Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

slow cooker kalua pork

Today’s message is: “fake it ’til you make it.”

I’ve never been to a Hawaiian luau, and I’ve never seen nor enjoyed any bit of a whole pig smoked in a sand pit, but I made this kalua pork in my slow cooker yesterday and shamelessly admit to having firsts, seconds, and an extra bite or two as I wrapped up leftovers. Is this recipe authentic? No. Is it tasty. YES.

slow cooker kalua pork

Kalua pork is traditionally smoked in a sand pit with sea salt, banana leaves, and koa wood. When you don’t have the luxury of a sand pit, a slow cooker and a little natural liquid smoke can be a girl’s best friend. Simply toss three ingredients in a slow cooker before work (pork roast, Hawaiian sea salt, and liquid smoke), and by evening you’ll be saying mahalo to yourself for making such a smart, delicious decision.

slow cooker kalua pork

I was way lazy with this dinner, so I just paired the pork with sautéed bell peppers, a little quinoa, and some gluten-free soy sauce, which was perfect. Next time I make it (which will probably be sooner than I’d like to admit) I’d like to be more ambitious and try my hand at a pineapple quinoa “fried rice” to go along with it.

You can always slow cook the pork overnight too. In fact, the longer you cook it, the juicier and better it’ll taste. I’m going to use my leftovers by scrambling the shredded meat with eggs and veggies for weekend brunch.

Now go make this!

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2-3 lb pork shoulder or butt roast, fat removed
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke, hickory flavored
  • 2 tsp Hawaiian Sea salt

Directions

FYI, I just kinda eyeballed it with measurements. Wash and pat dry the pork, and place it in the slow cooker. Pierce the pork with a fork (that’s a funny thing to say), sprinkle with salt, and pour the liquid smoke evenly over the roast.

Close your slow cooker, and set the time for anywhere from 8-12 hours on low. When done cooking, shred with a fork and ENJOY!

(This entry was originally posted by me on my original blog What She Makes.)


The Power of Leftovers

Bolognese served over broccoli

Is it really only Tuesday??

These last few days have felt like a whirlwind. The good kind, but, still, the “get-home-around-8-PM-exhausted-after-being-gone-all-day-I-just-want-someone-to-rub-my-feet-and-feed-me-chocolate” kind of days.

It’s on evenings like this that I am thankful for the power of leftovers. When I cook my favorite recipes, I usually prepare about twice as much a Michel and I eat during dinner and either 1) Save the rest for leftover lunches or 2) Freeze the remainder for a leftover “emergency dinner.”

Tonight I’m thankful for the bolognese I froze a few weeks back. It’s one of my FAVORITE recipes ever, but it takes hours to prepare and simmer for optimal flavor. Fortunately, my recipe (which I’ll post soon) serves 8-10, so when I make it we enjoy two nights of it – served over zucchini pasta or steamed broccoli – and then I freeze the rest for nights like tonight.

Seriously, if you’re committed to saving money, eating healthfully, and avoiding takeout, whip up twice as much soup, stew, or healthy casserole as you normally would, and freeze it for a “rainy day.” When you come home stressed or worn out, you won’t be tempted to order pizza or binge on junk in your pantry, especially if it’s a healthy favorite.

How do you try to stay healthy after a long day away from home?

 

 

Recipe: Spicy Asian Chicken Salad

Spicy Asian Chicken Salad

The way I see it, “cooking slow” doesn’t always have to involve slaving away in the kitchen for hours. Whether dinner prep takes 20 minutes or 5 hours, taking some time to consciously prepare a heartfelt and healthy meal using the best ingredients at your disposal is the foundation of a happy, delicious meal.

Take this Spicy Asian Chicken Salad recipe, for example. Brimming with flavor, it didn’t take long at all to prepare, and was the perfect go-to dinner after an evening workout. Whatever it looks like, I promise it’s delicious, and (at least to my palate) slightly spicy thanks to the addition of jalapeno and Sriracha.

I’ve made similar Thai-inspired salads with a more ginger-y appeal, cilantro, and a slightly different vinaigrette, but this one, based off of Linda Wagner’s recipe, offered a delicious alternative.

Spicy Asian Chicken Salad Recipe

(modified from Linda Wagner’s recipe)

Ingredients
  • 1 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced finely and cut into halves
  • 1 large cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • 2 tbsp toasted cashews or peanuts
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (tamari or soy sauce work too)
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • drizzle of honey or maple syrup
  • juice of 2 limes
Directions

Place all ingredients into a large plastic bag and shake vigorously until well mixed. Pour into bowls or onto plates. Enjoy!

Serves 3-4