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Well, my husband was down in Austin today and said he would stopping by a BBQ place on his way home to bring some sliced brisket for our supper tonight.  Then at 5:30, he called and announced they were closed!  Luckily I had thawed some ground pork for tomorrow night and got to work creating something quick for dinner.  This dish was quite tasty and we will definitely fix it again.  I had my doubts about using ground pork rather than sliced pork, my preference for stir fires, but it was pretty good in this!  I’d sure do it with the ground pork “in a pinch” again.  🙂

This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins.  Those still on Induction or who are doing Paleo should leave out the sherry.  It is OK for Keto diets and Primal diets as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground pork

3/4 c. carrot, peeled, sliced or diced

1 stalk celery, sliced thinly

1½ c. cabbage, sliced thinly

½ c. green onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

½ tsp. ginger root, minced

½ tsp. Sambal Oelek chili sauce

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper

Dash salt

1 T. sherry (optional, omit for Induction or Paleo)

1 T. low-sodium soy sauce

1 pkg Zeroodles shirataki rice-shape noodles with oat fiber, drained, rinsed

DIRECTIONS:  Drain and rinse noodles in sieve and set aside.  Heat wok or large non-stick skillet.  Add oil and then ground pork.  Brown over high heat.  Do drain off some of the fat if excessive (but not all of it), but I did not have to, as my meat was pretty lean.   Add carrots and celery and continue stir-frying until carrots nearly tender.  Add cabbage and green onion next, stir-frying until cabbage is getting limp.  Add all remaining ingredients, including “rice” noodles and lower heat to medium.  Allow to simmer, stirring frequently, for five minutes longer, allowing flavors to blend and mellow. Serve at once with Sambal Oelek chili sauce and soy sauce at table for those that like more of these.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

412 cals, 31 g fat, 9.55g carbs, 5.82g fiber, 3.73g NET CARBS, 22.2g protein, 288 mg sodium

 

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I wanted meatballs for dinner tonight but not “the usual”.  So I opened up my spice cabinet by the stove and just started throwing Asian/Indonesian ingredients into the bowl.  It never ceases to amaze me that sometimes those “no-recipe” creations end up coming out soooooo tasty!   These have a very delicate flavor, despite the fact that the ingredients have pretty strong flavors.  I recommend serving with steamed cauliflower and green beans.

Made even smaller and served with toothpicks, these would be great party food or a first course when entertaining.  Substituting an phase-suitable cracker, those on Induction could also enjoy these little pork delights.  These fit a Keto lifestyle nicely, too.  Paleo-Primal followers will want to use another nut butter in lieu of the peanut butter.  🙂

DIPPING SAUCE:  Sauce I used to go with these tasty morsels is in this recipe.

MEAT INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground pork

1 beaten egg

1 oz. onion, finely minced

2-3 T. chopped cilantro

¼ tsp. Thai green curry powder

1/16 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

4 low-carb crackers of your choice (I used Almond-Arrowroot Crackers ), crushed

DIPPING SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp. coconut aminos (or low-sodium soy sauce or tamari)

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 tsp. fish sauce (I use Thai Kitchen brand)

2 T. all natural peanut butter or other nut butter of your choice

1 T. olive oil (for frying)

DIRECTIONS:   Mix all ingredients together using a fork or your hands in a medium mixing bowl.  Heat the oil in a  non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Form into 13 “rough” meatball shapes, drop onto hot greased skillet, and with the back of a spatula, press them slightly to  flatten to about ½” thick.  Fry until golden brown on both sides.   This will take about 5 minutes per side.  Serve at once with your favorite Asian stir-fried vegetable dish.  ENJOY!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 13 pork bites, each contains:

133 calories, 11 g  fat, 1.2 g  carbs, .4 g  fiber, .8 g  NET CARBS, 7.45 g  protein, 133 mg sodium

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Click to enlarge (wrap made with patty sliced laterally)

(On a homemade Flour tortilla)

