Category Archives: Pork

Smoky Kale and White Bean Soup.

smoky kale and white beanOver the last few months we have been perfecting this recipe. It has been a lot of fun because this soup is so good. This is a great winter weather dish, not only because it is soup and delightfully warm, but also because it really features the veggies you may have in your winter storage or still in the garden and greens you may be growing in your greenhouse or even outside depending on where you winter! It is also full of protein and stars my favorite healthy powerhouse: kale! Because this soup is so healthy and full of fiber we do not feel too guilty about pairing it with our favorite gluten free cheese bread that completely lacks nutritional value but tastes oh so good with a steamy bowl of soup (you can find a very easy recipe here, that we make with grass fed aged white cheddar cheese).

Smoky Kale and White Bean Soup. Makes 4-6 bowls.


2 tablespoons oil, coconut or olive

1 small onion, diced

2 large carrots, peeled (if you choose) and diced

3 large cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped

8 oz kale, chopped, stems and leaves separated (we use lacinato)

1 quart of smoked chicken stock (if you only make/have regular chicken stock use that plus one smoked ham hock, but be aware you will need to remove the fat, omit the ham, and shred the ham in the hock once softened, I have made it this way twice and it is fantastic, just more work — simmer ham hock in stock until softened and smoky flavor is imparted into the dish, about 2 hours)

1 quart of water

2 cups chopped ham or the meat from the ham hock if using that (we like using a lightly smoked fresh ham)

1 can of cannellini beans (BPA free) or equivalent soaked

sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper as needed to taste (your salt needs will vary based on your stock and ham choices)


Melt coconut oil over medium heat in a 3 quart stock pot. Add onions and carrots and sauté for 10 minutes. Add garlic and kale stems and cook for about 5 more minutes, until carrots and stems are softened. Add kale leaves and cook 2 – 4 minutes, until leaves are tender but not over cooked (unless you like your kale very soft, then you will want to keep going here until the desired doneness is reached). Add stock and water and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat through and serve.



Filed under Beans, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Pork, Soup/Stew

A-Photo-A-Day: Spent-Grain BLETs.

Whole wheat & spelt spent grain bread with bacon, lettuce, fried egg, and tomato!

Related Recipe:

Spent Grain No-Knead Bread. – I made this recipe for the bread, but subbed 2 of the cups of flour with whole wheat and used almost two cups of water.


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Filed under Bread, Eggs, Grains/Rice, Photo Series, Pork, Sandwich, Spent Grain

A-Photo-A-Day: Spent Grain Carnitas Paninis.

Spent grain no-knead bread, pork loin carnitas, cheddar cheese. Paninied!

Corresponding recipes:

No-knead Spent Grain Bread.

Pork Loin Carnitas. 



Filed under Bread, Cheese, Panini, Pork, Spent Grain

A-Photo-A-Day: Meatloaf Sandwich Panini.

One thick slice of meatloaf, BBQ sauce, fresh part skim mozzarella (not the balls, just not the bagged stuff with preservatives on it), two slices artisan bread. Heaven!!

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Filed under Beef, Bread, Cheese, Pork, Sandwich

A Loaf of Meatloaf.

This is my first loaf of meatloaf. I have made muffin cup meatloaves before, somehow they seem less intimidating. But I have never made the loaf. The hubs says the only thing that can go wrong with a meatloaf is that it could be dry, so I was determined not to let that happen with this one. Besides, it needed to be moist enough to make yummy leftovers, and possibly meatloaf panini sandwiches (stay tuned). So I thought for a second about looking up some recipes, then I abandoned that and came up with this instead. It has some fresh veg in it that you might not have on hand and that is totally ok. If you don’t have kohlrabi sub in a little turnip (two small) or other veg that has a decent amount of moisture in it, you could also try just using the carrot, it will likely turn out just fine. I used the veg to keep the loaf moist.

A Loaf of Meatloaf (and a side of glaze). Serves 6-10.

Meatloaf Ingredients

1 T olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

2 crimini mushrooms, finely diced

1/4 t kosher salt

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 lb 5% fat ground beef

1 lb 20% fat ground pork

1/4 C bread crumbs (I used Italian style)

1 large egg, beaten

2 T Worcestershire sauce

1/2 t fresh rosemary, minced

1/2 t fresh thyme, minced

1/2 t kosher salt

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1 large carrot, shred

1 medium kohlrabi, shred

Meatloaf Procedure

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and sauté onions and mushrooms with 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, until soft and the onions are transparent. Add garlic, stir, cook for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

Grease a metal or oven-safe glass 9×5 loaf pan. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. Push mixture together in a loaf shape about the size of the pan and transfer to the loaf pan. Bake in the oven, uncovered for one hour and 15 minutes (if this seems long remember how much moisture you have added with all the veg). Remove from oven and allow to cool while you make the glaze. Remove the loaf from the cooking pan as the loaf will have likely let out quite a bit of moisture (you might avoid this by cooking the shredded veg, but I like it to maintain its form and not be mushy) Plate on a platter or in another dish and top with glaze. Cut and serve.

