Category Archives: Appetizers

Chopped Liver Paté

Leila left us a recipe for liver paté:

This is my new (ok, only) favorite way to eat liver …

Today I had some for dinner on rice crackers – yum!… It took about 15 minutes to make, not counting the soaking time.

We tried it last weekend for the Super Bowl, and it was excellent.


We would recommend beef or lamb liver (not pork liver – see the upcoming conclusion to the pork series) from a naturally pastured and fed animal. Chicken liver is also good, but again should be from a healthy naturally raised animal. We don’t normally insist on grassfed for most cuts, but it’s worth insisting on grassfed when you eat liver. The liver is a detoxification organ and unhealthy animals can easily have livers that are rich in toxins and inflammatory molecules.

Supporting that judgment, we have found that grassfed beef livers have a noticeably better taste than conventional livers. Fortunately, organ meats are inexpensive even from organic farmers. We typically pay $4.99 per pound for grassfed beef liver. (Here is the price list of a Massachusetts farm we’ve bought from recently).

Leila’s trick is to soak the liver in milk beforehand, which helps remove things like blood that may contribute to a bad taste.

Here are our ingredients:

This was 1/2 lb (225 g) of liver. This is an appropriate amount of beef liver for two people to eat in a week. The liver has been sliced into pieces 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick, and is soaking in milk. Other ingredients are an onion and boiled egg; 4 tbsp butter plus a similar amount of coconut oil; and cilantro. Leila used kimchi in place of the cilantro, for a spicier flavor.


After soaking the liver for an hour or so in milk, discard the milk. Brown the liver slices in the butter, cooking 3-4 minutes per side on relatively low heat:

Remove the liver when it has been browned on all sides and add diced onion.

Then put everything – the cooked liver, cooked onion, cooking fluids from the pot, boiled egg, coconut oil, and cilantro – into a blender and purée. The result:

Serve with rice crackers:


This still has a bit of a liver taste, but tastes really good to us. There’s room to experiment with ingredients; Leila writes:

I’ll probably use more kimchee next time to make it a bit spicier, and more onion.

We recommend consuming in the range 1/4 to 1/2 lb (100 to 200 g) ruminant (beef, lamb, or goat) liver per week for copper, vitamin A, phospholipids, and other nutrients. This eliminates any need for copper supplementation, and provides a great bounty of other nutrients.

If you eat more than ½ lb (200 g) per week of ruminant liver, copper toxicity becomes a real danger. If you intend to eat liver in larger quantities, switch to chicken liver once your ruminant liver intake gets above 150 g or so in a week. Finally, we recommend avoiding pork liver, for reasons we’ll get to in the next (or next two) science posts.

Onion Rings

Our series on American food has included a number of finger foods; we’ve done Chicken Wings, Hamburgers, Chocolate Chip Cookies, and French Fried Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes. But we can’t leave out onion rings.


You’ll need with a batter, made of 4 egg whites, 1 tbsp cream (or milk), and a pinch of paprika, salt, and pepper to taste:

Slice a yellow onion (we like the taste better than sweet onions) and separate it into rings:

Finally, prepare a coating. We like puffed rice, or puffed rice with mixed nuts, ground in a food processor:


Place the rings from one onion with 1 tbsp potato starch and salt and pepper in a Ziploc bag:

Shake until the rings are evenly coated. Then dip them in the batter:

And then the coating:

Lay them out on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 400ºF (200ºC):



They taste great alone or with a dipping sauce: we tried melted butter, ketchup, and our Pacific sweet and sour sauce.

Dumpling Rolls

This is our name for Chinese dumpling fillings in Vietnamese spring roll wrappers.

It could be described as a Perfect Health Diet-compatible Asian-style hamburger. Dumpling burgers? Hamburger rolls?


Here are some of the filling ingredients – green onion, shiitake mushroom, 1/2 lb shrimp, ginger, and garlic.

Other filling ingredients include 2 lb ground beef, 2 tsp fish sauce, 2 tsp soy sauce, and a pinch of salt. Traditionally Chinese dumplings contain ground pork, but we favor beef over pork.

You’ll also need spring roll wrappers, and for a dipping sauce rice vinegar and ginger.

Preparing the filling

We minced all filling ingredients except the ground beef and shrimp in a food processor, pureed the shrimp separately, and combined them with the ground beef in an unheated wok. This is 2 lb ground beef, the shrimp, and the other filling ingredients before we mixed them:

This is what they look like after hand mixing:

Preparing the spring roll wrappers

The easiest way to do this is to buy pre-made Vietnamese spring roll wrappers. You can see that the ingredients (tapioca, rice, salt, and water) are Perfect Health Diet-compatible.

The wrappers need only be pre-soaked briefly in warm water, one by one, just before use:

Once a wrapper is moist, soft, and flexible, spread it on a work surface and place some of the filling on it. Then wrap the wrapper around the filling, burrito-style:


We recommend steaming the dumpling rolls. We used a wok with a steaming tray on top. To prevent the rolls from sticking to the steaming tray, we placed a bed of shredded cabbage between the steaming tray and the rolls:

Pre-heat the water to a near-boil before placing the steamer tray on top. When ready to cook, cover the wok, bring the water back to a boil, and steam for 10 minutes. When the filling has changed color throughout, they’re done:

Serve them with the now-cooked cabbage, some cucumber slices, and a dipping sauce made from sliced ginger and rice vinegar:

Alternative cooking methods

You can also fry the dumpling rolls, as here:


This is a very flexible dish: you can adjust the filling ingredients and dipping sauce to suit your taste. We quite liked this hamburger-like flavor, but next time we’ll probably use less ground beef and more shrimp. Or maybe we’ll try some cheese, onion, and tomato in the filling for a cheeseburger roll!