Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bone Broth!

We've all read enough about how good bone broth is for us--for our ow strong bones, for skin, nails, hair, even arthritic or injured joints.  Lately, it's popped up in my reading about autoimmune yes, good stuff!

I've made it off and on for years, from whatever bones we have on hand--leftover turkey carcass, bones from a roast chicken, beef bones, you name it.  I've used it as is, as well as for the basis for some incredibly good soups and stews, even as an addition to sauces and gravies.

Let me tell you, the stuff you buy can't TOUCH home made.  It's thin and tasteless and not at all tempting, and yes, I've tried a lot of diffeent brands.  I add it to soup stock if I have it, but if you plan to drink it you pretty much need to add something to give it a bit of savor.

Enter home made.  Of course grandma used to keep a pot simmering on the back of her old woodstove, but these days the crock pot does a wonderful job!  (I'm sure an Instant Pot would too, but I don't have one.)

It really IS easy...all you need are bones (duh, right?) and whatever vegetables need to be used up in your crisper or garden, and a little salt and herbs for savor.

Get hold of the best bones you can...from grass-fed or free range critters is best.  I brown them or roast them before putting them in the crock pot.  (The last batch of beef bones I got, from Barham Cattle Company and Family Farms had SO much meat on them I ended up with a luscious beef stew instead of broth!  And of course they were marked soup bones!  I'm going to see if they'll save some bone broth bones for me...)

Cut up whatever vegetables you have on hand...I used enough to fill the crock pot.  Here are carrots, celery, onion, radishes, garlic and spinach, with a bit of chard and cabbage as well.  If you have other faves, add 'em.  If they're getting a bit long in the tooth, add 'em anyway.)

Add the bones....
Cover with water (or leftover broth), add salt and herbs, and you're done.  Turn on the crock pot, put on the lid, and walk away.  We do ours for at least 24 hours or more...a couple of days extracts more minerals.  (Sometimes I add a splash of apple cider vinegar to help liberate those minerals...but not enough to make the broth taste sour.)

That's a rich, delightful broth.  I love beef bone marrow, so I scoop it out and eat it when I discard the bones--it's full of nutrients!  Then you can enjoy this as is or strain out the vegetables, which is what we did.  That gave us two big quarts of luscious bone broth I'm enjoying a mug at a time, plus a container of vegetables to eat later or add to other dishes.  (They became part of a mixed vegetable side dish last night, and Lady enjoys the bones with our veterinarian's blessings...we don't waste much.)

As you can see, the hardest part of this is cutting up all those vegetables  A good cutting board and a good sharp knife makes that a pleasure, for me...I Zen out...

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Auto-immune Style Stir Fry!

We are both pretty fond of stir fry, but we LOVE this version.  No soy, no wheat, no gluten, no nightshades, no legumes and all just delicious!  I did another version of this dish in THIS post, July 9, but I've branched out a bit.  The seasoning mixture is try them both!


Chicken breasts or thighs or the meat of your choice--beef or pork would be wonderful too, or you could even use tofu (not on the AIP diet, of course, because of the soy.)

A nice variety of vegetables--I like to use up what's on hand.  Here, that's carrots, celery, onions, garlic, cauliflower, zucchini, cabbage, spinach, chard, and even radishes that were getting a bit pithy.  Another time I might have broccoli, Brussels sprouts, squash or who knows what!  If I have those thick broccoli stems saved, I'll peel them to get all the stringy, tough part off and chop up the crispy center.  Mushrooms would be good, as well.  AND when I'm no longer on the introduction phase, I'll be adding snow peas.

Use what you like...and what you have on hand.

Coconut aminos
Olive or avocado oil
Red palm oil (optional, and make sure you get a brand that's harvested sustainably)
Apple cider or red wine vinegar
Red Boat sauce (adds that bit of umami, whatever that me, it's good!)
AIP "curry powder"  (recipe below)

PREPARATION  (From here the recipe is almost same, so to save typing that much I'm just editing to add the changes!)

Cut the meat into bite size pieces, and marinate in coconut aminos, oil, and vinegar (more aminos than vinegar) for 2-4 hours in the refrigerator.  Overnight is fine, if you want.  I put the pieces in a bag or container and turn it this way and that to thoroughly coat everything.

Cut up the vegetables into bite size bits--I like to get fancier with the cutting, making carrots as diagonal slices and celery into decorative half moons, but they taste the same however you want to do it.  I like to keep all the vegetables separate and add them one at a time, slower cooking ones first--especially since J. likes carrots DONE.  No al dente for him, thank you!  I use whole baby spinach, but I cut or tear chard or similar greens into bite size pieces.

Add oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet and dump in the chicken and marinade; I just ued a bit of the red palm oil for rich color, but don't get carried away--it's ORANGE.  This will need to cook off and the marinade gets lovely and thick and browned a bit.

This time, I got the chicken just browned but not necessarily done through, and removed it so I could cook the vegetables in the same skillet--as noted, spinach or other greens last.  When they're close to done (we like ours softer than some traditional stir fries, and browned a bit), then splash with more coconut aminos and if you like, more vinegar, a few drops of Red Boat sauce (find it in an Asian market or online), salt and garlic powder.  (Coconut aminos aren't salty like soy or tamari sauce.)  Add a half teaspoon or more of the "curry powder"* for really tastes more like Joseph's wonderful Chinese Five Spice mix, so it's perfect for stir fry!)

I had a LOT of juice left over this time, so I removed everything else from the pan and reduced the animos sauce till it was thickened, then added everything back to serve.  (If I'd cooked the chicken that much longer it would have been tough.)

As always, we look for organic, free range, antibiotic-free meats and organic vegetables if we can get them.  Farmers-market fresh is good, too!


*AIP "Curry Powder" Recipe  (no seeds or nightshades, in the early phases of the protocol)

1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. turmeric
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. powdered ginger (or more for a bit more kick)
½ t. ground clove (again, I added a bit more)
Real Food & Love blog adds powdered lemongrass, but I was fresh out...

If you're past the introduction phase (or AIP isn't an issue), you can add powdered mustard, cumin, and black pepper to taste, as well.
Mix all ingredients together and use in any recipe calling for curry powder. Use this in place of traditional curry powder, which usually has coriander seed, cumin seed, cayenne, mustard seed, chili peppers and black pepper, all of which are off the plate for the introduction phase.  
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