Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth

There’s no denying that bone broth is trendy AF in today’s wellness world. However, the reality of bone broth is that it’s been around for centuries. Although our ancestors likely made bone broth due to a “waste not, want not” mentality (which I can totally get down with), it’s also jam-packed with all kinds of nutrients. While this is not an exhaustive list by any means, here are some nutrients that bone broth contains:

  • Healing compounds like glycine, collagen, proline, and glutamine
  • Easy-to-absorb nutrients like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, and sulfur
  • Anti-inflammatory compounds like condroitin sulfate and glucosamine

What do these nutrients do for the body? I’m so happy that you asked. Regular consumption of the above nutrients has the power to:

  • Heal leaky gut syndrome
  • Support the immune system
  • Improve joint and bone health
  • Eliminate food intolerances and allergies
  • Reduce cellulite and wrinkles
  • Boost cellular and liver detoxification

As someone who’s not a big meat eater, it’s important to me that I consume animal-based products mindfully. That’s why, when it comes to bone broth, one of my favorite brands is Kettle & Fire. So many “bone broths” on the market are a far cry from the real deal, but this company knows what’s up. Their bones come from 100% grass-fed, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free cattle. Their vegetables and herbs are organic. Their broth is slow-simmered for 20+ hours. Of course, with all of those wonderful things comes a hefty price tag. Once I could no longer keep up with my bone broth habit, I did some math and determined that making my own bone broth would be much more economical.

There are two crucial steps in the bone-broth-making process that cannot be missed! The first step, blanching, is crucial because it removes the nasty bits from the bones. You don’t want that funk in your broth! The second step, roasting, is arguably even more crucial because this is what gives the broth its dense, savory flavor. Skip this step and your bone broth will be…meh.

While we’re on the topic of flavor, let’s talk salt. Personally, I don’t add salt to this recipe because I prefer to season my broth just prior to consumption, depending on what I’m using the broth for at the time. Although I love to incorporate it into my cooking, more times than not, I simply heat it up, season it with some Himalayan salt, and sip it from a mug.

Making your own bone broth is not only economical, but also ridiculously easy. Throw some stuff in a pot, throw some stuff in the oven, throw some stuff in a slow cooker…BOOM! In terms of both nutrients and flavor, the longer your broth simmers, the better. So, as a nurse who works 12 hours shifts that leave me away from the home for at least 14 hours, I usually whip up a batch just prior to leaving for work. The delicious smell that I come home to is an added bonus.

Now, I present to you the recipe, which yields approximately 12 cups (96 oz) of broth.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 lbs beef marrow bones
  • 3 carrots, chopped into sticks
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped into sticks
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into eighths
  • 4 sprigs oregano (or herb of your choice)
  • 12 cups filtered water

What you’ll do:

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF
  • Add the bones to a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil for roughly 20 minutes; after 20 minutes has elapsed, remove from heat
  • Using tongs, remove the bones from the water and add to a baking sheet lined with foil; roast in the oven for 1 hour, turning halfway through
  • Add all solid ingredients to your crockpot; cover with filtered water and cook on low for 12+ hours
  • Once your desired cook time has elapsed, strain through a fine meshed sieve and discard the solid ingredients

Storage:

  • Store the broth in four 32 oz mason jars, filling no further than the 24 oz line; this will prevent the jars from breaking as the broth freezes
  • Once the broth has been poured into mason jars, allow it to cool in the refrigerator prior to freezing; this will also prevent the jars from breaking as the broth freezes
  • I prefer to leave a jar in the refrigerator so that I have some readily available to me

Top 10 Food and Beverage Instagram Accounts

People often ask me where my love of food and beverage comes from. The reason is threefold:

  1. My mom’s side of the family is obsessed with food. As such, it’s something that I grew up with. It is through my family that I learned that food is a surefire way to get people together and make memories around the table.
  2. I was a server at several upscale restaurants from the ages of 15 to 24. Those experiences are where my interest in obscure ingredients and the technical aspects of cooking and baking grew even deeper.
  3. I follow many incredible food- and beverage-related accounts on Instagram. It is through these that I seek inspiration and learn something new almost every day. When I explain this reason to people, the next question is typically, “Which are some of your favorite accounts to follow?” After struggling to come up with some of my favorite accounts on the fly, I was inspired to create an organized and well-thought-out list.

I must say that compiling this list wasn’t easy. To narrow it down to just 10 of my favorite accounts was a challenge. While each of the accounts that I selected has its own flair, you’ll probably notice that I am drawn to fresh and local ingredients, stunning photography, vibrant colors, and creative twists on classics. What I ultimately love about all of these accounts is that they make it quite obvious that healthy food doesn’t have to be limiting or boring. In fact, the food and beverage featured in these accounts are anything but.

So, in no particular order…

Alpha Foodie

Half Baked Harvest

Cravings in Amsterdam

Feed Me Dearly

Ful-filled

Madeline Lu

Reclaiming Yesterday

The Delicious Life

Circa Happy

Elsa’s Wholesome Life

Slow Cooker Pork Banh Mi

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Have you ever made something you’re just so dang proud of that all modesty goes out the window? Well, ladies and gents, for me, this is that dish. While all the components are simple to prepare, they’re all from scratch and packed with tons of flavor. The best part of this dish is that it can be prepped in its entirety the night before, making it perfect for parties in which you want low-maintence, yet impressive food.

For those of you familiar with banh mi, your mouth is probably watering. For those of you unfamiliar with banh mi, do yourself a favor and get some in your belly ASAP.

