Bacon Banana Almond Butter Donuts

Clearly I feel the need to shower you guys with dessert recipes after lambasting you all with organ meat for a week.  Well, actually, since these donuts have bacon and fruit in them, they’re a well-balanced breakfast, right?

Pretty sure this is the flavor combination of the century…a little sweet, a little savory, and a lotta bacon.  And bacon is life.  Although I’ll admit my frosting-to-donut ratio miiiiight be a little skewed in the wrong direction.

You know, because if you have it for breakfast it doesn’t count as a dessert.  Fact.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 c Coconut Flour

1/2 t Baking Soda

1 t Cinnamon

1/2 c Almond Butter

1 Mashed Banana

5 Eggs

2 T Raw Honey

1 T Vanilla

2 Thick Slices Bacon, cooked and diced

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine the coconut flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.

With an electric mixer, cream the almond butter, banana, vanilla, and honey.  Add the eggs one by one until well blended.  Bit by bit, add the dry ingredients and beat until fluffy.  Fold in the bacon bits.

Spoon batter into a greased donut pan (bonus if you use bacon grease!!).  Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

**Cinnamon Frosting recipe courtesy of The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate**

1 c Palm Shortening

2 T Raw Honey

1 1/2 T Vanilla

2 t Cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS

Beat all ingredients together until smooth.  Frost cooled donuts.  Devour.

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Peach Chutney Fried Chicken

So Ross left Sunday (again) for Boston to finish out the summer, but not before we got some quality house hunting done–one step closer to having our own little Colorado Zombie Retreat!  Found a couple little places in the mountains with plenty of acreage for a big garden, and one lot that might be big enough to hunt on.  Kind’ve a Paleo Geek’s wet dream.  No big deal.

Niceness aside, it’s back to little me all by my lonesome for a couple more months…*sigh*  I’m getting way too good at saying Goodbye.  The irony here is that I have a civilian spouse, which was supposed to mean we’d spend more time together…now that’s just silly.

Know what’s not silly?  Like, what’s deadly serious?  This chicken.  It was Ross’s going away dinner and I think we can both die happy now.  Inspired by DDD yet again…are you noticing a trend lately?…except the one on the show was mango chutney on buttermilk fried chicken.  Admittedly looked awesome enough to give up my firstborn.  Though not awesome enough for me to sacrifice my bowels for a week.  Priorities, people.

I re-vamped my go-to fried chicken recipe after I started getting uneasy about cooking with nuts…I’ve been looking back to the archives to find some other dishes that might need a little TLC, too, so stay tuned for some new versions sans baked or fried nuts!

I’d also like to let you know that I did, indeed, make this fried chicken my b*tch.  The breading is all arrowroot this time so it’s a smoother texture than my old almond meal blend, and it’s a much more neutral flavor that let the seasoning shine through and soaked the chutney right up and pretty much made a crispity-crunchity-ooey-gooey-peachy explosion in my mouth.

INGREDIENTS

**Chutney**

1 T Coconut Oil

3 Peaches, pitted and diced

1/2 Sweet Onion, diced

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 T Fresh Grated Ginger

1 T Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2 t Curry Powder

**Chicken**

2 lbs Skin-On Chicken (legs, thighs, etc)

3/4 c Arrowroot Powder

3 Eggs

2 t Paprika

2 t Garlic Powder

1 t Salt

1 t Black Pepper

1/4 t Cayenne Pepper

Palm Shortening or Coconut Oil, for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

For the chutney…

Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic, sauteeing until onions are translucent.  Add the ginger and stir for about 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium.  Add the peaches, vingear, and curry.  Stir for about 4-5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, add the raisins and simmer for 10 minutes more.  Serve hot or cold (can be made ahead of time) on fried chicken.

For the chicken…

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat 1/2 inch of palm shortening or coconut oil over medium-high heat in a deep frying pan.

Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.  In another bowl, combine the arrowroot powder and seasonings.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Dip in beaten egg, then dredge in arrowroot powder mixture.  Place in the hot oil and fry for 1 minute on each side.  Remove chicken to a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 30 minutes more.

Serve with chutney.  Enjoy!

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Plain ol’ Banana Bread

What I love most about Paleo–even more than I love the physical changes I’ve seen in my own body over the last year–is it’s promotion of science and self-experimentation in the nutritional world as a means to advance health and wellness.  Maybe it’s the reliance on evolutionary principles or just that so many followers of the Paleo diet and lifestyle are just super nerdy, but it seems like it is constantly being tweaked and refined as we explore more and more of the science behind how food and food culture affects our health.

A couple examples–Vintage Paleo was a relatively high protein, low fat diet.  While that’s an awesome approach for some people, several studies in the last decade have shown us that, in fact, higher fat diets not only don’t make us fat–they can be remarkably good for us.  Ditto for the extremely low-carb dealio.  While benefits of very low-carb diets and intermittent fasting are supported by research and personal experiences, there are some questions now concerning how this approach might affect women…because, well, we’re wired a little differently than men.  Rice and potatoes have been welcomed by some back into the Paleo diet (for very active people!) while others have shunned high-fructose fruits and nuts, former Paleo staples.

We have the privilege of living in an age where not only is there a plethora of nutritional research being conducted, but it is more available to us plebians than ever before.  There is more scrutiny than ever before, too, and we are better able to recognize which studies and research projects are actually legit (i.e. peer reviewed) and which are just bad science.

Obviously, the best approach is the approach that works best for you.  I am a HUGE fan of self-experimentation and by no means have I found my 100% ideal way of living…but I’m closer than ever.  I eat more and work out less than at any point in my 25 years on this earth and I look better, perform better, and feel better.  I wouldn’t keep doing it otherwise.  What I’m getting at is that I honestly believe we have a responsibility to ourselves to keep digging for information, to keep educating ourselves, and to keep asking questions.  Some new study comes out saying that red meat gives you brain tumors?  That gluten is tearing our intestines apart?  Or that all fruit is bad for you?  READ IT and make a decision for yourself.  Google some of the big words.  Read some dissenting and concurring opinions.

OK.  So after all that I’m giving you a new recipe for banana bread.  No, really, I’m going somewhere with this–if you’ve been reading my blog, you may have come across one of the bajillion times I’ve linked back to my very favorite banana bread recipe.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly delicious and I love it.  However, I’ve begun taking issue with nuts and the excessive use of nut flours and butters in baking.  I’m OK  with eating nuts occasionally despite the omega-6 and phytic acid content, but since a good deal of buzz started going around about the potentially harmful effects of heat on nuts (i.e. roasting nuts or baking with nut flours and butters), I’ve been doing my homework (check here, here, and here).  I’m absolutely guilty of relying heavily on nut-based ingredients at times…like eating my favorite banana bread every day for weeks on end…so I’m giving some of my favorite recipes a makeover.  I’m still fine with raw nuts, nut butters, and the use of them in recipes that don’t require high heat (YES!  Cookie Dough Brownies are safe!!!!), but the baking and frying business makes me wee bit uncomfortable.  It did take some soul searching, but I definitely sleep better at night without cooked nuts.  So there.

As you can see, this banana bread is coconut flour-based–an ingredient I’m much more comfortable with and that is honestly much more nutritious than almond meal, anyway.  It’s moist and banana-y, lightly sweet (with no added sugars besides the bananas!), and delicious on its own or schmeared in butter.  Because we all need a good, go-to recipe for banana bread that won’t oxidize into a trans-fatty mess ;)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 c Coconut Flour

1 t Salt

1 t Baking Soda

2 t Cinnamon

1/2 c Ground Flax

6 Eggs

1 T Vanilla

3 Really Ripe Bananas

INSTRUCTIONS

Mash the bananas and add the eggs and vanilla, whisking together until well combined.

