?

Simone Miller: Yeah! So, I think that’s the first time we actually met in real life.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Simone Miller: Was at a pop up. And I’m pretty sure I harassed you to come to that.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: I’m not sure if that’s how you remember it.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, not at all!

Simone Miller: I think I contacted you.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was like, sweet, that sounds like fun!

Simone Miller: I was like, hey {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m pretty sure I didn’t live there, either.

Simone Miller: No, I think you were in town just for the weekend.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Simone Miller: So, I think I said, hey I’m having a paleo pop up, you should come.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was like, great.

Simone Miller: And you were like, oh, I’m so booked, because I think you were in town for something. You were in town for a reason, just for the weekend.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Simone Miller: And I was like, ok, well you really should. There’s New York strip steak, and.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: {laughs} you should really make it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Simone’s like, I’m pretty sure if I tell her what I’m serving…

Simone Miller: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: She’ll want to come. {laughs}

Simone Miller: I’m like, you can eat all the stuff! Yeah, so you came to that. I think actually, it was funny, I had like 15 tickets sold, or something, and the night before you decided to come and announced it, and then I was like, oh my god! I’m calling my meat guy, I need more meat!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: {laughs} You announced it, so then of course a lot more people heard about it, and that was…

Diane Sanfilippo: Crazy.

Simone Miller: That was great.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Simone Miller: So I do these pop ups. The first ones I did, you were actually at the very first one I ever did, which is probably not the best thing, because it was probably, anything that was went wrong probably did.

Diane Sanfilippo: We did notice.

Simone Miller: Ok good. It was interesting in the kitchen, for sure. But yeah, the first ones I did, I did a round of 4 each Saturday in August, I think, and I’ve since done quite a few more. I did a special sort of Valentine’s day fancy one in February of last year, and then I did a ranch dinner up at the ranch at Fallon Hills Ranch, west of Petaluma, where I get all my meat from. I did a dinner out there, out in the field, which was really special.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s amazing.

Simone Miller: It was so amazing to do a dinner where it all comes from, it was just so much fun.

Diane Sanfilippo: I remember seeing you list that, and I was like, I wish I could go! I know I had something else booked that weekend.

Simone Miller: Yeah. I know. The timing is always so tough.

Diane Sanfilippo: It kind of reminds me; there’s a dinner series that is put on called outstanding in the field.

Simone Miller: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m dying to go except I know they’re going to serve stuff I can’t eat, you know?

Simone Miller: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t want to go to this big fancy dinner, and then there’s bread in 3 of the courses, so I was like, oh it sounds like she’s totally doing a really amazing {laughs} literally farm to table at the farm. {laughs}

Simone Miller: Yeah!

Diane Sanfilippo: Kind of dinner. Yeah.

Simone Miller: I think it’s actually table to farm at that point.

Diane Sanfilippo: There you go.

Simone Miller: So, yeah the good thing about most of those dinners, if you do see some listed that are in your area, a lot of the time, they’re really focusing on meat and vegetables, because that’s what comes from the farms.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Simone Miller: So there might be, I mean, you never know if there’s going to be bread crumbs in something, or something added for texture or whatever. But for the most part; I did go to one of those dinners at this ranch before I did mine, and there was only one thing I couldn’t eat, and that was towards the end so I was fine because I was already so full. But, the next one I’m doing is going to be up at the ranch again, and it’s going to be sort of a little book release dinner.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, fun!

Simone Miller: Yeah, at the end of August. So, I think I’m actually going to have people helping me for that one, so I’ll be able to hang out with people.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I was going to say, hopefully.

Simone Miller: And sign books, and not be in the kitchen, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, hopefully you won’t have to be just cooking the whole time at your own party.

Simone Miller: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, end of August. So should people just kind of stay tuned on Zenbelly blog to find out?

Simone Miller: Yeah, I’m going to be posting more information about that soon. The link is up on EventBrite. I don’t even know exactly how to find it though.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: Because we haven’t really planned the menu or any of the details, we just have it up sort of as a preliminary measure.

Diane Sanfilippo: Is there a date set?

Simone Miller: It’s August 30th.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, ok. August 30th. So if you’re in the Bay area and you want to check out that dinner, definitely check it out. I know tons of our listeners are actually from the Bay area, so hopefully they’ll catch wind of that.

Simone Miller: Yeah, I would love that. And the pop ups are always; I’m going to hopefully do more pop ups now that I’ve got the book done and I can focus a little bit more on actually cooking, and hopefully I’ll do more. The ranch dinner is going to be around $100, it’s a little bit more of a higher ticket item just because of the logistics of everything.

Diane Sanfilippo: yeah.

