Thursday, May 29, 2014

Apple Cider Vinegar Pork Chops

Another wonderful paleo meal and probably the simplest dish ever to cook.  As I'm sure you all have noticed I'm a bit obsessed with apple cider vinegar, it's not just the flavor that entices me it is also all of the health benefits.  I personally get Braggs most of the time and if that isn't available I go for the organic and unfiltered bottle, it truly makes a difference in the flavor.  In addition to this meal I steamed broccoli in broth and made my Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes (I have yet to share this recipe).  All in all a filling and delicious meal, enjoy.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
2 medium sized pork chops (bone in)
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

The Process
1.)  Heat olive oil up in a skillet over medium high heat.  In the mean time season the pork chops with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

2.)  Sear pork chops 2-3 minutes each side until golden brown.  Add the apple cider vinegar and chicken stock and scrape up the bits of food off the bottom of the pan. 

3.)  Cover the skillet loosely with foil and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the pork chops are cooked through.  Serve the pan gravy over the pork chops.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ham Bone Split Pea Soup

Do you happen to have a leftover ham bone?  Split pea soup is an awesome way to use up that Easter ham bone.  Here in PDX even though the sun has been out we are still getting a lot of rainy and cold days, what better weather for soup.  Over the years I have looked at many split pea soup recipes and eaten even more, this recipe is a culmination of what I discovered and liked.  My lovely boyfriend was nice enough to cook up this batch for us in our fabulous crockpot.  Also here are some fun rudimentary facts about split pea soup (notice I labeled it as Greek cuisine because of this information).  And don't worry I know better than to trust that source as I am a librarian, but it is fun to add a little story to the meal (whether or not it's true)!  In other news my birthday is coming up the big 30 and I am trying to plan a party.  I started looking at getting a park permit and having a bunch of friends come out to BBQ and picnic but I am a little surprised by the price of a park permit...makes me wonder if we should just all drink with no permit like everyone else does, plus hey turning 30 doesn't mean I have to be THAT responsible does it?  Also sorry the picture isn't more attractive...I don't think it is possible to make split pea soup look appetizing.

Serves 8

The Ingredients
16ounces dried split peas, rinsed
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon thyme
1 ham bone with a good amount of meat on bone
¼ teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups water

The Process
1.)  In the slow cooker, place the split peas, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, ham bone, broth, parsley, marjoram, salt & pepper, and water. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

2.)  Retrieve the ham and remove the meat, chopping up the large chunks into smaller bite sized pieces. Discard the bone and set aside the ham.

3.)  Remove the bay leaf and any sprigs of thyme and discard.

4.)  Add ham back into soup and serve.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Onions

The last month has been pretty busy with BBQ's, birthdays, and starting a new job therefore the blogging  has been a little slow.  I am still following the paleo diet about 75% of the time, the biggest challenge is how much prep time the paleo diet requires.  You are always cooking, which I do love but it isn't always conducive to my schedule.  Since Spring is in full force here in PDX our garden is already getting little sprouts and I can't wait to constantly have fresh produce.  This recipe is adapted from Nom Nom Paleo who never disappoints,  it takes some time but is worth every ounce of energy.  Note I added a little more vinegar than the recipe says but I will say vinegar is one of my favorite ingredients.  It feels nice staying in town for Memorial day weekend plus tonight we are celebrating my father's birthday with pork ribs from Gartner's, if you haven't been to this place you really need to check it out.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
3 pounds of chicken drumsticks
2 tablespoons of nature's seasoning
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 oz bag of frozen artichoke hearts
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
¾ cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

The Process
1.) I dumped the chicken in a bowl and tossed it with Nature's seasoning, two large pinches of salt, and a few cranks of black pepper.  I placed the bowl in the fridge to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour.

2.)  When I was ready to cook the chicken, I preheated the oven to 325 F and I heated the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large 12–inch oven-safe skillet fitted with a lid.  I fried the drumsticks in two batches until they were browned all over.

3.)  Then I threw in the onions, artichokes, and garlic.  Once the veggies had some color, I poured in the broth, tucked the chicken back into the skillet and sprinkled on the vinegar.

4.)  I brought the sauce to a boil, put on the lid, and popped the skillet in the oven for 45 minutes. Enjoy!