Carbonade Flamande

{from food network dot com}

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound onions, sliced
2 pounds lean beef, shoulder or round, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups dark beer
1 cup beef stock
Salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs, crumbled (thyme, rosemary, sage)

To a casserole pan add butter. When butter is hot stir in onions and saute until caramelized. Pour browned onions into a sieve over a bowl and let drain. Pour the fat from the onions back into the casserole and when the fat is hot add beef, and remove as slices become brown. Drain in the sieve with the onions.
 In the same casserole, stir in the brown sugar and add the flour. When a roux has formed, stir in mustard and add beer slowly to deglaze the pan. Add beef stock and season with salt and pepper. Pour liquid into a bowl.
Layer the casserole with the meat and onions, making 3 layers of meat, sandwiching 2 layers of onions. Add a bay leaf and a teaspoon of mixed herbs on each layer of onions. Pour beef sauce back into the casserole.
Add more beer to cover the meat if necessary.
Bring casserole to a boil, cover and bake in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours. Skim off fat, season with salt and pepper and serve.


Chicken, Veggies & Pesto



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 pound chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, sliced into strips

  • salt

  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil, chopped

  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in half

  • 1/4 cup basil pesto or more, to taste (homemade pasta from Against the Grain)

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, yellow and red, halved


  1. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, add sliced chicken thighs, season chicken generously with salt, add half of chopped sun-dried tomatoes - and cook everything on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, flipping a couple of times, until the chicken is completely cooked through.

  2. Remove the chicken and sun-dried from the skillet, leaving the oil in.

  3. Add asparagus (ends trimmed), seasoned generously with salt, remaining half of sun-dried tomatoes, and cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the asparagus is cooked through. Remove the asparagus to a serving plate.

  4. Add chicken back to the skillet, add pesto, stir to coat on low-medium heat until the chicken is reheated, 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tortellini, halved cherry tomatoes, mix with the pesto and the chicken. Add more pesto if desired. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Add chicken and tomatoes and to the serving plate with asparagus.

Turkey Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries


  • 1 pound ground turkey (I prefer 85% lean, it has more fat which makes for a better burger!) If your ground turkey has excess liquid, be sure to set on paper towels to remove the juices.

  • 1/2-3/4 of one jalapeño pepper, minced(I like it hot so I use 3/4)

  • 1 medium size shallot, peeled and minced

  • zest and of one lime, and 2 teaspoon lime juice

  • 2 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon cumin 

  • 1/2 a teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • guacamole 

  • poached egg (optional)


  1. Note: The ground turkey I buy is the consistency of hamburger. If yours seems to have extra liquid, set on paper towels to drain juices.

  2. Place turkey, herbs, spices and lime in bowl and use hands to mix well.

  3. Form into four patties.

  4. Place pan on medium heat.

  5. Add olive oil to bottom of pan.

  6. When pan is hot, place patties in pan and cook for about 5 minutes each side or until cooked through.

  7. Top with guacamole


  • 2 ripe avocados

  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • 1 Tbsp of fresh lime juice or lemon juice

  • 2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup of minced red onion or thinly sliced green onion

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped

  • A dash of freshly grated black pepper

  • 1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

  • 1 Cut avocado, remove flesh: Cut the avocados in half. Remove seed. Score the inside of the avocado with a blunt knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. (See How to Cut and Peel an Avocado.) Place in a bowl.

    2 Mash with a fork: Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado. (Don't overdo it! The guacamole should be a little chunky.)

    3 Add salt, lime juice, and the rest: Sprinkle with salt and lime (or lemon) juice. The acid in the lime juice will provide some balance to the richness of the avocado and will help delay the avocados from turning brown.

    Add the chopped onion, cilantro, and black pepper

    Sweet Potato Fries:

    3 - large sweet potato

    Salt & pepper

    Ranch seasoning by Flavor God

    Light oil of Choice

    Heat  olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and place sweet potato pieces into the hot oil. Cover skilletpan-fry for 5 minutes; uncover and turn fries. Place cover back over fries and cook 5 more minutes; continue turning fries and covering until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10 more minutes.

    Shrimp Guacamole Bites


    2 cucumber about 8-10", some peel removed if you like and sliced into 1/2" rounds

    2 cups of your favorite guacamole recipe

    16-20 pieces of shrimp, peeled, deveined, & tails off

    Old Bay & Blackened fish seasoning

    2 tablespoons butter

    2 whole cloves garlic, peeled

    Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish


    Heat a skillet over mid-high heat while you prepare the cucumber slices.