Simone Miller: But I try to do ones that are more like just going out to dinner for people, because I know how going out to dinner can be a lot of work. As I chef, I love tasting what other people are making.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Simone Miller: Because that’s where I get my inspiration. Otherwise, I just fall into a total rut, and I get completely bored with what I’m doing. I’m always learning from tasting other people’s foods, so it’s a bummer when I can’t eat out at the places I really want to go. So the pop ups are sort of a way for me to offer that to other people. You can go, and you can order everything on the menu. And of course, people sometimes are paleo with other dietary needs.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: And they can’t eat every single thing on the menu, but everything’s always completely gluten free, and completely paleo. There might be some nightshades and things like that in there, but I try to keep it as acceptable across the board as I possibly can. Because, to me, if I can sit down at a place and order everything off the menu.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Simone Miller: It’s a dream come true. It’s so amazing.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally.

Simone Miller: So.

4. Inspiration for the Zenbelly Cookbook [20:07]

Diane Sanfilippo: So, let’s talk a little bit about the book. The Zenbelly Cookbook, which I am lucky enough to get a little preview version here. I don’t have a printed copy, but I have it on my screen. I mean, it’s just beautiful. I was just kind of eyeing up some of my favorite photos. There’s this one; I mean, of course, I’m a total food photography geek now, just that I’m getting into it, this fish in paper, en papillote, I don’t speak French, so that, and there’s this picture you have of a two-bite something, that I’m like, wow, I really love that. It makes me really; two-bite flatbreads. Those look amazing, and everyone should make those for a party coming up. Just talk to me a little bit about the inspiration behind the book. I know you and I, we joke all the time on social media about our food history, and the food we grew up eating.

Simone Miller: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: We literally had an identical {laughs} childhood almost. Eating liverwurst and pickled fish.

Simone Miller: Yeah!

Diane Sanfilippo: All these, you know, weird things that a lot of people maybe didn’t eat. But talk a little bit about the inspiration and kind of some of the recipes and all that.

Simone Miller: Ok. Like I said earlier, I think my inspiration was definitely to show people that paleo food is actually just really good food that happens to have this paleo name on it. And, because of what I do for a job, I’m constantly, well, maybe not constantly, but my job is to cater parties, and I’m bringing food that anywhere from 10 to 200 people all have to like. So, the bride and groom might be strict paleo, but their guests probably are not, so it’s really important that they get their needs met, and everyone else leaves saying, wow that was really amazing food, and aren’t just surprised that it was amazing food for a wedding, but were surprised that it was amazing food, period. And stuff that they’d want to eat at any restaurant that they would go to.

That was really my motivation, was just to sort of bridge the gap between good food that just really good food, period, and paleo food, which happens to be the type of food that most chefs actually want to make. I think I even say it somewhere in my book, that you could get in a room with any good chef, give him a basket of paleo ingredients, and he or she will be absolutely stoked to cook a great meal from those ingredients, because it’s the best stuff that you can get, and it’s not restrictive, and of course, yeah, you can’t go into a bakery and buy a baguette and rip off the end, which is maybe one of the few things I do miss from my childhood. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: But there are so many ways to make that happen and still keep it in the lines of grain free and dairy free and using the best ingredients that you can find, and that’s what I’m trying to show people here is that you can have anyone over for dinner, cook these recipes, and they’ll be perfectly happy. And also to show the people who already are paleo that, they could be making the best food they’ve ever made, and it still is the food that makes them feel the best, and it doesn’t have to be missing anything or really seem any different than what everyone else is eating except it’s probably better.

Diane Sanfilippo: One of the really special things about this book, which I haven’t seen in any another paleo cookbooks, I’m sure out there somewhere, somebody maybe, I don’t know, has taken pictures of ingredients. Every recipe that you have; I really love this, because, I don’t know, one of the things I like to talk about a lot is that recipes for real food and paleo-friendly food, they’re not that complicated. Of course, there are techniques that we could get into that are a little more complicated; really just details of things like that, but when you break it down and look at the ingredients that we’re using, like you said, if you gave any chef a basket of paleo-friendly ingredients, they’d be thrilled. I think what’s cool about having a picture of all of your ingredients before they go into the pan or pot, whatever, really just shows people, hey guys, this is all we’re talking about. Not to be intimidated or scared. That’s kind of my impression. Like, hey, look! This is everything you need. I’m curious what kind of inspired you to do that, or what was it about the food that made you feel like giving people that kind of visual sample was compelling for you?

