Tag Archives: beef

Offal-ly Good Paleo Tacos de Lengua (Tongue Tacos)

Tacos de Lengua (Beef Tongue Tacos) | Vibrant Life Army Wife

A couple of months ago my husband and I purchased a cow share from a local farm. Grass fed beef ain’t cheap especially if you want fancy cuts like steaks and the like. I try to do the best I can in terms of buying the best quality, responsibly raised meat, but I don’t like spending $8.00-$20.00 per pound. So we bought a 1/4 of a cow in bulk and saved a ton of money.

Besides saving money, the other benefit of buying a cow share is that in addition to the regular cuts of meat, you also get the odd bits (or offal). This may not sound appealing to some but the odd bits are incredibly nutritious and can be pretty tasty as well. I will admit though that the different organ meats can be quite intimidating.

Like this tongue for example… Do you know what a cow’s tongue looks like? It’s just like a human tongue but like twenty times the size! But I figure if I can eat raw liver, I can tackle a tongue. I had heard that beef tongue was good in tacos so I found a few recipes and paleo-ified them.

Tacos de Lengua (Beef Tongue Tacos) | Vibrant Life Army Wife

But what to do for the tortillas? I haven’t had a flour tortilla in years because of the gluten. And I don’t eat corn either, so corn tortillas were out. And then I remembered that my favorite paleo food truck down in Austin sold paleo tortillas made from coconut flour and eggs. So I drove to Picnik to pick up some Pinkie’s Paleotillas (and a blondie as well because you can’t go to Picnik and not get one of their blondies… trust me, they are life changing).

These tortillas don’t taste exactly like a flour or a corn tortilla. They are more crepe-like. But regardless, they are absolutely delicious, pliable like a regular tortilla and go perfectly with these tacos de lengua.

Despite my reservations, these tacos were so tender and flavorful. The texture is a bit different than your regular old muscle meats but not in a bad way. Slow simmering the beef tongue in the crock pot makes it incredibly tender, and then the quick saute on the stove in the spices makes it crispy and oh so flavorful. I served my tacos de lengua with a cumin lime slaw that I threw together real quick and some salsa verde. C’mon… you know you want to try it!

Tacos de Lengua (Beef Tongue Tacos) | Vibrant Life Army Wife

Tacos de Lengua (Tongue Tacos)
 
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grain free, gluten free, offal, dairy free, 21DSD, Whole 30
Recipe type: Entree
Ingredients
  • 1 beef tongue
  • 1 onion
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1 Tbs lard, or other cooking fat
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pinkie's Paleotillas
Instructions
  1. Place tongue in the crockpot with onion, bay leaves, garlic and broth and cook on low for 6 hours
  2. Peel the outer membrane off of the cooked tongue (I was able to do this with my hands and a sharp paring knife)
  3. Cut the meat into small cubes
  4. Heat cooking fat in a pan over medium heat
  5. Add cubed meat, cumin, oregano and salt to pan and fry for 5 minutes
  6. While the meat cooks, heat a pan over medium low heat
  7. Warm tortillas over stove
  8. Serve beef tongue in tortillas topped with salsa verde

So if you’re brave enough to try it, go to your local farmer, get yourself a beef tongue and (if you’re in the Austin area) go to Picnik and pick up some Pinkie’s Paleotillas and make these delicious tacos de lengua.

In vibrant health,

Kiersten

Note: I am not sponsored by Pinkie’s Paleotillas or Picnik Austin and I was not compensated for this post. I just really love these companies and wanted to share.

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette

SteaCreamy Balsamic Vinaigrette | Vibrant Life Army Wife

I am a big fan of making my own salad dressing. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m not a big fan of industrial seed oils (canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, etc) and by not a big fan I mean I avoid them whenever possible. Well almost all store bought salad dressings contain one or multiple of these bad oils, along with other not so great ingredients like added sugar and preservatives that I would rather not put in my body. Even the more expensive “all natural” dressings typically don’t stand up to my somewhat specific requirements.

