Cinco de Mayo Carnitas y Margaritas por favor!!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!! The perfect holiday excuse to celebrate and party, also known as day where amatuers rage.

Cinco de Mayo calls for Carnitas and Margaritas! And today that’s what we’re talking about…carnitas and margaritas! I am so excited to share with my one and only go to, fail proof Carnita recipe.  This is the only carnita recipe I’ve ever used (gracias Cyndi for sharing your recipe with me) and did I also mention? It’s baked, paleo and whole 30 approved, and no oil required! (yup…none of that deep friend oil splattering stuff!) AND it only requires 4 ingredient items!

But first, let’s our drink game on….I am leaving this to the pro, my friend Deborah. Not only is she clever, she’s an amazing host and quite the cocktail maker (can I call you that, Deb?)…check out her muy delicisoso recipes aqui: Clever Little Madam’s Margarita Bar All of her concoctions are always a hit!

To absorb the tequila, these carnitas can be served with tortillas, rice, beans, or in a salad (my preference).
Here’s the recipe:

Carnitas

  • 4 limes, juicedimg_0770
  • 6-8 garlic cloves (1/2 head of garlic)
  • 5 lbs. of pork butt roast or pork shoulder, cut into large chunks (I prefer to get this from Costco or my local Sprouts)
  • Kosher salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a blender, combine lime juice, garlic and salt.
  3. Place pork and garlic/lime marinade in roasting pan.  Allow to sit for 30 mins.
  4. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 2 – 2.5 hours (until pork is tender).
  5. Remove foil and pan juices from roasting pan.
  6. Return to oven for an additional 30 minutes to brown, turning pork, half way through
  7. You for additional caramelization, add a can of coke or juice of two oranges.

Buen Provecho.

Salmon Bacon Chowder recipe – Whole30 and Paleo approved

I can’t believe that tomorrow is already the last day of my Whole30 Challenge! Besides feeling damn good, this challenge has really pushed me to be more creative in the kitchen. The limitations have forced me to look at what I can eat and what I can do to recreate some of my favorite dishes.

Last month, my girlfriend, Betsy and I brunched at a cute little brunch spot called Poppy & Rose in downtown, LA’s Flower District. I tried their Salmon Chowder and it was so delicious, I knew I had to recreate it.

It’s raining, it’s POURING today, and seeing that it’s the eve of the last day to my Whole30, I wanted to share this Whole30 and paleo approved recipe for today’s Make Something Monday. Today’s recipe is Seriously Sammy’s Salmon Bacon Chowder recipe. It’s the perfect “stewp” for a cold, rainy day…or any day for that matter. You’re going to love it!

Seriously Sammy’s Salmon Bacon Chowder recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 filets of Salmon, deboned (if you like more protein go for eight filets)
  • 2 lbs of cauliflower florets
  • 6 TBSP of EVOO
  • 4 C of Organic Chicken Broth
  • 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk (I only used about a third of it)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced or sliced
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 7 celery stalks, chopped
  • 8 mushrooms, sliced (you can use cremini or button, whatever you like)
  • 6-7 slices of bacon, sliced into small pieces
  • 1-2 tsp of fresh dill
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Truffle salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Mix the EVOO and the garlic in a bowl
  3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, lay out the salmon filets and using about 2T of the EVOO/ garlic mixture, use a brush and paint it on to the salmon. Put this on the top rack of the oven for about 15 minutes
  4. In a mixing bowl, add the cauliflower florets and the remainder of the EVOO/ garlic mix. Toss thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with foil or wax paper, and pour the cauliflower on to the sheet. You can add salt and pepper to this if you wish. Put this on the bottom rack of the oven for about 15-20 minutes. I put both the salmon and the cauliflower trays in the oven at the same time.
  5. While the oven is working away, add the bacon to a big soup pot at medium heat. Let that sizzle and brown up. With a pair of tongs, remove the bacon from the pot. Set aside the bacon. Leave the oil/ fat in the same pot.
  6. Add the leek, onions, celery to the bacon fat. Keep it on med-high heat. Once browned/ translucent, add the broth. Bring to a boil. Transfer this to the Vitamix or blender. Pulse.
  7. Add about 2/3 of the roasted cauliflower to the soup mix and pulse until it’s a smooth thickness that you like. I reserve the rest of the cauliflower to add into the soup base as I like the chunks of it…it makes it more chowder-like sans the potatoes! (Quick tip: cauliflower is a great substitute for starch like ingredients…think potatoes, rice, etc…)
  8. Return the soup base to the pot and add the coconut milk, bring to a boil, allow to simmer. (Note: Up until this point, this method can be applied to any other type of Paleo chowder recipe.)
  9. With your tongs or wooden spatula, break up the chunks of roasted salmon and add to the soup. Put it on a low simmer.
  10. Add mushrooms and dill. Simmer until the mushrooms are to your liking.
  11. Top it off with the bacon. Oh and if you want to kick it up a notch, add your favorite truffle salt (mine is Casina Rossa Truffle Salt from Far East Fungi…love that place)!

