Posts Tagged "low carb"

90 minute Kalua Pork

Posted by on Mar 14, 2015 in Dinner, pork | 1 comment

90 minute Kalua Pork

Tender, fatty, fall apart pork shoulder is one of life’s true treasures. (Am I being dramatic?) The general rule with meat cuts is: the tougher the muscle, the more dynamic the flavor. A filet mignon is tender, sure, but is it interesting? No, not really. It’s the muscles that actually get used by the animal that have the most flavor. But the tenderness needs to be coaxed out. Traditionally, this is done with low, slow cooking. But what about those of us who are impatient? (me!) What if we don’t plan ahead and want dinner TODAY? (also me!) Well. There’s a solution for us impatient poor planners. It’s called pressure cooking, and I promise you need not be afraid of it. I’ve been using my large, stove top pressure cooker for years to make bone broth. It’s by far my favorite method, and I’ve gotten great feedback from others who have tried it. For the holidays last year, my mama got me an Instantpot, which is the amazing little contraption I used to make this here kalua pork in just 90 minutes. The nice thing about these guys is that they’re pretty foolproof- the temperature is regulated so you don’t have to play a guessing game with the temperature of your burner in relation to the steam inside. It took me a while to take my new kitchen toy out of the box, and after I did, I just stared at it for a few days. (not straight, I did other things, too) Kitchen appliances that require pushing buttons make me feel funny. It’s one of the reasons I’m not a slow cooker user. But I’ve slowly been conquering my fear(?) and finding fun ways to use my Instantpot. This thing is quite the multi-tasker; it slow cooks and pressure cooks. It makes yogurt and rice. You can even turn the heat up in it to sear your meat right in the cooking chamber before you slow cook or pressure cook it. And the main reason I wanted it? I have plans to hack it for sous vide. Stay tuned for that adventure. But for now, please enjoy this recipe for Kalua Pork. It’s super simple to make, and you can even skip the pineapple and smoky part- it’s delicious kept simple and unadulterated, too. As for me, I’ve been missing Hawaii ever since we got back from our honeymoon last month, and wanted those little reminders of it. To me, nothing beats serving this with plantain tortillas, guacamole and slaw. Not exactly the traditional way of serving it, but incredibly delicious. 90 minute Kalua Pork serves: 8-10  |  prep time: 5 minutes   |  cook time: 1 hour 40 minutes   1 4-5 pound pork shoulder (I prefer bone-in, but boneless works too) 1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat 1 teaspoon salt (Hawaiian or sea salt) 1/2 cup diced pineapple (fresh or canned) 1 teaspoon fish sauce (I love Red Boat!) 1 tablespoon liquid smoke 1/2 cup water Turn your Instantpot on to saute and wait until the display reads HOT. Cut the pork shoulder into two pieces and add the lard to the pot. Sear each half  for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until nicely browned. Remove to a platter and turn the Instantpot off. Sprinkle the salt on the pork. Add the pineapple, fish sauce, liquid smoke and water to the pot, along with the pork and any juices from the platter. Lock on the lid with the vent closed. Use the manual button to put 90 minutes on the display. After 90 minutes, allow the steam to release naturally. Remove the pork...

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21 Day Sugar Detox, Day 21: DAY TWENTY-ONE!!!