Simone Miller: Well I just, I think what you’re saying is completely right on, about showing, look, this is 5 things, and it turns into this, and it’s not that hard. It takes 30 minutes, and there you go, it’s all right here. I think it makes it a lot less intimidating for people. And for me, I just love the way the raw ingredients look. I find when I’m actually being organized about it and not trying to cook dinner in 10 minutes and be crazy about it, and I actually get all my ingredients out and have them all laid out and ready to go, which is what I recommend people do, I’m just sort of taken aback by how beautiful they are and how just, you know, some meat and some vegetables and some seasonings, even before they’re cooked, looks so beautiful. Sometimes, especially, before they’re cooked, look so beautiful. I just love that aspect of it, of showing people how beautiful they are and how simple they are. There are pictures in the book that just have one ingredient, and I don’t include the salt or cooking fat in those picture, just because they’re in every single recipe, and I try to keep it a little less cluttered. But, yeah, cauliflower rice is essentially one ingredient with some fat and some salt, and it’s something that we all know and love, but I just love how beautiful a perfect head of cauliflower from the farmers market. There’s just nothing like things like that, you know.

Diane Sanfilippo: So…

Simone Miller: Um…

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, sorry. Go ahead.

Simone Miller: Oh no, it’s good.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m flipping through the book, so I’m getting all excited looking at these pictures.

Simone Miller: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Of course, the meat and veg is kind of the bulk of what you’re delivering in the cookbook, but I can’t help but mention some of the recipes that I think have gotten a lot of attention just around the community and, you know, look, I’m not somebody who’s against paleo friendly treats when the time comes, and I actually have a ton of respect for people who are good at baking or creating with different flours so that texture and flavor and all of that really comes through. So, that being said, I’m peeking at your pizza crust, and bread sticks, and plantain tortillas, and I know you are super well known for your real deal chocolate cake, which, in the book, is it the chocolate layer cake?

Simone Miller: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I remember seeing your apple tartlets from a catering job that you did. I remember seeing those go by in my newsfeed somewhere, and I was like, I want to eat that right now!

Simone Miller: {laughs}

5. Paleo treats from Zenbelly [27:47]

Diane Sanfilippo: What’s kind of the idea around giving people those recipes and what’s your take on that whole thing?

Simone Miller: Well, I think I said, I don’t really have any interest in living a life that feels restrictive, and I would say 98% of the time I’m just eating meat and vegetables. But for me, I’m just such a food snob that, if I want to have a slice of pizza, I want it to be pizza. And I know people love their meatza, and that’s awesome, I just, it’s not for me. {laughs} And I want to put the meat on the pizza, and I don’t want a bowl of things that taste like pizza. Even though that’s great, I love those flavors. For me, it’s more than just the flavors. It’s about the texture, and the experience of eating it, just something about the childhood memory of all of that. And so for me, I’ve locked myself in the kitchen for some of these recipes.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: Because I want, for me, there’s plenty of places to get gluten-free pizza in the city, and none of them really even do it for me. It’s like, I want it to be the New York pizza I remember, having two pizza snobs for parents, I mean that’s just what’s going to happen. That type of thing is passed down.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: So, I don’t know if it’s exactly the same as a New York pizza, because it’s not made with flour, of course, but I think it’s as close as you can get. And to me, if you’re going to eat that type of thing, have it be right. You know?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Simone Miller: That’s just my, sort of my point of view. And the same thing with the chocolate cake. I want the chocolate cake to be the same texture as what I remember from when I was a kid, and I want it to be as rich and as chocolaty and not too sweet, and all the things that my childhood birthday cake always was. So that was really my motivation for creating those recipes. I mean, partially selfish, I have to say, because I want those things. And then once I figure it out, I’m really excited to share them, because I know that other people want those things as well. And I think it really helps. I know a lot of times when people are trying to really heal themselves, they can’t go that way. They can’t do the treats, and they can’t be tempted by really starchy, carby foods added to their diet, and they need to really focus on eating clean. Which is absolutely important, and I go through times when I do the 21-Day Sugar Detox. I do it at least twice a year, because I have to sort of reset myself. But in the meantime, I feel like it’s a lot easier to transition when you can still eat the things that you love eating and, you know, not to let perfect get in the way of good, I think.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I love when you do the 21-Day Sugar Detox, because you basically curse for 21 days.

Simone Miller: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Across social media. You’re like, day 2, why are we doing this!?! {laughing}

Simone Miller: {laughs} Somebody kill me. And it’s like so not that much different than how we usually eat.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s not!

Simone Miller: It’s so much more psychological, you know?

Diane Sanfilippo: It is.

Simone Miller: It’s like, oh my god, why is the bourbon looking at me?

Diane Sanfilippo: I know.

