Emotional Health Tips

As we enter the cold and dreary time of year there are many people who find it difficult to remain at peace and hopeful with our long, dark, cold, and wet days.  You might be surprised to learn that your diet can help bring back some of that balance, and not just in the winter but all year-long.

Years ago I read articles that spoke of schools and prisons changing the quality of the foods that their kitchens offered and that the results showed both children and prison inmates were better able to concentrate and were better able to control their impulses.  While the prison inmates were given supplements, it appears that the children were given better quality food and had stronger improvements.  (sorry, I can’t find the follow-up articles.  but if you have a link, I’d love it if you’d share it with me)

What intrigues me about this is that we can make a profound change in how we feel by eating better food, and instinctually we’ve always known this.  We’ve had traditional comfort foods for a very, very long time.  Not only do these traditional comfort foods help us when we are ill, but they can help bring us into balance when we are down too.

One of those “feel better foods” is bone broth made from clean animals. Continue reading

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Nutrient Density and Animal Products

The phrase “nutrient dense food” is a hot one these days!  What does this phrase really mean?  Basically it speaks of the ratio of nutrients in food.  But what is this ratio in relation to?

When we look at our food labels and see how much of a nutrient is found in that food item, what we are seeing is the value of each listed nutrient based on how many calories are in one serving.  The ratio looks like this:  Total Fat per Calorie, Protein per Calorie, Iron per Calorie.  Foods that offer many vitamins and minerals without excessive calories are considered nutrient dense.  Leafy greens are considered by many to be the most nutrient dense foods. Remember, nutrient density is determined by how many calories are in the food.  You might remember from your high school chemistry class that a calorie is a unit of energy.  Our food labels today are based on a suggested diet of 2,000 calories per day (though many of us don’t need so much energy every day).  These food labels tell us the percentage of our daily minimum requirements of selected nutrients per calorie in a serving of that particular food.

While this sounds great is is also a bit confusing and inconvenient.  Most of us consume our meals based on satiety, not caloric intake – meaning that we eat our meals when we are hungry and we eat until we feel full. Continue reading

Pasture Raised Eggs Are Fantastic! – Customer Review

Yesterday I met with a woman who buys eggs from us regularly.  We hadn’t been able to connect for a few weeks and she began to tell me about how much she enjoys our eggs.  She told me that she had purchased free range organic eggs from Costco as well as eggs from another friend who has backyard chickens.  She said, “It must be that they’re pastured, because your eggs just taste so much better.  I really like your eggs best.”

Some of the chickens in the fall/winter sheep pasture

I attributed their fantastic flavor with being outside and “grazing” through the yard, the garden, and nearby pastures but I also attributed their fantastic flavor to The Red Bridge Farms feed that we use as well.  This feed is wonderful and has a lot of the additional ingredients that are valuable to me as the caretaker of these animals and this land when it comes to “nutrient cycling” – allowing the chickens to spread the nutrients around the property as they search for the bugs even in this cold and wet season.

I was very pleased to hear that our eggs are so much more pleasantly flavorful and I fully agree that it is due to their being pastured and the top notch feed they get.

Lamb Chops

Lamb Chops

Lamb chops are delicious!  Usually they are a special occasion dish because they are a prime cut of meat and they tend to be smaller pieces of meat, be sure to save the bones to make meat stock (no waste!).

Makes 6 lamb chops

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 lamb chops, about 3/4 inch thick

Directions:

1. Finely chop the rosemary, thyme, and garlic.

2. Using a mortar and pestle or small food processor, make into a paste with the salt, cayenne, and olive oil.

3. Spread mixture on to the lamb and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

4. Bring the lamb to room temperature outside of the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

5. Put your grill (indoor or outdoor) on high heat and grill for 2 minutes on one side.

6. Flip over and grill for 3 minutes on the second side.

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs

It’s fun to try recipes from other parts of the world because we get to try new combinations and flavors, and we have the opportunity to learn where some of these places are on the map.  Moroccan Meatballs served over couscous is one delicious way to incorporate ground lamb into your family’s mealtime.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small potato
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 cup assorted mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp saffron

