White Kimchi

White Kimchi

Oh do I love kimchi. Traditional kimchi is a bright red, spicy fermented cabbage that often includes other vegetables. Fermented veggies (for most) are really good for a healthy gut. The fermentation creates good bacteria. Being paleo, we are all about the kraut, kombucha, and kimchi. However, I have recently discovered a terrible sensitivity to nightshades. Plants such as peppers, tomatoes, and white potatoes are big no-no’s. Maangchi on YouTube showed me how to do a white kimchi. I love her version as is and have made it before. I’ll leave the link below for you to check out. But…I went out on a limb and decided to do what I do best….Yep….Made it up…Are you guys surprised?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Young Bok Choy, or Nappa Cabbage (I used the baby bok choy fresh from my Asian Market.)
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Green Onions (I like onions…Feel free to leave out or choose one or the other.)
  • Daikon Radish
  • Medjool Dates, Pitted, and Softened till Sticky (Soak about 10 minutes in warm water.)
  • Sunflower Seeds (Leave out for AIP Friendly version. I have successfully reintroduced these so far.)
  • 2-3 Bosc Pears or 1 Large Korean Pear
  • 2-5 Garlic Cloves (Depending on size and your love of garlic.)
  • 1 inch Ginger, Minced/Grated
  • Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 3 Cups of Water
  • Jars for storage
  • Cloth, Cheesecloth, Nut Milk Bag

This may take some time to accomplish, but your patience is greatly rewarded. First, prep all of your vegetables. I cut mine into bite size pieces. I bought some spicy kimchi a while back that they had packed down into a container. It was so nice to be able to fit a piece in my mouth and not have to pull out and cut it up. Less mess.

Salt your vegetables. Mix and turn them every hour and a half. You can leave this in the fridge overnight if need be. (I started mine a little late.) Pour out the water when you are done. You really only need to let them sit salted for up to 2 to 3 hours.

Mix all of your vegetables together in 1 large bowl. Add the chopped up dates and sunflower seeds and mix. Set aside.

To make the brine add 3 cups of water to a very large bowl. Add the pears, garlic, half an onion, and ginger into a food processor. Process into a paste. Add to nut milk bag or cloth. You can see mine below. I happened to do this at Easter…I thought it was so cute that it looked like a wee rabbit. Allow the water to soak up the lovely flavor for about an hour. Press the little pouch to let all the good flavor seep through.

White Kimchi Brine

Add your vegetables to a container. I used glass mason jars because I try to avoid plastic as much as I can. Do not fill it completely full. Leave a little room. Add the brine and make sure the vegetables are covered. Some people do put a weight on top to keep the kimchi below the surface of the brine.

Let this sit on your counter 1 to 2 day to ferment, then place in your fridge. Feel free to taste as it sits. When it’s the desired flavor you like throw it in the fridge and eat away. What does this go good with? Many Asian dishes including the Grilled Asian Pork Chops that I posted a few days ago. Fermenting vegetables can seem really scary at first, but it is rather easy once you learn and practice.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. To check out Maanchi’s version you can follow this link: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXtZz4_7yIw). I have one more, really awesome Paleo Recipe to share with you for a very veggie and fruity Sweet and Sour sauce that goes great on just about everything and is AIP Friendly! I hope you’ll come back next time and check it out. I’m sending good gut health from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours.

-Ami M. Lee, Vegetable Fermenting, Asian Food Lover, Common Sense Cook

A Month in Review – January

January wasn’t a very active month here on the blog for me. It’s been a big, stressful month.

