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Archive for the ‘Recipe’ Category

Hide and Seek with Liver

No, no! Um, no, there’s no liver in there…

And let’s say you’re done with Hide and Seek and feeling bold: these look like a scrumptious recipes!

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It’s Liver Time!

No doubt only those who like liver proceeded to read this post… so I’ll consider myself in friendly company and that no faces are twisted in disgusted grimaces. ūüôā

Liver from pastured¬†animals¬†is enormously nutritious. They contain more antioxidants than many fruits or vegetables and are replete with fat-soluble vitamins and minerals that we need to reach our full potential for vibrant health. Most should eat liver at least once a week*- pregnant/trying-to-be-pregnant folks should eat it more often (*This all depends on your Metabolic Type). (This blog compares 5 pounds of fruit to 1/4 pound of liver… guess who wins!)

Too bad liver is in such an unattractively-named category: offal. Who would ever want to eat offal? I think part of the decision to name offal something so awful was to reserve it as a prize for those brave enough to eat it despite its name or reputation. Frodo eats offal. Luke Skywalker eats offal. Ghandi would have eaten offal had he eaten meat… Heroes eat offal… or are they heroes because they eat offal? Only history will tell.

Many people ask me “aren’t livers filters for toxins? and so if i eat liver, i’m eating toxins?” No. A liver is not like an air or water filter that accumulates toxins over time. The liver is a metabolically active organ that converts toxins into safe molecules (and sometimes not-safe less-toxic toxins) and gets them on their way out of the body. The more toxins the animal has to clear, the more there will be in the liver- so eat a clean, well-cared for, well-fed, non-medicated animal. (More info on that + some studies and this quote “If you avoid liver because of toxins, you should probably avoid the rest of the animal, too.”)

I currently have 1 pound of liver from Donald’s Meat Processing defrosting in my fridge. I plan on making p√•t√© with it, which i will freeze in ice cube trays for my weekly hero training.

I’ll either¬†eat the defrosted liver p√•t√© smeared on celery sticks, or add it¬†to¬†ground meat in a meat sauce over spaghetti squash pasta, meatballs, meatloaf or chili. Of course there’s also stir-fry and creative interpretations of things like¬†Crispy Liver Hash Brown Patties.

Here are some other more elaborate recipes:

::UPDATE::

Okay. I didn’t have time to gather any fancy ingredients so this is what i did with my liver…

Liver slurry!!! I just threw the organ in my food processor, blended till smooth and scooped into ice cube trays.

I know- pretty gross-looking. And slurry sounds as bad as offal. But it was super easy and fast. With Frozen Liver Cubes, the possibilities are endless! I plan to throw 1-2 cubes into anything that I make with ground beef. It makes me sleep deeper at night to know I have such nutrient density in my freezer that’s¬†rife with creative potential just waiting to be unleashed on my tastebuds!

I also did this: I saved a slice of liver to experiment… cubed it in to small 1/2″ cubes, dredged it with coconut flour, salt and cumin and then fried it in beef tallow. I’m not gonna lie. I’m a culinary genius. It was delicious. Fried Liver Cubes!… It was a Cube Party in the BuzzTestKitchen. I turned out the lights proud and satisfied (and replete in my fat-soluble vitamins and heart-healthy cholesterol) but mildly sad that I’d turned the other liver slices into slurry….

::UPDATE #2::

I finally used a liver cube tonight… and I dare say, it was delicious. Here’s what i did:

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup collards, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • 1 liver cube!
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 hamburger patty, cooked
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 egg yolk

Method

  • Toss collards, cauliflower, broth, liver cube & salt into a pot. Simmer until veggies are at desired tenderness.
  • Crumble patty, sprinkle seeds and plop yolk into a bowl.
  • When veggies are done, pour contents of pot over bowl fixins.
  • Stir & slurp.
  • Optional: add other fixins like strips of toasted nori or miso.