Posted by on Dec 16, 2012 in 21 DSD Daily Eats | 0 comments

Today is the last day of our 21 day sugar detox, and we wrapped it up a bit early for the sake of celebrating Hanukkah and Simon’s dad’s birthday. It just felt right. I couldn’t wait any longer for latkes. And wine. And brownies. I didn’t go overboard, don’t worry. Here’s what we had tonight: chicken liver pâté with rosemary crackers cucumber cups with smoked salmon, capers, and creme fraîche* bread & butter zucchini pickles (from the farmers market) classic latkes with apple sauce and sour cream sweet potato & chive latkes lemon & herb spatchcocked roasted chicken* garlicky rainbow chard double chocolate fleur de sel grain-free brownies* YUM. And with all the cooking I do for work, it’s really nice to make a nice dinner for the family once in a while.   It felt great to say no to sugar for a few weeks, and it’s never a bad idea to cut out the booze either. We don’t own a scale, but according to others, we lost some weight. We eat mostly paleo as it is, so these three weeks weren’t a huge change for us, but were more an exercise in restraint. It was especially tricky when I had to make things like cookies and brownies and not have a crumb. While it felt like torture at the time, the end result was the knowledge that I am in control of what I put in my body, and that is a very good thing to know. Simon felt healthier in general over the three weeks, and was much more aware of his food choices. In my opinion, this type of food challenge is an important thing to do at least once a year, for two reasons: There’s the obvious reason: It’s healthy. It’s a good reset. Sugar is bad. Craving sweets and starchy carbs all the time is not optimal. And then there’s the more subtle reason, which lies in the psychological realm. We ALL have control of what we eat. Even when there’s addiction, we have it at some level; we might just have to work harder for it. This type of challenge, even if it only lasts a few weeks, is something that you can keep on that back burner of your mind. Once you say no to the candy bar in the check out line, the ice cream before bed, the drink as soon as you feel stressed, you can do it anytime. It’s a good thing to remember. Now: there’s a right way and a wrong way to ease out of a detox such as this. For more on that please (please) read this. I have to say, this was so much fun. I’m so glad that I decided to blog about our experience with the 21 day sugar detox. It was  a great exercise in discipline and accountability. I happened to be doing this detox on some of the busiest days I had this year, so it was a challenge. But a good challenge. If you’ve been following along, or reading random entries, I’m glad you’re here. I truly appreciate everyone who reads this blog – Thank you!  * Recipes to be posted soon. Stay tuned!         All of the links on are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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21 Day Sugar Detox, Day 20: A special guest post from Simon

Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in 21 DSD Daily Eats | 2 comments

Dear Sugar, It’s hard for me to say this, but we are done! At least for another day. It’s not me it’s you. I know we’ve been together for a long time and have had a lot of great fun together. Like that time I went to Santa Cruz beach boardwalk and you were waiting for me in the form of a Churo. Your crisp sweetness tempted me like Cindy Crawford to a 13 year old boy. Am I dating myself? Whatever she’s still hot! To be honest I’ve met someone else…Splenda. Just kidding, just making sure you all are paying attention. I ‘d sooner wax Robin Williams  then touch that garbage and if you haven’t seen his back use the great power of Google. I’ve finally learned that I can survive without you and it’s bitter-sweet. (poor choice of words?) I can honestly say that we will meet again, but now it’s on my terms. I think you should move out. I will still see you from time to time, but you can’t stay here anymore. It’s time to slow things down. You see the problem is you have been making me un-healthy and now I know it. Goodbye my love. Simon On a more serious note, I could not have done this detox without Simone. She has made this so easy for me. She made almost every meal and had delicious snacks always around. Thanks babe.     All of the links on are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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21 Day Sugar Detox, Days 16 & 17: I’m back. I wasn’t hiding in the guest room eating Snickers bars.

