Tropical Pork Ribs

What a great Tuesday! All final grades were submitted AND I got to have a food challenge. Normally, cooking a stress reliever for me, but tonight I considered it a celbratory dinner. Joe brought pork ribs, ginger root, and bok choy. He told me that I had an hour and a half and I was not allowed to make a stir fry.

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Our weather recently dropped from 70 to 32 degrees – brrrr! So, I wanted to get back to thinking tropical. I had a can of pineapple rings in my cabinet that I’d been itching to use, so that was the first thing I grabbed. I used the pineapple juice and soy sauce to make a marinade for the pork. I refrigerated it in the marinade for 30 minutes. I put this into the oven at 350 degrees and set a timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I turned the pork, spooned the juices over it again, and cooked it for another 25 minutes.

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While the pork baked, I started a tropical salsa. I used half of a grated ginger root, a few red onion wedges, 1/4 of a cup of frozen edamame that I keep in my refrigerator for a family favorite salad, 4 pineapple rings, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice.

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I used the food processor to turn this into salsa.

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Next, I roughly chopped the bok choy and sauteed it in olive oil. I wasn’t really sure what else to do with it. As I write this blog, I found recipes for braised bok choy or bok choy chicken soup.

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The final step while the pork baked was to grill the remaining pineapple slices. Use high heat to get a nice sear and grill marks on the slices.

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Here is the finished plate!

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There was something missing from the salsa, I just can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’ll keep experimenting. Overall, it gets two, no make that four, thumbs up! It was easy and flavorful!

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The Gina Special

I haven’t had a real food challenge all week thanks to the busy end of the semester craziness. But that is ok. I’ve had plenty of fun making up meals like my paleo crab cakes and asparagus soup and gonig out to eat at places like Doodles.

When I went into the office today, I had a special package hagning on my office door from my sweet friend Gina. She brought me two beautiful butternut squash from her garden. I was immediately inspired and came home to whip something up for the crockpot (and it isn’t even crockpot Wednesday!).

First, I poured coconut milk and red curry paste into the crockpot (leftover from curried chicken and cabbage). I added pickled ginger (leftover from homemade sushi). Finally I added ginger and curry powders.

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Cut the butternut squash and the chicken into bite sized pieces.

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Add the squash and chicken to the crockpot, stir to coat well, and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

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You can serve this over rice, eat it as is, or serve it with a salad. We went with the salad to keep our meal consistent with the Paleo diet. I also liked that the spinach added a little color to the plate. Thanks to Gina for making the Gina special possible!

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Looking for another butternut squash recipe? Check out this cream of butternut squash soup.