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Adapted from: http://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/garlic-parmesean-roasted-chickpea-snack-recipe/, http://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/crispy-sweet-nut-free-garbanzo-bean-snack-recipe/

1) Prep the beans:

  • Using dried beans:
    • Soak beans overnight in cool water (on counter covered with dish towel).
    • Rinse, pat dry with the dish towel.
  • Using canned beans:
    • Thoroughly rinse beans.
    • Lay them on a paper towel to dry for about half an hour.

2) Flavor & cook the beans:

  • Mix up flavoring ingredients in a bowl.
    • For 2 cans/1 cup dried beans
    • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese +¬†1 teaspoon minced garlic +¬†1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil +¬†1/2 teaspoon salt +¬†pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil + 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 2 teaspoons brown sugar + 1 teaspoons salt (when out of the oven, toss with a tad more sweetener and salt)
    • Cajun seasoning (if premixed, look out for monosodium glutamate (MSG)).
  • Throw beans into the bowl and coat with delicious flavor.
  • Toss beans on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Stir around every once in a while to prevent burning.
  • Alternatively, use a dehydrator.
  • Notes: will soften and lose crispness after 2-3 days.
  • Some will burn… just the way it goes. Be sure to toss them around while baking. Use a baking stone to ensure more even heat distribution.

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I like to call pumpkin seeds by their spanish name of pepitas, because it’s more fun, sounds exotic and it makes me feel like tap dancing. Try it!

The best way to have pepitas is to do this (slightly time-consuming, but well worth it). Why? Because nuts and seeds contain natural compounds that stall their growth until it’s likely they’ll survive (Your pantry is not that place!)¬†These compounds (ex. phytates) bind to minerals in the seed- and they do the same thing when incorporated into your body. You must fool them into thinking they’re safe to grow…:

  1. Soak pepitas in water overnight (on the counter top).
  2. Drain water, spread pepitas on a cookie sheet, bake at 200 degrees for a few hours (till crispy), periodically shaking the pan to unstick seeds and redistribute. Alternatively, dry till crispy in a dehydrator. 
  3. Optional addition: toss in a frying pan with tamari until seeds pop. 
  • Lots of nutrition:¬†zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron!
  • Have anti-parasitic activity.
  • Many benefits likely associated with high antioxidant levels.
  • Inhibits testosterone-induced prostate enlargement (common factor leading to benign prostatic hyperplasia)
  • Reduction of¬†hot flashes, headaches and joint pain associated with menopause (as well as heart disease associated with fluctuations of estrogen).
  • Heart protective
  • Liver protective (ex. against Tylenol overdose)
  • Arthritis reduction
  • Insomnia & anxiety: due to their high level of tryptophan (must be munched along with a carbohydrate, such as a cracker or dried fruit).

Source: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/remarkable-healing-properties-pumpkin-seed

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Wild salmon is one of the cleaner fish choices that you can make, and sea plants are packed with hard-to-find vitamins and minerals. So, why not combine the two?!

Nori is a sea plant (sounds so much better than seaweed, no?) that you may know from the wrapping around sushi rolls. Nori offers all sorts of good stuff: protein, fiber, iodine, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamin C and beta carotene (not the same as vitamin A).

These little packets of marine mouth candy are easy to make, delicious and colorful. You can even double the recipe to have a second pacific parcel for lunch.

Nearly all fish contains mercury and PCBs :(, but wild salmon has lower levels when compared to other fish that are high in omega 3s. BuzzNutrition’s advice to you: avoid farmed salmon like the plague.

Other good fish choices are sardines, anchovies and herring (the little guys). If you use a different kind of fish, you must adjust cooking times to compensate for thickness and density.

