Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Questions on Nutrition and Recipes

My sweet friend Elizabeth sent me an email asking a few 'nutrition' questions and it occurred to me to put my response in a post to possibly benefit others. So here goes.

I have a couple questions for you. We recently bought a grass-fed cow for healthy beef. I want to learn from you how you use it.

Elizabeth, I am so happy for you! We love our grass-fed beef and can't imagine going back to eating 'slaughter house' beef, especially with all we have learned! We pray the Lord continue to provide this for our family. I won't go into the benefits of eating grass-fed organic beef seeing as how you already have it. It is something that is easy to research.

Tonight we had a chuck roast that I seasoned with Lipton onion mix and a can of cranberry sauce and cooked in my crock pot until it fell off the bone. It was really delicious!

First, let me say that I would try to avoid the Lipton onion mix, it is full of MSG and the cranberry sauce probably has high-fructose corn syrup in it. Let me tell you how I have found ways to make it just as tasty and better for you. I too used to use Lipton onion soup mix as well as Worcestershire sauce and beef bullion too! Yikes!

***Whenever I make a roast, or stew meat or round steak, I always sear it in a frying pan (not Teflon), with some oil (coconut is best for this purpose, but EVOO will do) until it has great color on both sides. Remove from pan. Then I saute sliced or chopped onions, garlic and salt and pepper in a little more oil until beginning to brown. Then I deglaze the pan with some water, about 2 cups, making sure to scrape the yummy-yums off the bottom of the pan. ( you could use wine, or wine/water combo) I then dump the meat and this mixture in the crock pot and cook as usual. You would not believe how tasty this is! The browning really adds flavor. I used to need to use MSG loaded bullion cubes or beef base to make a good roast and gravy, not anymore! ***

Another important point is to season the beef liberally with good salt (sea salt) and pepper before searing. I season the beef and the onion mixture. I have learned to season each layer of my meal, which makes for a well seasoned dish versus a salty or under seasoned dish at the end.(see, watching TV is good, I have learned a lot from Food Network!)

The 'juice' from the roast is so good I usually just have to thicken it up with a little arrowroot powder (better for you than cornstarch) and water slurry. Serve over rice or potatoes or whatever.

The main cuts we use from our cow are chuck roast, stew meat, round steak and ground beef. Of course we enjoy the steaks and speciality cuts, but these four cuts make up our main menu.

We eat a beef meal twice a week, on Monday and Thursday. Oh, we always have burgers on Saturday, so that is three meals, isn't it? ;-) (We have Roast Chicken on Sunday, a Leftover Chicken meal, from Sunday's chicken, on Tuesday, and Beans/Grains/Meatless meal on Wednesday and Friday.)

Stew Meat:

*Prepare as above*** and serve over 'soaked whole-wheat pasta' or rice pasta. I call this 'Sirloin Tips over noodles' ;-) (shhh, don't tell anyone;)

*Marinate in an Asian marinade, for example Tamari, garlic, rice vinegar, fresh ginger and ground pepper. I let this marinate over night, dump in crock pot, cook all day and serve over rice with veggies on the side.

*"Chop Suey" (that's what we call it) Prepare as above***, cook all day in crock pot with chopped carrots and celery. The last few minutes add in a couple of cans of bean sprouts and serve over rice.

Round Steak:

Prepare as above***, but add in a HOMEMADE cream of mushroom soup (please don't use canned which is loaded with MSG!) I use this base recipe for everything I might have used cream of mushroom/chicken soup for! I used to use it a lot. This takes a little more time, but it is far superior and again no MSG! Add mushrooms also. Serve over rice, pasta, or potatoes.

I recently made 'Chicken Fried Steak' with our round steak. Be sure to fry it in a healthy fat, like beef tallow.

I use both the round steak and the stew meat for various soups. The one downfall to this is having to have homemade beef stock which I make way less than the chicken stock I make bi-weekly. I have asked for all the extra bones from our cow and have made batches of stock with them, but no where near as frequently, so we eat less beef soup than we used to.

Besides the obvious roast variations, we make shredded beef barbecue out of our chuck roast. Make sure it is a homemade or healthy sauce, most store brands are loaded with HFCS and chemicals you don't want.

I recently came across this blog and have since bought her book. It has a ton of 'better for you' crock pot recipes, all gluten free. The problem I find with most Fix it and Forget It type cookbooks, is that the recipes might be easy, but are usually very unhealthful. I am happy with this cookbook, though I think you could probably get by with just printing off the recipes you want from her blog. I wanted to support her, so I bought the book. You can search 'chicken' or 'beef' recipes and come up with a lot of 'not your run of the mill' crock pot recipes.

Now, I'm wondering if I can cook that bone in the chuck roast for broth and can i put it back in my crock pot to do so?? Hoping that the answer is YES, I just did it! :) I covered the bones in water, put in some chunks of carrots, celery and onion and thyme, salt and pepper. Does that sound good???

I have not tried this, but think it might work. I have saved all my bones over the months (in the freezer) and when I make stock, I dump them all in. Here is the best link for making stock. I know I have posted it before, but here it is.

Hope this helps! Anymore question?? Anyone??


Camille said...

How ARE you Michelle??? I trust all is going along as it should be.

You are a blessing to many I am sure! What a practical post...great idea to just post the answers then can benefit many more.

Blessings to you my friend!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Good stuff! Thank you for confirming what I've started doing. I've really been into making my own broth lately and the results have been so wonderful. Thanks for sharing with us!

God Bless,

busymomof10 said...

THANKS Michelle for taking the time and using your precious energy to answer my questions!!

I'm afraid I'm addicted to the convenience and flavor of Lipton Onion Soup Mix -- so I see have some changes to make! ;)

Did I tell you that I asked for the book, Nourishing Traditions, for Christmas??

I can tell that I have a lot to learn!! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!


The Girl in the Pink Dress said...

I hope your doing well, Michelle!
Thank you for this post! I'm just like this...I used to use a lot of canned soups, beef bouillon, etc. Actually...I still use beef bouillon, because I simply don't know how to replace it. I'm looking for a recipe (there has to be one somewhere, right?) suggested a great idea! Also used to use lipton soup mix...but I don't like all these powder flavorings- not knowing what is in them. Do you have a recipe for these pre made mixes?
The Girl in the Pink Dress