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Archive for the ‘Pork’ Category

This soup I made for our lunch today came out so good!  It reminds me so much of Hot and Sour soup served in Chinese restaurants, all but the tofu.  I try to avoid soy as much as possible, but if you consume it, add about 1 c. small french-fry strips to the pot for a more authentic soup.  This recipe is suitable for Atkins, ketogenic diets, Primal and Paleo as well.

INGREDIENTS:

5-6 oz. piece of pork loin, trimmed of all fat, slivered thin

1 T. olive oil

4 c. pork or chicken broth (I use homemade)

1½ c. bean sprouts, fresh or canned, drained)

1 large green onion, chopped

1 bok choy leaf (green part only), or 1 leaf kale, chopped

4 oz. red bell pepper, sliced (not authentic, but very good)

¼ c. dried sliced shitake mushrooms (equivalent of 2 mushrooms)

½ c. dried clour ear fungi/mushrooms

sesame oil (my bottle says toasted)

¼ c. rice wine vinegar (no substitutions)

½ Tamari or soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. Sambal Oelek chili sauce (more if you like real spicy)

1 c. water (as needed)

½ tsp. xanthan gum to slightly thicken

Dash toasted sesame seeds

VARIATION:  Add 1 c. chopped tofu (french-fry shape)

DIRECTIONS:  Brown slivered pork in the tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a 4 qt. saucepan.  Add all remaining ingredients but the last 3 (water, xanthan gum & toasted seeds).  Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat and simmer just until red pepper is starting to soften (but is not mushy, limp), or about 5-6 minutes.  Bok choy (or kale) will be done by then.  Taste broth.  If too salty for you add the water slowly until to your desired salty level.

I use a salt shaker for my xanthan gum.  Lightly dust it over surface and stir in.  Simmer a couple minutes to let it take action.  Repeat until soup is thick enough (or until all used).  This should be enough thickener even if you add the cup of extra water.  Add sesame seeds and stir or you can serve them with the soup at table, letting diners sprinkle seeds on their own.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 4 servings, each contains:

251 cals, 18g fat, 9.87g carbs, 4.85g fiber, 5.02g NET CARBS, 18.5g protein, 1207 mg sodium (Use low sodium soy sauce to reduce, but I was out of it.)

 

 

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These were some small 4-oz. pieces of pork loin I took out of the freezer tonight and I wanted to try my latest spice creation on them.  I chose to do these in my air fryer, but am sure they would be even better done on the charcoal grill.  Tomorrow is another day :).  Man, were these ever tasty!  Much better than the jerked chicken I had one time in a little cafe here in town (that has since folded, maybe that’s why).  I see much many Jamaican Jerk meats in my future with my toned-down version of Jamaican Spice.   This recipe, with the typical brown sugar eliminated from my version of the spice, should be suitable on any eating program, ketogenic or otherwise.

INGREDIENTS:

4   4-oz. pieces boneless pork loin

¼ c. light olive oil

2 T. my Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend

1 oz. onion, minced fine (I used red onion)

DIRECTIONS:   Pour the olive oil into a marinating dish.  Add the spice blend and minced onion to the dish.  Stir.  Dip each “chop” into the mixture, using it all up, trying to get the minced onion evenly onto all sides of the meat.  Cover and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

To air-fry, preheat your fryer to 375º for 3 minutes.  Open and place meat in the basket so they do not touch.  Cook at 375º for about 12 minutes.  Turn and if any left in the marinating pan, brush any marinade remainders onto the exposed side.  Raise fryer to 400º and cook for another 3-4 minutes.  As fryers vary, check before time is up to be sure yours doesn’t cook hotter than mine.  If charcoal grilling, have your coals very hot and place meat on the grate and grill for about 15 minutes on each side or until thoroughly done but not dried out.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 2 adult servings (shrink to about 3.2 oz. cooked ad they are so lean to begin with). Two chops contain:

578 cals, 40g fat, 6.9g carbs, 1g fiber, 5.9g NET CARBS, 49.1g protein, 204 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.  🙂

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 from orange)

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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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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These plump, juicy chops were the most moist pork I have cooked in a long time.  I had to keep checking them as I didn’t know how long to cook them, but eventually reached the internal temp of 150º I was wanting.   I’m really having fun experimenting with my new air fryer (Power XL 7 qt.)!  These were sooooo easy to make!  Actually, I don’t know why I haven’t thought to try something like this recipe with Montreal seasoning before now, but I’m here to tell you these chops came out really moist!  Flavor was nice, too.  My husband and I both said this one is a keeper.

I used 1″ extra thick, boneless pork loin, each weighed 5 oz. raw (4 oz. after cooking).  You could certainly use bone-in chops, or thinner cut chops, but you will have to play around with your time, as those variables (ant the variances in air fryers themselves) will require close watching to be sure they do not overcook.

INGREDIENTS:

3   1″ thick pieces boneless pork (about 5 oz.)

2 T. olive oil (I cook with extra light)

2 T. Sukrin Gold (or other plan-suitable low-carb brown sugar sub)

2 T. my Homemade Montreal Steak Seasoning

VARIATION:  Baste at the turning point with 1-2 T. melted butter with minced garlic in it. 

