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posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on May 27th, 2010 at 12:10 PM

29 Comments added to this post

Food, Friends and a Cooking Challenge!


A few weeks ago I went back to Denver for a “girl’s weekend”. Since I still have a lot of friends in Denver, I decided I needed a week to catch up with everyone!

During the first part of my journey, I stayed with my friends Lisa, Doug and their children Jacob & Abby who are 10 and 8 respectively, taller than I and better at WII Bowling! Oh well!

My friend Lisa who is an awesome friend and a dedicated mom, has a lot of food challenges. She is gluten, corn and dairy intolerant. So, she offered me a challenge. “What can I cook for myself and my family aside from grilled chicken and steamed broccoli?

Well, I love a food challenge! So I went through my “favorite recipe” repertoire and we chose those that we thought everyone would enjoy. So, off we went to Whole Foods and then back to Lisa’s Kitchen for a day of fun in the kitchen. Oh by the way, my friends don’t like garlic (which breaks this Italian’s heart), the kid’s aren’t big veggie fans and they aren’t very adventurous with herbs, spices or “international cuisine”.  Meat and potatoes are their friends! So with all of that being said, the following is what we prepared.


Pulled Pork


½ box of Imagine Beef broth

3 lbs. boneless pork shoulder

Salt and pepper

Liquid smoke


Put pork in crock pot fat side up.  Generously season with salt and pepper.  Add beef broth.  Then coat the top with the liquid smoke.  Put on hi for 6 - 8 hours.  Put on cutting board and “pull” apart with two forks; discard any obvious fat.  Take juice and put in fridge.  Once coagulated, skim off fat and add the juice back into the pulled pork. 


Cooked Cabbage


1 smaller head of green cabbage

Olive oil

¼ to ½ yellow onion diced

1 potato diced

2 slices bacon diced



Cut cabbage in quarters and peel off leaves.  Wash and drain in colander.  Take large stock pot and coat bottom with olive oil.  Coarsely chop the bacon and add to olive oil till sizzling.  Add onion and potato.  Cook till bacon is cooked but  not crispy.  Add 24 cups warm water and salt very generously.  Soft boil until everything is cooked through but not too soft! 


“Pesto” Sauce


4-6 C. fresh spinach

½ - ¾ C walnuts

¼ - ½ C green onions, sliced

½ - ¾ C olive oil

Salt and garlic or garlic powder to taste


Put in a blender till smooth.


Stuffed Pork Chops


Thick cut, boneless pork chops

Whole onion



Chile powder, cumin and salt


Preheat oven to 350.  Slit the porkchop at the end and create a deep pocket.  Apply the rub on both sides (you can put the rub on a plate to make it easier).  Spoon in the above pesto (about a teaspoon) and toothpick close the end.  Take fry pan, add olive oil and add sliced onions till soft.  Add pork chops and brown. Put onion and pork chops in a baking dish, top with a little pesto and bake covered for 20 minutes.


Baked Fish


Light white fish filets (flounder, orange roughy, tilapia)

Olive oil

Zest of orange/zest of lemon

Juice of the orange and juice of the lemon

Salt and pepper


Take a baking pyrex and spray with cooking spray.  Lay fish in bottom and drizzle with olive oil.  Top with juice of lemon and orange and zest then top with salt and pepper.  Bake in a 400 degree oven.  Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.


For salsa on top:

Dice avocado and mango and add a little olive oil and salt


Asian Short Ribs


8 beef short ribs

2 cans light coconut milk

Heaping teaspoon red curry paste

Juice of ½ lime

1 t. tamari sauce

½ onion

2 whole green onions

1 t. xylitol


Generously salt and pepper ribs on both sides and sear on stovetop in olive oil.  Put in crock pot.  In same fry pan, add onions and sautee till translucent.  Add coconut milk and curry paste and simmer till comes to a boil.  Add lime juice, xylitol and tamari.  Put mixture over ribs and cook on low in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours.



last edited on July 4th, 2010 at 5:27 PM


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