Category:

pork

The cornstarch in this recipe is completely optional. If cornstarch isn’t something that you can eat simply reduce the sauce for 5-7 minutes over medium heat and it will thicken right up!

If you want to make the polenta in the picture I totally just buy those ready made tubes of polenta, chop it up, add one cup of chicken stock and warm over low heat stirring occasionally until the polenta is creamy again. Then I stir in a quarter cup of parmesan cheese and voila! Delicious polenta!

Red Wine Pork Chops

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Prep Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 4 1/2"-1" thick pork chops (bone-in or boneless, whatever you prefer)
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms (quartered)
  • 4 shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 1 head garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups red wine (full bodied, I used Troublemaker)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch (*optional)
Instructions:
  • The Night Before:
  • To a bowl add the chopped garlic, rosemary, thyme, mushrooms, wine, shallots, oil, salt, pepper, and pork chops. Mix together with your hands coating everything evenly in the wine and herbs.
  • Allow to marinate over night.
  • When ready to cook:
  • In a dry skillet over medium-high heat add only the pork chops to the pan. Sear for 5-6 minutes per side or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.
  • Remove the chops from the pan and set aside.
  • Pour in the remaining vegetables and marinade and allow to come to a boil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • If you're using cornstarch mix together 1 Tbsp of cornstarch into the beef broth and pour into the pan together. If not, pour in the beef broth and allow to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce reduces by about half.
  • Add the butter to the sauce and stir in. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired. Serve hot over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes and a vegetable of your choice!

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A restaurant favorite lightened up! This recipe is not only delicious, but flexible too!

Feel free to use either pork or turkey Italian sausage. Looking for a lower carb option? Try substituting peeled turnips for the potatoes. Coconut milk not your thing? Use what you’ve got in your fridge! Cow’s milk, oatmilk, and almond milk can all be used but will produce a thinner broth. 

Zuppa Toscana (light)

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups russet or yellow potatoes (sliced)
  • 8 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 4 to 6 cups kale (chopped, depending upon your love for kale)
  • 1 large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 head garlic (minced)
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
Instructions:
  • In a soup pot over medium high heat add one tablespoon of olive oil and your ground Italian sausage.
  • Brown the sausage and add the chopped onion the pot. Cook stirring occasionally until the onion has softened. When the onion is soft add the salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir to coat.
  • Add the minced garlic to the pot, stir and cook until fragrant. About two minutes.
  • Add the sliced potato, chicken broth, and coconut milk to the pot. Stir well, and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling add 4 to 6 cups of kale to the pot, stir and reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the Italian seasoning, stir, and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Taste for salt, pepper, and spice level and adjust as desired.
  • The soup is ready when the potatoes can be broken easily with the back of a spoon. Enjoy hot!

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This recipe uses a standard precooked ham that only needs warmed through to be safe to serve. Usually that’s about 20 minutes per pound at 350 degrees F.

If you want to use a raw ham be sure to follow the cooking instructions on the ham you’ve purchased and that it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees F before serving. 

Salted Caramel Ham

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Holidays, main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 5 lb bone-in precooked ham
  • 16 oz pre-made caramel dip (I used Marzetti Classic)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground clove (*optional)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (*optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F
  • Pat your ham dry and place cut side down in roasting dish or a baking dish with high sides.
  • When the oven is preheated bake your ham for 20 minutes per pound uncovered.
  • When your ham has cooked for the recommended amount of time remove the ham from the oven and turn on your oven's broiler (500°F)
  • In a small microwave safe dish place the caramel dip, clove, cayenne, and salt. Microwave at 30 second intervals until the caramel is soft and able to be easily spread.
  • Take your soft seasoned caramel and, using a spoon or a butter knife, spread the caramel along the outside of the ham covering it completely.
  • When the broiler is ready place your ham back into the oven and broil to achieve a crispy glaze over your ham. This will take 10-20 minutes. Keep and eye on your ham as not to burn it!
  • When the glaze is as crispy as you'd prefer turn off the broiler and remove the ham from the oven. Slice and serve hot. Enjoy!