Simone Miller: It’s just, I mean, it’s something I do a couple of times a week, maybe, is have some bourbon on ice.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: And it’s like, all of a sudden, it’s Monday and I’m like, oh man.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Well, look, you just got a cookbook printed, and published, so I’m pretty sure you get at least a handful of Mondays where they become those weird days.

Simone Miller: Right! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Where you’re like, this could have been any day, and I’m ok with that.

Simone Miller: Right.

6. Handling the stress of the job [31:53]

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s definitely a unique experience. Although, I’m not sure, I think I might be uniquely unqualified for the stress of it. I feel like it breaks me more than some people. So I just might not be. I don’t know, I had a meal delivery business for like a minute. For a few months, so when you’re talking about cooking in a restaurant or in that type of setting, of course catering events and parties I think can be extremely stressful. But cooking in that type of setting at all can be really stressful. What are some things that you do, when you’re maybe in a season where you have a lot of events going on. I know for a while you were doing some corporate things too. {laughs} I saw you posting about cooking omelets, was it every Friday or something like that?

Simone Miller: Yeah, it was every Monday I had an omelets bar.

Diane Sanfilippo: Every Monday.

Simone Miller: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: That would make work so much better if there was an omelet bar at work.

Simone Miller: I know, right.

Diane Sanfilippo: I absolutely loved your commentary about the “healthy eaters” getting the egg whites.

Simone Miller: Uh-huh! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And you were like, oh, I’ll just throw a yolk in there for you.

Simone Miller: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But what are some of the things you do to just keep your balance and keep things healthy and sane when your job can be, you know, it’s pretty stressful. It’s a pretty high cortisol type output while you’re actually working. So, I’m just curious about that.

Simone Miller: It is. Well, during the holidays is when I’m the busiest, so I think this past December, I think I did 10 or 12 catering jobs in the month.

Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.

Simone Miller: Which is a lot.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s a lot.

Simone Miller: For one person. Just because it’s not just I’m working 10 days, I’m working 3 days before it getting ready, so it’s basically like I would finish one and roll over into the next. I definitely don’t do the 21-Day Sugar Detox during that time {laughs}. I do it after.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. {laughs}

Simone Miller: But, I have to be able to, because I’m so, you know, I don’t tend to be hungry while I’m cooking.

Diane Sanfilippo: I hear you!

Simone Miller: Because I get totally, you know, it’s just so much food, I don’t really want to eat any of it, and I’m tasting it all day, so I don’t feel like I’m hungry. So when I am hungry, I really need to be able to eat whatever is convenient in front of me. And that doesn’t mean McDonald’s, of course, I mean, convenient in front of me is whatever is in my fridge or maybe a taco from down the street if it’s absolutely necessary, or some sushi or something. But, I can’t be, I have to really be easy on myself.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Simone Miller: About what I’m doing and make sure I’m drinking plenty of water, and laying off the coffee, and just making sure I’ve got tons of stuff ready to go as far as food goes so I don’t wind up hungry. And other than that, I’m trying to think of what I do…

Diane Sanfilippo: What are some of your go-to snacky, keep it on hand so I can throw it together, kinds of foods? And maybe, I don’t know if people listening follow my assistant Charissa, her Instagram is called nocookpaleo.

Simone Miller: Yeah.

7. Go-to no cook paleo meals [34:15]

Diane Sanfilippo: So you might follow her. So, I know I have plenty of my go to no cook paleo meals, stuff I can throw together, but what are some things that you end up throwing together?

Simone Miller: I love throwing a chicken in the oven to have for the week. Literally, I put it in a Dutch oven and throw it in the oven, and it’s done, and I don’t actually have to pay any attention to it for an hour and a half. And then I have protein that’s really easy. I don’t know if this is an East Coast Jewish thing too, or if this is just me.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: But if there’s cold chicken in the fridge, I’m fine. I’m good. You know?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Simone Miller: I’ll come home sometimes and look in the fridge, and if there’s no cold chicken in there, I don’t know what to do. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I like to put some salt on it and dip it in mayonnaise.

Simone Miller: Yeah! That’s good.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s my thing.

Simone Miller: I put a ton of salt on it when I roast it, so it’s really salty. But yeah, mayonnaise is good. And then just having like romaine lettuce leaves for boats to sort of whatever protein you’ve got in there, if you’ve got hard boiled eggs or bacon, or chicken, or turkey that you buy some good clean turkey or roast beef or whatever, just having a quick satisfying snack. I always have an Epic bar in my purse at all times.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I’m a big fan.