Combine the dry ingredients.  Add to the egg/banana/vanilla mixture by spoonfuls, beating until smooth.  Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Chocolate Glazed Donuts

Confession: I was born and raised on Shoppers Food Colossal Donuts.  And in case you were wondering…yes, I was a little Chubster.  But the Donuts…oh, the Donuts!  They’re the reason I believed…and will continue to believe to the day I die…that Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts are utter crap.  Yeah, I went there.  If you weren’t privileged enough to live in the Baltimore/DC/Northern Virginia metro area, you have my deepest sympathy.

So needless to say, when I left the area for New York to go to college, then Texas, the Middle East, and now Colorado there was a void in my life.  And yes, we tried sending them through the mail, but damn if the folks behind the Shoppers bakery counters don’t use some black magic to make the donuts go stale extra fast.  Seriously…if you ever have the chance to get after these bad boys, you have a 12-hour window of freshness and then they’re just as mediocre as KK or DD.  Just trust me on this one.

So I’m NOT going to try and compete with my beloved Colossal Donuts.  Even if I still ate wheat and vegetable oil and god-only-knows-what kind if shady sh*t made them so magically delicious.  HOWEVER, I have been Jones-ing for a donut for about three months now and finally shelled out the $13.75 for a donut pan, so it was only a matter of time.

These took a little bit of experimenting with proportions and ingredients–I’ve got cupcakes and muffins down by now but donuts are a completely different venture since you have to make sure they’re sturdy enough to be baked and eaten without a support mechanism like a muffin cup or plate but without being too dry and crumbly.  I bought my first bucket of palm shortening last week, and I highly recommend it for these since it allows the finished products to stay moist without letting them go flat.  You can absolutely use butter or coconut oil instead but know that they naturally have some water in them and you’re running the risk of deflating your donuts.  I’d recommend investing in some palm shortening, anyway–it’s a great cooking fat (especially for frying!) and can be used in all kinds of baked goods.  It’s highly stable and can be used at much higher cooking heat than other kinds of oil and fat.

One last thing–this is my “Basic Donut” recipe, so you can get creative with it.  And yes, plan on lots of donuts this summer :)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 c Coconut Flour

1/2 t Baking Soda

5 Eggs

1/2 c Palm Shortening

1/4 c Raw Honey

1 T Vanilla

1/2 c Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips or other high quality chocolate

1 T Coconut Oil

INSTRUCTIONS

With an electric mixer, cream the shortening and honey.  With the mixer running, add one egg at a time until blended.  Add the vanilla.

Combine the coconut flour and baking soda in a separate bowl.  Add the dry mixture bit by bit to the wet ingredients until fluffy and well blended.

Spoon the batter into greased donut pan–you want to fill them to the top.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool completely, then remove from the pan and frost with chocolate glaze.

For the glaze, combine chocolate chips and oil in a microwave-safe bowl.  Nuke for 30-45 seconds, then stir until completely melted and smooth.

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Day Five…Heart

HEART

First of all, if you’re still reading my blog after a week of me suggesting that yo dig into kidneys and stomachs and peel tongues like bananas, you should get a Gold Star.  Luckily, heart isn’t so much offal as it’s like a really rich cut of meat.  You might feel like you’re making a flesh sacrifice, but Aztec fantasies aside this is a really awesome bit of cuisine to work with.  Something that tastes as good as a ribeye at a sixth of the price is always fine by me.

Why Should I Eat It??

Whether you want a really fatty or really lean cut, beef heart is it.  There’s generally a good amount of fat on the outside that is easily removed if you want to–though I think you’re crazy if you do.

Because hearts are such dense muscles, their nutrient content is even higher than that of other skeletal muscles–beef heart, for example, has “all essential amino acids, zinc, selenium and phosphorus. It has more than double the elastin and collagen than other cuts of meat and a highly concentrated source of coenzyme Q10, also known as CoQ10″ (via Livestrong.com).  Yay!