On January 5th I started the AIP or Autoimmune Protocol. It’s a version of Paleo that eliminates some added foods to see if there are any remaining sensitivities. It’s not forever…and it’s a lot more complicated than I can go into in one post…If you do want more information seek out great sources like “The Paleo Mom” and “AutoImmune Paleo” and many great others. I did pretty well but found I am very sensitive to nuts and tomatoes so far.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

I think my favorite recipe this month was the Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage. That may be me being a little nostalgic, but it turned out truly delicious.

aunt linda

Unfortunately though, on January 31st, I was on my way to see my Aunt Linda for what would probably be the last time and she passed away before I got to her. I carried around a lot of guilt. I was so deeply sad and depressed. I miss her so much that it hurts sometimes. She was like my second mom and is one of the best cooks in the family. I can remember from a young age sitting across her bar from her while she peeled potatoes, tomatoes, and other vegetables. She was the only one that could get me to eat Spaghetti when I was little. I always remember well done sausage and gravy. Of course, But, I think I’ll most remember her Goulash and her Beans and Cornbread with Fried Taters.

I also fell off my diet. Today is the first day I’ve not gone without something with gluten in it. Which is really bad because I am ultra sensitive to gluten. I’ve been in a lot of pain physically and emotionally. I think as my heart starts to heal, I will make my way back to my diet. Although, there was a valuable lesson. I can’t eat conventionally. Too much pain. So that question of not stressing about the AIP and just eating conventionally is no longer an option.

But, what’s great for you guys is that I have a very long back log/list of recipes that I want to review, review the books, or to tell you what I made up.

I hope you guys can understand why I’ve been a little absent and not as active. I tried to put a good faith effort out there to keep trying to put up a recipe up when I was well enough. There is a Manic Monday post up and I hope I’ll be back on Wednesday to give you another great recipe and get back to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday Schedule.

My 3 Baby Yogis

What can you look forward to here?

I asked my kiddos what they’d like to make if I’d teach them how to cook something. So far Madison wants to make strawberry pie, Mark wants to make pancakes, and Rylan is undecided. I think it’ll be a great way to showcase how different my kiddos are, and how Paleo has really helped them and that it is so very possible to have happy, healthy, Paleo kids.

I’m always experimenting so you know I’ll figure something out. Always learning, always growing. I even made a meatloaf in my pressure cooker!? (My first book may turn out to be 101 ways to cook a Meatloaf!) I definitely want to talk more on my new pressure cooker that I received as a gift at Christmas. Hands down, I think everyone should own one!

So….Come on back next time and see what I come up with next. I’m looking forward to a happier and healthier year and hope you wonderful people are doing great so far too!

-Ami M. Lee, Big Momma, Missin’ some good ole’ Southern Cookin’, Common Sense Cook

Gordon Asian Soup

I really have no clue what to call this! I was watching Gordon’s Great Escapes, where famous chef Gordon Ramsay goes to foreign countries to eat and learn how to cook their national cuisine. I’ve watched India, Thailand, and Cambodia so far. I have been feeling pretty down, diet wise, because I’ve had some issues giving up nuts while on AIP (the AutoImmune Protocol). I think subconsciously I’ve been searching for some inspiration, since I’ve been doing a lot of cooking other people’s recipes. I have so many recipe reviews coming up…But I love doing what I do best…Making stuff up!

I wanted some soup. Soup is a big deal when you’re AIP. Bone broth is supposed to be great for helping to heal the gut. However, I am not the kind of person who can just drink a cup-O-broth for breakfast. I think it’s a texture issue. So…I decided to make an inspired, Asian’ee soup. What hit me that Gordon said was, if you want to eat healthy, throw away your fridge and cook fresh! Not that I’m throwing Jacque away (my fridge’s name…Julia is my stove and Gordon is my Crock Pot). But here we go!

Here’s what I threw together in a pot (This is a serving for 1 person.):

  • 2 Cups of Bone Broth (I used turkey bone broth.)
  • 1/2 Cup Filtered Water
  • 3 shakes of Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 1 piece of Lemon Grass
  • 1 Green Onion
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger (I used dried/powdered, because it’s what I had on hand. Fresh will be stronger so use your best judgement.)
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 Piece of thinly sliced beef (I used a piece of beef already cut very thinly and used a pair of scissors to cut into thin strips.)
  • A few drops of fresh squeezed Lemon Juice

Gordon Asian Soup Broth

Add everything except the beef and lemon juice into a sauce pan. Scissors must be the ultimate kitchen hack for me. I cut the lemon grass in a few pieces, cut the green onion into small pieces, and you can use it to prep your beef. Use a hand held microplane for garlic and fresh ginger if you have it. Let the broth come up to a boil.

