Bold Flavor Recipes Home Self Care Instant Pot Recipes Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Why Brining Pork Is Better – Tender Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Submerging meats in a salty brine was often the way we preserved meat for later use through history.  Fresh meat was often a luxury reserved just for the most elite or rare occasion and most of the population would be eating meat in some state of salted preservation.  Variations of this simple preservation method birthed many of the meat delicacies we enjoy today and has played a large part in shaping the pork-based staples of our modern diets in many ways.  Beyond the delicious flavors created in the traditional method of preparing favorites like salami, prosciutto, ham, provide lays a hidden health benefit.  According to the Weston A. Price article linked below, salt brining or marinating pork using traditional methods may prevent blood coagulation within the body after consuming.  Unmarinated cooked pastured pork produced blood coagulation and clotting in blood examined using alive blood analysis.

“Consuming unmarinated cooked pastured pork produces blood coagulation and clotting in blood examined at five hours after eating; however, consuming marinated cooked pork does not produce any blood coagulation or clotting.”

Weston A. Price

Follow our SH&W’s Tender Baby Back Ribs recipe to get a delicious fall of the bone rib that seems it would have taken hours to create. Our simple preparation for baby back pork ribs uses the traditional method of brining to add not only flavor but also works to increase the bioavailability and digestibility of the nutrients contained in the protein and aromatics. 

Tender Baby Back Ribs Recipe:


2-3 lb. Rack Baby Back Ribs

1 Medium Onion (Quartered Skin On)

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 Cup Sea Salt

2 Tbsp. Onion Powder

2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1 Star Anise (Whole)

1/4 Cup East African Dry Rub (or your favorite dry rub)

1 Cup BBQ Sauce

Combine ribs, vinegar, salt, onion, onion powder, cinnamon, and star anise in a Instant Pot, pressure cooker, or large soup pot, and cover with water to create a brine.

If using a pressure cooker, cook ribs in brine on high pressure for 20 minutes, or if using a soup pot simmer covered for 1 hour, or when the tips of the rib bones start to poke out, and begin to expose themselves from the meat

Remove from the brine and set aside on a dry plate.

While the ribs are hot, liberally apply some Dry Rub being careful to cover all the meat and let sit for at least 20 minutes.  The heat and fat from the hot ribs will naturally bloom the spices in the rub and transfer their flavors into the meat.

 Move ribs onto a hot grill or on the top rack of your oven on broil setting. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until the outside layers of the ribs have a nice grill.

Starting with the inner (concave side) of the ribs, lather with BBQ Sauce and cook for 1-2 minute to let sauce thicken and glaze on the ribs. Watch the ribs closely after applying the sauce. The sauce should be thickened into a glaze by the heat but avoid burning or charring because it will become bitter if overcooked.

Flip the ribs and lather the top (convex side) of the ribs with BBQ Sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes to let sauce thicken and glaze on the top side of ribs.

Serve hot with Summer Potato Salad or Quinoa Tabouli.  Great for a summer cook out or a warming winter feast.

Check out the original article by clicking the link below:
Bold Flavor Recipes Home Self Care Instant Pot Recipes Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

The Ancient Dietary Story of Corn and SH&W’s Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Corn has been a dietary staple through history, and its success has been thanks to the ancient science and practice of nixtamalization. The origin of this ancient practice is unknown but seems to have risen form the birthplace of corn cultivation, Mesoamerica. The nixtamalization process uses an alkaline substance like slaked lime (Calcium Hydroxide) to convert corn’s hemicellulose-bound niacin into free niacin, and thus increasing its bioavailability, along with boosting levels of available calcium, iron, copper, and zinc. The name nixtamalization actually derives from the Aztec word “Nahuatl,” which is a compound of the words for lime ash and corn dough.  Without employing this process, a subsistence diet relying on corn is likely not a sufficient source of niacin, and may lead to health conditions without further supplementation. The process of nixtamalization has even been shown to act like an antidote to toxins from corn infected with Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium proliferatum, which are molds that commonly infect corn and can lead to health issues, and may be an important step in detoxifying our foods that are based from corn.

Our featured recipe, SH&W’s Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup is a perfect way to use the last few leftover tortillas that have gone stale.  To make some tortillas stale, just leave them in an open container in the fridge to dry for a few days.  Set some aside corn tortillas today and get ready to enjoy this hearty spicy southwest style recipe.

SH&W’s Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 Cups Chicken Stock
3-4 Stale Tortillas (Broken into pieces)
1lb. Chicken Thighs or Breasts (Chopped)
2 Cups White Navy Beans (Dried)
1 Cup Canned Tomatoes (Diced)
1 Large Onion (Diced)
2 Serrano Peppers (Minced)
1/2 Bunch Cilantro (Minced)
1 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Onion Powder
1 Tbsp. Cardamom Powder
1 Tbsp. Cooking Oil (Avocado Preferred)
1/2 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
3 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground Turmeric
1 Bay Leaf (Whole)
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt or to taste

Soak navy beans overnight in clean water. Drain and set aside.

In a large pressure cooker of soup pot, sauté the onion, with the turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin until the onions begin to appear translucent.

