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7 Reasons to Eat Grass Fed & Free Range Meat

Steak and Slaw
  1. Animals that are caged or in feed lots have miserable lives, with cramped quarters, no fresh air or socializing.
  2. Cows are meant to eat grass, not fattened in feedlots, where they are fed small amounts of hay and stuffed with grain, soy, corn and other ingredients. This diet makes them sick, so they are given antibiotics.
  3. Eating meat from sick animals raised in factories and fed GMO, pesticide laden corn, soy and wheat and antibiotics makes meat unhealthy. Likewise, eating processed meat or nitrates is bad for your health.
  4. Eating grass fed meat can be part of a healthy diet. It is healthy for you because it contains three times as much omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed cattle. It’s also higher in key nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, and a beneficial fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) a type of fat that’s been tied to improved immunity and anti-inflammation benefits, which is thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks. Grass fed animals are not given antibiotics. They are healthy animals, because they eat what cows are supposed to eat. (Same goes for pork, poultry and lamb.)
  5. From my experience with grass fed meat, it tastes better than fed-lot fed meat. Eat it for awhile and you may be able to taste the difference from individual farms! This summer, I bought grass fed ground beef from Morning Glory Farm in Martha’s Vineyard and it was the best I’ve ever eaten. I can only surmise that the grass was superior and possibly had flowers and other plants in it to deliver such remarkable flavor.
  6. The only downside to free range meat is that it is more expensive. However, I find myself satisfied with 4-ounce portions because it’s so much more favorable than fed lot/caged. (Some time ago, I was hangry and ended up getting a salad with “conventional” (caged) chicken. It had little to no flavor and was rubbery!
  7. Once you get used to the way meat is supposed to taste and understand the misery of animals living in cages/confined, you will only eat free range meat.

Turkey Cheese Burger with Keto bun and Spicy Slaw

Turkey cheeseburger with avocado, avocado mayo and pickled onions on a Keto bun with Spicy slaw.

Last night, I made turkey cheeseburgers with avocado on a cauliflower roll. It was good.

Night two: Turkey cheeseburger with avocado, avocado mayonnaise and pickled onions with keto bread. Both cauliflower and Keto bread make good buns, but Keto bread wins!

Keto Bread

Keto buns

Follow directions to make bread, except use a 4″ bisquit cutter and flatten dough as much as possible to fit within cutter.

Spicy Slaw

Turkey Cheese Burger with Cauliflower bun and Spicy Slaw

Turkey cheeseburger on a cauliflower bun with avocado and spicy slaw

Bought Outer Isle Cauliflower Thins the other day and decided to make my own. Theirs is a bit thinner, but they are basically the same. So easy to make—especially if you buy the cauliflower riced—and they freeze beautifully. I just heated then toasted them in my toaster oven. May toast them darker to make them harder, next time.

Night one: Turkey cheese burger with avocado.

The slaw is a combination of beets, jicama, red cabbage, carrots, red onion and cilantro with plenty of spicy dressing. This is not as low in carbs as it could be because of the beets, carrots and jicama, but what the heck; it’s gorgeous! Sometimes ya just gotta live a little.

Turkey Cheese Burger with Cauliflower bread and Spicy Slaw

 Cauliflower Bread

1 pound cauliflower, riced

1 cup shredded parmesan

1 egg, beat

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Preheat the oven to 425. Microwave cauliflower rice 3 minutes and squeeze out extra water. Add remaining ingredients. Place a 4” biscuit cutter on a parchment lined baking sheet. Put as little as you can to cover 4” space and make as smooth as possible with a spoon or something smooth. Leave 1” between each. Makes 6-8 rounds. Bake until brown and crispy around edges, 25 minutes.

Spicy Slaw

Undressed spiralized spicy slaw

Baked Cauliflower and Spinach with Mozzarella and Olives

Baked Cauliflower and Spinach with Mozzarella and Olives

This is an easy one-pot, low carb basically vegetarian meal. Don’t let the anchovies scary you, because you will not taste them. They simply add that fantastic umami flavor and make this dish surprisingly tasty!

I added artichokes the second night we ate this, because I just love artichokes and spinach together! Either with or without, this is a nice meal.

Baked Cauliflower and Spinach with Mozzarella and Olives

1 pound defrosted frozen spinach, squeezed of excess water

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces

4 artichoke hearts, chopped (optional)

3  tablespoons avocado or extra virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish

1  pound fresh mozzarella, sliced

1  cup grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)

16 soft black oil-cured olives, or another type of black olive, pitted

1  teaspoon roughly chopped capers

6  roughly chopped anchovy fillets or 2 tablespoons anchovy paste

6  garlic cloves, minced

½  teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste

Pinch of dried oregano

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange cauliflower on a oven-proof tray and coat with oil, salt and pepper. Bake 20 minutes.

