Spicy Tomato Pigs Trotters paleo recipe offal dinner ideas-min

Recipe: Spicy Tomato Pigs Trotters

On my quest to cook with more offal, the thought of doing something with pigs trotters filled me with dread. I’d always seen them sitting, forlorn and lonesome in the far corner of my butcher’s counter whilst crowds flocked towards the chicken breasts and fillet steaks. However lonely they may have looked, I never had the bravery to give them any sort of interest (maybe it was the nails!) – until the other day, that is. After cooking them slowly, the meat came out super tender, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Pigs Trotters Ingredients:

  • 4 large pigs trotters
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 x 400ml cans chopped tomatoes
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • Large handful fresh basil, torn, to serve

Pigs Trotters How To:

Score the skin on the trotters, and season well with sea salt and plenty of black pepper.

Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan to a high heat. Brown the trotters by frying them in the oil for a couple of minutes. Remove and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium, then add the onion. Soften for 5 minutes, then add the chilli, garlic and oregano. Fry for another minute or so, then add the two cans of chopped tomatoes. Stir well, then add the trotters back to the pan. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for an hour and a half. Stir every now and then and top up with a little extra water if needed.

20 minutes before serving, add the chopped carrots then cover again. Serve garnished with the fresh basil.

Have you tried cooking with pigs trotters – or another type of offal? I'd love to hear what you did with it in the comments below.

Spicy Tomato Pigs Trotters paleo recipe offal dinner ideas-min

What's so special about grass fed beef paleo primal health benefits-min

What’s so special about grass fed beef?

Grass fed beef gets plenty of recognition on the Paleo diet, and rightly so. We know our ancestors would have undoubtedly eaten copious amounts of wild fed ruminants; not the sort that were shuttled in their droves into giant feed-lots, devoid of natural light and space to roam, and fed with industrialised slop made from genetically modified corn, barley and soya. But, ideology aside, what is it that actually makes grass fed beef superior to ‘modern’ grain fed beef? Is it worth paying extra for – sometimes double the price? In a short answer, yes. And here’s why…

What's so special about grass fed beef paleo primal health benefits-min

As the demand for beef (and meat in general) rose significantly throughout the 20th century, ‘farmers’ began to reassess their production methods with one goal in mind. Profit. These beef barons were prepared to stop at nothing to decrease the production costs of each cow, with no concern for the animals’ welfare or for the welfare of the people eating the meat; and thus, factory farming was born. There were, of course, many who still wanted to do things the right way, and a divide became apparent. As factory farming has developed throughout the years, and cheaper, nutrient void food has become more available, this divide has become significantly greater.

One reason we eschew grains on the Paleo diet (apart from lectins, gluten and phytic acid), is the distinct lack of nutrient density that they offer in comparison with whole foods. If you genetically modify these grains, the nutrient density becomes even lower; practically non-existent. When cattle are fed a diet that is so devoid of nutrients, the meat they offer is therefore much less nutritious than that of an animal fed on a natural diet. This shows in the nutritional profiles of grass fed vs grain fed meat; grass fed is significantly higher in vitamins (in particular B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin B12), minerals (including magnesium, selenium, zinc and calcium), CLA and Omega 3. We’ll come on to that last one again shortly. The lifespan of the cows also plays a part in the nutrients they offer; as factory farmed cattle have a much shorter lifespan (as they are overfed and under-exercised so that they reach the slaughter house in double quick time), they do not have time to build up the nutritional profile that they should do naturally. Quite simply, unhealthy diet + overeating + lack of exercise = nutritionally depleted beef. The same formula would also mean a nutritionally depleted human as well, which isn't really much of a shock.

We've spoke about omega 3 and omega 6 before, and how it is important to maintain as close to an even ratio as possible to reduce inflammation in the body. Thanks to their diet, grass fed beef is significantly higher in omega 3 than its grain fed counterpart. On average, grass fed beef has a ratio of around 2.5/1 (omega 6:omega 3). Depending on the grasses they graze on, it can be as low as 1:1. The ratio of grain fed beef, on the other hand, can exceed 20:1.

To decrease the production time, factory farmed cows are fed artificial hormones to fatten them up more quickly. The presence of these hormones have been linked to hormone irregularities in the humans who eat a lot of grain fed beef – which is another reason to source your meat carefully.

To summarise, grass fed beef is better for you, better for the environment, better for the economy, and better for the animals themselves. It’s the way that beef should be eaten, but sadly, it is expensive. If you are limited in how much grass fed beef you can buy for financial reasons, opt for leaner cuts of meat when you buy grain fed. There will be less of an omega 3:6 imbalance as the all-round fat content is lower. Toxins are also stored in the fatty deposits of the animals, so by choosing leaner cuts you’ll minimise the toxins that you consume. If you’re completely against buying grain fed, look for cheaper cuts of meat like shin and chuck roast, and cook them slowly. Offal is a great bet too.

