Mutton Stew

Mutton stew with added greens and chickpeas.

Mutton stew invites questions about red meat and stroke. By adding plenty of vegetables you can alter the health properties of the dish completely.

Our dinner tonight is really a red meat goulash; this recipe also uses plenty of vegetable and other foods that lower cholesterol. It looks like a dog's breakfast, eh; just remember, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You will not be disappointed; it is easy to make and very tasty.

Even more important it is very healthy.

Red meat of course needs to be balanced with protein from other sources. Here you can see we have added chickpeas and, at the last minute, a handful of spinach.

The world health organisation after extensive research has declared that red meat is probably carcinogenic; it is almost certainly true. If you love mutton as I do, then you have to load your stew with flavonoids like which mop up the dangerous free radicals.

Kaempferol is particular rich in your greens like spinach; the chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, have strong cholesterol-lowering properties too, second only to rolled oats.

Can we have our cake and eat it? Yes, provided you doctor it up with other ingredients; to be quite honest it actually improves the flavour of your mutton stew.

Other animal protein sources

Fowl, for example this chicken bones bouillon  and my very own favourite fish soup are other nourishing sources of animal protein; neither are difficult nor time consuming to prepare.

So, too, this very delicious eggs Florentine breakfast. The high cholesterol content is balanced by the spinach. It's the richest source of anti arthritis magnesium but you do need a small garden patch for growing your greens.

Vegetable high in protein

Even when enjoying a red meat dish such as this mutton stew, I'll always try and include some form of vegetable high in protein; chickpeas and lentils are probably the easiest. Or enjoy a side dish say of tofu or hummus with a salad.

A 1m x 1m, 10 square feet, patch of garden is all you need for growing spinach. After radishes and green beans, spinach makes such easy growing.

With all the research now confirming that many of cancers, for example of the breast and prostate, are caused by a high animal protein diet, mutton stew needs to be balanced with foods like lentil protein and one of our very simple, inexpensive, ten minute dinners; tofu nutrition.

My favourite vegetable protein dish, hummus, is so easy and excellent that I make it twice a week. Chickpea Garbanzo Bean dip, also known as hummus, can be made in only five minutes once you've got the ingredients; only the cumin and paste may be slightly unusual.

You simply can't eat too much vegetable protein and, besides which, they register high in the phytochemical foods that keep cancer at bay.

You can't live without protein, but too much is not healthy, especially if you are heavy into cheese, eggs and red meat.

On the other hand, if you are really overweight, that's not healthy either so, for a period, a higher protein diet, rich in fish, fowl, meat and  especially legume, together with a very low carbohydrate diet, is a good way to lose weight.

Most of us are overweight however because of too many refined carbs, not because of too much fat. Tuck into too many high GI carbohydrates and you'll have serious obesity. 

I've never read anything in the literature about too much vegetable protein resulting in poor health.

So, you can pig out on hummus, tofu and lentils; either in your mutton stew, or as a side dish.

Why all this at a chiropractic help site? What you eat, and those foods that your body is missing out on, will have a profound effect on your joints and overall health. Just a lack of omega 3 from cold water fatty fish or flax seed will give you serious arthritis. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on heart stroke diabetes is very revealing; nearly a half of these serious diseases is directly related to diet.

Why nothing on this chiropractic help site about beef or pork. Frankly, being used to red meat that has access to the wide open spaces, I find the beef and pork in Holland tasteless and repugnant. Only the sheep in the Netherlands roam the polders.

So much for the build up. Now to mutton stew.

Ingredients for mutton stew

The ingredients for mutton stew are all readily available.

  • 1 kg lamb. Frankly you can use any part of the sheep, or preferably a "two-tooth lamb" (flavour of mutton, but tenderness of lamb), that takes your fancy. I like the ribs, but neck, leg, chops ... any part is great. Cut up into moderate size pieces. Don't chuck the bones. Include them.
  • 2 onions
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 eggplant /aubergine
  • 1 leek
  • 2 sticks celery
  • Half a dozen leaves of spinach
  • Frankly any other veg that you like. I like to add knolselderij, something I've never seen anywhere else except in Holland.

Knol selderij with your mutton.
  • Optional, 1 cup of cooked chickpeas.
  • Half to one whole corm garlic, be generous if you like garlic.
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 2-3 TBSP of tomato paste, plus a couple chopped, very ripe tomatoes.
  • a few sprigs of rosemary, salt, black pepper. Some like it hot: a few slithers of chillies but don't drown the mutton flavour.


We add spinach to virtually every meat dish because of the very high unique carotenoids that give protection against the most common cause of age onset blindness. Something like five million Americans are blind, and another ten million partially sighted, largely because they refuse to enjoy their greens. The following two pages are a must.

Your spinach also gives you protection against cataracts; enjoy it daily.


  1. Overnight soak a cup of dried chick peas. 
  2. Using a very sharp knife, watch your fingers, slice the meat into edible chunks, discarding most of the fat unless you are banting. Cut the ribs away from the sternum and breastbone.

Simultaneously, take a good look at that cartilage between the rib and the sternum. That is the stuff that causes Tietze's syndrome, something I see on a daily basis in its mild forms, but still hell.

