Week 6 – Smoked Pork Shank Stew (Instant Pot)

Total Cook & Prep Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in pork shanks
  • 2 celery roots aka celeriac, cubed
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 32-48oz of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp ginger root, finely chopped

Instructions:

  1. Add all chopped vegetables and ginger into stainless steel bowl of Instant Pot.
  2. Add pork shanks on top of veggies, and pour broth until liquid reaches “Max” line of the bowl.
  3. Apply lid, ensuring the pressure release valve is set closed to “pressure”, then press “Soup” button.
  4. After Instant Pot is finished cooking, allow the pressure indicator to drop back down. Remove bones and serve.

Slow cooker option:

Follow instructions above, adding all ingredients to slow cooker. Cover with lid, cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.


Week 5 – Keto Chicken Cabbage Slaw

Total Cook & Prep Time: 35 minutes

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large green cabbage, thinly shredded (Savoy variety optional)
  • 1 large purple cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Paleo Mayo (see recipe below)
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, or any other seasonings you prefer. Bake chicken breasts for 35 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
  2. While chicken is baking, toss shredded cabbage, and cilantro together.
  3. After removing chicken from oven, chop or shred chicken breasts and add to slaw.
  4. Add 5 heaping spoonfuls of paleo mayo and mix until all ingredients are well coated. Continue to add more mayo if desired.

Primal Mayo:

  • 1 large egg, yolk and white
  • juice from half a lemon
  • juice from half a lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup avocado oil
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard (optional)
  1. Add egg, salt, lemon and lime juice together into a quart-sized mason jar or vessel of similar dimensions.
  2. Using a hand blender (immersion blender), blend until uniform.
  3. While continuing to blend, slowly drizzle avocado oil into the mixture until 1 cup of avocado oil is used or until consistency is reached.

Note: I usually double the recipe to make a larger batch. Follow the same directions above. Tall cylinder-like jars or vessels work best if using an immersion blender.

Note: You can also try using a blender. Follow the same instructions above by incorporating egg, juice, and salt first, then slowly drizzle oil after.


Week 4 – Butternut Squash Coconut Soup

Total Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min

Yields: about 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, cut lengthwise, seeds removed
  • 12oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 32oz chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons of butter or avocado oil
  • 1 large brown onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp diced ginger root
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Himalayan salt to taste
  • 1/2 lb of bacon or bacon ends, cooked (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lay butternut squash halves with cut side facing down onto a baking sheet that will hold about a 1/4 inch of water. The water will help steam the squash and avoid it from sticking to the sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until soft enough to pierce with fork.
  2. While squash is cooling, saute ginger and onions in butter over medium heat until onions are translucent, soft, and browned.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the contents of the squash into a Vitamix, discarding the outer skin.
  4. Add the sauteed onions, ginger, coconut milk, broth, and cinnamon to the Vitamix. Blend on “High” for 30-60 seconds or until soup is smooth without gritty texture.
  5. Top with bacon to add a rich, salty flavor to the sweet soup, or simply add Himalayan salt to taste. Enjoy!

Note: If you don’t have a Vitamix, you can blend the squash, onions, and ginger together in a food processor before adding the remaining ingredients.


Week 3 – Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Once in awhile, a side dish comes along that is so good, it can become the stand alone main course. This savory meal is just that dish. Of course, it makes a fine side dish, especially for holidays like Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s Day. With the savory bacon, it’s an extremely effective way to get in TONS of green veggies!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 lbs Sonoma County Meat Co. bacon ends, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Toss Brussels sprouts in avocado oil and spread onto baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  3. While Brussels sprouts are baking, use a skillet over medium heat to cook bacon ends until crisped, browned, or desired texture. Turn off heat and cover to keep warm.
  4. Remove sprouts from oven once they are fork tender or slightly browned. Add bacon and grease to baking sheet of Brussels sprouts and toss until sprouts are coated with oil.
  5. Add salt to taste.

Note: You can also discard a portion of the bacon grease, and only reserve about half of the oil to use when coating Brussels sprouts.


Week 2 – Lime Cilantro Chicken & Asparagus

If you’re craving a little zing, this lime cilantro chicken dish delivers a refreshing tang perfect for warmer weather. If you’re a planner, you can marinate the chicken for 12 hours for maximum flavor. If you’re not, you can marinate it for as little as 2 hours. I like to marinade in the morning, so it’s ready to cook when I get home in the evenings. Cook for just 20 minutes and dinner is ready!

Prep Time: 2-12 hours / Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yields: About 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, sliced or cubed
  • 2 bunches asparagus, rinsed and lower stems removed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons Himalayan or sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons avocado oil
  • Trader Joe’s Umami mushroom seasoning (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large container, mixing bowl, or Ziploc storage bag, add chicken breasts slices, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and 3 tbsp avocado oil. Mix thoroughly until chicken is fully coated. Let marinade for 2 to 12 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Drain excess marinade and discard. Remove chicken from container or bag, and place on baking sheet.
  4. Toss asparagus in 1-2 tbsp avocado oil and arrange on a second baking sheet. Sprinkle Umami seasoning on asparagus.
  5. Cook both chicken and asparagus for 20-25 minutes.

Note: If I want low-maintenance cooking, I’ll choose the baking method above. If I have more time to focus on cooking, I’ll grill the chicken and asparagus spears on the stove top in a skillet. Grilling adds much more flavor, but sometimes, I’m all about easy, so the oven comes in handy.


Week 1 – Slow Roasted Pork Fajitas

An extremely straight-forward, low maintenance meal that is also inexpensive, flavorful, and meal-prep friendly!

Ingredients:

3-4 lb Pork shoulder roast

3 tablespoons drippings from pork roast (or butter)

4-6 bell peppers, sliced (various colors)

1 large brown onion, chopped

Salt, pepper, garlic, or any spices you prefer

Lemon or lime wedges


Directions:

  1. Rub pork shoulder roast with salt, pepper, and your choice of seasoning, and place in slow cooker with the fat-side up. Set on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours. The roast should shred apart with a fork
  2. Pour drippings from slow cooker (or melt butter) in a skillet over medium heat, and add onions. Cook until translucent and aromatic.
  3. Add slices of peppers and mix with onions. Stir occasionally, adding more drippings/butter and salt/pepper if needed. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  4. (Optional): If you like crispy pork (carnitas-style), you can fry the pork in the skillet using the drippings. Cook over medium heat until desired level of crispiness.
  5. Serve shredded pork and veggies. Squeeze lime or lemon for more flavor.

Instant Pot Version:

Place the pork roast in the Instant Pot steel bowl fat-side up. Pour chicken or vegetable broth until the roast is just barely submerged under broth. Set on “Manual” mode on high pressure for 1 hour.

Slice the pork shoulder and fry it in the drippings on the stove until desired crispiness is reached.


Orientation Night

Instant Pot Hearty Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken

3 medium carrots (chopped)

2 medium celery roots

3 to 4 celery stalks (chopped)

1/4 cup ginger root (diced)

16oz organic chicken stock

Himalayan salt to taste