Do you eat grass fed (or pastured) meat? Is it important to you?

Fish head stock chowder broth paleo diet recipe

Recipe: Fish Head Stock

Whilst home-made bone broth or chicken stock is pretty common place, people still seem to turn their noses up at Fish Stock. This is a huge shame, because it really doesn't get much more nutritious than this. Fish head stock is packed with fat soluble vitamins and crucially the thyroid gland, which gives us the thyroid hormone – hugely significant in our metabolism.

The other great thing about fish head stock? It's full of gelatin too. What more could you want?

Recipe: Fish Head Stock
Recipe type: Fish & Seafood
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • Carcasses of 4-5 whole non-oily fish
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped,
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • A few small bunches of parsley
  • A couple of bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  1. Put the fish, vegetables and apple cider vinegar in a large pan and cover with water
  2. Bring the pan to a boil
  3. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface and add the thyme and bay leaves
  4. reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to simmer for 4 to 24 hours depending on your schedule
  5. When finished, strain the mixture and store the liquid in air tight containers, such as jars.
  6. Label, and store in the fridge or freezer until you need it


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Fish head stock is great in soup and as a base for many meals – or just keep it simple and heat it up with some veggies and fish, for a quick nutritious dinner.

Poached Beef Tongue paleo recipe dinner lunch-min

Recipe: Poached Beef Tongue with a Fresh Herby Salad

Beef tongue is one of those wonderful cuts of offal that, with just a little love and careful attention, can be transformed from butcher’s cast off to a tender, delicious and incredibly cheap source of protein, zinc, and vitamin B12. It is considered a delicacy in many traditional cultures, and is widely renowned as one of the most flavourful cuts of beef.

To cook my beef tongue, I simmered it in the pot with veggies and herbs for 3 hours to make it ultra-flavoursome and tender. I’d definitely recommend cooking it for as long as you can, perhaps even in the slow cooker. One tongue comfortably serves two people, with leftovers!

Beef Tongue Ingredients:

  • 1 Beef Tongue, cleaned and prepared (ask your butcher)
  • 2 White Onions, Diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Star Anise
  • Approx 1 litre beef stock / broth

For the salad:

  • 1 large handful spinach
  • 1 large handful rocket
  • 1 small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 8 spring onions, diced
  • Juice half a lemon
  • Quarter cup of olive oil

Beef Tongue How To:

1)    Add all of the ingredients (except the salad) to your stock pot. Bring to the boil, before covering and leaving to simmer for around 3 hours. Check every so often and top up with a little hot water if necessary.

2)    Make the salad by throwing together all of the greens and herbs with the spring onions. Divide into two separate bowls.

3)    Drain the contents of the pot, reserving a couple of tablespoons of the liquid. Place the tongue on a chopping board, before slitting the outer membrane and peeling it off. Slice thinly and add to the green salad, along with the vegetables from the pot.

4)    Whizz together the reserved liquid, lemon juice and olive oil. Drizzle liberally over the salad before tucking in.

Poached Beef Tongue paleo recipe dinner lunch-min

Slow Cooked Chicken Livers with Cayenne and Paprika paleo diet recipe offal organ meat nutrition primal-min

Recipe: Slow Cooked Chicken Livers with Cayenne and Paprika

After finally acting on my resolution to use more offal in my cooking, I went to the butchers and purchased some chicken livers (along with some other interesting looking cuts, which I’m sure you’ll read about soon!). My first attempt was pretty unsuccessful; the meat was tough, and although the flavour was good, it felt like it hadn't quite reached its potential.

Next time around, I told myself, I would cook them much more slowly, so that they are ultra tender and full of rich flavour. I paired them with the smoky and pungent flavours of paprika and cayenne, which turned out to be a match made in heaven.

Slow Cooked Chicken Livers Ingredients:

  • 750g organic, free range chicken livers
  • 2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped into slices
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 200ml tomato passata
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Slow Cooked Chicken Livers  How To:

Cut any stringy bits away from the livers, then cut into strips. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy based frying pan to a high heat, then brown off the offal by cooking for 2 minutes each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium, add a little more olive oil, then add the onions. Fry until softened, for about 5 minutes, then add the paprika and cayenne. Fry gently for another couple of minutes, before adding the passata and about 200ml water.

Return the offal to the pan along with the peppers. Lower the heat to its lowest setting, stir well, and leave to simmer very gently for around 2 hours. Check occasionally, adding more water if needs be. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.

