Yay! Another super easy meal! Here’s the deal you guys…I’m in waaaaaay over my head at school. I come home with my brain leaking out of my ears and have zero energy. I wish I could come up with fancy schmancy meals like I used to (remember this?)…but I can’t. At least not till the weekend, and this last weekend I had a wedding to be at in Boston. It was at the aquarium…how cool is that?! I wanted to be a marine biologist soooooo bad when I was younger. Still kinda do, actually. I mean, swim with the dolphins for a living? Um, yes please. Seriously, cocktail hour was INSIDE the aquarium…we could just walk around and geek out over fish with a bar set up around every corner. Total bliss.
OK so this meal. It was kind of invented on the fly because, like I can imagine happens in many a kitchen on many a weeknight, all I had was a package of ground beef. SO I was all like, “OMG I wish there was a Paleo Hamburger Helper sitting in the pantry!” …And then I was like, “Holy crap! That’s a great idea!”
Taking stock of all I had, I came up with this little concoction. I used palm syrup in this instance and I highly recommend you find a bottle–I think I got it at Natural Grocer but I’m sure Whole Foods has it. However, honey or molassas will work just as well…or just leave it out if you want to nix the sugar.
Serve over cauliflower rice or just on its own. Hint…mix it all up with some spaghetti squash and it’s like Chinese takeout
Super easy meals are awesome. Especially this one…it’s THREE ingredients, people. Well, four if you count salt. But some people don’t salt their food nearly as much as I do…and “three ingredients” just has a nice ring to it. So much less intimidating. Especially on a Tuesday night when you get home late from school and the gym and still have calc homework and you’re just beat. Seriously…I prepped these while I was in the shower and baked them while I finished homework/watched Arrested Development.
I know like, everyone has already finished the new season…please don’t spoil it for me. We only got the Roku working a few days ago so I’m SO far behind. Pathetic, just pathetic. Know what else is pathetic? Realizing my undergraduate education…AND my master’s degree are worthless. Utterly. I’ve been sitting in math class for the last 2 weeks with the dumbest looks on my face. Seriously, no clue what’s going on. I guess that’s what happens when you’re an Art, Philosophy, and Literature major and decide to be a doctor. Totally makes sense, right? …Right…?
So who’s in the mood for a giant hunk o’ meat? No wussie pork chops here…even though they’re showing their sweeter side.
Oh, and as an added bonus this meal only takes 30 minutes…probably less. And there’s only six ingredients, counting the salt. How cool is that? I was debating whether or not to post this since it’s not exactly Whole30 or 21DSD friendly and I know a lot of people are detoxing before summer rolls around, but I couldn’t resist. If nothing else I think this would make a KILLER meal for your first day after you’re done. Much better than destroying your decade old twinkie stash, no? I mean, it’s a big juicy pork chop, slathered with maple syrup that carmelizes all over in the oven. You get some sweet, some salty, some savory…and just trust me, you’ll want some sweet potatoes on the side. All the drippings from te pork and syrup just get soaked up by the potatoes like a sponge. You’ll thank me, I promise you.
I can’t believe how hard it is to find pork belly–the only place I can find it in the Springs is at the commissary. This is problematic because in a couple weeks, we’re moving back east where there won’t be a commissary…thus stripping me of my sole source of offal and other fun cuts. That’s…really depressing. Somebody hold me.
Also, I’d like to bitch for a second on how hard it is to find chipotles. I mean, they’re so popular, but the only form they’re in 99.99% of the time is canned with adobo sauce and like a bazillion other wacked out ingredients like sugar and sulfites. Ew. But lucky for you today, I found a bag of plain old dried chipotles and was able to kick out this dish. It’s so damned good–pork belly is way too underrated…and all the fat haters out there just ruin it for everyone. It’s a giant, fatty, hunk of bacon. What’s not to love?
Another note, though. There are a bunch of different ways to prep a pork belly, all equally delicious but it comes down to personal preference and frankly, time (for me at least). Melissa summed up a few methods here. but I almost always use the sear-and-crockpot method.
I had hoped to get this recipe up yesterday since, you know, it would have been nice to get it ready for Easter. But I didn’t and I really have no excuse. My husband is, once again, about to leave on business tomorrow and so our Saturday was spent lounging in front of the TV together, debating whether or not we were going to watch the season premier of Game of Thrones or the finale of The Walking Dead tonight. They’re seriously on at the SAME TIME. In what kind of sadistic world does that happen?!
Oh, but then we had Brazilian BBQ last night and I think I ate my weight in steak and grilled pineapple. And still had room for dessert…I discovered the secret to the most awesome Paleo S’mores ever: just cut a huge chunk of marshmallow, lay it on a plate, dump some chocolate chips on top, and set it under the broiler. Yes, I will post about it. So good.
Know what else is good? My “Monument” Chocolate Pie. I’ve posted it before…couple times…but I made it again when my family was in town and made a few new tweaks. This was the BEST one yet and I HAD to make sure I shared it with the world. It’s been way too long since I’ve had the real thing from the Monument Cafe in G-town, but this baby brings back all the wonderful memories of Texas and the life we started there. In a time of such transition, Austin remains on the top of our list of places we might like to end up…but for now, I guess I have to settle for a face-full of chocolatey, whipped creamy goodness. Life is hard.
