Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bone Broth

What a nice month-long break I've had from feeling like I need to update the virtual world on my boring coming and going's. Plus, my holiday season was nuts this year, 3 days in Montana, back home for 1.5 days, then off to Connecticut for 5 days. A new guy started at work right after the new year, and surprisingly that has taken up a large amount of my time! I do appreciate the people that read this and support me, both the ones that know me, and the ones that "know" me, like in a virtual sense.

I've slowly been trying to distance myself from the "Paleo" label (you were right, L, you were right!) and just focus on eating real, nutrient dense food. I firmly believe the initial intention and grass-roots movement of Paleo was to do just that (eat nutrient dense, simple foods found in nature), but when it hit the mainstream, somehow, something got confused and Paleo turned into a money-making catch-phrase? I guess it did the diet equivalent of "selling-out." I found plenty of ways to cheat the Paleo way, and that isn't really helping my goals. So I don't really have an easy way to describe how I eat. I just make sure that each food I eat has a purpose as far as nourishment. I've been tracking my daily intake on MyFitnessPal to make sure my calorie/protien and vitamin intakes are sufficient.

I want to share my latest nutrient dense wonder food that I'm currently obsessed with...Bone Broth. I keep seeing the benefits of bone broth cropping up here and there on various sites I follow. Last Sunday (my big cooking day) I decided to give it a try. It helps immensely that I have a husband that can teach me traditional culinary basics. A bone broth/stock is pretty much a must have skill for any good chef. My husband makes a lot of good things, but his stocks/soups are hands down the best. Ok, enough about him. I like him, obviously.

Bone broth- you're going to need a lot of bones. Ha, duh. But the best part? Once you get in the habit/routine of making stocks, its easy to collect the other ingredients you need. Carrot/celery tops/chunks of onion/thyme sprigs, have a tomato that is a little too ripe? Throw it in! Essentially you are using bones and kitchen scraps. Your trash/compost will reduce to practically nothing, and you will be getting every single dollar out of the groceries you buy. Win/win!

I guess there are a million different ways to make bone broth/stock you can change up the type of bones, the spices, etc. The possibilites are endless. For me, last Sunday, it was standard chicken broth. I had one whole chicken I had bought on sale, and the hubs suggested I de-bone it and then roast the bones. I wanted to make a big batch, so I went out and got another whole chicken.

With the bones of my two chickens, I stuck them on a roasting pan and roasted at 350 degrees until they were fragrant and golden. Then I turned all the bones over and made sure the other side was golden. It smelled amazing! Meanwhile, I collected a 1/2 bag of baby carrots that were drying up in my veggie drawer, a few rubbery celery stocks, some leftover tomato slices, and chopped an onion into 1/4s. The hubs lined up my spices for me, bay leaf, peppercorns, fennel seed, thyme sprigs from the garden, and chili flakes. I pulled the roasting pan out of the oven and plopped the golden bones into a large stock pot. I filled the pot nearly to the top with COLD water (cold is key) and left enough room to add the veggies. Ok, well, maybe I didn't, but now I know for next time. With just the cold water and the bones, (no veggies yet!) heat over medium heat until the water starts a low rumble-boil. Skim all the icky crap off the top. Add your veggies (or wait for it to reduce a little more to add your veggies if you filled your pot too much, ahem). You want to keep the pot on a real low simmer...you want there to be a few boils, but nothing crazy steaming out of control rumbling. I waited a little longer to add my spices. NO SALT! I let the mixture simmer for 9+ hours. I've seen some people throw everything in a crock-pot and let it go for 24-48 hours. Like I said, million different ways. When I had enough of the simmering and the liquid had reduced significantly (pulling all the goodness and minerals out of the bones and veggies), I put the liquid through a strainer, fishing out all the bits, and leaving me with a nice, golden stock.

While the stock was rumbling on the stove, I took the two deboned chickens, and marinated them in some awesome curry. Meanwhile, I made some egg muffins for my weekly lunches, and roasted off a bunch of yams pieces to eat post workout. When I was done with the yams and the egg muffins, I threw the chicken in the oven and that will be my dinner for a few days. All that efficiency! Healthy lunches and dinners made for nearly a week in about 1.5 hours (not including stock simmer time).

This week my meals look like this:
Starting every morning with a kale/spinach/berry/chia seed/almond butter smoothie. I love that I get 2+ cups of greens packed in before 7am. My lunch (post workout) is 2 egg muffins, a few yam slices (about 1/3 to 1/2 yam) and 2 cups of bone broth. Dinner has been curry chicken pieces and whatever veggie I have lying around in my fridge. I think cauliflower is up tonight.

The homemade broth I bring with me to work everyday is amazing. I heat it up, salt it lightly (you can use salt in it when its done, in fact you have to, or else its "blank flavors") and drink it out of a mug. It is so soothing and delicious...I feel like its exactly what my body needs. My new favorite thing!

Lastly, this is for the dim-witted, utterly uncreative (and obviously blind) heathen that called me a fat bitch yesterday when I was walking downtown. I'm a fat bitch that can overhead squat 95# for days.


  1. I can't believe somebody say that! That's completely outrageous!

    I've been meaning to make my own broth for ages now. I really should get to it! Thanks for sharing the method you use :)

  2. I've missed you. Sounds like what you're doing is just plain old clean eating...as always, I am compelled to recommend that you check out "The Eat-Clean Diet" by Tosca Reno (under $10 on Amazon; probably even less for the e-version if that's how you kids are doing your 'books' these days) -- and grab yourself a copy of Oxygen Magazine at any decent news stand. Her approach is all about eating whole foods, eliminating sugar and crap, working out hard (focus on strength, fitness, leanness, dedication and consistency -- not 'fast weight loss' and low-cal versions of crap like every other women's 'fluff fitness' publication). The eating part tends, like primal, to allow for *some* dairy, grains, and legumes, but the food focus is definitely on clean lean protein, veggies and fruits, all our favorite fats, etc., all eaten to properly fuel us for kick-ass workouts. I think you'd enjoy it.

  3. Screw random assholes. They're not worth the time. I nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. I don't always comment, but I read it regularly. http://redhairandrunningshoes.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-liebster-award.html