Ancho Rubbed Pork Chops

Ancho Rubbed Pork Chops with Sour Cream

These were a real treat — both to make, and to eat. The prep is so easy it’s almost embarrassing!

Combine the following to make a spice rub: chili powder, ancho chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, freshly ground black pepper, a few shakes of coarse salt. Rinse and pat dry the pork shops, then sprinkle both sides generously with the spices mixture, rubbing into the meat so it adheres nicely. Be sure to coat them generously with the spice rub — that’s what makes for a beautiful crust.

Very lightly grease a hot iron skillet with bacon fat and cook pork chops until done (these chops were fairly thin, so it took about 7 minutes per side). Serve with a generous dollop of sour cream.

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Italian Meatballs with Parmesan Cream Sauce

Italian Meatballs with Parmesan Cream Sauce

Brian often says that one of the meals he misses most from our days of high carb eating is a pile of pasta with meat and red sauce. Well, we’ve upon occasion splurged on marinara, serving it over zucchini instead of pasta, but here’s a way I came up with to get the Italian flavor without the carbs.

I made the meatballs from scratch — just mixed ground beef with some dried oregano and basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and freshly ground black pepper. I like them just that simple; you could add some crushed pork rinds if you prefer them a bit “breadier,” and crushed red pepper flakes are a nice addition if you like a little zing. Shape into 2″ meatballs, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degree oven.

The sauce is a variation of my basic magic high fat cream sauce. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a saucepan; whisk in 2 tablespoons cream cheese, stirring until mostly incorporated; whisk in 1/3 cup heavy cream, stirring until smooth; add 1/3 cup shredded parmesan, stirring until melted and smooth.

Sprinkle a little extra shredded parmesan on top for fun, and you’ve got an easy Italian meal without all those pesky carbs for which they are so famous!

Intro to Fasting

Brian & I have long been avid readers of the Diet Doctor website for education and encouragement regarding the LCHF lifestyle. You can still read the blog and view some videos on the site; he has fairly recently added a membership option that makes more content available (particularly video learning) to paying members only.

There you will find a new series all about fasting, with Canadian nephrologist Dr. Jason Fung, Membership is required to view the entire series, but the intro is available on the regular site. Fung gives the basics on what fasting is (i.e. NOT starvation!) and its history across time and various religions of the world.

intro to fasting

CLICK TO GO TO VIDEO

Like many people who switch to a low carb, high fat diet, I find that I need less food and very naturally partake in intermittent fasting simply by eating when I’m hungry, rather than at set meal times. I’ve lost a bunch of weight (still working on further progress in that department!), and went from being a diabetic struggling to control my blood sugar with insulin and oral medication to being pharma-free with fasting blood sugars that run in the 80-85 range!

Dutch Oven Chili

Dutch Oven Chili with Sour Cream

I love my dutch oven, and I’m finding new ways to use it all the time. We were in the mood for chili — one of my very favorite dishes (with loads of tomatoes and beans) before we went low carb, then started shooting for as close to no carb as possible. So Texas style chili was the obvious adaptation…but I have to confess that I did miss the tomatoes and beans!

Then I read a few recipes online for making the chili in the oven instead of on the stovetop, and this was my first try doing it that way. It turned out to be a delicious, tender, melt-in-your-mouth meal, and a definite keeper for the future.

I started off by browning about a pound of ground beef in the dutch oven over medium high heat, then spooned it out to drain off the excess fat. Using the fat that remained in the pan, I toasted my seasonings (chili powder, ground ancho chili, garlic, onion powder, freshly ground pepper) lightly, then added the meat back in along with two cups of water. I got it simmering, then stirred in a teaspoon of beef soup base.

Then it was lid on and into a preheated 275 degree oven. I let it go for about two hours, but you really have a lot of play as far as the time goes. Be sure to check occasionally and add a little boiling water as necessary where the liquid had cooked off — I added some a couple of times.

I served with a generous dollop of sour cream (’cause that’s how I roll), and would have sprinkled with a bit of shredded colby jack cheese if we hadn’t eaten it all up before chili day!

Green Chile-Smothered Pork Steak

Green Chile-Smothered Pork Steak 100615

We’ve had these pork steaks a couple of times before and, to be frank,they are not my favorite cut of meat. The idea for this meal came to me when I saw a stray can of whole green chiles in my cabinet. We are not generally buying anything that doesn’t come from an animal at this point in time, but I checked the label and the whole can was only 6 grams of carbs, so I decided to get rid of it. On the pork steak.

I browned the pork steak in a little butter in the dutch oven (about 5 minutes per side), then smothered it with the chiles, cut up, including all the juice. I covered it and let it simmer for 20 minutes, and served with a generous dollop of sour cream.

A nice treat, and quick and easy, just as I like it!

Nutrition SOS

BEEF-BOUILLON

Help! We have been searching high and low trying to find someone who makes beef and chicken bouillon or base without sugar and loads of other crap. It seems impossible! We’ve tried local groceries and “health food” stores here in OKC — and have looked in other places we’ve lived as well.

Even online (and not initially looking at prices!) I’ve had absolutely no luck in finding a product that doesn’t include sugar, maltodextrin, MSG, and a variety of starches, vegetable oils, and other scary-sounding things. This includes the ones that bill themselves as “healthy,” “natural” and these days, of course, “gluten free.”

We were at the grocery store yesterday and decided to check out buying some bones to make our own broth. We didn’t see any out, but Brian asked someone in the meat department and he disappeared in the back to find out what they had and how much they cost. Turns out they are charging $2.99/pound for BEEF BONES!

So this is me, putting out the call to any and all who might know of any product that would fit the bill…and the bank account. We do still, after all, need to be able to afford the actual meat, too! If anyone has any suggestions, please comment away…

Beef Stroganoff, Take 1

Or, as I am semi-affectionately referring to this first attempt, Beef Frankenstein.

Beef Stroganoff 092215

In the end, the flavor turned out to be quite good. The texture and execution need a little work!

I started by browning ground beef in my trusty iron skillet. So far so good. Next I would normally drain the fat, but decided against that this time, as we are trying to increase our fat, not decrease it: Mistake #1.

Then I added 1 1/2 cups of beef stock: Mistake #2. That made for WAY too much liquid. I simmered it for 15 minutes or so, but it didn’t reduce much in such a short period of time, of course. Fingers crossed, I turned off the heat and stirred in some sour cream, hoping it would thicken the liquid sufficiently: Mistake #3. Still way too much liquid — it didn’t look like anything I wanted to serve (or eat myself, for that matter!)

I called my husband over to ask for his advice, since he cooks professionally. As he ruefully commented, it’s kind of hard being asked how to fix something after the fact, when I had already totally muffed it! He kindly gave me his best guidance, though, and I dutifully spooned the beef out of the pan and discarded the bulk of the liquid. Then I turned the burner back on and added just a bit more beef base, stirring well to fully incorporate it with the meat. When I was satisfied of that, I once again turned the heat off and stirred in a bit more sour cream.

The end result still didn’t look very appealing to me, but we were both quite hungry by this point, so I dutifully served it. In the end it actually tasted pretty good and was moister than it appeared to be just looking at it. I’d like it to be a bit saucier and creamier, so next time I’ll drain it first and be careful with how much stock I add.

Hopefully next time I’ll share as an actual recipe…meaning I got it right on the second try!