Weekly Dish: Best-Stir Fry Ever!

Wow, this meal was incredible. It is a recipe from Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine, slightly adapted. The thing I love most about it, besides the fact that it’s the best stir fry I’ve ever tasted, is that it is a no-waste meal… using even the stems of the swiss chard!

Swiss Chard, Snap Peas & Beef Stir Fry (A.K.A. Best Stir Fry Ever!)

4 Tablespoons olive or coconut oil (NO vegetable oil or Canola oil)
6 ounces sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1-2 T soy sauce or Liquid Aminos
Real salt
1 Tablespoon minced ginger
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon hot chili paste/sauce (such as Sriracha or Sambal Oelek)
6 ounces snow peas or sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 lime

1. Thinly slice steak and sprinkle soy sauce over it to season lightly or season with Real salt to avoid soy. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon oil and swirl to coat. Cook steak, stirring until beef is golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. Add another Tablespoon oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add garlic, ginger, scallions, chile sauce, peas, and 1 pound thinly sliced Swiss chard stems (remove and tear leaves into 2-inch pieces and reserve). Cook, stirring often, until snap peas are bright green and crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with beef.

3. Add another Tablespoon oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add half of Swiss chard leaves and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with beef and veggies and repeat with remaining Tablespoon oil and chard.

4. Return everything to pan, heat briefly, and season with salt. Squeeze with lime juice, toss to coat, and serve immediately.

Other variations: Add onion, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, hot peppers, chicken, bok choy, tomatoes, roasted cashews. This dish could probably take anything you could think to throw into it.

Serve with brown rice, quinoa, or brown rice noodles.

Tip: Have your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking as stir frying moves fast! Don’t put too many things in the pan at once; they will steam instead of stir-fry!

Where Do YOU Get Your B12?

There is a myth going around: All the protein, vitamins and minerals you need can be found in plant foods.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. I would like to take some time to dispel the myth, using one small vitamin: B12.

Exhibit A: The new poster I just got for my fridge at the local health food store. I was so excited about it… after I cut off the fats and protein section, which told me to eat no meat but soy everything. Then, my eyes landed with devastation on the B12 column. Take a gander:

Unrelated to B12, let me go ingredient by ingredient by what they suggest we eat for B12.

  • Soy. Far too high in phytoestrogen (plant hormone) to be consumed at the levels in which we consume it, not to mention the anti-nutrients and phytic acid in the soybean.
  • Cereals are extruded and made in a factory. They aren’t real food. Don’t eat cereal, it’s not good for you.
  • Margarine. Again, made in a factory. It’s vegetable oil at its worst. (Vegetable oil is also no good for you. Along with Canola oil. Don’t ever consume either.)
  • Soy “meat”. Need I say more? Why are we making “meat” out of things that aren’t meat? Do you realize the processing that goes into something like this?Avoid processed foods, especially those with soy in them.
  • Yeast Extract. We’ll get to that in a few paragraphs.)

There is also some small type at the bottom which says, “It is important to ensure a good dietary source from fortified foods (3 mcg/day) or a supplement (10 mcg/day). Reduced amounts for children. Chew tablets.”

NO!

Really. God really made our bodies to need vitamin companies and cereal manufacturers to fortify our foods so that we aren’t B12 deficient? So you’re telling me that for the last however many thousands of years of human history, man was destined to suffer B12 deficiency because the fortification and synthetic vitamin science hadn’t yet been developed????

Let me tell you one bit of handy vital information: Usable B12 is found ONLY in animal foods. Let me rephrase in case you missed it. If you want to thrive, you need B12. If you want B12 in your body, you have to eat B12. You can only get B12 your body can use by eating animal foods. It is simply not absorbed from plant sources.

Why is B12 important?  It is needed:

  • for healthy blood (needed to prevent anemia)
  • for a properly functioning nervous system
  • to maintain fertility
  • to promote normal growth and development.
The skeptic or Vegan may now argue: B12 is found in plant forms. Spirulina, algae, tempeh, miso and tamari and nutritional yeast all contain B12. However, did you know that when blood tests were done on individuals eating these products, their B12 blood level showed no increase*? Also, nutritional yeast is a good source for the B complex– all but B12. For some reason, our bodies do not use B12 from plants.
B12 is also destroyed by pasteurization. So a vegetarian that drinks milk still needs to find another source of B12. Another reason it is so important to use Raw milk.
B12 is absorbed through the cells in your stomach. Vegans are often deficient if no supplementation is given. Even meat-eaters may sometimes become deficient because the ability to assimilate the B12 declines with age. Many elderly suffer from B12, even while continuing to eat meat.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can present itself in many forms. Some examples: depression, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Alzheimer’s, psychiatric disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolarity, anemia, cancer, and heart disease.

Early signs of deficiency include fatigue, tingling in hands and feet, sleep disorders and a tendency to irrational anger (one of the first clues).

Best sources: Liver, sardines, mackerel, herring, salmon, lamb, Swiss cheese, eggs, haddock, beef, blue cheese, halibut, scallops, cottage cheese, chicken and milk.

Go get some B12! And no, I don’t mean from the health food store. Unless that is where you buy your meat.

*from James F. Scheer, Health Freedom News

Weekly Dish: Cincinnati Chili

Most people think beef is not healthy. Well, think again! It is one of the most incredibly healthy meats for your body, provided the cows are grown eating grass (what cows are meant to eat… not grain/corn!) and provided no antibiotics or hormones have been used in the raising of them. If you can buy your grass-fed beef from a local farmer like we did, even better! I have a post-in-the-making one why meat is good for you, but for now, let’s just say that politically correct nutrition (i.e. no red meat, milk is bad so drink soy milk, butter is the Devil, etc…) is not correct AT ALL. Much more to come on this subject…

This Cincinnati Chili was GREAT! Not in place of chili, but as an additional option with a completely different flavor profile. (I’m sure this isn’t “traditional” but I am going to add a sweet potato next time and see how that goes. Also… we ate it up so fast I forgot to take a photo… next time.)

Cincinnati Chili

1 – 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped fine
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups tomato sauce
3 cups homemade chicken stock
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 teaspoons honey, sucanat, rapadura, maple syrup or some other natural sweetener (molasses, etc…)

To serve (all optional):
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti, brown rice spaghetti, or spaghetti squash. (I served with spaghetti squash!)
Shredded cheese
beans
1 onion, chopped

Cook ground beef and onion over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Drain off any grease from the beef. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, allspice, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato sauce, chicken stock, vinegar, and sweetener, scraping the pan bottom to remove any browned bits.
Increase to High heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce heat to M-L and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chili is deep red and has thickened slightly, about 1 hour. Season with salt and hot sauce to taste.

Spoon chili over pasta or squash. Top with cheese, beans and onion.

I am sharing this recipe at Real Food Wednesday!