Paleo Diet Grocery List: Grass-Fed Beef.
I walked into my local butcher shop this morning and I saw this amazing looking grass-fed T-Bone Steak. Immediately I thought about firing up the barbeque, make some chimichurri sauce and for the sides, some twice-baked sweet potatoes with roasted garlic and chives. Alas, Tim is away for the next two days visiting his mother, so I can’t imagine James, Jake or myself would want to feast on something this great without sharing it with him.
So I took home some grass-fed beef tenderloin instead. Jake and James are at school for two hours longer today, so I would have some extra time preparing something fancy for them. Though I must say that this is not how we eat daily but given that the boys really miss Tim, I thought some extra fancy food would cheer them up.
The plate that I put together below, although a tad more (ok, maybe much more) time consuming than I normally would like to spend on cooking dinner should be included in all the best paleo cookbooks out there, if I do say so myself – let me know if you think otherwise.
But before giving you the recipe and the picture perfection that resulted, hear me out on my thing with grass-fed beef. I hope this will persuade you to include grass-fed beef in your Paleo diet.
My Thoughts On Grass-Fed Beef
No other ways of saying this – cows and grass are made for each other. With a four-compartment stomach, a cow’s digestive system can convert grass and leafy herbaceous plants into protein, a key skill that us humans are not capable of. The cows manage this by chewing and softening their food in the first compartment of their stomachs, then regurgitating the cud (food that is brought back from the stomach) and chewing it again. That may not sound too appetizing, but this characteristic is special and places cows in a class of animals called ruminants, a status shared by sheep, goats, bison and deer.
For the ruminants that grace our dinner plates, grass is truly their natural diet as it keeps them healthy and in my carnivorous opinion, pretty yummy.
Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed Beef
What a cow eats can have a major effect on the nutrient composition of the beef. This is particularly evident when it comes to fatty acid composition. Grass-fed beef usually contains less fat in total than grain-fed beef, which means grass-fed beef contains fewer calories.
In terms of fatty acid composition, this is where grass-fed beef shines:
- Grass-fed beef has slightly less, saturated and monounsaturated fats.
- Grass-fed beef contains up to five times as much Omega-3 as grain-fed beef. Among many health benefits, Omega-3s help lower risks of heart diseases, relieve arthritis, reduce incidents of depression, lower inflammation, improves symptoms of ADHD, protect against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Grass-fed beef contains about three to five times as much Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) as grain-fed beef. Among many health benefits, CLA helps reduce cancer tumour incidences, fight inflammation, and reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Grain-Fed Beef is still healthy, but not as healthy as Grass-Fed
It is important to keep in mind that conventional grain-fed beef is still healthy; it is just that by eating a natural diet and eating what it is built to eat, grass-fed cows are in general just or absolutely healthier for our bodies. Quick examples include grass-fed beef containing more Carotenoids, Vitamin E and minerals (potassium, iron, zinc and phosphorous).
Should I then Buy Grass-Fed Beef only?
Now the question that probably pops into your mind is should grass-fed beef be a staple in my Paleo diet grocery list and is it worth it. The answer to that question is yes, if your situation allows for it – that is if it is available in your area and that you can afford it. Like I have mentioned, conventional grain-fed beef is healthy by its own right (if you don’t overcook it), so switching to grass-fed beef is really about looking at costs and availability for the extra health benefits.
Perhaps next time you shop for beef, you may consider purchasing the more expensive grass-fed beef and eat a lesser amount of beef overall to maintain your budget. This is what I do in my household when I splurge on expensive meats – I offset the increased costs by reducing the amount or frequency of consuming that meat – for a few days that week, we would go vegan, the Paleo Diet way.
Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Sauteed Wild Chanterelle Mushroom and Spinach over a bed of Coconut Cauliflower Puree; and topped with some baked Rutabaga chips (serves 4 people)
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
- 2 pounds of grass-fed beef tenderloin
- ½ stalk cauliflower (cut up into pieces)
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ pound chanterelle mushrooms (roughly cut up)
- 1 stalk of organic spinach (cleaned well and roughly cut up)
- ¼ Rutabaga – peeled and sliced thinly (can use a mandoline or a food processor) (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic (roughly chopped up) Sea Salt and Pepper Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp of almond flour
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
- Put cauliflower in hot boiling water and boil for 10 minutes
- Put an oven-ready skillet on the stove top at medium high heat
- Season the beef tenderloin with generous amounts sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Rub the beef tenderloin with olive oil
- Once skillet is hot, pan-sear all sides of the tenderloin for about 2 minutes aside ensuring that the juices and flavors are captured and sealed.
- Once all sides are seared, put in the oven for about 10 minutes for medium-rare results. Cook 5 minutes longer if medium or medium well results desired.
- While tenderloin is in the oven, sauté individually the chanterelle mushrooms and spinach with garlic and olive oil.
- When time is up, take tenderloin out of the oven. Transfer to a slicing board and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- For the sauce, heat the skillet, add 1/4 cup of water into the skillet and de-glazed the pan. Make sure all the bits and pieces from the skillet is picked up and mixed. Add almond flour. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- For the cauliflower puree, drain the cauliflower from the pot. While still hot, put the cooked cauliflower and coconut milk in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add some olive oil to get a thick consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Optional Rutabaga chips: Toss the rutabaga with olive oil. Sprinkle with some sea salt and the black pepper. Spread the rutabaga across a baking sheet so it fits in one layer. Bake for 30-35 minutes in 180°C oven (same as beef tenderloin), flipping the pieces every 10 minutes. They will curl and turn crispy. If the chips need more time, put them in for another 5 minutes and check again until they are at desired crispiness.