Sunday, July 23, 2017

Liver? How to get recommended four ounces down (and no it's not another liver pate recipe).

Me and liver? It's just not going to happen in this lifetime. You neither?

I've consulted all the recipes...adding bacon to my liver and onions...deep-frying liver (which kind of defeats the healthy-eating purpose of eating it at all)...slathering it with a french cream and balsamic vinegar glaze (again, defeats the purpose). I love the smell of it cooking. I love the gravy and onions on top of grits (not that I should be eating corn grits anyway since grits mostly come from GMO corn).

I would just leave the idea of liver alone, but that nutrient profile is so alluring. All that Vitamin A and Vitamin B-12 and iron and a host of other essential, healing, life-enhancing nutrition in such a small serving of relatively inexpensive grassfed beef. Liver is so nutrient rich, it can be dangerous if you eat too much of it. Stick to just four ounces and you'll be just ducky (but don't do foie gras from duck or goose livers because they fatten them horribly and they are not good for you or the goose or the gander).

Grassfed beef liver is the way to go. I can buy local, totally natural, grassfed liver for $3.50 a pound. That's less than a dollar a week to supply basically all my needs as far as grassfed beef goes. Everything else I eat from the butcher's freezer is just for pleasure and not essential. Great thinking, right? Except I can't get the four ounces down.

Four ounces, that's all we need to eat each week, and I can't stomach even an ounce of it. I even tried just nibbling it between my front teeth in tiny amounts, but it took forever to get an ounce down and it was still decidedly unpleasant to me. Liver pate? Forget it. No matter what seasonings you use, I can't swallow it.

But never forget that I'm Cajun, and I can make anything taste good. It's in my genes.

While I was nibbling and gagging at today's attempt at liver and onions (it was deep-fried, sliced thin, cooked with bacon and slathered with that cream and balsamic vinegar glaze), I suddenly remembered my momma's rice dressing or "dirty rice" from my Louisiana childhood. I could see my momma's face, laughing and shaking her head at me.

Momma would always remark on how I would gobble up that dirty rice without one complaint. It was no secret that it had all kinds of chicken livers and gizzards ground up in it. She couldn't understand why I would eat those livers--plus gizzards to boot--but not her prized calves liver and onions. I couldn't explain it. It just wasn't yucky in the same way.

That's when I decided I need to try mixing ground calves liver instead of chicken liver in a new Cajun dirty rice recipe.

So why not just eat rice dressing with chicken livers each week? Well, I can get grassfed calves liver a lot cheaper than pasture-raised organic chicken livers by the ounce, and beef liver has a much higher nutrient profile.

But there's another reason. I tend to think you have to be really careful with liver and make sure it doesn't come from a "toxic" animal.  To tell the truth, I don't trust that organic pasture-raised chicken in the grocery store is really organic and pasture-raised. So I'd have to buy lots of local chickens raised by people I know and take one liver from each to meet my weekly liver quota. It takes roughly 7 chicken livers. I can't eat 7 local chickens a week just to get the livers I need.

For beef liver, I can go down the road to the farmstand of our local grassfed beef purveyor who I know on a first name basis, and I can pull a pound of liver out of his freezer and leave my $3.50 in the jar (they still go on the honor system there). That'll do me a whole month at 4 oz a week. Or I can make a big pot of dirty rice and feed the whole family their week's worth of liver in a few servings. Dirty rice is a great side to just about any meal. It can even be a main course.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to be working on the perfect recipe for Cajun "dirty rice" or rice dressing (whatever you happen to call it). Calves liver has a much stronger (repugnant) flavor than chicken liver, so it's going to take some doing to get it just right.

Keep coming back to the post until the perfect recipe has been added. I'll also notify you on my blog's Facebook page when the recipe is ready. If you haven't yet liked my Facebook page, go here and like the page and you'll get my Facebook post notifications:

I'm going to deliver a classic Cajun dirty rice recipe, but I'm also going to try a version of dirty rice that uses cauliflower instead of rice. I'm also going to make my momma's beloved eggplant-rice casserole using a mix of beef liver and ground beef.

Stay tuned, liver lovers. (Not!)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


I wasn't planning on cooking anything for the blog that night--hence I had to hurry up and snap a terrible photo right  before I ate what just may be the most amazing mock cornbread in the world ever.

And I made it with no recipe by complete accident.

It has absolutely NO corn in it (GMO or otherwise), is gluten-free and is made up of sprouted ancient grains like amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat with a dash of tapioca and brown rice flours. All organic. All sprouted.

And it was moist, not crumbly at all, absolutely to die for, melt in your mouth, sliced easily, and I swear it almost slid out the pan with no oil needed on the cast iron skillet. Perfection--by accident!

I promised I'd do a post soon with the recipe, then I drizzled that beautiful perfect wedge with organic blackstrap molasses and it was like having cush-cush and Steen's but a healthy version (my Cajun readers will know what I'm talking about). In other words, it was good eating for being so healthy! 

And it got better every day. It was best on the 3rd morning. I just stored it in the oven, like my mother always stored her cornbread.

I told you to be on the lookout for my best-mock-cornbread-in-the-world-ever post and here it is:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Mix following dry ingredients well:

1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat flour
1/2 cup sprouted oat flour
1/2 cup sprouted amaranth flour
3/4 cup sprouted quinoa flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour (tapioca is made from a root and doesn't need to be sprouted)
1/4 cup sprouted brown rice flour
2 tsp baking powder (I like Rumford's aluminum-free)
1 1/2 tsp salt (or 1 tbsp pink salt coarse)
1/2 tsp baking soda (I only use Bob's Red Mill, and there IS a difference)

3. Mix wet ingredients as directed below:

1/4 cup organic butter (half a stick) or coconut oil or avocado oil (but I like butter)
1/2 cup organic milk or buttermilk
3 large eggs (can replace with 1/2 cup soaked flaxseeds with gel)
1/6 cup sweetener (I use organic succanat or organic sugar or honey since it's such a small amount and I think organic sugar is much healthier than artificial sweeteners)

Melt butter then cool, add milk, sweetener and then eggs.

