Wheat-free eating enters the gourmet world

While in Toronto as part of my Experience Wheatlessness tour, chef David Chrystian of the Victor restaurant in the Le Germain Hotel prepared a meal specifically crafted to fit the Wheat Belly lifestyle. In particular, the chef focused on the elegant preparation of organ meats. Chef Chrystian was a Top Chef Canada
contestant on Food Network in 2012.

Many people’s notions of organ meats end at liver and onions, or unappetizing presentations of other offal. Chef David Chrystian’s elegant and wonderfully presented dishes were therefore a true delight to see and to eat.

Here are two of his dishes (among the six he prepared for us!):

Roasted Bone Marrow and Orgaganic Rib Eye with arepas, salsa verde and kidney beans
The combination of flavors and the mix of textures were heavenly.













Buttermilk fried Sweetbreads with sauerkraut, hot sauce and sweet potato
Sour, spicy, and smooth sweetness made wonderful accompaniments to the slightly crunchy sweetbreads.













Butter Chicken Liver with tomato and cardamom chutney and almond naan
My favorite, the pate-textured chicken liver blended perfectly with the tomato and chutney.













Primitive humans feasted on the organs of animals. Not only would it be silly and wasteful to not consume them, various organ meats provide nutrients essential to human life, such as iodine from the thyroid glands, omega-3 fatty acids from the brain, carnitine from the heart, and vitamin C and phospholipids from the liver.

It was therefore a genuine and eye-opening experience for Chef Chrystian to show us just how delicious and beautiful a meal of organ meats can be.


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Comments & Feedback...

  1. GrainFree4Ever

    Has anyone got a view on the Eat Right for Your Type diet as per the book. Just wondering as I went to an Iridologist during the week and was advised to eat for my blood type and some of the foods listed to avoid I don’t really want to avoid. For example avocado, cinammon, black pepper, pumpkin, chicken and bacon.

    Most of the foods to avoid, I don’t really eat anyway. Interestingly the wheat and grains are in the avoid list as well. I have been grain free for 3 weeks so don’t have to worry about that.

    Any thoughts? Is there any scientific reason I should avoid these foods I listed above or should I not worry about it. Do the blood type diets have any validity? I am eating as per WB but was just wondering.

      • ElleKat

        Dr. Peter D’Adamo was my doctor for 2 years in the early 2000’s and I found his diet very good. I’m “O” and his advice for O’s is no wheat! At that time I did go wheat free and felt great. For “O”s his reco is high protein, few grains, lotsa veggies….and again I felt great, very thin and very high energy. My regular MD asked what I was doing as my Chol was nice & low, maybe 168. When I told her about my food, she recommended less red meat! She had no idea about the blood doc’s diet so her reply was canned AMA. My boyfriend was “A”, we ate the same diet–and his cholesterol was over 300 when tested, he felt really bad (he thought he was O) low energy, sleeplessness…..

        Generally when I meet someone who easily adheres to a vegetarian diet, they are A — nine times out of ten. I don’t know much about B or AB.

  2. JillOz

    Those dishs look very nice! Good enough to be on trays at cocktail parties!

    Roasted bone marrow as adish with toast has been around for awhile now. Years ahgo in Spain I (accidentally) orderd a dish of tripe (stomach oning I think! ) and chickpeas. I didn’t quite know what to make of the sweetbread thing but I ate the delicious chickpeas! With m,ore organ stuff on offer,a nd now I know more about it I can be m ore adventurous.
    I’ve long been a fan of French pate (sans pork) where they do wonderful things with liver and herbs etc.
    You can get chunks of it at delicatessens and sometimes butcher shops.

    And my family has been eating chicken liver for years – some lemon juice and herbs, I’ll be eating it more often!

    I actually made my own pate recently from lambs’ liver, worked well.If anyone is interested here is the simplest recipe I could find:

    A butcher told me that before you start making the pate, DO be sure to soak the liver for a couple of minutes so you can peel off its membrane.

    Doing the broth thing at the moment – not three days worth though – I think it might actually have worked after a couple of false starts!
    I definitely need to up my vegies though,ears block with too much fat/oil ingestion, I find. :(

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      Thanks for the recipe.
      I stopped eating liver and other organ meats many years ago because of their filtering capacity, thinking that the residues of all the antibiotics and other undesirables would be present and just contribute to another dose of toxins. Now, with all these “clean, pastured, humanely fed animals available to provide our food, it seems safe to eat these things again.

      Too bad Chef Chrystian didn’t provide a recipe!

      • Dr. Davis

        It’s actually very tough to get recipes from experienced chefs I find, Barbara, as they cook somewhat impulsively and intuitively and struggle to be specific in portions, cooking times, etc.