Pork Chile Verde and it’s Whole30 & Paleo Approved!

One thing I love about Los Angeles is its diversity. Within a mile’s stretch, there’s various ethnic supermarkets (Chinese, Latin, Indian, Thai). Since I started this Whole30 challenge, the limitations (mainly meats and vegetables and some fruit) have allowed me to be as creative as possible in trying to keep things fun and challenging.

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All these chilis got me craving something yummy…Pork Chile Verde!

With the weekend here, it usually means that we can take our time and do as we please. I decided to explore the local Latin Supermarket, Super A Foods. The produce is so vibrant and fresh, I got excited and inspired. I immediately gravitated towards what spoke to me (all the chilis and peppers); and I decided to make Pork Chile Verde. Did I say that this is also Whole30 and paleo approved? Pork Chile Verde, that’s what’s cooking this weekend!!!

If you want to make your own Pork Chile Verde, follow my recipe below.

Pork Chile Verde Recipe – Whole30 and Paleo approved!

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 -3 jalapenos, seeds removed, and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, roasted, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed and soaked in a scant amount of water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • 3 stalk, Onions, young green, tops only
  • 1 leek, chop the white part only
  • 4 cups chicken stock

Directions:

  1. Season the pork meat generously with salt and pepper.
  2. De-husk the tomatillo, boil, drain set aside in the food processer
  3. Add the cilantro and leek to the food processor w/ the tomatillo, blend
  4. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well in small batches, on all sides.
  5. Lift pork out of pan and place into the pot used for the pressure cooker
  6. Discard fat and place the garlic, onions and peppers in the same skillet and sweat over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add all of the chiles and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
  8. Add the Sauteed vegetables, tomatillo sauce, and dried herbs to the meat, cover with the chicken stock in the pressure cooker pot
  9. Set it to Stew/ Soup mode and set for 1 hour-1.5 hours…Set it and Forget it!!!

Enjoy!

Apple Chips

Do you like fruit chips? I do! This week, I wanted to make some apple chips. It’s so easy, I wanted to share this DIY recipe with you for today’s Make Something Monday.

Ingredients:

Apples (cored and sliced into consistent sized pieces) – I like them about 1/4 in. thick and I don’t like the skin, so I peel it too.

IMG_0501
Home made Apple Chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Select great, delicious apples. -I used organic Fiji apples
  2. Peel, core, slice
  3. Place them neatly (sides barely touching each other) in a food dehydrator
  4. “Set it and forget it!” The apples are dehydrated when they are leathery but not damp… I set it for about 8-10 hours

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Enjoy! You can also package this for a special gift to a friend.

What are you making this Monday? A new project? Craft? Dish? I’d like to know. Whatever you do, I hope you make this Monday a great one.

 

Vietnamese Braised Pork Belly recipe – Whole30 and Paleo approved

Wowsas! It’s already been two weeks into my Whole30 program and damn, I’m feeling pretty good! Don’t get me wrong, the initial few days weren’t fun…but that’s in the past now. Once I stopped focusing on the limitations (really of meats and vegetables are allowed) and thought of all the creative dishes I can make, things got fun, challenging and creative! I have started to explore making different food genres. It’s funny how limitations actually breeds creativity.

This weekend’s recipe was inspired by an Instagram post from a childhood friend, it’s a Vietnamese braised pork belly stew-like dish called Thit Kho Trung. Once I saw the post, I knew I had to make it. Though I never had the dish before, I already tasted it based on the photo and description. I tweaked it a bit to ensure that it’s Paleo and Whole30 friendly, and it’s super easy to make.

