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Foodie Friends & Organ Meats (You won’t believe what my vegetarian friend, and her Mom, did for me…)

Sonia Sandie

Kent & I have been blessed with many friends. Some we met in high school, college, church or at work; there’s our bible study friends, Marine Corp friends, neighbor friends, and those we met through school, soccer or my day care… life would be so boring without them and we’re thankful for each one. These days I can add my online friends, too – that means you. (It’s neat how close you can feel to people you’ve never met, just from emailing and interacting in blog comments.) :)

And then there are my “foodie” friends!

Today I want to tell you more about an ex-day care/neighbor/soccer mom friend who is also a foodie: Sonia.

Saturday morning when picking up our son for soccer, Sonia asked if he wanted a blueberry banana smoothie or a strawberry banana smoothie for the drive. “I’m making it with raw egg yolks and plenty of cream!” How could ya not love a friend like that?! (I returned the favor later that day when her son had lunch at our house: raw milk, organic pbj on fermented ww bread, and fresh from the farm market carrots, apples & blueberries – fun! We both get all giddy about feeding our kids this way. It sort of feels like we’re getting away with something, when they’re eating foods they love and have no idea how nutrient-packed it is. It also helps to counteract the junk they have at other times!)

As if that’s not enough…you’ll soon find out where Sonia gets her awesome foodie-friend-ness…from her MOM!

Her Mom, Sandie, who is a “Weston A. Pricer” at heart (and may not even know it!), loves things like beef tongue (none for me, thanks), liver (I’ll try it someday), gizzards (Mom used to cook ‘em but I never ate ‘em), and all those nutrient-dense organ meats. Contrary to popular belief, the fat in organ meats is good for us! Read how the saturated fat myth or lipid hypothesis began. Also, check out the YouTube videos on healthy fats at that post – I found this format great for understanding the topic better. More about the many nutrients in organ meats: “You CAN eat organ meats!” If I can, you can.

While I’m not as adventurous as her, Sandie knows how much I treasure organ meats, so she’ll send them over now and then when they won’t be able to use them. (Is she awesome or what?!)

Have you ever had a vegetarian at your door yelling, “ORRRRGAN MEEEEATS!”???

So the other day I heard someone at my door yelling, “ORRRRGAN MEEEEATS!!” in a sing-song happy voice… Sonia was delivering the goodies to me from her Mom, but here’s the thing, Sonia is a vegetarian with an obvious aversion to meat – what a good friend, eh?! (Sonia has began eating meat since this post was originally published, however.)

That time it was beef heart, and as much as I don’t notice any difference in taste or texture in the part-ground-beef/part-beef-heart mixture from the farm, I was still a little squeamish about plain, sliced beef heart. It wasn’t bad at all, though, since Sandie sent it all sliced it up and cooked! I made a yummy beef & vegetable soup with it and not one person in the family noticed anything – they all thought it was just plain beef. He he, I love knowing that my family got an extra dose of nutrients that day.

The next time, Sonia showed up at my door with an oxtail (makes great stock) and some more beef bones from Sandie, but this time she declared, “From now on you and Mom can do your own disgusting exchanges!” Sandie & I had a good laugh over that one. :)

Do you have any good “foodie friend” stories to share?


  1. Hi Kelly
    I will email soon to introduce myself properly. I live in the UK, and follow a ‘nourishing traditions’ way of living. I absoloutely love your website. Can’t wait to tell you my journey, also I am a complete Julia Child ‘freak’. I relate to so much you say. Anyway, for now, just wanted to know the recipe proportions for the cream/raw egg smoothie your friend Sonia made. It sounds YUM, and am always looking for ideas to give my five year old boy Luc. Will be in touch very soon. Love Jo

  2. Hi Jo, I can’t wait to hear more from you! :)

    Sonia just emailed me and is having trouble replying to your comment from work, so below is her reply (and here is my post on something similar: From Sonia:


    I’m a cook but not a measurer, so the best I can do is give you estimates. :) I just recently burned up my blender on smoothies, so watch yours carefully if you try this. Below are the amounts I use when I make enough for two smoothies:

    3/4 cup yogurt

    1/2 cup whipping cream (I don’t have raw milk to skim the cream from, so I buy the best quality whipping cream I can find.)

    2 egg yolks

    2 frozen very ripe bananas, broken into smaller pieces–easier for the blender

    1-1.5 c. frozen blueberries or strawberries

    Adjust amounts according to your taste preference. I always add the whipping cream toward the end and blend it until it starts to be a good cross between creamy and frozen. My kids–always wary of what healthy foods I am trying to sneak by them–really, really love this.


  3. Beef tongue, though disgusting in its outward appearance, is delicious. It tastes just like a good roast beef, only more tender. My mom used to cook it all the time and make a very nice lunch meat spread out of it with onions, celery and mayonnaise. Do not hesitate to try it.