SteaCreamy Balsamic Vinaigrette | Vibrant Life Army Wife

So what’s a girl to do? Make her own salad dressings of course! I know it sounds unnecessary and time consuming but I promise it’s not. This particular recipe took me less than five minutes to make and tops any store bought dressing I’ve ever tasted! It is similar to my homemade mayo recipe in that it uses an egg in order to make it super thick and creamy. As was the case in the mayo recipe, make sure you are getting quality pastured eggs from a trusted source since you will be eating it raw in this dressing. If you would prefer, you can leave out the egg and the dressing will still be delicious, just not as creamy.

SteaCreamy Balsamic Vinaigrette | Vibrant Life Army Wife

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette
 
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gluten free, grain free, paleo, nut free, dairy free, 21DSD, Whole 30
Recipe type: Condiment
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients for dressing to a pint sized mason jar
  2. Blend using an immersion blender until emulsified and all the ingredients are incorporated

 

I served my Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette over a steak club salad. Here is what I put on my salad:

Mixed greens
Cooked and sliced steak
1/4 avocado
2 Tbs shredded carrots
1 Tbs toasted sunflower seeds
Hard boiled egg

SteaCreamy Balsamic Vinaigrette | Vibrant Life Army Wife

This dressing is very versatile and would be delicious with any sort of ingredients. Spinach, roasted chicken, roasted beets, goat cheese and toasted walnuts would be a delicious combination as well. Use your imagination and get creative. You really can’t go wrong! What is your favorite salad combination? Let me know in the comments below!

In vibrant health,

Kiersten

Dinner in 40 Minutes

In addition to writing this blog, I also have a full time job. The 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday, 40 hour a week type of job. When I get home in the evening after a long day at work, I typically don’t want to spend the rest of my evening in the kitchen. I’d much rather spend my time walking my dogs, relaxing in front of the TV or spending time connecting with my lovely readers here on the blog!

Dinner in 40 Minutes | Vibrant Life Army Wife

You’ve heard me talk a little bit about how I batch cook on the weekends to help free up my time in the evenings during the week. But I typically don’t make enough food for the entire week all in one day because that would take up too much of my weekend (it’s all about balance here). So what do I do during the week when I need something healthy to eat that doesn’t take all night to prepare and I’m out of leftovers? I roast and/or saute some veggies and prepare some meat. Something super simple and pretty quick, but also incredible delicious and totally healthy.

Dinner in 40 Minutes | Vibrant Life Army Wife

On this particular night, I’d just gotten home from work and was pretty hungry. I had some kale, turnips, and carrots leftover from my last CSA basket, all of which needed to be used up pretty quick or they were going to go bad. I also have a freezer full of local, grass fed beef in the garage and I just happened to have one of the steaks defrosting in the refrigerator. So I decided to roast the turnips and carrots, saute the kale and cook the steak in my trusty cast iron skillet for a quick and yummy dinner.

Here is what to do in order to make this as efficient as possible:

First preheat the oven to 400 degrees and start peeling and chopping the veggies (I didn’t peel the carrots because I’m lazy but I did peel the turnips). Heat up a skillet over medium heat and melt some fat (I used ghee but you could use any quality saturated fat- grass fed butter, lard, bacon grease, etc). Toss the chopped veggies in the melted fat, salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary, and then put them on a roasting pan and cook them in the oven for 30 minutes. Next, heat up an additional dollop of fat on the stove. De-stem and chop the head of kale and put it in the skillet, stirring until all the leaves are coated.  Add a sprinkle of salt, pepper and garlic powder and then saute until the kale is wilted. Then add about 1/4 cup of chicken stock (can use any stock you have on hand or just water), turn the heat to low and let it simmer until soft and the liquid had evaporated. At this point, check on the roasting veggies and stir them around a bit to make sure they don’t burn. While the kale is simmering on the stove, heat up a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and melt ghee. Sprinkle salt on the steak and once the pan is hot, sear the steak until it reaches the desired doneness (I cooked mine about 2-3 minutes per side). At this point your veggies should be done roasting, so after letting your steak rest a few minutes, plate the food and dig in!

