Asian Pork Salad

asian-pork-salad

This is an amalgamation of several different recipes. I did my own thang because this is what I had on hand and what I felt like. It’s as simple as that. 🙂 It’s freaking great.

You may want to make a double batch of the sauce. It’s good for Paleo Pad Thai, (zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash); great to dip veggies in, great to drizzle a banana with…love this stuff.

You can also change out the meat – use chicken, steak, etc. Or none at all, you crazy cats!

 

Meat:

  • 1lb ground pork
  • ½ cup white onion, chopped
  • ½ cup mushrooms, diced small
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 4-6 drops fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 lime +, juiced
  • Salt to taste

Place ground pork, onions and garlic in a skillet, start to cook and break up. When almost no pink, add everything else. Mix well, get all the pink out, taste, add salt, and maybe more lime juice. I like lime. I’m a lime girl.

Salad:

Chop all:

  • 1+ bunch cilantro
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 1 bunch fresh kale
  • 5 green onions

Place all ingredients in a LARGE bowl, mix well.

Sauce:

Note: use any butter you want. Peanut, almond, etc. This is what was open in my fridge so I used it. 🙂

  • ½ cup sun butter
  • ¼ cup cashew butter
  • 2 limes +, juiced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 drops fish sauce
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos
  • Salt to taste
  • Water to desired consistency

Place all in mini food processor and mix very well.

The finished product:

Place the salad in a bowl, top with some pork mixture, and drizzle sauce on top. Viola! Get crazy – add some avocado, squeeze of fresh lime, maybe more ginger. Love me some zingy flavor.

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

Yeah….haven’t been myself of late and finally feel I’ve turned a corner and left most of my  bullshit behind. I lost myself in negativity because I couldn’t handle some changes in my life….

Things started to blow up in other places and it hit me hard that my issues at home were not being taken care of at home where they should’ve been taken care of-issues were manifesting in the form of negative thoughts and words seeping out of me.
Sad thing-did not realize it until the people closest to me-my peeps-called it to my attention. 

That’s what good friends do, but it’s a super shitty feeling to know you’ve hurt someone because of your own shit.

I’ve turned a corner because I can only control me-and not anything else. I control my reactions. Those reactions don’t have to be negative-they just have to be honest, communicated to the right person and done so with respect.

Everyone makes mistakes, we learn from our shit and move on with new knowledge and another onion layer peeled off.

Today I took a yoga class by myself (no friends). I tried like hell to stay focused and “breathe”…I’m going to say my focus on the moment was in and out and a total of 10ish%. Whatever. I was more worried about my farts stinking up the place. People really need to give others more personal space in these situations.

I am now eating Pho-by myself-writing this post. The sun has peeked out, its quiet, there’s a good vibe in the air. And I probably smell really bad but whatever. 

I’m breaking down my own barriers, right? Let them smell me!

Stress and Your Diet

There’s a reason why we end up on the diet roller coaster, unsatisfied. It’s because we cannot break our food cravings. This doesn’t necessarily start with food – it starts with STRESS.

Here is a GREAT video by Melissa Hartwig of the Whole 30. It’s only 22 minutes but provides a wealth of info.

Check it out.

 

Improvisation & Two Recipes!

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When it comes to food, improvising is what I do. Some vegetables aren’t in season, what do you do? You use something else or omit altogether. Want to make a summer recipe in the winter – go to town, just use different veggies and the stove vs. the grill. Don’t want to run to the store AGAIN because you forgot one bloody stalk of lemongrass? F-it. Blow it off and find something else.

I got home today from our annual family Sun Peaks vacation. I LOVE this vacation for many, many reasons. Just a few:

  1. Love to do any and all things outside – we live in a beautiful part of the world, get outside!
  2. I get to hang with my fave peeps – my stepdaughters, son in law, my grandson, and my hubby.
  3. We relax, eat, drink, and laugh, laugh, laugh.
  4. We do this for several days in a row.

Back to food and improvising. I picked three recipes I was going to make when I got home tonight so we would have dinner for the next couple nights and Dale would have food while I am gone at a seminar all weekend long. This meant an easy soup, roasted veggies, a quinoa salad, and something in my IP.

Went to the store, and bloody hell, didn’t have half of what I needed. Oh well. Left it out or Googled “what’s an alternative to XXX” and went from there. My point is this: a recipe is a guideline – it’s a loose framework. This is about the only place I use my imagination – sad, but true. I feel very creative in the kitchen, even when cooking under stress (get it done so I can unpack, etc.). I love cooking – it soothes me.

Have I told you, lately, that I love my InstaPot (sung to the tune of the Rod Stewart song…)? It’s amazing. It allowed me to cook a beautiful Bo Kho from NomNomPaleo easily while I tended to the quinoa salad and the Sausage Kale Soup.

I will post my improvisation recipe for the Bo Kho soon, but for now, here’s what I whipped up. Perfect for the rainy weather that is to come to the PNW this weekend.

greenquinoasalad

Green Quinoa Salad

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooked in your fave broth (chicken for me)
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • ½ cup torn basil leaves
  • 3-4 cups spinach
  • Avocado when ready to serve

*Mix all of these things together. Put the peas in a bowl with the spinach. Then toss the hot quinoa over it. Add basil. Add avo LAST when ready to serve.

