Bone Broth vs Stock

I see a gazillion people out there asking about the difference between broth and stock, and another gazillion who think its the same thing. It is, and yet its absolutely not.

See, they both do the same thing in terms of taste and flavour, but thats where the similarities end.

A stock and a broth start out the same way, but where as you would finish off a stock just a few short hours later, the broth keeps going for a day or even two to get all the valuable nutrients out of the bone and in to the broth. Stock is great to flavour soups and sauces, broth can be used in the same way, but oh my goodness (pun intended) the nutrient value is just oh so much better.

Can you buy broth? Not really unless you find a stall that sells it, most broth you find in a supermarket etc is actually stock. I used to make all my own stock anyway, so taking that extra step to make broth was not a big deal at all. The only adjustment I made was investing in a slow cooker, Im just not comfortable leaving stuff on the stove while I sleep or when I leave the house. A slow cooker is a safer option (in my head at least).

There are probably as many versions of stock / broth recipes out there as there are personalities, but here is my version!

In to a large pot or slow cooker, put:

  • 1 good quality chicken, organic if you can get it, if not, at the very least get free range.
  • 2 small onions, no need to chop, just slice in half
  • 3 carrots, if organic, don’t bother peeling, just wash and pop the whole thing in (if not organic, peel and trim the top and bottom off).
  • 3 stalks of celery, if organic, pop in as is, if not , trim top and bottom off.
  • 1 parsnip. Im not a huge fan of parsnip, so I add only one, you can add two, but be aware if you add 3 the broth will taste of parsnip.
  • 3-4 garlic cloves (optional). No need to even peel, just plop them in the pot.
  • a good amount of good quality salt, I use himalayan pink salt, use whatever you usually use, if you are a “normal table salt” user, take some time to investigate the health benefits of a good quality salt. You will thank me for it. I promise.
  • Black pepper, yum. It needs it, add a good amount.
  • Add enough water to cover your chicken.

NOTE: You are supposed to add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to help the bones release their nutrients, I don’t always bother doing this with chicken, but for other bone broths you should absolutely do this and let the bones sit in the cold water with the vinegar and bits in for about 30 minutes before turning on the heat.

Set your slow cooker on high, or if in a large pot on stove, bring to a boil. If your chicken is good quality there shouldn’t be much scummy stuff to remove, but look out for it and spoon off as needed (Scummy stuff looks like dirty dishwater, browny bubbly stuff, its the impurities leaving the chicken). Once this is done you can lower the heat if its a pot on the stove, leave a slow cooker on high.

Slow cooker version:

After about 4 hours, remove the chicken from the pot and take the meat off. Add all the bones and bits back to the pot. At this point I also like to taste test and add more salt and pepper if needed. Lower slow cooker temp to low. Add more water as needed. Then give your broth another 12-24 hours. Keep an eye on it and add more water as needed. Once done, strain the bits out and discard (I use a rice strainer for this). If you want to remove the fat you can let it cool in fridge and then remove the fatty top layer. I leave mine in and freeze in small portions.

Stove top version:

After about 1-2 hours, remove your chicken from the pot and take the meat off. Add all the bones and bits back to the pot. At this point I also like to taste test and add more salt and pepper if needed. Make sure your broth is at a very gentle simmer, on my cooker lvl 2-3 is perfect. Add more water as needed. Give your broth another 12-24 hours. Keep an eye on it and add more water as needed. If you need to go out for say 2-3 hours, you can turn the heat off and turn it back on once you return. If you sleep with the cooker going, make sure you add water before bed, and please be careful.

Once your broth is done, strain the bits out and discard (I use a rice strainer for this). If you want to remove the fat you can let it cool in fridge and then remove the fatty top layer. I leave mine in and freeze in small portions.

For stock:

Boil for 2-3 hours only after removing the meat. This is insanely good still, its just not broth.

How to use it:

Regardless of if its stock or broth you made, you can use it the same way. I add it to anything I can think of! I use it to boil my quinoa and millet, I use it to make sauces and obviously soups. I also drink it in a cup in the evenings, and its actually delicious! Add a spoon of tumeric for even more health benefits.

Variations:

Use beef, pork or lamb bones (pre roast for yummy flavour). Boil these for 24-48 hours. After discarding the bits you can save the bones and use them for a second batch!

Add herbs, ginger, and other flavourings.

Always use good quality bones, you don’t want the hormone fed on antibiotics standing in the dark animal bones, you want the happy kind, from animals who roam free and eat grass the way nature intended.

Happy brothing!

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I added tomatoes in the one above to see how it would affect the flavour, pretty nice 🙂

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Zucchini Fritters

Im back on LCHF. Because you know… Im getting a bit to blobby. Yesterday I had SUCH bad cravings for crisps or popcorn and sweets and, well, pretty much anything non LCHF. So Pinterest to the rescue (again) and I found some zucchini fritters. Hurraaah. I had what I needed in the fridge! So, 1 zucchini got itself sliced and 1 chunk of parmesan got itself mini choppered in to a powder and in the oven it went. and about 10 minutes later I had this AWESOME snack in my mouth, and the kids LOVED it which is always a bonus when you have kids, so Im totally doing this again. Forgot to take photo of finished product because piggy here had to eat them straight away. Ha.

