Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Paleo-ized Liver and Onions

Oy blogger has been funky today.  It saved (as a draft mind you) multiple copies of the version I wanted to post and posted this crazy thing instead.  Lesson learned:  Save the blogging for the children's quiet time.

My children are ravenously hungry this morning.  So far, they have each eaten half an apple, 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (left over from last night), and 1 egg omelets absolutely stuffed with shredded cabbage (leftovers from last night, again) and topped with coconut oil.  And somebody ate half a raw beet.  Probably Shula since she looks like she's wearing lip stick this moment.  I'm detoxing off some very bad food choices last week and my skin is driving me nuts.  I've got the classic celiac rash popping up on my knees.  It's so bad, I almost took anti-inflamatories before bed last night!  Chance, particularly, is detoxing badly as well.  He's spent more time in his bed the past two mornings doing time outs than he has spent with me.  And he thinks he shouldn't have to share choosing the morning kid's show off Netflix with his sister.  I keep telling myself it will get better.  It will.  It has to.  It must.

Oh, and Lilit has moved on to eating the beet her sister started.  My kids are awesome foodies.

Now, I will probably run off 83% of my potential readership by posting this recipe up front but I make liver and onions about twice a week, my kids love it, and I really want you, if you're still reading, to give liver a try.  Liver is Mother Nature's multi-vitamin.  Observe the following, if you will.


vitamin A1600.3%

vitamin B121598.8%


vitamin B2190.5%





vitamin B374.5%

vitamin B574.3%



vitamin B652%



Kirkland Signature Daily Multi Vitamin
Vitamin A 3500 IU (29% as Beta Carotene) - 70%, Vitamin C 90 mg - 150%, Vitamin D 400 IU - 100%, Vitamin E 30 IU - 100%, Vitamin K 25 mcg - 31%, Thiamin (Vit. B1) 1.5 mg - 100%, Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 1.7 mg - 100%, Niacin 20 mg - 100%, Vitamin B6 2 mg - 100%, Folic Acid 400 mcg - 100%, Vitamin B12 6 mcg - 100%, Biotin 30 mcg - 10%, Pantothenic Acid 10 mg - 100%, Calcium 200 mg - 20%, Iron 18 mg - 100%, Phosphorus 109 mg - 11%, Iodine 150 mcg - 100%, Magnesium 100 mg - 25%, Zinc 11 mg - 73%, Selenium 55 mcg - 79%, Copper 0.9 mg - 45%, Manganese 2.3 mg 115%, Chromium 35 mcg - 29%,  Molybdenum 45 mcg - 60%, Chloride 72 mg - 2%, Potassium 80 mg - 2%, Boron 150 mcg - *, Nickel 5 mcg - *, Tin 10 mcg - *, Silicon 2 mg - *, Vanadium 10 mcg - *, Lutein 250 mcg - *, Lycopene 300 mcg - *, .

Now, the multi vitamin doesn't look THAT bad.  It's not too shabby in terms of price either ($15 for 500 pills).  But one of the long running concerns with vitamins and various capsulized supplements is how much of the active ingredient actually makes its way into your gut, blood stream, and various bodily parts in the advertised quantities.  With liver, there is no similar concern.  What's in a serving of liver contains a natural balance of vitamins, minerals, and co factors that insure that the vitamins and minerals are actually taken up by bodily processes in the forms and quantities necessary.  No matter how good your multi vitamin is, it can't read your body and provide the balance you particularly need.  Eating real, whole foods can.

First, use calf liver please, particularly if you can't source or afford organic/pastured organ meats.  Liver does, after all cleanse the blood stream and young calf liver will help to ensure you don't consume dangerous levels of toxins.  Also, the flavor of calf liver is milder than that of mature beef liver.  If you're unfamiliar with liver or have had bad past experiences, the lighter flavor will be easier to deal with.

Second, if you've paid any attention at all to mainstream nutrition advice over the past couple decades, you will know that consuming liver is no longer "recommended" for fear of Vit A overdose.  It is true that in clinical studies, it is possible to overdose on Vit A.  However, that's pharmaceutical grade, concentrated Vit A, not Vit A coming from whole, real food.  Also, if you're following WAPF and/or Paleo principles you're most likely not drinking commercial cow milk, which is fortified with Vit A (because, you know, it makes so much more sense to fortify a food with something it never had than to recommend people eat something that contains the vitamin naturally).  You're not going to overdose on Vit A as found in liver, not unless you eat it every single day, which I don't suggest.  Remember, a serving of liver, for an adult, is 4 oz.  To sustain good nutrition, you should consume this quantity once a week, or smaller amounts over the course of a week.

Third, rinse liver very well before you start working with it.  Helps improve the flavor considerably.

Last, in tweaking traditional liver and onions for the paleo world, I decided to skip a flour dredge entirely.  A flour dredge is a time honored tradition I found in every single recipe I consulted, including Nourishing Traditions.  Through a few attempts at liver and onions, I found that flour, even paleo-legal flours like almond or coconut, did nothing for the recipe.  Out with the flour dredge!  This speeds up the process considerably and, I think, improves the flavor and texture as well.  I added left over spaghetti squash to the pan as the liver was cooking, feel free to add vegetable additions of your own.  If you add raw veg to the pan, do so while the onions are cooking as the liver needs to cook fast and be quickly removed from the heat once added to the pan.

Paleo-ized Liver and Onions

1 small onion, diced
several T animal fat (goose is my fat of choice this time of year)
1/2 lb calf liver (for 2 children and 1 adult, scale up accordingly to suit your family's needs)

Heat the fat in a saute (otherwise known as a frying) pan over medium heat.  When the fat is hot, add the diced onion.  Cook the onions until just barely translucent.
While the onions are frying, cut the liver into small bite size pieces.  Add to the pan with the onions.  Watch carefully and pull the pan from the burner as soon as the liver looks barely done (just slightly pink still).  Most foods continue cooking after coming away from the stove and liver is no exception.  If you remove the pan from heat at this point, the liver will be cooked perfectly by the time it goes to the table.

Ocassionally, there must be gratuitous cute kitty pictures.  I decided that my cat should not miss out on the liver goodness and gave her a chopped 1/4 cup or so after lunch.  She then disappeared into the bedroom, where she remained for 3+ hours, sleeping off her liver high.

No comments:

Post a Comment