Author / Samantha Flaherty
Inspired by our recent Power Athlete Radio podcast with Ashleigh VanHouten, aka the Muscle Maven, I decided to tackle a very special Valentine’s Day dinner: BEEF HEART.
I don’t know what says I love you more than cooking the organ that the entire holiday is about. It is well known not to cook something for the first time when you are entertaining, but luckily for me, my husband is a fellow carnivore and was very intrigued by the special dinner I had planned.
In the podcast Ashleigh talks about this being one of the more approachable organ meats to tackle, and I agree. The heart is a muscle, so image and texture is not too far off from the usual cuts of meat most Westerners are used to preparing and eating. Heart is nutrient dense, lower fat, and high protein.
At Power Athlete we are always talking about diversifying your diet. We commonly talk about eating ROYGBIV (the rainbow) in vegetables and fruit in order to ensure you are getting the maximum amount of micronutrients in your diet. But this doesn’t need to stop with different colored veggies. You can also get in differing micronutrient profiles from protein, even within the same animal. For example, heart is high in selenium, zinc, B Vitamins, iron, and folate (which if you are an expecting mother is a really important micronutrient for your developing baby).
So here is my experience with cooking a beef heart:
The first step in being able to tackle this dinner was procuring a heart. This is not a product that is readily available at the local grocery store, so it took some calling around to find a local farm that had beef hearts available. I was able to get a whopping 3 pound heart for only $7.50. Talk about a cheap date!
I followed the recipe for a bison heart on page 135 of Ashleigh’s cookbook. The recipe was super easy to follow, and once the heart was cleaned, the preparation went really quickly! The beef heart is cleaned, and then stuffed with onion, mushrooms, and diced up bacon. The only alteration I made was adding in minced garlic because I am obsessed with garlic. Preparation of everything took me about 20 minutes which included cleaning the heart, chopping all the stuffing ingredients, and searing the heart in the cast iron skillet before tying it up and popping it in the oven. In the oven I roasted mine for 40 minutes at 350 degrees to get a nice medium rare temperature.
All in all the beef heart was a hit and will be making a return appearance at my house. I hope that this inspires some of you to get out, find a local butcher or farm, and try something new!
But I do have a word of caution: this might not be a meal I recommend on a first date!
Yes, you could flip the script that you were trying to make a nutritious meal because you care about their micronutrient profile and longevity, but the night will probably not end up where you are wanting it to go.
If this happens, or you are celebrating the holiday of love alone, just remember that no matter what happens this Valentine’s Day, we are here to support you. Feel free to drop us a line, or you can always call or text us on the podcast hotline at 929-ing-ing0 (929-464-4640). Remember, the hot line is always hot.
Hugs and Love,
PODCAST: PA Radio EP- 449 Ashleigh Vanhouten Has Guts
RECIPE: Ooey Gooey Gluten Free Cookie Bars by Samantha Flaherty
BLOG: Tiny Nutrition Habits for Colossal Body Comp Results by Rob Exline
COACHING: Power Athlete Nutrition Coaching
APPAREL: Power Athlete Carnivore T-Shirt
Samantha has been an athlete since childhood, focusing on gymnastics, track and field, and cross-country. Samantha found CrossFit, and eventually CrossFit Football as a means to continue personal performance and fill a competitive void. These all led her to Power Athlete, the methodology course, and eventually to earning her Block One. She currently works in the greater Raleigh, North Carolina area as a Power Athlete Nutrition Coach and as a Personal Trainer applying the Power Athlete principles with all of her clients.
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