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Day 16 – Beef Heart Stew Recipe

Say Wha?!?!

That’s right, this over 200lb, brought up on frozen and canned foods, spent hours in front of the television, used to hate to touch a chicken breast girl just sliced and diced a cow’s heart and put it in a stew!  And you know what?  It was A-MA-ZING!  Seriously, the heart just tasted like the best stewing beef I’ve ever had.  In fact it was just so tender and delicious it almost tasted like slicing up a new york strip or a filet mignon and putting it into a stew. Which of course is crazy because they are such expensive meats.  But with heart it’s cheaper than even using any sort of chuck roast. I’m not kidding, give it a try.  And use this recipe.  It really works.

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Beef heart stew – Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds beef heart cut into cubes (What this video for how to slice and dice)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • oil of choice for frying
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3-4 cups beef broth (Use just enough to make sure all the veg are covered, for me that 4 cups but it may be different for smaller deeper pans/slow cookers)
  • 1 1/2 tsp freeze dried coffee granules
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Frank’s hot sauce 
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, chopped
  • some chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 bay leaves

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 200 (6 hours) 300 (4 hours)
  • Add the salt, pepper, and cumin to the meat in a bowl or bag and toss until pretty evenly coated. Let it sit there while you prepare the rest.
  • In a dutch oven brown the beef, remove from pan
  • Sautee celery and onions, remove from pan
  • While the celery and onions are cooking in a small bowl mix together coffee, mustard, pepper and hot sauce.
  • Toss the mixture in with the bowl of the now browned beef, coating each piece.
  • Deglaze the pan with some of the wine.
  • Now just plop everything back in placing the the bay leaves on top (don’t forget to take them out!)*

*If you wanted to use a slower cooker use a regular pan and after deglazing it pour the wine into the slow cooker pot along with everything else. Set it to low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

Day 9 – Salmon and water kefir

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So I’m definitely certain that both my daughter and I are not used to getting up before 9 since just before Christmas.  I know this because the poor girl was conked out the minute we got in the car after BSF.

BSF stands for Bible Study Fellowship and it’s something I’ve been going to for a few months now.  It has it’s negatives don’t get me wrong, but I’m learning so much about the bible that I wouldn’t really be able to other wise and the child care is so amazing that it’s what keeps me going back. When I think about things like if I should put my daughter into a preschool or not (seems like ALL her friends have started going) I remember how great BSF is for and how  basically it’s an awesome Christian based preschool, for free!

So yea we need to be there no later than 9:30 so I wasn’t sure how we would do.  I was shocked when I heard her talking in her crib at 8:30 maybe she would have gone back down for a smaller nap if I had left her (I could barely hear her) but decided to just get her up and get a move on it.  And we were actually on time for a change!

Not only did the poor thing crash in the car on the way home but I felt I needed to do the same thing. So I went ahead and laid down thinking she’ll be up in a few hours and I’ll just let her wake me up.  When I finally did wake up (on my own even, she was still asleep) it was 3:20.  Holy guacamole!  We both definitely needed a nap.

The Good: I made salmon tonight for dinner.  But like, I don’t cook fish.  It’s like I’m perpetually horrible at always cooking fish so when it came out delicious I was super excited.  AND I tried my first batch of water kefir tonight!  It’s taken me about a week with my milk kefir grains to convert them but I’ve seem to have done it successfully.  I don’t know though, it wasn’t as fizzy as I’d hoped and really it tasted the same as kombucha so what’s the point of doing both?  We’ll see

With the salmon and water kefir, I had brocoli and a salad with olive oil and lemon juice drizzled on top.  And you know what, I was stuffed.  Like super, almost couldn’t finish, stuffed.  Which I was honestly shocked about because there was no starch to the meal.

The Bad: Though we had a great morning, it seems the nap really through me off and I had no energy the rest of the day, no energy means my little girl gets to watch one too many Elmo’s.  I should have just gotten up and taken her to the park, but we were both just like slugs hanging around the house.

The not so Bad: I didn’t do any exercises today.  I think it’s not all that bad though because I did a lot yesterday so I’m going to call this my rest day.  Now if I do this again this week that would be ugly because I’m only meant to have 1 rest day.

