Tag Archives: salt

bbq pork, gorgonzola coleslaw and a hospital visit

5 Jun

photo 1WELL. Here I am. Day 3 in the hospital at Northwestern Memorial. Luckily, today I’m feeling much much MUCH better. Hopefully I get released today. How do you get a kidney and liver infection anyways? It’s painful as heck, I can tell you that for sure; and the fevers have been brutal! But, luckily I am feeling better and hopefully can get out of here today! It’s funny how healthy I eat, but how sick I can get sometimes. My immune system must hate me!

Speaking of healthy, here some healthy and unhealthy food since it was Memorial Day last week! BBQ was definitely the same of the game and I LOVE BBQ pork. LOVE it. When I lived in North Carolina for 6 months, I pretty much lived at this little place by my Dad’s house called “Dixie Belle’s” and man is Dixie Belle’s goooooodddd. I could eat the BBQ pork from there for every meal if I was given the chance. My Dad actually inspired me to make this because he posted a picture of his wonderful BBQ pork on Facebook (yes my parents are awesome and have facebook) over Memorial Day weekend.

BBQ PORK SHOULDER

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 (5 to 7 pound) pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt
  • one large white onion, roughly chopped into strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce (I use “Two Fat Guys” because it’s all natural, gluten free, and yummy!)

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add your tablespoon of olive oil and the onion. Cook the onion for just a minute or two to get it going. photo 3Next, pay your big hunk of meat down with paper towels and in a small bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, dry mustard, black pepper, and coarse seas salt. Rub it nicely into the meat and toss the meat into the pot. Add the water and apple cider vinegar and bring to a small boil, then turn your heat down to low, cover and let it cook. This should cook for about 4-5 hours. You’ll be able to tell when your meat is fork tender and pulls apart. After your meat is fork tender, and the onions are cooked thoroughly so they are soft and translucent,  drain them meat and onions in a strainer then put it back in the pot. Start pulling it apart with two forks and add your BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce can be to your discretion. I added about a cup and a half to mine because I didn’t want it too saucy. Then you are ready to serve!

GORGONZOLA BROCCOLI AND CABBAGE SLAW

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of green cabbage
  • 1 lb bag of broccoli slaw
  • fresh gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 tablespoon garlic powder

photo 2This is SUPER easy and yummy! Shred your cabbage or cut it using a knife so it is roughly chopped and shredded. In a large bowl add the cabbage and the broccoli slaw. Next in a smaller bowl, combine your greek yogurt, salt and pepper to taste, parsley and garlic powder. Then chop your gorgonzola and add that. Mix it all together and TADA, you have coleslaw! This coleslaw is amazing if you top your pork with it. You get the spicy and tangy taste of the pork with the cool crisp coleslaw. Super yummy!

ARUGULA LEMON AND PARMESAN SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of fresh, organic arugula leaves
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Shaved parmesan (or grated, I used grated this time around, but shaved is even better!)

In a small bowl, juice your lemon, and start whisking in your olive oil to emulsify the photocombination. Add your salt and pepper and whisk well. In a large bowl, lightly toss your dressing with the arugula. Make sure you do not over dress this salad, so you may have more dressing than you need and can save it for a future salad. Crack more pepper on top and toss in the parmesan cheese. I used an asiago blend that had rosemary crust on the rind, which was really yummy, but use whatever you have! I also grated this, but the shaved big chunks of parm are even better! Enjoy!

 

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shaved brussels sprout and bacon gluten free pasta

21 Apr

photo 1Isn’t it crazy how time escapes you!? This insanely grueling semester is FINALLY over. (Well…..it’s over next week, but I am 97% done with my massive paper due, just have to edit it and turn it in, so I mean I consider myself done haha!) This semester has taken over so much of my time that I haven’t exactly been amazing with the blog. I have so many recipes sitting in the wings and this is one of them! This is amazingly easy and would actually probably even been good if made with spaghetti squash or zucchini noddles. If anyone has a good idea or tool they use to make zucchini noodles, send it my way because I’ve been looking for one for a while!

I am so pumped this semester is over. I can’t WAIT to intern and be done with grad school. There are lots of little infants and toddlers who need my help! (Entire superwoman Developmental Therapist with a hot pink cape and aqua knee high boots). I mean that’s the plan, right?! Do what you love and I am finally almost there to be finally doing what I love. The universe is amazing.

