Offal & Odd Bits Challenge: Cookbook Recommendations

by lydia on October 14, 2012

I’ve been enjoying the focus on offal this month. It has been helping me to use up a lot of the organ meats I have on hand in my freezer. Since I’ve been working with organ meats for a few years now, I have quite a number of recipes I work with. However, a lot of people are wanting to try offal and don’t know where to start. I thought I’d mention a few of my favorite real traditional food cookbooks that have some great ideas and recipes to use a wide variety of offal and other odd bits. (In case you were not aware, I am hosting an ‘Offal & Odd Bits Challenge‘ this month – be sure to check out the details!)

If you do not have a copy of ‘Nourishing Traditions‘ by now, you simply must own one! This book is where I first learned of the great nutritional value of organ meats and the first few recipes I tried were from it as well. Not only will you get a lot of great recipe ideas, you will get educated on the benefits of organ meats.

I think my current favorite cookbook in my collection has got to be, ‘Forgotten Skills of Cooking’ by Darina Allen. It’s a beautiful depicted hard cover book with more recipes than you can possibly ever know what to do with – which is part of the beauty of it, you will always be able to find something new to try. Any kind of offal or odd bit is in this book. I just made the best chicken liver pate I’ve ever tried from a recipe in this book, and I’ve tried many recipes prior.

I love this book so much, I could spend an afternoon getting lost in it, and be as happy as a clam! In my opinion, it’s a must have cookbook for every real traditional foodie to own.

I also really like, ‘the Grassfed gourmet cookbook’ by Shannon Hayes. She has a couple of great recipes for beef tongue and a variety of recipes for liver. Her ‘Terrine de Fois de Volaille (Chicken Liver Mousse) is next on my list of recipes to try. I also just think it’s a great cookbook for grassfed/pastured meats in general – she has some really creative ideas. I think it’s a good one to have in your cookbook library for sure!

Another great resource is my friend Lisa’s eBook; ‘Lisa’s Counter Culture: Pickles and Other Well Bred Foods’. This ebook is comprised of lots of recipes for fermenting in an anaerobic vessel such as the Pickl-It, however there are plenty of nourishing recipes that are not fermented. Lisa walks on the wild side with braised squid, lamb sweetbreads and more in a section dedicated to organ meats.  Click here to visit LisasCounterCulture and purchase your copy today!

Lastly, I must mention a classic ‘The Martha Stewart Cookbook: Collected Recipes for Every Day‘. Martha has got it going on, well at least she used to before she started promoting low fat recipes. There are plenty of classic recipes using offal and odd bits in this gem. She sure likes her caviar and fish roe too!

A great book to understand the importance of organ meats in the diet and how much it benefited traditional societies, so much so that they prized organ meats for fertile couples in preparation for child bearing, is; ‘Deep Nutrition’ by Catherine Shanahan. One of my all time favorite books on nutrition, this book goes deep. Thus the name. Yeah, I know I sound corny here, but it really is profound. I personally think it should be required reading in high schools across America, but that won’t likely happen in my lifetime. Regardless, if you have not read this book yet – you really should. It will compel you to take eating your offal more seriously, as well as other foundational nutritional practices.


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LydiaLydia Joy Shatney is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is the chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

Lydia offers specialized step by step counseling to transform your health. Personalized consultations to suit your specific needs are offered via phone, Skype or in person. Lydia offers a variety of packages offered to suit your individual needs. Contact Lydia today for your free initial consult and to learn more about what she has to offer you!



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