Slow Cooked Chicken Livers with Cayenne and Paprika paleo diet recipe offal organ meat nutrition primal-min

Thiamin & The Paleo Diet deficiency supplements nutrients minerals vitamins sources-min

Thiamin & The Paleo Diet

If you want to ensure you keep your body healthy, it is important to consume the right foods with plenty of the essential vitamins required for a healthy lifestyle. One of these vitamins is Thiamin, which is the water soluble vitamin B. The function of Thiamine in the body is to help our cells produce energy and it is imperative in order for our hearts, muscles and nervous system to function properly. Thiamin improves the contraction of muscles and also increased fertility in adults. It is also essential for children as it helps to improve the immune system from a very early age.

There are many notable signs that you may not be consuming enough Thiamin in your body. If your immune system is weak and you suffer from a lot of colds and flus, it may be due to a deficiency in Thiamin. As Thiamin is found in such a high number of different foods, it is quite rare to be deficient in this vitamin but it is quite common in alcoholics. It can also lead to a loss of weight and problems with the cardiovascular and nervous system.  If you are consuming too much Thiamin, it can also have negative effects on the body, although these may not be as noticeable as consuming too little. It is recommended that females have around 0.8mg of Thiamin, while males have 1mg. The recommended intake should be lower for children, so it is worth checking before you consume foods with Thiamin.

There are many foods on the Paleo diet which can help you to improve your intake of Thiamin. If you can manage to eat it, offal is a really good source of Thiamin and you can easily incorporate this into your daily meals if you don’t want to eat it as it comes. It is also found in high quantities in meat, such as beef and pork, which is why the Paleo diet is one of the healthiest to follow as it encourages the consumption of these food groups. It is always a good idea to ensure you are not consuming too much of this as otherwise, you won’t feel the full benefits.

Thiamin & The Paleo Diet deficiency supplements nutrients minerals vitamins sources-min

If you enjoy eating your snacks on the Paleo diet, you will find that nuts and seeds act as a good source of Thiamin so consume these in moderation and you will soon notice the results. It is also found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including asparagus, cauliflower and oranges. Eggs are also a good source of Thiamin and are a good choice to eat for your breakfast, as it will set you up for the rest of the day.

Thiamin is a source of vitamin B which is very sensitive to heat which means it can be easily destroyed during the cooking and preparation of food. A good method to use to get the most from it is to ensure you always cook your Thiamin rich foods for as little time as possible, as you will get the full benefits from it. There are other foods which you may want to add to your meals to absorb the Thiamin, including garlic and onions. These will also make them taste a lot better in the process.

As part of any healthy diet it is vital to consume a full range of the right nutrients and vitamins, which is why the Paleo diet is the healthiest to follow. If you are feeling lethargic and in need of a boost to your immune system, Thiamin will help you to feel much healthier and will improve your appearance.  You can also find Thiamin in supplements, but it is much better to try and get this from the foods you intake.

As long as you follow the Paleo diet strictly, you will be at your healthiest as you are consuming a wide range of different foods which offer a number of different benefits to the body. No matter what stage of life you start the Paleo diet, whether young or old, you will notice the difference in how you look and feel quite quickly. It is a great diet to ensure you are getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals from your foods. It is important to just keep an eye on your intake of each of the nutrients, so you are getting the maximum possible benefits from your food.

The Paleo Diet Offal Liver Kidney Heart organ meat-min

Offal & The Paleo Diet

Offal is the organs found in animals and includes the liver, hearts, brains and kidneys and these foods are not commonly consumed, which is the reason why they can be found at really low costs. Offal is not processed, so you know exactly what you are getting, which is not the case with many other foods. If you were to eat non-Paleo processed meat, like sausage rolls or chicken nuggets for example, you would usually be eating bones and other parts of animals which offer no nutritional benefits whatsoever.

As part of the Paleo diet, offal is encouraged as it is packed full of nutrients. The most nutritious is the liver, which is a good source of Vitamin A and the brain, which is rich in Omega 3. Offal also contains a lot of protein and iron, which is not only good for the functioning of your organs but is also good for making your appearance clearer and healthier.

The reason why the Paleo diet encourages the consumption of these organs is that they can offer a wide range of benefits to our health, including improving the immune system and staving off a whole host of illnesses which can result in someone with a poor diet. The point of the diet is to maximise the benefits of the foods we are eating, so even if they don’t seem like the kind of foods you would like, it is well worth giving them a try.

The Paleo Diet Offal Liver Kidney Heart organ meat-min

Offal is known as a super-food and although many of us wouldn't usually choose to eat these foods, the number of people buying these has increased in recent years. We are becoming a lot more educated in what foods are beneficial to our bodies and even though offal may not be the most tantalising of choices, the potential benefits make them an important choice as part of our daily diets.

