Category Archives: Pork

Not quite Irish, but close… Welsh Cheddar Egg Melt

Photo: Welsh Cheddar Egg Melt

Well, I’m a little late for St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m presenting a dish that uses Welsh cheese rather than Irish, although Irish White Cheddar is also excellent in it. I actually made a dish last night that I thought would be good, but I wasn’t happy with result. I’m going to work the recipe a little more to make it much better. That will come along when I perfect it. Besides, St. Patrick was originally kidnapped from Wales and taken to to Ireland as a slave, so it sort of fits, doesn’t it?

This makes a tasty breakfast or brunch meal. Add a little fresh fruit or broiled asparagus for a more filling meal.

Welsh Cheddar Egg Melt

4 strips thick-cut bacon or 2 slices Irish Style Bacon
1 slices low carb Focaccia Bread, cut through the middle
1/2 ripe Avocado, mashed
2 slices tomato
1/2 cup shredded Welsh (or Irish) White Cheddar Cheese
2 Eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Drain on paper towels. Lightly toast the bread in the oven or toaster oven. Put bacon on top of bread, then layer a tomato slice and spread avocado over the it. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

Prepare eggs while the broiler heats. Use either fried, poached, or scrambled eggs to your preference. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep eggs warm.

Place sandwiches on the foil-covered broiler pan or in a pie tin and broil for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted. Top each sandwich with an egg and serve.

Serves two.

This focaccia bread recipe is 1.8 g of net carbs per slice. So, combined with this recipe, it’s only 4.7 net carbs if you use the whole slice or 3.8 g if you cut it in half.

Photo: Nutrition info

Pork Loin Chops with sauce and spinach

Photo: Pork chop with garlic cream sauce

This delectable dish comes together quickly, and it tastes fantastic. The creamy sauce is just right with a touch of heat from the flaked chile peppers. I actually had a package of three 3/4-pound each pork loin chops that I used. I cut two in half to make the 4 4-ounce pieces, and they were more than enough to provide a hearty meal while still sharing a bit with the cat.

I used frozen zucchini zoodles, but you can make these from fresh zucchini if you have some on hand. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can use your grater to make long strips, or you can cut them thinly with a knife. Fresh zucchini makes a better tasting dish, but the frozen one is still very good.  You can also serve this with riced cauliflower or just steamed cauliflower flowerets.

Pork Loin Chops with Garlic Cream Sauce and Baby Spinach

4 Pork Loin Chops, 3-4 oz., boneless, about 1/2 inch thick
Salt and fresh cracked Pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon Paprika
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Butter
4 cloves Garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup Onion, minced
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
1 1/4 cups Heavy Cream
2 cups Baby Spinach
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed Red Chili Pepper flakes, optional
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Season the pork chops on both sides with paprika, salt, and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, then add the pork chops and sear for about three minutes, then flip them and sear the other side. Remove the chops to a plate to rest.

Melt butter in the same pan and add the onion and garlic and stir them for about a minute. Add the chicken stock, then cook and stir for a few minutes until the liquid is reduced a little.

Reduce the heat to low. Add heavy cream, Italian seasoning, and chili flakes and stir. Add additional salt and pepper, if needed. Cook and occasionally stir for about 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken a little.

Add the spinach leaves and stir in two or three minutes to allow them to wilt, then stir in the Parmesan cheese and mix together well.

Add the pork chops and any juices that have accumulated on the plate back to the pan. Cook about two minutes to reheat the chops, then serve over zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice or other vegetables of your choice.

Makes 4 servings.

Cinco de Mayo book plug and a new taco recipe

Image: Pork taco with avocado crema

For those who like a reason to celebrate, Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner. That’s May 5th for anyone who doesn’t read enough Spanish to know. It’s a great celebration day for Mexico, but also just a good reason to raise a margarita in their honor and indulge in Mexican food. Of course, if you’re trying to stick to your low carb lifestyle, this presents some challenges.