        • Culinary Adventurer

          Dear Dr. Davis,
          And Barbara in New Jersey too;

          Two areas of questions here and another call for a recipe:

          One: Please share – how did your presentations go? What were the crowds like? Are there reviews? What are your impressions of how you are being received? I’d love to hear your take on the experience.
          Two: As a foodie adventurer, I admit to still being shy when it comes to organ meats. Why? Well, because I am never sure when eating them (out or in for that matter) if they have been raised in a healthy way and butchered and processed likewise. Also I don’t have a clue as to which organs of which animals are the “right” ones to eat. Whose liver and which brain, y’know?

          My dad was a liver and onions guy but that didn’t rub off on me either. Still, after seeing those pictures of Chef David Chrystian’s dishes, he has my attention! Would he be willing to advise those of us still reluctant organ diners by providing one starter recipe… say, for his “Butter chicken liver with tomato and cardamom chutney and almond naan”? That looks so irresistible!

          • Barbara in New Jersey


            There are many recipes on line for chicken liver. Ina Garten has a ggod one. Some use butter, some rendered chicken fat. Nearly all are WB compatible with lots of choices of flavorings. When I purchase my free range etc. chickens, I have been washing and freezing the livers until I have enough to make a small bowlful. I spread this on rye or pumpernickel bread using Dr. D’s recipe.

      • JillOz

        Really Barbara there are great recipes all over the web. IF you use those with awesome ingredients, you’ll get some great results!

        I prefer buying the good stuff, but do experiment.
        I had no trouble with that pate recipe I posted.

        • Barbara in New Jersey


          I have been browsing for recipes. Not only for chicken livers, but for beef and lamb liver. On another thread, we talked about roasted marrow bones. There are lots of recipes for this too. I remembered my Grandmother roasting them and also found I inherited a marrow scoop that I never knew what it was used for.

          I’ve been noticing many more bones available in food stores now. My internet search revealed roasting recipes and techniques and it seems that this has been on some cooking shows too.

          Thank you Dr. D. for posting this meal. All these forgotten healthy dishes seem to be slowly coming back into favor.

      • Janet

        I heard on a Paleo blog that conventional calves liver is better if you can’t get grass fed organ meats. The calves are younger (obviously) so the liver is cleaner–not wholly clean, of course, but if you can’t get anything else will be a good substitute. The person recommending it was one that I trust. (although I can’t remember the name).

          • Barbara in New Jersey


            You whetted my appetite and I dug out Zabar’s ( world famous NYC deli) recipe for Chopped Liver:

            1/2 lb. beef liver
            1/2 lb. chicken liver
            4 TBS. rendered chicken fat* (butter or oil may be used)
            2 hard cooked eggs
            2 large onions chopped
            S&P to taste

            Broil livers until done, not dry, about 5 minutes (turn once).
            Saute onions in fat until golden. Place liver, onion , fat used for frying and eggs in food processor to blend to desired consistency. Chill 3-4 hours. Serves 2-4 people. Traditionally served on bed of lettuce with tomato, sliced onion and grated black radish.

            * To render chicken fat: Remove fat and fatty pieces of skin from chicken (you can save this and freeze or possible ask your chicken supplier for some) and cut into small pieces. Cook in heavy skillet until fat is melted and onions are dark brown. 1/4 cup onion per cup of fat is the general proportion.
            Freeze any extra.

    • unterderlaterne

      @JillOz, I have trouble finding calf , beef and lamb liver, only frozen chicken livers are plentiful. Did you order your product on line? Barbara (SF Bat Area).

      • Barbara in New Jersey


        Whole Foods carries them. My local store will get it for you fresh if you order in advance. Otherwise, they have frozen available. Seems that both calf and chicken liver’s are in great demand and the store runs out of them. Same with beef bones for broth or marrow!

        If you ask the butcher in any shop that sells grass fed beef or even the free range, etc. chicken, they probably would have a supplier available.

        I’ve seen many more brands of grass fed milk and butter available too. Raw milk cheeses are available and these are mild tasting and creamy.

        • unterderlaterne

          @ Barbara, thanks, you are always there for the rescue!
          Wish I had a Whole Food Store close by. My daughter calls it the whole pay check store, lol.
          A propos bone broth* do you use one genre of bones, or do you mix poultry – and beef bones together ?

          • Barbara in New Jersey


            No, I only use one type of bone in each broth i make. I find the flavors are much too distinctive to mix. I use the broth as a base in varying recipes and for soups so it makes a difference on the taste. I don’t care for the taste of any other kind of poultry/fowl broths, Veal, beef and lamb broths are much “heavier” tasting and I don’t combine them either, but many people/cultures do.