Ready for the hard part? Add the beef…stir it until the beef is no longer pink. This may take 10 minutes or less. Definitely let it come back to a boil. Turn it off. Ladle it into a bowl. Sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice over your bowl.

Let me tell you why I’m staying up late to blog this….I was down right amazed with this! I actually tipped my bowl up and drank the broth! It took me a minute to figure out to add the lemon juice, but it made this just perfect to me! I don’t know if there is a specific culinary dish that is like this. If you know, leave me a comment! I’d love to know what to call this other than Gordon Soup. ^__^

Another great thing about this soup is that it is AutoImmune Protocol friendly!! Wah-ha! The broth even seemed a 3/3 kiddo approval in initial taste testing. I think this was so easy that I could be half asleep in the morning and make this for breakfast. I hope this will inspire you to go in your kitchen and whip some up.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Make sure you come back next time. You never know where the train of inspiration will take us next.

-Ami M. Lee, Inspired, Food Traveling, The Common Sense Cook

Julia Child’s Whole Chicken Poached in White Wine

Julia's White Wine Poached Chicken

Yesterday was a tough day. I ended up with a migraine and had to take a long nap that frankly, I didn’t want to wake up from. I’m sure many of you know how that feels. I tried some ginger tea, tried some headache yoga (From Yoga With Adriene on YouTube) and I was just feeling icky. Supper time rolls around and I feel it coming. That time when I normally give in and ask to get something quick. Yes! I’m guilty of the fast food trap. Thankfully, that is something I’ve been thoroughly working on and it’s cut our fast food in take from once every other week, to on rare occasions and I don’t participate. So what to do!? I knew I had seen a recipe where Julia and Jacque put a whole chicken in a pot and boiled it. Off, once again, to YouTube I go!

Ingredients for Whole Chicken Poached in White Wine

Here’s what you’ll need to set this chicken up right:

  • 1 Whole Chicken (I find great deals on Whole, Organic Chickens at Krogers. Simple Truth Brand.)
  • 2 or 3 Carrots, peeled
  • 2 or 3 Pieces Celery
  • 1 Roughly Chopped Onion
  • Herbs (I used some left over sage from Thanksgiving. Rosemary, Basil, and Parsley.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 Bottle of White Wine (Use something you’ll drink! I used Cupcake Chardonnay.)
  • Plenty of water

Whole Chicken Poached in White Wine

Bring out your biggest soup pot. Remove the giblets and plastic from your chicken. Set the giblets aside and look out for my chicken giblet gravy recipe. Throw that baby in your pot. I just set mine on the counter next to my cutting board so I could just throw everything in as I went.

Peel your carrots and celery. Yes, the celery too. If you can take off one layer of the celery, it’s a little more edible in texture. Cut the onion into a couple pieces. Halves or quarters works fine.

Add your herbs. Use whatever you have on hand. Fresh or dried. I’ll list the video below so you can see what Julia and Jacque did for their herb bundle if you want to follow the original. Make sure and add some salt and pepper.

Pour in your white wine. I just eye balled it; half the bottle…ish. I am never opposed to taking a sip or two so that I know how it tastes. One thing that Julia preaches, is knowing how the food should taste. Also, Gordon Ramsay says, taste, taste, taste! Do you need any more excuses? I could probably think of a few more. 🙂

Bring everything up to a good rolling boil. Turn it down so it doesn’t over flow…It was about Med – 5 on my cook top. This keeps it bubbling, but not over flowing. Do this for 20 minutes then turn it down to Low-Simmer for 45 minutes with a lid on top. The chicken, when fully cooked, should reach 165 degrees. Check out this great resource I found http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html

I peeled some potatoes, boiled them like usual. I have a recipe for Mashed Potatoes two ways that was posted before Thanksgiving. I added some of the chicken broth from the chicken and some grass fed butter. It whipped up just like conventional potatoes! It was so good with the chicken gravy, I may have had a small saucer plate for seconds. Cut up your carrots, celery, and onions on the side and you’re good to go. This was well received well by all 3 of my kiddos!

