Category Archives: butter

Happy Easter, and Happy Birthday, Linda! Here’s Her Liver.

Wait.

What?

If you’re reading this, and you don’t like liver, I have no idea why you’re here. Liver is a powerhouse of nutrients. It’s especially good fried in butter, onions, garlic, and bacon. You don’t know what you’re missing! What’s especially important is not to overcook it. I love calves liver, but any will do. Experiment, if you wish.

I used to love liver growing up. But then somewhere along the lines of adolescence, I decided it was disgusting. Years later, a friend asked for fried liver for his birthday. I cringed as I sliced the organ into pieces. I wanted to vomit.

I am so happy I am a reformed liver lover.

Recently, I also discovered the benefits of l-glutamine. L-glutamine is an amino acid which helps rebuild the intestinal lining. This is important if you have leaky gut, which have given you food intolerances.

Enter moi.

I have recently stopped taking any anti-candida supplements (including Candex which I blogged about recently), and am solely focusing on rebuilding my intestinal lining. This means drinking bone broth first thing in the morning, and taking somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000mg of l-glutamine. I have noticed a dramatic difference in my dermatitis on my chin. It’s very nearly GONE!

I also pigged out on Haagen Daz last night, which should have led my skin to erupting in an awful red rash.

Nada.

Zip.

Zilch.

It’s a miracle!

However, I also discovered what happens if you take too much l-glutamine in one day. Severe abdominal cramping, back spasms. Holy-cow-I-haven’t-been-in-this-much-pain-since-I-had-a-gallbladder…THAT kind of pain. Crawling into a popular yoga pose known as Childs Pose, and deep breathing stopped the debilitating pain. Guess what I’m *not* taking today. Yup.

Edited March 27th, 2015. L-glutamine is overrated and not a cure-all. I broke out in dermatitis only two months after my son was born, and no amount of glutamine helped. I finally broke down and went to my doctor who prescribed me EBIL ANTIBIOTICS!!1!1!1!!1!!one and THEY WORKED. BOOM.

This morning, I helped myself to two generous servings of 40 hour bone broth. How I love using a crock pot for bone broth. It’s brilliant!

Not only is it Good Friday, it’s also wifey’s birthday 😀 She was sleeping from coming in from a night shift. So, at around 12:45pm, I greeted her with a cup of freshly made coffee, and a Blu-Ray copy of “Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail”. That put a grin on her face.

Upon moving into the kitchen, I whipped up a large batch of liver and onions. So, let’s get to it, no?

Linda’s Liver and Onions with Butternut Squash

1.5 lb calves liver
2 slices pastured bacon, sliced into pieces
1 medium onion, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2.5 tablespoons lard, or butter
1.5 teaspoons dried marjoram
.5 teaspoon dried rosemary
.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Sea salt to taste

Butternut Squash

2 – 3 lb butternut squash
1 – 2 teaspoons marjoram
.5 teaspoon cinnamon
Sea salt to taste

Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise and place it face down in a baking dish filled nearly half way with hot water. Place in an oven preheat to 400 degrees on convection, if you’ve got it. If you don’t, no worries. This should be done in about 35 – 40 minutes or when a knife slices into it easily and smoothly. Remove flesh with a spoon, and mash with a fork, or potato masher, and add in your marjoram, cinnamon and sea salt. Try not to eat this to your face.

Add one tablespoon of your FOC (that’s fat-of-choice, Health-Bent.com readers know what I’m talking about!) to a large frying pan on medium high, and add in your bacon. Allow it to brown slightly, about 2 – 3 minutes. Add in your sliced onions and some sea salt. Let these guys cook until translucent and dark golden brown, about 10 – 15 minutes. Add your marjoram, rosemary, garlic and splash of of balsamic. Cook for about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove this yummy concoction of onions and garlic, and transfer to a bowl.

Take your remaining 1.5 tablespoons of fat, add it to your frying pan still on medium high heat. Add in your liver. Sprinkle your Italian seasoning over the liver, and some sea salt. Flip after about 2 minutes. The other side should have a beautiful dark crust. Once flipped, add in your onions and garlic on top. Cover with a lid for about 3 – 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of your liver slices. Remove from heat

Serve with squash to your lovely wife on her lovely birthday 😀 Happy birthday, beautiful!

