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My Favorite Basic Recipes

Basic Bone Broth

  • bones – You can use chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork or a mix of several. Try to find bones with a lot of cartilage and connective tissue like a whole poultry carcass (save necks, backbones and wing tips too), or joints from beef and lamb.
  • salt – sea salt or Himalayan pink salt to taste.
  • vinegar – apple cider works well.
  • water – to cover.

Extras: onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, lemon grass, herbs, garlic, etc.

Add ingredients to pan (slow cooker, pressure cooker or Dutch oven). Cover with water and cook:

  • Slow cooker: Cook for 8-48 hours on low. Chicken and turkey will take less time than beef and lamb.
  • Pressure cooker: Cook on high pressure for 60-90 minutes. Natural pressure release.
  • Stove top Dutch oven: Simmer for 4-12 hours. Watch to make sure ingredients stay covered with water.

When finished, strain and discard solids. Store in refrigerator in glass jars or containers. Should keep for approximately 5 days.

 

Chicken Soup

  • Bone broth (chicken or turkey)
  • Shredded chicken (previously picked from making broth, or from a rotisserie chicken. Can also use leftover chopped grilled chicken thighs or breasts.)
  • Vegetables and herbs (good picks include onion, celery, carrot, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, kale, etc.)
  • Salt to taste

Cut veggies to approximately the same size. (This is a good time to clean out your crisper drawer.) Simmer in broth until tender. Add chicken, herbs and salt to taste. It really can be that simple!

 

Beef Stew

  • Bone broth (beef or lamb)
  • Beef (can use stew meat for slow cooking, or ground beef if you’re in a hurry)
  • Vegetables (try any or all of the following: carrot, onion, turnip, parsnip, celery, celery root)
  • Herbs (one or more of: rosemary, thyme, tarragon, garlic, and parsley are good options)
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Cauliflower (**secret ingredient**)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (don’t be afraid of salt here… you have a lot of fresh, unseasoned meat and veggies.)

Brown stew meat in coconut oil in Dutch oven (work in batches, if needed).  Add broth and simmer for about 2 hours, or until tender.  Remove meat from broth.  Add chopped head of cauliflower to broth in pan and simmer until very soft (about 20 min).  Take the pot off the heat. Using a hand blender, puree the cauliflower until smooth. (This is a trick I use to thicken stews and soups without having to use a flour-based roux.) Add meat, veggies and can of tomatoes to the mix. Add additional broth if base is too thick. Simmer until veggies are tender. Add fresh, tender herbs (parsley, tarragon, etc.). Eat and enjoy!

*This recipe takes some time, but keeps well and is great for leftovers. If you’re in a hurry, you can modify for ground beef:  Start with simmering the cauliflower in broth. While that’s cooking, brown the ground beef in a skillet with some chopped onion. When the cauliflower is soft, puree as above. Add the beef and onion mixture, veggies and tomatoes as above. Simmer until veggies are tender (or use leftover roasted veggies), adjust for thickness and seasoning. Enjoy!

 

Frittata

  • 8 eggs
  • Meat (bacon, sausage, ham, chicken – great time to use up leftovers)
  • Veggies (one or more of the following: kale, cabbage, spaghetti squash, zucchini, spinach, onion, green peppers, broccoli, etc.)
  • Cooking fat, salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Beat eggs thoroughly and set aside. Brown meat. Add veggies and cook until tender (add longer cooking veggies first… ex: start with onion and broccoli, add spinach last). When meat and veggies are cooked, add eggs and stir gently to evenly distribute everything. Cook on the stove top for a minute and then carefully transfer to the oven (make sure your pan is oven safe). Frittata will puff up and finish cooking in about 20 minutes – when you (carefully) poke the middle, it should feel almost firm. Pull it out of the oven and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. This allows it to finish ‘setting’… besides… it’s too hot to eat right away! These good at using up leftovers and becoming leftovers (they are even good at room temp, if you aren’t able to reheat them). They are also good for dinner – add a side salad for some extra veggies and healthy fat.

Bonus:  If you are a fan of ‘dippy’ eggs… just sauté up the meat and veggies and serve with a fried/poached egg over the top.

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 Cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • ½ Tbs mustard (Dijon is good)
  • ½ Tbs honey (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all in a jar with a tight lid. Shake like it’s your new favorite exercise 🙂  Use liberally on salad greens, or as a marinade for grilling meat or veggies (good on chicken, pork, zucchini, lamb, beef, etc.).