Oh, and I’d be amiss if I didn’t remind you that this sh*t is CHEAP.

Flavor and Texture…What to Expect?

Hearts of all varieties are very similar to other muscular cuts of meat.  Beef heart (the most commonly available) tastes like…well, beef…just a little more pronounced.  For me at least, the shape is the only thing that makes it terribly distinguishable from any other chunk of beef.  When cooked, the texture resembles most cuts of beef as well and it can be cooked just like a good steak or roast–you can braise, grill, roast, or pan sear them and they’ll come out great.

Special Instructions…

Again, treat hearts like any other cut of meat.  Get fancy with them if you want, but I generally cut them into chunks or strips and discard any tubes or blood vessels you come across.  I’ve also just halved one and thrown it on the grill and ended up with what looked like two good steaks.  There’s often a good deal of fat on beef hearts that can be rendered and stored as well.

Today’s Recipe: Curried Beef Heart

For this recipe, I whipped up a nice curry marinade and sauce that adds a little kick but again, won’t overwhelm the natural flavor of the heart.

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs Beef Heart (or one large heart)

1 c Coconut Milk

1 t Salt

1 t Black Pepper

2 t Curry Powder

1/2 t Garam Masala

Coconut Oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk together the coconut milk and spices.  Slice the beef heart into thick strips and add to the coconut milk mixture.  Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Add the strips of beef heart and cook for a minute or two on each side.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the coconut milk mixture.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.

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Day Four…Tongue

TONGUE

I’m a fan of tongue–it’s just delicious and pretty easy to work with.  It takes on other flavors well but tastes great on its own, too.  Unfortunately, it’s tough for some people because it looks…like a giant tongue that you have to peel like a banana.  I started eating the stuff when, back in Austin, I realized I could buy two for six dollars at Sam’s.  Colorado Springs isn’t as free-flowing with unconventional cuts, I’m finding, but the Ft Carson Commissary had my back again.

Why Should I Eat It??

Tongue is a pretty fatty piece of meat (hence why I love it so much).  Livestrong.com suggests “balancing your meal” if you’re eating tongue and to include veggies and “a bread roll or grain” like “millet, quinoa, and bulgur.”  F*ck that noise.  You know how I roll.  Beef tongue is really rich in all your B-vitamins, iron, and zinc.  And it’s cheap.

Flavor and Texture…What to Expect?

Tongue has a fairly mild flavor and (when cooked properly) a soft texture almost reminiscent of bologna.  Heavily seasoned or not, I can’t see any reason it would scare anyone off.  There are usually some big pockets of fat, especially towards the back piece of the muscle.  The outer skin is rough and chewy but will almost always be removed and discarded after cooking–the Huskies love it!  Of all the organ meats, tongue is probably the most inoffensive with regards to flavor and is really versatile.

Special Instructions…

You have-have-HAVE to stew or boil tongues for a while to make them edible.  I either boil mine fore 2 or 3 hours in water on the stove or toss them in the slow cooker all day.  Once they’re cooked, rinse and cool them.  Using a knife, carefully peel away the skin and taste buds (it’ll come off pretty easily if the tongue is cooked fully) and you’re ready to work with the meat however you like.

Today’s Recipe: Szechuan-Style Beef Tongue

You got me–I miss my Chinese take-out.  I chose this sauce because it’s a nice combinations of flavors that are familiar and tasty to many people but that won’t entirely overwhelm the tongue.  If you’re serving this for anyone who might be squeamish, cutting the tongue into strips makes it a lot nicer to look at, too :)

INGREDIENTS

1 Beef Tongue

Juice of 1 Lemon

1/4 c Rice Vinegar

1/4 c Coconut Aminos

1/4 c Sesame Oil

1 T Fresh Ginger

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 T Arrowroot Powder, dissolved in 1 T Water

Salt and Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil the beef tongue for at least 2 hours.  Remove from water, rinse, and allow to cool enough to handle.  Peel off the skin, cut the meat into long strips, and set aside.