So anyways…the good stuff, the food. Here is a really yummy recipe that I know you’ll love and it’s super easy! I made it for lunch one day and ate it for a couple more meals. You know me…. with with and graduate school, I seriously need to make sure I have food that is versatile for many meals! Also, have you ever heard of shaved brussels sprouts!? I got a bag of them at Trader Joe’s. You can use them for salads and for this recipe! So awesome and then you don’t have to chop and shred them yourself!

SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUT AND BACON PASTA

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 6 slices bacon, cubed (or use pancetta if you’d like)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti GLUTEN FREE (the quinoa corn blend is amazing)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • salt and pepper
  • parmesan cheese, fresh grated

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Season generously with salt. Grab your bag of brussels sprouts, if you want to use regular ones and shred them yourself, trim the ends off of the brussels sprouts and remove the toughest outer leaves. Shred them in a food processor, using the slicing attachment (not the normal chopping blade). You can also slice them as thin as possible with a knife.

Heat a large skillet pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil or coconut oil. Add the bacon and cook until fairly crispy and cooked through.photo 2 Clear some space in the middle of the pan and add the shallots and garlic. (If you don’t have enough room in your pan to create space, you can remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and add it back in when you add the sprouts.) Cook until the shallots are soft. While the shallots are cooking, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.

Add the brussels sprouts and the chicken broth to the large skillet, season with salt and pepper, and toss all of the ingredients together. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are tender but not too soft, about 5 minutes.

When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and add it to the skillet. You can add a splash of the pasta water (or more broth) if the mixture seems dry. Add the pine nuts, toss everything together, salt and pepper to taste, and serve. NOTE: You can certainly add some freshly grated parmesan on top. We also think a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (added with the brussels sprouts) would be nice.

lots of spring veggies and a big ol’ ham

14 Apr

photo 2Easter Sunday was one of my favorite holidays this year. I got to spend it with my “family” away from my family. My best friend, her parents, and others all came over for dinner, after church, and I cooked a giant spread. It has been really nice having a family away from my family. I’ve always considered my friends my family and I am super grateful for them, the far and near ones. Holidays that I get to spend with them are even more special. This is the first Easter that really felt like Easter in a long time and it was so awesome. Nothing better than cooking a bunch of yummy veggies and big fat old ham to fill everyone’s tummies and to just sit and laugh and share stories. I couldn’t have asked for a better Easter.

NOW, onto the GOOD stuff. The food. I made a honey and orange glazed ham, roastedphoto 1 asparagus with coconut oil and lemon zest, glazed carrots, cheesy potatoes (which I WON’T post on here because they are NOT totally healthy and people will kill me haha 😉 if you want the recipe, just ask), and fresh green beans with bacon and balsamic. Don’t ask me HOW everything came out on time, but it did. BOO YAH! (and yes, I just said BOO YAH…..screw all that BOOM! stuff!) All of these recipes are REALLY easy. You can make these separately as side dishes as the season goes on and produce becomes fresher and more abundant!

ORANGE AND HONEY GLAZED HAM

  • one large ham, spiral cut, organic if possible, depends on your pricing because they can get expensive
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup orange juice, or squeeze your own
  • zest from one orange
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Turn your oven onto 275 degrees, or follow the packaging instructions for your ham. Most spiral hams are fully cooked already, or partially cooked sophoto 2 you are basically reheating it and cooking it some more. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients for your glaze, and slice one of your oranges into thin slices, then zest the other and juice it into the glaze mixture. Place the slices of orange in-between the ham slices every few cuts, then pour some of the glaze onto the meat. Place in the oven in a roasting pan and cook for an hour and a half, or per your instructions. Every half hour, reglaze the ham until it is nice and bright pink, cooked through, and ready to eat!

ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH COCONUT OIL AND LEMON ZEST

  • 2 bunches of fresh asparagus, green, white or purple (I used green)
  • one lemon
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted

photo 4Heat your oven to 350 degrees, (this can be done after the ham is cooked since the hame is still hot and the asparagus will cook fast. Or if making this as a side dish for another meal, and this is good with EVERY meal, then rock on and just go for it! Rinse and trim your asparagus. The easiest way to do this is to bend one piece of asparagus and see where it snaps. Then place them all on a cutting board and cut them all across that line so the ends are removed on all of them. I find no need to snap each one separately, they all tend to snap in about the same spot, easy peasy. Put them on a cookie sheet and drizzle the coconut oil over them. sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and toss around to coat evenly. Roast in the oven for about ten minutes and then watch them. I like mine where they are bright green, the tips are a little roasted and they are nice and snappy still. After they come out of the oven, juice the lemon on top and then zest the lemon on top. SUBLIME.

