Ropa vieja (Spanish for “old clothes”) is one of the national dishes of Cuba, but is also popular in other areas of the Caribbean such as Puerto Rico and Panama. It consists of shredded or pulled stewed beef with vegetables. This was a dish we had in Havana in 2014. The beauty is that it is done in a slow cooker.
You can omit the olives, but trust me on this one. Serve with your favorite rice or use it with fresh tortillas.
Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef)
- 3 lbs. beef flank steak (or substitute Mexican arrachera)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
- 1 (14-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 small white onion diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced ( I used red for contrast)
- 1 cup Spanish olives – green
- 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
Cooked yellow rice for serving*
Slow Cooker Size:4-quart or larger
- Add the beef broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, cumin, turmeric and apple cider vinegar to the slow cooker. Stir.
- Add the flank steak and flip it around in the sauce so it gets coated. Add the bell pepper, onion, olives and garlic cloves, mix those items together to combine on top of the meat.
- Cover and cook on low for 9 hours on LOW without opening the lid during the cooking time. Shred the meat with 2 forks right in the slow cooker.
If you have been following me you know that our slow cooker cooks faster for some unknown reason. When I looked up cooking on HIGH (because I was short of time) it suggested 5 hours as the equivalent. Guess what? It was done in a little over 2.5 hours using an arrachera of 1.3 kilos.
LESSON—-dont let it cook while you are away at work unless you know your cooker very well. Keep checking for doneness.
Baby its cold outside (in the North, actually here in Mexico too, trust me on this one…). Great time for a hearty chowder – vegan if you leave out the bacon!
It calls for a whole head of cauliflower, but here we can but 1 lb. packages of florets which simplifies the recipe. I think you’ll really like this one my friends…great start to the New Year!
Creamy cauliflower chowder
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4-5 people
Creamy Cauliflower Chowder is a healthy, easy, comfort food recipe and ready in under 30 minutes. It’s gluten free, low carb and keto friendly.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup diced Onion
- 5 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- 1/2 cup diced Carrots
- 1 Whole Head of Cauliflower (cut into small florets)I bought a one lb. bag of florets
- 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- Salt to taste
Olive Oil and cooked bacon (4 strips) for topping
In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat butter and add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft.
Add carrots, cauliflower, vegetable broth, pepper, oregano and salt to the pot. Bring this to a boil, and slow the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so till the cauliflower is tender.
Switch off the flame and using a blender, blend the soup partly in the soup pot. If you don’t have a hand blender, pour half the soup into a blender and pulse a few tips till creamy.
Switch the flame back on and add a cup of water or broth along with the cream cheese. Simmer for 5-10 minutes and switch off the flame. Feel free to thin the soup further if you like with some more broth or milk. Top with olive oil and bacon and serve hot.
Its not too late to do your Nw Years Eve shopping is it? Your guests would love these coconut curry mussels with fresh baguettes for dipping into the sauce. If you need a veggie dish, go for the steamed broccoli…
STEAMED MUSSELS IN A COCONUT CURRY BROTH
- 2.5 pounds mussels (I prefer Prince Edward Island mussels)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk (lite version is fine too – just won’t be as rich)
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken (or seafood) stock
- 2 green onions, sliced
baguettes or bread for serving (or fries!)
Keep the mussels refrigerated until you’re ready to use. Once ready, place them in a large bowl of ice cold water. Scrub the outsides of the mussels and remove the string (or “beard”) by using a towel or paper towel to pull it out. Discard any mussels that have opened already. Keep the mussels in the ice water.
Better still, buy the frozen ones which are already cleaned..just add them in where required in the recipe.
Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Once it’s melted, stir in the onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Stir in the curry paste and continue to stir until it’s distributed throughout the entire pan of onions. Cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and stock, stirring until it’s smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the mussels and toss. Cover the skillet and cook just until the mussels open, about 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with the sliced green onions. Stir the mussels well so the broth makes it into the shells. Serve immediately with baguettes or thin fries.
Leftover ham from Christmas dinner? No ham? Buy some… this recipe really was good on crackers, etc. Try it Mikey…you’ll like it! (Who remembers that phrase?) Ignore the Keto reference, it really tastes good!
