Archive of ‘Pork’ category

Banh Mi Meatball Bowls

Maybe it’s just me, but has the internet foodie scene, like, exploded with banh mi and every conceivable derivative this summer?

Banh Mi Meatball Bowls : The Not So Desperate Housewife

So, as per usual, I hopped on the bandwagon. Probably after it’s become uncool again but it’s better than nothing, right? At least I de-sandwiched it, so it’s not *really* the same thing. Just pure creativity,

This has been a great meal to prep ahead of time, too. You know how I like those…just prep a tray of meatballs (with the sweet pots) and bowl of pickled veggies, toss em in the fridge…boom. All you have to do is make a pot of rice and slice some cucumbers.

Banh Mi Meatball Bowls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 T oil
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 large carrots, julienned
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 fist-sized chunk of daikon radish, julienned
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t fish sauce
  • 1 T coconut aminos
  • 1 t five spice powder
  • 1 t garam masala
  • ¼ t garlic powder
  • 1 cucumber, finely sliced
  • ½ c vinegar
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • rice or cauliflower rice for serving
Instructions
  1. Place about half of the julienned veggies in a bowl with the vinegar. Let soak while you prepare everything else.
  2. Toss the sweet potatoes in the oil and spread out in a large baking dish.
  3. Mix the pork, egg, fish sauce, onion, remaining carrot and daikon, five spice, garam masala, garlic, and coconut aminos by hand and shape into meatballs.
  4. Arrange the meatballs in the baking dish around the sweet potato cubes.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
  6. To assemble the banh mi bowls, layer some rice/cauli rice, add a few meatballs, add some pickled carrot and daikon from the first step (drain vinegar first!), add some sliced cucumber, and garnish with cilantro.
  7. Enjoy!

 

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Pan Seared Pork Belly with Rosemary and Thyme

This is the first time ever that my husband and I have been (f)unemployed at the same time. I give major bonus points, too, since it’s over the summer and we’ve got a pretty sweet vacation schedule lined up. Seriously, not having a job and not having to worry about money doesn’t really happen. Ever. Except it’s happening right now. These are the moments where, you know, being smart and saving cash for the past decade helps you out. And when the GI Bill is as awesome as ever. Five deployments between the two of us almost seems not as craptastic as before. Almost.

What I like about having a year off from school, too, is that I can let the brain fog lift a little and catch up on normal people stuff. Less zig-zaggy chemical figures and renal fluid balance diagrams, more reading books in the sunshine. Books that make me laugh instead of cry. Books I can discuss with my husband over coffee. And by discuss I mean bitch about how pissed I get every time Judd suppresses his feelings while my own husband makes agreeable noises whilst reading the news or intermittently wondering aloud whether it would be better to upgrade some software on some device I totally don’t care about.   If you missed the reference, I’m reading This is Where I Leave You—as soon as I saw that the movie was coming out and that Jane Fonda (love her) and the guys whose name I don’t know but who plays Adam on Girls (LOVE him) were in it I hadhadHAD to read the book. If nothing else, I love watching a movie based on a book and having read said book so I can complain about all the inconsistencies. Yes, I’m actually 80 years old.

Rosemary Thyme Seared Pork Belly

Ya, so pork belly. Delicious, obviously. And since I have tome on my hands to do things like read a real book I have time to make pork belly in any way other than in a slow cooker. While it required my attention for longer than did the slow cooker method, I actually found this way to be easier. I hope that makes sense…if nothing else this is a great way to prep a slab for cooking later.

Basically, you braise the thing for a few hours, let it cool in the fridge for a while, cut it up into chunks (or probably even leave it whole) and pan sear it. Boom.

This is going to be a thing. I did see a thing on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives the other day about pork belly on a stick. That’s going to need to happen soon, like, real soon.