            I use mainly chicken broth. I do find that the “clean” animal bones do yield a richer flavor that blends better with whatever recipe I use it in. Veal, then beef broths are my next favorites,
            but my freezer space is too limited to store all 3 kinds at once.

            Isn’t it wonderful to be able to ask questions and compare experiences?!!!

      • JillOz

        No, I got my lamb liver in a slightly upmarket supermarket that features organic meats.

        I’m not in America but undoubtedly if you look online you wil find organic grass-fed meat sources. You can get this stuff posted to you!

        Delicatessesns, upmarket butchers and health food shops all have good grass-fed/ organic meats/livers.

        Also try French food suppliers and French delis. They generally have liver pates and tinned duck /pork/chicken livers in tins.

        Try Asian butchers/grocers as well. They cook a lot of duck and chicken in fabulous ways involving lots of spices and vegetables, generally with fresh lettuce. These are no that expensive and thgen you could look up online how to cook thse dishes.

        Korean places do bone broth by the way.

  3. stephen ottridge

    I love frying up lamb kidneys with my bacon and egg on a Saturday morning. Rabbit kidneys are great too but where do you get them?

    • JillOz

      Oh Monsieur, anything that exotic should be from a French foods supplier or a game butcher methinks! :)

  4. This is a great recipe and one of the best curry I tasted. I’m T2D and this meal only raised my blood sugar 5 points. I used the leftover chicken from a supermarket chicken my wife and I had the day before. Wheat free for 10 weeks and complete control over my blood sugar and cholesterol down from 235 to 185. HDL and LDL both went up 1 point. Still working on triglycerides.
    Enjoy the meal. The next try will be with shrimp.

  5. stephen ottridge

    I get my lamb kidneys from a couple of real butcher shops. You have to ask for them. c’est la vie.

    • unterderlaterne

      Wish I could go shopping in France- a charcuterie on every corner! Ah oui, c’est la vie, n’est ce pas? LOL! Barbara S.

    • Dr. Davis

      Yup: They are trying to throw up the “gluten-free foods are unhealthy” smokescreen to discredit the entire collection of arguments.

      Once again, tactics borrowed from the tobacco industry playbook!

  6. Brenda

    Not sure where else to send this. Dr. Davis, your anti-wheat advice saved my sanity, restored my quality of life, and has allowed me to resume my passion, running. In the last 2 years I went from PR’ing at Boston to barely being able to run. After “spraining” my SI joints, I was left with a right SI joint that seemed permanently inflamed. My ortho said I had a compressed disc and that the pain was sciatica. When I described it as tendinitis-like, he said I was mistaken. The pain was debilitating and gradually worsened. I did PT and yoga and pilates diligently, but it didn’t help. Running became an exercise in pain tolerance. It got worse, and I started to collect injuries that didn’t want to heal. Costochondritis, achilles issues, and PF all interrupted my training. I didn’t know what was wrong, but nobody could tell me what would fix it. I basically had to stop running and was miserable. The wheat-free test was an act of desperation. I absolutely did not believe it would work. It worked beautifully. My first runs pain-free brought me to tears, literally. Thank you, Dr. Davis. I’ve been touting your advice to everyone who will listen.

  7. Reader1

    In the new book the Omni Diet Tara Amen says that whole organic milk is ultra pasturized. Does this make it a good product to eat? Does it have any nutrients left to it? Why does the government require ultra pasturizaiton of whole milk and not the others?

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Reader 1,

      There are 8 categories of pasteurization with temperatures ranging from 145*F (30 minutes ) to 280*F (2 seconds). The higher the temperature, the more enzymes/bacteria are killed and the longer the shelf time. Milk normally stays fresh 16-21 days with refrigeration. With each increase in temperatures, the shelf life increases too. The Ultra High Temperatures allow for a 2-3 month shelf life with an additional 16-21 days (if refrigerated) for the milk to be in aseptic packages. Protein, lactose, vitamins and mineral levels are not essentially affected by heating.

      Homogenization, while convenient, changes the fat concentration by distributing it evenly through out the product.

      There is a taste difference with each increase in pasteurization temperatures and with homogenization. Cooks know this. Babies too! It is especially noticeable in recipes needing whipped cream which needs more sweetener and whipping to hold it firm. All milk is pasteurized. Some states allow the sale of raw milk and milk products, some don’t. Just check the expiration dates and type of pasteurization process used which is printed on the package.

      People who can tolerate raw milk products often have difficulty with the pasteurized, homogenized ones. It isn’t just the lactose or casein levels either. Many probiotics have the same enzymes/bacteria that have been destroyed in the milk by heating it. Any wonder why the best quality probiotics are kept refrigerated? This is what Tina Amen is referring to.

