Monthly Archive: February 2015

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Carnitas is by far one of my favorite meats to get at a Mexican restaurant. Since being on Whole 30, it is difficult for me to eat out because of the hidden non-complaint items at most restaurants. My solution, of course, is to just cook at home. Here is how I make mine.






Slow-cooker Carnitas

4 pounds pork shoulder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Bay leaves
2 cups of chicken broth

Kitchen equipment needed:
Slow cooker
Measuring spoons
Small bowl

  1. Trim excess fat off the pork shoulder.
  2. Place Bay leaves at the bottom of the slow cooker and place pork on top of them.
  3. Mix the remainder of the dry ingredients in a small bowl then rub all over the top and sides of the pork shoulder.
  4. Pour the chicken broth around the pork, trying to not rinse off the dry rub.
  5. Cook the carnitas on low for 8-10 hours or until meat shreds naturally.


I love this recipe because, like most slow cooker recipes, it is quick to put together and it makes your house smell delicious. Plus, it’s one of those things that you can throw together in the morning before work and come home to and enjoy when the day is over. Once you make a batch you can use it in a variety of ways. I’ve eaten it over cauliflower rice, in lettuce boats, or on top of sweet potatoes and eggs. One of my personal favorite ways to eat carnitas is to pair it with tostones (fried plantains), guacamole, and salsa. In my opinion these additional recipes make the ultimate delicious meal.




Braised, Bone-in Pork Country Style Ribs

Braised country style pork ribs


Braising is a new love for me but I’ve really been enjoying it, especially in this colder weather. It doesn’t take much time to put everything together and it makes your house smell amazing. Plus, whatever you are braising comes out tender and flavorful. Recently, I found some good quality country style pork ribs and came up with this delicious recipe.

 Braised, Bone-in Pork Country Style Ribs

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
1 medium yellow onion- diced
2 shallots- minced
3 carrots- peeled and cut into a small dice
1 stalk of celery- diced
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons ghee
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment need:
3.5 quart enamel coated Dutch oven with lid- I have this one and love it.
Stick blender or blender- to make gravy

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the ribs. Cut the ribs into equal sized pieces that will fit the length of the Dutch oven. Sprinkle each piece with some kosher salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the tallow in the Dutch oven on the stove at medium-high heat. In batches, as to not over crowd the pan, brown the ribs for 30-45 on each side until slightly browned. Remove ribs from pan and set aside for later.
  4. Reduce the heat of the pan to medium. Using the grease already in the pan add onions, shallot, carrot, celery, & bay leaf. Cook the vegetables for 5-7 minutes until translucent but not quite browned.
  5. Add in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan by scraping down the sides and bottom of the pan. Continue to cook the vegetables and vinegar until the vinegar is reduced to ½ the original amount- about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the ribs back into the pot and mix everything well to coat the meat.
  7. Add the stock and water into the pan. The liquid should come just to the top of the meat in the pan.
  8. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and place into the preheated oven. Cook the ribs for approximately 3 hours.
  9. After three hours remove the lid from the Dutch oven and turn the oven up to 375 degrees and brown the meat slightly- about 15 minutes.
  10. Cool the ribs slightly. Remove the meat from the pan. Transfer the vegetables, leaving a good amount of the liquid in the pan, into a blender or a container for blending with a stick blender. Blend the vegetables well until there is a thick gravy.  If the gravy is too thick, add more of the cooking liquid into the gravy to get the desired consistency you would like.

Pork ribs          mirepoix

deglazing                  Braised pork ribs 3

I served my ribs with gravy and some simple mashed potatoes. It’s a filling and delicious way to keep warm this winter.

 Braised country style pork ribs

Whole 30/Paleo Butter Chicken

There is not much to say about butter chicken except for it is amazing! For this recipe I took a more traditional butter chicken recipe and then I adjusted everything to fit with Whole 30. I found the original recipe by doing a Google search and came up with this one.