Simone Miller: Yeah. And it’s almost like, it’s so funny. I reserve. I’ll be sort of hungry, be like, but what if I’m hungrier later and I forget to put another one in my purse.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: You know, it’s like, I ration them as if I’m in some kind of desolate place where I couldn’t just stop at the next Whole Foods and buy another one.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: It’s like, I know it’s in there, and as long as I know it’s in there, I’m ok.

Diane Sanfilippo: You want to create a struggle, I see.

Simone Miller: {laughing} I do.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Because in San Francisco, there’s a Whole Foods in many neighborhoods, and it’s very easy to get them. But without the struggle, it wouldn’t taste as good {laughs}.

Simone Miller: I know {laughing} I have to really need it, you know. Be like, oh thank god I have this! Not just, oh, I feel like a snack. And plantain chips, I think are great. I don’t think they’re necessarily the most healthy choice you could possibly eat, but as far as having something crunchy that you could dip in guacamole just to sort of keep you going. I love having those in my purse, also. I probably shouldn’t keep too much food in my purse.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} That’s also, yeah. I don’t know.

Simone Miller: I don’t have to have kids to be a Jewish mother. I always have a meal in there.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I was like, I’m pretty sure. My mom really wasn’t too much like that, even though she’s sort of the Jewish mother, but they kind of converted when she was a kid, so she really wasn’t. I don’t think my grandma was like that with her. So yeah, I didn’t get that Jewish mother experience quite to the..

Simone Miller: Oh, that’s funny.

Diane Sanfilippo: To the degree I wish I had {laughs}

Simone Miller: Yeah {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But it also meant I didn’t eat gefilte fish growing up, so.

Simone Miller: Oh.

Diane Sanfilippo: Did you? Did you eat that?

Simone Miller: Yeah. Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Gefilte fish.

Simone Miller: We grew up eating that, and my grandma made it. She sort of semi-homemade it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: She bought this frozen loaf of it somewhere in the Catskills where she lived, and then would add something to it and make it her own. And it’s the kind that I’m completely used to, and it’s sort of sweet.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ugh. I just saw an episode of Chopped where they were using it, and I was like, oh man! That’s horrible!

Simone Miller: Ohh! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know. I’ve never had it, so maybe if you grew up with it and you’re used to it, it’s good. Do you still eat it now, do you like it?

Simone Miller: Yeah, I do. I actually; and I totally understand why people who didn’t grow up with it wouldn’t want it. But, my fiancée’s mother makes it for Passover, and she makes it out of salmon and I think some cod. And it’s really delicious. I mean, if you can get past the cold part. If you make it homemade, it’s actually really good. And I do have a recipe for it, and I wanted to post it this past Passover and I couldn’t find the pictures anywhere. Because I took all the pictures from last year. I had the whole fish, all of it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh! You’ll have to make it again!

Simone Miller: Yeah! So I think I actually just found the pictures, I’m hoping to post it for next Passover. Yeah, I totally get it.

Diane Sanfilippo: I could see, though, how that would, it really would not taste as scary as it seems.

Simone Miller: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: Especially if you do make it from scratch. I think a lot of these things, like liverwurst or pate, anything organ meat oriented or fish oriented, people get kind of weirded out, but the minute you just break it down into what are the ingredients and you see that it’s not that scary {laughs} you know?

Simone Miller: Yeah. Exactly. And I think it’s also understandable that it’s one of those things that if you didn’t grow up with it, then it’s bizarre. But then once you know what it is, it’s just fish. You know? But my brother one year, this is so funny. This is what I always think of. Someone at the table who didn’t grow up with it was just cringing at the idea of it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: And he said, what about a cold fish meatball doesn’t sound good to you?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: Exactly {laughing} You can completely understand, it doesn’t sound good.

Diane Sanfilippo: I know.

Simone Miller: And it’s got this weird jelly on it. I mean, I get it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} We grew up eating weird food; we get it.

Simone Miller: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: You grew up in New Jersey, right?

Simone Miller: I grew up in Connecticut.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh ok. Ok. So I knew we were kind of close by in our youth, but we didn’t know each other.

Simone Miller: Yeah. Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: So there’s a special little thing that happens with the whole East Coast Jewish food culture.

Simone Miller: Yeah. Definitely.

8. Must try recipes from the book [39:37]

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I’m curious to hear about a few of your favorite recipes from the book. Maybe some that upon flipping through somebody might not stop at first. I’m pretty sure they’re going to stop at the chocolate cake and the pizza crust. But I know from my cookbooks, there’s this moment of, I wish more people would make this recipe, because if you just made it, it’s so good. But you know, inevitable, people are drawn to what they’re drawn to. But what are a few of the recipes that you think really deserve somebody’s attention that, of course all of them, they’re your children. But you know what I’m saying.