Glaze Ingredients

1 T honey

2 T BBQ sauce (your favorite one)

1 T water

1 t tomato paste

1/2 t granulated garlic

pinch of kosher salt

Glaze Procedure

Combine ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. When mixture is heated through and all ingredients are melted and combined the glaze is ready to be drizzled over the meatloaf, about 5 minutes.


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Filed under Beef, Casseroles/Bakes, Dairy Free, Midwest Inspired, Pork

Bacon & Potato Breakfast Cakes.

I really like potato pancakes. Growing up, every Sunday, after church one of two things would happen. Either my grandpa would cook breakfast, which meant we were going to Big Boys for their buffet breakfast, or my dad would cook breakfast, which meant silver dollar pancakes, sausage, eggs, and potato pancakes! Those potato pancakes, while very nostalgic, came from a box. They were more like baby oatmeal than potato. Nonetheless, they sealed the deal for my love of the dish.

As I got older and moved out of the house, I began experimenting with using fresh shredded potatoes for breakfast dishes like hash browns, and eventually, potato pancakes. Shredded potato pancakes are amazing, completely different than the boxed potato meal pancakes. They have the same prevalent potato flavor with all of the benefit of the fried potato texture. What I like best about fresh shredded potato pancakes is that you can add whatever you want to them. Often for breakfast we eat bacon, eggs and potatoes. Sometimes it gets boring so I like to mix it up. This dish combines the potato and bacon in a new way. When served with a fried, yolky egg, it becomes a whole new experience!

Bacon & Potato Breakfast Cakes. Makes 8-10 cakes.


3 slices of bacon

2 medium potatoes (I used caribe, but Russet or Yukon gold would work as well)

1/4 onion, finely chopped (I used red)

1 green onion, chopped

1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 fresh ground black pepper

3 T flour

1 egg

oil of choice for frying


Cook bacon over medium heat in a large skillet. Reserve fat in skillet until you ready to fry the cakes. Chop the bacon into small pieces.

Shred potatoes and combine them with bacon, onions, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add flour and mix to combine. Add egg and mix until all ingredients are equally dispersed. Heat bacon fat over medium heat and add oil until the entire bottom of the skillet is covered. Add 1/4 cup scoops of potato mixture and cook 5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Continue adding oil as needed during the cooking process. Serve cakes with yolky fried eggs or other breakfast accompaniments.


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Filed under Appetizer, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Pork, Potatoes

Weeknight Chorizo Wraps.

*Sorry about the photo…erg.

You will find a theme with me, especially when we are talking about quick, weeknight dinners: many of them are paninied. It is about the quickest way I have found to create a handheld pocket of goodness that you can eat as you are running out the door for your next appointment. Last week I told you about Pita Pizza Paninis and I got to thinking, though I won’t have a bum finger forever, it might be fun to share more of my quick dinner ideas.

Often when I get home from work midweek and have another activity scheduled that I have to go to I don’t want to cook. This can frequently lead to eating out. Not only is this taxing on the budget over time, it is taxing on the waistline as well. So I have developed many quick dinners that take a little pre-planning, but only a little time to execute the night of.

The key with this dish is to cook up the chorizo ahead of time, it only takes about 15 minutes to cook up a pound of it and throw it into the refrigerator for use all week. If you are feeding more mouths, you may need to scale the weight up, but for two people, this will tide us over with a plethora of chorizo laden dishes all week.

Chorizo Wraps. (makes 4 wraps)


2 medium/large potatoes, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces and boiled for 10 minutes

1 T olive oil

Your choice of veggies, chopped (I like to use whatever is on hand like red onion (1/4 cup), a little zucchini (one small one), and green cabbage (about 1/2 cup shredded))

4 oz cooked Mexican style chorizo

2 eggs, scrambled

1/2 C shredded cheese

4 tortillas

Preheat your panini pan.

Throw all of the ingredients, except the eggs, cheese and tortillas into a sauté pan heated over medium-high heat with olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to get an even seer on everything. Turn off heat and mix in eggs. Scoop one quarter the ingredients onto each tortilla, top with cheese, fold and panini until golden brown.

Serve with cilantro, arugula, sour cream and hot sauce.

As a side note, if you cook up rice or other whole grains at the beginning of the week to use in dishes this would be a great dish to add it to and you could save time not having to cook up the potatoes. You can also skip the panini part to cut down on the time a little…we just really like to panini stuff!


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Filed under Eggs, Fast & Easy, Mexican Inspired, Panini, Pork, Potatoes

Stuffed Hungarian Wax Peppers.

I grew a mystery pepper this year. It came out of a mixed bag of hot pepper seeds I got two years ago…I had no idea it would take. Through a little internet searching…and simply reading the varieties that were listed on the mix, I have decided it is a Hungarian Wax Pepper and it is doing quite well. After figuring out what the heck it was, I had to decide how to use them. I settled on stuffing and roasting them. It was good decision because they turned out quite well. Do you have any mystery peppers? What did you do with them?