  4. Julie,
    Hmmmm, but I can’t get that picture out of my head from Cheeseslave’s post on it a long time ago…..disgusting!

    Maybe if it was ground into a lunch meat spread…? Do you have a recipe for that by any chance?

    Kent used to eat “pickled tongue” – that’s just SICK!

  5. Kelly, you ought not to dismiss something you haven’t even TRIED! Beef tongue IS delicious. Kind of tastes like corned beef.

    Remember the person who said they would NEVER eat sushi, the same person who now LOVES it? Uh, yeah that would be you.

    Remember the person who said they would NEVER eat raw oysters, who actually ended up liking them, and told me she now sometimes still misses them with their fresh taste of the sea? Again, you.

    Oh, and you HAVE had liver and you LOVED it. Remember the foie gras appetizer we had at Grace.

  6. I can’t remember if you said you liked the liverwurst from US Wellness Meats. When we go to the conference this year, you are going to try their head cheese. They also have pate on the menu, which you are going to eat.

    And I’m going to buy you some salmon roe from Vital Choice.

  7. Can Sandie share how she cooks and slices (prepares) the beef heart. We get a 1/2 a cow every year from a local organic farmer who pastures and raises awesome beef. However, I do not know much about cooking organ meats. I have made beef liver saut

  8. BTW oxtail does make the BEST stock. I made some the other week (which ended up being my reduction sauce that I used for my Braised Short Ribs — the sauce that required a whole bottle of red wine and a cup of port — remember, you said, “Couldn’t you just use beer? LOL!). Anyway the stock was so gelatinous, I couldn’t even pour it. It was like a huge vat of JELLO!

  9. I count oxtail as my gateway into eating non-muscle meat last year. I ordered it at a local Cuban restaurant last October and ended up LOVING it. This increased my resolve to try liver again (last attempted at age 10 and couldn’t swallow it), and now I do like pate, love liverwurst and braunschweiger, and am developing a taste for straight liver.
    Oh, and in April, I had local shad roe. YUMMMMMM!

  10. Soli –

    When I go to a restaurant that serves liver or other organ meats, I often will try it. I like to try new things to see what they are like. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to finish — and I just get dessert.

    When I was in Ohio this summer visiting family, I ordered the liver and onions. It was just OK — not great. The other week we went to a British pub and I tried steak & kidney pie. It was yummmy!

    Braunschweiger and liverwurst are DELICIOUS! Love them!

    Seth brought some fabulous liver pate home from Amsterdam other day. It was more like a liverwurst than a pate. Tasted a lot like liverwurst. He loved it — the 3 of us (Seth, me and our toddler) ate the whole thing that night/the next morning.

  11. Hi Ann Marie

    I’m honestly reluctant to get organ meats in a restaurant because I am unsure of origin. The liver I’ve been eating has been from the farmer’s market. Plus, the guy who sells our liver also only has the only pastured chicken eggs for sale. Amazingly, they’re the cheapest. AND he periodically has a copy of NT out on his table.
    Maybe I’ll get brave. I was at a great tacqueria outside Chicago this summer, and they had both liver and tripe tacos on the menu. Next time I am out there I might give one a try.

    I also have an ambition to make leverpastej (pate, for the non-Swedes) for Jul/Christmas eve this year. Above mentioned farmer knows I want pork liver and he’s going to keep an ear out for me.

  12. I am actually quite surprised that I have a fondness for organ meats. Beef liver is so yummy. We have been eating lots of organic chicken livers lately (I love the chopped liver recipe from Edible Aria- it tastes like liverwurst). And last month my husband brought home an antelope and I cooked up the heart. It was very good. I just put an order in with my Beef CSA for beef tongue, heart and oxtail.
    Last year at this time we didn’t even eat organ meats so we have come a long ways.

  13. Ann Marie, I actually do like the liverwurst from USWM, I forgot about that, but I like the head cheese better – tastes just like a sliced sausage! (Readers, you can get it on my resources page!)

    I wouldn’t know what the heck to DO with salmon roe! The only reason I tried all that stuff you mentioned is because you were a good food coach, and only had me try the most awesome versions of those foods! I just couldn’t TOUCH the beef heart to cook it (can’t get that picture out of my head!). Maybe my farmer could grind it for me……..

    BTW, Guinness beer is PERFECT on our ribs recipe, girly! (And cheaper than a whole bottle of wine!)

    Steak & kidney pie? Oh boy.

    Soli, dare I ask what “shad” roe is……….?? I can’t wait to hear what Ann Marie says about organ meats in restaurants and not knowing their origin, because I wonder about that, too. You would think that conventionally raised organ meats would be even more scary that regular meats. (She’s leaving for the weekend, though, and may be gone already, so it may be a few days before she checks email again.)

