protip: pancetta

since i didn’t grow up eating a lot of red meat, i know very little about pork and beef products, other than that they taste delicious and that i eat them fairly infrequently.

the two things i do use regularly, however, are bacon and pancetta, because i can get them from a local farmer at my sunday market. i’ve always had certain preparations in mind for bacon and others for pancetta–but it turns out they’re basically the same thing.

the similarities: both are generally made from pork belly, cured, and considered raw. the difference: bacon is smoked.

seriously. that’s the only difference.

protip: citronette

you probably know that a vinaigrette is a dressing made with equal parts oil and acid, usually with some kind of binder (like mustard) and salt and optional seasoning. but did you know that for it to be called a vinaigrette the acid has to be a vinegar? duh.

i didn’t know that until this week. turns out when you use citrus juice, like i often do, your dressing is called a citronette.

now go make someone a salad and be pretentious about it.

shrimp

i peeled and deveined a pound of shrimp today, for the first time in five years, and i think it’ll probably be another five before I put myself through that again.

but: the payoff is that shrimp can be oven-roasted, which is simple and fast. just lay them out with garlic cloves, drizzle (generously) with grapeseed oil, salt, and lemon juice, and stick in a 400 degree oven until they’re pink, about 8-12 minutes. when they start to curl into themselves you know they’ve been in too long.

i was worried about drying them out they came out perfectly cooked, and paired nicely with massaged kale.

protip: hydrated chia

chia is a tiny seed that packs a massive amount of protein and fiber, and boasts high contents of omega 3, antioxidants, calcium, vitamin c, iron, and potassium.

the real magic of chia is that it can absorb its liquid environment—which means that as you digest chia seeds that have been sitting in water or juice or almond milk, they release the liquid that’s plumped them up, keeping you hydrated long after you’ve consumed them.

my favorite preparation is a tablespoon or two of chia in a cup of water with a splash of cherry juice and a dribble of grape juice concentrate; shake it up in a lidded jar and let sit for at least 15 minutes. i love to drink this before a workout so i stay hydrated without having to deal with a sloshy stomach, or in the morning to jump-start my appetite.