Simone Miller: Right {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Now pick your favorites. {laughs} No, I’m kidding.

Simone Miller: Let’s see. I sort of want to flip through it myself and see what’s in there. That’s a really good question, actually, because I sort of assume. I feel like there’s probably some in there that I’m guessing people will not even glance at.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, I’m looking at it, and they pretty much. They all look pretty enticing. I put some random recipes into Practical Paleo and was hoping that people would kind of be excited about a way to use certain ingredients, and I don’t think I’ve seen anybody make them, and I’m like, oh.

Simone Miller: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: How sad for that recipe.

Simone Miller: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Somebody was saying there weren’t a lot of recipes in my book, I’m like, well there’s half of the recipes you haven’t tried yet. {laughs}

Simone Miller: {laughing} Ok. So, definitely the oysters Rockefeller, I hope people try that one. Especially people who don’t think they like oysters. Which is another one I understand.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love oysters.

Simone Miller: I love them too. I love them.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: And I love them raw, just with some lemon on them.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. Me too, that’s my favorite way.

Simone Miller: Yeah, and little hot sauce. But I think for people who don’t think they like oysters, I think oyster Rockefeller is a perfect gateway oyster. Because it’s not totally raw.

Diane Sanfilippo: With bacon in there?

Simone Miller: Yeah. There’s bacon on it, and there’s some watercress. The oyster is still in there, but it’s not totally raw. I think you can still taste the oyster and understand what’s so amazing about it when you eat them. {Laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: But there’s other flavors there, so that’s not all you’re tasting. So there’s that. And then the steak tartare. I don’t want people to try it unless they get really good quality steak and eggs. But, I do want people to try that one because it’s so good.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, that’s going to be on my list. That might be one of the first things I make from here, if I can get a fresh steak.

Simone Miller: Yeah. That one’s really; I love that stuff. What else? I mean, I think some of the more labor intensive ones that people might be a little intimidated by, I hope that they’re able to sort of take a day. I mean, not a whole day.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: Take some time, and try the BBQ pork pho. I mean, you have to make the broth, and it’s more of a process than most of the recipes in the book, but the result is just, it’s so good. And it’s such a rich broth, and you really get all of those Vietnamese flavors. That’s one of my favorites. And I’m always so happy when I make it. It just makes me happy. It’s one of those happy foods. And then of course the sardines. What do you say? About the sardines? {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Put your big girl pants on and eat your sardines {laughs}

Simone Miller: Yeah, exactly. That should have been my blurb in the beginning of that.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: But these are fresh sardines, they’re not canned. And often when you buy them in the store they are larger. I think it depends on the time of year that you buy them. Because they are a living thing and they grow, of course. But, when you grill them. It’s not a mild fish; they’re strong, for sure. But if you throw some lemon in, and I know you wouldn’t agree with this.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: And parsley. {laughs} You can put cilantro on yours.

Diane Sanfilippo: Devil herb {laughs}

Simone Miller: Fresh herbs. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m laughing at the photo, because the photo I did for our buddy Caitlin and her husband Nabil’s new book is really similar of their sardine recipe, so I guess great minds think alike. {laughs}

Simone Miller: Oh, nice.

Diane Sanfilippo: I love the puttanesca, that photo, I keep flipping past it, I’m obsessed with the colors of the capers and olive and tomato.

Simone Miller: Yeah, I love that one.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m just totally obsessed with that. And the mussels with the fries. Totally obsessed with that picture. I feel like that looks like a magazine, and I just want to eat all of that pretty much right now.

Simone Miller: Thanks!

9. The broth Jedi master on broth [44:38]

Diane Sanfilippo: I want to talk a little bit about broth, because you’re, what, the broth Jedi master?

Simone Miller: Ha ha.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} Is that what you’ve dubbed yourself? We’ll talk a little about that, because every episode for that, I don’t know, several weeks, couple of months, I’ve been trying to do a kitchen tip. Don’t know why, just feel like I’d like to have something I give people every week. So, let’s talk about broth, and then I don’t know if you want to maybe give me something different as a kitchen tip to kind of follow that up that maybe doesn’t have to do with broth. But, just talk to me about how you get a really richly flavored, well gelled, broth or what kind of the deal is with that whole Jedi mastering of broth.

