Most people hear liver as a menu item and think “GROSS!”, when in fact, if prepared well, liver can be a tasty way to get a wide range of dense nutrition for an incredibly cheap price! Chicken liver is a great protein dense option for individuals who eat poultry and fish but not red meat to get B-12 from a food source. In addition, chicken liver is loaded with heme-iron (easily available), which can also be difficult to get in readily bio-available amounts (note other non-red meat sources of iron include fish, poultry, nuts, beans, spinach, etc although many of these sources are not quite as bio-available and iron rich as we’d like). Chicken liver is also rich in Vitamin A, a range of other B-vitamins, folate, and more! Liver is such a great source of nutrients as this is the organ within our and other animals’ bodies that stores and processes most of these nutrients and therefore is a one stop shop for many of the nutrients we need.
As this is such a great nutrition source, we might as well find a way to make this a tasty dish that saves money in comparison to other animal proteins sources (eg I paid about $2 for a pound and a half). Below I have a tasty chicken liver and bell pepper recipe that I tried with great success this week!
Ingredients: (makes 8- 3 oz servings)
- 5 lbs raw chicken liver
- 4 garlic cloves (or to taste)
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (or to taste)
- 2 bell peppers
- Black pepper
- Red chili pepper flakes
- Cayenne pepper
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- Defrost chicken livers in microwave (note usually only easily found frozen in stores)
- While chicken livers are defrosting:
- cut two bell peppers into small square pieces/strips
- Peel garlic gloves (note breaking with a knife helps with peeling) and dice very finely
- Once liver has defrost, place olive oil in the bottom of the pan and lightly coat to prevent sticking.
- Put liver in pan along with lemon juice, bell peppers, garlic, and spices to taste.
- Stir Fry on medium-high heat for approximately 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly (note for food safety purposes, it is recommended that liver is cooked with no blood/pink remaining)
- Once finished recommended to serve over rice (or as in image, over rice with a side salad for added freshness)
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with this tasty, nutrient dense dish and welcome messages or comments with any feedback you may have!
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-Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN
Denver’s Dancing Dietitian
A Taste of Health, LLC
“Improving Quality of life one bite at a time”