Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hickory Braised Beef Short Ribs (Bone-In) #beefboner

  Short Ribs

2 - 3 lbs short ribs bone-in - grass fed, no hormone beef
2 white onions
4 garlic cloves
8 oz Liquid Smoke Hickory (whole foods or any market)
16 ounces Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
12oz (1 bottle) - Ginger Tonic/Ginger Beer
Black Pepper
(*optional - Pink Himalayan Sea Salt)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Braise time: 4 - 8 hours (to taste)

Prepare the meat:

Tenderize the meat;  I usually use a rolling pin to pound out the meat.  Then I rub both sides of the meat with black pepper, cumin and a drizzle of liquid smoke hickory.

Baking dish Prep: 

Line the bottom of the baking dish with one chopped onion and 2 diced garlic cloves

Place meat on top of onions and garlic 
Place 2nd chopped onion and two diced garlic cloves on top of the meat.

Pour 8 oz of liquid smoke hickory over the meat
Pour approx. 16 ounces of low sodium vegetable stock into the baking dish

Place in the fridge and marinate for 24 hours: if you can! I've prepared this with zero marinating time and I've also, marinated as long as 4 days with this recipe and it was unbelievable.  The longer you marinate the more delicious this is but it will still be delish with no marinating time.

Bake: 350 degrees for 20 minutes

Braise (boil) - 4-6 hours - 

Pour contents of baking dish into stew pot, add one bottle of Ginger Tonic/Ginger Beer and bring to a boil. Once its boiled for about 5 minutes bring down to a simmer. Let simmer for a minimum of 4 hours.  6 hours is pretty delicious but 8 hours is a flavor explosion in your mouth.  Keep an eye on the au ju level and stir every hour-ish.  

Remember: cooking is always to taste.  You may prefer the meat at 2 hours into braising where I prefer 8.  This recipe will definitely take the fear and questions out of how to make the perfect fall of the bone short rib.  It's easy to make and will impress any palette.  

Complimentary dishes: 
steamed rosemary asparagus and fingering potatoes, sweet hot cauliflower "mash potatoes", curried beets, vegetable soup (use the au ju from the ribs and add vegetables)

Food Combining Lesson:

I've taken a high fatty meat dish and used the bare bones of ingredients to highlight the flavor of the meat. Without a sugary sauce, added fats from oil or high salt content, the only portion of this meal that some may frown upon is the fat content in the meat but because I didn't add any ingredients thats digestion are slowed down by the digestion of fat or anything that can't be naturally digested, the body will receive all the positive benefits of consuming red meat and won't be affected by the negatives. When eating a high fat meal, keep your sugars and carbs low so that they aren't stored as fat while your body digests the fat and protein from the meat.  Eat high water content carbohydrates like asparagus, cucumber, zucchini, cauliflower and celery with this meal to further aid in digestion and distribution of nutrients, proteins and fats.

Benefits of eating red meat:

High protein content in red meat helps repair and build body tissue as well as the production of antibodies that the body will use to support a healthy immune system. 
Meat is high in Iron which helps form hemoglobin that transports oxygen to the body, Zinc that helps in tissue formation and metabolism, magnesium and selenium that breaks down the fats and chemicals in the body. Red meat is also high in Vitamin A, B, and D which promotes good vision, stronger teeth, bones and skin health.

This is one of my favorite dishes to make for dinner parties and fun gatherings that most everyone will love. It's a full flavored healthy version of everyone's favorite guilty pleasure... ribs!  I hope you all enjoy it!

copyright: Raw Earth Medicine, Inc. 2014

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Food! WTF?!

My head could explode from all the different choices of restricted diets I could go on to torture myself with or to take to the expert level of a meat and cheese extravaganza (atkins).  I could also laugh myself silly with the claims that all of these fads and quick fixes assure us in order to mask the real long term dangers of any type of restricted diet on the body, mind and soul.  After a life time of trying to obtain the socially except able "skinny" and being on every bandwagon in order to achieve it. Then I was struck by that car while on my bike and suddenly I couldn't do any impact work outs, so calories in and calories out with heavy training, cardio and high impact activities to balance out my "diet" just went out the window.  All senses of control I had on my body and mind flew out the door along with my body and mind connection.  It took 4 hours for my mind to accept that I was hit by a car.  The lady even had to explain to me that she hit me with her car.  It's a very strange space to be when you are feeling overwhelming sensations of pain in your body and your mind wants to eat to dull the pain so you have cravings for comfort foods but you also have a body that now seeks certain foods to aid in its every day management of inflammation and recovery throughout the entire body. A nervous system not only still in shock but searching to be soothed.  If I eat too much meat my whole body swells but if I eat too much fruit, i'll probably gain weight and carbs?! Wait, I'm not suppose to have those if I can't work out.  What am I going to do?!?!?