Over medium heat, heat the sesame oil and add the garlic and ginger.  When garlic has browned slightly, whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar, coconut aminos, salt, and pepper.  When the mixture comes to a simmer, add the arrowroot powder and stir until the sauce thickens slightly.  Add the tongue strips and stir to coat the meat with the sauce.

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Cookie Dough Brownies

Confession…I eat dessert.  Because I like it–wait, no–I LOVE IT.  And I’m not one of those people who’s OK with a bowl of fruit, either.  There are days when I just have a physical need for something creamy, fatty, sweet, chocolatey…you name it.  I just do.

Say what you want.  Brownies and donuts aren’t a daily thing for me–hell, they’re not even a weekly thing for the most part–but I’m sure a better person just wouldn’t partake.  Or would be OK with fruit for dessert.  Ew.

Sugar is the devil, I don’t think that’s up for debate.  I know that, you know that.  Let’s move on.  I will never give up my indulgences.  I won’t even call them “cheats” because they’re a pretty permanent part of my life.  I fuel my body with the best quality foods I can and I keep the best habits I can to stay healthy–and part of that is staying sane.  My desserts are Paleo and made of the best possible ingredients–raw honey, pastured eggs, soy/wheat/dairy-free chocolate, etc–but yes, they are still desserts.  You got me.

Maybe Grok didn’t eat brownies while catching up on four hours of Fashion Police at 8am on a Sunday morning, but I do.  Get over it.

Aaaaaaaaand to follow my little rant, I have what may very well be the most decadent and delicious dessert that has come out of my kitchen to date.  Really wishing I could have preceded this with a nicer rant about sunshine and rainbows and unicorn turds…you’re welcome.

As my gift to you, too–the cookie dough can totally be made by itself–by the bowlful–for shameless (and solo) consumption in front of Glee reruns on a Friday night.  I mean, I would think that would be a good idea.  For someone else.  Yeah…

INGREDIENTS

**Brownie Layer…**

1 c Coconut Butter

1/2 c Full Fat Coconut Milk

2 Pastured Eggs

1/2 c Raw Honey

1/4 c Cocoa Powder

1 T Arrowroot Powder

1/2 t Baking Soda

1 T Vanilla

4 oz 100% Cacao Baking Chocolate, melted with 1 T Coconut Oil

**Cookie Dough Layer…**

2 c Almond Meal Flour

1/3 c Honey

1/2 t Sea Salt

1 t Vanilla

3 T Coconut Butter

3 T Coconut Oil

1 c Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

INSTRUCTIONS

For the brownies…

Cream the coconut butter and honey together with an electric mixer.  Add the coconut milk, vanilla, melted chocolate, and eggs and mix until blended.  Add the cocoa, baking soda, and arrowroot powder and blend well.

Pour brownie batter into a greased 8 x 8 inch pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely before coating in the cookie dough layer.

For the cookie dough layer…

Combine all ingredients until well blended.  Smother the brownies with cookie dough.  Consume any and all leftovers as quickly as possible.

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Day Three…Tripe

TRIPE

OK, this one’s a doozie.  No getting around it–this sh*t just sounds awful.  Tripe.  Tripe.  TRIPE.  Just ew.  Tripe is the lining of a cow’s stomach.  Or one of its stomachs.  Apparently you can get a couple different varieties but I’m working with the plain old bleached tripe I got from my commissary.  As much as I knock on a lot of the on-post services, the Ft Carson Commissary is amazing and has a better offal selection than… every other grocery store in town.  In case you were wondering, I get all my offal over there.  Tax free.  OK I’m done.

Why Should I Eat It??