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I was pretty impressed at how easy this was and how simply delicious it turned out. Make sure and come back for that Chicken Giblet Gravy recipe. It is different than the Giblet Gravy recipe already posted and frankly, I like the Chicken one better. If you try it out, feel free to come by the Facebook page and share pictures!

-Ami M. Lee, Julia Child Loving, Cooking with Wine Lover, Common Sense Cook

P.S. Here’s the link to the YouTube video. You can skip to 24:45 in the Video because there are two episodes per video.

P.P.S. Don’t throw away the chicken carcass! Make bone broth! Waste nothing! 🙂

Mashed Potatoes – Two Ways

I know that potatoes do not have the best reputation with most paleos. In fact, potatoes may not be tolerated by everyone because it is a member of the nightshade families. (Look at this easy to read, informative post from The Paleo Mom: http://www.thepaleomom.com/2013/08/what-are-nightshades.html)

But, for those of you with me on the potato bandwagon, I wanted to tell you how I like to paleofy my potatoes to be dairy and gluten free. Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be complete here, without a big pile of potatoes and gravy. In case you missed it or are a new subscriber (thank you!<3), then check out the Giblet Gravy post so you can use all those yummy bits they send in the turkey. Don’t throw them out and don’t be afraid.

Here’s what you’ll need for potatoes two ways:

  • 2 – 3 Pounds, potatoes of your choice (I like yukon golds and plain ole sweet potatoes.)
  • Stock of your choice (I use mushroom or gluten free beef broth is pretty great too.)
  • Salt and Pepper to your choice
  • Butter (If you tolerate it. Grass fed butter is much better tolerated in our family than conventional.)

Peel your potatoes and rinse the dirt away. I’ve never really seen the point of washing them before hand because I always end up washing them again. It’s Thanksgiving. Save yourself the trouble. Peel and then rinse them off. Chop them up. If you’re doing a large amount at one time, I like to chop them then put them in a very large bowl.

Salt your water and bring it to a boil. You can add the potatoes before it starts to boil, just make sure the potatoes come up to a boil then turn them down to about medium heat. If it starts to bubble over, turn it down. I’ve mentioned a few times, my glass top seems to retain heat for a long time, which keeps me continually turning things down. I’ve even fried things on a two a few batches in! Set your timer for about 30 minutes. Check them frequently. If you can slide a knife through and it slips right back off (careful don’t splash yourself, I usually hold the cooking spoon under the piece I’m trying.) then it is ready.

Drain the water with a colander and return the potatoes to the pot. Take a whisk and start mashing the potatoes into little pieces. If they’re still hard and difficult to mash, you didn’t cook it long enough. It’s okay…I just did that the other night. Just make a smash potato instead of whipped, mashed.

Add the broth to your liking. I probably on average use between 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. Remember, as Emeril Lagasse says, you can always add more, but you can never take more out. Whip it around, add salt and pepper. Do this when it’s hot and it should look like mashed potatoes. I used to use an electric cake mixer to do whipped potatoes that are pretty great, but this gives a good chunky, country style, mashed potato.

You can do the same thing with white or orange sweet potatoes. If you really want to spice up some orange potatoes you can add red bell peppers, crushed bay leaf, and use beef stock. Throw them in a lovely serving bowl and you are good to go. I did see Jacque on Jacque & Julia put his in what looked like deep ceramic, maybe souffle cookware in a deep, wide pan of hot water to keep them warm.