  8. JillOz

    DR Davis, Tom Naughton’s Fathead site mentions the Australian Catalyst program that slammed the Lipid Hypothesis and questioned statins.
    One of the MANY reponses has been this show:
    Talking Health on 3AW radio (Australian).

    I rang in and mentioned you! I rang at the 1/2 hour mark in the first hour if you want to listen.
    IF you want to hear the program, it is available by podcast.
    I recommend it because the way they responded not just to my question but in general to the Catalyst
    Google Talking Health podcasts Dr Sally Cockburn 3AW. Nov 10 2013.
    Her guest is Dr Richard O Brien, an endocrinolgist/diabetes practitioner /associate professor guy.

    (They do make the point later in the program that it is up to people what they put in their body and if they can achieve the results by diet so much the better. Dr R. does say that he only wnats people who need the drug to be on it, nbot others. Lot of talk about risk factors/assessments).

    I just rang to pass on what I’ve learned, not delve into statistical models!

    Wonder what you’ll make of it… :)

  9. D.Archer Crowe

    I have been wheat free for more than a year…… I have lost alot of weight. BUT ! Speaking of gourmet food…. I am not able to give up 2 things I just CANNOT imagine living without.
    I don’t eat them very much anymore… or in any quanity if i have them…. it’s usually just a mouthful.
    or a very tiny piece…. once in a while.
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE crispy french bread with melted brie on it.
    AND….. a good plain buttery croissant.
    I dont ever dare eat more than a bite of either anymore……. but I just can’t NOT have that one little bite.

    Does anyone have any recipes for either of these bread items ?
    OR… if you love melted cheese on bread…. what do you melt the cheese on ?
    I do not have a weight problem and I eat cheeses with fruit when i do eat them… but I LOVE it melted on something.
    I am stumped on what to use in place of my beloved french bread. lol
    And… as far as croissants ….. that’s just always going to be there. I just LOVE them TOO much to give up that one little bite. LOL

    Does anyone else have this kind of problem with a food item…. and is cheating like I am ?
    I am totally grain and wheat free…. except for THAT tiny bite….. once a week or so ! LOL
    I just cant help myself.

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      Dr. Davis has several recipes for breads on this blog and his cook book. There is also a very good sunflower seed recipe here. Paleo/primal web sites have endless recipes for you to look at. Wheat Free Market Foods sells muffin mixes that are delicious with butter. Plenty of recipes for melted cheese things.

      I find that I usually don’t even like former wheat favorites and have no interest in eating them anymore.
      Even little “bites” keep the memory of wheat and all its ramifications alive every time you indulge. Your body can never really heal.

      • D.Archer Crowe

        Hi Barbara… Thanks for your comments. I have been pouring over LOADS of paleo sites. I LOVE all the stuff on the internet but I keep coming back to the french bread and the croissants. lol
        Like I said… I dont have much…. but I do have a bite now and then. Until I find a great recipe to take the place of them…. I guess I will be continuing on this path with them. I am very glad though to be done with most wheat and sugar. I never thought I would be SOOO happy with a new dietary change as I have had since I gave up the wheat and sugar. Its wonderful. I will continue to look for alternatives to french bread.

        • Barbara in New Jersey


          Nora Gedgaudas (Primal Mind – Primal Body) recommends L-glutamine supplementation to stop the cravings for your bread. By the continued ingestion of your bread, you are keep restarting the inflammatory response from your immune system which means your body will never really heal and you will always have the cravings.

          This immune response can last from a few days to months, even at a low level which you don’t perceive. In other words, you still can be clogging your arteries with plaque.

          You might try to keep a diary of sorts listing the dates and times of your “treat”. My guess is your will find a pattern there. Relate it to other things happening in your life and if you were actually eating enough fats, drinking enough water or are deficient in some nutrients.

        • unterderlaterne

          I recommend this site by Maria Emmerich. She is a genius with recipes. her *sub-sandwich bread *is so good, actually tastes like real bread. It has some funky ingredients , such as *Psyllium powder*, an ingredient that holds the dough together It is helpful to read the comments.
          She also has cook books with rave reviews.
          Good luck, Barbara S.

  10. Debbie G.

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    What are your thought on dried beans? My kids love it when I soak them overnight and make dishes like chile, refried beans, soup, hummus, etc. I would like to keep eating them. I am hoping that they are still a good meal choice.


  11. Kat

    I bought this book in a Canadian city bookstore, but had to return it because pages 87 -117 are missing. I want to get it again, but need advice as to how I can be sure to get one that does not have this problem if I order it online. I don’t want to name the bookstore or city, because I don’t want anyone to have any bad publicity. You can also delete this post if you wish, and reply to me directly if you can. I just wasn’t sure where to post this to get the problem addressed.