    Top each cucumber slice with about a teaspoon of guacamole and place on serving tray.

    Season the shrimp with the seasoning. Place 2 tablespoons butter in the hot skillet and add the shrimp and 2 whole cloves garlic to the skillet. Allow to cook for about 45 seconds to a minute and turn each piece of shrimp over. Cook another 30 seconds, basting the shrimp with the skillet juices as they cook. When cooked through, remove the shrimp to a plate and place each one on top of the guacamole topped cucumbers. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

    Black Bean and Mango Salad


    1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    1 tablespoon honey

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    1/3 cup canola oil

    Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

    1/2 small ripe mango, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces

    1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into small dice

    1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

    1 small jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced

    1 small red onion, cut into small dice

    1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


    In a small mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, lime juice, honey and cumin. Slowly whisk in the oil until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.

    Mix the mango, pepper, beans, jalapeno and onion together in a large bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the ingredients and toss to combine. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Garnish with the cilantro.

    Pork Carnitas


    5 lb / 2.5 kg pork shoulder (pork butt), skinless, bone-in (4lb/2kg without bone) (Note 3)

    1 onion, chopped

    2 1/2 tsp salt

    1 tsp black pepper

    4 cloves garlic, minced

    2 oranges, juice only (or sub with 3/4 cup fresh orange juice)


    1 tbsp dried oregano

    2 tsp ground cumin

    1 tbsp olive oil


    Rinse and dry the pork shoulder, rub in salt and pepper.

    Combine the rub ingredients then rub all over the pork.

    Place the pork in a slow cooker (fat cap up), top with the onion,  minced garlic (don't worry about spreading it) and squeeze over the juice of the orange.

    Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 6 hours (or 1h 30 m in an electric pressure cooker on high. If using stovetop pressure cooker, please see notes).

    The meat should be tender and falling off the bone. Remove from the slow cooker and let cool slightly. Then shred the pork using two forks.

    Skim off the fat from the juices remaining in the slow cooker and discard the fat. Then if you are left with a lot more than 1 1/2 to 2 cups of juice, then reduce it (either in the slow cooker on the sauté setting with the lid off, or in a saucepan). The liquid will be SALTY, it is the seasoning for the pork. Set aside.

    To Serve

    Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large non stick pan over high heat. Place shredded pork into the pan, drizzle over some juices. Wait until the juices evaporate and the bottom side is golden brown and crusty. Turn and just briefly sear the other side - you don't want to make it brown all over because then it's too crispy, need tender juicy bits.

    Repeat in batches (takes me 4 batches) - don't crowd the pan.

    Remove pork from skillet. Drizzle over more juices and serve immediately (if you are using defrosted carnitas, this is not applicable as the juices are already on the meat - see Note 4c).

    If you are reheating the carnitas (Note 4), then flip and cook the other side briefly just to warm through. I really recommend only making one side crusty and leaving the other side juicy and moist.

    Recipe Notes

    1. If you are using a piece of pork that is not the size I use, you MUST reduce the salt accordingly. If your pork is more than 1 lb / 0.5 kg larger or smaller than the prescribed size, ensure you adjust the other ingredients accordingly as well, not just the salt.

    2. To make this in the oven, add 1 cup of water to the braising liquid. Place in 325F/160C oven for 2 hours, covered, then roast for a further 1 to 1.5 hours uncovered. Add more water if the liquid dries out too much. You should end up with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid when it finishes cooking.

    If you make this recipe in the oven, you could skip the pan frying step because you will get a nice brown crust on your pork.

    3. Use pork with the skin removed but leaving some of the fat cap on. The fat adds juiciness to the carnitas!

    4. Taco Fixing suggestions: Diced avocado or make a real proper Guacamole, Pico de Gallo or Restaurant Style Salsa or even just sliced tomato, grated cheese, sour cream. Sliced lettuce or pickled cabbage / red onions would also be great, but unlike other tacos, you don't need it for the texture because the carnitas have the crispy bits!


    Apple Cinnamon Protein Pancakes


    • 1 egg

    • 1½ cups flour of choice (I used tapioca)

    • 1 serving protein of choice (I used vanilla Optimum whey)

    • 1 tablespoon baking powder

    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

    • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt

    • 1¾ cups coconut milk 

    • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the pan

    • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    • 1 medium organic apple, chopped


    1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

    2. Pour in the coconut milk, coconut oil, and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Fold in the chopped apple.

    3. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush the pan with coconut oil, then pour the pancake batter onto the pan. Cook the pancakes for 2-3 minutes per side.

    4. Plate with your favorite toppings nuts/seeds, and enjoy!