These wonderful little meat patties were ready in just 15 minutes!  I most DEFINITELY liked the flavor and confess I ate two of them they were so good.  I served them with some tzatziki yogurt sauce and a lovely Greek salad.  The leftovers, 2 days later, ended up in the sandwiches you see pictured above.  The flavor of the leftover meat seemed to have improved on the refrigerator shelf!  This meat mixture would also make great meatballs and be great added to Mediterranean casserole dishes with eggplant, tomatoes and feta. I already had some low-carb no-flour tortillas made up so the sandwich you see above was on the table in no time.  This recipe can also be made with beef or lamb and is suitable for all phases of Atkins.  Primal-Paleo folks can eat this meat on a Greek salad or plan-suitable “wrap”.  When used in wraps, my delicious tzatziki sauce is also very good on these sandwiches, particularly with a little extra chopped parsley sprinkled on top!   Click here for the recipe for the tortilla wraps.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. lean ground pork (ground beef or lamb are more traditional)

about 1/3 c. kale (what I could easily pick up in 1 hand with my fingertips)

about ¼ c. parsley

1 oz. onion

1 clove garlic

½ jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine

¼ c. feta cheese, crumbled

Dash each salt and black pepper

1/8 tsp. Homemade Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

1 T. my chimichurri sauce

1 medium egg

DIRECTIONS:  Place all but the meat in a food processor or blender. Pulse until fine, but don’t reduce it to paste in texture.  You want it about like pesto sauce.  Place the meat in a bowl and with a rubber spatula, scrape the spice/herb mixture on the meat.  With a fork or your hands, blend it all together like you would a meatloaf mixture.  Form into 6 equal patties.  These are traditionally cooked over charcoal on your grill, but almost as good browned in non-stick or lightly oiled skillet on each side until meat in completely cooked.  Your choice. Serve at once with your favorite sides or veggies OR let it cool off a bit, slice the patties laterally so that each one will make a Mediterranean-style wrap sandwich on your favorite plan-suitable tortilla/pita type bread.  If you are using cold, leftover meat for a sandwich the next day, after slicing the patties, I would sear a couple seconds in a non-stick skillet to warm them slightly.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 6 patties, each contains:  (numbers are only for the meat)

240 cals, 19g fat, 1.65g carbs, 0.33g fiber, 1.32g NET CARBS, 15g protein, 155 mg sodium

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This delicious curry draws  much of its flavor from the dried fenugreek leaves.  I can’t really describe the flavor of fenugreek, other than it is similar to dried parsley with a musty, somewhat earthy taste.  Although it is available in whole seeds and powder, I prefer using the dried leaf form of this spice in curries.  Widely used in Iranian, and Indian cuisine, it is a nice backdrop flavor that adds something special to the other spice profile of this dish.  I order mine on the internet, but if you’re lucky enough to have an Indian or Middle Eastern grocery in your city, they will surely have it.  You can make this recipe without it, but it won’t be quite as unique in flavor, more like a lot of other curries you’ve had before………good, just not AS good.  🙂

I like to make meatballs in big batches and freeze the leftovers for quick, easy meals in the future.  Although this recipe of meatballs makes thirty 1½ meatballs, I only cooked 9 tonight in my gravy and found that 3 (plus 2 large spoons of gravy) made a nice serving over some cooked cauliflower “rice”.  My husband ate 4 meatballs.    The two leftover (with a couple spoons of sauce) will make a nice lunch one day for someone.

MEATBALL INGREDIENTS (makes 30, some for future use):

24 oz. (1½ lb.) lean ground pork

18 oz. chicken breast (weighed before boning, removing skin and grinding)

2 oz. onion, finely minced

1/3 c. cilantro leaves, chopped

½ jalapeno, seeded and minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs

½ sheet Joseph’s Lavash Flax & Oat Fiber flatbread (omit if still on Atkins Induction Phase)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. Garam Masala Spice Blend

½ tsp. curry powder

¼ tsp. ground turmeric

½ tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp. coarse black pepper

VARIATION:  Use ground beef or lamb for a change in flavor!