Pan Seared Pork Belly with Rosemary and Thyme
Author: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 to 2 lbs pork belly
  • 3-4 c chicken stock
  • 1 T coarse sea salt
  • 1 T rosemary
  • 1 T thyme
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Mix your seasonings together and rub them all over the pork belly, top and bottom.
  2. Place the pork belly in a baking dish and fill with about an inch of chicken stock.
  3. Cover tightly with foil and place in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours.
  4. Remove from the oven, pour off the chicken stock, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. This can also be done overnight to prepare the next day.
  5. Remove the cooled pork belly to a cutting board.
  6. Cut the pork into 1.5-2 inch cubes.
  7. Heat some olive oil over medium high heat.
  8. Using tongs, sear each pork belly cube on each side for a couple of minutes, until crispy.

 

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Home-Made “Chipotle” Burrito Bowls (Vegan and Paleo)

As much as I love to hate on fast g=food, I’m not going to pretend it’s not convenient.  And damn if I don’t love me some Chipotle burrito bowls teeming with gobs of guac.

The beauty of this meal is that it’s so simple and really only requires as much prep work as you’re willing to give.  If nothing else, just throw a bunch of leftover meat and veggies in a bowl and smother in salsa and guac (salsa and guac go well on EVERYTHING) and you’re good.  This week, though, I was obviously feeling a little fancy.  Sometimes you miss the diversity of textures and flavors you get from not-so-Paleo-friendly ingredients like beans and corn…

The squash cubes add the perfect addition of texture you’d get from the beans or corn, and the roast veggies are a must to add a little variety.  Just like the real deal, a variety of meats work well and this is a phenomenal way to use up leftovers.  Ross used chicken on last night’s, for example.  Since I’m on another “Paleo-Vegan” kick, I made some palm heart “barbacoa” in a nice little simmer sauce.  (Recipes below)

This is a great dinner that can be prepped well ahead of time.  Sort of reminded me of my mom’s “Fajita Nights”–she’d set up big containers of cooked meat and veggies in the fridge that just needed to be nuked and assembled.  Just make a giant batch of cauliflower (or regular) rice, butternut “beans,” roast veggies, meat, etc and have them staged and ready to go.  Also makes an awesome pack-able lunch or breakfast…add a runny egg and thank me later!

butternut squash tgipaleo

For the “beans”:

Take a butternut squash and cut it up into little cubes (about 1/2 inch).  Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until browned.

roast veggies tgipaleo

For the roast veggies:

Cut up a bunch of different veggies (I used cherry tomatoes and onion here but feel free to use whatever).  Drizzle and toss with olive oil and slat and pepper.  Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until browned.  You can (and should!) save time and have these in with the squash.

For the simmer sauce:

To a bkender, add 1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, 1 T chipotle powder, 4 garlic cloves, 1 t oregano, and 1 t black pepper.  Pulse until you have a smooth sauce.  Transfer the sauce to a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Lower to medium low and simmer for 1 hour.

No time to make a fancy sauce? Just use a clean store-bought enchilada sauce.

palm hearts tgipaleo

For the palm heart “barbacoa”:

Heat a skillet over medium heat.

Shred about 7-8 palm hearts with a fork.

Add a drizzle of oil to the skillet and then the palm hearts.  Saute for a few minutes, then add about 1 cup of simmer sauce (recipe above) and stir until combined.

vegan and paleo chipotle burrito bowl

Assemble your bowls!!

In a nice, big bowl, start with a layer of rice (cauliflower rice or regular, I won’t judge).  Add some “barbacoa,” butternut “beans,” roast veggies, salsa, and guacamole.  If there’s anything else you want to add, go for it!

Devour.