I had just enrolled in a nutrition program that was based on "Let food be thy medicine" and started to really research what foods would help me heal.  My doctors could not diagnose what was wrong with my leg and hip so slowly but surely I started eliminating any outside factors that could be contributing to my symptoms.  The more I started to read labels, the more I realized what crazy chemicals and additives I was really eating.  My body was screaming at me any time I ate something that wasn't really needed in order to heal itself from the force that a 3000 pound vehicle has on the human body.  Its hard not to think about it daily when I feel things that I wish would just go away but the truth is my body took a blunt force from the car, then went on to make impact with the handle bars at my chest as the rest of my body flung forward with my left hip and elbow making a huge impact with the asphalt where I then struggled to get to my feet.  How can the human body recover from that if I don't feed my body in a way that regenerates my cells.  I need to repair and heal every system in my body not to mention maintain the rest of my health.  It been almost 2 years of using holistic nutrition to help heal my body from my accident and manage my swelling to uncover the way I feel our bodies and minds were meant to be fed.  Not a diet but a lifestyle that allows us to live in optimum health and still enjoy the pleasures of the culinary world without the damage excessive consumption causes.  I obviously can't lay it all out in one post but I'm going to lay the groundworks for what will be a continuous work in progress, of a lifestyle I think anyone who desires a fit body, satisfying nutritional diet with room for guilt free pleasures from food and alcohol can enjoy.

As our bodies wake up from a great nights sleep, we've just been resting our minds but our bodies have been working all night to keep all our organs active and ready to carry us through another day. All of the foods that we have consumed the day before should already have been broken down and used with only waste remaining.  A clean slate of sorts with no fats remaining in our blood to slow down digestion.

I feel that its best to feed the body fruits all morning to surge our system with fast digesting fruits that will provide quick nutrition, as well as push out our waste as fast as possible.  I usually have something like 4 oranges and 5 dates.  I also drink a beet based juice with my fruits in the morning which further helps in eliminating toxins from the body.  Instead of taking an anti inflammatory pill, I mix cinnamon, turmeric and honey with hot water and cold pressed coffee to give me an extra pep in my step and more motion in my joints along with less swelling.  With this serge of energy I always like to do an hour of physical activity no matter what my level of pain is, to literally get my blood pumping so that it can deliver all of the wonderful nutrition the fruit I ate had.

After my morning pump, my body is ready for something a little bit more substantial but I also don't want to eat something that will be counter productive to my day and make me tired.  Since I was just physical my body is going to start to swell and stiffen up and this is when I eat as much fresh veggies and fruit as possible and wash it down with a Greens Based juice.  The high water content in the veggies and fruits helps to reduce swelling by flushing the system with more water and contributing to rapid cell regeneration.   I keep the fat and protein in this meal very low so that nothing slows the distribution of water and nutrients.  The goal is to get as much nutrition to my cells as fast as possible.

When you eat something that is high in fat and protein your body pulls all the fat and protein into the blood and due to the density in both causes a thickening of the blood.  While the body is breaking down and digesting fat and protein all other food must wait until the fat is broken down before anything else can be digested and distributed. Thats when good foods like fruit get a bad name. Its honestly worse for your waist to have fruit for desert after a steak dinner then it is to just have cake. So, if your weight is your concern keep the fruit to early in the day and if chemicals in the cake are your issue then eat the fruit for dessert.  See, its really all personal, like diet and nutrition should be. Here though, the principle is that veggies and fruits are fast digestion so long as there is low fat and protein, the body uses this nutrition immediately.

Continuing to feed my body what it needs, my mid afternoon nibble is usually a higher carb meal like mung beans and black rice with tomatoes, mint and parsley because my body is still running at a higher rate from my work out but its mentally slowing down.  Mung beans and rice are the highest source of none animal based protein with the fastest digestion and nutritional distribution rate which means I won't get tired from digestion, my body is getting something heartier to eat and my mind is benefitting by maintaining its energy by the boost caused by the protein and carbs.