CURRY/GRAVY INGREDIENTS:

2 c. homemade chicken broth

¼ c. heavy cream

½ c. tomato sauce (or 2 T. tomato paste)

¼ cilantro leaves, chopped

½-1 tsp. Garam Masala

1 tsp. curry powder

1/8 tsp. ground turmeric

1 T. crushed, dried fenugreek leaves (or 1 tsp. ground seed)

1/3 tsp. nigella seed (optional), also called Charnushka or Kalongi

1/8 tsp. coarse black pepper (or cayenne if you like curry spicy)

½ tsp. sea salt

¼ c. frozen peas (or frozen green beans to lower carbs)

3 Roma plum tomatoes, cut into chunks (added at very last of cooking)

Optional:  1/2 cup coconut milk for richer gravy (adds 1 more net carb than shown below)

DIRECTIONS: Mix all meatball spices in a bowl and set aside a moment.  Wet the bread with water to soften.  Squeeze out water and break/mush it up in a medium mixing bowl.  Add meat(s) and all other meat mixture ingredients to bowl.  Mix with a fork or your hands (like you do meatloaf) until all ingredients are uniformly blended into one mass of meat.  Using your palms, form thirty 1½” meatballs placing them on a non-stick or parchment-lined sheet pan.  I actually skillet browned the nine I was cooking for tonight’s meal.  Pop into 350º oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly browning.  Remove.

While the meatballs are cooking, if you skillet-browned tonight’s meatballs, in that very same skillet, add all listed gravy ingredients (except the tomatoes) and bring to a boil over high heat.  Lower heat to a simmer and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and meatballs back into the skillet at this juncture.  Continue simmering about 10 more minutes to reduce liquid and blend flavors.  The gravy will slightly thicken as it cooks down (keep simmering it too watery.  It WILL thicken up).  If you like your curry gravy thicker, add a light dusting of your favorite low-carb thickener and simmer 1-2 minutes to set up. Serve at once with green side, salad or if preferred, a prepared bed of cooked cauliflower rice.

TIP: Freeze the surplus meatballs for future Indian curry recipes.  Just make up any of your favorite curry gravies and drop the still frozen meatballs, simmering all long enough to gently thaw them and compose you new dish!  A quick week-night meal at the ready in about 30 minutes with pre-cooked meatballs!

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   (meat will make 30 meatballs total).  Using just 9 of them for this meal.  3= 1 serving.  Each serving plus 2 large cooking spoons of the curry/gravy will contain:

349 cals, 21.47g fat, 9.93g carbs, 2.08g fiber, 7.85g NET CARBS, 26.55g protein, 670 mg sodium

 

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My husband raved about our Char Siu tonight!  Throughout the meal he just wolfed it down saying “Yes!” over and over again, ending the meal with “You can make those again any time!”.  LOL  I have to admit, it did come out pretty darn tasty.  I had thawed 4 small pieces of lean pork loin, but when I decided to do an Asian grilled dinner, I thawed two more pieces so there would definitely be some leftover.  The marinade I came up with basically has all the usual things I like to put in my Chinese stir-fries.  I wanted a sweet edge, so other than the plum flavor in the hoisin sauce, all I had on hand was canned pineapple juice or fresh-squeezed orange juice.  But after seeing the carb count for both, I decided to go another route for the sweet factor needed:  diet orange drink and maple extract.  If you use the actual fruit juice, know your carbs will go up to around 8.5 net carbs per serving with the orange juice and around 10 net carbs with pineapple juice.