 

Lightly oil an earthenware baking dish or cast iron dutch oven. Place spinach in one layer, then add cauliflower. Add artichokes, if using.

 

Cut mozzarella slices and scatter over the top. Put olives, capers, anchovy, garlic, red pepper and 3 tablespoons oil into a food processor and mix. Spread the mixture evenly over the top. Add parmesan cheese.

 

Bake for about 30 minutes, until cheese has browned a bit and broccoli is tender when pierced with a fork. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with a pinch of dried oregano.

Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash

Bolognese over Spagetti Squash

I’ve developed this recipe over the years and it’s awesome! The key is to use quality ingredients, like organic tomatoes and, ideally, homemade chicken or beef bone broth. Bone broth gives such an umami flavor that it makes the sauce truly memorable. If I don’t have wine on hand, I omit it; it isn’t necessary with the bone broth.

The sauce is mostly hands-off but do give it at least 2 ½ hours to cook, which is necessary for the tomatoes to break down. If the sauce gets too thick, add more broth, wine or even water.

Omit the meat and mushrooms for a plain red sauce. You can use it for any Italian recipe that calls for a red sauce or “gravy”.

Make a large batch and it freezes beautifully.

Use plenty of oil and don’t discard the fat from the meat.

Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash

Bolognese

1lb ground organic, free range ground beef

1 /2 head or more garlic, minced

Extra virgin olive oil

1 carrot, diced small

1 28 ounce can whole/diced organic tomatoes

½- 1 cup milk, half and half or cream

4 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup chicken or beef bone stock (homemade preferable)

2 portobella or 12 ounces shitakes, chopped (optional)

½ cup white or red wine (optional, can use more stock)

Salt & pepper

Red pepper flakes

1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped (optional)

Heat oil and medium high and sauté mushrooms until water is released and they begin to brown and set aside. Cook until meat is brown and add to mushrooms. On low heat, add more oil and garlic and carrot and stir until garlic is fragrant, about a minute. Add wine, stock, tomato paste, and tomatoes and once boiling, lower until just bubbling with lid partially on. After an hour, add salt and pepper, mushrooms and meat. Cook at least another hour. Add milk and kale, and cook another 15 minutes.

Spaghetti Squash

Avocado oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Using a sharp knife, poke a few small slits in the squash skin; poke in a dotted line along where you plan to slice the squash in half. 2. Microwave squash 5-6 minutes; cool slightly. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Rub oil, salt and pepper on cut side and put cut side down on a parchment lined tray. Bake until soft, about 45 minutes.

Using a fork, scrape the “spaghetti” out of the shell. Use as a base for the Bolognese.

 

Beef Summer Sausage, Feta and Olive Salad

Beef Summer Sausage Salad

 

This has been the year of the salad for me. While green salads have been my go-to lunch for almost two years, I’ve shied away from them for dinner because, well, I just had one for lunch.

But this summer, I got creative and expanded my salad “base”—anything from raw brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, yellow or green squash, beets, daikon works.

It’s all in the preparation that makes virtually any raw vegetable tasty:

  • Pickled onions, carrot, daikon.
  • Spiralized squash
  • Massage avocado or extra virgin olive oil onto kale softens it.
  • Brussel sprouts, hand cut thin or use a food processor
  • Beets can be spiralized or thinly cut

I do lightly steam asparagus, chill it quickly and use it in salads.

Dicing root vegetables and roasting them brings out their sweetness and is nice in salads

For my lunch salads, I use roasted or sautéed chicken most often. But I mix it up with proteins like tuna and shrimp. I make enough for a week so I don’t have to cook every day. I also make a cruet or two of salad dressing and change them up every week.

Stauss Beef Summer Sausage

This salad was inspired by this free range, nitrate free Summer Sausage I found at Adam’s in Kingston. It was smoky and delicious! Strauss doesn’t sell their products in NYC, but they do sell online,  and I  just ordered some free range meat and this sausage from them.

Beef Summer Sausage, Feta and Olive Salad

Beef Summer Salad, mixed

Assorted greens—romaine, arugula, baby spinach or whatever you like

Avocado

Artichokes

Feta cheese

Oil cured olives

Summer sausage

Pickled Onions

Red Wine Vinaigrette

¾ cup parts avocado oil

¼ cup part red wine vinegar

1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 large clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

Combine ingredients; either in a blender or food processor or shake in a jar or whisk.

Peruvian Chicken Thighs with Spicy Cilantro Sauce Salad

Peruvian Chicken Thighs with Spicy Cilantro Sauce Salad

I’ve made this delicious recipe before from The New York Times by Melissa Clark and it is delicious. I used thighs, but breasts or the whole chicken work just as well. I cooked the chicken for two night’s dinner. The first night, my husband and I ate it hot with asparagus.

