Mark Sisson’s Definitive Guide to Sauces, Dressings and Toppings

Those who’ve been around these parts for a long time know of my affinity for dressing up good food with a good sauce (see here for definitive proof). Sauces are very versatile. You can use a little, a lot, spicy, savory, whatever you want—to transform even the mundane to spectacular. One time, someone in comments even wrote a short poem about my love of sauces. Above all else, I think it’s what distinguished my brand of cooking paleo / Primal from much of what was out there, especially a few years ago.

And it evolved. Truth is, I never really consulted recipes, just started futzing around. Initially, I was trying various things to thicken them—even nut flours—and now rarely do, because taking the time to reduce and concentrate them is far superior. The result after years of such, trying this and that, the classic red wine reduction is my most go-to sauce and I have it pretty damn well perfected—even got some in-person tips from chefs Heston Blumenthal and most recently, Michael Mina, when I was privileged to meet them.

But there’s a whole saucy world out there, a lot of it too vast for me to explore in terms of coming up with new ideas, creating, improving, perfecting. I got a sense of this when I attended NovNat a couple of years back and the cook was daily making interesting fruit and veggie-based sauces in the VitaMix using vegan recipes. It’s really wide open.

And so is Mark’s latest addition to his growing library of publications in the paleo and primalsphere. As usual, Mark Sisson humbly under promises and over delivers. Since he has no real competition, he competes against himself to bring more and more.

So yea, he has a new cookbook. You don’t need to scour his blog or this blog for ideas, or any others, and you can still make the best paleo /primal compliant sauces you might desire (gluten free too)—in every conceivable format, from apps to desserts. It’s right there at your fingertips. It’s all you’ll need, right in one place.

…As usual, Mark is serious about everything he does. Remember when his first cookbook made the PCRM list for The Five Worst Cookbooks of 2010, in company with Gordon Ramsey? I never divulge the content of my personal conversations with Mark, but I feel safe in telling you that he was not too broken up about that. 🙂

To show you just how serious Mark is about this: in Tim Ferriss style, he’s put together an impressive promotion that runs until December 12. It’s a $1 Million promotion. Since this is FTA and as such, has a certain in-your-face acerbic readership—to mirror its acerbic in-your-face blogger—yes, OK, that’s not $1 million out of pocket. Yes, all you accountant and business savvy smart guys: that’s retail value. But even for digital stuff, he still has to fulfill, track, handle individual issues and complaints. So let’s just acknowledge the simple reality up front: promotions are promoted in terms of retail value prices, paid for in terms of wholesale and overhead.

Mkay? Got that out of the way?

This is one book I’ll keep in my library along with only a very few other paleo cookbooks.

…And finally, for those interested, here’s my 35-minute interview with Mark a couple of years ago, shortly after he published his first book: The Primal Blueprint. The focus is really more on Mark the entrepreneur than Mark the health nut, so it’s different than you might expect. Between Vimeo where I fist uploaded it and more recently, on YouTube, it’s been viewed almost 5,000 times.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Rip @ MIPWID on December 6, 2012 at 11:18

    I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. A good variety of go-to sauces will always shut down any naysayers moaning about a real food diet being ‘limited’.

  2. RG on December 6, 2012 at 16:36


    still waiting for your deep dish pizza “hack”

    I hear the lbs fly off . .and you’re never hungry


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