Simone Miller: {laughing} Well, I use a pressure cooker for my broth. I don’t own a slow cooker, and I know that there are plenty of people in the community that hate me for that, and while I appreciate how much easier they make life for people and I’m glad that they exist, I’ve just never personally had any desire to use one. {laughs} So, I know that for the way I make my broth in a pressure cooker, I’m pretty sure you can use the same method in a slow cooker, and obviously just cook it for as long as you would normally cook your broth. The difference is whether you’re using a stock pot, or a pressure cooker, or a slow cooker, I do the bones by themselves. I always add apple cider vinegar and a little bit of salt. Sometimes I add a piece of kombi seaweed that’s rinsed, so it’s not extra salty, and that adds more nutrients as well. If I do a catering job where I have a giant pile of egg shells, I’ll sometimes throw those in. And those infuse a little bit more calcium into the broth. So that’s what I put in with the bones. I don’t put any vegetables in at the beginning. And my reasoning for that is, bones are obviously super hard and dense and take a really long time to break down; less time in a pressure cooker. But, still, it’s a lot going on to get bones to break down to the level that you need them to, and vegetables don’t take that long. So I feel like there’s really no need to cook the vegetables for that long, and there’s a chance that they’ll get bitter if you cook them for too long.

So that’s what I do. I do the bones until the bones are pretty much done. So my pressure cooker, after about an hour and a half. I go a little bit longer than you really have to. You could probably do an hour and be fine. I do an hour and a half of the bones and any of those additional ingredients that I add, and then I take off the lid and add all the vegetables I can find. Not all the vegetables, there are some that won’t make it taste very good. But I use lots of root vegetables to make it really sweet. So carrots, parsnips, celery root are really great. Not too much as far as turnips because those have a little bit of a bitter quality. You can add one or two, but I wouldn’t add a ton of turnips to your broth. Some celery, I add some herbs; I like parsley and dill. And then with the lid off, I reduce it for about an hour until the vegetables are really soft.

So if you’re doing it in a stockpot or a slow cooker; in a stockpot you could just take off the lid and let it reduce, which means just boiling it pretty rapidly until it gets less. And then if you’re using a slow cooker, you’d want to transfer it to a pot, so that might be a little bit more work than people want to do. And if you’re just using your broth as sort of a nutritional punch in your life, and you’re not really concerned about how it tastes like, or how much it gels, it’s totally fine to skip that. But if you reduce it, you’ll concentrate the flavors. I make a really strong broth so I can cram as many bones and vegetables in there as I can, and I wind up with less in volume, but then it’s usually often so strong that if I’m making a soup, I can use part water.

10. The UPS man arrives [48:57]

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm. Yeah it’s almost {dog barking} Oh, there he is! {laughs}

Simone Miller: The UPS guy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Whoo!

Simone Miller: He’s barking at the UPS guy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ooh, that might be your book!

Simone Miller: It might be. Should I go get it?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, go get it.

Simone Miller: Ok, hang on. {laughs} Ok. It might be my book.

Diane Sanfilippo: It might be your book. I think you should open it.

Simone Miller: Should I?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Yes! You can’t wait!

Simone Miller: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Live! Well, not live.

Simone Miller: I’m nervous! I’m like, I don’t know!

Diane Sanfilippo: Open it.

Simone Miller: Watch, it’s going to be some other book that Simon ordered or something.

Diane Sanfilippo: We have to capture this. {laughs} It’s like a pair of sneakers. It’s not even a book. You should be able to tell if it’s your book.

Simone Miller: Should I?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Who did it come from?

Simone Miller: Well, I mean. {gasp} Oh my god it’s my book!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I wish we were on video now.

Simone Miller: I know! {laughs} {gasps} I can see it through the bubble wrap.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: If you cry, I’m going to be really…

Simone Miller: I don’t think I’m going to cry. I have delayed reactions to things.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} So in an hour, you’ll be crying.

Simone Miller: I’m still like, oh I think I’m engaged to get married.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: Yay! This is crazy!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: Oh, it’s my book!

Diane Sanfilippo: I love this moment!

Simone Miller: I’m so glad you’re on the line with me, because you’re the one who sort of helped make, the one who pretty much made this happen.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was like, I’m a pusher. I push people. So, that’s kind of the thing.

Simone Miller: {gasp} {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m like, do this! Make a book.

Simone Miller: And so it’s funny, I’m looking at the PDF of my book on the screen, and then it’s also here.

Diane Sanfilippo: Now here it is.

Simone Miller: Oh my god! This is so crazy.

Diane Sanfilippo: How does it feel?

Simone Miller: It feels amazing. And also sort of surreal.

Diane Sanfilippo: it looks so much better in print than on a screen, doesn’t it?

Simone Miller: There’s my face. Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Wow.

Simone Miller: Whoa.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I love this!

Simone Miller: This is so cool!