Prepare the Meatballs:

  1. Finely chop onion, potato and parsley in a food processor the. Add mixture to the chopped lamb and combine.

  2. Mix in egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and turmeric. Place in fridge for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Chop the tomato and the shallots.  Then in a large pot, heat up one tablespoon of vegetable oil and sauté the tomatoes and shallots. After about 10 minutes, add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, turmeric and saffron

  4. Form the meatballs and add them to the pot. Add half cup of water, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Prep Time:  45 Minutes
Serves:  6

Recipe also found here

Sephardic Style Leg of Lamb

Sephardic-Style Leg of Lamb

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 pounds, leg of lamb
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) white wine

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425° F

1. Using a sharp knife, cover the meat with incisions. Rub the meat with the juice of 2 lemons.

2. Mix together the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture all over the lamb. Place slices of one lemon on top of meat, cover and let rest in refrigerator overnight or for a minimum of one hour.

3. Remove from refrigerator and, if necessary, remove excess marinade. Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan.  Cook at 425° F for 30 minutes.

4. Lower temperature to 325° F and cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes per pound. If the pan begins to dry out, add some white wine to keep it wet.

5. When the meat reaches an internal temperature of 145° F, remove it from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

6. Garnish with remaining lemon slices and some rosemary sprigs.

Chicken Bone Broth

At Tikkun Homestead we provide wonderful pasture raised chicken.  Our chickens grow quickly with lots of exercise from hunting in the pasture, and an excellent non-GMO, corn & soy free feed.  This means that the flavor of our chickens is delightful and the nutritional value for your family is impeccable.

Once your family has dined on our pasture raised chicken, the carcass will make some delicious and nutritious bone broth!  Let’s talk about what to do with that chicken carcass once everyone’s appetite has been satisfied.

Bone broth is a staple our ancestors thrived on and a traditional way to consume vital  and health strengthening nutrients.  A rich chicken bone broth is full of  glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, and trace minerals.  No wonder chicken soup has been a traditional comfort food when someone isn’t feeling well.

To make the best bone broth you need to have on hand more than just your chicken carcass. Continue reading

Bone Broth and Meat Stock

Bone broth and meat stock have been a staple in our ancestors kitchens for millennia.  Whether it was the soups and stews that mothers and grandmothers made for their families in the cold wet months, or the chicken soup you were served when you weren’t feeling well, a warm and nourishing broth has been a primary functional food for mankind all over the globe throughout time.

Lately there has been a wonderful revival of these healthy recipes and appreciation of the benefits they bring.  Both bone broth and meat stock are easy to make and excellent to have on hand in the pantry.  Quality ingredients is critical to the nourishing value of your broth or stock, only clean and pasture raised bones and meat are recommended.  Bone broth and meat stock are not actually the same thing, there is a difference between the two.

Bone Broth
Bone broth is made from just what you might think:  bones.   A variety of bones gently boiled for hours at a time makes for a wonderful rich broth.  Remember that our ancestors never wasted anything so some of the best ingredients in bone broth might seem a little weird at first.  The best bone broth is made with joints and feet, even heads.  I know.  It’s hard to imagine our great grandmothers boiling heads and feet in the kitchen and the family happily consuming the soup.  But, once we get past how strange that seems to us today and understand why these parts were chosen it won’t seem so odd.

Bone broth, when cooled, should be very gelatinous.  The gelatin and nutrients in a good bone broth comes from the cartilage, marrow, and other things found in these bones in particular.  The gelatin is the valuable part of a good bone broth because gelatin has been known to treat and aid in the recovery of a great many ailments, contain minerals and vitamins necessary for vital health, as well as being adding fantastic flavor to soups and stews.

