18 January 2010

carnivore restaurant, nairobi

I have to say that after hearing some great things about Carnivore in Nairobi, everyone in our group was disappointed. We expected it to be somewhat touristy because most tour packages include a stop off at the restaurant to try exotic African game meats. But we were hoping the delicious meats would make up for the tourist trap factor. The meats weren't all that delicious though, unfortunately.

We were given the fixed price all-you-can-eat meal. They place a carousel of different sauces in the middle of the table (a sauce for each meat) with a flag on top. Then servers walk by with giant skewers of meat and carve some off right onto your plate. When you're full, you take your flag down. The meats include different cuts and preparations of chicken and beef, there's lamb and goat, and the exotic meats for the night were ostrich and crocodile. 

I'm not a huge meat eater but I like it when it's done well. My favorite piece of meat was the chicken drumstick that was served at the very beginning of the meal. Mike liked the beef. We can get better lamb and goat here in Bujumbura. And none of us were impressed by ostrich or crocodile. The ostrich was ground and made into meatballs and it tasted like strong turkey. Crocodile does not taste like chicken. Anyone who says that is a liar, or has no imagination or has absolutely no idea what chicken tastes like. Crocodile was salty and chewy and full of tiny bones. If chicken were like that, I'd never, ever eat it.

I know I'm not the best judge of a meat restaurant, but Mike is a carnivore and he was disappointed in this place. If you're going to Nairobi, take the time to find some lesser-known establishment that will treat you to a more authentic African meal. Carnivore is a tourist trap.

10 January 2010

whole grains from bob's red mill

For anyone who's vowed to eat healthier this year, Bob's Red Mill has some of its popular whole grains on sale for 20% off this month, including some that are gluten-free. When I started the gluten-free diet, finding a source of whole grains seemed like a huge problem. Everywhere you look in the grocery stores, "whole grain" means wheat. But thanks to Bob's Red Mill's quinoa, I've found a tasty, healthy, protein-packed grain to love.

On the Monthly Specials page, the quinoa, millet, and kasha are all gluten-free. Note that the popcorn and rice are not necessarily processed in a wheat-free facility. Read labels carefully and ask questions if you have them before ordering. 

Don't know what to do with these grains? Check out the Recipes page. I love using the quinoa in place of wheat in tabouleh. 

*I am a regular consumer of Bob's Red Mill products. I have not received any compensation for this post.

02 January 2010

buffalo guys buffalo beef jerky

Did you miss me? Thank you to all my followers who have stuck by me in this month-long dry spell. December was the most ridiculous month I've had in a long time. But I have lots of gluten-free food notes to share in the coming weeks.

You may recall that my previous post had me jetting off to Kenya for a few days of hiking, biking, and chilling with the warthogs. I was in the market for a high-protein hiking snack and I brought along Buffalo Guys Buffalo Beef Jerky, in both the Mild and Sweet Peppered varieties.

Once we finally arrived at our camp and got started on our bike through Hell's Gate National Park, we didn't really need to bring lunch with us, but we did need snacks. I packed the sweet pepper jerky and some dried mango that I'd bought in a Nairobi supermarket. (I love buying local dried fruits--it's only the fruit, no sugar or anything else added.) After a few kilometers of biking, slowly, stopping to observe warthogs, maribou storks, and all the other fun safari creatures, we reached a good place for a snack, i.e., a spot with a picnic table and toilet. I went to the bathroom and when I got back Mike had already broken into the jerky, which he proclaimed to be the best jerky he'd ever eaten. He should know; he's eaten a lot of it. I tried some, and I really liked it. I can also say it's the best jerky I've ever eaten, but I've only had it once before! 

Some reviews I'd read said the sweet pepper was too spicy, but I didn't find it spicy at all. And the dried mango was an awesome complement to it. We chowed down on our jerky and mango.

The next day we brought the mild jerky with us. This one was good, but neither of us liked it as much as the sweet pepper. The mild jerky was chopped and reformed into rectangles, whereas the sweet pepper was left in more natural strips. It was still pretty good with the mango on the side though.

So, I am officially a buffalo jerky fan now. I could eat the sweet peppered jerky every day. I wish it weren't so pricey, but I know that's the price of high-quality meat. (When more people start demanding high-quality, healthy, nutritious meats, the price will fall, right?) Buffalo Guys sells range-raised, antibiotic-free meat products. You should check them out. Since I live overseas, I can't purchase any of their fresh meats, but I'd certainly try them if I could.

I purchased this product and was not compensated in any way for this review.



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