Peruvian Roasted Chicken With Spicy Cilantro Sauce

The second night, I turned it into a salad. I spiralized yellow and green zucchini, steamed and chilled the asparagus and added pickled onions to the vegetables. Fantastic and perfect for a hot, humid summer night!

Peruvian Chicken Thighs with Spicy Cilantro Sauce Salad

Melissa Clark’s recipe

Salad for two

½ pound asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 ½ yellow and green squash, spiralized

Handful pickled onions

Directions

Allow squash to drain in a colander or squeeze out extra water. Combine vegetables and add spicy cilantro sauce and toss. Place room temperature or cold chicken on top of salad and drizzle extra sauce on top.

Spiralized Vegetables

Assorted spiralized veggies

Spiralizing vegetables is a great way to eat more veggies and have the fake-out mouth feel of a high carb food like pasta, rice and potatoes. Most spiralizers work best if the diameter of the vegetable is 1 ½” or more.

Lowest carbs

  • Green bell pepper: sauté, raw
  • Broccoli stem: roast, sauté, raw
  • Cabbage: roast, sauté, raw
  • Cucumber: raw
  • Daikon and other radishes: roast, sauté, raw
  • Kohlrabi: roast, sauté, boil
  • Turnip: roast, sauté, boil
  • Zucchini: sauté, boil, raw

Higher Carbs, avoid if keeping carbs at 20 grams or less, or use sparingly, like pickled onions. For example, one medium onion, 2 ½” diameter, is 10 grams of carbs. A small handful of them in your tossed salad would add about 2 grams—but will give your salad a total lift in flavor.

  • Carrots: roast, sauté, boil, raw
  • Beets: roast, sauté, raw
  • Celeriac: roast, sauté, boil, raw
  • Jicama: roast, sauté, raw
  • Onion: roast, sauté, raw
  • Rutabaga: roast, sauté, boil

I like to pickle onions, carrots and daikon after spiralizing, because it looks nicer than simply cutting them.

You can make slaw out of any of the vegetables by adding your favorite slaw dressing or any salad dressing.

Add oil, butter, ghee, bacon fat, lard spices, lemon, and vinegars to cooked spiralized vegetables. A base of spiralized zucchini is a great substitute for pasta—just top it with whatever meat and sauce you are cooking.

For example, I just made Peruvian Roasted Chicken thighs with Spicy Cilantro Sauce from The New York Times. I cooked asparagus and spiralized zucchini and both got a liberal dose of the cilantro sauce. Delicious—and the sauce made both vegetables so tasty that I didn’t miss a high carb side, like potatoes or rice.

Spicy Thai Pork Tenderloin Salad

Spicy Thai Pork Tenderoin Salad

This is Melissa Clark’s recipe from The New York Times. I made a few changes—used brussels sprouts and red cabbage instead of napa cabbage and added pickled onions. I omitted the red peppers and cucumbers—mainly because I didn’t have them. What vegetables you use doesn’t matter that much; it’s the marinade and dressing and garnishes that make this dish a standout.

I served this main course salad with a Keto roll. The perfect summer meal!

Spicy Thai Pork Tenderloin Salad

By Melissa Clark

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017575-spicy-thai-pork-tenderloin-salad?action=click&module=Local%20Search%20Recipe%20Card&pgType=search&rank=1.

Almond Flour Cod & Kale Salad with Bacon

Almond flour Cod and Kale salad with bacon

I was really in the mood for fish with a crunch—like the kind from breadcrumbs, but wanted to keep it low carb, so I used almond flour and it turned out great! The almond flour imparted both crunch and a subtle flavor of almonds. Will definitely make my latest creation again soon!

The raw kale salad with bacon worked very nicely with the fish. You can also use brussels sprouts or coleslaw with the dressing. To make this salad a complete meal, add nuts and cheese.

Almond Flour Coated Cod and Kale Salad with Bacon

4-6 ounces per person Cod

Egg

Almond flour to coat

Salt & pepper

Butter

Avocado oil

Lemon juice and zest

Preheat oven to 424. Coat cod in egg, salt and pepper mix, then dredge in flour. Take a cast iron pan and heat enough oil to coat pan. When hot, add fish. Let cook a few minutes then flip when brown. When both sides are brown, place in oven for 5-10 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Remove from oven and add a bit of butter to pan, coating the fish. Squeeze lemon juice and zest n fish and serve.

Kale Salad with Bacon Dressing

Serves 3- 4

1 large head of kale, stems removed, leaves chopped into bite sized pieces

Avocado oil

Coat kale with avocado oil and let sit for 30 minutes to wilt it a bit. Add dressing and toss in bacon before serving.

Bacon dressing

6 ounces bacon, diced

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon

3 tablespoons avocado oil

Pepper

Cook bacon until fat is rendered on medium-low heat, about 10 minutes. Remove bacon. Turn off the heat and add remaining ingredients, using a whisk. Toss bacon into dressed salad last minute.

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