The vegetable combination in the side stir-fry was stellar with this delicious smoked meat.  If you don’t own a grill, you CAN bake this meat on a metal sheet pan in a 400º oven for about 30 minutes, but we don’t think kebabs of any sort are as tasty cooked inside.  🙂

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MEAT:  1½ lb. boneless pork loin (leave bit of fat on edges), cut 3/4″ strips

VARIATION:  Substitute strips of chicken meat for the pork

MARINADE INGREDIENTS:

3 cloves garlic, minced

1½ tsp. fresh ginger root, peeled and minced

2 T. my Homemade Hoisin Sauce

3 T. soy sauce (I use low-sodium)

1 T. rice wine vinegar

2 T. toasted sesame oil

2 T. dry sherry (or white wine)

¼ c. diet orange soda (Zevia® brand with stevia) (or squeezed orange juice)

½ tsp. maple extract

¼ tsp. each black and cayenne peppers

VEGGIE STIR-FRY SIDE:

3 T. light olive oil

2 oz. onion, sliced

3 oz. red bell pepper, diced to 3/4″

2 c. bok choy (2 stalks)

Remainders of meat marinade

DIRECTIONS: Cut boneless pork loin into 3/4″ strips and set aside.  Measure up all marinade ingredients into medium mixing bowl.  Stir well and add pork.  Stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.  Stir contents every 2 hours to be sure all meat is getting a good soaking in the marinade flavors.  Also soak your wood skewers in water (to prevent catching fire during cooking) while your meat is marinating.

When ready to prepare meal, set meat out on counter to come to nearly room temperature. While meat is sitting, cut up the onion, red bell pepper and have ready by the stove.  Next cut leaves off the bok choy stems and cut or tear them into large pieces.  Cut the white bok choy stems separately into ½” slices.  Have all veggies at the ready by the stove.

Now go over and skewer the pork as evenly as possible onto your skewers (I do mine like a “Z” or snake, piercing meat 2-3 times for stability during grilling).  I put 2 long strips on each skewer (3 smaller pieces on a couple skewers) using this “Z” method.  I do make every attempt to put equal portions of meat on each skewer.

Prepare charcoal fire in your outdoor grill. When your coals are white hot, place skewers of meat directly over coals.  Reserve the marinade for final recipe step.  If coals are plenty hot, this meat will only take 2-3 minutes on a side to get done, provided it was cut as directed.

While someone is cooking/watching the meat outside, prepare the veggie stir-fry at your stove-top.  Heat olive oil in skillet or wok over high heat.  Add onion, cut up white bok choy stems and diced red bell pepper.  Stir-fry until all just begin to soften.  Add bok choy leaves last and cook the veggies until bok choy leaves just go limp.  Finally, add in the reserved marinade, stir-frying, stirring continuously, long enough to insure the marinade juices are thoroughly cooked, for health reasons.  Raw meat juices in the marinate MUST be fully cooked to be safe to eat (about 3-4 minutes).  Plate the veggies alongside the grilled meat on your serving platter and serve.  This would be tasty with some favorite low-carb dinner roll or bread.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 8 skewers.  Each 2-skewer serving with 1/4 of veggie stir-fry contains:

437.5 cals, 26.3g fat, 8.35g carbs, 1.82g fiber, 6.53g NET CARBS, 39.72g protein, 561 mg sodium

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Pork on “Lotus Petal”

I fell asleep in my chair in front of the TV yesterday afternoon and it was 6:30 when I woke up.  I’m dealing with a cold at present.  I had thawed 3 small pieces of pork loin but didn’t have the foggiest idea what I was going to cook us for dinner.  Well, a stir fry was all I could think of I could pull off fast.  This dish erupted in my head when I saw the fresh, small head of cabbage sitting right by the pork.  So I proceeded, almost as if in cruise control, when I pulled off the 3 outer leaves of the cabbage to shred up what I wanted in a Chinese stir fry.  Folks, I have no idea where that was coming from, as I was not fully awake yet.  I sure know we both loved this final dish!  My husband said to be sure and upload this one to my blog, but I had decided to do that after one bite!  This dish may sound spicy upon first reading, but I assure you, it was not, as I don’t care for overly spice food.  You will never find overly spicy food on my site for this reason.  Many of you will want to increase the Sambal Oelek, or even double the jalapeno!  There was just a tingle on my tongue and that’s all I want.