At this time of day its around 4:30 and as you can see, I went from raw fresh fruits and veggies with two different kinds of beneficial juices to a cooked high carb meal that is naturally high in protein but is not animal based.  I have yet to touch high fat or high protein or any animal products.  I am feeding my body to support the natural course of my day and aid me in being able to perform with less swelling because nothing I eat produces a swelling affect.  You would be surprised by how much a food can cause inflammation.

We are now entering the evening and I am ready to start slowing down.  My evening meal is like a reward to my mind for my body using everything I have given it to fuel me and help keep my body in optimum health.  This is usually the time of day when my mind says feed me something delicious and ya know what, I do!  Braised short ribs with rosemary infused asparagus, sweet hot cauliflower mash and a glass of wine.... coming right up!  I know, it sounds crazy.  I just ate the healthiest you can possibly eat and then end it with short fatty ribs!?!?  Yes!  I'm eating them under the best of circumstances!  My body can break down the fat with ease and will use the rest of the benefits that come with red meat because there is nothing else my body is trying to digest in wonder.  Everything that I have consumed my body knows what to do with so when I do have something that is higher in fat and takes longer to digest my body is ready for the challenge.  My body has the rest of the night until the morning to break down the fat from this meal and distribute it.  Giving it 12 hours to digest means that it will all be used and not stored on my body as fat.  I'm also combining my foods in a way that my body can break everything down with ease of digestion and without any side affects of poor food combining like gas and bloating.

Every day of eating is not the same because either am I.  By learning how we digest foods and how our own bodies work, we can develop our own way to eat that give us the body we should realistically want, the mental clarity we desire and the most chemical free organic life possible.  The principle of the lifestyle I created will show people that no food is off limits to anyone and that our bodies have different requirements for nutritional support as it goes through its day, so we should feed it according to what it needs to function.  If you can do that, everything else around it finds balance, which is really the key to having a happy healthy life.

Friday, March 27, 2015

My dog is the asshole on the block....

I never ever choose the easy road.  Like seriously, never.  I could rescue any dog, there are tons of sweet dogs that need loving homes but no, I am always drawn to the asshole.  First there was Bayonne when I was 17.  I thought I could hide her from my parents for a while until I came up with a game plan of how to get them to find her randomly roaming... our backyard?  Or something to that affect. Being the responsible 17 year old that I was, I stopped to hook up Crystal on my way home...- (sidenote: yes doing Crystal Meth as a teen is a whole other blog post entirely) ~ anyhoo, when I rolled up and my dealer opened the door, Bayonne went nuts and he said "You need to take that thing back!"  What?  I would never and we didn't.  Bayonne lived for 10 years and only loved me and my father.  She bit my mom the night before she died because she served my dad dinner.  Now, here we are present day and what do you know, my dog is the asshole on the block.  People seriously walk across the street to avoid us now.  They also all think that I'm a raving lunatic bitch!  I mean, its all relative and personal interpretation but when you feel compelled to home a dog that will literally decide on a case by case basis who they will be nice to and who they will try to lung at with vicious barking until they virtually choke themselves out with no rhyme or reason, you tend to just give everyone a stern warning or correct them on what they're doing to contribute to this ludacris situation. Believe me, I try.  Every and any method to stop this crazy need to show every body that this is my mom and you are not to come near her and by the way this is also my sidewalk, my grass, my neighborhood and no you can not live in my world.  I don't think she's wrong at hating everyone because on the inside i do to.  Although, it would be nice to have social interactions with my neighbors but no, its just not allowed.  Instead my interactions include, can you walk faster by us or i'm sorry she just hates your dog, and my ultimate favorite, she hates children, especially yours.  Then there are my neighbors who's dogs have behavioral problems that produce an even more heinous behavior from Violet, like i can not even explain.  The real problem is that Violet is seriously the most delicious cuddle bug you've ever met.  She's potty trained, listens on command in the house and is really the most perfect little angel to me and I can not express how much joy she brings to me. I wish the world could see how special her little soul is but maybe secretly I don't.  Maybe it's the fact that I am the only one that these little assholes show their true selves to, maybe its the fact that Violet winks at me before she goes nutz on someone that warms my heart a little.  Maybe deep down I'm the asshole on the block too and sometimes I need a little saving.  I don't know what it is about the dog that hates everyone that makes me love them more but I all I know is..... My dog is the asshole on the block and I couldn't love her more.... except when I cringe with terror on walks for the people she hates.

VIOLET, The asshole on the Block!