Day 2 – Modified Level 1

I seem to have NO energy today.  Seriously I haven’t left the house all day.  Thankfully my daughter seems to be entertaining herself today. But that could also be because I let her watch an extra Elmo episode this morning.  Oops? hahaha. I wasn’t hungry again when I woke up so all I had was some water and then I had my lunch after my daughter went down around 1:30.  For lunch I had some left over Thai food from the weekend.  It was part brocoli chicken, part pineapple curry (I picked out the pineapple).  On the side are my daily supplements and a glass of homemade kombucha

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I am personally doing the modified version of the 21 DSD that is a mix between the athletes and the pregnant ladies. I am allowed 1/2 cup rice OR 1/2 cup sweet potato OR 1 cup butternut squash once per day if I feel I need it. I have read people who have hard core sugar addictions, and those that have trouble finishing detoxes such as this one, have done amazingly well adding some extra carbs into their detox.

Since this is my first 21 DSD and I have failed 4 previous whole 30’s.  I was a bit nervous to even start.  But after much praying God helped me to see that following the above modifications don’t make me a failure.  If I could I would eat the Milk and Legumes as a part of level one to help curb some of the sugar detox pain. But as I’ve learned after a year eating Paleo, milk makes my IBD flare up like crazy, and rice is more benign than legumes so I’m actually safer eating it.  (I also know for my body personally it doesn’t make my bloated like it does or may do for others).

So this is like my own personal Level 1.  I hope for the next detox down the road that I can move onto “Level 2- no rice” and then your average 21 DSD Level 3.

The Good: I did my work out today!  This one took me nearly 45 min, but I hardly felt it was that long at all. I also cooked up an amazing tasting pumpkin/chocolate chili that I was experimenting with.  I’ll post the recipe soon!

The Bad: I may have had more like 12 oz of Kombucha today, so I’ll need to keep an eye on that.

The Ugly: I didn’t see the sun other than threw a window the whole day.  Very, very bad.  I need to make sure I’m getting some natural vitamin D

Maple/Cinnamon Frosting

Last night I made the most amazing pumpkin muffins.  These muffins were reminiscent of my pre paleo days when my sister and I would make pumpkin muffins from a tin of pumpkin and a box of betty crocker.  We would then slab on loads of cool whip (fat free, naturally) And indulge all night long.

These bad boys, I would hastened to say, are even better!  Especially with the Maple/Cinnamon frosting I added.

The muffins themselves come from The Primal Palate. So pop on over there to check out how to make them.  Check out the ingredient list though!

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 6 omega 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup yacon syrup, or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend

Super simple, super easy, and I seriously just threw everything in the food processor and voila!  Yumminess!

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As for the icing I tried looking for a few different recipes online but nothing really took my fancy so I thought I would experiment and I think I came up with an AMAZING tasting frosting. This frosting made enough to put on the 7 muffins that came out of the above recipe (I know 7, weird right?  I think had I not filled them so high I could have had 9.  As it was they fluffed up so much I had to cut them in half!)

Maple/Cinnamon Frosting

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in food processor**
  • Whip until all ingredients are well blended

*I can’t stress enough how amazing Palm Shortening is.  I get mine from Tropical Traditions and this stuff is worth it’s weight in gold when it comes to paleo baked goods.  In fact! I’ve been so afraid to use my gallon bucket, this is actually the first time I did! Crazy balls I know! But after seeing what an amazing texture it is I’m super excited to try out a load of new recipes.  My favorite thing about it?  I doesn’t taste like coconuts!  I’m sorry I like coconut oil/cream/milk/etc as much as the next guy.  But if I have to have one more baked good that tastes like coconut I may just scream.  Just a little

**I’m thinking that all the ingredients may fluff up better with a hand mixer.  I don’t have one sadly enough.  After ours broke and we had an immersion blender and a food processor I thought it a bit much to get another mixer.  Alas I think it’s time to get another.  The immersion blender just made it all a big mess.  And where as the food processor worked just fine, for some things you just need that extra fluff and I am not an old school, put some elbow grease behind it, kinda mixer.

Our first paleo thanksgiving dinner

I just had the most amazing Thanksgiving dinner.  I can’t believe I actually managed to keep myself entirely Paleo the whole time. Nope, not even once did stuffing or biscuits touch these lips!  God is just so good!  I’m so excited that he gave me so much strength and willpower on a day I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle it.  We even managed to convince my dad, who has prepared the turkey the same way for over 20 years, NOT to stuff it with regular stove top stuffing this year and just to stuff it with veg so that there would be no cross contamination.  Let me tell you, it’s only by the grace of God that man could change his mind, lol.

