This is a decadent dinner and can stretch – we found the fattiness of the pork meant we didn’t need a huge hunk for dinner. I expect this piece we did to last 4-5 servings, depending on what else we do with it.
gluten-free, paleo, keto
Air Fryer Pork Belly
500-600g pork belly
2 Tbsp rice vinegar, divided
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice (or any 5-spice kind of situation, really – I think mine isn’t strictly Chinese, but that is what I was going for)
Salt & pepper
Score the skin of your pork belly about every half inch or so.
Add to a shallow dish (I used one of my largest Tupperware). Sprinkle with half the rice vinegar and dust with the 5-spice. Add some pepper.
Flip, pat the skin dry and let sit uncovered in the fridge 4 hours to overnight.
Preheat your air fryer to 180C.
Flip the pork belly again, sprinkle with the rest of the vinegar and add a healthy amount of chunky salt.
Put on tinfoil, and fold/tuck the sides up to make a little tray.
Add to your air fryer and cook :45 – 1 hour.
Note: This may cause life to become smoky. I smoked the house out and have no idea why; the fat didn’t leak and nothing was burned.
Either way, brush the salt off the top.
If your life is smoky, finish off in the oven at 400 until the skin cracks.
If you managed to avoid such drama, crank the air fryer up to 400 and do the same. This should take 5 – 10 mins.
Enjoy! We have eaten this as-is alongside some parsnips one night and drizzled with a little sweet soy the next. I’m scheming a jammy wine sauce for a third night.
These baby meatballs are inspired by a Moroccan meatball dish I heard about somewhere on YouTube and are delicious. I’ve eaten them as-is, with chunky potato, topped with a fried egg, and alongside parsnips. All versions were great.
1 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp grated onion
2 Tbsp minced onion
3 Tbsp parsley, minced
3 Tbsp cilantro, minced
1.5 tsp sweet paprika
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
Mix together and roll into tiny big marble sized balls. Ish. Try to go for smaller than a ping pong ball if possible. Set aside while you make the sauce.
For the sauce:
350g jar plain tomato sauce or marinara
1/2 onion, chopped pretty fine
1 bell pepper, chopped pretty fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped pretty fine
1 chili pepper, chopped pretty fine
2 Tbsp cilantro, minced
2 Tbsp parsley, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp oil
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the peppers, onion, chili and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent.
Add the cilantro, parsley, oregano, pepper, salt, paprika and cumin and let meld until the spices bloom and become fragrant.
Add the tomato sauce and half a can of water if the mix looks like it may be too dry.
Let simmer 10 – 15 minutes or until the volume reduces back down to half.
Add your meatballs in a single layer and sauté 10 – 15 minutes, covered.
Serve with olives, eggs, whatever tubers you have lying around, polenta or cous cous.
Here I am with another weird one, this time from Sudan. This dish sounds bizarre, but is actually quite tasty and filling. I ended up eating half for lunch one day as pictured, and spread the other half over some thinly sliced deli roast beef in a sandwich with mayo the second day. Ah-may-zing. I will have to make this again!
gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan
Peanut Butter Onion Salad Toast
1 small red onion, sliced wafer thin
2 Tbsp no sugar added peanut butter – crunchy is great here
1-2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Add your thinly sliced onion to a bowl and cover with cold water. Massage with a generous pinch salt and let soak 20 minutes.
Drain well and add to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well to combine.
This recipe started life as a roasted Kabocha cake sent in a newsletter by Aran Goyoaga from Cannelle et Vanille and ran rampant from there. That cake was fabulous, but with the amount of sweet things I made for the rest of Thanksgiving (I went for maple pecan as the theme) and the amount of leftovers I still had – I couldn’t handle the sweet for days on end for breakfast.
So I tinkered.
Now, I don’t bake. I hate baking. I’m not a “rules” person and don’t have a clue what ratios are proper in baking to make things work. Super not confident there, but I decided to charge ahead anyways with my newfound beginners luck (I heavily modified the recipe the first time I made it because of fancy thickeners and the like I couldn’t find here either at all or for under a Kings ransom).
I boldly went. Aaaaaaaaaand attempt 1 was gar-baage. Too much baking soda(?) Cornstarch(?) One bite absolutely killed my palate and made all things taste like weird basic metals for like half the day. Oops.
Attempt 2 was much more successful, despite the fact that I think I overcooked mine a bit. The taste is good, but I would caution with this bread to cook until just set for a moist cake like texture. Mine ended up still moist – mostly – but also crumbly around the edges and kinda dry.
I may do a version 4 with applesauce and more oats if I ever actually figure out what I’m doing.
Less Sweet Pumpkin Oat Bread
1 c roasted or canned pumpkin (I used roasted butternut squash in 2 versions and canned pumpkin in 1 and think I preferred the butternut)
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c oil (I had grape seed on hand but olive would be much more cost effective)
1 c roasted rice flour (I have no idea if other flours would work – the original recipe called for superfine rice flour and I was surprised to see rice flour is super cheap where I live – check the Indian aisle if you are lucky enough to have one in your grocery)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c rolled oats
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cardamom
Big pinch salt
Preheat your oven to 200C, grease a loaf pan and cut a strip of baking paper long enough to hang over the sides of your pan lengthwise so you have a good handle to lift the cake with.
In a large bowl, mash the orange squash of your choice with the maple syrup, sugar, eggs and oil. Whisk until smooth.
Add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, oats, spices and salt. Whisk together until well incorporated.
Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle with a generous helping pumpkin seeds.
Cover with tinfoil and bake 40 – 50 mins or until just set.
I was super shocked when this side was a huge hit with an International audience this Thanksgiving. I warned everyone that came that I had gotten carried away and spiced things to my taste – but … they still liked it. Aussies, French and Brits alike. 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌
This side wasn’t the star my husband’s bourbon ham was (to be expected) … oooor the Chipotle sweet potatoes I 100% forgot to write any kind of recipe down for – but they were loved. I’ll take the win!
Chinese Mustard Brussels
1.5 lbs brussels sprouts, washed, de-stemmed and quartered
2 Tbsp mustard oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp Chinese mustard
4 Tbsp sesame seeds
4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp red chili flakes
Salt & white pepper
First, prep your Brussels by washing them, cutting off the stem ends and quartering.
Preheat your air fryer on 400 for 3 minutes.
Toss the prepped Brussels with the oils, vinegar, paprika, and generous sprinkles salt & white pepper.
Air fry, tossing a few times, until nicely browned – about 15 mins.
When nice and roasted, toss with the mustard, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast and chili flakes to serve.