Winner! Winner! Carnitas Dinner!

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This is going to be a super quick post, but I just HAD to share this one! I knew it would be a long day, and we’d want something awesome for dinner. Enter a pork loin, a crockpot, a killer rub recipe, some onions and green chiles…carnitas! I borrowed the recipe from Mom Gone Paleo – and served the pork with some avocado, spicy salsa, and some chopped lettuce and tomato. Hubby had some quinoa and black beans along with his. I have to admit, I did have one taco style with a corn tortilla, but realized it was totally unnecessary. I highly recommend this recipe – exactly as is. It’s very rare this happens, but I didn’t change a thing! I did cook the pork on low for 10 hours since I wasn’t home to drop the heat down. Hope you like this as much as we did!

Paleo Carnitas

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There’s No Rice In There??

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That’s what my husband said when I told him what he was eating for dinner wasn’t rice! I downloaded the book Well Fed in my quest to learn more about the paleo lifestyle, and it has not disappointed yet! I did my “weekly cookup” yesterday – I cooked a bunch of proteins, steam-sautéed some veggies, and stocked up my fridge with ready-to-go components to throw together quick meals. I was in the mood for something with curry tonight, so I took some onions, garlic, red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, pineapple, coconut milk, and curry powder and turned it into this:

Yum...curry!!

Yum…curry!!

Then I decided to try making cauliflower “rice” to go along with it. You see, my husband could eat rice all day every day. I think he could make a meal out of just rice with barbecue sauce. Actually, I think he’s done that before!! Anyway, when following the paleo style of eating, grains are a no-no. I’m already gluten-free, so rice is one of the few I still had in the house. I figured if I could get away with making cauliflower “rice” I just might be able to sneak this whole paleo thing past the hubby without too much fuss.

Here goes…. Take a head of cauliflower and cut it into florets, removing the stems. Throw it in the food processor and pulse it (10-15 times) until it looks like this:

Cauliflower "rice"

Cauliflower “rice”

Then, heat up some coconut oil in a large sauté pan and add some onions and garlic.

The base...

The base…

Now here’s where things get interesting… You can do this a million different ways. Tonight, I chose a curry version, so I added curry powder,  some chopped fresh pineapple, and a handful of chopped up roasted cashews – and sautéed that until fragrant.

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Add the seasonings…

Then add the “rice” and sauté 5 minutes or so, or until the cauliflower is tender, but not mushy. Adjust the seasonings as needed (salt/pepper/more curry), and voila!

 

Curry Cauliflower "Rice"

Curry Cauliflower “Rice”

It went perfectly with my quick curry – and I could totally see this being flavored many different ways depending on what I was making for dinner. It totally snuck past the husband until I told him it was cauliflower. Then he said he didn’t like it – but I think he just didn’t like the idea of it. He still ate more of it even after I told him!! I have a feeling cauliflower will be making more appearances as a stand-in for rice in my kitchen from now on!

In other exciting news – my blog is now included as part of the Gluten Free Global Community! I’m super excited! Just click on the button below and check out the many bloggers featured as part of this community. I’ve already found lots of great info through these folks, and I’m sure you will too!

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Have you ever snuck an ingredient past someone??

What’s your favorite “stand-in” food?

A Sweet Treat To Ring In the New Year

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Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Bacon Bark.

Yup. That second to last word is BACON.

Some of you just read that and think I’ve seriously lost my mind. Others read it and are thinking GENIUS! Either way, you really should read the rest of this post – and as my mother used to say, “don’t yuck it ’till you try it!!!”

Yesterday, I picked up a copy of the book Practical Paleo while I was at Costco. Since I’ve already had to go gluten-free, I’m thinking that trying out paleo is probably the next step in my health and nutrition journey. I have one recipe simmering away in my crockpot for dinner, but I wanted to try something a little out of the ordinary for a treat…

I’ve seen many recipes with chocolate and bacon, and I always thought it would be…well…gross. Wow. I thought wrong!

This recipe was SUPER easy, and it’s delicious! A small piece is definitely enough to satisfy the craving. I did alter it a bit from the book, but I’m sure it would come out just as well if you followed the recipe to a T. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m notorious for “doctoring” things up! Here’s my version…

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Bacon Bark with Sea Salt

2 cups dark chocolate chips (I used Guittard Extra Dark – found them at Whole Foods)

2 tsp. bacon drippings

1 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins rubbed off and roughly chopped

4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and chopped

1/4 tsp. flaked sea salt

 

Melt chocolate chips with bacon drippings in the microwave – 30 seconds at a time, stirring every 30 seconds, until just about melted (a total of 2 – 3 minutes). Pour the chocolate out on a sheet of parchment paper laid on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the hazelnuts, bacon, and sea salt over the chocolate and let set. (Yes – you really have to wait.) Break into chunks.

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Oh yes. This will be a very happy new year.

Marvelous In My Monday – New Year’s Eve!

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I can’t  believe it’s already New Year’s Eve. The end of 2012. This year seriously flew by in the blink of an eye!

First, I need to say thanks to Katie over at Healthy Diva Eats for hosting this super-fun Monday meetup for all of us healthy living bloggers! I’ve been introduced to some great people this year through our weekly MIMM get togethers! Plus, Katie’s got lots of fun stuff going on over at her site (including a new baby-to-be!!) so make sure to go check her out!

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Okay – here are some of the marvelous things in my life right now…

Marvelous is my awesome and amazing friend and Zumba instructor Eva! This is us at Zumba Master Class back in October!

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She has totally gotten me addicted to this incredibly fun way to torch calories! I have made some new friends, and now I can hardly listen to the radio without choreographing songs in my head! You can check her out over at her blog Committed2Nutrition  – and if you’re local, feel free to join us for some seriously fun workouts!

Marvelous is my love of experimentation with healthy foods. I’ve found so many new things to love this year – especially now that I have to be gluten-free. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m figuring it out little by little – just like everything else! Here are a few of my favorite finds!

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Marvelous is my new cookbook – Practical Paleo!

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I love the way this book is set up – it has a lot of great information, meal plans, and some delicious looking recipes! I am making my first recipe from it as I type… I decided that dinner tonight would be Balsamic Braised Shortribs (YUM!!), so they are simmering away in my slow cooker. They’ve only been in there for an hour, and the house is already starting to smell good! I’m planning on serving them the suggested side from the book – carrots with dates. I’m also going to try making a couple of other things from the book before I have to go back to work on Wednesday so we have some healthy things ready to eat when life gets busy again!

Marvelous is my awesome hubby!

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This is us a couple of weeks ago while visiting my in-laws in Florida. This picture was taken in front of a ginormous Christmas tree at the Grand Floridian hotel at Disney World. My hubby is marvelous for so many reasons… We’ve been together for 19 years now – married for 10 of them. We’ve been through so many ups and downs, but somehow we always seem to make it. We work hard at our relationship – and we don’t take anything for granted. I’m so lucky to have him – and I hope he feels the same about me!

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So…Happy New Year from us to you – here’s to a happy, healthy 2013 for all!