Posted by on Dec 12, 2012 in 21 DSD Daily Eats | 0 comments

Day 16 HEADACHE. More stuff happened, good stuff. But the headache was the reason for no blogging. Here’s what happened: Alarm went off way before I was ready to get up (boo). Not enough sleep (blerg). Coffee (yay!). Drive (meh). Meeting (good!). Tea (Yum!). Grocery shopping (Meh). Home (yay!). Breakfast (woo-hoo!). But look how freaking cute she is. The headache started off as a not-enough-sleep headache, more of a brain fog than a true headache. It reminded me a lot of how I used to feel almost all the time; lethargic, brain fog, achy neck, general blah. I don’t feel this way very often at all anymore. It sometimes happens when I get glutened. It also sometimes happens if I get woken up out of a deep sleep. It always makes me very grateful that I don’t feel like crap on a regular basis anymore. But mostly I just want it to go away. This only happens if I’m able to lie down, which wasn’t the case yesterday. But along the way, I got to take in some nice views. Not bad, eh? Did it work? Did the pretty pictures distract you from the lack of food in my day? Needless to say, I was starving when I got home. I ate the leftover pork stir-fry, cold. I’ve always loved Chinese food cold. I’m a weirdo. For second dinner, Simon made omelets and bacon. I crashed at 9:00, and slept until 7:30. That helped. DAY 17 What??? Day 17? Sure is. Time for one last batch of coconut muffins. But this time: with sesame seeds. I wish I discovered this earlier in the detox, because I lurve them like this. Toasted sesame seeds + Hawaiian black sea salt = Yes. And then I went to the mall! Why? Because I have a tween to shop for, and it’s the sensible thing to do. I did a lot of picking things up, walking around with them, and putting them back down. “Wait a minute! This isn’t (?) cool. Or is it?…” I feel like my lunch has been pretty much the same for days, and to be honest, it’s motivated slightly by the need to use up some mayonnaise before it goes bad. I’m still seeing really good organic heirloom tomatoes, from California even. I anticipate losing interest in tomatoes altogether somewhat soon. What kind of meat we buy on Sunday has everything to do with how busy my week is going to be. This week is on the busy side, so we got ground beef and pork, and that’s what’s left for tonight… I’m sick of Bolognese and of burgers. We’ve had both a gazillion times. What else? Meatloaf is better with some kind of sweet-ish glaze. Meatballs are good, but still along the lines of Bolognese. Then Simon walked in and said “Brrrr! It’s chilly.”  Chili! No recipe for this yet, but here are the ingredients, if you want to guess the amounts! It’s chili, there’s wiggle room. ground beef ground pork onions bell peppers (roasted and fresh) jarred tomatoes tomato paste coffee cocoa powder paprika smoked paprika cumin coriander sea salt ground chipotle cinnamon bacon fat GO! All of the links on are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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21 Day Sugar Detox, Day 14: There is ONE situation in which a lack of duck fat is a good thing.

Posted by on Dec 9, 2012 in 21 DSD Daily Eats | 2 comments

I almost just made latkes. And ate them. We were trying to figure out something to have with our leftover spicy tomato soup with chicken and lime, and nothing was jumping out at us. I said screw it, walked into the kitchen and was fully prepared to set up the food processor accordingly. In the 5 steps it took me to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen, I had completely justified just how okay it was to make latkes while doing a sugar detox. They’ll obviously still be gluten-free. It’s Hanukkah. I’m Jewish. We’ve completely ignored Hanukkah this weekend, and suddenly, I felt like celebrating it. By eating potatoes, shredded and fried. And then I remembered: We’re out of duck fat. How… perfect. Our day started off with sleeping in, coffee, and the paper. Perfect Sunday morning. And then, Battle Pancake began. I probably watch too much Iron Chef. Really what happened was we made our own breakfasts, and Simon’s was way better than mine. Sunday is Farmers Market day, and we get a good amount of our food for the week there. Beef, lamb, pork and eggs from Fallon Hills, and vegetables from Miramonte Farm. I get my mushrooms for the omelet bar there too, great organic ones, but I can’t remember the name of the farm. I’ll check next week. Errands, errands, blah blah, and home in time to be hungry for lunch. I whipped up some tuna salad with bell peppers, celery, green onions, dill, and homemade mayonnaise and served it in lettuce cups with tomato and cucumber. I spent the rest of the afternoon in full-on planning mode. I’m suddenly itching to do more paleo popups like the ones I did in August. There were fun, and I’ve gotten several requests to do more. I’ll have more information soon. Stay tuned! And that brings me back to the topic of dinner, and our near 21 Day Sugar Detox fail… Since no duck fat = no latkes, we just added more chicken to our soup to make it more like chili. Topped with avocado and some pepper jack, it was a perfectly filling meal. We plan on celebrating Hanukkah at a later date, when we will have latkes, fried in duck fat and topped with apple sauce and sour cream. Happy Hanukkah! All of the links on are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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