Tripe probably isn’t the most nutritious of the organ meats but it’s still pretty damn good for you.  Besides a nice hefty doses of protein and saturated fat, you get a decent amount of calcium, selenium, and zinc as well.  And tripe is CHEAP.

Flavor and Texture…What to Expect?

OK this was the weirdest on both fronts.  I can see why some people love it and why some people hate it.  Personally I really liked it but in that weird way that some people put mustard on fries or bacon with chocolate or Duncan Hines frosting on Teddy Grahams.  In all fairness I might have been able to get over the whole “cow’s stomach” dealio because I happen to love haggis.  Thank goodness for British friends…

Tripe is literally a sheet of meat.  It’s got a ribbed (or “honeycomb” texture–actually really nice as it soaks up the flavors of whatever seasoning or sauce you use–and is sort of chewy.  I had a really hard time describing the flavor as it’s almost bland with a sort of earthy undertone.  Tripe by itself probably wouldn’t be much to get excited about so the flavoring you use with it is really important.  Oh, and you’ll definitely want to cut it into strips or smaller pieces to make it feel less like a meat blanket.  Or to stop reminding yourself you’re eating a stomach.

Special Instructions…

Two things…you MUST rinse the stuff off before cooking (since most commercially available tripe has been bleached and has a funky odor) and you MUST boil or braise it for a while.  Otherwise you will have tripe that is smelly, tough, and just plain NASTY.  Most recipes will call for the tripe to be boiled a couple of hours before you do anything else with it.  I’d bet it does really well in a slow cooker, too.  It’s worth it, though–after boiling in both water and tomato sauce I got a lucious and rich product…two thing I never thought you could say about tripe.

Today’s Recipe: Tripe in Tomato Sauce

This recipe is painfully simple and (I think) an awesome way to introduce tripe into your culinary repertoire.  Minimal ingredients, easy, and delicious to eat.  Because tripe was very new to me, I really wanted to showcase the tripe itself but it is very often included in more complicated recipes.  If you’re a little shy to just get after a plate of tripe, I recommend cooking smaller pieces into a stew or casserole alongside more common ingredients, like I did with liver this week.

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs Beef Tripe

28 oz Prepared (or homemade!) Tomato Sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

Rinse the tripe in cold water.  Cut into strips about 2-3 inches wide.

Place in a large stockpot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and simmer for 2-3 hours.

Drain the tripe and place back in the stockpot.  Cover in tomato sauce.  Cover and simmer for another 1-2 hours (the longer, the better!).

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Day Two…Liver

LIVER

Liver is probably the most common organ meat–at least for me.  Sooo maybe using liver as an Offal Week ingredient is kind’ve a kop-out.  I mean, who hasn’t heard old people talking about Liver n’ Onions their whole life?  And yeah, we all thought it just sounded nasty.  I only started eating liver this year after I literally guilted myself into it after reading so many articles championing its nutritional value.  But I actually liked it.  A lot.  And for several months liver has been a mainstay in our house–lucky for you I decided to get a little more creative with the recipe because, honestly, sometimes it doesn’t matter how healthy something is if it just grosses people out.

Why Should I Eat It??

Nature’s Multivitamin.  ‘Nuff said.  Plus it’s CHEAP.

Flavor and Texture…What to Expect?

Raw liver is tough to handle.  Its sliminess makes it both unappetizing to look at and hard to hold onto (that’s what she said).  It’s a pain in the ass to cut raw, too.  When cooked, it’s got a smooth, almost “creamy” texture–which is why it’s breaded in a lot of conventional recipes to get a nice textural contrast.  It’s a unique flavor that, for me, was surprisingly good–savory without being terribly “beefy,” and almost a hint of sweet.

Special Instructions…

Liver cooks pretty quickly.  I generally buy mine pre-sliced thin (because it’s all I can find), so if you’re putting it on the cooktop you only need a couple minutes per side on a moderate heat to make sure it’s cooked through.  Be careful not to burn it, either…at least in my experience, burnt liver tastes and feels like charcoal.