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Lumpia are a seriously delicious blessing upon us all from the Philippines made specifically to bring us a taste of the heavens. I’m not really sure of their history, but I am sure that I’m super thankful they exist lol. Lumpia come in all shapes and sizes, and are similar to an eggroll in fillings. If you can find them- gluten free lumpia wrappers do exist, usually made of cornstarch, and can be subbed for the rice paper here. Just follow the directions on your package when rolling. I personally can never find them so we’re turning to rice paper because it never does us wrong and has ALL the versatility!! 

I make my lumpia larger (think eggrolls) because I’m lazy and don’t want to wrap more of them, but feel free to use less filling per and use more rice paper (2 per lumpia) to make them skinnier and more snack size. The filling can also be made several days ahead of time before rolling to save on time!

Air Fryer Lumpia

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Filipino
Servings: 10 lumpia
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 bunches green onions
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 carrot
  • 8 oz mushrooms
  • 10 oz cabbage
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp GF soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil ((anything BUT olive))
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 20 rice paper wrappers
  • cooking spray
Instructions:
  • In a food processor combine all ingredients except the pork, vegetable oil rice paper, and cooking spray. Pulse until all the ingredients are a fine mince. If you don't have a food processor you can mince or finely shred the same ingredients by hand and then stir it all together. It's pretty quick either way!
  • In a large pan over medium high heat add the vegetable oil and brown your pork. When browned add the minced ingredients from the food processor and cook until the vegetables are soft, fragrant, and there is no liquid in the pan. Liquid in your filling will make your lumpia soggy! This should take about 10-15 minutes.
  • Fill a shallow dish with warm water (I use a pie pan) and working one at a time soak the rice paper. When the rice paper becomes soft and pliable set it on a hard flat surface and fill with approximately 2 Tbsp of filling in the center of the rice paper. Fold the sides in, then bring the bottom of the wrapper up to cover the filling, and then roll until closed.
  • Preheat your air fryer for 10 minutes at 400°F
  • Because rice paper tears easily I elected to double wrap the lumpia. This is optional, but does make a crispier and sturdier final product and takes away the potential of leaked fillings when air frying.
  • Place the wrapped lumpia on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, and spray the tops lightly with cooking spray.
  • When ready to air fry cook each side at 400°F for 10 minutes per side do not allow the lumpia to touch in the fryer or they will stick together. Lumpia will have a white crunchy shell with hints of golden brown when done. Enjoy with soy sauce or sweet chili sauce!

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Pronounced “SO-pays” sopes are a delicious Mexican dish that utilizes leftovers to make a quick meal that helps to stretch the budget! Since sopes use corn masa as the base the texture lies between the chew of an arepa and the softness of a tamal (tamale). They cook up in just ten minutes, and can be filled with whatever your heart desires!

For these sopes I used the leftovers from taco night (taco meat, refried beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, and queso fresco). Other common fillings include shredded meat, salsas, cheeses, shredded cabbage, radish, pickled onions. Let your imagination run wild!

Sopes

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4

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Ingredients:

 

  • 2 ½ cups instant masa harina
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or lard/bacon fat
Instructions:

