Two Meat Chili

So before I tell you what meat is in here, let me just preface this with a disclaimer: Organ meats are really really good for you! And beef heart is no exception. Especially when it’s organic and pasture-raised. (That preface didn’t last long.)

A few months ago, my local food buying club had a buy on a whole cow. There were various cuts and it was first come, first serve. Ironically, no one wanted the ox tail, the heart or the Rocky Mountain Oysters. Okay. I didn’t want the latter, either. But for $10, now was a good a time as any to buy a beef heart. So I did. And it sat in my freezer until I was tired of looking at it this past week.

image

Beef heart gets a bad rap for being a “gamey” chunk of meat. (For those of you who are gagging over this, it’s a muscle. And it’s the hardest working muscle in the body and it needs gobs of nutrients to work, making it nutrient-dense and really good for you. So… Think of it that way.)

This chili wasn’t gamey at all. It’s rich, the spices compliment each other and the beef heart is the most tender piece of meat you may ever put in your mouth. I cut the pieces up into stew meat sized bites. To the untrained observer – aka your family, they’ll have no idea.

Preparing it is a bit of a trick, you want to cut away the connective tissue (it’s tough), the valves and tendons (no one wants to chew on something that much) and the fat (it’s a hard, grisly fat that doesn’t cook well). Then, just cut it up like I would stew meat. Voila! No one knew… Until I told them. (And I did because I like to see the look on their faces. I’m mean like that.)

image

Two Meat Chili

  • 3 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 medium Organic Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 Organic Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Jicama, peeled and diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 lbs Ground Pasture-Raised Organic Pork
  • 1 Pasture-Raised Organic Beef Heart, trimmed and cut up like small pieces of stew meat
  • 1-28 oz can Organic BPA-free Crushed Tomatoes
  • ½ cup Filtered Water
  • 1 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 2 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 tbsp Organic Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Cayenne
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt or salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  1. In a stock pot over medium heat with 1 tbsp coconut oil, brown beef and ground pork.
  2. In a separate skillet over medium heat, saute jicama in 2 tbsp coconut oil until slightly translucent.
  3. When beef is lightly browned, add onion, garlic and spices. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Add jicama (after about 6-8 minutes) to the beef, pork and onion mixture. Stir to incorporate.
  5. Add tomatoes and water.
  6. Simmer until done, about 1 hour.
  7. Serve with your favorite raw milk aged cheddar or Crème fraîche.

image

Lacto-Fermented Ginger Carrots

I know I’ve been focused on fermenting lately but the bacteria that natural ferments provide are such an important part of the diet.

Here’s why: In a healthy gut, up to 5 pounds (yes – you read that right, 5 pounds) of healthy bacteria should be living symbiotically with our body. That’s crazy! Fermented foods aid in that symbiosis by providing the gut with new waves of bacteria as old ones die off.

Vitamin K2, a vitamin that is totally and completely underrated but rocks my socks, is found in ferments. Dr. Weston Price identified it during his research days as “The X Factor” (not to be confused with the television show). He posited that there was some factor in these indigenous foods that was allowing for good calcium absorption and assimilation that resulted in healthy teeth, bones and tissues. Science, unfortunately, had not caught up with him and only recently have they discovered what he was talking about. Natural foods FTW! (I’ve talked a little bit about this in my butter post.)

So these carrots. They are my favorite. So much so that sometimes I eat too many of them. If that’s even possible! ha! They’re gingery and tangy and full of delightful goodness. On a warm summer day, pulling one of these bad boys out of the fridge is just so refreshing. They’re also super super easy. And super quick to put on. And super cheap. All three are a super win in my book. (I’ll stop with the “super” superlatives, don’t worry! – hehe. See what I did there?)

Read More

Homemade Mayo

If I had known mayo was this easy to make, I would have stopped buying Best Foods/Hellman’s years ago. (And, no – I haven’t bought it for a few years anyway.) The flavor is a bit different than the conventional brands as mine was soy-free and the oils are different. But it’s creamier and nuttier.

My only tip for you – pour the oil very very very slowly. As in very very. A few drops at a time kind of very. This will allow the oil to be blended in completely and won’t break apart the fragments that give it that wonderful floral bouquet once it hits the tongue. Break them apart and… well, it’s nasty, bitter and you’ll want to dump it out.

On to the eggs – farm eggs are the best. Soy-free, organic and free-range. If your local farmer doesn’t wash the eggs first, make sure you do prior to cracking them – and really, this only needs to be done if your eggs have visible dirty spots on them. Which, at that point, if your eggs are crazy dirty, the farmer isn’t tending to his nesting boxes very well and you might want to find a new farmer.

So here’s my recipe. And my roomies had better watch out – I might be dumping their Best Foods/Hellman’s. But it’ll be doing them a favor. No more excess estrogen from the soybean oil and no more nasty fillers. Just good ol’ simple and real foods ingredients.

image

Homemade Mayo

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • ½ cup macadamia nut oil or avocado oil (both cold-pressed and extra-virgin)
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Whisk all the egg yolks, lemon juice, sea salt, vinegar and dijon mustard together until well blended.
  2. While continuing to mix (a hand blender, set on low works best), slowly drizzle the macadamia nut oil, a few drops at a time and blend until completely incorporated. Repeat until all oil is done.
  3. Next, add the olive oil, blending a few drops at a time, with a  hand whisk, until all incorporated.
  4. Stores in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Tomato Orange Bisque

Stormy weather can only mean one thing: soup that’s bright and fresh. And this one won out. I had all the ingredients on hand and didn’t need to run to the store – always a major victory in my book.