One of our Reno Mexican restaurants has a sugar-free orange margarita made with Crystal Light that is not bad at all. If you’re making them at home, you can buy Skinny Syrup sugar-free margarita mixes in syrup form from Amazon. They also have a mojita mix if you prefer that flavor. Or you can find recipes on line for sugar free to make at home, like this one for a Skinny Margarita.

But moving along to the food, it is difficult to eat out and not indulge with more carbs than you want in your meal. Some dishes, like fajitas are not bad in carbs, but the tortillas, beans, and rice will really slam you, so best to avoid going out unless you can say no to the side dishes and just make something at home.

Here’s a plug for my low carb LC15 cookbooklet, Mexican Food for a Low Carb Lifestyle. This booklet has over 15 recipes for tried and true Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes that will satisfy your need for spice. At only 99-cents, this will give you main courses and side dishes with easy to follow instructions. I didn’t go into the desserts but I do have a recipe for flan on this website .

As a reminder, if you’re looking for low carb flour tortillas, most stores carry La Tortilla Factory or Mission flour tortillas in the low carb version. These vary from 3 net carbs to 6 net carbs per tortilla, so be sure to check the package for the carb count. For corn tortillas, I haven’t found a low carb offering, but I do have this recipe that is similar, golden flax meal tortillas.

While a few of my recipes from the book are on this website, most of them are exclusive to the booklet. If you prefer a book you can take to the kitchen and scribble notes in, the booklet is included in the 3-in-1 paperback book with Breakfast Choices and Magic Muffins for just $4.99. You can buy it here.

image: Open pork taco with apricots

Grilled Pork and Apricot Tacos with Avocado Crema

Now, for a new recipe that I tried last week, here’s a very tasty pork taco with an apricot salsa. This can also be made with peaches. I settled on apricot because I had some in my freezer and I couldn’t find a ripe peach at the grocery store. Using fresh is better than a frozen fruit that doesn’t look quite as attractive, but it tasted very good.

1 large  (8 oz) boneless Pork Loin Chop, about 1/2 inch thick
1/2 tsp. Chipotle Powder
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Oregano
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp. Coriander
1/8 tsp. Allspice
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
1 Avocado, diced
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Peach or 2 Apricots, chopped
1/2 Green Onion, finely sliced
Juice of 1 lime, divided
1 1/2 tbsp. freshly chopped Cilantro
1/2 tsp. Sugar Substitute
4 Low-carb Flour Tortillas
Cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)

In a large bowl, add chopped apricots or peaches, shallots, cilantro, sugar substitute, 1/2 the lime juice, and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Mix together well and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Cover and chill until ready to use.

In a big bowl, add chipotle powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, coriander, and allspice and salt and pepper. Mix all together, then add the pork and cover it the seasonings on both sides. Let sit while you mix the avocado crema.

Using your food processor, add the chopped avocado, sour cream, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and the rest of the lime juice. Blend until it is smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides with a silicone spatula if necessary. Set aside.

Grill pork chop on an outdoor grill or in your grill pan for three minutes. Turn to grill the back side for another two to three minutes until the pork is done. Let rest a few minutes, then slice thinly.

Heat the tortillas on the grill or in the grill pan until they are hot. You can also do this over an open gas flame allowing them to blister or bubble, then flipping to the other side. Top each tortilla with 1/4 of the avocado crema, then the pork, and top with the salsa.Garnish with cilantro if you wish.

Makes 4 tacos.

My picture at the top shows the taco with a scoop of riced turnips with green chile, corn, and beans. I’ll share that recipe next week.

Warm Up with Bean and Ham Soup

Photo: White Bean & Ham Soup

As a child, I grew up eating beans a lot. My grandmother would make a huge pot of pinto beans. We’d get bolillo (oval long bread rolls) from Mexico, and I loved to hollow the bread out and fill it with beans cooked with hamburger. But since I am trying to stay low carb these days, beans aren’t something I eat very often. Nonetheless, I’ll share this recipe for white beans with ham soup. This isn’t as low as I like most of my recipes to be, but it is still within reason for most people to enjoy on a low carb plan. The real trick is to add more ingredients to the pot to spread out the beans, so you don’t eat as many in one sitting. With that in mind, I added onions, carrots, and turnips to the pot with the ham and bean.

