How to Have a Healthy Thanksgiving

Eat pie and give thanks Thanksgiving illustration

Gluten-free stuffing recipes aside, Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate and (as the name implies) give thanks. One of my favorite ways to show gratitude is by honoring my body, savoring what’s on my plate (literally and figuratively), and making happy, healthy decisions.

Below are a few great ways to savor this fall holiday and enjoy a guilt-free, feel-good Thanksgiving.

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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.)


Friday Favorites

cook slow run fast

It’s Friday (!!!), and I’m looking forward to spending tons of time outdoors this weekend. I’ll definitely be lacing up my shoes for a lakeside run on Saturday, and copious amounts of asparagus and eggs will surely make their way onto my brunch plate.

Other than that, I have some 90’s party decorations to make, a bridal shower to start planning, and, of course, Easter Sunday to celebrate!

If you need a few cubicle distractions to entertain you before quittin’ time today, check out some of my favorite articles and videos from this week!


  1. Want to learn how to do a handstand, but totally afraid of ’em? Watch this video!
  2. Live in the East Bay and love running? Check out this list of great local running trails.
  3. A TED Talk on body language and the positive effect “power posing” has on our confidence
  4. Female runners who also run the corporate world
  5. Navigate the market like a pro with this seasonality chart for vegetables.
  6. This power breakfast featuring poached eggs, sweet potatoes, and tomato avocado salsa and is the perfect Easter brunch recipe.
  7. A baby otter learning how to otter

Happy weekend!

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