Then whip together:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp minced basil
  • S&P

Add dressing to salad to desired ‘drenchedness’. I know that’s not a word but whatever. It’s what came to my head. I tossed in already cooked chicken thighs I had on hand. Not necessary, but delish. Donezie.

kalesausagesoup

Kale-Sausage Soup

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 2 containers (box) Chicken broth
  • 1 can rinsed, drained Great Northern Beans (white beans)
  • 1 garnet yam, peeled and diced
  • 8 Chicken Sausage, sliced (I used chicken sausage with spinach – so good)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp fennel seed
  • S&P to taste
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale de-ribbed and chopped roughly

Sautee garlic, onion, carrot and celery for 7-10 minutes, this is ‘sweating.’ Add broth, beans and potato, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low. Add sausage and spices. Give it 10-15 minutes, test the tater. If al dente, add kale, let heat through so tater is soft. Viola – S&P to heart’s content, or, get crazy and add more red pepper flakes. So good with a little heat.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

IP Lamb Goulash

So, I’ve had an InstaPot for awhile now and have tried a few recipes, but when Jennifer Robbins released her cookbook, Paleo Cooking with your Instant Pot, my heart SOARED. I was excited – sure, there’s tons online, but this book is dedicated to the IP, AND, she gives alternatives for the crockpot! Whoop!!

My goal is to get through this entire cookbook – and quickly. My IP is the best thing that ever happened to my busy life. I cooked two meals in it on Sunday (from her book). While one was cooking, I prepped the other one. Two full meals – done. While that was happening, I made my egg bake and smoothies. Viola! A week of cooking done in about three hours. Not too shabby, folks.

And yes, below you see a close up of the goulash, the book cover, and me post WOD. And yes, I went out in public like that. Good GRIEF.

bloglambgoulash

Ok, here’s my first recipe from the book. I didn’t LOVE it when if first came out of the IP – didn’t seem to “wow” me. Had it today – two days of sitting in its own yummy spices – and HOLY COW it is amazing. Giving it two thumbs up. I think you can sub ground chicken if you want to as well – but I loved the lamb. Also, since I’m having issues with peppers lately, I don’t use them. I sub other veggies, you’ll see that below.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp cooking fat
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces (subbed cauli and broc for red pepper)
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 yellow potatoes, small, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Goes well with cilantro – lime rice, top with sour cream

How to:

Grab your InstaPot, turn on the sauté setting, and heat your oil. Add onion through carrots and sauté. At the same time, grab a skillet and cook your lamb through. The ONLY reason I did this was because I made a double batch (you’ll want to – it’s good). So, all of it would have taken longer to sauté in the IP vs. cooking the two separate and just incorporating. Unless you have a large IP – I do not. Onward!

Once all is done, incorporate together into the IP and add the rest of the ingredients (except for the rice).

Close the lid, press the Meat/Stew button, and cut the time by 10 minutes. Let ‘er rip.

Once stew is done, release the pressure valve (be careful). Once all pressure is out and it is safe, remove lid. Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button, then press the sauté button and stir for five minutes. You’re getting some of the liquid out. Top with sour cream if you desire, or toss over cauli rice. Or both, get crazy on your bad self.

 

 

 

 

Quickie Dinner & Then Some

Ok, I had 3 hours to spare (without drive time) to grab the dog, grab the grandbaby’s Christmas gift, and book it home to cook and do some work. Not a lot of time.

And I have two late nights in a row where I won’t be home till 9pm or later – I’m not cooking at that point.

Today I rushed home, turned the oven on to 400 degrees and went to town. Here’s what I had:

  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into bite sized pieces, tossed in coconut oil.
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends cut/snapped, drizzled with avocado oil and salt and pepper.
  • 1 pack of 6 skin on, bone in chicken thighs, did NOT trim skin – no time, added Jane’s Crazy Salt to 4 and Slap Yo Mamma spice to 2.

dinner

I am roasting everything. Yep – everything. So, in 15 minutes, the asparagus will be aldente. In 35, the broccoli should be done (will salt and pepper when I pull out of the oven). Chicken will probably take 40+ due to the oven being full. Pull out when juices run clear.

This all doesn’t seem too exciting – I get it. But in a pinch, you have veggies for egg scrambles/frittatas, protein for a grab and go or take all chicken off bones and whip up a salad or make a bowl from broccoli, chicken and toss in some quinoa or rice, you have stir fry ingredients, etc. The options are endless as long as you have stuff cooked. Makes life a little easier when LIFE is so bloody hectic.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Sicilian Cauliflower & Beef

cauliwf2

This is SUCH a great recipe! I’ve already made it three times, with my own flair of course. Huge shout out to Mel Joulwan and her latest book Well Fed 2. This is a great book for us busy people. Lot’s of quick and easy recipes that are perfect for week night meals. NOTHING is boring from this lady – she rocks. I also love how she has the book laid out – by ‘part’ and ‘while you are doing this…do that.’ It’s awesome.

I am slowly making my way through the book based on the meat I have in the freezer. I chose the Sicilian Cauliflower & Beef recipe because ground meat is easy – super easy, and, the sauce intrigued me! So, check it out. This is my version from Well Fed 2. Enjoy!

Cauliflower/Other:

  • 1 large head of cauli, or 2 bags of precut
  • 2 cups green beans, chopped to about 2″ pieces or broccoli florets
  • 2 tbsp of your choice roasting oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Toss vegetables in oil, sprinkle salt on it, then place in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Roast at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

While that is cooking…make the dressing.

Dressing:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 anchovy fillets (open the can, use the rest for your Cesar dressing)
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (add more if you like it hotter)
  • 3 tpsb red wine vinegar
  • 5 tbsp good EVOO
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of parsley

Throw everything in a mini food processor. And done. Set aside. Now, cook the beef.

Beef:

  • 3 tbsp pinenuts
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Heat a large, non stick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts, toast until golden brown, stir often. Transfer nuts to a big bowl. Crumble the beef into the pan, add the salt and pepper, keep cooking a bit, add the raisins. When meat is no longer pink, place in bowl (with pine nuts) with slotted spoon.

Bring it Home:

When cauli/veggies are done roasting, add to bowl. Add the dressing. Mix well. Serve.

BOOM.