I have a confession to make. Here goes…I am a new meat eater. For a long time (7 years), I was a sanctimonious vegan thinking and believing that a meat-free diet was the only way to maintain health and vitality. While I don’t regret my meat-free days, nor will I ever condone factory farming, I have found that eating meat has given me a more balanced approach to my own diet and health. I feel healthier, more vibrant, more grounded than I have in a long time. Yippee. My brain is happy.
And now, I am on a mission to learn how to make and prepare the best meat on the planet. I am, if nothing else, a card-carrying foodie. So far it has been a wild ride. I enlisted the help of a professional chef to give me the lowdown on cuts, quality, and technique. I asked a friend who is a seasoned meat-eater with a culinary-inclined French husband to show me the ropes (hilariously though, she burned the stew during our meating). I have called my mom (too many times), who is an incredible cook to get her thoughts on the how, why, and where.
Here is what I learned so far. I only recommend organic, grass-finished meat that have been ethically raised and slaughtered. Additionally, I recommend wild fish, line-caught from clean water sources. Factory farms have some dubious, even dangerous practices. Please stick to organic. I also recommend eating mostly vegan meals and only consuming meat 1-2 times per week. Meat can be difficult to digest and hard on the planet. Fermented foods work really well with meat meals to ensure complete digestion and elimination.
To give homage to the BBQ season, here is a recipe to inspire your own manly meating. Please let me know what you think, and share your recipes too. This is all new to me and I would appreciate your help. This one was taken from my Ma Millman’s kitchen (I am still navigating my own guilt around eating animals, especially baby animals, though my Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor said that lamb is particularly good for my constitution). Enjoy!
This recipe is best when you allow the herbs to sit for 24 hours to deeply flavor the meat. Use fresh herbs as they are in season, and provide more pop on your plate.
2 racks of Organic, grass-finished lamb
4 tablespoons of fresh diced parsley
2 tablespoons of fresh diced rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
3 tablespoons of fresh diced sage or 1.5 tablespoons dried sage
3 tablespoons of fresh diced thyme or 1.5 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh mint
2 finely minced cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of organic Olive oil
2 tablespoons of Mint jelly
Salt and pepper to taste
Give thanks to the animal for giving its life for your supper. Hold a positive thought and intention while preparing your meal; it enhances the taste of your food. Cut off all the fat you can. Rub in the marinade into the meat. Place the meat in a plastic bag and then refrigerate for 24 hours. Turn on the BBQ to high. Sear the meat on both sides (about 1-2 minutes). Turn the BBQ down to medium or put meat on the sides of the BBQ. BBQ each side of the lamb for 5 minutes (Total cooking time, 12 minutes) or more for well-done meat.
Serve with additional mint jelly if desired.
No summer is complete without a super summer cocktail. It has been oppressively hot for most of North America and will probably continue throughout the summer. So, I created a cocktail that is both cooling and delicious. In Traditional Chinese medicine, certain herbs and foods are used to cool you down internally. This drink satisfies that requirement. Mint is internally cooling. Cucumbers are cooling and very good at hydrating the body. Salt will open up the cell wall to allow the water to enter and provide hydration. Gin and tequila make for happy adults. I do love my adult beverages.
1/2 cup of mint leaves
1/2 medium peeled cucumber
2 good splashes of soda water
2 oz of tequila or gin
1 cup of ice
1 pinch of salt
Throw everything in the blender and serve immediately. Cooling deliciousness guaranteed.