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Spaghetti and Vivacious Veal Meatballs

Yes, I used the word ‘vivacious’ to describe food. That’s just how it’s going to be, ok?

Meatballs require a little bit of time and effort. They should also be small. My mom used to make these large honkin’ meatballs in gravy. They were delicious, but huge. Ma! Why’d you gotta make ’em so huge? Don’t ask your Mama questions like that. She’ll shoot daggers, spit some venomous one-liner, or smack you.

I am so full, I’m having trouble typing this post. Not kidding.

Linda ran some errands yesterday, so I asked her to pick up some ground chicken. The supermarket she went to (Cousins in Port Credit) had no ground chicken! She picked up veal instead. Way better choice. Smart woman. She also picked me up a spaghetti squash.

If you’ve read my previous blog postings, you’ll know how to prepare spaghetti squash. I’m going to skip the prep instructions for this. So, don’t be lazy…go do some reading.

On to some foooooooooood!

Spaghetti and Vivacious Veal Meatballs

The Vivacious Veal Meatballs

2.5 lbs of ground veal
1.5 tablespoons each of fresh sage and thyme, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1.5 tablespoons butter
Two pinches of red pepper flakes
Sea salt

Melt butter in a small frying pan over medium heat; add your chopped garlic and stir constantly for about 1 minute. The butter will bubble and toil! Remove from heat, but keep stirring, otherwise your garlic may very well burn. The garlic by this time will turn a light golden brown. This is good. Let this mixture cool.

In a large bowl, combine the veal, garlic ‘n butter, sage, thyme, sea salt (about .5 teaspoon), and red pepper flakes. Really mix this through with your hands to get everything well distributed.

Now, get to work. Start rolling this meat mixture into the size of a plum. Set these up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should have about 26 meatballs.

Da Base for Da Sauce

1/2 large white onion, diced
1 zucchini, cut into quarter pieces, about 1/4″ thick
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Butter and lard for frying, about 1/2 tablespoon each
Sea salt
1/2 cup water for deglazing

Melt your fat in a large pot over medium heat. Add in your onions first, and let ’em sweat it out for a minute or two. Add in your zucchini, plus Italian seasoning and sea salt. Let these veggies hang out until they’ve achieved a rich golden brown. Move ’em out of the way for your water, and deglaze your pan, scraping up all those tasty brown bits in the process. A wooden spoon does the job nicely.

Remove from heat onto a plate.

Now you’ll need 2 tablespoons of lard to fry your meatballs. Heat your pot to about medium heat again, and add your lard. Add in your meatballs slowly, one by one, into the fat. Don’t overcrowd them, or else they won’t brown nicely. After about 4 minutes, carefully flip ’em. After another 3 – 4 minutes, remove from heat. You’ll do these in two batches. Remove and place onto a plate.

Da Sauce

4 ladles of bone broth
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1.5 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Sea salt to taste

Increase heat to medium-high, and add in your rich, beautiful bone broth. Using a wooden spoon, be sure to scrape up the yummy stuff from the bottom. As this starts to simmer, add in your garlic, tomato paste, sea salt and seasoning. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat way down to low. Add in your meatballs carefully. Get ’em all in there, all happy to be hanging out with this rich brothy sauce. Let these guys cook for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until your spaghetti squash is done cooking in the microwave.

Serve over top hot steaming spaghetti squash. You may need a knife, fork and a spoon to eat this. Whatever utensils you use, please enjoy 😀

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Grilled Smoky, Spicy Flank Steak, with Bacony Bok Choy!

I know you all missed me. I missed you too. But don’t worry – today’s food will make up for the lack of posts in the last 5 days.

There’s an amazing butcher on Kipling and Dundas in Toronto (rather, Etobicoke, to be exact) that’s been around for a while called Medium Rare. They specialize in local, mostly grass-fed meats, and they have an outstanding selection of in-house sausage: all MSG/nitrate/sugar/gluten FREE. Linda and I have tried their venison and berry sausage (delish!), and their duck and cherry sausage (awesome!). We absolutely love their Great Polish Garlic Sausage. Go figure. A family of Italians make better Polish sausage than us Polaks. It is out of this world!