Today’s Recipe: Creamy Liver and Sausage Gravy

This is a bit of a different take on your run-of-the-mill sausage gravy or creamed chipped beef.  I wanted something that would be a versatile (and sneaky!) way to get some liver into one’s diet.  I made a ton of the stuff for myself and had it over zucchini pancakes one night, on sweet potato fries as a sort of poutin another, and over eggs for breakfast…all with delicious success!

INGREDIENTS

1 lb Ground Pork Sausage

2 Links Andouille Sausage, sliced

1 lb Liver

1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk

2 T Arrowroot Powder, dissolved in 2 T Water

1 t Rosemary

1 t Oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

Chicken Stock, as needed

INSTRUCTIONS

Chop the liver until it is the consistency of ground meat (a food processor works well here).

In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown the sausages and liver in some oil.  Pour the coconut milk over the meat, scraping down the sides of the pan.  Add the seasonings and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Whisk in the arrowroot powder and stir until the gravy is thickened.  If it gets too thick, thin it out a bit with some of the chicken stock.

Serve over eggs, starchy veggies, Paleo Biscuits, or any way you’d like!

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Day One…Kidneys

KIDNEY

I’m kicking off Offal week with an item I’ve shied from my whole life (despite my severe obsession with English food).  I haven’t seen kidneys around as much as some organ meats, and I was a little hesitant just because…well…kidneys make pee and that just sounds gross.  But hang with me, now.  We can get through this together…

Why Should I Eat It??

Kidneys have a metric asston of all your B-Vitamins (“asston” is a real unit of measure, btw), selenium, iron, phosphorous, and zinc.  There’s also a good dose of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.  Not to mention these babies are CHEAP.

Flavor and Texture…What to Expect?

If you’ve ever had liver, you’ll be fine.  Kidneys, at least to me, were extremely similar to liver in texture and consistency–soft with a sort of “creamy” mouth-feel.  There are small pockets of fat–never an issue for me–and the whole thing is made up of little bulbs of meat you have to separate before cooking.  There are also some tubes running through them and admittedly that weirded me out a bit but if you cut them up to cook you’ll never notice.  As far as taste goes, it definitely tasted more beef-y than liver, which should be a good thing.  The cooked texture is a little more firm than liver but shares that “creamy” quality.

Special Instructions…

As I mentioned before, kidneys are extremely similar to liver in texture and consistency, so I treat them the same when cooking.  Keep the cuts thin and make sure not to put them over heat that’t too high to avoid charring them.

Today’s Recipe:  Steak and Kidney Pie

INGREDIENTS

1 lb Beef Stew Meat

1 lb Beef Kidneys, cleaned and separated

1 Onion, chopped

2 c Sliced Mushrooms

4 Thick Slices Bacon, diced

2 c Beef Stock

2 T Coconut Aminos

Salt and Pepper to taste

2 T Arrowroot Powder

Crust:

1/2 Large Head Cauliflower

1/4 c Flax Meal

1/4 c Almond Meal

2 Eggs + 1 Egg Yolk

1 t Salt

1 t Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large skillet or pot, brown the stew meat and kidneys in some olive oil over medium-high heat.  Set Aside.

Add the bacon to the drippings and cook until browned, then add the onions and mushrooms.  Saute until onions are translucent.  Add the stock and coconut aminos, scraping down the sides of the pan.  Whisk in the arrowroot powder and reduce heat.  Continue to stir the gravy until thickened.

For the crust, grate the cauliflower and place in a microwave-safe dish.  Nuke for 4-6 minutes, or until soft.  Allow to cool, then add the eggs, flax, almond flour, and seasoning.

In a 3 QT dish, combine the stew meat, kidneys, gravy, and vegetables.  Stir to coat the meat with all the gravy, then spoon the crust on top to cover.

Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 35-45 minute, until crust is browned.

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