meat

muscle maker meatloaf

Posted by Corie

I love meatloaf.images

No, not that Meatloaf… the other kind.

Meatloaf is a powerful meal.

It has the power to build muscle in a protein packed loaf form. It has the power to hide some nutrient dense veggies with a crispy bacon crust. It has the power to comfort you on those increasingly chilly fall and winter nights. Meatloaf is versatile and tweak-able. Most importantly, meatloaf has the power to please to everyone from the fussiest of 11 year old boys to the health nut dietician and all the way to the bacon loving, muscle builder.

The Meatloaf Method:

1. Choose your meat. I prefer the grass fed ground beef in my meatloaf, but any good quality ground meat can work. You could do chicken, turkey, veal or pork, or a combination of a few.

2. Get your veggies. With meatloaf, you just can’t pass up the opportunity to pack that baby with nutrients. You’re going to get such a great flavor, why not get optimal nutrition too? Use spinach and sweet potatoes, mushrooms and caramelized onions, shredded carrots or zucchini. Whichever veggies you use will determine which spices and seasonings you throw in, but that’s something easily google-able for those of us who haven’t entirely developed that pairing knowledge base yet. Not only are they going to add nutrient density to your meatloaf, veggies can help keep dat loaf nice and moist.

3. BACON. This step is essential. Add it. Layer it on top or in the mix or maybe both.

4. Ditch the breadcrumbs. We don’t need any breadcrumbs or crumbled up crackers up in here. We’ve got ground flax seed, almond flour, and coconut flour, all more nutritious and delicious options.

Now that you’ve got the basics I’m going to give you the recipe for my favorite meatloaf. It’s sweet and savory, tender and juicy. There’s no green veggies inside, so make sure to pair it with a big green salad or some broccoli and kale.

Sweet Potato MeatloafIMG_1926

1/4 lb bacon

1/4 cup raisins

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 large sweet potato

1lb grass fed lean ground beef

1/2 cup almond meal

1 egg

cinnamon

a pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Take 4 slices bacon and cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat your bacon in a deep saute pan until you start to see a nice crisp on your bacon. Add in the raisins, garlic, and onions and let cook.

While those are cooking peel and shred your sweet potato. I’d suggest using a food processor, but if you don’t have one, no need to panic. When I was up at school this meal was my go-to and I always shredded them by hand with a grater or shredder. You can use a vegetable peeler and then you get these beautiful ribbons of sweet potato in your meatloaf. It’s a bit of a workout, which just means you deserve an extra piece of meatloaf when you’re done.

Once the bacon is cooked, the onions are translucent, and the raisins start to bloat a bit, add them all to a large bowl. Mix in the rest of your ingredients (the beef, almond flour, sweet potato, egg, cinnamon, salt and pepper). Get in there and mix everything together with your hands. When it’s all well incorporated press your meatloaf into a loaf pan and top with the rest of your strips of bacon… you know… for good measure.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked through. The bacon will be perfectly crispy and your kitchen will smell like heaven. Eat up.

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adapted from PaleOMG.com 
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balance and braised beef short ribs

Posted by Corie

The title of today’s post makes a lot more sense than you think it does. Don’t worry, I’ll only ramble a little and then get right to the good stuff.

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Life is a juggling act. There’s a bunch of different pieces getting all thrown around. It takes practice to get this perfect balance of work, and health, and family, and food, and happiness, etc, etc. The problem lies within this struggle we have with time. There’s never enough of it or there’s too much of it. Progress takes time. Work takes time. Exercise takes time. Sleep takes up time. You’re all thinking “reading this stupid ass blog is taking up my time”. Big shocker here, cooking takes time too. Bottom line… how do we do it? How do we squeeze in the prep and cook time to make quality meals and healthy foods when we’ve got all this other stuff going on?

The answer is balance. When you’re crunched for time and you’ve got a lot of stuff you should probably be doing… When standing over the stove and staring at your food cook is just not gonna work… When you know that the day you have planned is gonna suck the friggen life out of you… think crockpot [or something like it]. You can shove a whole meal in a crockpot, let it cook all day, and it’ll be there waiting for you once you hit that busy-day rock bottom.

Braising is even cooler than crock potting. My food nerd is showing. Sorry, I’m not sorry. When you braise a food you sear it at high heat first. Let’s say your searing up some beef short ribs. The browning gives those ribs this amazing first layer of flavor. Then you add in your onions, carrots, and something moist like red wine and beef stock to let that meat simmer in for a few hours. Go to the gym. Go get your work done. Go take a nap, for pete’s sake you deserve it! 3 hours later, come back and pull that out. Hello complexity. Hello delicious intermingling of flavors. What you get is beautiful.