DIRECTIONS:  Coat chops on all surfaces with olive oil.  I poured into shallow dish and dipped them in it, being sure to get the edges, since mine were so thick.  Mix the Sukerin Gold and Montreal Seasoning on/on a paper plate or little cup.  Sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over all surfaces of the three chops, using it ALL up.  Preheat your air fryer for 2-3 minutes.  Cook chops at 400º for 16 minutes, turning them over at the 8 minute mark.  As with all air fryer cooking, check them a few times during cooking to be sure they are not burning.  Use a meat thermometer to check internal temp (desired 150º) to make sure they are done, cooking a couple minutes longer if needed.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:    Makes 3 servings, each contains: 123.7 cals, 8.8g fat, 4.73g carbs, 2.23g fiber, 2.5g NET CARBS, 7.86g protein, 216 mg sodium

 

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Mediterranean Meat Wraps (using low-carb Flour tortilla)

These wonderful little meat patties can be ready in just 15 minutes!  I most DEFINITELY like the flavor and confess ate two of them on my wrap.  Delicious!  I served them with some tzatziki yogurt sauce and a lovely Greek salad.  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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Mega Meatballs

Click to enlarge

Browsing my favorite food blogs, I came across a lovely picture of meatballs, something I’ve not made in ages.  I decided it was high time I did some meatballs for dear hubby and I love them, too!   The dish I came up with is not classic “saucy” spaghetti and meatballs, as actually very little sauce is put on each serving.  But an adequate tomato-y edge was there and made this a delightful dinner.

I’m providing the nutritional information for the individual parts of this, as many will use this meatball recipe with other sauces, serve it over other bases than the zucchini noodles and will use this thick veggie-heavy marinara sauce for other applications.  This dish is not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins due to the ricotta.  It is OK for Ketogenic diets.  It is however not acceptable for Primal-Paleo.

I like to make large batches of meatballs and freeze the extras for quick uses later on.  This recipe makes 20 meatballs or 10 servings of two meatballs.  Adjust your recipe as your needs dictate.

I absolutely love the Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce” (no added sugar or bad ingredients) that I found at my local Walmart.  It’s made with all natural ingredients, has a lovely taste and I buy it for quick sauces and us it for quick pizza sauce.  It’s a great flavor foundation to build on.  🙂   It costs somewhere around $3.99/jar if I remember right.

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DISCLAIMER: By personal choice I accept no payment for this cookbook promotion nor the inclusion of my recipes therein.  I do so simply because they are filled with fantastic recipes any cook, low carb or otherwise, would be proud to add to their cookbook library.

MEATBALLS:

1 lb. ground beef (I used 90% lean grass-fed)

1 lb. ground pork

2 beaten eggs

½ c. ricotta cheese

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼ tsp. each onion powder, garlic powder, crushed fennel seed and dried basil

½ tsp. dried oregano, crushed

¼ c. Parmesan cheese

MEATBALL DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350º.  Measure out all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together with fork or hand until well blended.  Form large 1½” balls by rolling in your palms.  Place them on either a non-stick baking sheet or one with a silicone sheet liner.  Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned and no longer oozing pink juices.

QUICK MARINARA SAUCE:

3 T. olive oil

½ c. celery, chopped

4 oz. onion, chopped

¼ c. bell pepper, chopped

5 large mushrooms, chopped

1  25.5 oz. jar (3c.) Lucini “Rustic Tomato Basil Sauce”, all natural ingredients with 4 NC per ½c. serving

2/3 c. parsley, chopped

3/4-1c. water, as needed

DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE:  Heat oil in skillet or large saucepan.  Add celery, onion and bell pepper and saute until nearly tender.  Add mushroom and saute until translucent. Add Lucini sauce, parsley and bring to a simmer on very low heat.  Cook on lowest setting while meatballs are baking.  Stir often, adding water, as needed, to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan and to maintain a thin marinara sauce consistency.

ZUCCHINI NOODLES “Zoodles”:    VARIATIONS: Serve over spaghetti squash.           

3 medium zucchini (about 10 oz. each)

1 T. olive oil

DIRECTIONS FOR NOODLES:   Cut the zucchini into noodle shapes either with a hand held julienne peeler (what I use) or the more expensive tools like the counter-top Spirooli  that is designed to do this much faster. Heat olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.   Add zucchini threads to the pan and lightly saute just until they become translucent.  DO NOT OVERCOOK them or they will get mushy.

FINAL PLATING:  Plate about 1 cup zoodles on each plate.  Top with 1/2 c. sauce.  Place 2 meatballs on top and if desired, garnish with a sprinkle of grated fresh Parmesan.

MEATBALL NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 20 very large meatballs.  Two per serving.  Each 2-meatball serving contains:

290 calories, 23 g  fat, 1.18 g  carbs, .8 g  fiber, .38 g  NET CARBS and 20.2 g  protein, 155 mg sodium

SAUCE NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes ten 1/2 c. servings of sauce.  Each serving contains:

97 calories, 7.2 g  fat, 7.27 g  carbs, 1.93 g  fiber, 5.34 g  NET CARBS, 2.24 g  protein

ZUCCHINI NOODLES NUTRITIONAL INFO:  Makes 10 servings of noodles.  Each 3 oz serving contains:

59 calories, 4.7 g  fat, 4.2 g  carbs, 1.4 g  fiber, 2.8 g  NET CARBS  1.5 g  protein

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