  • In a bowl combine the masa harina, salt and vegetable oil or lard/bacon fat. With your hands crumble the fat into the masa harina until it has the texture of sand.
  • Slowly pour the warm water into your masa one cup at a time. The water should dissolve into the masa completely before adding the next cup. Your masa should be the texture of fresh play-doh when it's ready! Masa is not an exact science so you may need more masa harina or water to achieve the correct texture, don't sweat it!
  • Divide the prepared masa into 8 even balls. Lightly wet your hands and press the balls into approximately ½" thick circles with your palms re-wetting your hands after each circle. This prevents the masa from sticking to your hands.
  • Heat a large skillet over med-high heat or 400°F if you're using an electric skillet. Lightly grease the skillet, and when it's hot begin cooking the sopes. Cook for 2-4 minutes per side. You're looking for a *slight* golden color.
  • When your sopes have achieved the correct color move them to a baking tray, and while still warm pinch the edges to form a rim around the outside of the sopes. They should look like tiny pie crusts. This step must be done while the sopes are still warm, but be careful not to burn yourself!
  • At this point the sopes are technically done, but I like to place them back on the griddle for just a minute or two to allow the bottoms to crisp up a little more. This step is completely optional though. You do you boo!
  • Fill the sopes with whatever you've chosen. The traditional way is to begin with a smear of beans, then top with meat, cheese, and additional toppings. Enjoy!

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Fresno peppers are a delicious pepper that grows out here in California. They resemble a jalapeno, but are fruitier in flavor and rest somewhere between the heat level of a jalapeno and a serrano. They’re so good!

That being said they are a little on the pricier side sometimes soaring as high as almost nine dollars a pound. Ouch! So if Fresno chiles aren’t in the budget feel free to use green or red jalapenos and mix 2 teaspoons of sriracha into the goat cheese mix. Since sriracha is made from Fresnos you’ll get the flavor without the high price. Fig jam would also be a delicious addition here if apricot isn’t…your jam lol.

California Poppers

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 8 large Fresno chiles
  • 8 strips bacon
  • 6 oz goat cheese
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp apricot preserves
  • 16 toothpicks (*optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F
  • Slice the tops off of your Fresno peppers and slice in half length wise. Discard the seeds.
  • In a bowl mix together the goat cheese, cream cheese, and apricot preserves.
  • Slice the bacon in half, leaving you with 16 short slices of bacon.
  • Fill the hollowed out peppers with the cheese mixture and wrap each pepper with bacon. You can secure the bacon with toothpicks if desired.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the bacon is cooked to your liking. If you own a smoker you can also smoke these bad boys for one hour at 300°F for a delicious smokey treat. Enjoy!

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If you’ve searched your local supermarket here in the U.S. then you know that gluten free wonton or dumpling wrappers are next to impossible to find. Making them (which I have done) is a real chore and still does not live up to the chewy glory that is pre-made wonton wrappers. Not worth it.

So what is worth it? Our faithful friend Vietnamese rice paper offers a surprisingly chewy and delicious wonton wrapper! Do they hold up 100% like wheat wrappers? No, and you should definitely expect some of them to break apart in the pot. It’s the nature of the beast. This soup offers all the same chew, flavor, and nostalgia as your favorite wonton soup. It’s perfection.

Shrimp not your thing? No problem. Use whatever filling you want to make your perfect dumpling. You won’t be disappointed!

Chicken Wonton Soup

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Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 lb chicken thighs
  • ¼ lb shrimp (cleaned, shells and tails removed)
  • 24 rice paper wrappers
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups baby bok choy (chopped *optional)
  • 1 tsp lemongrass (chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp ginger (grated or minced + 1 tsp)
  • 4 Tbsp GF soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • 2 bunches green onions (roots trimmed)
  • 1 Tbsp ground black or white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
Instructions:
  • In a food processor or blender combine: chicken thighs, shrimp, lemongrass, 1 Tbsp ginger, 4 cloves garlic, 2 Tbsp GF soy sauce, 1 bunch green onions, 2 tsp pepper, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 Tbsp mirin, 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar. Puree until a paste is formed.
  • In a pot over high heat place the chicken broth, 1 tsp ginger, 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, 2 Tbsp GF soy sauce, 2 Tbsp mirin, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 bunch green onions. Bring the broth to a boil and stir, allow the green onions to soften and then discard them. Turn off the heat.
  • Fill a shallow bowl or pie pan with warm water and prepare a flat surface to fold dumplings on. Grease a baking sheet with the vegetable oil.
  • Soften the rice paper in the warm water, and when pliable move to the flat surface. Fill each wrapper with 1 Tbsp filling. Allow the wrapper to get slightly sticky before you begin folding.
  • To fold the dumplings: Fold the dumpling in half so it looks like a taco, and press all the air out.
  • Fold one corner of the dumpling over to form a flat side in the filling. The corners to do not need to meet, but likely will.
  • Take the remaining corner and wrap it around the filling so it sits underneath the dumpling.
  • Lastly twist the top so your dumpling resembles a coin purse. The stickiness of the wrapper will hold the twist together. Place finished dumplings on the greased baking sheet not touching each other.
  • When you have finished wrapping the dumplings bring the chicken broth back to a boil and add your baby bok choy if using. Boil for 5 minutes, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Add the dumplings to the pot and cook for 10 minutes in the broth. Don't be surprised if some of them break it is normal and totally fine.
  • When the dumplings are cooked divide them evenly between four bowls and spoon the broth and bok choy over them. Enjoy alone or with steamed or fried rice and enjoy!