IMG_0391
Vietnamese Braised Pork Belly – Thit Kho Trung

Thi Kho Trung Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Pork Belly, sliced about 3 inches
  • 5 TBS Vietnamese Fish Sauce – Red Boat Brand*
  • 4 TBS Soy Sauce – Organic Raw Coconut Aminos Soy Free Seasoning Sauce*
  • 1 dash, Spices – Pepper, black
  • 1 TSP of whole coriander seeds
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • 5 Garlic cloves, sliced
  • 5 TBSP shallots, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, raw
  • 2 stalk green onions, rough chopped
  • 6 eggs, hard-boiled boiled
  • 11 fluid ounce, Pure Organic Coconut Water (1 Liter) (No Sugar Added)* (add less of this if you want more of a savory dish, more if you prefer a sweeter dish)
  • 2 TBSP of Olive Oil or Ghee

Instructions:

  1. In a boiling pot, boil the eggs and deshell
  2. IMG_0516Par boil (about 4 min) the pork and drain the gunk
  3. IMG_0514Meanwhile, add olive oil or ghee to a pan stir fry the onions, shallots, garlic, ginger on a medium heat.
  4. Once onions start to become translucent, add the pork, fish sauce, soy sauce and coconut water
  5. Transfer the meat mix and eggs to pressure cooker, throw in the coriander seeds and black pepper
  6. Close the lid and set the pressure cooker to stew/ soup mode and set for an hour and half. Note, you can also use a slow cooker/ crock pot, you can set it on low for about 6-8 hours

 

You can serve this on its own, but it goes really well with steamed cauliflower or any side of vegetables. Enjoy!!!!

Seriously Simple Lemon Garlic Salmon Recipe

Paleo Approved? Check. Whole 30 approved? Check. Easy to make? Check. Less than 5 minutes to prep? Check! Healthy and Hearty? Check!!!!  Look no further, this Seriously Simple Lemon Garlic Salmon is what’s cooking this weekend! Make your own, by following this weekend’s recipe (below):

Seriously Simple Lemon Garlic Salmon Recipe:

IMG_0307
With a pastry brush, apply the sauce on top of the salmon, ensuring that not a spot is missed
IMG_0313
After about 12-15 minutes at 400 in the oven, remove and enjoy with your favorite sides

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. ghee* or preferred fat (such as Avocado or Olive Oil)
  • 2 t of coarse kosher salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 t. fresh dill and or parsley, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • white pepper to taste
  • 4 salmon fillets, about 4-5 oz. each
  • 1 lemon, quartered (optional)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400
  2. Place all ingredients except for salmon and lemon wedges in a small bowl and melt in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Skip the microwave if you’re using oil.
  3. Stir until combined.
  4. Place the salmon fillets on a baking sheet lined with foil
  5. Using a pastry brush, coat the salmon with the lemon herb butter/ oil, ensuring it’s covered.
  6. Bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees on the top rack for 10-12 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.
  7. Serve and squeeze lemon wedges (if you’d like)

Seriously, simple right? Now enjoy!

Damn good Brussel Sprouts & Bacon recipe

Brussel Sprouts… there’s just something so rustic and earthy about ‘em. I love me some crunchy leaves in between each bite and add some bacon…it’s heaven in every bite! For this weekend’s recipe, here’s a simple, killer recipe that has me salivating! And did I say? It’s Paleo and Whole 30 approved? Check out my recipe…oh, and the icing…just 5 simple steps to make this Brussel Sprouts & Bacon! So damn good. Enjoy!

Brussel Sprouts & Bacon Recipe

IMG_0303
Clean ’em and cut them up in halves or thirds (depending on size), ensuring they’re consistent bite sizes.
IMG_0304
Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl
IMG_0311
Damn good Brussel Sprouts & Bacon…Let them roast until the bacon is crispy, about 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Ingredients:

  • 2# of Brussel Sprouts, cut in half or quartered (depending on the size)
  • 4 slices of no sugar added* bacon, diced
  • 2 T of EVOO or any preferred fat (ghee, butter, etc)
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Coarse Kosher salt, to taste
  • Gluten Free/ Sugar Free* Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Set your oven to 400
  2. Line a baking sheet w/ foil (because we don’t have time to clean so hard!)
  3. In a mixing bowl add all of the ingredient items, mix
  4. Place onto the baking sheet
  5. Put in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, mixing/ rotating about every 10 minutes (if you’d like, you can drizzle with some balsamic vinegar)

*These restrictions are only if you’re opting for a Paleo or Whole 30 dish