GLAZED CARROTS

  • 2 lbs of baby carrots, or regular carrots washed and cut
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 stick of grassfed butter
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Heat a pot full of salted water and toss your carrots in. Boil until they are al dente. Drain them. Next take the same pot and add your coconut oil andphoto 1 butter, melt it down, then add the brown sugar and pepper. This will make a nice glaze sauce. Toss your carrots in and cook them a couple minutes longer in the glaze to coat them. Growing up, we always made these with just butter, but I decided to twist it and use coconut oil as the main base, they were delicious and coconut oil is SO good for you. There are so many amazing benefits of coconut oil so adding it into your cooking is a really great idea and adds lots of flavor.

NOTE: There are a lot of articles going on about baby carrots and how they are washed in chlorine before they are packaged. Sometimes, when trying to save money and time, baby carrots are the way to go, but most of the time, I try to use real carrots. Give real carrots a try. You know what I mean….those long orange ones you have to cut and peel yourself….go for it. AND you don’t even need to peel them. Keep that peel on them. It’s good for you! Just scrub them down well!

GREEN BEANS WITH BALSAMIC AND BACON

  • 1 lb fresh french cut green beans
  • 1 lb bacon, you know what I use, that dang good stuff from Whole Foods, but use what you like
  • splash of balsamic
  • black pepper

photo 3Heat up a large skillet. Cut your bacon into cubes and toss in the skillet. Cook the bacon until nice and cooked through and crisp, leaving all of that amazing bacon fat behind. Toss in your green beans and give it all a nice stir. Tongs are amazing for this as you can grab and toss things together. Add the pepper, to your eye ball, about a pinch, but do not ADD salt because you will be adding the vinegar, and the bacon is salty. This will be way too much salt if you add extra salt to this recipe. Cook the beans until BRIGHT green and still crisp. Serve.

sweet potatoes and the sweet life

13 Mar

72311_508145305898207_447231074_n I need to be better about this blog writing! Thank goodness I am back to cooking again. I semi-fell off  the wagon, but dude, grad school is literally killing me this semester. AND NOW – I have people to cook for! New roommate, new friends, lots of new and lovely things that just add sparkle to my life like my old friends do. Its crazy how things change in a matter of months. Life is funny that way, and amazing.

I really should have put this on the food blog…so many people are asking. I also made it the other day and added bacon, SO MUCH BETTER with bacon! You can make this for one person, I do it all the time lately. Just use less kale and like 1-2 slices bacon and less goat cheese…clearly.

ROASTED SWEET POTATO WITH KALE, BACON, GRAPES AND GOAT CHEVRE
Ingredients:
  • one large bunch kale, rib stems removed
  • 6 slices (per potato) of bacon
  • 1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • one bunch red grapes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle sweet potatoes and rub the oil in. Prick them with a fork. Wrap them in tin foil and place n the oven. They should bake for about an hour until soft and bubbly. You also could cut that time and use the microwave for 7 minutes for each sweet potato, but you can judge by how soft they are. You want them nice and soft. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, wash your grapes and drizzle them with olive oil, and salt. Coat them all evenly and spread on a cookie sheet. Roast the grapes until they burst and ooze, they will turn a little brown as well. Take the grapes out and let them cool; it takes about 20 minutes for them to roast. OH, and for the bacon….there is some amazing bacon out there. At Whole Foods, the SUPER thick, smoked, pepper, applewood smoked bacon with no nitrates is seriously to die for. I mean any bacon super thick cut that is applewood smoked basically is. Try it! It’s so meaty, it’s delicious. Next, chop your bacon into cubes. Add to a hot pan and cook thoroughly until all that lovely fat comes out. Add your kale, a little pepper, and your balsamic
554869_510464205666317_792789098_nvinegar. Sautee until the kale is just bright green, cooked and still has some bite. Now, take your sweet potatoes and remove the skin. Mash them in a bowl with a little pepper. Plate them with goat cheese on top, then the kale and bacon and then the grapes. DELICIOUS! The bacon adds a lovely saltiness to the sweet and gives you some good protein! This also would be good with Greek yogurt instead of goat cheese. The tang really adds something! Enjoy!
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