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I know it’s a little out of the norm, but summer time in our house screams schnitzel! When I was school-aged my mom and grandma (we call her nanny) would, and still do, go out to lunch and spend the day together every Monday. When school was out and summer was in session my sister and I would get to go with! Often we would go to a little German restaurant in Kirby, TX simply named “The Bavarian Restaurant”. It was run by the SWEETEST German couple and jagerschnitzel was my go to order. Every time. Without Fail. So when I got married and moved away from home summer schnitzel became a bit of a tradition. Since schnitzel is traditionally fried in lard (#noregrets) I wanted to make a summer bod friendly version that’s still rakes in the nostalgia. I hope y’all enjoy this little taste of my childhood as much as we do!

Jagerschnitzel

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: German
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 2 thick cut pork chops ((at least 1 inch thick))
  • 2 tsp course German mustard ((or brown mustard))
  • 2 cups GF panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 16 oz sliced white mushrooms
  • ½ large yellow onion (thinly sliced or diced)
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (ensure your brand is GF)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp GF flour blend (I use Krusteaz)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste (for gravy)
  • parsley and lemon for garnish
Instructions:
  • Trim your pork chops of extra fat.
  • Set your pork chops on their side and slice in half to create 4 thinner ½ inch pork chops.
  • In a large zip-lock bag working one at a time pound your pork chops into ¼ inch thick cutlets. Set your pounded cutlets aside.
  • When all your cutlets are thin- break two eggs into a shallow dish and add 2 tsp mustard, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tsp salt. Scramble together. In a separate shallow dish pour in the breadcrumbs. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes.
  • Coat both sides of the pork cutlets in the egg mixture and then immediately into the breadcrumbs working one at a time.
  • When all the cutlets are ready divide the remaining tsp of salt and sprinkle over the cutlets.
  • Taking care not to overcrowd your air fryer place the prepared cutlets into the fryer for 10 minutes. You do not want them to overlap, so you may have to work in batches depending upon the size of your basket.
  • While the cutlets are cooking, place a skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp butter. When butter is melted add the sliced mushrooms and onion. Do not add any salt yet. We want the mushrooms and onions to brown, not sweat. Cook until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms have a golden hue. About 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, Worcestershire, and thyme to the skillet and stir until garlic is fragrant, or about a minute. Add the remaining butter and allow to melt, stir to coat everything in the skillet. Add the GF flour, again stirring to coat and cook one minute.
  • Pour in the beef stock one cup at a time whisking together with the ingredients in the pan to form a thick gravy. Use as much beef broth as you need to get your desired gravy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • When all the cutlets are cooked and ready, top with the hot mushroom gravy, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges. We usually serve this with red cabbage and hot buttered noodles. Enjoy!

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Squash casserole is a well loved dish in the south. You would expect to see it at family gatherings, weddings, funerals, parties, potlucks etc…. you get the idea! Squash casserole is versatile in that substitutions almost always happen depending upon what you have on hand, and are always delicious! This versatility is what is what allows me to make this dish gluten free!