So easy. Slice zucchini, add grated parmesan (I salted and peppered my parmesan to add flavour), add some evoo and pop in a hot oven for 5-10 minutes. Thin slices = crispy yummy zucchini thingies, thicker slices = softer and SO delicious! Originally saw this on pinterest here zucchini fritters,  if you search zucchini fritters or baked zucchini on pinterest, you will see HUNDREDS 🙂 -Linda

Beef in paprika and tomato sauce

Another quick and easy staple dinner recipe. Change it up using different veggies.

I used:

  • half an onion (I have kids remember! Use more if you like)
  • 1 green paprika
  • beef, I used two nice steaks and cut them, but you can buy the ready made stroganoff pieces if you like. (NOT braising beef as it takes ages)
  • passata, I used about 250g

If you are serving this with rice then the sauce takes about the same time as a pot of basmati rice to cook, so get the rice going then make the sauce 🙂

Frying pan on hot, add olive oil (extra virgin obviously, never fry in any other olive oil) then pop the beef in (don’t wait to heat the olive oil as it ruins the oils flavour). Add salt & pepper. Once the beef has sealed (that means its gone a nice brown on all sides) add your onions and paprika and turn the heat down to medium. Once the onion has gone soft add your passata and a teeny bit of water, if you like you can add half a stock cube at this point, I usually do, but no need. If you do, make sure its organic and gluten free!

Simmer the sauce until the paprika is soft but not soggy, if you have that rice going then the sauce should be done around the time you drain the rice 🙂

The kids eat this with Rice, I eat mine with some cabbage, or on its own to make it LCHF.

Enjoy 🙂

Linda

Easy Peasy Orange chicken (that doesn’t taste of orange!)

Im bad at writing recipes, but good at cooking, so here we go, Im continuing with easy simple stuff that anyone can make 🙂 Real food baby, its the way to go. And real food doesn’t have to be hard at all!

Ideally to make a gourmet meal of chicken you should marinade, but hey, Im a busy mum of 2, running a gluten free house and I hardly have time to shower some days let alone think ahead to marinade stuff in advance! So, keeping it simple here. My kids love and adore this chicken, and so does anyone else that eats it, and its so super simple!

I used:

  • 4 good size chicken thighs (you can use drumsticks or whatever you like)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • half an orange

Pop your Chicken in an oven pan, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Then squeeze the juice of half an orange on top. Bung it in the oven 175º degrees for 45 minutes.

Thats it. Like really. I mean it 😉

This particular batch Im keeping in the fridge (juices from pan included) to make a quick dinner with after sons football game tomorrow. you could serve it as is with rice and veggies and a sauce or use it for salads or lunch boxes, anything goes.

Enjoy 🙂

Linda

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Cauliflower Mash (LCHF staple)

My kids absolutely love cauliflower mash, at first I would have it as a main for me as Im on LCHF (Low carb high fat), and give the kids only a small bit as a veggie along with their starch (rice, potato etc), but then I realised how much they love it, so now we all eat it in a full portion. The kids even like to eat it on its own with cheese on top! RESULT for mummy!

So, although this is so simple and basic, I have had several people ask me how to make it, so here goes 🙂

You need, one cauliflower, butter, cream, salt and pepper (yeah, thats really it!)

Clean the cauliflower up and cut it in to 4 (or less) pieces. Boil in a large pot of water with some salt added. When the cauliflower is ready, drain it in a colander and pop the cauliflower back in the pot. Add a big dollop of butter, if you are an LCHF’er like me, then you know what big means, lol, if you are your average person, then just whatever is big to you, don’t be shy 😉 Add some salt & pepper.

Get your hand mixer/blender in the pot and work it baby!

When everything is mashed and smooth add a teeny dollop of cream, and whizz a bit more. I cant say how much cream as I don’t know how big your cauliflower is, but a few table spoons is more then enough, if you add to much you will have soup.

Thats it, khalas! You are done 🙂

(this dish reheats well, so make a big batch and keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days)

-Linda

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Tomato Sauce from scratch

When I say I make everything from scratch, I almost never lie. (<- note the almost ;))

I always preferred making food from scratch, even before the gluten issue. As time goes on I realise more and more how many people cant cook to save their lives. Many were brought up with processed foods themselves, so even a simple thing to them can seem totally overwhelming.