Dinner in 40 Minutes | Vibrant Life Army Wife

Dinner in 40 Minutes
 
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paleo, gluten free, grain free
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • Root veggie(s) of choice, peeled and chopped (I used 4 turnips and 6 carrots)
  • Greens of choice, de-stemmed and chopped (I used a head of kale)
  • Steak
  • Ghee (or other fat of choice)
  • ¼ cup Chicken stock (or water)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Toss root veggies in ghee, salt pepper and rosemary
  3. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes, tossing 1-2 times
  4. Heat skillet over medium heat and melt ghee
  5. Add kale and cook until wilted
  6. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  7. Add stock (or water), turn heat to low and cook until soft and the liquid evaporates
  8. Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat and melt ghee
  9. Salt steak
  10. Sear steak on both sides until desired doneness (mine took about 2-3 minutes per side)

 

I served my steak with a little Paleo Chef Steak Sauce because it is super tasty, but the steak was definitely delicious without it, so serve it up however you like! I hope you enjoy this easy and nutritious weeknight dinner!

In vibrant health,

Kiersten

Hidden Liver “Cowboy Up” Burgers

Cowboy Up Burgers

I almost called these burgers “kitten meat burgers” in reference to a hilarious bad lip reading video for Game of Thrones. My coworkers and I are almost as obsessed with this video as we are with the actual show and we can all quote almost the entire thing. At one point in the video the character Littlefinger (known as Petey in the video) asks how everyone liked the kitten meat he put in the burgers they just ate, hence the almost post title of “kitten meat burgers.” I decided against this because I didn’t want people to think I actually put kitten meat in my burgers. I may eat some weird things but I’m not about to start eating cats.

Cowboy Up Burgers

Instead I decided on the title “Cowboy Up Burgers” because they are a spin on Whole Food’s cowboy burgers and because you have to “cowboy up” and eat some liver! These burgers, unlike the ones from Whole Foods, don’t contain breadcrumbs or processed seed oils, making them gluten free and an all around healthier option. In addition to removing the bad stuff, I also upped the nutrient content of these burgers with the addition of grass fed beef liver. For those of you with an aversion to the idea of eating liver due to the taste I’ve got you covered: I put a whole pound of bacon in these bad boys and between that and the other flavors, you can’t taste the liver at all. And for those of you who are afraid of eating liver because you are afraid that it will contain toxins, have no fear… The liver doesn’t actually store toxins, it only filters out toxins. Toxins are actually stored in fat (this is why I advise against eating fat or fatty cuts of meat from conventionally raised animals). I still wouldn’t eat liver from a conventionally raised animal, but if you’re getting it from a grass fed, humanely raised source that you trust (I get mine from a local farm) then it is an incredibly nutrient dense superfood to add to your diet. If you absolutely don’t want to eat liver (I get it) then you can replace the pound of liver with an additional pound of ground beef. The burgers will be equally delicious, just not quite as nutrient dense.

Cowboy Up Burgers

These burgers are pretty sticky and I’m not sure how well they would work cooking them directly on the grill (I’m afraid they would slip through the grates), but they cooked up perfectly in my cast iron pan on the stove… seared on the outside and slightly pink on the inside.

Cowboy Up Burgers

So cowboy up and add some liver to your burgers. I promise you won’t regret it!

Cowboy Up Burgers
 
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gluten free, grain free, paleo, nut free, egg free
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb bacon, cut into thirds
  • 1 lb beef liver
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots or ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1½- 2 jalapenos (depending on how spicy you like things)
  • 1 Tbs coconut flour
Instructions
  1. Place garlic, shallot (or onion) and jalapeno into a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped
  2. Add liver and bacon and blend until everything is incorporated
  3. Add to a large bowl with ground beef
  4. Mix well with hands
  5. Form into patties
  6. Heat pan to medium heat and add a teaspoon of fat (ghee, bacon grease and lard are my favorites for this)
  7. Cook burgers for 4-5 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until desired doneness is achieved
  8. Makes 10 burgers

 

In vibrant health,

Kiersten