beef, chicken, cuban, insta pot, Keto, ketogenic, main dish, nutrition, olives, pork, recipe, recipes, rice, ropa vieja, slow cooker

Reviving a Family Favorite

My carb junkie dreams are still filled with visions of some of my favorite type of food, which just happens to be Cuban food. I live in Florida, so it is all around me, tempting and tormenting me.

One of our family favorites and a long-time dinner go-to meal, has always been Ropa Vieja. Small disclaimer, I am not Cuban, so I don’t pretend that on the best day, mine came anywhere near the yumminess of a the kids’ Abuela’s. But, despite that fact, it remained a family favorite.

But, how to keto’ize this dish is a challenge, because for me, one of the very best parts is the black beans and white rice! Now, I could just cheat every now and again and have the real deal, (not saying this will never happen) or I could do my best to replicate a similar flavor profile using items that wouldn’t blow me out of ketosis. I believe that this recipe is a decent success. It wasn’t spot on, but very enjoyable none-the-less.

I hope you enjoy it, and if anyone out there has a better recipe for this family favorite that has been keto’ized, please do share! (Now if I can just figure out how to replicate yucca! *sigh. Would also love suggestions on that score!).

In the dish I made, I used boneless pork, and decided to use the Miracle® rice as it is lower carb than cauliflower rice. I will link to where I got the rice below:

Remember you can click on the recipe name to be taken to a printer friendly version:

Rice Subsitute:

2 packages Miracle® Rice (may use cauliflower rice if you prefer)

2 Tbsp broth from the meat mixture

2 Tbsp butter

2 lbs. boneless pork, beef, or chicken
1  sweet orange, red, or yellow pepper (or if using baby peppers one of each) sliced
1 medium onion chopped fine
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 Tbsp unsweetened tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Black Bean Substitute:
1 can pitted black or kalamata olives halved
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup of broth from the meat mixture
1/2 tsp garlic
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste

How to:

In slow cooker or Insta Pot add meat, peppers, onion, garlic and meat spices. Cook until meat shreds easily with a fork.

Drain off 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp of the broth and set aside.

In a skillet add olives, butter, 1/2 cup of the meat broth, garlic, lemon juice, and cumin. Sauté until sauce reduces and thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.


In a separate skillet empty meat mixture  into skillet from the Insta Pot and caramelize. Add salt and pepper to taste


Meanwhile, rinse Miracle® rice according to directions, and add to a skillet or saucepan using 2 Tbsp of broth from the meat and 2 Tbsp of butter. You can do the same with cauliflower rice if you are using that instead.


Serve while hot, stack rice, then meat mixture with the olives on top.

2 thoughts on “Reviving a Family Favorite”

  1. Your style is unique compared to other people I have read stuff from.
    Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity,
    Guess I will just book mark this blog.

    1. Thank you. I am very happy that you are enjoying my posts. I can’t help but share my amazement that keto works so very well for weight loss, and better health. My career background included helping people achieve better health through nutrition, unfortunately for years taught what we were taught in medical and nursing schools. Now that I know better, I want to share it with the world! Thank you again for reading!

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