 

Roasted Veggies

  • Veggies chopped to approximately the same size *
  • Cooking fat (coconut oil, ghee and lard make good choices)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Additional seasoning (optional) **

Preheat oven to 400. Toss veggies with melted fat, salt and pepper. Spread out evenly on rimmed baking sheet (1/2 or 1/4 sheet pan). Roast for approximately 20 minutes (depending on how big you chopped them – you are looking for tender and browning around the edges). Tip: Make a lot at once! These are great as leftovers and can be easily re-purposed in soups, stews, and frittatas or omelets.

* You can roast tender veggies like zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, celery, onion, even cabbage. Starchier veggies are also great roasted: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery root, beets. Stick with either tender or starchier on each pan, as the starchier veggies may take longer to cook.

** Use your imagination with additional seasonings. Rosemary and garlic are great with potatoes. Cinnamon is awesome on sweet potatoes. Orange zest and tarragon are a special treat with roasted beets.

 

Pork Shoulder

  • 1 pork shoulder
  • Salt

Rub pork shoulder with salt and place in slow cooker. Cook on low for about 8-10 hours (a 3-lb roast will take less time, 7 lbs, will take more.). Shred pork and add some cooking liquid to keep it moist (taste to ensure it’s not too salty). You can also smoke it, or cover and cook low and slow in the oven. Top with clean BBQ sauce (here or here) or fry up with lemon juice, lime juice and some cayenne or jalapeno (or try: http://meljoulwan.com/2011/04/29/stovetop-pork-carnitas/ ).

 

Coleslaw

  • Cabbage (or other cole crop *), shredded or chopped (texture preference)
  • Carrots, shredded
  • Apple, shredded

Dressing (this amount can be easily scaled depending on number of servings and how creamy you like your slaw):

  • 1/3 Cup Homemade mayo
  • 1 Tbs Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Celery seed
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Bonus:  This basic dressing can also be used to make potato salad.

Mix dressing ingredients, taste for seasoning (you want it to taste pretty salty, as you will be dressing a relatively large amount of cabbage). Fold in cabbage, carrots and apple. Slaw is best if it sits for at least an hour before eating.

* “Cole crops” is a general term used to describe several vegetables in the mustard family, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi.

 

Basic Pesto

  • 1 C Basil Leaves
  • 1 C Parsley Leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, or pecans, etc.)
  • 1 C Oil (½ light tasting and ½ EVOO is a good mix)
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)

Lightly toast the nuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Watch them closely and toss often, as they can burn quickly! Mix all ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Serve with roasted or grilled meats and veggies or mixed with zoodles!

Variation:  Use parsley and mint with walnuts – fantastic with grilled lamb chops!

Leftover pesto? Mix with homemade mayo – make your chicken or tuna salad amazing!

Embrace the Fork Program Basics

This program is designed to ease you into making small changes in your diet and lifestyle that will yield big payoffs in increased health. Each week, you’ll add one element, and eliminate another. This will allow you to get used to each change before adding something new. The following is a broad-brush overview to give you an idea what to expect.

Goals: 

Week 1 

Incorporate: Bone broth. Eliminate: gluten

Week 2

Incorporate: Healthy fats. Eliminate: added sugars & legumes

Week 3

Incorporate: Organic fruit and veggies. Eliminate: processed foods

Week 4

Incorporate: Grass-fed / pastured meats & wild-caught seafood. Eliminate: all grains

Week 5

Incorporate: Movement. Eliminate: dairy

Week 6-8

Find your groove and enjoy the feeling that comes from eating this clean.

Week 9

Systematically reintroduce foods to determine what works for you and what doesn’t.

 

Mindset shifts:

Fat is not the enemy

You do not “need” grains, even whole grains

Calcium can come from sources other than dairy

Sugar is very addictive and will try to lure you whenever possible

Food is fuel… not love

Salt tastes good and is not evil

 

Skills Needed:

Basic cooking skills

Sleep management

  • 7-9 hours per night
  • Make it a priority

 

* 5 easy go-to meals:

  • Grilled meat + steamed veggies w/ butter or ghee or olive oil + avocado
  • Pot roast + roasted veggies + simple green salad w/ dressing
  • Roasted chicken + coleslaw + roasted sweet potatoes
  • Frittata (or hash, depending on how you like your eggs)
  • Simple baked fish + kale salad

 

What’s in a name? You may be wondering what Embrace the Fork has to do with anything. As I was running through all of the arguments / protests / complaints about eating this way, one of the biggest issues that comes up is convenience. How am I going to eat without bread, buns, tortillas, crackers, etc.? As I look back on how I adjusted, I realized that it’s simple, and you do get used to, eating things like burgers and tuna salad with a fork instead. They are just as tasty – especially when you add guacamole and bacon to your burger – but they don’t leave you with the bloat and discomfort associated with grain-based conveyances. So I say, “Embrace the Fork” and eat good food – your body will thank you.