So, here it is, a simple (like totally simple, you can get your no cooking experience tween to do it simple) tomato sauce. My kids cant get enough of this one. You can use it as is, or use it as a base for whatever you need to make 🙂

You need;

  • Tomatoes, roughly diced, sliced, chopped or mashed in any way you so wish.
  • Onion, roughly chopped, sliced, diced or whatever you wish.
  • Spices
  • Olive Oil (extra virgin, always extra virgin)

So, today I used 4-5 large tomatoes, slightly overripe. Any tomatoes will do. Pop a deep saucepan on the stove on medium – high heat, add olive oil and onions. Once the onions have sizzled for a bit add your tomatoes and spices. I used a large basil leaf from my garden and salt and pepper in this batch. If you have homemade stock you can add some of that, or an organic gf stock cube, if you don’t have any, then go without. Add some water, just a little so that the tomatoes have something to boil in (about half a cup-ish). Lower heat and walk away.

Return at some point to stir and check, once your tomatoes are dissolved more or less you are ready. I use a rice colander and pour the whole thing through in to another pot, this gets rid of the onion bits and tomato skins. You will need to push with your spoon a bit to get all the good bits through. Whats left is a thick tomato sauce that tastes like heaven, if you want it a deeper red, add some tomato puree!

I never do this in advance, its so fast and fresh and easy I really don’t mind doing it when I need it.

Kids will have theirs over some gf pasta and veg and I will eat mine with broccoli later (yes, still on the low carb diet!)

Try it with some added cream as a soup, or with garlic and chilli!

Enjoy!

Linda

BYE BYE MUMMY TUMMY!!!

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I think I have finally done it! I got rid of the mummy tummy! Well, not completely, after all I have had two kids…

I don’t mind a bit of a tum, on myself or anyone else. After my son was born I lost 7kg the day he was born, in fact, when I delivered him I was my ideal non pregnant weight, so went back to my skeleton weight pretty much straight away (yup, I was faaaaar to thin, my whole life pretty much). Then when I was pregnant with A (Celiac kid) they medicated me for pregnancy sickness, I had dreadful hypermesis (the pregnancy sickness where you puke nonstop, like Kate had). The medication worked, but the medication combined with bed rest saw me put on a whooping 20kg. I basically put on the weight I should be carrying and also and extra 10kg. Breastfeeding heavily for ages took care of some, but then after A was diagnosed some more snook back on.

This is also the reason my GP thinks Im probably a closet Celiac, I never tested properly, my test was done when I was already gluten free and negative (obviously), the fact that my life long anaemia went after going gluten free together with feeling a ton better over all (and putting on weight) is a pretty good sign, but I never went back on gluten to check, it doesn’t matter, I will never eat it again anyway. 

Being a not hugely active family in Dubai (we stayed indoors a lot due to A’s illnesses and dust) the tummy kept growing. I was getting people asking me when the baby was due, congratulations left right and centre. I excused it all in a way, thought, heck, Ive had two kids, 2 major stomach surgeries etc, of course I will have a bit of a tummy…. Then I moved to Poland, and the 4 months pregnant looking tummy grew to 6 months pregnant looking tummy and seriously, enough is enough!

Ive been thinking about diets for a while. I already eat healthy, home made, FRESH food, mainly organic, hardly anything processed etc. I didn’t want to hard core diet, and no way can I fit in a huge amount of exercise in to my life right now either. So looking at existing diets that help people lose weight while still eating something that easily fits in to our life, It was between LCHF and PALEO in the end.

I chose LCHF and started on the 10th of June. Cutting sugar was a huge big deal for me, I was a 3 sugars in the coffee girl (and 2-3 coffees), and probably 2-3 cokes a day girl – silly I know as I know sugar is more fattening then fat, but hey ho. I am also a ‘full fat’ girl, never eaten a low fat thing in my life, why eat chemicals when you can eat the real thing?

Day three without sugar I could have murdered anyone in my path, I was so so miserable. Had a small portion of ice-cream with a ton of berries that evening, and I think also the evening after. Despite my ice cream I lost 2kg in the first 10 days!!!

A few days ago I joined an awesome LCHF group on Facebook, and they have all been awesome, I didn’t realise I wasn’t eating enough fat, all fixed now and cravings are getting better. I haven’t actually struggled at all, Im eating almost exactly like I did before (home cooked wholesome, GOOD food), just without carbs and sugar. Im not counting a thing, also stopped weighing myself after those first 2 kilos, because although my tummy is getting smaller by the day, the scale hasn’t really changed. Some would say Im actually not far from my ideal weight. I have no issue with it really, it was the tummy that needed to go!

Now I just need to convince the hubby, he is pregnant…. with TWINS!

More info about LCHF here

-Linda

PS ; Who knows if I will continue, I feel good, Im happy, I have allowed myself a few small things not supposedly ‘in the diet’, Ice cream, fruit and so on (so on being half a bag of the kids m&m’s one evening, but please don’t tell anyone), but I still feel LCHF was the thing that fitted in best to my life and was the most similar to my beliefs. I am not saying anyone should go on LCHF -obviously- everyone needs to find a life style and diet that suits them 🙂