4. Pour wet mix into dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon, careful not to over mix.

5. If batter doesn't look wet enough to you, add more milk. If it looks too wet, add extra amaranth or quinoa flour until it looks right to you (you know what a cornbread batter is supposed to look like).

6. Heat your black iron skillet on the stove. If it is well seasoned, you won't need any butter to oil it, but if it is dry or new, oil it with butter. Pour your "cornbread" batter into the skillet. It should sizzle slightly as you pour it in.

7. Move skillet into preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown.

8. Cool for 10 minutes then slice, serve and enjoy.

One of my friends asked why I couldn't just make cornbread with cornmeal since it's easy to find organic cornmeal. I explained that corn is fed to cattle to fatten them up. There's a reason for that. There's a reason the sweetener used in almost everything bad for you is high-fructose CORN syrup. Corn is notorious for fattening us up.

Basically, regular cornbread is a carb. This cornbread is primarily a protein. Everybody knows how important protein is in the morning.

The ancient grains used in this recipe are not really grains, but rather seeds, and they are high in protein (except for brown rice and oats and they are superfoods). Because all grains, nuts and seeds are chock full of anti-nutrients, it's important to sprout them before making them into flour. I buy this flour that is made with sprouted, organic ingredients. Once sprouted, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice and oats are all superfoods, high is soluble and insoluble fiber, vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients. It's basically nutrient-bread, not cornbread.

Some people ignore me when I talk about how important it is to use sprouted grains. I honestly would not eat grains at all if they weren't sprouted and organic. They are bad for you. I swear. I can give you links to all the articles. If you don't know where to get sprouted organic flours like these, just google it or email me and I'll send you links. There are a variety of sources. Email me at If I don't answer you back quick enough, comment on one of my blog entries. That should get my attention. :)

Oh, one final note: I wouldn't advise eating my mock cornbread at night. It wakes my brain up. The first time I made it, it was at night and I couldn't sleep after eating it. I thought it might be because I was so excited I'd come up with such a great mock cornbread. Nah. It's got to be one of the ingredients--or the combination, I don't know which. But it's perfect for breakfast if you want your brain operating on all gears. You'll be amazed. Please write to me and tell me if it has the same effect on you. (As an aside, it doesn't just get your brain moving, if you know what I mean. No, no, not that. Although maybe... I'm talking movement in the bathroom, not bedroom, but you never know. It might wake everything up.)

Let me know what you think of it and if it gets you moving!

P.S. Add a half of a miniature can of mexicorn, some peppers (red bell pepper, jalapeno and serrano?) and your favorite mexican cheese to make Mexican Cornbread. What ? I'm telling you to add corn? A few grains of corn in your cornbread won't kill you...

Sunday, July 9, 2017

For the love of sauce...

What is so enticing about the photo above? You may not register it--except unconsciously--but it is that tiny drip coming off the right side of that delectable morsel of grilled steak. Rare steaks drip like that...but not everybody likes their food dripping blood.

That's why sauces got invented. They hook us into the ancient, primordial connection between our appetite and dripping blood--while catering to our squeamish modern sensibilities.

I love sauces. Food tastes so much richer with a sauce. The other day, they had the most scrumptuous tuna steaks on sale at the local grocer, and it made me think of a sauce I particularly loved that I'd eaten years ago. That tells you something--when a sauce is memorable from YEARS before. Of course, it could just tell you something about me. :)

The problem with sauces, for a fat girl, is that they are usually fattening or unhealthy in some way (full of chemicals, processed, unhealthy additives, too much sodium, too much cholesterol, etc.). I just knew this sauce couldn't have been good for me. It tasted too good.

But while I was eating that tuna steak (sauceless), I couldn't stop savoring the remembered flavor of that unforgettable sauce. So I emailed the restaurant where I'd eaten it. They were closed for renovations and from a quick scan of their online menu, they no longer served the grilled tuna dish anyway, but the corporate office got back to me with the recipe (in gallons). I did the math and brought it down to two cups of sauce (roughly).

The crazy thing's not unhealthy.

It's awesome on grilled tuna so I imagine it would be good on any fish, but I'm going to try it on all kinds of things.

Beware, though, of one issue with this sauce. It's got beer in it. Now I put beer in my barbeque sauce (and sometimes in my gumbo) and I put wine in all kinds of things. Cooking with alcohol is normally not a problem because the alcohol cooks off and only the flavoring remains. It normally doesn't even bother recovering alcoholics (though you should always ask). Problem with this recipe is, you don't cook it. That's live beer in there. Now, I'm not a drinker but I don't have a problem with a splash of beer in my sauce. I respect, though, that you might. Your faith might be the reason, or maybe you are a recovering alcoholic, or someone in your family could be. Either way, just beware. Usually when people are substituting something for beer in a recipe, they use a vegetable broth. You could try that if the beer is a problem.

Have a go at it and let me know what you think. The recipe is simple.

The Unforgettable Sauce

Light Beer (your favorite brand)
3/4 cup

Soy Sauce (I like San J's organic wheat-free tamari)
3/4 cup

Colman's Dry Mustard
1/2 cup

Extra-Strong Dijon Mustard (I like Sir Kensington's organic brand)
1/6 cup (or more to taste)

Whisk it together and that's all there is to it. It's especially lovely topped with chopped green onions.