Monthly Archives: April 2014

Organ Meat for Beginners

Organ meat is not something that I think the Standard American Eater regularly consumes. I’ll admit I would never have DREAMED I would ever be eating liver or kidneys. Until I realized how expensive it was to eat grass fed meat all the time.

I realized I wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet and I need to find inexpensive sources of sustainable, quality protein. Sardines, canned tuna (BPA free), and eggs come to mind. But I was still hitting a wall with my nutrition and protein intake. Enter: organ meat.

Eek! I know. My farmer gave it to me for FREE. When I took the first liver out of the bag I could barely stand the smell. It has a very strong metallic/blood sort of smell but I sucked it up and started on the first task: I wanted to grind up the liver so I could mix it with my ground beef.

The first recipe I tried was mixing it in with PaleOMG’s Spaghetti Squash Casserole. Sounds innocent enough, but I did a “half and half” mixture (1 lb ground beef with 1 lb liver). And the taste was almost too much. I ate the whole casserole all week for lunches but I was like forcing it down. I don’t waste food!!!!

The second recipe, I got a little smarter and mixed it into meatloaf with beef, pork and (obviously) bacon. Bacon makes everything good.

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The recipe is being saved for another project I’m working on!

Liver Meatloaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The meatloaf was much better and you couldn’t taste the liver at all. Sneaky sneaky!

Next up was kidney. I had to google this one because I had no idea how to prepare it. Turns out taking away some taste before you cook it is necessary. You do this by removing the fatty part, cutting it and soaking it in water for 2 hours. So I did that. Then I ran it through the meat grinder. (I’ll spare you pictures here).

Then I made meatballs! And that brings me to this recipe:

Kidney Meatballs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hidden Kidney Meatballs
Yields 30
Trying to incorporate organ meat can be difficult....try these meatballs if you're a beginner.
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Prep Time
2 hr 25 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
2 hr 25 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pastured beef kidney, fat cut off, soaked, rinsed, and ground with a meat grinder.
  2. 1.5 lb ground beef
  3. 1/2 lb ground pork
  4. 1 onion, minced
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  7. 1 tablespoon dried basil
  8. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. A couple of hours before dinner, prep your kidney by cutting off the fat, chopping into pieces and placing in a bowl of cold water. Let sit for two hours.
  2. Drain the kidney and run it through your meat grinder.
  3. Mix the kidney, beef, pork, spices and veggies together in a bowl with your hands.
  4. Form into balls and bake on two baking sheets for approx 30 minutes. Serve with sauce over spaghetti squash, or as desired.
Pencils and Pancakes http://pencilsandpancakes.com/
The kidney has a less offensive taste than the liver (way more mild organ taste). However in the meatballs I could hardly taste it with the spices/sauce added. After my first run in with liver I decided to try again. This week when I made it I had a grass fed liver, as opposed to an organic one. SUCH a difference. The flavor was WAY less noticeable.

The main problem was that I had a huge chunk of frozen liver that needed defrosting and I have to defrost it all at once. But my palate can’t handle much liver per dish….so it’s like what do I do with the rest of this liver? I can’t re freeze it, and I don’t feel like consuming ALL of it in the next day or two…so what I did was grind the rest of it, cook it up in a saute pan with garlic and onions, and then put it back in the freezer. I figure I can throw it into sauces, tacos if we have them, or maybe even chili.

So if you get the drift, if you’re new to organ meat remember:

1. Start with a small ratio to regular meat.

2. SPICES are your friend.

3. BACON

Have you ever tried liver? What are your experiences with it?

Let me know your favorite hidden liver recipes!!!

 

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Why I hate specific nutrient marketing

Raise your hand if you’ve seen an article, headline, or blog post with the following type of title:

Top ten foods for potassium

Get Vitamin C from these sources

Take omega-3 supplements to lose weight!

Libido boosting food

Five foods to raise your metabolism

 

We’ve all seen them, and I regularly fall into the trap of reading them sometimes! I am fascinated with the theory of food as medicine so of course I’m interested in stuff like this. I’ve come to realize, however, that marketing certain foods to increase/decrease or cure this or that ailment is just that- marketing.

I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day when I saw a headline

“Eat grapefruit and melt away fat!”

Funny, I thought. I’ve literally been eating one grapefruit a day for over 2 months (I know I’m not normal). Is my fat MELTING away?? NO!! This was probably just a ploy for someone to pick up that magazine!

I’m not saying that these article we read promoting certain foods that are good sources of X nutrient are necessarily HURTING us. I just don’t think they’re helping us THAT much. Why?

Because nutrients, vitamins and minerals don’t work in isolation in our bodies. The nutrients in foods we eat are specifically programmed to interact with one another in an intricate way. Just because I eat three pounds of carrots a week (again, I’m not normal) doesn’t mean my eyesight is all of a sudden to X-ray vision status. Nutrients work in a synergistic fashion, and that’s why supplementation with vitamins doesn’t really do anyone any good (except maybe the CEO of GNC).

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I used to be religious about taking vitamin C…guess what…I was sick ALL THE TIME. It was only after I adopted a whole foods diet that I started getting sick way less. Because all the nutrients I was receiving working together made made me a whole heck of a lot better off than eating crappy food, taking a pill and expecting to see results. In addition, according to Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe “many multivitamins are filled with partial, fractionated or synthetic substitutes for the nutrients they’re meant to replace.” Plus, real food contains synergistic nutrients (like vitamin D and calcium).

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EAT THE YOLKS!

 

 

I used to take a multivitamin but honestly I feel like it’s more of a waste of money! JUST EAT REAL FOOD people. It’s not that hard…..

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Do you take a multivitamin?

Have you ever eaten a food because you were lacking a certain nutrient? Did it help?

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