Recipe – Carnitas

I was unfamiliar with what a carnita was until a recent jaunt to a new restaurant.  I liked it so much, I decided to try my own version.  Think of a Paleo version of a pork taco.

Meat:

Step 1:

  • Boneless pork shoulder roast (ours was 3+ pounds) with visible chunks of fat removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • about 1 tsp salt
  • about 1 tsp paprika
  • about 2 tsp basil
  • about 2 tsp majoram
  • I would have added some oregano as well, but we were out.

Make a dry rub on the pork out of all ingredients except garlic.  Place roast and garlic chunks in crock pot and cook on medium to high all day (6-8 hours).

Step 2:

  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped into about 8-10 pieces each
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 lime

In a large skillet, place bacon.  Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until you have some good grease going and bacon is starting to look cooked.  Add onion and cook until onion just starts to turn translucent.  While this is happening, remove pork roast from crock pot.  It should be falling apart into thin strips.  Break apart any parts that are still in chunks and remove any large fat chunks.  Add the pull-apart pork to the bacon/onion yumminess, stirring and cooking until well heated through.  Remove from heat and squirt the juice from 1/2 lime on top and stir.

Shells:

  • Butter lettuce or another variety, such as red leaf, that doesn’t have a strong flavor.  Look for largest leaves.  Rinse and pat dry.  These will be your shells.

Toppings:

Guacamole:

Now, most sane people have a better guac recipe than this, and I would recommend using a tastier one.  I’m not a guac fan, but did like it in this recipe.  This is how I made my guac, but I’m sure there are much better recipes out there.

  • 2 small, ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and placed in a food processor
  • 4-5 scallions (green onions) diced and placed in food processor.
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Grind in food processor until smooth.

Update 2014:  Awesome guacamole recipe here: Bacon Guacamole

Pico de Gallo:

  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red or yellow onion, diced (I prefer red, but yellow is all we had).
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro, if desired

Combine and stir.

Pineapple:

  • 1/3 to 1/2 of a fresh pineapple, diced small.

I can’t say enough good things about the pineapple.  It made an awesome flavor with the salty meat.

Assembly:

Take your lettuce leaf, and use it like a taco shell.  Add some meat, small dollop of guacamole, a sprinkle of pico de gallo, and a respectable amount of pineapple.  Wrap tight and eat!

 Modified Version:

I didn’t have a pork shoulder roast, so had to use a pork sirloin.  Because it had much less fat, I had to put it in the food processor to grind it up and mix it with the cooked bacon, bacon grease, and onions.  I also didn’t do the pico de gallo this time and left the pineapple in bigger chunks (would have been better smaller).

 Carnitas, modified version

Recipe – Chris’ All Good Soup Starts with Bacon Soup

This is my husband’s recipe.  It’s awesome!  I went a bit crazy with the camera today, but it was fun!

  • 6 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2.5 pounds of chicken thighs, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 large carrots, sliced
  • 5 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (or substitute with 1 tbsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 4 cups (32 oz) chicken broth
  • 2 cups water

Saute the bacon on medium heat (stir occasionally) in a large pot until it looks like this.

Bacon.... all good soup starts with it!

Bacon…. all good soup starts with it!

Get out a large frying pan and cook the chicken separately on medium heat until cooked thoroughly.

Cook chicken thoroughly in separate pan, stirring occasionally.

Cook chicken thoroughly in separate pan, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, add the onions to the bacon and cook about 5 minutes or until slightly translucent.  Next, add the celery and carrots to the onions and bacon, like this….  Cook about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

To the bacon and onions, add celery and carrots.

To the bacon and onions, add celery and carrots.

Add Italian seasoning to the bacon.  Add cooked chicken, including the brothy stuff into the bacon pot.

Add the chicken.

Add the chicken.

Add broth, water, and basil.  Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.  It should look like this….

Simmering soup

Simmering soup

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe – Sweet Potato Bisque

I found this recipe very helpful when I first started Paleo and felt like I was craving sugar/fullness.  It was a recipe for the non-Paleo world, but I adjusted it to make it Paleo.

  • 2 1/4 cups diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic

Saute in a large soup pot for 5 minutes.

  • 6 cups Paleo-friendly vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves

Add to sauteed ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender.  Remove bay leaves.  With hand held blender or regular blender, puree the soup.

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian Parsley (optional, garnish or stirred in)

Stir into soup and serve.

Sweet Potato Bisque with Paleo blueberry muffin

Sweet Potato Bisque with Paleo blueberry muffin

Recipes – Our Morning Juice

I suspect this could be made with a lot less fruit.  Given I’m trying to get some degree of veggies in my picky 7 year old eater, this is where we are:

  • 2 apples, usually Organic Granny Smith
  • 1 red pear
  • 5 large collard green leaves and/or 5 kale leaves
  • 5-6 large carrots
  • sometimes 1 add in (cranberries, a little leftover broccoli, etc…)

Directions:  This depends on the type of juicer you have.  You may have to cut your fruit up.  For mine, I was it all, dump it in the juice, and drink.  Makes about three 7 ounce glasses.

I love collard greens in our juice.  They hardly have any flavor, and seem to juice better than spinach or some other greens I’ve tried.  Plus, they’re packed with good stuff, but can be a problem for folks on blood thinners.  Beware!  Kale and Collard Greens

Recipe – Chocolate Shake

Chocolate shake, naturally sweet, meets my sweet-tooth needs!

Chocolate shake, naturally sweet, meets my sweet-tooth needs!

This is a shake I made up myself.  Most recipes I’ve seen for shakes use almond milk.  Since I don’t but it often, I use coconut milk.  This shake is filling and I suspect rather loaded with calories (something I never fear on this diet, but others may), given the coconut milk.  I never measure, so pardon my approximations.  This recipe comes out a little different every time, and there’s no such thing as a mistake with it.  The only rule is that it has to blend in the blender.  If it’s too thick, add more coconut milk.

  • 1 large collard green leaf
  • If you’re feeling daring, also add 1 large kale leaf, very optional
  • coconut milk, full fat, about 1/2 cup
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • heaping kitchen spoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • frozen blueberries or strawberries, about 1 cup?

Directions:  Throw is all in the blender, frozen berries last, and add just enough berries to thicken it up. Serves 2-3, depending on how the measurements work out and the size of your bananas.  If it’s too thick for the blender, add more coconut milk or hold off on the berries.  There’s no mistakes here…. it’ll taste good unless your blender sucks and doesn’t blend the greenery well.

The benefits of collard greens: Collard Greens