 

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Pulled Pork Irish Nachos

Know what happened to me yesterday?  I was doing homework and reached into my bag to grab my Orgo notes and *almost completed* homework assignment when I realized it wasn’t there.  Panic ensued.  THEN I realized I *may* have left it in the student lounge in my physics building so I drove all the way to campus.  Doors locked.  Not to be thwarted, I walked the entire perimeter of the building until I found a delivery entrance that was open.  Then navigated through the basement maze till I found a stairwell that was open.  Then made it to the lounge where I saw my notebook and homework sitting untouched on the table…through the glass of the locked door.  Cue tantrum.  Echos of my displeasure rang down the empty halls.  No janitors to be found.  The lock was resistant to being picked by a hairpin.  Or pens.  Or my car keys.

pulled pork nachos

So…I had to print a new copy of the assignment (due first thing Monday…I was not going to chance the lounge still being locked at 7am).  I’d already done it once, how bad could it be?  Yup…genius I am that bitch took me 3 hours.  Cue tantrum #2.

So Super Bowl!  Actually, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to use the actual name of the event without infringing copyright or something.  It’s true.  No, really.  Ever wonder why all the TV commercials just call it “The Big Game?”  The NFL is protective like that.

This it fortunately or unfortnately one of those years where I have no legitimate preference for either team–Seattle and Denver both have awesome programs, great coaching, great cities, and hot quarterbacks.  I guess I’ll pick Denver, though, since I actually lived there for a year.  Fair?  Good.  Let’s go eat football food.

For this recipe you will need Pulled Pork and Sugar Free BBQ sauce.

Pulled Pork Irish Nachos
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1-2 lbs pulled pork (leftovers work well)
  • 1 recipe Sugar Free BBQ sauce
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t sage
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • chopped onion and tomato, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice up your sweet potato with a mandolin or by hand. Make your rounds as thick or thin as you want but the thicker they are, the longer they need to cook.
  3. Lay out your rounds on a greased cookie tray. Brush the tops with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with about half the thyme and sage and garlic and as much salt as you'd like.
  4. Bake for about 10-15 mins, until browned. Carefully flip, then brush the other side with a little more oil and spread the second half of the seasoning.
  5. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a plate and top with a mound of hot pulled pork and some BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

 

 

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Pad Thai

My winter break was almost seven weeks long.  Seriously.  I have never…in my LIFE…had this much time off to do absolutely nothing.  Maybe it would be OK if I was like all of my classmates and took a trip somewhere?  Or if I was capable of sleeping 14 hours a day?  Except no.

The house is cleaner than it’s been or will be for decades.  I’ve put in a bazillion hours of MCAT prep.  I volunteered at the hospital.  The pups have gotten more walking in the last 6 weeks than they had all last year.  Ate a few too many of those chocolate covered acai berries (the ones from Costco…dangerous).  Too much…*way* too much…has been spent at Target.  I don’t know what else to do, you guys.

Class starts next week and it’s the home stretch…4 more months of pre-med and then…well, I’ll let you know.  Maybe.  Lots of *life plans* in the works and I’m honestly not necessarily sure how it’s going to pan out.  Not gonna jinx it.  Nope nope.  I can tell you, though, that we will be…moving…again.  Since I left college I have moved through 3 different states, 1 year-long deployment to Iraq, 5 different homes.  Six if you count my CHU in Iraq but I really don’t think that counts.  I wouldn’t wish that on anyone unless you have some weird desire to live in a big tin box and sleep on a plastic mattress that smells like mothballs.  Blech.

Paleo Pad Thai

Enough of that…how about I make you dinner?  Following my weird BBQ fetish, I’ve been doing a lot of Asian cooking lately.  And by that I mean I’ve been putting fish sauce and coconut aminos in *everything.*  I recommend it.

This dish can be made meatless or with chicken, shrimp, beef, pork…or all of the above.  We like options, don’t we?