I did winThanksgivingd up doing a lot of cooking.  I suppose I had to if I wanted to eat the way I wanted to.  But it was nice because other than my husband and daughter who naturally eat the same way.  My mother and sister both are trying to eat better so it felt good to be cooking for them as well.

And though I didn’t particularly like everything I cooked, it all seemed to get a good reception.  The bacon and sweet potato biscuits seemed to be a huge hit with the kids, and the garlic mashed cauliflower was a success.  My mom really enjoyed those.  I did end up having some regular mashed potatoes as well but we convinced my brother to make some without the milk and butter only so that we could enjoy them.  (My sister with her MS need to stay away from milk as well)

We made so much food though it lasted nearly 5 days later.  The thing is, in the past all that food would have just gotten eaten up by at least the next morning.  We’re a big family, and I don’t mean in numbers.  So what was amazing was seeing the way God was shaping and changing all of us.  (Well really only some of us, my brother is dangerously huge now)  We just didn’t need to eat the amount of food we had in the past. I can’t wait to see what next year brings, and just how much healthier we each can be.  I know for me personally it’s a goal to be 100lbs lighter and hopefully pregnant by this time next year.  But it’s all in God’s timing and I’m happy to go along for the ride.

What do I do with this pork leaf lard?

The other day I made my first batch of lard!  I feel like I’m really starting to get a handle on this whole food way of life.  We’ve been cooking with the drain off’s of our bacon for months now, but I’ve wanted to cook and bake with lard for so long but too afraid to try it. Plus I couldn’t find it anywhere.  But this past weekend while at the farmers market a stall had up a sign “Free pork lard with every purchase!” So I bought a few grassfed/finished sirloin steaks and grabbed my lard.  I thought it would be all done for me when I got home.  But alas I had to do all the work myself.

Wasn’t too hard really, just more time consuming.  Here’s how I did it.

  • Cut up your lard into 1/2 in cubes. I’m toying with the idea of just throwing it in my food processor next time, I’ll let you know how that goes.
  • In a large stock pot put about 1/2 cup of water and then the lard bits, turning the stove on low-medium heat. The water is to stop the lard from burning before it starts to melt, the water will evaporate out
  • Now wait, and wait and wait and wait. lol  Some websites I read said it only took about 45 min to an hour, but I found it took me much longer than that.  Maybe I had the heat on too low?  But anytime I turned it up it started to crackle and it MUST NOT crackle. 
  • Here is my top tip! After the first initial few hours of melting, start pouring off the fat into your strainer lined with cheesecloth every 30 min or so. My fat just WOULD NOT melt, I seriously had it on the stove for like 4 hours, and there were still loads of chunks.  But once I started pouring the melted bits off it seemed to give more room for the rest to melt, after that I was finally in business and managed to finish up a few hours later.

After all said and done I had just about a pasta jars full of beautiful creamy white lard.  I got scared at first because when I first poured it into the jar it was really yellowy.  But apparently that’s ok!  It will cool off and turn white.  Now I can store this in my fridge for up to a month and use in place of butter or coconut oil for a different taste.

The lowdown on Lard:

Lard is a pork fat, the best type of fat to make a good cooking lard with is leaf lard. It has a very distinct flavor, but when rendered correctly is a smooth.  If over rendered it may start to taste a bit piggy, but this is still very good lard to use for a stir-fry, for greasing pans, or for roasting vegetables. Lard has a very high melting point which makes it perfect for frying. As a frying oil you can use it time and time again.  The exact amount of times is up for debate. Using lard to make a piecrust (even a grain free one!) yields a flakier crust which is yummilicious. (I actually plan to now use my lard to make a pie crust for some yummy pumpkin pie!)

Be careful when buying store bought lard as it tends to be the partially hydrogenated kind and that stuff is just bad, bad, bad.  You can usually source some decent lard from your local butchers, but it’s even better to source it from a pasture-raised farm so you know you’re getting the best possible quality.

How do you feel about Lard?  Are you afraid of it?  Have you listened to conventional wisdom for so long leading us to believe that something as natural as lard is bad for us, yet shortening is healthier?  Or are you jumping onto the lard train and reveling in it’s deliciousness and versatility?