If you are following the Paleo diet, it is important to include offal as it will make a substantial difference in how you look and feel. If the thought of eating these kinds of foods makes you feel a little queasy, there are many ways you can incorporate them into your meal, without even tasting them. You will be surprised at how quickly they become part of your daily routine and these super-foods will set you up for the rest of your life.

We all love a good curry and you can easily make this using offal without really having to taste them. You can add plenty of flavours to your curry which will disguise the texture, if this is off putting to you. If you are on a tight budget, offal is the ideal food to add to your diet, without stretching your budget but ensuring you enjoy the health benefits.

You may even wish to add your offal to a tasty stew or soup and by introducing plenty of other ingredients; you won’t really know the difference from your usual meals. You may even find that after time you start to enjoy the taste of offal on its own. If you have children and want them to enjoy the benefits of the Paleo diet, you should try and add offal to their meals, as it will help to improve their immune system and they will get used to the taste from a young age.

The most nutritious is the liver, so if you choose only one as part of your diet, this should be it. It shouldn't take long to start noticing the health benefits of offal as part of your Paleo diet and you will also find improvements in the appearance of your hair and skin.

With offal, it is even more important than usual to ensure the meat is of the very best quality, ideally organic and grass-fed or pasture raised.

The best animals to consume your offal from are goat, sheep, buffalo and horse and you should be able to pick these up from your local butchers.

Do you use Offal in your cooking? What are your favourite types – and recipes? Share below!

10 things you didn't know about offal organ meat nutrients paleo primal diet-min

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Offal

You’re read about how offal is a true super food, packed with nutrients. Perhaps you use it regular in your cooking, maybe you've tried my chicken liver pate recipe? Here are ten little know facts about organ meats…

1. There are two types of offal, red offal and rough offal. Red offal refers to the parts of the animal above its diaphragm, such as the heart, lungs, spleen, ox tail, skirt, sweetbread and gullets. Rough offal is the name given to the parts of cattle from the rumen area, i.e. intestines, tripe, heads and heels.

2. The liver of Polar bears is very dangerous to humans, being far too high in Vitamin A. Indiginous populations never eat Polar bear livers. Seal livers are equally toxic.

3. Similarly the internal organs of the fugu pufferfish are very toxic – and if not prepared properly can be fatal.

4. Skirt (i.e. onglet steak or hanger steak) gets it’s unique savory taste from it’s close proximity to the diaphragm and kidneys.

5. Sausage skin is traditionally made from the intestines of sheep, pig or ox.

6. Demand for offal is far greater in the winter months, whilst in the summer relatively little is sold – this makes the summer months a good time to get cheaper prices.

7. Whilst the term offal used to just refer to the entrails, it is now taken to mean all of the insides, abdominals and extremities. The terms “organ meats” and “variety meats” are also used instead of offal.

8. The word “offal” comes from “off fall”, and literally refers to the pieces of the animal that fall away as the carcass is butchered.

9. Offal from birds is known as giblets.

10. If you find the taste of offal a bit much (and tolerate dairy), try soaking it in milk overnight before cooking it.

What do you think of offal? Do you eat it regularly – and what is your favourite type?

10 things you didn't know about offal organ meat nutrients paleo primal diet-min


Recipe: Paleo Chicken Liver Pâté

In keeping with my new years resolution to eat more offal, Pâté seems to be a great place to start.

You can make Pâté with lots of different meats, but my favourite is chicken liver Pâté.

With offal, I'm always very careful to make sure the meat is really high quality – organic, pasture raised is ideal.

Pâté Ingredients

  • 200g (6oz) chicken livers
  • 150g (5oz) butter, diced (or use the same volume of tallow, bacon fat or coconut oil)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 small brown shallots or 1/4 onion, finely diced
  • ¼ tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1tbsp brandy (optional)
  • 1/4tsp grated nutmeg
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pâté How To:

Remove any unsightly pieces from the liver, such as any green or black spots, or any tough stringy pieces. Rinse the livers, then dry using kitchen paper.

Melt a spoonful of the butter in a pan over a medium heat, before adding the garlic and shallots. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until the shallots start to soften and turn translucent.

Add in the chicken livers and thyme and continue to cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring constantly. When the livers have browned on the outside, but are still pink on the inside, it’s time to add in the brandy.

After a few seconds, add in the remaining butter and the nutmeg and stir into the ingredients for a couple of minutes.

Take the pan off the heat, then use a blender or food processor to puree the contents of the pan, until it reaches a smooth paste.

Season to taste, before spooning into a bowl or jar. Chill in the fridge for at least two or three hours before serving.

Liver Pâté is great as a snack, or served with raw veggies like celery, carrots and cucumber. If you have an leftovers, it should keep for about a week in the fridge.

Have you tried making Pâté yet? Which other types of Pâté do you enjoy?