Monday, January 28, 2013

Kalua Pig

Ok, a little confession. I've been doing this challenge called Whole30 since January 2nd. If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen some references to it. It's basically eating paleo really strict for 30 days. No dairy, no grains, no sugar, no soy, no processed food. The point of the challenge is to re-set your body, adapt to a healthier way of eating, restore your metabolism, and put an end to unhealthy cravings. I hesitated to talk about it on here because I don't want this blog to be a paleo blog, and more importantly because I've cheated quite a bit throughout the 26 of thirty days I've completed. And there is proof. Exhibit A: Beer Braised Short Ribs with Parsnip Purée - these came pretty close to fitting into the challenge guidelines except for the dairy in the parsnip purée. Exhibit B: Skillet Pizza Party - this was a complete fail as far as the Whole30 challenge goes, but it was such a success in all other areas that I'm giving it a pass. Exhibit C: Bleu Cheese Crusted Buffalo Drumsticks - dairy once again, makes it a no no for the challenge. (I apparently like cheese and dairy, duh. Remember that one time I ate like 1/2 a pound of cheese on my own?)

kalua pig ingredients

Why then am I now bringing up this crazy challenge thing that you probably don't care about? Because I'm on day 26 and despite all my cheats, I feel great! I'm not craving bad food, I'm no longer stress eating, or binging on pizza and bad stuff when I'm hungry and then feeling bloated and awful after and whining that I'm going to die because I ate too much. I eat when I'm hungry, I feel good after, and that's that. I've noticed a change in the way my body looks as well, which is always a good thing. Hey there were abs hiding under that layer of stomach fat! But overall, I just feel like the food I eat is good for me and makes me feel good.

Hawaiian Sea Salt

BUT, before you start clicking unsubscribe, let me be clear. I'm not making this blog a Paleo blog, I believe in moderation and like to eat that way. I love to try out new recipes of all kinds. Desserts full of sugar included! I just wanted to share my experience with you since it affects my daily life and the things I've been cooking. I love a good challenge and I'm always interested in learning about how food affects my body and how to make my relationship with food the best it can be. Sounds cheesy, I know, so let me get to the point - I have two great Super Bowl recipes for you this week and both are Paleo (and as far as I know Whole30 friendly*)!

Hawaiian Sea Salt

The first of these recipes is Kalua Pig. My mother in law gave me this recipe, oh, about two years ago. It took me a while to get to it. But when I did, I was sad I waited so long! This is so easy and so tasty. This recipe is great for Super Bowl because it makes a lot of pork and requires very little time in the kitchen! You know, in case you actually want to watch the game. It does require a few specialty ingredients like, liquid smoke (pick up at any grocery store in the condiment aisle) and Hawaiin sea salt - which I found at Whole Foods, but I also noticed that Sprouts carried it as well. But with an ingredient list of 7, it's worth it to pick up a few new things for succulent, delicious, tender Kalua pig at home.
No ticket to Hawaii needed to have a little taste of a luau. So that alone, saves you some money.

kalua pork

Kalua Pig
serves 6 - 8

4 pounds pork shoulder or butt (mine was labeled pork shoulder boston butt)
1/2 an onion, cut in two pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons Hawaiin red gold sea salt
3 large garlic cloves, grated
1 3-4 inch piece of ginger, grated
1/4 cup coconut aminos (for the paleo eaters out there) or soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a 9x13 baking pan with foil. Make deep slashes in pork with a knife. Place pork in pan. Sprinkle pork with Hawaiin sea salt.

Combine coconut aminos (or soy sauce), grated garlic, grated ginger, and liquid smoke. Rub mixture all over pork, working it into the slashes. 

Place pork fatty side up. Place onion piece on each side of pork. Wrap pork tightly with foil. Folding together two sheets of foil if necessary. Make sure the pork is completely sealed in there. 

Bake at 325 for 5 hours. Shred pork and serve.

*I'm not entirely sure where Liquid Smoke falls in the eyes of the Whole30 challenge, but since it only has one ingredient - smoke, I've decided it's good to go. 

kalua pig

Love, Luck, and Happiness!


  1. YUM. Love your paleo in 30 challenge. :)

  2. Ummm I kinda want that pig. RIGHT NOW. And I totally couldn't eat paleo mainly for the dairy part. I'm addicted to cheese! Oh and thanks for the call last night, it really put things into perspective :)



    Southern (California) Belle

  3. This looks crazy delicious! Love how easy it is too! I have the Practical Paleo book - I want to give up flour and dairy except I don't know about cheese. My first love.

    1. Giving up dairy is the hardest part! But I eat it, in moderation. It doesn't really affect the way I feel negatively and it makes me happy so I say it's ok!

  4. Oh snap! Being the Hawaiian gal that I am, this looks so delicious. I want to throw it in a pan with some cabbage and eat it with poi. We made kalua pig for my wedding... My grandfather, uncle and brother actually dug a giant hole in the ground (we call it an imu or underground oven), where we buried a extremely large whole pig and let that bugger cook. :) Obviously you cannot dig out an imu and bury whole animals on the day to day, so I might give your way a try. Your recipe looks delish! xoxox


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