Eat – Ground Pork Two Ways

Oh hey, guess whose house has been infected with an unending late  Spring funk FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL for the past month!?

Yup – Jr got sick within a week of his end-of-March birthday, and I swear one (or more) of us has been cowering under a mountain of blankies of the sofa ever since.

But (knock on ALL the wood,) it appears that we are all on the mend, and I have some goodness to share with you.

A few weeks ago I found a ridiculously good price on ground pork, and (in between rounds of it being me on the sofa whimpering,) so I give you not one, but TWO fabulous ways to use ground pork.

They are both Low Carb, if you happen to be riding the Keto-friendly/LCHF/Atkins/South Beach/It’s carbs or my bikini/ other low carb-ish Train with Keri, but even if that isn’t your groove, you won’t miss anything with these delicious recipes.

  1. Taco-Stuffed Bell Peppers:

WHAT YOU NEED:
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1 or 2 bell peppers – (we use ½ a pepper for each serving and stuff it to VERY overflowing, resulting in 2 servings.  You can easily divide the filling into 2 split peppers and get 4 good servings from this recipe)

1 lb ground pork

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 ½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon (or to taste) ground cayenne pepper

1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (Colby Jack used here)

Avocado

(Other taco fixings/toppings of your choice would be totally tasty as well!)

WHAT YOU DO:
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-In a skillet brown the pork and drain the majority of the fat (I don’t like the pork TOTALLY dry,  but not drowning in grease either, so I drain off what I can easily get and leave the rest.)

-Sprinkle in the seasonings and mix to coat all of the meat.

-Add ½ cup of the shredded cheese to the mixture and stir to distribute evenly.

(BTW, at this point you can totally stick this mixture into the fridge or freeze in a zip top baggie until you are ready to use.)

-Clean and cut pepper(s) in half lengthwise, removing seeds and stem.

-Place pepper halves open side up on a baking dish (it should be big enough so they don’t touch each other so air can circulate all around the peppers.)

-Fill each half with the filling mixture and overfill generously.  If there is extra mixture I just let it spill into the pan around the peppers.

-Top each piled-up pepper with the remaining cheese

-Bake the peppers 20 minutes (add 5 minutes if you are using the filing mixture cold from the fridge.)

Eat up!

Meatballs and Marinara

WHAT YOU NEED:
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MEATBALLS:

1 lb ground pork

½ lb spicy sausage  (removed from casing if needed)

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 egg yolk

SAUCE:

29 ounce can plain tomato sauce

1 clove minced/pressed garlic

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried basil

WHAT YOU DO:
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Preheat oven to 375 degrees

-In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for meatballs and mix thoroughly (your very own hands work best for this, folks, get in there and give your mix a good smoosh and squeeze.)

-Place mix in freezer while you get the sauce assembled and simmering, This firms it up a bit so it is easier to work with.

– In a large, deep sided pot (I use my dutch oven) over medium low heat, add the minced garlic and cook just until you start to smell garlic in the air before adding all other ingredients.  Stir to combine, cover and bring to a simmer.

-Turn the heat for the sauce to low

-Remove meatball mixture from freezer and create 1 ½ inch balls on foil-lined, sprayed baking sheets.

(My sicky self was bad about taking pics of these recipes as they came together this time around, but I DO have this one – you can see they are a bit um, free form.. BUT FEAR NOT, they cook up beautifully.)
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-Pop them into the oven for 20 minutes.  Rotating them halfway through cooking time will keep the shape more uniform but it isn’t mandatory or anything.

-Remove from oven and add the meatballs to the sauce.  Turn heat up to medium and allow sauce and meatballs to simmer together for 5-10 minutes.

DIG IN.  These go great with pasta, or zoodles, or on bread or oopsie rolls as a hearty meatball sandwich.

But all that just gets in my way – I just want a pile of piping hot meatballs with shredded parmesan sprinkled on top most of the time.  Because yum.

So there you have it – Keri rises off her sofa, like a phoenix from the ashes, to answer the call of the kitchen.

Like you would expect that ANYTHING else would ever be my motivation.

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