Generally, I use a ham hock to flavor the pot and add seasonings to round out the flavor. I also use a little of Better Than Bullion Chicken in it to add more flavor. If you want a heartier dinner, then cook up a sausage or a chicken breast to eat alongside the soup. These won’t add extra carbs and will help to fill you up with the smaller serving of soup.

White Beans and Ham Soup

1-1/4 cup Small White Beans (dry)
1 cup, diced Ham
1/4 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Carrots, sliced
3/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic Seasoning
3/4 cup Red Ripe Tomatoes, chopped or sliced or peeled and canned tomatoes
1 cup Turnips, cubed
1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bullion Chicken

In a large pot, pre-cook beans as directed on the package. Rinse, then add fresh water, salt, and pepper. Cook the beans from 2-3 hours until they are done. I usually put a ham hock or bacon in them to add flavor as they cook. Once they are done, add about 2 cups of water to the pot, then add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the carrots and turnips are tender. Add water as needed to keep the soup consistency. When done, you should have about 3 to 4 cups of delicious soup.

Makes about eight 2/3 cup servings.

Nutrition Information

Sausage, Turnips, & Eggs Frittata

Photo: Sausage & Turnip Frittata

Here’s a yummy egg dish that works well for a family brunch or a special occasion, like Christmas morning or New Year’s mid-day. It works best if you have a cast iron or copper skillet that can go from the burner to the oven. Failing that, you can cook it in a deep skillet, then slide it into a casserole dish to go to the oven for the final step.

Double the recipe and bake it in a large pan once the vegetables are sauteed to make a large family-sized casserole that will easily feed 8 to 10 people. Simply add the vegetables to the baking pan (a rectangular cake pan works well for this), then beat the eggs and seasonings and add to the pan. Bake at 365 degrees for about 45 minutes and check to see if the eggs are set. Add the cheese on top and bake another 8 minutes to melt it.

Sausage, Turnip and Egg Frittata

6 large Eggs
1/2 pound (8 oz.) Pork Sausage
1 cup Turnips, cut in 1/2″ cubes
1/2 cup Kohlrabi, cut in 1/2″ cubes
3 Sweets-mini peppers, chopped
1/2 cup Onions, chopped
1 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon Italian or Mexican Seasoning
Salt & Pepper to preference

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F.)

To easily cut the turnips and kohlrabi, peel the vegetables, then cook them in the microwave for about 2 minutes to soften. Run under cold water and let sit for about 5 minutes to cool down. Your knife will cut through them easily. This little pre-cook also ensures they will get tender when cooked in the skillet.

In a medium bowl, add the eggs and the seasonings of choice. Whisk to mix well so the whites are worked in. (You can also use a blender for this part to get a smooth mix.) Set aside.

In a deep stove-to-oven skillet, such as a cast iron or copper one, heat to medium and cook the sausage, crumbling it into small pieces as it cooks to a lightly browned stage. Set aside on a paper towel covered plate to drain. Add the onion and the peppers to the skillet and sauté until the onion is softened. Remove to the plate to wait. Add the turnips and kohlrabi to the skillet and continue to sauté until they start to brown a little. Add the sausage and vegetables back to the pan and pour the egg mixture into the pan.

Cook and stir with a spatula, lifting the eggs and the vegetables to cook them until the eggs are set. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top and place in the oven for about 8 minutes to melt the cheese and lightly brown it.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Notes: If you don’t like turnips or kohlrabi, you can substitute in zucchini or crookneck squash for either of them. The squash doesn’t need to pre-cook in the microwave. Just chop, sauté, and add to the casserole dish. You can also use liquid eggs for the eggs saving the whisking time.

Photo: Nutrition Info