This meal is truly delicious and completely nutritious.
Delicious because… bacon. That is all.
Okay - not only the bacon.
Butter, cream (apologies to all those lactose-intolerants out there! this one ain't for you), bacon, thyme and mushrooms are a match made in heaven. Who can deny it? Smooth cream; salty, flavourful bacon; fragrant thyme and earthy mushrooms… go together like a horse and carriage.
And nourishing? How can this meal be nourishing with all that saturated fat - not to mention the bacon?
Let me address those points. There has been a lot of media attention recently about these two topics - saturated fat, and bacon.
There's a ton of recent studies being released that show that saturated fats, eaten in moderation, are not damaging your health in the way they have been said to in the past few decades. Just google "saturated fats", some of the big names like "Dr Hyman", "Dr Mercola", "Sarah Wilson", and the results page will throw up a number of articles siting studies - and even more powerful - anecdotal evidence of the health benefits that come as a result of eating saturated fat. Of course - moderation and variety is key; but the key point is that saturated fat is not evil, and is, in fact, vital to physiological function. See this article for further reading on this hot topic.
Most of us love the flavour of bacon - baked crispy and served with eggs, or used in the base of soups and casseroles, bacon adds depth and rich flavour. But it has recently been labelled as carcinogenic by the World Health Organisation.
What I want to emphasise here is that you focus on the quality of your ingredients. Curing meats using sesame oil, salt, smoking or other methods is the age-old and natural answer to preserving animal products. Traditional curing of meat takes time, so - of course - today's money-making-focussed food industry found a different way to achieve a faster result, at the expense of our health (and the flavour!). One such way is to inject water under the skin of the meat, tumble the meat around to distribute the water, and then use all sorts of additives to try and make up for the loss of flavour. This has the added bonus for these producers of increasing the weight of their product - allowing what was 4kg of pork to be sold as 5kg of ham.
So bottom line? Choose bacon, salami and sausages that are made the old way, the slow way, and read the ingredients list. This is often referred to as "dry-cured" on packets in the supermarket. (Not all supermarket stock these brands of bacon, but we have the power as consumers - let that be a motivating factor in travelling to purchase the bacon that you want - we can change what's on offer through these types of consumer choices!). Better still - find a butcher who cares about his craft (most do) and ask him how he makes his bacon. Chances are its dry-cured with salt and spices. A lot healthier than the supermarket variety. It will be more costly too - but that's the point isn't it? Health food isn't the same as convenience food; preparing food well takes time and skill - so its value increases. I'm all for rationing my bacon intake, so that I can buy the more expensive variety. And enjoying a moderate intake of processed meat is surely best for your health anyway!
I enjoyed reading this article from Paleo Leap for an in-depth discussion of methods of curing meats. I recommend reading it if you're keen to find out more for your own education.
Convinced yet that this meal is nourishing?
Chicken Livers… Really?
Organic free-range chicken livers are the world's most densely-nutritious foods. In moderation (like everything) they form a part of a very healthy diet. As this post is already quite lengthy, I will direct you to yet another great article by the Weston A. Price Foundation which explains the many health benefits in eating good-quality liver. Find the article here.
Finally. I declare, after all that, you must be convinced! :) So enjoy this meal in confidence that you are serving your health and that of your family.
Without further ado, here is the recipe; perfect for either dinner or brunch - add a poached egg if the idea presents itself at the time. Enjoy!
Organic Free-range Chicken Livers, Bacon and Mushrooms on Toast
Serves 4-6 / Gluten-free / Sugar-free
2T Organic (if possible) butter, for frying
6 rashers of best-quality traditionally cured streaky bacon (I use Henderson's)
3 cloves or garlic, minced
1 onion finely diced
400g free-range, organic chicken livers (find these at your local butcher)
2t dried thyme
handful fresh oreganum leaves, finely chopped
About 12 white button mushrooms, sliced
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1. Drain livers. Cut into large chunks and pat dry with paper towels to remove excess liquid.
2. In a medium-hot pan, melt the butter. Brown the chicken livers; 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
3. In the same pan, add the bacon and cook until browned and slightly crispy. Remove bacon from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside (we want to keep that flavoursome bacon fat in the pan).
3. Cook the onion and garlic in the pan with the bacon fat until onion is transparent; about 3-5 minutes. Now add the rest of the ingredients, including the browned livers and cooked bacon, into the pan.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until cream is slightly reduced.
5. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
6. Serve on toast of your choice, with sliced baby tomatoes, baby rocket and chopped chives.
Delicious! I promise you will relish the flavour of this dish, and what's better, your body will thrive on the nutrition it provides! Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy soul.
With love from my kitchen to yours,
"Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you," 1 Thess 5:16-18