I hope you enjoy this hearty side dish made paleo. Giving up dairy and gluten can seem hard on the holidays, but that shouldn’t keep you for enjoying your old favorites, with new ingredient comrades. I’m sending you paleo alternatives from my kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back tomorrow for two recipes! I’ll be doing a Manic Monday combined with a recipe review for Pumpkin Pie Smoothie…You won’t want to miss this! Of course, I’ll also be bringing you the star of Thanksgiving! My paleofied Julia Turkey.

-Ami M. Lee, The Potato Mashing, Common Sense Cook

Recipe Review – Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Muffins

I think it is common knowledge that paleo baking is difficult, and does not often turn out like the baked goods we grew up with. I have made a few different recipes and nothing has turned out quite right. This recipe from Paleo OMG will definitely be one that I love and will make again. I’ve read a few of her recipes, and I rather love her sense of humor. It’s not every day that you find someone with the same weird sense of humor as yourself. I find that most of the people I like to follow are those who I can imagine sitting at my counter, sipping a glass of wine, sharing the recipe and gabbing about food.

Here’s what you’ll need for these awesome muffins:

  • 3 bananas, mashed with a fork
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Smooth Almond Butter (I used peanut butter because a certain kid of mine ate all of the almond butter.)
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Chips.)

I firmly believe in following the instructions with baking so here are her exact instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add eggs, maple syrup, almond butter, and vanilla extract and mix together.
  3. Then add coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda and powder and a pinch of salt and mix well.
  4. Lastly, fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop batter into 9 cups of a silicone muffin pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool before removing from silicone pan.

I mean, come on girl! It’s so easy! I did exactly as it said. My bananas were a little unripe, but they worked. I actually used good quality maple syrup. And, as my note above mentioned, I had to use peanut butter because my youngest decided he was too hungry to wake up mommy and wait for breakfast. He took it upon himself, and his fork, to the fridge to scrape together the last of the almond butter. Which, is okay, because it’s a good lesson that we can’t be paleo perfectionists all of the time. I did use cupcake liners for the muffin pan, then put the rest of it in a pie pan. I didn’t use a silicone pan, but it sounds like a pretty awesome idea to consider in the future.

My children loved them and so did I! I think this will be a great celebration cake, by putting it in the 8″ pie pan. It actually had a cake like texture. The chocolate added depth, and the walnuts enhanced the texture. I think it really helped in my experiment of failed muffin attempts. Here’s the link to the original recipe: http://paleomg.com/banana-nut-chocolate-chip-muffins/ I hope you’ll check her out and try out this recipe. Her newsletter is pretty great too!

I hope you enjoy Juli’s recipe. I hope you’ll come back next time to see what yummy, paleo recipes I’ll try, and share next. It seems only common sense to share these amazing bloggers; from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Asian Inspired Meatballs

Asian Inspired Meatballs 2

I don’t think that you will just like these meatballs. I think you will LOVE them! Why? My husband, the pickiest person I know, really, really likes them! Liked them so much he asked me to make them again tonight! For some reason, one night on the edge of the budget, I was trying to figure out what to make that was cheap, yummy, and easy. My broiler has recently become my bff in the kitchen, so away I went. I took the sauce recipe from ‘A Korean Supper’ that I had paleofied from Maangchi on YouTube (link in other blog post).

Here’s what you’ll need for these ultimate Asian Meatballs:

  • 5 large Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Green Onion (Separate the white part from the green part.)
  • 2 tablespoons Soy Sauce GF Alternative (Such as Tamari or Coconut Aminos)
  • 1 tbsp cooking wine (miram) -or- Just use water.
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey (Use local if you can!)
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • Ground Pork (I used ground turkey but it turned out very dry! If you can’t find ground pork, buy some cutlets that are similar to cubed steak ((only it’s pork)) and throw it in a high power Ninja Blender until it’s more squishy and mold-able.)

Add all of the sauce ingredients (everything but the pork) into a small food processor and send it for a whirl! When it is well combined, it’s ready. Roll your ground meat into a 1 1/2 to 2 inch ball and put in a glass baking dish. Drizzle the sauce over the meatballs but make sure to save some for when it needs flipped. I did try this on a baking cookie sheet, but the sauce burnt and did not work as well. The glass pan held the juices from the meatballs.