But seriously, for those of you unfamiliar with banh mi, it’s a Vietnamese sandwich consisting of a flavorful protein, homemade mayo, and pickled Asian veggies served on a crusty baguette. Top all of that off with fresh cilantro and jalapeño slices and – BOOM – you’ve got a party in your mouth. The combination of sweet, spice, and crunch is just delightful. What started as Vietnamese street food is finally taking the American food scene by storm.

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PART 1: SLOW COOKER PORK

What you’ll need:

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 a yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grape seed oil
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • Approx. 3 lb. boneless pork butt

What you’ll do:

  • Combine all ingredients, minus the pork, in a food processor; blend until smooth and transfer to a freezer bag
  • Add the pork to the freezer bag, zip, and ensure that the pork is coated with the marinade; refrigerate overnight
  • The following morning, add the pork and any remaining marinade to your slow cooker; cook on low for 6 hours and rotate the pork halfway through if possible
  • Once 6 hours has elapsed, remove the pork and slice into small pieces; discard any remaining marinade

PART 2: GARLIC CHILI MAYO

What you’ll need:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. garlic chili oil
  • 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Himalayan salt to taste
  • 1.5 cups grape seed oil

What you’ll do:

  • Using a hand mixer, whisk together all ingredients, minus the grape seed oil
  • Next, over about 5 minutes, slowly add the grape seed oil, thoroughly mixing between additions 
  • Once the mixture thickens to a mayo-like consistency, transfer to a squeeze bottle and chill overnight

PART 3: PICKLED ASIAN VEGGIES

What you’ll need:

  • 1 bunch rainbow carrots, julienned
  • 5 pickling cucumbers, julienned
  • 6 rainbow radishes, julienned
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cups pure cane sugar

What you’ll do:

  • Split the prepped veggies between two quart-sized mason jars
  • Add the water, vinegar, and sugar to a medium pot; bring to a boil
  • Cover the veggies with the pickling liquid and refrigerate overnight

PART 4: ASSEMBLY

What you’ll need:

  • The above components, prepped
  • 2 baguettes, sliced into 8 pieces and lightly toasted
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro

What you’ll do:

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Step 1: Gather all ingredients.

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Step 2: Add desired amount of garlic chili mayo.

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Step 3: Add desired amount of slow cooker pork.

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Step 4: Add desired amount of pickled Asian veggies.

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Step 5: Top with desired amount of fresh cilantro and sliced jalapeño.

Slow Cooker Baby Artichokes with Lemon-Asiago Aioli

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I have always loved artichokes, but it wasn’t until recently that I experienced eating a whole artichoke. It was one of many small plates that my roommates and I indulged in at Vernick, and it was divine. It never dawned on me to attempt to create a similar dish until baby artichokes caught my eye at Whole Foods the other day (mostly because they’re so cute!). While I’ve only seen whole artichokes on menus a handful of times, regardless of the restaurant, they have been prepared either on the grill or steamed. However, to avoid any of the guess work that goes into ensuring that the artichokes turn out perfectly tender, I opted for the slow cooker instead.

Once cooked, these guys are intense with flavor and make for a unique, relatively healthy appetizer that will wow your guests. To eat, simply remove a leaf from the artichoke, dip the meaty portion of the leaf into the aioli, and scrape off the meaty portion with your teeth. Discard the remaining leaf. As you work your way toward the centermost leaves, the leaves will be tender enough that you can eat them in their entirety.

PART 1: THE ARTICHOKES

What you’ll need:

  • 12 baby artichokes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Cracked black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste

What you’ll do:

  • Rinse the artichokes thoroughly; prep by cutting of the stems, as well as about 1/2 an inch off the tops (for full-sized artichokes, cut about 1 inch)
  • Arrange the artichokes in the bottom of a slow cooker
  • Combine the broth, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and salt in a food processor; pour over the artichokes
  • Cook on high for 2 hours (for full-sized artichokes, cook 3 hours)
  • When finished, arrange on a serving dish

PART 2: THE AIOLI

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil mayo
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup asiago, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Italian herb blend
  • Cracked black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste

What you’ll do:

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor; blend until smooth
  • Pour into a small serving bowl

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Slow Cooker Lamb Stew

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Well, well, well… I have finally got this stew thing down. After making it several times over the past year or so, I’ve concocted a recipe that is entirely my own and everything that I’ve ever wanted in a stew. My secret ingredients – of course, no longer secret after this post – are dry red wine and fresh lemon juice. Why? Both ingredients add bright, complex flavors to any dish, and this stew is no exception. Personally, I loved it with lamb, but any red meat can be used.

Simply put, this stew is easy to make, hearty, and delicious, making it perfect for a laid-back winter meal. Do yourself a favor and serve it with a loaf of fresh-baked, crusty bread for dipping.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. celery seed
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Himalayan salt to taste
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 lb. leg of lamb
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine (I used Malbec)
  • 15 purple potatoes, halved
  • 15 golden pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 3 portobello mushroom caps, diced
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch (or thickening agent of your choice)

What you’ll do:

  • In the bottom of a slow cooker, stir together the EVOO, parsley, basil, celery seed, garlic, and desired amount of salt and pepper; coat the leg of lamb with the mixture
  • Stir in the lemon juice, broth, red wine, potatoes, onions, carrots, and mushrooms
  • Cook on high for 5 hours, or on low for 9 hours
  • Remove any remaining meat from the bone (most should have fallen off on its own) and break into smaller pieces if needed; add the meat back to the slow cooker and discard the bone
  • Stir in the tapioca starch until the broth thickens and the stew is thoroughly mixed together

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