Home rendered lard
I have a confession to make. My lard didn’t come out pure white. “Oh no!” you’re thinking, “I expected so much more from you!” Well, maybe you weren’t thinking that, but I was thinking it about myself. I know what went wrong, so I hope you will still trust my tips on rendering your own lard. I blame it on my 11-year-old slow cooker. It has been cooking too hot lately and I vowed to replace it soon. But we ran out of lard and I decided it was time to make it again, overheating slow cooker be darned! The result was lard with a yellow tint and porky flavor. Fat that has been cooked more gently renders into white lard with little flavor, which is perfect for baking. The more flavorful and colorful lard will still be excellent for savory applications, but will lend a pork flavor to everything.
Kick up your salad a notch
Growing up, my parents served a garden salad with every dinner. It usually had lettuce, carrots, and miscellaneous other veggies. It was fine. Even good. But I got bored. I rebelled against the salad for many years after leaving home, focusing on other types of vegetable preparations. Recently, I’ve fallen in love with salad all over again. It started with a beautiful head of green leaf lettuce I bought at my local farm club. It tasted so fresh, crispy, and bright. Combined with fermented carrots and my homemade mix-and-match dressing, it was truly delicious. We planted a lot of greens in our garden this year, as well as in the Aerogarden. Now we have enough to harvest fresh garden salads a few times a week.
I came up with a list of ideas for making a scrumptious salad on the fly. Start with a head of fresh lettuce, spinach, or one of those super convenient salad mix bags. Then add in one or more from the list, and walla! Better than most salads you get in a restaurant.
Almond baked flounder
You know you should be eating more fish, right? This recipe is mild, easy, and delicious. I used flounder but you can use any thin fish fillets. I’ve always loved fish coated with nuts, but it’s a little labor intensive and sometimes the coating doesn’t stick. This recipe eliminates those issues by simply sprinkling the nuts on the fish before serving. Simple fix. I don’t know why I never thought of it.
Did you know that if you mix chia seeds with liquid they will gel and turn into a pudding-like substance? I capitalized on this to make a tasty, hearty breakfast pudding that fits within the Whole 30 diet. It can be made with any kind of fruit added. Bananas are my favorite so far, with blueberries a close second. The texture of banana works well with the texture of the pudding. This pudding is enjoyable to eat with its funny consistency and it fills me up for a long time.
This orange and avocado salad is fantastic. The flavors combine in a special way. The bite of the jalapeño and shallot bounces perfectly off the sweetness of the orange and richness of the avocado. I need more of this in my life. I already have plans to buy the ingredients so I can make it again, very soon. This recipe is Whole 30, paleo, and low carb friendly. But you don’t have to be on a diet to appreciate it. It’s super yummy.
This is my favorite collard greens recipe. The blend of spices with the ground meat (lamb or beef- both work well), tomatoes, and collards is an adventure for the taste buds. I find heavily spiced dishes like this invigorating and satisfying. I made this for our first dinner on the Whole30 diet. It is free of grains, dairy, added sugar, and legumes. It is wholesome, filling, and delicious. I’ve already enjoyed eating leftovers twice for lunch.
We got the fantastic Aerogarden last year as a gift. It’s a hydroponic garden with a digital display that tells you when to add fertilizer and water. The lights are programmed to go on and off on a daily cycle. It’s about as easy as gardening can be. Ours was meant for herbs, and came with a bunch of little pre-seeded pods that we inserted. We’ve been growing the same set of herbs for about 9 months now. We started with two kinds of basil, mint, parsley, chives, and cilantro. The chives never sprouted and the cilantro finished a few months ago. The basil, mint, and parsley are still going strong. We can hardly keep up! We’re always looking for ways to use the abundance of herbs.
Shrimp & Zoodles with Marinara
I was never a fan of zucchini until I tried zoodles. I received a Vegetti as a gift, and my whole family giggled about the name of the device for days. I initially tried the Vegetti with cucumber, but it didn’t work well. I knew I would have to try zucchini, so I reluctantly looked up some recipes. Now I’m a total convert. This zoodles and marinara recipe has become a summer staple for us.
Sweet potato egg hash
You guys, this is so easy and so good. It’s just grated sweet potatoes, eggs, and spices. It comes together very quickly. I even left the clock on my stove in the photos as evidence. I started at 6:10 and we were eating by 6:30. This is my go-to meal for when I need something fast without having to think too much—i.e., after zumba! It uses one pan. We always have the ingredients on hand. Most importantly, it is delicious and filling.
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.