 

Braised Beef Short Ribs

8 beef short ribs (not regular ribs, these are jacked up,

big ass, meaty beef short ribs.. oh and they’re grass fed)

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepperIMG_3447

Olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

handful chopped sundried tomatoes

healthy pinch dried thyme

healthy pinch dried rosemary

2.5 cups dry red wine

3.5 cups beef broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a dutch oven or heavy bottomed, oven safe pot heat up some olive oil until it’s screaming hot. Generously season your short ribs with salt and pepper. In batches, throw them in and brown on all sides. When they are browned and beautiful, pull them out and set aside.

After you’ve gotten through all your ribs, turn the heat down a little and with another splash of olive oil, cook your onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Throw in those sundried tomatoes and give everything a little stir.

Season with the thyme and rosemary. Let that soak in & cook for another minute or two. Now add back in the short ribs, pour the wine and beef broth over everything. Stick the whole pot in the oven.

Go get your shit done. You’ve got roughly 2.5 hours. Come back and whip up a little veggie right before serving. We ate ours with mashed sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. It’s good shit.

 

 

 

pass the grass… fed beef

Posted by Corie

If you’re like me and you love a big juicy steak, there can be a whole lot of information to digest when perusing [pronounced perooozing] your local grocery store or butcher’s counter for the perfect cut of beef.  You have to think about the different cuts of meat that require different cooking techniques, which pieces are more expensive and which are a lot easier on the wallet, do you want the bone in or do you want to go boneless.  But before you even get to all that shit you might want to think about a quality of beef that’s often overlooked.

That is, what your cow was fed and how it was treated before it was anywhere near the butcher’s knife.

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Ugh, who cares? Does it really matter? Yup. Yup it does and I’ll tell you why.

Cramming beef cattle into feedlots and feeding them grain to fatten them up is probably one of the dumbest ideas… ever. Cows are meant to eat grass and that is what they most efficiently turn into the meat on their bones. Instead, on feedlots, they are being fed enormous quantities of corn, soy-based protein supplements, antibiotics, and growth hormones to go from 80 pounds at birth to 1,200 pounds in just over a year. It’s not efficient, it’s not good for the cows, and it’s definitely not good for anyone eating the cows.

Grain fed cows bloat, they get acidosis, ulcers, diarrhea, a weakened immune system. The cows are sick and essentially dying. Then they slaughter them and package them, and put their sick meat on all the grocery store shelves for us to pick up. Hello mad cow disease. Hello E.Coli. Hello superbugs able to withstand every antibiotic known to man. I know it sounds like I’m being dramatic, but it’s all true and very well hidden from an uninformed public.

Hands-down, grass-fed is more nutritious. These cows are getting the nutrients they need from grass, without all the added stress and abuse cattle encounters on a feedlot. According to the Journal of Animal Science, meat from grass-fed cows has less total fat and saturated fat, and almost twice as much healthy Omega-3 fats (one of those essential fatty acids your body loves). It also has up to 4x the amount of Vitamin E that grain fed beef does, and more conjugated linoleic acid, associated with lower cancer risk.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

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Remember:

Organic does not mean grass-fed. They are different. Look for grass-fed, ask for grass-fed, inquire about grass-fed. The more we say it, the more grocery stores, butchers, restaurants, and farmers will realize that’s what we want. We drive the market. Our dollars make all the difference. [I’m real fired up about this if you can’t tell.]

On that note, grass fed is more expensive, but we should be okay with that. You’re paying more for better quality beef. That good quality directly transfers to your good health. So, buy a little less.  You shouldn’t be shelling out tons of money for grass-fed beef every night because you shouldn’t be eating beef every night. You can’t eat the same foods day in and day out. Variety is key to a healthy diet.

Woah. Your brain is full of knowledge now. Can you feel it? We can see it. There’s probably no room to think for a few hours so here is the simplest, most delicious seared skirt steak recipe for ya. Soak it all in and eat some grass-fed beef.

Rosemary Skirt SteakIMG_1867

1 skirt steak, sliced into 3 or 4 strips

salt and pepper

olive oil

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Heat a tablespoon or two over medium heat in your pan. Add roughly chopped rosemary sprigs and cook until fragrant. Add in skirt steak and cook until browned and beautiful. BOOM, easy as that.

Keep it simple and keep it real. Serve with some sweet potatoes or acorn squash and a healthy heaping of garlicky spinach.