Meat Stock
Meat stock is made with roasted bones and meat with a variety of vegetables and is also simmered for hours at a time.  Meat stock has a greater variety of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that our bodies need (some of which we pay a lot of money for in the form of supplements today) than bone broth.  Meat stock won’t be gelatinous like bone broth because the added ingredients change the composition of the soup. Though there will still be some gelatin in the meat sock, all of the other good stuff in the meat stock mutes the gelatinous texture of the cooled soup.

Both bone broth and meat stock are a rich nourishing traditions of our forefathers and excellent for making a multitude of comfort foods.  The best part of is that making a large pot of broth or stock is simple and can be canned and stored in the pantry, or you can freeze your broth or stock and keep it for several months, pulling out only what you need when you need it.

At Tikkun Homestead we are pleased to be a source for healthy bones and meat for your family.  Our animals always have access to a variety of minerals in addition to the plants they eat while grazing to ensure that they have a strong balance of necessary vitamins, minerals, and other critical nutrients.  What our chickens, lambs, and cows eat gets passed along to you when you eat meat from Tikkun Homestead.

For more information about our meat, see the tab at the top of all of our pages called Pasture Raised Meat & Eggs.

To learn more about bone broths and meat stocks, see our growing recipe collection including chicken bone broth and lamb and beef stock, and the links below:
Broth is Beautiful  – the benefits and some of the history of broths and stocks
Soup-stenance – introduction and a Broth 101 section, with recipes
Bone Broth, Broths, and Stock – introduction and benefits

And finally, a video:

Beef or Lamb Stock

BEEF STOCK
from The Weston A Price Foundation website

about 4 pounds of marrow and knuckle bones
1  foot, cut into pieces (optional)
3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones
4 or more quarts cold filtered water
1/2 cup vinegar
3 onions, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
l bunch parsley

Place the knuckle and marrow bones and optional calves foot in a very large pot with vinegar and cover with water. Let stand for one hour. Meanwhile, place the meaty bones in a roasting pan and brown at 350 degrees in the oven. When well browned, add to the pot along with the vegetables. Pour the fat out of the roasting pan, add cold water to the pan, set over a high flame and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen up coagulated juices. Add this liquid to the pot. Add additional water, if necessary, to cover the bones; but the liquid should come no higher than within one inch of the rim of the pot, as the volume expands slightly during cooking. Bring to a boil. A large amount of scum will come to the top, and it is important to remove this with a spoon. After you have skimmed, reduce heat and add the thyme and crushed peppercorns.

Simmer stock for at least 12 and as long as 72 hours. Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer another 10 minutes. You will now have a pot of rather repulsive-looking brown liquid containing globs of gelatinous and fatty material. It doesn’t even smell particularly good. But don’t despair. After straining you will have a delicious and nourishing clear broth that forms the basis for many other recipes.

Remove bones with tongs or a slotted spoon. Strain the stock into a large bowl. Let cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. Transfer to smaller containers and to the freezer for long-term storage.

Persian Lamb Stew

Persian Lamb Stew
from ToriAvery.com

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt (if salt sensitive, you may want to use less and salt to taste at the end of cooking)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 3 lbs lamb meat cut into chunks for stewing (leg meat works well, it cooks up very tender)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cups steamed basmati rice for serving

Directions:
In a small dish, mix together turmeric, black pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper seasoning.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high till hot (not smoking). Saute for 10 minutes until onion softens and starts to turn golden brown.
Add the lamb stew meat to the pot. You can use bone-in lamb meat, boneless meat, or a combination of the two. Brown the meat for a few minutes on each side. Drain the fat that collects at the bottom of the pot.
Sprinkle the seasonings evenly across the top of the browned meat.
Cover the meat with 4 cups of water. Bring mixture to a slow boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer on medium low heat for two hours.
After 2 hours, add tomato paste to the pot and stir slowly until paste dissolves into the broth.
Simmer for another 20 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is nice and tender and the sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt and.or spice, if desired.
Garnish the stew with fresh parsley or cilantro. Serve lamb and sauce over freshly steamed basmati rice.