Set your broiler to high. Depending on how hot and fast you like to cook, you might turn it on low and keep an eye on it. I set my first batch for 10 minutes and then turned them. Sometimes, depending on the quality of the meat, it ended up just a bit dry, so I say drop it down to 7 minutes to be safe. Then turn them over, pour some more sauce over the meatballs to baste them then stick them back in for 7 more minutes. Make sure they’re cooked through. If not, turn the oven off. It should be hot enough to keep cooking, but set a timer. I can’t stress this enough…Set a timer! Let it just set in there for a few more minutes and it should be fine.

If you’re not paleo, throw this on some rice like my husband likes! If you are paleo and are better at cauliflower rice than I am, go for it! On the previous blog post ‘A Korean Supper’ there is a lovely recipe, paleofied Cold Cucumber Soup that is very delicious and goes well with this meal.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I think it’d be a great arsenal to have for guests, and they don’t even have to know it’s paleo! I’m sending you easy, paleo Asian Inspirations from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back next time and see what this Common Sense Cook and her bff the broiler come up with next.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Throw Together Stir-Fry

All too often I find myself standing in the fridge wondering what in the world I’ll make for myself for lunch. It’s easy to give the kiddos a piece of gluten free bread, jam, and almond butter and their fruit of choice. However…I need a little more than that. Not that I don’t mind making a full meal for all of us sometimes…just other days it’s what we have.
So before me sits a lidded casserole dish full of a pre-cooked chicken I had cooked and pulled apart. It’s occasions such as this that I keep some cooked chicken laying around in the fridge. Originally, I was just going to cook some onions (that I have been craving like madness lately), and some of the chicken. But…being paleo… We’re looking for nutrient density too. Yes…that means some veggies. I had some frozen veggies in the freezer perfect for a stir-fry.
So here’s what you’ll need to throw together:
⦁ Cut up Chicken (If you make from fresh some chicken breast would work fine.)
⦁ Green Giant Antioxidant Blend Frozen Veggies (In your favorite grocer’s freezer section.)
⦁ Half of an Onion (Cut it however you want. I had pre-minced an onion earlier this morning and threw it in.)
⦁ Olive Oil
⦁ Sesame Oil
⦁ Liquid Aminos, Coconut Aminos, or Tamari (If you aren’t GF, then plain ole soy sauce would work.)
If you have all of these things on hand…this is a piece of cake. Cooking with all fresh ingredients, of course, will be even more delicious. If you have everything fresh just make sure all of your veggies are cut up and well cooked, your meat is cooked, and then follow the directions to follow.
If you used the frozen veggies, cook according to the instructions on the package before you start so that they can be ready when you need them. If they’re done early, simply set them in a bowl on the side.
Add a good swirl of olive oil to a deep pan. Let it heat up on medium high. The onions should sizzle as soon as they hit the oil. Cook them until they are soft. Add the cooked veggies in. (You could do this all at the same time if cooking from fresh.) Add the meat of your choice. (You could use any meat you have.) After it is hot and well blended add a light swirl of sesame oil and a few dashes of liquid aminos. Stir well, then put on a plate. Enjoy! This can be made for as many or as few people as you need.
I hope you enjoy this really fast recipe that would be great for a quick lunch or supper. Rice is a paleo gray area because it’s nutritionally pointless and isn’t necessarily bad or good for the body. If you’re not paleo and want rice? Go on with your bad self my friend! I’m sending you yumminess in a jiffy from my (Paleo Parenthese Filled) Common Sense Kitchen, to yours. We’ll see you back, same paleo time, same paleo blog. You never know what this busy mom and Common Sense cook will throw together next!
Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Manic Monday – A New Way to Do Souvlaki

Souvlaki Before and After Souvlaki in the Crock Pot

One of the first recipes I wrote for the blog and the food column in our local paper was Souvlaki (Blog title: Inspiration for Greek Food). Ever since I first made this dish with a friend, I have been hooked. I make this 2 to 3 times a month and with the update on this recipe, it may go up! The flavor is enhanced and it is so delicious. I am truly excited to make this dish more accessible to more people. Throw this in your crock pot in the morning and by supper time you’ll be in heaven.