Stuffed Hungarian Wax Peppers.


4-6 Hungarian wax peppers

1 oz cooked Mexican chorizo or lump crab

1 oz shredded cheddar cheese, chopped

1.5 oz cream cheese, softened

2 T chives, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Cut tops off each pepper and set aside. Using a small spoon, a pepper corer, or the back of a fork, remove the seeds from the peppers. Combine remaining ingredients in the bowl and mix until well combined, a fork works well for this. Carefully stuff each pepper full. Replace top (it will stick to the filling) and place each pepper on a silpat lined baking sheet.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until peppers are tender, golden and filling is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before serving.


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Filed under Appetizer, Cheese, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Pork, Side Dish, Snacks, Vegetables

Cheesy Chorizo Breakfast Potatoes.

I first had a dish like this at my sister-in-law’s house in Arizona for breakfast. It was so yummy that I had to bring it home. This is the only way I can make breakfast that the hubs will not add hot sauce! It is simple and it introduced me to chorizo, but not just any chorizo, chorizo at breakfast, which is quite exciting.

The hubs and I rarely eat a meal without heat anymore. Everything we make has some hot or spicy component in it. Nothing crazy hot, but warm and chili flavored. This dish is a perfect example of exactly what I am talking about. If you like comfortably warm and have built at least some tolerance for heat, you will like this, so long as your chorizo is not blazing hot!

Chorizo Breakfast Potato Scramble.

Ingredients (recipe is for two, if cooking for four double the chorizo, bacon and potatoes)

1/4  lb Mexican style chorizo

2 slices of thick cut bacon

8 oz potatoes

1/2 t cumin

1 t granulated garlic

1 t Mexican oregano, crushed

1 medium red onion, diced

1 medium bell pepper, diced

1/2-1 C cheddar cheese

Chop potatoes into 1/4 inch cubes and place in a small pot. Fill the pot with cold water just to cover the potatoes. Boil over high heat for 6 minutes. Remove the potatoes from heat and drain. Set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking, cook the chorizo over medium heat in a large skillet. Remove from the pan and set aside. Drain fat from pan, it is ok if there are still chorizo bits present. Add bacon and fry. Remove from pan. Remove all but about two tablespoons of fat from the pan.

As an aside, if you want to pre-cook the bacon, reserve two tablespoons of chorizo fat for cooking the potatoes (it may make the dish hotter overall). If you use chicken chorizo instead of pork and don’t have a lot of fat, or don’t want to cook the potatoes in the fat at all, use olive oil (2 tablespoons).

Dice bacon when it is cool. Set these aside if you are still cooking your bacon.

Add potatoes and spices to the large skillet with the bacon fat. Cook potatoes over medium-high heat, tossing as they cook, for about 10 minutes, or until a nice char starts forming. After 5 minutes, add onions. After eight minutes add chorizo, bacon and peppers. Cook for two more minutes and turn off heat. Top with cheese.

Serve as is, with a fried egg on it or in tortillas with your favorite toppings, like cilantro, sour cream, and salsa.


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Filed under Breakfast, Cheese, Eggs, Mexican Inspired, Pork, Potatoes

Chili Beer Marinated Pork Tenderloin.

So we have made this twice since I wrote the recipe. The first time the cook times were a little rocky so we wanted to make it again before we wrote up that part. Because there are a lot of chili beers coming out in Portland right now, we used a different one each time which I have linked to below. I will tell you that without a doubt this is one of my new favortite prepartions of pork loin and it allowed us to do some more meaty beer grilling, which we are now IN LOVE WITH.

Chili Beer Marinated Pork Loin.


2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 T fresh oregano, chopped

1 T cumin

1/2 t sea salt

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

4 T olive oil

2 C chili beer (use something with some heat, I used the Calapooia Chili Beer the first time and Burnside Brewing Sweet Heat the second)

1 jalapeño pepper, sliced

1.25-1.5 lb pork tenderloin, silver skin removed

Combine marinade ingredients in a gallon size plastic bag. Add pork loin and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat grill to high (450-500 degrees) heat. Sear pork loin for five minutes. Rotate 180 degrees and sear another five minutes. Remove from direct heat and reduce grill heat to medium. Rotate pork loin 90 degrees. Cook five minutes (grill should be at an ambient temperature of between 350-400 degrees). Rotate 180 degrees and cook for 5 minutes more. Move pork loin back over direct heat and cook for three minutes. Rotate 180 degrees and cook three minutes more. Check internal temperature, looking for 140-145 degrees and remove from heat. If your meat is under temp, continue to cook for three minutes on each side until desired doneness is achieved.

Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes, covered with foil, before slicing. Slice into one to one and half inch thick portions and serve.


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Filed under Beer, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling, Mexican Inspired, Pork