Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pork Rinds: an alternative to breading

I first tried pork rinds when I was pregnant with Kaiden, looking for additional protein sources/snacks.  I wasn't paleo back then, but I did avoid HFCS and white bread.  Or at least I tried to!  After his pregnancy, I forgot about them.  Completely.  Until a couple weeks ago - that's 5 1/2 years with no pork rinds!

I've come to the realization that I need to do low-carb paleo.  Medium/high carb was working when Kaiden was less mobile, meaning I either carried him everywhere or pushed a heavy stroller.  With lots and lots of kid gear.  It was a workout!  Then when he started walking (finally, really walking, not just a few steps here and there), it meant less exercise for me, as we walked a lot slower, and couldn't go very far before he'd want to stop.  And slowly, my weight's been creeping back up - so now I'm not a happy camper!  I've been looking for a low-carb snack, since now nuts, dried fruit, and dried veggie chips are out.  (And I've got to stop the late-night snacking!!)  I was wandering the snack aisles in the grocery store to see if they had anything that wasn't either vegetable or wheat based . . . and there they were: pork rinds.  And pork cracklings! 

Pork rinds are sort of like Funyuns: light, crispy, crunchy, and salty but with less bold flavor.  Pork cracklings are pork rinds with some (dried) skin and fat attached.  No carbs, just protein and fat (and salt!).  It says on the package they are good for snacking and cooking.  I know they're good for snacking, but was wondering about the cooking part - how on earth someone would use them for cooking . . . until tonight, I made oven-baked chicken drumsticks.  The nut-based flours mixed with milk & egg always came out a little soggy, no matter how I did it.  Then the thought occurred to me . . . why not crush up some pork rinds and dust the drumsticks with it?  I didn't use any egg or additional oil - I just added salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sesame seeds (because my husband likes sesame seeds on roasted chicken) to the crushed pork rinds and rolled/dipped/dusted the drumsticks in the mixture.  Baked at 350F for 1 hour - and they were perfect!

I wish I had a picture for you . . .  but we ate most of them. :)  Maybe next time!

Want more recipes?  Purchase Cavemom's Cooking on Etsy.

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