Here’s what you’ll need for this Greek dish:

  • Country Style Pork Ribs (I think next time I’ll buy two packages.)
  • 1 Bottle of Red Cooking Wine (We’re in a dry county, so if you can get wine, use something you would drink!)
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Dill (Seriously, if you can, don’t use dried. Dill is so much more amazing fresh.)
  • Fresh Garlic (Add to your liking. I added 5 small cloves to finish off an old clove.)
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Onion, Sliced
  • Salt and Pepper

Throw in your ribs and crack some salt and pepper over them. Add the wine. They do not have to be completely immersed, but get it close to the top. Add all of the seasonings, onion, and the juice of the lemon.

Let this cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or low for 6 to 8. I did mine on high for 4 hours and low for the last two. The longer it cooked, the softer and more delicious it became. I whipped up some mashed potatoes and used full fat coconut milk instead of regular cow’s milk. It did not leave a coconut flavor as you would think. The juice from the pork made a lovely gravy. The after picture above was after the 4 hours. It was very yummy then, so if you forget, or put it on at lunch, no worries! The plated picture was about 7 or 8 hours.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I encourage all of you to play around with the way you cook a recipe. The only wrong way to cook, is to not cook at all. 🙂 I’m sending you the yummiest smelling house, from my kitchen to yours. I hope you’ll come back next time to see what this Common Sense Cook will throw in that crock pot next.

Happy Cooking.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

Common Sense Philosophies – Find Inspiration

The Best People, Julia Child

When you’re starting your cooking journey, whether you are going to culinary school or a young kid learning how to fend for yourself, you need inspiration. I encourage you to start with one televised chef. Some of my favorites are Gordon Ramsay, Emeril Lagasse, Lydia Bastianich, and of course, the mother of all cooking inspiration, Julia Child. You can find many of these wonderful people on YouTube. Go watch and study them. Get lost for hours in their personality and passion.

The reason I started cooking was because I wanted to cook healthier food. I started with organic food after researching conventional vs. organic for a college research paper. I fell in love with watching shows on cooking. I watched Ming Tsai and Lydia Bastianich on the create network. I had a friend that was a trained cook. I often picked his brain on technique and quality of ingredients.

Since coming home in August my cooking has been my salvation and therapy. Not being able to cook for four months was down right torture. You could say I’m probably compensating for lost time. But, I have discovered the deepest love for Julia Child. Even though she isn’t gluten free or paleo like my family, the principles of using quality ingredients and cooking at home are timeless wisdom that anyone can adhere to.

You may pick up a new, interesting vegetable at the farmer’s market. I did this a while back with butternut squash. Trust me…now I’ve found excuses to buy it! Or, take a cue from your family. Look at your successes and failures. Never give up on a recipe. Don’t be afraid to take an idea and run with it. Last night I took the idea from the Korean Supper Chicken and used it to make meatballs. My husband tried it and loved them! I nearly cried, I was so happy that he liked them and he suggested some rice (which isn’t paleo, but okay), and some ginger dressing.

So this Common Sense cook takes inspiration from many places, but most of all I use a little common sense…who knew, right? I learn many of my techniques from watching those who are far more experienced than I am.

Go out there and get excited, get inspired and know that you are doing something amazing for your family. You can always come back here or on the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/commonsensecook) and I’ll be there to cheer you on.

I’m sending you inspiration and Common Sense Philosophies from my kitchen to yours. I can’t wait to write to you guys again. Peace, Love, and Happy Cooking, and Bon Appetit.

-Ami M. Lee, The Common Sense Cook

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