Paleo/ Whole 30 Butter Chicken

Whole 30 Compliant Butter Chicken

4 chicken thighs – about 1.5 pounds
1 15 ounce can of whole tomatoes with juice- pureed into sauce
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 Tablespoons ghee
6 pods of green cardamom
1 pod black cardamom
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 dried chili
5 cloves of garlic-grated into a paste (use 1/3 of paste in marinade)
1 inch piece of ginger- grated into a paste (use 1/3 of paste in marinade)
1/3 cup raw cashews
2 cups water
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ cup coconut cream
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup coconut cream
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/3 of each garlic and ginger paste- see above

Coconut cream

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large sauce pan or Dutch oven
Container with lid for marinating chicken
Measuring spoons
Baking pan with wire rack
Meat thermometer

  1. Mix all marinade ingredients together and pour over chicken thighs. Mix thighs with the marinade to coat well then marinade overnight.
  2. The next day: line the baking sheet with foil. Place baking rack in center. Place chicken on the rack evenly spacing them out evenly. Turn oven to broil and broil the chicken thighs 10-12 minutes each side until they are slightly browned but not fully cooked. Place chicken to the side then start the butter sauce.
  3. Heat the ghee in the bottom of the pot over medium-high heat. Add cardamom, cinnamon, & cloves and fry for 1 minute.
  4. Add fenugreek, chili pepper, remaining garlic & ginger paste and sauté until slightly browned.
  5. Add pureed tomatoes and tomato paste and cook until mixture cooks down into a paste like consistency.
  6. Blend the cashews and water until they are a smooth paste. Add it to the tomato mixture and stir well.
  7. Cut the chicken into bite sized chunks and add into the tomato sauce with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup coconut cream, & 1 teaspoon garam masala.
  8. Cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F.

butter chicken marinade                         butter chicken spices

butter chicken tomato sauce                            butter chicken sauce

I made this for some dinner guests and they absolutely loved it. I served it with garam masala green beans and cauliflower rice. I found the recipe for the green beans here at and check out my recipe for cauliflower rice here.

My 30 day results

January Whole 30 went really well! Since I’ve done a couple of rounds already I knew that I would be feeling amazing. This time around I weighed myself and took measurements at the beginning of day one. I am not entirely certain why I did not take better measurements during my previous rounds. Probably because I wasn’t confident that there would be a change or that I didn’t want to “put myself out there”. I’ve tried so many different diets in the past where I’ve gotten mixed results. I’ve been trying to stay away from the scale as much as possible but after many years of weighing myself daily it has been difficult. Every 30 days I’ll be weighing in and retaking  my measurements. I measured my chest, bust, waist, hips, thighs, calves, and upper arms. Here are my 30 day results- day 7 on the left side and day 31 on the right side.



Weight loss:11.2 pounds lost!

Total inches lost: 9.25 inches! 2″ from hips, 2.25″ from thighs, 1″ from chest, and 2″ combined from arms and legs.

I’m very pleased with the results! Originally I thought the before pictures were taken on day three but when I uploaded it I discovered that it was actually from day seven. By day seven I had already started noticing a difference in how my clothes were fitting.  I took some terrible selfies the day before we started but I couldn’t match the angles. I had my husband take these pictures. He has continued to take pictures of me every few days and will continue to do so throughout all 100 days. I know the pictures might be taken at slightly different angles and with different lighting but I still think the differences are noticeable. In addition to my weight and measurements changes, I’ve noticed that I have been sleeping better, my skin is clearer, my dandruff is non-existent, and I’m feeling way more happy and confident. This picture is from day 17. I fit into a a pair of pants that I haven’t fit into in at least 3 years. That is definitely what they call and non-sale victory!

Day 17

During the previous rounds of whole 30, I really focused on cooking and eating and did not do much exercise. During this Whole 100, I’ve been doing yoga three times a week, couch to 5k program three times a week, &  I take an additional strength training class 1-2 times per week. Plus, I’ve been drinking 1 gallon of water daily since January 5th.

My plans for the next 30 days include continuing my training sessions as listed above, continue drinking 1 gallon of water per day, & doing “meatless Mondays” every Monday in February. I’ll be updating my progress again in another 30 days.