Pad Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • ⅓ c apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ c coconut aminos or tamari
  • 1½ T hot chili paste
  • ¼ c fish sauce (omit if you want this to be vegan)
  • 3 T palm sugar
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 c snow peas
  • 3 green onions (scallions), sliced
  • ½ c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Slivered almonds and lime wedges to garnish
Instructions
  1. Put the spaghetti squash in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 mins. When finished, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Using a fork, remove the squash strands into a bowl and set aside.
  3. While the squash is cooking, whisk together the vinegar, coconut aminos, chili paste, fish sauce, and palm sugar in a small dish. Set aside.
  4. In a high rimmed pan or pot, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat.
  5. Add the garlic, sauteing until lightly browned, then add the onions.
  6. When the onions are translucent, reduce the heat to medium and add the spaghetti squash and snow peas. Toss to coat in the oil and garlic.
  7. Add the sauce, stirring to coat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. When you are ready to serve, add the scallions and cilantro, mixing well.
  9. Serve garnished with slivered almonds and lime wedges.

 

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Ridiculously Easy Balsamic Grilled Pork Chops

My camera has been MIA for a few weeks…and then last night my phone decided to walk off, too.  Cue the iPad photos.

photo 1 (2)

So this one was kind of a last minute thing, as my cooking endeavors so often are these days.  We’ve got finals next week and to say I’m just strung out would be a major compliment.  My daily routine for the last 10 days has pretty much been “wake up drink coffee go to library drink coffee study all day drink coffee come home collapse into catatonic heap on the couch and fall asleep watching reruns of Parks and Rec.”  Winning.

This is a great dinner on those days you don’t really want to cook but maybe, just maybe, want to have something that resembles “real food.”  I’ve been eating waaaaaaaay too many baked potatoes…with pickles straight from the jar…and spoonfuls of almond butter…yeah.  Sometimes it’s nice just to eat off a plate, you know?

Ridiculously Easy Balsamic Grilled Pork Chops
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large, bone-in pork chops
  • ½ c balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (or ½ t garlic powder)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Place pork chops in a dish.
  2. Pour vinegar on the chops and add oil and seasoning.
  3. flip a couple times to coat.
  4. Cover and marinate at least an hour (I left it in the fridge all day while I was at school).
  5. Heat a grill pan (or heavy skillet) over medium high heat with a little olive oil.
  6. Cook on each side for about 4-6 minutes, until juices run clear.
  7. Steam some veggies on the side. Consume with utensils. Fell all grown up.

 

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Crispy Roasted Pig Tails

I may or may not have posted this recipe before.  But this one is a weeeee bit different, I swear, but still a fun riff on hot wings.  At least my photography skillz are moving beyond toddler-level.  You guys weren’t exactly loving the pig’s feet when I made posted my recipe, but pleasepleaseplease trust me that pig tails are a helluva lot better and less weird to eat.  Pinky swear.

IMG_2520

One thing I did differently this time was indulge my obsession with Tessemae’s and use this sauce instead of making my own.  I guess I was making up for the fact that I completely re-did the brine…but this batch was infinitely better and more tender and juicy.

Crispy Roasted Pig Tails
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs Pig Tails
  • 1 c Tessemae's Hot Wing Sauce (or hot sauce of choice)
  • For the Brine:
  • 6 c Water
  • 2 Lemons, Quartered
  • 2 Onions, Chopped
  • ¼ c Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 T Salt
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 2 T Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine the ingredients for the brine and pour over the pig tails. Allow to sit for 12-24 hours. This is an essential step to ensure the meat is tender.
  2. Drain the pig tails and marinate in the hot sauce for at lease one hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange pig tails on a greased baking sheet and brush with additional sauce. Bake for 30 minutes. With tongs, flip each pig tail and brush with more sauce. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes.

 

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Easy Slow Cooked Boston Butt

We first decided to hop on the Paleo bandwagon almost 4 years ago when we lived in Texas and giant cuts of meat were plentiful and–most importantly for us–affordable.  I didn’t know a pork loin from a chop at the time since I’d always been a good girl who opted for whole wheat pasta over fatty meats, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have to learn quick.  The first time I bought a Boston Butt I actually thought it was the pig’s ass meat…score one for immature curiosity.

