Once organ meats are cooked, they really don’t look that much different than other, more common cuts of meat. In their raw state, however, organs can be a little challenging. For some, the sight of a raw heart on a kitchen countertop doesn’t exactly stimulate the appetite. If you’re tempted to try cooking offal but don’t want too much face time with the raw product, then a Crock-Pot is the way to go.
A slow-cooker is the perfect “out of sight, out of mind” cooking method for organs that need a little tenderizing, like the heart. Christopher Williams’ “Heart on Fire’ recipe (submitted for the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook Contest) is the perfect recipe for easing into offal. If you can manage to get the heart into a slow-cooker, then you don’t have to think about it for another 6 hours. It will emerge fully cooked and tender, looking not much different than a small roast nestled in a bed of tender vegetables. The scent that fills your kitchen will be rich and aromatic, heavy with an array of spices like cloves, allspice and paprika. The spices Christopher uses aren’t just for aroma, though, they pack a fiery kick that gives this dish its name. Christopher tames the fire by serving the slow-cooked heart on a creamy bed of kale simmered in coconut milk, bringing a cooling element and loads of extra nutrition to this dish.
Truth be told, we humans are an eccentric lot. Healthy food, vigorous activity, sleep, sun and shelter represent basic necessities for living, but they’re only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fully thriving. That’s been the Friday theme these last few weeks. We’re social animals, nature lovers, intellectual organisms, imaginative creatures. The evolved brain begs to be used, and the body is stressed – or at least falls short of optimal functioning – when the mind isn’t engaged. A couple weeks ago I wrote about the power of an enriched environment – how intellectual challenge literally boosts immune function. There’s more to this picture than the Sunday crossword, however. We evolved to be creative, artistic, inventive. Wouldn’t you know it, the natural impetus lingers to this day with practical – and sometimes dramatic – results for our physiological well-being.
Success is much easier when your friends are cheering you on. And in a month, you’ll have an entire community right beside you as you take the plunge into Primal living. I’m bringing back the 30 Day Primal Challenge this September. For 30 days, MDA will transform into a hub of reader-generated content and activity, where you can read about how others are going Primal, watch videos of people cooking their favorite Primal meals, and start your own 30 Day Primal Challenge journal. Whether you’re new to the blog and still a little timid about the whole “ancestral health” craze, or a seasoned veteran with a closet full of Vibrams just looking to add some more Primal schwag to your collection, September is the perfect time to actively participate.
And yes, there will be prizes.
The Modern Paleo blog’s been doing chocolate reviews recently, which struck me as a novel but totally understandable practice for a blog called Modern Paleo. In my mind, good dark chocolate – high cacao content, high fat, low-ish sugar stuff – makes any downsides to living in this modern world well worth it. Good dark chocolate really is that good. And one of the best parts about going Primal has been the way my heightened sensitivity to the slightest dash of sugar enables true appreciation of the bean’s slightly sweet product.
So you’ve ditched the bags of chips and boxes of crackers and cookies. You’ve found creative uses for all the junk food that used to make up your regular diet. And you’ve Primalized your pantry, stocking up on all the Primal essentials. With nary a can of Cheese Whiz or a bag of Funyuns in sight, what’s a Primal guy or gal to do when a snack attack strikes? I get this question fairly often, and my answer is usually pretty straightforward. But this one from Melanie got me thinking about it again.
I’ve given up chips and crackers and pretzels and granola and all the other high-carb, processed snacks I use to eat between meals. I’ve been Primal for about 6 weeks now and though I’m finding that I rarely have a craving for snack food (I’m hardly ever hungry!) it would still be nice to have a list of Primal approved snacks that require little to no preparation. Thanks for all that you do!
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