Spring Has Sprung!
Janis Smyth, the culinary talent behind the Real Food blog Jan’s Sushi Bar, was a popular food blogger long before she transformed her entire family’s diet. Suffering from chronic pain, fatigue, insomnia and arthritis for which a parade of doctors could find no cause, she began researching “healthy diets” in the Spring of 2010. So began a journey that started with a side of grass fed beef, a pastured hog, pastured chickens and eggs, sustainably caught fish and seafood, and locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables — and the end of the health problems that had been plaguing her for years. Her blog is now a celebration of the “slow food movement” and her family’s embracing of and participation in it. Indeed, as the mother and step-mother of a grown — and growing — family, she is living proof that your loved ones (including your children) can and will embrace a healthy diet and enjoy it.
Pistachio Crusted Halibut with Blood Orange Sauce
- 2 halibut filets
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios
- salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 2 medium blood oranges, juiced
- 1 pinch kosher or sea salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon whole Szechuan peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place the halibut filets in a lightly oiled glass baking dish; sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Press the top of each with the chopped pistachios and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
- While the fish is baking, bring the blood orange juice to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly and add the salt, honey and peppercorns. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture has reduced by half and becomes slightly syrupy. Stir in the butter until melted; remove from the heat and set aside.
- Pour about 1/4 cup of the blood orange sauce in the bottom of two wide, shallow plates (reserve any remaining sauce for another use). Top with the pistachio crusted fish and serve immediately.
Nutrition (per serving): 363 calories, 14.4g total fat, 67.3mg cholesterol, 280.4mg sodium, 959.8mg potassium, 37.1g carbohydrates, 6.9g fiber, 9.8g sugar, 25.1g protein
- 2 pounds chuck or round steak, cut into 1” cubes
- 2 tablespoons beef tallow
- 3 small tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium roasted green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 large Poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
- 4 to 6 cups cups beef stock, preferably homemade
- Heat the tallow in a large, preferably cast iron, Dutch oven or stock pot. Season the beef with salt and pepper, and brown in the fat. Add the onion, cooking until the onion begins to soften. Add the peppers and garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, paprika and oregano, cooking until fragrant, another 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add enough of the stock to cover the mixture well; bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 hours, until meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more stock if the liquid is boiling away too quickly. Once the meat is fork tender, continue to cook, uncovered, until mixture thickens, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Garnish with cheese, sour cream and/or guacamole, as desired.
Nutrition (per serving): 456 calories, 30.7g total fat, 104.3mg cholesterol, 647.4mg sodium, 1287.1mg potassium, 12.4g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 4.9g sugar, 35.2g protein.
Grapefruit-Glazed Beef Liver
- 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grapefruit juice (about 1/2 a grapefruit)
- 2 tablespoons Ketchup
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 pound beef liver, cut into thin strips
- salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- lard or tallow for frying
- In a small saucepan, cook the onion in the ghee over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low; stir in the grapefruit juice, ketchup, mustard, coconut sugar, chili powder and cumin and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper; transfer the sauce to a large bowl and keep warm.
- In a large, heavy skillet heat the lard or tallow over high heat. Generously salt and pepper the liver, and fry until barely pink in the center, about 1 minute per side. Do this in batches if necessary.
- Drain the liver briefly on paper towels, then transfer to the bowl with the sauce, stirring to coat the meat well.
- Serve immediately.
Nutrition (per serving): 345 calories, 23.1g total fat, 341.3mg cholesterol, 126.2mg sodium, 453.8mg potassium, 9.5g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 2.4g sugar, 23.7g protein
Rabbit in Mustard Sauce
- 1 rabbit, cut into serving pieces
- kosher sea salt
- 4 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- Salt the rabbit well and set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than an hour.
- Melt the ghee over medium heat in a wide, shallow enameled Dutch oven or skillet with a lid. Pat the rabbit pieces dry and slowly brown them in the ghee, in batches if necessary; do not allow the pieces to touch. Remove the rabbit to a bowl or platter and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and cook until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in the white wine and increase the heat to high, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the mustard, thyme and water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Decrease the heat to low; return the rabbit to the pan, turning to coat them with the sauce. Cover and simmer gently for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the rabbit is very tender.
- Gently transfer the rabbit pieces to a platter and keep warm. Increase the heat under the pan to high and bring to a boil; reduce the sauce by half. Remove from the heat and add the coconut milk and parsley. Stir to combine and return the rabbit to the pan. Coat with the sauce and serve at once.
Nutrition (per serving): 444 calories, 28.4g total fat, 127.5mg cholesterol, 455.9mg sodium, 732.7mg potassium, 5.3g carbohydrates, 1.3g fiber, <1g sugar, 36.5g protein