Hi! My name is Tarah and I blog over at What I Gather. Until I got pregnant with my now five month old son, I mostly shared my simple and delicious (if I do say so, myself) paleo recipes. Now I also write about my experience with paleo pregnancy and discuss what I am learning about raising a healthy family. Since transitioning to a paleo diet, I pretty much fell in love with health and nutrition and now I am currently working toward my master’s degree in holistic health! To me, food is all about nutrient density. Learning how some foods can nourish our bodies and others can actually deplete our bodies of nutrients is fascinating to me because we really are in control of our health and well being just through the foods we choose to eat!
That being said, the quality of the meat that I do eat has become very important to me over the past couple of years. With the research I’ve done on the paleo diet and what I’ve read in my holistic nutrition courses, I’ve learned that how animals are raised can directly affect their nutrient density.
Grass-fed meat is higher in many vitamins and minerals and higher in essential omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed meat. It is also lower in saturated fat and, therefore, calories than grain-fed meat. In my opinion, it tastes better, too. 😉 Furthermore, grass-fed animals usually come from farms that care about their animals and the land they are raised on. These animals are typically going to be free of antibiotics and growth hormones because they are not eating conventional feed that is pumped full of both. Their high quality pastures are often pesticide and fertilizer free because many of these farms are also certified organic. I don’t know about you, but I feel much better about the meat I consume when I know the animal was well cared for and led a happy life.
Need a little grass-fed meat recipe inspiration? Here are a few of my favorite What I Gather recipes to get you started:
2 slices bacon, chopped into 4 or 5 large pieces
½ fennel bulb, roughly chopped
1/2 cup brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed off and halved
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp each of dried rosemary, sage and oregano
2, ½ lb sirloin steaks
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups Brussels sprouts (about ¾ lb), bottoms trimmed off and quartered
½ fennel bulb, cut into thick slices
1 tsp olive oil
2 or 3 fennel fronds
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Add all filling ingredients to a food processor. Process until it forms a thick paste.
- Pound out steaks using a mallet until they are about ½ inch thick.
- Spread half of the filling on each steak. Roll steaks up, using a few toothpicks to secure.
- Place sirloin rolls in a large roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Toss Brussels sprouts and fennel slices in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Spread brussels sprouts and fennel slices around sirloin rolls in the roasting pan.
- Roast for 35-40 minutes, until steak is cooked to desired level and vegetables begin to brown. If steak is done and veggies need to cook a bit longer, remove the steak from the pan and let it rest while you cook the veggies for an additional five minutes or so.
- Let steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Garnish with fennel fronds.
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Place chiles on a baking sheet, broil for 12 minutes, turning halfway through. Peppers should be starting to blacken and blister. Remove from oven, let cool enough to handle and remove stems (if heat isn’t your thing, you can also remove the seeds).
- Add chiles to food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.
- Mix ground beef and all spices in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix the spices in with the ground beef.
- Form the beef into four patties.
- Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Once hot, place burgers on the grill pan and cook for ten minutes, flipping after five minutes.
- While burgers are cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with olive oil. Crack eggs onto skillet, two at a time so they don’t touch. Cook until yolks are firm, but runny on the inside, about five minutes.
- Top each burger with a spoonful of the green chiles and a fried egg.