Proper bone broth

I made some bone broth over the weekend.

Yes it is a labour of love; cheap to almost free to make until you count the man hours and electricity!! But oh so worth it to have the result of a broth that is so dense with healing amino acids that it solidifies in the fridge.

Ingredients

I kept mine simple. I also made a large volume of it to make use of the time I invested and so that I could freeze several batches for use later in soups, casseroles and stews. 

  • Bones from the local butcher – I used three knuckly joint bones that had an open end long bone with bone marrow at one end and a big joint at the other. The bones were large and messy (cartilage and fat and sinew) and this means you get the best results as they are full of soft tissue and ligaments that break down their nutrients into the broth. Hard clean long bones are great also but you will not get as much nutrition released from a solid bone no matter how long you boil it for. Bones just don’t disintegrate no matter what claims people make for adding vinegar (not unless the poor animal had osteoporosis!). It does all seem a bit yucky I can appreciate this, but this is also ethical eating where we use more of the animal and waste less.
  • Vinegar –  this can be cider or wine. I used 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar as it was the first one in reach in my cupboard.
  • 1 onion – roughly sliced
  • 1 carrot – peeled and roughly sliced
  • Optional diced fresh chili, ginger, garlic, and/ or fresh turmeric (this time I used a fresh red chili and a couple of cloves of garlic)
  • Mixed dried herbs
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground dried turmeric
  • Filtered water – a lot
  • Large stock pot with lid
  • Strainer/ sieve
  • Fat separating jug (I’ve spoken about this fantastic kitchen aid before; see here:https://andreacullenhealthsolutions.com/2013/08/15/bone-broth-for-healing-how-do-you-do-yours/)
  • Seasoning with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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Super chicken recipe for the slow-cooker

Hi folks,

I am planning on attacking this recipe tomorrow so sharing on.

Bake a Whole Chicken in a Slow Cooker

We don’t eat chicken often in our house given the difficulty sourcing genuinely organic and free-range chicken. We also buy duck eggs by preference.

But tomorrow we have a chicken! I will probably pull the chicken apart and serve with a large salad.

Love,

Andrea

PS Here is more about regulations and definitions for organic and free-range in Ireland.

And here: ORGANIC OR FREE RANGE – IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?

Basic vegetable soup

I threw a quick healthy soup together today for our dinner. Soup isn’t only a lunch option; adding sufficient protein on the side such as some sliced meat or a poached egg and even some beans or bean pasta, rice or quinoa into your soup will make for a filling and complete dinner meal.

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“It’s quite green” he said!

Soup is VERY simple to make and most vegetables will work. This is what I used today:

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Anti-inflammatory recovery smoothie

Hi Folks,

This is a quick recipe to add to your routine to assist with muscle soreness, improve recovery and also aid your digestive system, liver and overall health.

This is the bare basic bones of it; so don’t be afraid to switch your protein source around (e.g. hemp or brown rice or casein before bed), or add other goodies such as a dash of dark green leaves (e.g. spinach, rocket), cacao powder, or berries. Not everyone has the time to do fancy, so I kept it simple here and I do encourage you to play around with this recipe.

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What you need:

  • 1 small piece of fresh turmeric or approximately 1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash of honey
  • 1 serving whey protein
  • Whole-fat organic or raw milk
  • If you can stomach it a dash of black pepper will assist the absorption of the turmeric, there is sufficient fat in the milk to further enhance absorption.

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How:

  1. Place all your ingredients and milk to your desired volume into a nutribullet and blitz.imag2862
  2. If you need additional anti-inflammatory support then consider adding some ginger; if pain is an issue a dash of cayenne pepper will also help as strong as you can handle!.
  3. Enjoy after training or before bed.

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PS My injury is healing wonderfully, see here for my updated blog post on healing an injury

 

Slow Cooked Livers

liver

Organ meats are good for us; I have written about why here. The nutrition from offal foods like liver is simply outstanding and something that we should get into the habit of including in our meals a couple of times a month.

For many, liver isn’t the most delicious meat so it is important to use recipes that are simple and also tasty. Chris Masterjohn gives some excellent tips here on liver storage and preparation and if you scroll down readers share helpful cooking tips.

Garron cooks a delicious onion and liver dish coated in flax seed meal that I havent yet managed to beat. It is started on the pan and finished in the oven and if I get my hands on the recipe I will share it.

I prepared a slow cooker liver dish yesterday.

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Salad Basics – How to build a salad that tastes good

It’s time to revamp your boring salad!

Salads can be the most boring dish ever that no one wants to eat; or a delicious blend of your favourite flavours. It’s all down to deciding to make it a little bit more interesting. We are in Winter here so if I have forgotten some wonderful vegetables from other seasons across the globe, my apologies.

When it comes to making a tasty salad the point is, GET CREATIVE!

Often you can make a very tasty salad out of what is left-over in the fridge; but with a little forethought and buying new salad vegetables on your weekly shop, you can start to create fast tasty vegetable dishes that are filled with colour and nutrition.

Caution: it doesn’t take much to turn a healthy salad into a calorie bomb – watch how many add-on’s you add, be sensible about portions, and mindful about dressings and dips!

The basics:

  • Any green / purple salad leaves, the darker the better: for example; rocket, spinach, lettuce, chard, dandelion greens, Chinese lettuce, watercress, and any of the multitude of coloured leaves available.
  • The cruciferous power players: red cabbage, purple cabbage, green cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
  • Chopped vegetable selection: tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, corn, onions, scallions, baby beans, snap peas, baby corn, etc.
  • Power herbs: basil, coriander, parsley, chives, etc.

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The twists:

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Slow cooked oxtail

Boom!

Another great dinner; rich without the rich ingredients. This slow-cooked oxtail dish can be prepared in a slow cooker, crock-pot or casserole dish. You may need to tweak the cooking times.

There is a fair amount of fat on oxtail so serve it fairly lean; watch your portion size of meat and pile up on the vegetables. Athletes with a need can add a suitable carbohydrate.

We served this two ways; I had salad and G had cooked brown rice. You could also consider cauliflower rice, steamed broccoli, couscous or fluffy mashed potatoes.

There is no easy way to make a good photo of oxtail; but wow the flavour off this dish. I have kept the recipe simple and I literally threw this together before bed so that dinner was taken care the following (busy day).

Enjoy!

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Serves 2 people for several meals, or 4-6 people for one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 leek – sliced (I also had 1/4 onion so added this to use it up. You could use onions, leeks or both)
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • Oxtail  – 1 packet should suffice in this recipe
  • 1-2 carrots – grated
  • A nice fistful of mushrooms or more if you are a lover – sliced as you prefer
  • Dried oregano
  • Stock – home-made or stock pot
  • 2 cans of chopped of whole tomatoes
  • A dash of water, use your judgement (I added about a mug of water to the stock pot; if using home-made stock you probably only need 1 mug in total)
  • Optional – I tossed in some frozen peas towards the end of cooking.

Instructions:

  1. Saute the onions/ leeks and garlic in oil such as extra virgin olive or coconut oil.
  2. Add the oxtail and lightly brown
  3. Add the remaining ingredients: carrot, mushrooms, dried oregano, stock pot, canned tomatoes and water to just about submerge the whole lot. Give it an easy stir.
  4. Set your slow cooker to high and leave go for 3-6 hours as you prefer. Use an appropriate crock pot setting or place in a low temperature oven such as 160 C for several hours.
  5. Serve on cooked grains, vegetables or with salad.