Why I’m Learning to Like Red Meat

But, Cool Dad, they're so cute!

The Cool Fam’s 5-times-daily pile of dishes in the sink just got a little greasier.

My whole job these days seems to be cooking and handwashing dishes for myself and the 3 males in my household, so more grease in our un-air-conditioned kitchen isn’t the best news ever. BUT, I have to say my latest food experiment is going well other than that.

See, usually I shop at Trader Joe’s and get all sorts of healthy stuff to eat–loads of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lean meats like turkey and fish. I’ve rarely purchased beef because I thought it was one of those foods that was definitely bad for us. Perhaps I’ve been swayed by all the food documentaries I watched a few months ago on Netflix, or my visit to Old Sturbridge Village, or seeing the Strolling of the Heifers in Vermont, or my random internet researching, but I’m starting to believe that a little beef, eggs, butter, and whole milk yogurt might be really great for our health as long as it’s not the scary factory-farmed type. Yes, I’m talking grass-fed, organic animal products!

I always thought this stuff would be prohibitively expensive and possibly all just a big scam, so I might as well be vegan-ish. But this week’s trip to Trader Joe’s has changed my mind. Along with our usual stuff, I purchased my first organic grass-fed beef ($5.99/lb), organic grass-fed cow cheese ($4.29/8oz block), and organic grass-fed butter ($4.79/lb). Oh yeah, and the best hot dogs I have EVER tasted. Here’s a quick rundown of what has happened so far:

Grass-fed ground beef

  • Tasted it straight from the pan–WOW! It felt and looked and tasted so different and better than conventional beef that I’ve seen all my life. Which is kind of scary. It seems leaner too. I’m sold!
  • Worked quite well when I added half a pound to crushed tomatoes for a meat sauce. This made more than the four of us could eat, so I still have another half pound to use.

Grass-fed cow cheese

  • Nice strong cheddar flavor, which is the only kind they had at TJ’s.
  • I took a few months off of dairy when it seemed to be affecting Cool Newbie, but now we’re all fine, so this is pretty decadent to me!

Grass-fed cow butter

  • I can’t compare this to any other type of butter because I have never been one to add butter to anything, but it certainly makes any meal feel more satisfying.
  • I’m not sure what to do with it, so any ideas would be welcome! I certainly like the smell of it cooking and melting on veggies!

I’ve also started eating organic WHOLE milk plain yogurt, just like Cool Newbie does. Our eggs are organic too. I like the feel of eating things that are a little less processed and yet more satisfying than most other foods at the grocery store. I find myself eating much smaller quantities of food (my girlish reaction to animal fat, I suppose), which is a miracle in itself!

But, the biggest benefit of all of this is that my boys seem to be really happy about these changes. They seem more satisfied with beef or buttery vegetables than with mountains of the fattiest plant-based foods I could find. Time will tell if we all get fat from this experiment. In the meantime, I’m having fun learning to eat like a boy!

This post is part of Works for Me Wednesday.

14 notes on “Why I’m Learning to Like Red Meat

  1. Kristin

    I thought it was ironic when I saw this post this morning because I too have just started eating beef again. I stopped eating it in 2004 because it didn’t make me feel great, and I was reading vegetarian/vegan articles about how bad it is. But, since starting my new diet, my nutritionist has been trying for the last year to get me to eat beef. So, two weeks ago I bought some grass fed beef patties from TJs, cooked one and froze the rest. I have decided that I will have beef for one meal per week. And I will only eat grass fed beef. We can do this together :)

    Reply
    1. Cool Mum Post author

      Yay! Why exactly was your nutritionist trying to get you to eat it? Iron? I’m aiming to use half a pound of beef mixed into something for one meal every other day, total for the whole family. That keeps the cost down to $3 every other day.

      Reply
      1. Kristin

        Yes, for iron and zinc. I may up my consumption to 2 days a week, but for now I am just sticking to 1.

        Reply
  2. Reese

    My husband and I only eat grass-fed beef now, we’re actually going to buy a half of a cow because it’s cheaper. We were doing the Maker’s Diet for a while (you can read about it on my blog) and the book has some good reasons why we need red meat. I would look it up, but I’m holding a sleeping baby right now 😀 Organic butter really does taste way better than other butter, and I love butter!
    Oh, and I highly recommend goat milk and goat milk yogurt over cow. It’s much easier on your digestive system, among other benefits.

    Reply
    1. Kristin

      Hi Reese,
      Your comment peaked my interest when you mentioned the Maker’s Diet. I went to your blog to find out why you were on the Maker’s Diet and I see that you have Crohn’s. I too have Crohn’s and have been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for the last 10 months. It is working GREAT for me. I have heard of the Maker’s Diet but never tried it so I can’t compare it to what I am doing. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and let you know of another option if you still wanted to go the diet route.

      Reply
    2. Cool Mum

      Reese–I saw your posts about the makers diet on your blog a few days ago…very interesting. I googled it immediately. Sounds like you’re not loving it at the moment? I hope you can find some delectable treats that work for you soon!

      Reply
      1. Cool Mum

        Oh yeah–Kristin makes this really easy cinnamon “bread” for breakfast. You just add cinnamon and don’t bother mixing things separately, right Kristin? And spread with coconut oil? I need to try this, I actually have some apples I could grate.

        Reply
      2. Reese

        Thank you. We stopped the diet once my doctor said it was okay for me to get back on my medicine, but I hated it, I’ve never had to be so strict on what I ate.

        Reply
  3. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    I have been in your shoes…though it’s been a long time. I was vegetarian for a few years in high school, and remember the strange re-entry period when I started eating meat again. It tasted good, but it just felt really odd to be eating it after a few years without. But I’m glad your meat-eating adventures are going pretty well. (I love TJs, too!)

    I’m going to google the specific carbohydrate diet. I have to be really careful about which carbs I eat, or my blood sugar goes haywire!

    Thanks for the link love :)

    Reply
  4. Elizabeth

    Such an interesting post… and comments too. I’ve noticed that here in the CR, grass-fed organic beef looks and tastes different. Around here we pretty much eat only whole milk yogurt, cheeses, and butter. They’re so much more satisfying than the alternatives and I think they’re healthier too. Though I’ve never strictly followed the Makers Diet, I found it an interesting read several years ago and have incorporated a lot of the principles into the way we eat. You mentioned in your post that usually you buy turkey or fish… can you share some fish recipes one day? This is one of those foods I know we should eat more of, but just have no motivation to try. :)

    Reply
    1. Cool Mum

      sounds like you have a lot of organic and grass fed options there! do you have to go to special stores or is that a normal thing?

      don’t be too impressed about the fish. it’s called stir frying vegetables with tons and tons of dry dill (mountains of dill) and garlic and olive oil which makes the fish more palatable. and the fish i use is from trader joes….they have canned wild shrimp and canned wild salmon that is salt-free, bone-free, and skin-free. i have never seen that anywhere else. so easy cause it’s already cooked.

      Reply
      1. Elizabeth

        Hmm… mountains of dill? Sounds like it could be a Czech recipe.

        As for organic options, they do have special stores for them sprinkled throughout the city, but most supermarkets also have quite a selection too. Not as cheap as TJ, but certainly available.

        Reply

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