Enjoy this dish on its own as a filling vegetarian meal or crowd pleasing side dish! You can also brown up a pound of ground or shredded meat to up the protein for you and your family. Simply fry up a protein of your choice with a little salt and pepper and add it to the dish before topping and baking. 

Southern Squash Casserole

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
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Ingredients:
 
  • 10 cups yellow squash (sliced roughly ¼" thick)
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • ¼ cup whisky, chicken broth, or water
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2 ½ cups GF panko bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 pound ground or shredded meat (*optional)
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F
  • Prep your onion and squash. In a large pot over med-high heat add 1 Tbsp butter and chopped onion. Saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. If using raw meat, go ahead and brown it with the onions. Just add a little salt and pepper to taste to season the meat.
  • Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup whisky, chicken broth, or water.
  • After the onion is browned, add the sliced squash and cook stirring frequently until all squash is soft. Cook time will depend upon how thick you sliced the squash. I tend to slice mine roughly a quarter inch thick. When squash is cooked turn off the heat and set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the mayo, salt, pepper, eggs, garlic powder, 2 cups of cheese, and 1 ½ cups GF panko. Whisk together.
  • Using a large slotted spoon to drain the excess liquid transfer the cooked squash and onions (and meat if using) into the bowl with your mayo mixture. Stir well to combine and pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp butter and mix with 1 cup shredded cheddar and 1 cup GF panko. Stir together and spread evenly over top of your squash.
  • Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown and cheese is melted. Enjoy!

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Tender marinated pork, crispy grilled bread, and quick-pickled vegetables come together to make this unforgettable Vietnamese sandwich. Load it with cilantro or lettuce, and slather it in mayo, no matter what you chose it’s a crowd pleaser! Feel free to change the vegetables to whatever your favorites are. The veggies I used are considered traditional to a banh mi, but food shouldn’t always be about tradition. Sometimes it’s just about what you love!

Pork Loin Banh Mi

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 pound pork loin (sliced in ¼" slices)
  • 1 Serrano pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 1 large carrot (peeled, cut into matchsticks )
  • 1 English cucumber (cut into matchsticks)
  • ½ white onion (sliced thin)
  • 1 bunch green onion (thinly sliced, greens and whites separated. )
  • 1 cup red radish (sliced thin)
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup rice vinegar (+ 2 Tbsp)
  • cup sugar (+ 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 1 Tbsp lemongrass paste (or fresh, thinly sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp ginger (grated)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (I use Red Boat)
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 GF baguettes (I used Schar brand)
  • mayo (for serving)
  • cilantro (for topping, chopped. )
  • lettuce (for topping, chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Instructions:
  • In a small pot combine 2 cups of the white vinegar, 1 cup rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and ⅓ cup sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • While waiting for your vinegar to boil prep your vegetables and combine carrot, cucumber, white onion, radish, green onion greens, and serrano pepper together in a heat proof container.
  • When the vinegar has boiled give it a good stir and pour directly over the vegetables and into your chosen container. Stir again, and make sure all the vegetables are fully submerged in the pickling liquid. Set aside and allow to pickle for one hour on your counter.
  • In a separate bowl combine the water, tamari, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, 2 Tbsp sugar, 2 Tbsp fish sauce, sriracha, green onion whites, and 2 Tbsp rice vinegar. Stir well, and add the sliced pork. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
  • When one hour has passed shake off excess marinade from the pork and cook on a grill over direct heat or in a skillet with 1 Tbsp vegetable oil at med-high heat for 4 minutes per side or until the pork is cooked to 145°F.
  • When the pork has finished cooking set aside and allow to rest. Slice the baguettes in half lengthwise, and then again down the middle to form 4 sandwiches. Toast on a grill or under a broiler until lightly charred.
  • When the bread has toasted slather both halves with mayo and divide the pork and pickled vegetables between the four sandwiches. Top with cilantro or lettuce if desired and enjoy!

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