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When a couple of delicious paw paws and papayas show up on your doorstep to play with, there are SO many options, such as these ones on the Australian Papaya site…. but this girl has to try her own thing.

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Even though the days have been unseasonably warm (tricking some plants into premature blooming), I still would like to believe it’s nearly winter, and so is time to dig out the old Crock Pot for some slow cooker goodness.

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The day after the fruit arrived, we were in Aldi, and this week they had pork bellies on sale in the fresh meat section for $10/kilo. Not one to turn down a treat from Aldi, that pork belly found its way into our trolley and home with us, along with a sense of trepidation, having never cooked pork belly before.
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After consulting the internets, we decided to season the pork belly well, let it sit, and do the slow cooking part of it first, and follow up with the crisping of the pork belly just before serving.

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At the bottom of the crock pot, we placed a layer of sliced onion rounds topped with a layer of paw paw for the juice and sweetness to absorb into the belly. Having cooked roast pork with orange juice before, I know pork can taste delish with the sweetness of fruit cooked through it.

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Six hours in the slow cooker as pictured, with a cup of chicken stock poured to halfway up the meat.

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After that delicious smelling six hours in the slow cooker, the pork belly was transferred to a hot hot oven (220 degrees) for around 30 minutes to get that delicious crispy crackling :)

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Served up with a delicious mash, an autumn salad of Swiss mushroom, bacon, coriander and baby spinach (with the paw paw not going to waste – it and the pork juices made a wonderful topping for our salad), the pork belly was demolished that night.

I’d call that a success!!!

Crispy Slow-Cooker Pork Belly with Paw Paw

1kg Pork Belly
1 Brown Onion
Half of a Paw Paw
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Marinade – finely chop and mix ingredients
1/2 tsp chopped caraway seeds
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 heaped tsp minced ginger
1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
a sprig of mint
salt and pepper to taste (plus a little extra salt to help the crispyness!)


  1. Combine ingredients for marinade in a bowl. Season to taste.
  2. Slice onion into rings, and line the bottom of your slow cooker with onion. Slice paw paw and layer on top of onion.
  3. Place pork belly in a tray. Spread marinade over top of the pork belly. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Place pork belly into slow cooker. Gently pour stock in around the sides so as not to displace marinade. Fill until meat of pork belly is half covered (ensure top of pork belly fat is sitting above the liquid)
  5. Cook on high for at least 6 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius
  7. Place pork belly into a foil lined tray (leave the onion and the paw paw in the slow cooker) and cook in oven for around 30 minutes
  8. Allow meat to rest out of oven for 10-15 minutes before serving to allow crackling to do its thing!
  9. Slice and serve with your favourite mash and salad
  10. Top salad with the warm and spicy paw paw slices

Enjoy with friends and some nice red!

The Little Lioness was gifted a paw paw and a papaya from Australian Papaya and Impact Communications to create this recipe. We also had a play with some frozen berries and a papaya to make the layered yoghurt dessert below which is not at all creative, but strongly recommended by my tastebuds!


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My way:

1 onion, diced
1 stick of celery if it’s in the soup pack, diced
3 rashers of bacon, diced.
Large teaspoon of minced garlic
Splash of olive oil
Assorted veges – I used a carrot, a parsnip, a couple of potatoes, a turnip. Because, yes, that was what was in the soup pack – chopped
Vege stock. I used a cube and hot water to top up to the amount needed to make it soup like.
Large tin crushed tomatoes.
2 tins of beans, drained and rinsed. I used one of borlotti beans one of cannalini.

Sautee onion, oil, bacon and celery in large pot.
Add veges and stock and tomatoes and beans.
Cover. Simmer. Ours was going for an hour.

Eat. Yum.


Also goes well with fresh bread from the breadmaker. This one is using the Laucke Easy Bakers Gluten Free Meals and Grains with a handful of pepitas. I just make it up to the oven recipe and use the yeast free setting. Might do with a little less water than that, but it’s fine :) As you can see, it’s hard to slice when warm! ;)

What does one make when she has a box of gluten free self-raising flour, a bunch of pecans, and a year old tin of apricots in the cupboard?


(Mini) Muffins! Yay!

(of course just another excuse to get my apron on)

Based on this recipe, I subbed the bananas out for apricots, switched the flours for Melinda’s gluten free self-raising flour, and the milk for soy milk. Is anything sacred anymore? ;) (oh and I’m sure you cold swap out the egg for egg replacement if there’s an allergy or you wanted to go vegan!)

INGREDIENTS (this made 30 mini muffins)


1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cups soy milk
1/3 cup light olive oil
3/4 cup mashed tinned apricot
1.5 cups gluten free self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup toasted pecans


Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Lightly grease holes of a mini muffin pan.

Combine eggs, milk, olive oil and mashed fruit in a large bowl.

Combine flours, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and cinnamon in a second large bowl. Chop nuts coarsely. Add chopped nuts to the flour mixture.

Add apricot mixture to flour mixture and stir only until mixture is just combined. Divide among prepared muffin pans.

Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned.

(spoon licking goodness!)

Giveaway! Win a Pecan Fan Pack

Pecan Hamper

Win a pecan pack like the one above consisting of:

  • A Pecan Fan T-Shirt
  • Pecan recipes
  • Pecan oil
  • Pecan nuts

Leave a comment on this entry at littlelioness.net letting me know your favourite or most interesting muffin flavour combination. You can get a second entry by tweeting the link to this entry (just leave a second comment telling me your twitter name and that you’ve done that!)

Entries close midnight on Sunday 10th April (AEST). The winner will be selected at random using random.org n the following days, and contacted for their address via the email they leave with their comment. Sorry, Australian residents only.

Thanks to Melinda’s gluten free goodies for the self-raising flour and Porter Novelli and Pecan Fans for the pecans and giveaway pack! Check out Pecan Fan for more recipes.

Based on this taste.com.au recipe

5 spice pork

We had an abundance of eshallots in the fridge, so google sent me to that recipe, and I changed it to:

Ingredients (serves 4)
1/4 cup (60ml) peanut oil
6 green eshallots, chopped
1 (about 600g) pork fillet, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp Chinese five spice
1/4 cup (60ml) oyster sauce
1 cup coriander leaves
450g pkt fresh rice noodles (I used dried)

Heat the oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add one-sixth of the shallots and fry for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
Add one-quarter of the pork to the wok and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat in 3 more batches with remaining pork. Add the remaining shallots, garlic, ginger and five spice and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until golden. Add the pork with oyster sauce to the wok and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat and add the coriander and remaining mint. Gently toss to combine.
Meanwhile, place the noodles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 6-8 minutes to heat. Use a fork to gently separate. Drain well.
Place the noodles among serving bowls. Spoon over the pork mixture. Top with fried shallots and mint leaves. Serve immediately.

I served with steamed carrot and beans.


We ended up using the contents of my Fruit and Veg box win for good, not evil (including banana and pears for snacking this week).

Roast Chook
A yummy roast chook for Sunday and Monday

And yummy, but less pretty Curry/lentil soup. See below the cut for what went into that one.

(ps only 3 more days to end to win The Purple Glitter Jesus Money Box. Jesus is currently in my fruit bowl.

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