This dish can easily be made paleo by substituting the butter for coconut oil and the cream for full-fat coconut milk. I made today’s batch with coconut oil and pasture-raised heavy whipping cream. There is a farm in Mulino, OR that I like and the local market sells it. Their cows are raised well and their cream is fantastic. It’s not raw, unfortunately, but it’s also non-homogenized. I’ll take some victory where I can get it. And once in a while, it’s a nice treat.

image

The inspiration for this recipe is from Elephant Delicatessen, a Portland-based deli. Their bisque is city-famous and has never disappointed.

A little note: You can transfer this soup to a blender and blend it that way… but I hate doing that. Hot things splashing around and the risk of burns do not sound like a lot of fun. (You’re reading the blog of a girl who once dumped boiling water on her stomach on accident…. so yea. I’m paranoid. And a bit accident prone.) I bought a handy-dandy immersion blender a few years ago. It’s saved me. And my stomach (literally) a few too many times. If you’re wondering how you’re going to afford one, a month of no Starbucks venti whatever-it-is-you-drink will quickly cover the cost. (And save your stomach – Starbucks. Really? Ew.) They can be found on Amazon here or at any store that sells kitchen tools. When I bought mine, they only had chrome. If I was able to do it over again, I’d totally get the turquoise. On a serious note, it’s a must-have for any paleo or primal foodie… or anyone who values not having a second-degree burn (and I still have the small scar to prove it… not that I will).

Bon Appétit!

image

Tomato Orange Bisque

  • 3 tbsp unsalted organic grass-fed butter (like Kerrygold) or coconut oil
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 28-oz can unsalted organic diced or whole tomatoes (BPA-free lining)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup fresh organic orange juice (about three oranges)
  • ½ cup organic pasture-raised raw cream or full-fat coconut milk
  1. Melt the butter (or coconut oil) in a stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes, salt, black pepper, baking soda and thyme. Bring to a boil.
  3. Lower heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup in the stock pot.
  5. Add orange juice and whipping cream or coconut milk.
  6. Bring to a simmer, adjust flavor with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve hot.

image

Chipotle Salad Dressing

I love Chipotle. It’s where I go when I want a cheat day. And by “cheat day,” I mean that I have rice. Living life on the edge! This is basically what’s going through my head those days:

image

So when I tried their new salad dressing, I was hooked. Except that it was a bit too sweet and a bit too salty for my taste. Also, they used adobo sauce – which sometimes contains gluten due to “natural flavors.” There was only one thing to be done. Make my own. So I did. And it’s fabulous and my new favorite. I really want to try it as a wings marinade next – tailgating season is right around the corner!

Chipotle Salad Dressing

  • ¼ cup Raw Honey
  • ½ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Adobo Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • ¾ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix all ingredients in a blender or using a hand mixer, slowly drizzling in oil at the end. Or, do what I do and put everything in a mason jar, seal with a rubber-rimmed lid and shake it like crazy until the honey is dissolved. Note: Ingredients will separate between use and it can be stored in a sealed container for up to two weeks in the fridge.

 

Salmon Patties and Paleo Tartar Sauce

I was craving salmon the other day and since I’ve gone on this diet, my cravings have shifted – where I once craved chocolate, I still crave chocolate. Okay. Bad example. Where I once craved salt and vinegar potato chips for my salt intake, I now crave pistachios. The other thing I’ve started doing – listening to my cravings.  It’s my body’s way of telling me I need more of a mineral or vitamin. But, back to the salmon.

It’s possible that salmon just might be the best fish ever. And I’m not talking farmed salmon, I’m talking about wild-caught Pacific Northwest salmon. And if you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner on a hot night, this is perfect. (Such as tonight if you’re in NW Oregon.)

I used canned salmon. It’s quick, it’s cheap, and it’s there. A little note about the salmon, it’s canned in its skin and with bones. Simply remove the skin as you remove the salmon from the can. As for the bones, squish them and add them to the mix. They’ll fall apart quickly and are a great source of calcium. That and it’s kind of fun to feel the spine pop. Yes, I’m aware that’s gross. But it’s what you do.

The patties go together well enough. And toss in a few key ingredients and you’re there. Served on a bed of fresh greens and it’s a perfect hot night dinner item.

Enjoy!

image

Salmon Patties

  • 1 15-oz can canned Pacific Northwest or Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon, drained
  • 2 Tbsp (to 1/4 cup) coconut flour
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp dill seed
  • ¾ tsp dried lemon peel (it was all I had around)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Coconut Oil (for the skillet)
  • Tartar Sauce (see below)
  • Butter lettuce or your favorite salad greens
  1. In a bowl, mix the salmon and the celery and onion.
  2. Add the spices and mix.
  3. Add the eggs and mix until blended.
  4. Add the coconut flour a little bit at a time, stirring until the mixture isn’t too moist or too dry. You should be able to form a ball and flatten it without it falling apart.
  5. Shape the mixture into patties – patties should be between 2 and 3″ wide and place in a skillet with 2 tbsp coconut oil over medium heat.
  6. Cook both sides until golden brown, roughly 3-5 minutes each. Put in an oven-safe container and keep in the oven to stay warm.
  7. Serve with tartar sauce or lemon juice and on a bed of butter lettuce (or greens of choice).

image

Tartar  Sauce

  • 1 cup Homemade Mayo
  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 raw and probiotic dill pickles, minced
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • few cranks of the black pepper

Mix all ingredients and enjoy! You may have to play around a bit with the recipe to get your desired taste but, that’s the joy of homemade condiments! Serve atop your favorite fish.

image