Orange Avocado Coleslaw

slawby Karen Frazier

I always thought I hated coleslaw with a passion. I was only ever really exposed to it at potlucks and picnics, but one taste told me it wasn’t for me. I first got an inkling that I might enjoy coleslaw when I accidentally ate some on a weekend away at Cave B in the Columbia Gorge. I was eating lunch in the restaurant there, Tendrils, and I took a tentative bite of the slaw. It was delicious. As the chef wandered by, I asked him what was in it, and he admitted it had apples and ginger.

That’s when I started trying to make a better coleslaw – because I knew it existed. I tried it with apples and ginger. Pretty good. I tried it with jicama. Not bad. I keep tinkering with my recipe trying to give it more punch. For the most part, I’ve been a little underwhelmed. Until tonight.

Tonight I made pork belly with coleslaw, and it was delicious. In fact, I might go as far as to say the coleslaw actually stole the show for me…which is really saying something given how much I love pork belly. When I was done eating, I wasn’t hungry anymore. But if I’d wanted another bite of food, it would have been the coleslaw I nibbled.

I started with a simple organic coleslaw mix from Whole Foods, an orange, and an avocado. I like making my coleslaw dressing avocado-based instead of mayo-based because I like the vitamins, fat, fiber, and flavor I get from the avocado. It worked out swimmingly. Sadly, I didn’t measure. But I am going to try and estimate for you exactly what I did, because seriously folks. Yum!

Orange Avocado Coleslaw

  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves (I dumped a bunch in and chopped them and then realized oh God! Raw garlic! So I scooped a bunch back out)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • Juice of one orange
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (I like the recipe from NomNom Paleo) – or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes for Whole30
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 package organic coleslaw mix
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, chop the garlic cloves, 10 one-second pulses. Scrape the cloves from the sides of the food processor back into the bowl.
  2. Add the avocado, orange juice, orange zest, sriracha, apple cider vinegar, cilantro, and salt. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the coleslaw mix with the dressing.

That’s it. Simple. Basic. I’ve been making it harder than it had to be.
photo credit: Chez Olga Haitian Restaurant Eastown Lourdie Lunch January 20, 2012 7 via photopin (license)

Crispy Skinned Pork Belly with Orange-Jicama Slaw

pork bellyby Karen Frazier

Pork belly is often difficult to come by, but if you can find it, snap it up. For those who don’t know, it’s essentially uncured slab bacon that comes with the skin on the top. With the unctuous fattiness of the meat and the crispy skin on top, it makes a delicious main course. Check with local ranchers to find pork belly, or dig around on the Internet and you’ll be able to find some to order.

In this recipe, the spices in the rub and the acidity of the orange, as well as the crunch of the slaw all serve as a delicious counterpoint to the sweet fattiness of the pork. When I made this, it was the first time I cooked pork belly, so I borrowed the crispy skin cooking method from The Clothes Make the Girl blog. Then, I added my own flavors and spices. Trust me, it’s really delicious and rich!

For the pork belly:

  • 2-pound pork belly
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Swerve sweetener (or 1 packet stevia) (optional – omit for Whole30)
  • Juice from half an orange

For the slaw:

  • 1 jicama, julienned
  • 1 cup julienned cabbage
  • 3 green onions, very thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or sriracha to taste)
  • Juice from half an orange
  • Zest from half an orange
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

For the pork belly:

  1. Pat the pork belly dry with paper towels. Score the pork skin in a cross-hatch pattern, cutting down to the meat but not through the meat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the paprika, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, coriander, cumin, sea salt, and sweetener.
  3. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the pork. Wrap the pork in plastic and refrigerate for about two hours.
  4. Thirty minutes before cooking, put the unwrapped pork belly on a foil-lined baking sheet with the skin-side facing up. Allow it to come to room temperature.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Just before putting the pork belly in the oven, rub the skin with the orange juice.
  7. Bake the pork belly at 450 for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake for another hour, until the skin has browned and crisped.
  8. Rest the pork, tented with foil, for 20 minutes before serving. While the pork rests, prepare the slaw.

For the slaw:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the jicama, cabbage, onions, and carrots.
  2. In a blender, add the avocado, garlic, red pepper flakes, orange juice and zest, apple cider vinegar, cilantro, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt, starting with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and continuing to add it until it is properly seasoned.
  3. Pour the avocado mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat.
  4. Serve the slaw alongside the pork.

photo credit: linecook via photopin cc