We recently bought a whole chicken from them, and roasted it with a lemon up it’s rear end, tons of fresh thyme and sage, garlic, and I slathered that bird in butter and lard. Oh. Em. GEEEEEEEEEEE.

This is where I also buy my wild boar lard. It’s about $8 for a container and lasts me a while.

No matter where you are in the GTA, I urge you to please check out Medium Rare. Their staff is impeccably friendly, their meat to die for, and you will thank me once you try their wild boar lard. Promise.

The weather has been stunning lately. Almost a little too warm for March. I’m not complaining. The Weather Network is warning us that winter isn’t over yet. I’m in denial. But today certainly feels like a blast from the Ol’ Bugger: it’s about -10 degrees celsius, and windy. But it’s so sunny!

I had a package of Great Polish Garlic Sausage, and a 2 lb piece of flank steak, both purchased from Medium Rare. Linda said she wanted to try that sausage on the bbq, as we’ve always oven-roasted it.

I threw on thick socks, and my house coat, and proceeded to head out into the chilly, sunny air and start up the bbq.

Speaking of our bbq, we are in need of a new one. It’s a hand-me-down, and it’s served us extremely well for over two years. But a knob broke off, and only one side lights up. Believe me, the thing is still usable. I just feel kind of ghetto.

Maybe after the wedding. Or if we snag a good deal on one before it gets too warm.

I’m rotating my veggies again, I need/like variety, and I’m always looking for different ways of eating the same veg in a new, special way.

Baby bok choy, for example. It’s easy to prepare, and has a mild flavour. But no matter what I do to it, it’s always kind of…boring.

Until today. When bacon met bok choy.

Sautéed in bacony goodness, onions, garlic, and of course, butter: the mildness of the bok choy contrasting with the bold flavours of bacon and onions is magical. You will lick your plate. I almost did.

The rub I created for the flank steak is simple to prepare, and can be used on anything. I love it on beef, but it would be awesome on eggs, in a burger, pork, salmon, you name it.

Smoky, Spicy Rub

Makes almost 1 cup.

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1.5 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons chipotle powder

Combine all the above in a bowl. Set this aside.

1 2lb piece of flank steak
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Preheat your bbq to about 300 to 350 degrees. I can only use one burner, so one burner at 300 degrees gets pretty hot. I grilled the Great Polish Garlic Sausage first. Don’t they look awesome?

Now, on to the steak. Rub about two tablespoons of olive oil on both sides of the steak. Generously coat both sides with your Smoky and Spicy Rub. Really pat it into the meat. Some rub will fall off. This is ok. Sprinkle generously with sea salt. I was left with a few tablespoons of rub left. I’ll use it for something else later this week.

After the sausages were done, and the bbq was a little hotter than 300 degrees, I threw the steak on. Close the lid. Leave it for about 3 minutes, then give it a quarter turn on the grill. This will give you beautiful hash marks. You will look like a pro. Cover it again for about 2 – 3 minutes. Flip it. Leave it for another 3 minutes. Add a few globs of lard or butter on top, let it melt. Remove from heat onto a large baking sheet or cutting board. Your choice.

Bacony Bok Choy with Onions and Garlic

5 stalks of baby bok choy, separated into leaves, and washed thoroughly
1.5 tablespoons organic or grass-fed butter
2 slices good quality pastured bacon, snipped into pieces
1/4 of a white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Sea salt
Pinch red pepper flakes

Prepare your baby bok choy by cutting off the ends and separating the stalks. Leave the little guys deep in the middle alone; they look pretty. Rinse these well in a colander and set aside.

Heat a large frying pan to medium heat, add your butter and snipped up pieces of bacon. Let your bacon brown just slightly, and add your onions in. Stir, season with a little sea salt. Allow onions to bright a little. Add in your bok choy, red pepper flakes, and some extra sea salt. Toss, stir, coat. Put a lid on and leave it for about 3 minutes. Check on it: your leaves should be wilted, and stems should be turning a little translucent. Add in your garlic. Toss to coat. Take it off the heat, and leave it while you slice up your steak.

Plate this up and devour!

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