Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Perfectly Protocol

What a delicious meal this was! I sauteed a large shallot in coconut oil, then seared a lovely piece of wild ahi tuna for only two minutes on each side, leaving it still rare in the center. Meanwhile, I fried broccoli and garlic at a fairly high heat in more coconut oil, turning periodically until crisp-tender. The broccoli was finished with a little olive oil once I took it off the heat. Finally, my very favorite replacement for starch: parsnip puree! I boiled peeled, organic parsnip chunks for about 12 minutes, then drained and processed them (in a food processor -- too dry for a vitamix) with a little of the boiling water, some coconut milk, salt, pepper and lots of nutmeg. The puree beats the heck outta mashed potatoes!

Each item on the plate was of such high quality in taste and nutrition, I was left with an overwhelming sense of well-being for having treated myself, followed soon-after by overwhelming regret that there was none left! No worries -- I'll be making this again!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Stewed Heart is Better

Yep, I liked it much better stewed. In Midlife tradition, always kale-forward, the stew is down there somewhere.  It was a simple, ancient recipe from Nova Scotia: only chopped heart, a couple of onions, water and salt, simmered for about 4 hours. Unbelievably, the basic concoction was lovely, tender and delicious -- just like any favorite beef stew. The truffle- and olive oil rubbed kale was the perfect accompaniment. I loved it. Daenarys, eat your heart out.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Heart of the Matter

Dr. Wahls says that she and Jackie consider heart to be like a fine steak. She suggests cooking it as rare as one can tolerate for the most health benefits and also because organ meats become tough with overcooking. So I was set up for a different experience than what I turned out to have. The flavor was delicious, and the healthful effect was immediate and palpable. It was just . . . so . . . chewy. The effect was of eating a very thick rubber band. The inside was still nice and red, so I don't think I overcooked it. The flavor -- I cooked it with bacon, onion, garlic and coconut oil, and garnished with fresh Italian Parsley -- was wonderful. Bacon and coconut oil are the cooking media at the top of Dr. Wahls' list.

This beef heart was mercifully already sliced and cleaned by the time I got it. I was a full vegan only five months ago, and the psychological shift is still slow and incomplete. This challenge was more difficult than most for me. But we do what we need to do to reclaim our health. Besides a myriad of minerals and proteins which are much more easily and fully assimilated than with other foods or supplements, heart is the best natural source of CoQ10, essential for regeneration of lost neurology and, ironically, heart health.

Vivica at The Nourished Caveman wrote an informative post about sauteing and eating heart which had emboldened me to give it a try. At the bottom of the screen of Vivica's post is a gorgeous photo of Daenarys ceremoniously chowing on a horse heart. When I had watched the scene, from "A Game of Thrones", I remember thinking, "Just get it over with -- how bad could it be?" Now that I, myself,  have ceremoniously chowed only about a third of a heart, to the tune of 30 minutes, I have a new appreciation for Daenarys' badassness. I think I might chop up and stew the rest of the heart.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Adventures in Bone Broth

Have you tried it? In our fast-paced world, it's a little different to boil bones with the dregs of your crisper for five hours. Dr. Wahls suggests boiling from 4 hours to 3 days. I stopped at 5 hours because I don't trust my slow-cooker to be unattended. It gets hot. The early part of the boil smelled pretty bad, but "Bone Broth" has turned out to be something that really seems to help me. I can palpably feel its benefits even as I'm sipping it. Dr. Wahls says it's wonderful for neurological regeneration, and I'm all about that.

Here are some of my experiments:

This mugful was prepared the way Dr. Wahls likes to drink it with a little organic coconut milk and some turmeric. I thought it was delicious, warm and energizing. If you are wondering, those are some of the boiling veggies in there. I didn't strain this mugful. The broth is so filling that it takes quite some time to drink, so I just walk around the house with it as I do housework, etc.

This chocolate milkshake was better than any other one I've had, pre-vegan, pre-Wahls Protocol -- ever.    In the Vitamix, I used a cup of bone broth, half a cup of chocolate coconut water (Zico was the brand I used) a frozen banana, a few ice cubes, some cinnamon and nutmeg. This was rich and thick and luscious -- I was so sorry to see it go. (For this one, I did strain the broth)

This ratatouille-bone broth soup was so easy. In the Vitamix, I blended leftover ratatouille with a cup of the bone broth and a pinch of salt. This would have been nice warm or cold, but I enjoyed it warm. I bet I'll be able to do this with lots of leftovers.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Buffalo Burgers

As with all ground meats, it's advisable to thoroughly cook ground buffalo meat. Even with high-quality meats such as this grass-fed, organic buffalo, there's no way to know how clean the grinder was. So we just cook it.

This Protocol-friendly meal featured buffalo meat incorporating chopped onions and one of our favorite marinades: Allegro. We've learned to only marinate briefly, as the food gets saltier as it sits. The burgers were well-grilled but still juicy, flavorful and tender. Andres had his on a bun, while I opted for a simple schmear of grainy mustard -- amazing! On the side -- a hefty pile of baby bok choy sauteed with garlic in coconut oil, and finished with a tiny drop of really good balsamic vinegar. Mmmmm.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I bought a large sheaf of dandelion leaves recently. These weren't the yard weeds from my childhood -- they were very long and robust, with no blossoms or fluffy seed pods. I enjoyed the pungent, bitter leaves in a salad, but nobody else did. Better was this preparation sauteed in coconut oil with purple onions and mushrooms, and finished with a little grass-fed butter. This saute mellowed the bitterness of the greens without eliminating it. Delicious!