Add the bay leaf and serrano peppers, and sauté for 1 minute.

Add chicken, chicken stock, navy beans, tomatoes, onion powder, and half the cilantro.

Cook in your pressure cooker on high pressure for 30 minutes, or if using a soup pot simmer covered for 2 hours.

If using a pressure cooker, after the 30 minutes under pressure, add the stale tortilla pieces and cook for 1 additional minute on high pressure. If using a soup pot simmer for 10 additional minutes.

Add honey and remaining cilantro.

Serve hot on the side of a quesadilla or with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt on top.

Bold Flavor Recipes Home Self Care Instant Pot Recipes Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

Buy Local Eat Good – Crispy Carnitas Recipe

At Self-Healing and Wellness, we are dedicated to supporting not only our own health but that of or community and environment, long term.  By supporting local food producers with operations free of the horrors such as mono-cropping and confined animal feeding operations provide a more humane and sustainable food source to our immediate community.  By seeking the highest quality, humanely raised meats, one can ensure we are not only supporting our own body’s health and wellness but that of the environment we live in. 

Crispy Carnitas Recipe

3 Lb. Pork Shoulder or Butt

1 large Orange

2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Onion Powder

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon Powder

1 tsp. Crushed Red Chili Peppers

2 Bay (Laurel) Leaves

Sea Salt

Cut pork into 2-inch chunks and trim off and save the excess fat.

Cover all pieces of the pork with a generous amount of salt and half the cinnamon and set aside.

In a skillet, cook the excess fat on medium low until fat has rendered out.  Remove the crispy bits from the pan and leave the rendered fat for cooking.

Add pork to the hot skillet with rendered fat and sear all sides of each piece of pork until brown to seal in the meat.

Transfer the seared pork and rendered fat into an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

Juice the orange and save the leftover rind.

Add orange juice and rind, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, remaining cinnamon, crushed red chili peppers, bay leaves and dash more of salt.

Set your Instant Pot or pressure cooker 30 minutes on normal heat, high pressure.

Carefully remove meat from the pressure cooker and set aside.  Be sure to capture some of the fat that is settled on top of the remaining brine and include it with the meat.  This fat will be needed for the later crisping of the carnitas. At this stage the carnitas is ready to cool and store for later use.  When you are ready to eat move on to the next step.

Add your desired portion of carnitas into a hot skillet and let brown on each side.  Break up the chunks as desired and be sure to get all the crispy bits.

Serve as tacos in corn tortillas with salsa or over a bowl of greens and beans and your favorite accoutrement.  It is great to make in advance and keep in the fridge to use as easy and quick meal later in the week.

Bold Flavor Recipes Home Self Care Instant Pot Recipes Self Healing and Wellness Lifestyle

The Perfect Winter Warmup Meal – Split Pea Soup with Bacon

Split pea soup is a Self-Healing and Wellness team favorite during winter months.  It is a great way to highlight split peas, which have a long and nutritious history having been enjoyed in various forms by many cultures around the world since antiquity.  Vendors sold split peas soup in the streets of Athens in 500 to 400 BCE and eventually found its way to the table of Louis XIV of France.  Split peas lend themselves to be a staple food, they are absolutely packed with fiber and protein but are also great source of folate, iron, and potassium.  They are easy to prepare and can be incredibly delicious.  Our Split Pea Soup with Bacon is a rich, versatile soup that is guaranteed to satisfy on a cold winter night.  Enjoy!

Split Pea Soup with Bacon


1 Lb. Green Split Peas

5 Cups Chicken Stock

1 Large Carrot Chopped

1 Large Onions Diced (or 2 medium sized)

1/4 lb. (4 strips) Smokey Bacon (or Pancetta or Leftover Ham Bone)

2 Tbsp. Onion Power

2 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper (or to taste)

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon Powder

1/2 Tbsp. Sea Salt or to taste

Wash the split peas thoroughly with water to remove dust and unwanted bits.  Soak in clean water for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.

Dice onion, chop carrot into small pieces.  Set aside.

Cut the bacon or pancetta into tiny bacon bit sized pieces.  (Using sharp kitchen shears is the easiest way to do this.)  If you are using pre-cooked ham, once you have chopped you ham, set it aside and skip the rest of this step.  Sauté the bacon or pancetta on a medium-low heat until the bits are dark golden-brown and crispy, and most of the fat has rendered out of the meat.  Set aside.

Drain the soaked split peas and combine them in a large soup pot of pressure cooker with chicken stock, onions, carrots, onion powder, cinnamon, salt and black pepper.  Stir to combine.  If you like your split pea soup extra thick, cut the water in half and only add 4 ounces.  Vice versa if you like a very runny soup, add a bit more and adjust the salt for taste.

Add cooked bacon or pancetta including some of the rendered fat.  Adding more of the rendered fat will make the soup smooth and increase its thickness. Stir in thoroughly.

Cook in a pressure cooker on high pressure for 35 minutes or 2 hours in a soup pot on the stove.  When done, the green peas should disintegrate creating a thick base and the bacon bits and carrots should be nicely cooked and distributed throughout.

Enjoy with a side of hot and toasty dark or sourdough bread.