Saturday, 12 November 2011


I eat raw meat.

Yup. Meat that has never seen heat. In fact there was a period in my life (the raw paleo phase) when I didn't eat anything BUT raw meat.
So I told this to a friend of mine a while back (months ago) and after his initial suprise he asked me what I would make for someone who'd never eaten raw meat before, a sort of 'introduction dish' to the joys of bloody muscle. I said I'd make kitfo - an ethiopian dish consisting of minced raw beef eaten with mitmita (a spice blend) and niter kibbeh (a spiced butter). So he said 'we must do kitfo soon!' and after a few months we finally set a date!

Now due to my lack of ability to follow recipes exactly, I took inspiration from a few recipes on the internet, but my recipe is most like this one.

So what did my friend think of it, you ask? Well he tried it. He didn't finish it. But he didn't gag or anything haha. I think a lot of us are socially conditioned to think of raw meat as gross (and being told that it's full of bacteria that will harm us doesn't help things either...) and it can take a while to overcome that conditioning. I didn't enjoy it all the first time I ate raw meat. But with time, my taste buds changed, and I look forward to eating raw meat dishes now!

INGREDIENTS (for 2 people)
about 400g minced beef (I froze some grassfed beef top round for 2 weeks to kill any possible parasites, and minced it myself)
 100g butter
4-5 shallots or 1/2 an onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
A chunk of ginger, grated
1 cinnamon stick, crushed
A few cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
a small chunk of nutmeg, grated
Berbere spice mix
Salt to taste

1. To make the spiced butter, melt the butter in a pan. Skim off any foam, and pour of the clarified butter. See here for detailed instructions on making clarified butter
2.  Put shallot, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin and nutmeg in the butter, and leave to infuse (I left it in the hot butter for about an hour)
3. Meanwhile mix the ground beef with the berbere (make sure beef is room temperature or warm)
4. When ready to serve, scoop some beef into a bowl and pour some butter over. Enjoy!

I'm submitting this post to Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday. Check it out for more real food posts.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Kids are wise

11/11/11. Today my brother got married! It was a lovely ceremony, in the English town of Reading (where they first started dating). There was the actual registry (where I was an official witness to their marriage along with the bride's brother), the hilarious moment when we found out my brother was wearing Spiderman socks on his wedding day, lots of photos, throwing confetti and  then a long but fun lunch (where i deviated quite a bit from my usual 'diet' but without the guilt and worry of a past self - more on this in a future post)  at a nearby restaurant.

One of my favourite parts of today, however, was hanging out with my two cousins (ages 9 and 13). It was just so refreshing to joke around and have banter with KIDS. I've always enjoyed spending time with children. Sometimes I'd rather hang out with them than adults. Their innocence, their lack of deception, relative lack of following 'convention' and social norms, their ability to see the world from a unique perspective

They had their ipads/iphones ( I don't even know what exactly, I don't bother with keeping up to date with technological advancements seen as almost everything I touch breaks!) and were playing games which I joined in with. I have to say, I don't agree with kids these days spending so much time playing computer games etc when it's much healthier (emotionally and physically) to be outdoors. But whatever, it was fun playign shark games, and generally talking to them about funny youtube videos and more. Something that stuck out to me though, was when I asked their ages again to make sure. And they said I'm practically a kid too. I said "I'm 21, that's pretty much an adult! I feel so old!", and then they started talking about what makes you a grown-up. The 9 year old said "You're a grown up when you sit when you'd rather jump" and a few others which were generally about how you're a grown up when you're boring or serious etc. And i thought that's so true. You're not old until you stop enjoying life and living it to the full. I loved these guy's perspective on what it means to be a grown up. If you want to run and jump and shout and just have fun and be are not a grown up! Well, you know what? I may be 21 but I plan on being a kid forever! :D

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Sourdough bread

Wow, so my first ever gluten free sourdough experiment was a success! I literally haven't eaten ANY type of bread in at least 5 years, probably more. But I always loved experimenting in the kitchen as a kid, and I happened to stumble across some gluten free sourdough recipes and thought I could create a 'safe starch' bread of sorts using rice flour and tapioca flour. This isn't at all similar to 'regular' bread, which is fluffier and lighter, but then again I don';t really see the point of regular bread anyway! This is actually really good - it has a lovely tangy flavour from the sourdough, with a dense, moist inside and crunchy crust.
The second time I made this (today) I slathered on some coconut oil, and Oh my Gawd it was heavenly!
 Now, the thing with this 'recipe' is that I totally winged it. I got ideas from various blogs but didn't follow any measurements except perhaps for the very start of the starter. I'll write down below exactly what I did.

3 tbsp brown rice flour
Plenty of white rice flour
Tapioca flour
Filtered water
A few organic grapes

For starter
I first added 3 tbsp brown rice flour and  1/4C filtered water into a clean sterlized glass jar. I then added about 5 organic red grapes, mashing them into the mixture (the grapes add natural yeasts to kick off the starter). Left it for a day in a warm place. Then scooped out the grape seeds/skin, and added another few tbsp flour (this time white rice flour) and water, to make it the consistency of pancake batter. Again left in a warm place till it started to get bubbly and smell slightly alcoholic. Since then, I've added a bit of rice flour, and some water (no measuring), every 12 hours or so  then left to get bubbly again. Adding flour/water is called "feeding" the starter and keeps it alive. After about a week I felt it was ready to use to make bread

For bread
I simply poured some of the bubbly starter into a bowl, added white rice flour and tapioca flour till I could mix it into a dough (not too wet that it doesn't hold its shape but not too dry either. I mixed the dough with my hands, added some salt, formed a round and left in a warm place for an hour or two to rise slightly. I then baked it at about 150C for 45-60 mins till crisp on top.

I am entering this post to Fight back Fridays. Click on the link to see more real food posts!