As I began preparation, I knew it would be too rich without something “bland” to stand in for rice.  Then I remembered a little of our cauliflower mash leftover from a couple nights ago.  What a great idea!   I seasoned it with my Sambal Oelek chile paste and voila!  A miracle that disguised any cauliflower taste.  It really complemented melange of flavors!  This recipe is suitable for Atkins Phase 2 and beyond as well as other ketogenic diets.  Omit the sherry and those on Atkins Induction can also enjoy this delightful concoction.

INGREDIENTS:

3 T. coconut oil (or your preferred oil)

9 oz. pork loin, trimmed of all fat, sliced julienne-style

3 T. total dry sherry

3 T. total low-sodium soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

2½ finely shredded green cabbage

½ c. green onions, chopped (I used the white ends only)

1 large jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 tsp. sea salt

2¼-2½ c. leftover, butter-seasoned cauliflower mash

1 tsp. Sambal Oelek chile paste (any brand is fine)

½ small carrot, peeled and shaved into long thin strips with carrot peeler

VARIATION:  Use lean beef instead of pork.

DIRECTIONS:  Place julienned pork in a bowl with 2 T. of the sherry and 1½ T. of the soy sauce.  Mix with your hands and let marinate about 10 minutes while you cut up the other ingredients.

Peel off 3 outer leaves of cabbage and dunk in boiling water for 2-3 minutes to slightly soften.  If you want to actually eat the serving leaf, cook them a bit longer.  Remove from water and set on serving platter (mine, as you can see, is shaped like a giant lotus petal, hence the recipe name).  Discard water.

In a small non-stick skillet, mix the leftover cauliflower mash with the tsp. of Sambal Oelek.  It will turn the cauli pink when uniformly stirred.  Turn heat on low and warm while you do the stir-fry.

In a heated wok, melt the coconut oil over high heat.  Add the julienned pork and stir-fry until it begins to brown.  Add cabbage, green onion, jalapeno, ginger and garlic to the wok and continue to stir-fry.  Sprinkle the mixture with the sea salt, add the strips of carrot you have made with the carrot peeler and stir a couple times to let the carrot slightly cook. Add the remaining tablespoon sherry and the remaining 1½ tablespoons soy sauce.

To serve, spoon 1/3 of the pink cauliflower mixture onto each leaf of cabbage and spread out a bit, leaving the dark edge of the leaf exposed.  Then spoon on 1/3 of the meat mixture on top of the cauli mixture and serve your family and guests at once.  I found one of these filled me up like a tick, as we say in the South.  My husband did eat two of them, gluton that he is.  ENJOY!  🙂

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 3 servings, each contains:

439 cals., 26.7g fat, 13.93g carbs, 6.0g fiber, 7.93g NET CARBS, 23.3g protein, 1178 mg sodium

 

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To be so simple to prepare, these boneless pork loin chops were both delicious and especially tender.  My husband just loved these tonight and said to “please do these often!”  A quick pan dinner for a busy week-night when you’re tired, for sure.  Simply sear, simmer and EAT!  This recipe is not suitable until Atkins Phase 2 due to the wine, but subbing in chicken stock would allow this for those still in Atkins Induction Phase.

INGREDIENTS: 

2 boneless pork loin chops (or bone-in chops)

¼ tsp. my Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

3 T. butter

6 large mushrooms, cut into quarters

1 clove minced garlic

Dash black pepper and sea salt

¼ c. white wine (I used Riesling)

DIRECTIONS:  Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle Montreal Steak Seasoning on both sides of the pork.  Sear both sides of the meat until light brown.  Lift meat out to a plate when both sides are golden (meat will not quite be done).  Add garlic, mushrooms, black pepper and sea salt.  Saute  mushrooms until nearly tender, push them to the outside of the pan and replace meat in pan.   Lower heat to medium-low. Add wine to both de-glaze the brown bits from the pan bottom and to continue cooking the meat.  Simmer over low heat about 5-7 minutes or until meat is firmed up and fully done.  Remove from stove and serve at once with you favorite sides.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 servings, each contains:

443 cals, 31g fat, 3.3g carbs, 0.65g fiber, 2.65g NET CARBS, 33g protein, 143mg sodium

 

 

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