Diane Sanfilippo: Now, the really fun and exciting part, which I was saying this when we just kind of got on the phone, when you start seeing people making your recipes. There’s something about that, as people like we are who just, we love to cook and feed people. But I get so much gratitude. Not gratitude, gratification, from seeing somebody make a recipe that I put in this book, and then just sent out there into the world. I’m just super excited for people to get your book, and start making these amazing recipes, and post pictures, and then you spot them, and you’re like, that’s my thing! That’s my recipe.

Simone Miller: yeah, I’m so excited for that. I can’t wait for that. And I’m so excited for people trying things that they didn’t maybe know how to do. Like that fish recipe you were talking about in the papillote.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Simone Miller: That might be totally intimidating for people, but I can’t wait for someone to realize how easy it actually is, and how they can actually put whatever they want in there and make their own recipes. I’m really hoping that it helps people be more confident in the kitchen. I mean, I want people to follow the recipes, absolutely. But if someone follows a recipe, and then says, oh wait I actually want to do this with it, you know, it makes them realize that, once they know how to make soup they can make pretty much any kind of soup and feel like they’re in control of their lives {laughs} when it comes to food.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: That’s, if I can help people figure that out, that’s a huge gift.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Simone Miller: That would make me so happy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Amazing.

Simone Miller: Oh my god!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Simone Miller: There’s my little {whoop}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Simone Miller: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I love this. I got to do this with Liz, Liz Wolfe when her book arrived. We were actually teaching a seminar. She opened, I think the book got delivered to the gym, and she opened it and I was like, hold on I’m going to record it on my iPhone. And the same thing with our friend Danielle. I wasn’t there, but I remember saying, record this moment so you have something to look back at! It’s just fun. You know.

Simone Miller: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh man. Well, congratulations. I’m really excited for you. I can’t wait to get my copy, a real printed copy I get to hold in my hands, and I’m sure I’ll be able to give away at least one copy to a lucky follower, reader, listener, somebody.

Simone Miller: definitely.

Diane Sanfilippo: Maybe we’ll be able to do that with the release of this episode. Because the book releases on what, August 12?

Simone Miller: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, as of today, as of the airing of this episode, the book is available everywhere., wherever books are sold, probably Barnes and Noble. If there’s a small bookstore near you, just give them a call and ask if they have it. And if they don’t already have it, they can probably order it for you. And, it’s called the Zenbelly Cookbook. So where do you want people to connect with you, find out more, and follow what you’re doing?

Simone Miller: My website is, and I believe it’s also listed as, All of those work, but if you want to go simple,, and from there you will easily be able to find my blog where I post recipes and updates and will probably be posting more updates about the books. I’m doing a lot of giveaways with the book, so if you want to sign up for the mailing list, you’ll be the first to know about those. On Facebook, I’m Zenbelly. @Zenbelly on twitter and Instagram. I still can’t really figure out Google plus, but I’m technically there if you can find me. I can’t find myself.

Diane Sanfilippo: Me neither. I have no idea how it works.

Simone Miller: Yeah. I keep hearing that it’s great, and I’m like, I don’t even know where I am. I don’t know how find myself on there, or which account is mine. I have three; I don’t know. I don’t get it.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} It’s crazy. And you have a ton of sneak peeks on the website I’m noticing now. I just clicked on the blog section of your website.

Simone Miller: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: There are a ton of sneak peeks into the book, so people can check that out too.

Simone Miller: Yeah, you’ll be able to see what’s on there. I’m probably going to be posting; I’m trying to post those every Wednesday, but once you’re hearing this, the book will already be out so that probably won’t be happening.

Diane Sanfilippo: You’ll be busy.

Simone Miller: Yeah. And I’m going to be in different parts of the country doing some signings. I’m not sure about the dates yet, but I’ll be on the East Coast when this podcast comes out. So yeah, stay tuned about all of that. I’m really excited for people to get this book.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. Well, I am too. And thank you so much for taking some time to chat with me today. Let’s see if I can close us out today; I’m a little bit flustered without my trusty sidekick.

Simone Miller: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: So, that’s it. We’ll be back next week, either with more questions or maybe another fantastic guest. If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, remember to subscribe to the podcast over in iTunes, it really helps us spread the word. You can also leave a review. Tell us where you’re listening or what you’re doing while you’re listening. As always, you can find me at You can find Liz at Be sure to join our email lists, where we provide exclusive content only to our subscribers that we don’t put anywhere else. Thanks for listening we’ll be back next time.

Cheers! Diane & Liz  

  • Janelle

    I loved this interview! Also, now I’m super curious which recipes you think people aren’t making from your book, Diane! I haven’t gotten to try the duck or romanesco yet, but I did once try the marrow bones. That was totally new to me. :)