Clean Eating Day 7 [SCD, GAPS, Whole30]

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Breakfast
Hot tea, egg scramble skillets (one with turkey breakfast sausage and one with leftover chopped Italian sausage link and kale…we liked the turkey sausage one better), grapefruit, banana
Lunch
Veggie soup, grassfed hot dog or chicken apple sausage, apples
Dinner
French onion soup with leftover shredded T-bone steak, leftover brusselsprouts, salad with green apple, avocado, soaked and dried walnuts, and dressing.

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I like to make French Onion Soup the day after having a roast or steaks…some leftover beef to mince and add for a heartier main course than just broth and onions. But, a soup with so few ingredients requires each part be the best. I used beef bone broth which I made from gelatin rich knuckle bones (they come no extra charge when we buy 1/4 cow), and simmered them for 2 days in the crockpot. I did this a few weeks ago, so all I had to do was remember to defrost a couple quarts this morning.

Below is the steak shredded and ready for the soup and the leftover brusselsprouts awaiting the oven. I have been successfully broiling brusselsprouts all autumn long, but when cooking them yesterday they did not get tender. I rebroiled them today thinking I hadn’t done them long enough, but barely better. These were in a bag from Costco…perhaps this is end of season and they aren’t fresh anymore.

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French Onion Soup
2 large sweet yellow onions
2 Tb ghee
2 qts beef stock
1/2 tsp thyme
Celtic sea salt to taste (about 2 Tb)
Fresh ground pepper (Flower Pepper-TJs)
1/4 allspice
2-3 cups shredded cooked beef
Melt ghee in large heavy enameled pot. Slice onions into 1/4 inch thick quarter moons, then break into single strands while coating in the heated ghee. Caramelize over medium heat, stirring every 5 minutes until a rich golden brown, about 30 minutes. Add beef stock and spices. Add half of salt and allow to simmer, then taste and adjust seasoning.

Of course, this is best with toasted bread and cheese melted on top, but we enjoyed it plain. It’s only 30 days!

20130108-231552.jpgSalad. Yum!

French Onion Soup

Mmm . . . what could be more comforting on a dreary winter evening than a bowl of cheese-encrusted French Onion Soup? Made with a base of homemade Beef Bone Broth, it’s also a immune boosting, gut healing, blood and bone building elixir. The addition of steak is optional: I landed on it as a great way to use day-old steak, and my husband loves finding hearty meat in his soup!

4-5 yellow onions, sliced
3-4 shallots, sliced (if unavailable, use an additional onion)
5 T. butter
1 quart strong beef bone broth, tallow removed
2-4 cups water
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves
day-old steak, sliced thinly against grain, or shredded roast (optional)
1-4 tsp. unrefined sea salt (see note)
crusty bread for topping, artisan soudough or french bread is good
sliced cheese for melting, such as Havarti, Jack, or Gouda

Melt butter in a large heavy enameled dutch oven. Add sliced onions and shallots, stirring to coat with the butter. Cook uncovered over Medium-High heat for 15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes with a wooden spoon, or until onions have turned a dark brown as they caramelize. Cover and cook another 25 minutes on Medium-Low, stirring occasionally. Onions will shrink during cooking.

Add broth, water, thyme, bay leaves, pepper, meat if desired, and half of salt. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves, and add salt to taste (see note). This soup has a lot of sweetness from the carmelized onions, so I like it best when I’ve salted just enough for my tongue to tell me “savory” rather than “sweet/bland”. (Since the homemade broth isn’t pre-salted, you may be surprised by the amount of salt it will need.) I can not overemphasize salting correctly, as this brings out the delicate onion/shallot flavor, bringing it from frumpy to fabulous.

Set oven to Broil. Toast bread, unless it is the ends, then slice into 1 inch strips. Ladle soup into oven-proof bowls, and top with toast slices, then top with sliced cheese. Place bowls on top rack of oven and leave door open slightly so you can watch them; they are ready when cheese melts and bubbles, with light brown edges.

Serve straight from the oven to the table; warn your family of the hot bows and set potholders at each spot to protect your table top.

Note: different salts have differing amounts of saltiness. Unrefined salt (usually grey, red, or another color because of the minerals still in it) is less salty than refined salt, which has additives (including aluminum -yuck!) for dryness and easy pouring which give it a harsh or bitter flavor and dextrose sugar to cover this flavor. Unrefined salt is the better choice, but you will need to adjust the amount you add according to taste. If the salt you use is the moist coarse kind (such as the wonderful Course Sea Salt from Trader Joes), wait a few minutes after adding salt to the soup pot before tasting. Since it has large salt crystals, it takes a little longer for it to dissolve; it would be easy to oversalt it in haste.