Baked Fish in a Nori Wrapper

Ingredients

  • 6-oz chunk of wild salmon
  • Splash of tamari sauce
  • Nori sheet

Procedure

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (very important to wait for oven to get up to temp before initiating the cooking procedure!)
  • Wash and pat the fish dry.
  • Place in center of nori sheet, at diagonal.
  • Splash the fish with tamari sauce.
  • Wrap the salmon like a present by folding in each corner of the nori.
  • Place the Pacific Parcel in the center of a¬†lightly oiled¬†baking dish, fold side down.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake for 5-10 minutes longer, depending on how well cooked you like your fish. For thinner, flakier fish, cook for much much less time.

Other seasoning ideas: thinly sliced lemon, sea salt or miso, fresh herbs (rosemary, tarragon, or thyme work nicely), minced fresh garlic 

Adapted from: Lair, C. Feeding the Whole Family.  2nd ed. Seattle, WA: Moon Smile Press; 1998.

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Gatorade & Powerade are TERRIBLE, what with the food colorings, preservatives, caffeine and high fructose corn syrup… and high price tag.

Why not make your own sports drinks?

  • The purpose of sports drinks is to provide the body with quick-burning energy and electrolytes. This is not the time for protein and fat.
  • Sugar is a good source of quick energy. It’s made up of half glucose molecules and half fructose molecules (this goes for all sugar, including fruit). It’s a good idea to keep your fructose level at <50% of the mixture. Otherwise, ¬†“digestive issues” may occur as a result of sugars “moving through you very quickly.” This means avoiding agave syrup and apple juice.¬†Some people are more sensitive to fructose than others- they should keep the amount even lower and consider using glucose powder.
  • Electrolytes make all the body’s chemical reactions possible (you know, minor things like pushing blood around, moving muscles and breathing). Sweating is the body’s way of cooling down… but we also lose electrolytes that way (mainly¬†sodium and chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium). Muscle cramps are sure signs of electrolyte deficiency. Consider using sea salt instead of plain old table salt to benefit from the extra minerals. Morton Salt Lite is called for in some recipes because it has higher amounts of potassium.
  • To enhance the flavor, use¬†Stevia for sweetness and lemon/lime for taste. You could also get fancy and muddle in some mint!
  • Consider using a juice high in antioxidants, like pomegranate, blueberry or grape (not wine! :)), which may help improve recovery & reduce muscle soreness (source).
  • Test your recipe during training, not during an important event.

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Source: http://www.runnersworld.com/community/forums/nutrition-weight-loss/general-nutrition/recipes-homemade-sports-drinks

3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 1/2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

8 oz = 50 calories , 14 Gms carbs, 160 mg sodium

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Source: “Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook”
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 1/2 cups cold water

In a quart pitcher, dissolve the sugar and salt in the hot water. Add the remaining ingredients and the cold water. The drink contains about 50 calories and 110 mg of sodium per 8 ounces, approximately the same as for most sports drinks.

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Source: http://brt-insights.blogspot.com/2009/09/hydration-fruit-ade-natural-fruit.html

Click the above link for a few recipes + a table for diluting your choice of fruit juice to the exact sugar level that is needed in a sports drink

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Coconut water (unsweetened) + a splash of fruit juice or drizzle of honey + chilled green tea (optional)

-no salt needed because coconut water has 12 times the electrolytes of sports drinks

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Products to consider:

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Adapted from: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/01/chocolate-chia-pudding-and-other-sugar-free-flour-free-desserts.html

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • Sweetener of choice, to taste (stevia, sugar, xylitol, maple syrup, dates…)
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 to 1 cup raspberries, cherries, or other fruit, plus additional for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the milk, vanilla, and cocoa into the blender and add sweetener to taste (about 2 servings worth). Blend until cocoa is completely incorporated.
  2. Pour milk mixture into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Stir well, making sure that all the seeds are moistened. Leave out on the counter and stir periodically (about every 15 minutes or so), breaking up any clusters that form. Allow it to stand until the pudding has thickened and all liquid has been absorbed, at least an hour.
  3. Refrigerate. Just before serving, stir in fruit. Serve topped with additional fruit.

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