$RKBNH3L

Fun fact: it’s the ham that’s the pig’s ass.  Just FYI.  Boston Butt is the pig’s upper shoulder, like up around the shoulder blade and is an incredibly tender, meaty and fatty cut that is superb for slow cooking.  Don’t let the layer of fat freak you out–for one fat is good for you, and for another it renders down considerably during the cooking process and flavors the rest of the cut.  It can be seasoned minimally or maximally (try this recipe, or this one, or this one), but this recipe is my go-to for a busy week night because it’s FAST, EASY, and DELICIOUS…and makes enough leftovers to keep us fed for a few days if needed.  When we were at Ft Hood and had to commute in at 4:30 am, then not get home till 7:30 pm, this was an absolute lifesaver.  I’d make a 5 or 6 pound butt on Monday, shred it up, and we’d have dinner and lunches till Wednesday.

Easy Slow Cooked Boston Butt
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 4-5 pound Boston Butt (also sold as "pork shoulder")
  • ¼ c Olive Oil
  • 2 t Salt
  • 1 t Pepper
  • 1 T Dried Roseamry
Instructions
  1. Place your pork in the slow cooker.
  2. Pour the oil on top and give it a good rub down, like you're sending it to a tannin bed.
  3. Dump the spices on top and massage them in.
  4. Wash your hands.
  5. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.
  6. When ready to serve, shred with a pair of forks.

 

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Ancho Chili Pig’s Feet

Ever cooked with pig’s feet before?  I sure hadn’t till this weekend.  You know me…I see a weird part of an animal and I just…HAVE to eat it.  That sounds awful.  Pleassssse don’t get grossed out and run away just yet…they were actually quite delicious.  A little interesting to eat, but delicious.

IMG_2477-001

I know pig’s feet are generally used just as a flavoring agent–I’d only ever seen my mom use pig feet and hocks to make split pea soup.  And I guess you see them pickled but that just looks nasty to me.  There isn’t too much meat on them but a nice amount of fat and skin, which gets soooo tender and crispy when they’re slow cooked in the sauce then broiled to perfection.

Warning: you will get messy.  I started off with knife and fork but realized that it’s so much easier to tear into them with hands and bare teeth.  Kinda like ribs.  Soooo I wouldn’t wear white.  Trust me, it got a little primal in here.

Ancho Chili Pig's Feet
Author: 
Recipe type: Crockpot
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 lbs Pig's Feet, halved
  • 4 Dried Ancho Chili Peppers
  • ½ c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 t Black Pepper
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Onion, roughly chopped
  • 1½ c Chicken or Beef Stock
Instructions
  1. Rub your crockpot down with some olive oil, then arrange the pig's feet.
  2. Toss the peppers, oil, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, onion, and stock into a blender.
  3. Pulse until totally liquified.
  4. Pour sauce over the pig's feet.
  5. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.
  6. When ready to serve, use tongs to remove the pig's feet onto a greased baking sheet.
  7. Broil for 5-7 minutes until they get a little crispy around the edges.

 

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Crockpot Brats

For some reason, brats and sauerkraut is Ross’s most-requested meal.  Not that I’m complaining…I like it when I don’t have to plan dinner since I almost always get the “Whatever you want to make!” response when I ask.  More than anything, though, I like it because it’s easy.  It’s comfort food that can be dressed up or down with whatever you’ve got on hand.

Crockpot Brats

If you haven’t noticed, though, I’ve been hella busy with school this summer and Ross is all over the place, too.  More than I’d like to admit, we’re not even home for dinner at the same time, so the crock pot has been a godsend.  Ross was really skeptical of brats in the crockpot…and to be honest, I was, too since I was afraid they’d just disintegrate.  Nope!  We got juicy bratwursts that actually seasoned the ‘kraut as they cooked.  Feel free to add whatever you’d like but it was so nice to have just a few ingredients to toss in together before I ran out the door.  This one’s a keeper!

Crockpot Brats
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Bratwursts
  • 2-4 c Sauerkraut
  • 1 t Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Toss everything into the crock pot.
  2. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hrs.
  3. Serve with coarse mustard.

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