EASY DEVILED HAM SALAD – LOW CARB & KETO
Author: Mellissa Sevigny Yield: 5 servings
For the salad:
2 cups chopped cooked ham
1/4 cup chopped dill pickles
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped onion
1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
For the dressing:
1/2 cup sugar free mayonnaise (you decide, I used Hellamns Organic…)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Sriracha (or other chili sauce)
1 tsp fresh lime juice
To make the salad:
Combine the salad ingredients into a food processor or magic bullet and pulse until a coarse, crumbly mixture is formed – don’t over blend into mush.
To make the dressing:
Combine the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
Spoon the ham mixture into the dressing mixture and mix until the dressing is fully incorporated into the salad.
Serve chilled on low carb crackers, celery, romaine, or another low carb base of your choice! It was great with bacon rinds!
Serving Size: 1/2 cup Calories: 268 Fat: 24g Carbohydrates: 2g Protein: 13g
Do NOT be afraid to try these Keto recipes. Yes, they are low in carbs, medium in fat and high in protein BUT they really do taste great! Keto likes things like cream cheese, oil, whipping cream, cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. There are very little pasta or grain foods in Keto, which aids in trying to shed some pounds. Most spices are allowed.
Once you try this recipe you will LOVE it!
Keto Parmesan Garlic Pork Chops
1.5 lb. center cut boneless pork chops
½ medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 oz. cream cheese
⅓ cup chicken broth
⅓ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon pepper
salt to taste
Brown pork chops, onion, and garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet on medium/high (approx. 3-5 minutes each side).
Remove pork chops from skillet.
Add the rest of the ingredients, and cook on medium until sauce thickens. Make sure to use a whisk and stir continuously.
Add pork chops back to sauce mixture and simmer on low for 5 minutes or until done.
Serve with cauliflower rice or broccoli (the latter is a little high in carbs)
Nutritional Information based on MyFitnessPal app (6 servings) – 529 calories,
36.5 g fat, 48.9g protein, 2.7g carbs – .2g fiber = 2.5g Net Carbs
Needing a great salad for a change? Both of these dressings are incredible and cheaper than the bottled stuff! Sorry, no photos today…
Keto 5 Minute Caesar Dressing
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons anchovy paste (I substitute equal amount of fish oil when anchovy paste is not available)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Nutrition per 2 Tablespoon – Calories 140, Fat 15g, Carbs 0.8 Protein0.1g.
Keto Garlic Dressing
Servings 16 (of 2 tbsp)
- 4-6 Cloves garlic
- 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cup olive oil
- 1/3 Cup Water
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Pinch Black Pepper To taste
- (Optional) Fresh herbs (I used parsley)
Making the Keto Garlic Salad Dressing is really simple! – Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until it’s creamy and smooth. You can start with 4 cloves of garlic and add more after you taste the dressing, if you feel like it’s not strong enough.
Nutrition – Calories 123, Fat 13.5g, Carbs 0.5g, Protein 0.1g
New diet equals new foods! Just in at Costco – Cauliflower Rice! Pinterest has recipes for almost everything…shown here with roasted peppers, grilled salmon and avocado salsa. Supposedly all Keto friendly.
Garlic Parmesan Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower “rice” is now widely available in many supermarkets, including Costco Merida. There are many different recipes for using it, but this one is very simple!
5 cups cauliflower rice
3 T butter
3 garlic cloves minced
7 Tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. EVOV (Extra virgin olive oil OR coconut oil)
In a small saucepan, combine butter and garlic, stirring constantly for 2 to 3 minutes. Don’t let it burn!
In a separate fry pan, skillet or wok add 1 Tbsp. EVOV (Extra Virgin Olive oil OR coconut oil). Medium heat. Stir in the cauliflower rice and continue stirring until it is warmed through.
Pour I the butter mixture and stir to blend.
Top with the shredded Parmesan and mix well. Add chopped parsley! SERVE.
Instead of the butter and cheese, try pesto sauce…OR cilantro and lime…
You just can’t have one without the other, as the old song used to say! Oh, that was love and marriage….for those old enough to remember. I had purchased ground pork and ground beef to make Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie. Since I did not use all of the pork I had fresh ground pork to use up. Pinterest again! There was also some leftover chicken breast from the rotisserie chicken I had purchased. Clean out the fridge!!! Today you are getting both recipes…..