  1. Add a little olive oil to a heavy pan, and on fairly high heat braise the mutton. Include all the bones and cartilage. They are an excellent source of glucosamine chondroitin sulphate, important for healthy disc restoration in your own body.
  2. Whilst the meat is braising, turn occasionally to stop it burning, chop the vegetables, starting with the onions, and in a separate heavy skillet fry the vegetables in more olive oil; on low heat.
  3. If you want less fat, pour off all the juices from the meat when cooked into a separate container, and cool. Scrape off the greasy topping when chilled, and return the liquid to the stew.
  4. Drain and rinse the cooked chickpeas several times, they say the legumes give less gas then, though I can't say I feel a difference. Add to the meat, near the bottom so they boil in the liquid.
  5. Pour the fried veg on top of the meat, add the tomato paste mixed with a cup of water, slosh on the wine, and simmer on low heat for an hour, or until cooked. Make sure it doesn't dry out and burn.
  6. I like to add the garlic, spinach and tomatoes near the end, and at the last minute, I pour a healthy handful or two of freshly chopped parsley benefits on our mutton stew, and virtually everything we eat! Well, that's an exaggeration. It's good stuff, especially if you bruise easily.

A word of caution here. We chiros have to be careful - for certain persons with a very tight and stiff ribcage, an overly robust adjustment in the midback can strain this cartilage. If you get pain in the front of your chest after an adjustment, you must notify your chiropractor.

"Their meals are scanty, but even of these they eat sparingly; and though each is allowed a small carafe of wine, many refrain from this indulgence. Without doubt the most of mankind grossly overeat themselves. Our meals serve not only for supper, but as a hearty and natural diversion from the labour of life. Yet, though excess may be hurtful, I should have thought this Trappist regimen defective. And I am astonished, as I look back, at the freshness of face and cheerfulness of manner of all whom I beheld. A happier nor a healthier company I should scarce suppose that I have ever seen."

TRAVELS WITH A DONKEY by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Red meat consumption and stroke

Red meat consumption and stroke are obvious concerns for those who want to be more healthy. Will your mutton stew increase your risk of having a catastrophe?

This research in the American stroke association journal concerns the association between red meat, fresh versus processed, and a raised risk of stroke. Larssen was the chief researcher.

The background and intent of the research

There is research suggesting an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease from a high red meat diet; that's more than 100g or 3oz per day. However, studies of red meat consumption and an increased risk of stroke are very limited. Their objective was to look for any evidence of a correlation between red meat consumption (both fresh and processed meats) and stroke incidence.


They followed thirty five thousand women without cardiovascular disease and cancer at the beginning of the study.


During a followup of ten years, they discovered one thousand six hundred and eighty cases of stroke. There were two kinds of stroke:

  • 1310 cerebral infarction (clot)  
  • 154 intracerebral haemorrhage (bleed).

Concerning the risk of both forms of stroke together, and just a bleed separately, there was no risk from increased red meat or processed meat consumption.

Of the clot form there was indeed an increased risk.

Here's the interesting part. Fresh (unprocessed) meat consumption was not associated with the total number of strokes or, separately with either a bleed or clot. 

Only processed meat was associated with an increased risk of stroke. 


  1. Findings from this study suggest that red and particularly processed meat consumption may increase the risk of cerebral infarction in women. (No men were included in the study - women from a Swedish Mammography Cohort only were followed).
  2. Our mutton stew, particularly with all the veg that increases the flavour and decreases the cholesterol, has no increased risk of stroke associated with it. (But I wouldn't eat it more than once or twice a week, nevertheless.)
  3. Part of the reason may be that mutton stew is a good source of choline, a very important vitamin involved in a homocysteine, a break down product of protein metabolism.

A side dish of vegetables

Vital with your mutton stew is a salad or perhaps a roast vegetables recipe which is not difficult at all, full of flavour, but requires using the oven. If you're concerned about your carbon footprint, make sure you roast a roll of beef for tomorrow's dinner at the same time.

Remember, 5 colours minimum every day, and the beauty of roast vegtables recipe is that you can easily get all five colours in one meal. Enjoy eight per day and you have a 35% lower risk of death from all causes; that's massive.

Enjoy twenty and you can expect to have eternal life!

Plant-based diets

Much is being made these days of plant-based diets being the healthy way to go; but beware.

There is nothing nutritious about a pizza made with a refined flour base, macaroni and cheese and a white roll on the side smeared with margarine; pure vegetarian and very unhealthy particularly if you have it with a cola, loaded with either sugar or saccharine.

Scientists agree that vegetables and fruit should make up a large part of your diet, but that can be very misleading. Not all plant-based food is healthy, like the cake flour used in your pizza, or the sugar in your cola, and many animal-based meals using mutton or eggs and cheese are very nutritious, particularly if they are organically reared.

Despite all of that we should be enjoying more plant roots like radishes and sweet potatoes, stems of celery and leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale.


Chiropractic concerns the health of the whole being; that means a lot more than cracking vertebral joints! A diet high in red meat like this mutton stew, unbalanced with dark green leafy vegetables and legumes is likely to be an inflammatory disaster.

Whilst spinal subluxations cause a lot of misery, and worse, disability, a poor diet leads undoubtedly to an early arrival in heaven, or hell, depending on the choices we make.

Our healthy living tips section, which includes this mutton stew recipe, is your chiropractor's small commitment urging you to step up to colour when it comes to food. Those still stuck on old fashioned black and white have only pain, and bucketloads of pills to look forward to.

Useful links 

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.