Brisket has always been just a wee bit intimidating for me, mostly because I love it so freaking much but the only way I’ve ever had it prepared was in a giant smoker. Often at a state fair or a competition of some sort. Like the Salt Lick in Austin…ever been there? Holy Brisket Balls, Batman…that stuff is crack.
We actually got “brisket” from time to time at the dining facility on the FOB in Iraq, too…but I suspect those grey-brown chunks were at least 60% sawdust. I, for one, opted to live off tuna packs and pickle slices for a year instead. Moving on.
So when my brisket didn’t suck, I was understandably pleased. This was like, reallllllly good. Even Ross agreed and we all know the ultimate verdict on anything with beef should be left up to a big, hairy dude. You can even do this with another sauce or marinade…I’m sure it would be lovely just seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper and some plain old beef or chicken stock as the braising liquid.
Time for another Oldie!! The last time I made this I called it Chocolate Morphine, remember? Of course you don’t. But holy crap, you guys…this needed to happen again. Can I just say that, for the ladies among us, this luscious concoction is a cure for anything and everything that ails you–hormones, trouble at work, bad hair days…? That’s a biological fact right there. Trust me…I mean, I could totally be a doctor some day if I wanted to.
So I’m in DC this weekend visiting my bestest. There will be lots of eating of chocolate and in all probability som outlandish wine consumption. Go ahead, judge me…because when I get back ill be back in training mode for a competition in May. I’m still on the fence about going to Nationals…but I figured a local gig wouldn’t hurt too much. It’s a chance to see if I’m ready, learn a little bit, and see if I can still stand in those horrific shoes. Plus it’s right here in CO so I don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to get there. I’m poor. And about to be jobless. Which is actually why I’m here in DC–got a pretty hot-to-trot interview Monday, but I’m not going to say what it’s for because I’ll jinx it…I just know it. I probably shouldn’t have even mentioned it. Crap. Now I WILL be homeless. I need chocolate.
What better snack could you ask for to go along with your (gluten free) brewskies this St Paddy’s Day? This recipe is a big improvement on an attempt I made last year. Lately I’m going back and re-working a lot of my old recipes lately…to include a THIRD version of this pie. What’s cooking if you can’t keep making it better, right? Besides, sometimes I feel kind of guilty for letting old recipes die. There’s so many wonderful things I’ve made like, ONCE and never re-visited because I get so caught up with my almost obsessive desire to come up with “The Next Big Thing.” Remember this? Or these? Or…OMG…THESE???? I’m a horrible person.
Sometimes, you find yourself with a VERYhungry kid/husband and you need dinner…like, NOW. I’m not sure why the hell I had hot dogs in the house (or how long they’d been there…eww), but I did. Of course I contemplated something fancier (like this!!) but there comes a time of night when even the most dedicated chef just says, “F*ck it” and goes for bacon-wrapped…whatever. You really can’t go wrong, can you?
There are plenty of those folks who will tell you, “Oh, no…I don’t miss ANYTHING from my non-Paleo days!” Not this girl. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff I just don’t really care about anymore (bread, for example…which is totally insane because there was a period of my life when a hunk of bread with butter or jam or cheese and a glass of milk was literally all I ate for every meal of the day…and I wondered why I was anemic…). And then there are those occasional cravings I get for the most random stuff–pizza, pancakes, CAKE–but after a few years I’ve gotten pretty good at either Paleo-ifying said dishes or at least imitating the flavors and textures of my old favorites.
Oh, but then there’s cereal. There’s something about stumbling out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, grabbing the box, dumping a mound of bran flakes in a bowl, and smothering it with ice cold milk. For the most part, Paleo “cereals” just don’t do it for me…they’re almost always nut-based and more granola than cereal. You have to understand, I’m partial to flake or puff-like cereals like your Raisin Bran, Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs, Special K, Honey Nut Cheerios, Oh’s…you get the idea. Since I’ve been dabbling with the higher carb Perfect Health Diet protocol lately, I’ve thought about trying some organic rice-based cereals, but for one I have yet to find one that’s not either brown rice based or full of wacky additives (the second ingredient on Chocolate Chex is corn syrup) and for another I’m not as crazy about white rice as a carb source because it’s so devoid of nutrients. OK, sorry…that’s another conversation completely. So, cereal.
I’ve been playing around with some different stuff, trying to come up with something fast, easy, and with good texture. And then I got a little artsy-fartsy and made The Cereal Matrix.
All you gots ta do is pick an item(s) from each column to build your cereal. Boom. It’s kinda fun, and in the process I made some good ones–like my recipe for Carrot Cake Cereal. Kind’ve a big deal. But if that’s not your bag of chips, try some bananas. Get wacky and add some exotic dried fruit (or veggies! I won’t judge!). Can’t eat nuts? Don’t add nuts. On a Whole30 or 21DSD? Nix the sweetener. Did you think of something awesome not listed on The Matrix? Add it anyway! (And share in the comments!) Democracy is fun