Friday, December 11, 2015

Paleo, New Fad Diet; Old Lifestyle Change.

“The Paleo Diet”, a new fad diet that became famous in 2013, when Hollywood big names “discovered” its benefits.  Stars such as, Jack Osbourne (son of Ozzy and Sharon), Matthew McConaughey, Megan Fox, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman and Gwyneth Paltrow swore it made them more fit and vibrant.  What is the Paleo Diet exactly?  It is a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans; consisting mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and fats; excluding dairy or grain products, legumes (beans), starches and processed food.  What about poultry?  Well, the Dodo bird may have been in existence, but very little evidence proves it was eaten by early man.

A diet of meat, fish, vegetables fruit; avoid dairy and high carb foods….hello, welcome to the eating lifestyle of the diabetic.  That’s correct, what celebrities made famous as a “diet” is actually the lifestyle that the typical individual, with diabetes, has to live by.  Factually, if every individual ate this way, those who are pre-diabetic, or possibly at risk, may just be able to avoid the disease.  Give it a fancy name and celebrity endorsement though, folks will jump on the bandwagon without even knowing why.  Remember the “cabbage soup diet”; that didn’t last long after people became very sick from it.  Point?  Don’t do things just because a famous person (actor, athlete, singer) says to; they are not trained nutritionist or dieticians!

Author, Dana Carpender, began her career as a newspaper food columnist, with many a published cookbook under her belt.  Two recommended are, “500 Paleo Recipes” and “200 Low-Carb High-Fat Recipes”; and the recipe I’ll be giving you is from the latter.  I am not attempting to push the “Paleo Diet” on you; I am giving you information about an alternative eating lifestyle.  Being a Type-2 Diabetic myself, I fully understand the frustration, anger, fear and confusion this disease causes a person; perhaps this will ease the pain a little.

“Winter Night Short Ribs” uses a marbleized, tough, meaty section cut from the ribs of cattle or pigs; hence the name.  Unless it is cooked carefully, it will end up being a chew bone for your dog.  Personally, I find this recipe perfect for a lovely meal for two (leftovers for later, of course); holiday, anniversary, birthday, or a celebration of some special event.  The sauce created is rich and full bodies, the vegetables so tender that they actually melt in the mouth, and the meat….mind blowing in taste and texture.  After cooking, the rib bone easily falls away; the fat has melted into the meat to tenderize into that mind blowing perfection.

Perhaps a change in lifestyle is far down on your to-do list, at least make this meal for yourself and that special someone.  This is major pointage you’ll be making in their eyes.

Winter Night Short Ribs
(from “200 Low-Carb High-Fat Recipes” by Dana Carpender, page 127)


2 pounds beef short ribs
2 Tbsp. bacon grease
½ large onion, or 1 small onion
1 turnip, size of a baseball
1 cup beef broth
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp. ground black pepper
\½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Optional: Guar or xanthan (for thickening, but you won’t need it, believe me!)


In a heavy skillet, medium-high heat, sear the short ribs all over in the bacon grease.  While doing this, slice the onion into 1-inch pieces; peel the turnip and cut into 1-inch cubes.  Place these into bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker (crock pot).  When the short ribs are browned all over, place on top of the vegetables.


Pour the broth into the skillet and add the seasonings; scrape up the browned bits (called “faun”) and mix well, including all the fat.  Pour over the ribs in the slow cooker; cover, set to low and cook 8 to 9 hours.  (Note: at 6 hours the sauce was bubbling a lot; checked the meat and veggies, they were done!)


The recipe states it yields six servings, but it ended up only being four for us; hence the meal for two plus leftovers.  A suggestion, a nice roasted and mashed sweet potato as an addition to the other vegetables.  The sweet potato is naturally sweet, so simply add butter and cinnamon for taste, or spoon the sauce from the short ribs over it.  Sweet potatoes are also low in carbs, so fits well with this meal.  
Mary Cokenour