Chinese Pork Meatballs
∙ Makes 20 meatballs
- 1 lb. Ground pork
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 tsp Ginger
- 2 tsp Soy sauce
- 2 tsp Brown sugar
- 1 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 tsp Five-spice powder
- 2 pinches White pepper, ground
- 3 tbsp Peanut oil
In a large bowl, combine the pork, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, five-spice powder, and pepper, and mix well.
Roll 1 heaping tablespoon of pork mixture into a ball and continue until all the pork mixture is used.
In a wok over medium heat, heat the peanut oil. Using a wok spatula, spread the oil to coat enough of the wok surface to fry about 10 meatballs at a time. Lower the meatballs into the wok in batches.
Cook without moving for about 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are cooked through. Use the spatula to carefully rotate the meatballs to cook on the other sides.
Keep rotating the meatballs gently until cooked through.
For a heavenly dipping sauce, combine equal parts low-sodium soy sauce and honey.
Chinese Fried Rice Serves: 4
- 4 cups cooked brown or white rice
- 1 cup frozen peas and diced carrots
- 1 egg, whisked
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- 3 green onions, diced
- Add veggies and oil to a large pan or skillet and sauté for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Scoot all of the veggies to one half of the pan. Add egg and allow to cook for 1 minute, then scramble it with a spoon or spatula and stir in with veggies.
- Add rice to pan. Add soy sauce and stir over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until browned. Sprinkle remaining seasonings over the rice and stir another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in green onions.
There was sausage. There was shrimp. There were Costco Ancient Grains. What can I make? Jambalaya!! What is that you say…
Jambalaya is a Louisiana origin dish of Spanish and French (especially Provençal cuisine) influence, consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. Traditionally, the meat always includes sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as andouille, along with some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp. The vegetables are usually a soffritto-like mixture known as the “holy trinity” in Creole and Cajun cooking, consisting of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, though other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, chilis, and garlic are also used. After browning and sauteing the meat and vegetables, rice, seasonings, and broth are added and the entire dish is cooked together until the rice is done.
Jambalaya is similar to (but distinct from) other rice-and-meat dishes known in Louisiana cuisine. Gumbo uses similar sausages, meats, seafood, vegetables and seasonings. However, gumbo includes filé powder and okra, which are not common in jambalaya. Gumbo is also usually served over white rice, which is prepared separate from the rest of the dish, unlike jambalaya, where the rice is prepared with the other ingredients. Étouffée is a stew which always includes shellfish such as shrimp or crayfish, but does not have the sausage common to jambalaya and gumbo. Also, like gumbo, étouffée is usually served over separately prepared rice.
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (for TWO people, half the recipe!)
- 12 ounces sausage, sliced into 1/4″ slices (Costco Kielbasa works just fine)
- 2 cups of peeled, deveined shrimp
- 4 cups of chicken broth or stock
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup of instant rice/ Ancient Grains
- 2- 14 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp of paprika
- 3 cloves of minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper
In a large stock pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onions, peppers, garlic and the bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes covered.
Add tomatoes, sausage, chicken broth or stock and remaining seasonings and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes.
Add instant rice (here I used Costco’s Ancient Grains) and shrimp. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and shrimp turns orange. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
What to do when you buy a Costco or grocery store rotisserie chicken and have leftovers? SOUP.
This will easily feed 4 to 6 people as a main course. The ingredients list seems long, but it can be simplified by making the changes noted in red.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 Rotisserie chicken (half chicken is enough)
- 1 15-ounce can Black beans (drained)
- 2 Carrots
- 2 Celery stalks
- 3 tbsp Cilantro, fresh
- 2 cups Corn, frozen (1 small can or corn or more)
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1 Lime, wedges
- 1 cups Peas, frozen (1 small can of peas)
- 1 Poblano peppers (Optional)
- 1 Red onion
- 1 Reserved red onion
- 28-ounce can Tomatoes
- 4 cups Chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp Taco seasoning (see elsewhere o the blog for homemade taco seasoning)
- 1 tbsp Olive oil, extra-virgin
- Crispy tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
- 1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and sauté until the vegetables start to become tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the Poblano peppers and cook until the vegetables are very tender, 6 to 7 minutes more. Add the jalapeño and garlic, and continue to cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
- Season the vegetables with the taco seasoning, then stir in the tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until a good flavor develops, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken, black beans, corn and peas. Return the soup to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla strips and just maybe, a touch of sour cream.