    Lisa, hopefully Sandie will see this and answer you for sure, but I think she said she just sliced it and fried it in butter.

    Millie, you’re growing in your “real food” maturity faster than I am!!

  14. Kelly,

    Shad is a kind of fish, apparently it’s also known as river herring. The roe strikes me as a prime example of both traditional and local food. You can only get it in the spring because that’s when the fish lay their eggs, and I can easily imagine the Nations around here eating it along with piles of shellfish before Europeans came over.
    If you ever eat it, make sure you have an acid for it. Tastes great that way.

  15. Oh … I so STRUGGLE with organ meats. I’m going to make myself whip up a chicken liver pate this weekend, but egads, I hate that strong organ meat flavor! I once left a bag of chicken feet in the fridge at work after someone had dropped them off (not in a sing-songy voice – how disappointing!) and it scared my poor coworkers.

  16. Thanks Soli!

    Jenny, you sound like me, so beef heart is just the thing for you! Get it ground up with ground beef from your farmer and there’s NO taste!

  17. Kelly,

    So with you on this, Kel! :) I’ll clip organ meat recipes, and there they sit silently in my recipe accordian-thing. I have absolutely no interest in trying beef tongue or brain! I do the beef heart mixed with ground beef and I’ll put a pureed cube of liver in ground beef dishes, but that’s about as far as I’m willing to go. Otherwise, icksville! And you’re better than I am with the whole Braunchschweiger thing–I just gave my husband my “portion” and when I do eat it, I have to “turn off” my taste buds. I do, however, much prefer the Head Cheese!

    And if you ever try the Salmon Roe and find a way to get it successfully into the family, do tell, do tell! I’ll be waiting on the sidelines in the meantime, cheering you on!! :) :)

    Love, Julie L.

  18. I visited with my mom about how she used to cook up beef tongue. She would simmer it with onions, celery, carrot chunks, salt and pepper. It takes about 2 hours she thought. She would slice it very thin and serve with horseradish, or chop it up with celery, onion and mayonaise for a very nice sandwich spread. It really is good.

  19. Julie L., I’m glad to hear you’re like me, and you’ve been at this much longer!

    Julie, I believe you…really I do…but I just don’t know if I can do it!

  20. Kelly, I made Kimi Harris’ Pate recipe ( and it tastes like the best liverwurst I’ve ever eaten! I used to eat a liverwurst sandwich once a week as a kid with pickles and mustard. I stopped when the “experts” started screaming about organ meats being high in cholesterol. Now that I’ve found this recipe I’m up for more!

    Tongue. Hm. I know it’s a delicacy, but, um…I don’t know. I’ve mixed ground heart with ground beef (back when I had a food grinder) and it was wonderful. Now I can’t find anyone to grind it for me so we’ve put that habit aside.

  21. I honestly thought steak and kidney pie was just beef and kidney beans. Am I wrong? Actual kidneys? Go Brits! LOL

    I did not grow up eating organ meats. Ever. I want to make myself like them. I eat the Braunschwieger… haven’t thawed any Liverwurst or Head Cheese yet. And I just haven’t gotten around to grinding the heart so I can add it to ground beef. I really want to. I mean to. I just… don’t. Apparently the farmer I got beef from back in Kansas would always grind the heart into the ground beef he sold. Since it was one heart going into all the ground beef from the cow, it wasn’t much. But it was better than what I’m getting now.

    I flippin’ love sushi and roe. Well… most roe. Dh and I are fans of Iron Chef, so we recently jumped at the chance to try sea urchin roe (an infamous ingredient from one episode). Oh My Goodness. I have officially used up all my “try it” coupons for an entire calendar year. That was gross!!!

  22. Bekki, you make me laugh. :) So do you eat roe at home, or at a restaurant? I just don’t get what to DO with it (how to serve it, what to eat it with, etc.)…

  23. I have added salmon roe to salmon salad… adds a nice salty bite. I can’t enjoy caviar/roe the way I used to… with cream cheese on crackers or super-toasty toast… thanks to figuring out multiple food allergies. But, thankfully butter is still on my menu, so I put a nice fat smear of semi-cold butter (it really helps to have it kinda cold, less greasy) on a rice cracker (I especially love Edwards & Sons Purple Rice crackers, but they’re hard to find) and top with a dollop of roe. I haven’t tried many kinds of roe yet- my budget generally only allows the cheap stuff at the grocery store. But I tried to make sure I had a little every day when I first found out I was pregnant again (surprise!) So many good nutrients. :-)

    Well, I guess my favorite way to eat roe is on whatever sushi rolls it comes on. But, that’s definitely not in the budget very often anymore!

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