Month: October 2014

Apple Cider Pulled Pork

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Apple Cider Slow Cooked Pork

This has become a staple in our house. After trying various different methods for making some slow cooker pork this one has come out on top in our house. It all began with not having enough time to make Paleo approved dinners in our house so I began trying to make more and more meals in our slow cooker. This recipe is one of the main reasons I started eating more pork. It is full of wonderful flavors and pairs with so many different things which makes it a super easy Paleo dinner options. Your house will be filled with amazing smells and if you make enough of this, you will have leftovers that can be transformed into tacos, stir fry’s and a number of other options. When I first made this version of pulled pork I made so much of it that we decided to invite my father-in-law over to help us get through some of it. Now normally he does not go up for very many second helpings but after he had a bite of this pork he asked for 2 re-fills and a tupper ware for lunch!. i was more than happy to oblige and since then I have made this dish several more times in order to perfect it. I usually pair it with some of my homemade Apple Cider Pickled Onions, the flavors combine into an amazing meal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pork Tenderloins
  • 1/2 White Onion (sliced)
  • 6 Garlic Cloves (halved)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth (No MSG)
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 3 Tsp Ground Pepper
  • 3 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tsp Paprika

How To:

*If you are putting this pork in before work I recommend combining all the spices the night before in a bowl and putting your onions and garlic into the bottom of the slow cooker before bed, that way you can simply put in the pork, season it and top it off with the broth and vinegar.

  1. Place your onions, garlic and oil into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Rinse your pork loins and place them into the slow cooker.
  3. Combine your seasonings together in a bowl then generously coat the pork with the mixtures. Try to cover the sides as best as possible.
  4. Mix your broth with the vinegar then gently pork it around the pork being careful not to wash away the spices.
  5. Close your slow cooker and set it for 8 hours on low.

Finally, come home from work or a day of running around doing errands and enjoy your pork with whatever sides you wish 🙂 You also won’t need to light and scented candles because your house will smell amazing!

Smoked Tomato Red Pepper Soup

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Smoked Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always been a fan of tomato soup, there is just something comforting about it and always brings me back to my childhood. Let’s just say I had and still have an obsession with tomatoes. My mother can attest to the fact that growing up I practically lived off of tomato and cheese sandwiches and since I used to be such a picky eater, sandwiches it was, for most snacks, lunches and sometimes even dinner. Bless my moms heart, she tried just about everything to get me to eat anything but these sandwiches but with limited success. I even distinctly remember when we lived in Spain she tried to trick me into eating fish by telling me that it was “pollo” something I actually ate on occasion. For those of you who do not know Spanish, “pollo” means chicken, not fish. However at that age and a very limited palette, I took my moms word for it and ate the fish thinking it was chicken. The jig was up pretty quick and I went back to tomato and cheese sandwiches as my go to food source. Since I loved tomatoes so much, tomato soup was a pretty regular occurrence in our house, perhaps that is why it is still such a comfort food for me.  This past Thanksgiving I decided to put a twist on the standard tomato soup and since Thanksgiving brings so many rich flavors and sweets to our plates I wanted to start the meal off with something savory and different. Bring on the smoky richness of those crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (796ml)
  • 4 Roasted Red Peppers (I used mine from a jar)
  • 5 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Pepper
  • 2 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1/4 White Onion (diced)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8 Cups Chicken Broth (I used one with No MSG)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Flour (optional for thickening)

How To:

  1. In a medium soup pot heat up your oil and toss in the onions and let them brown.
  2. Toss in the peppers and tomatoes and combine with the onions.
  3. Add in your seasonings followed by the broth.
  4. Bring everything to a boil and then simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and using a handheld blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. If you do not have a hand held blender you can always pour the soup into a blender to puree.
  6. If you would like to thicken your soup a bit, mix 2 Tbsp of flour with 1/4 cup of cold water (i used coconut flour for the paleo version of this soup) Once the flour is dissolved into the water without clumps, slowly pour it into the soup and bring it all to a boil again.

 

Ratatouille

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Baked RatatouilleBaked Zucchini Ratatoullie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After seeing the title of this post all of you can now guess what tops my list of favorite animated movies. Yes, that’s right it is Ratatouille. The story in short is about a brave young mouse named Remy who makes his way to Paris and sets out to become a chef. Towards the end of the movie in order to impress a tough restaurant critic he cooks up this dish. This traditional French dish originally from Nice brings the critic back to his childhood and warms his heart. This is an incredibly simple meal to make and makes a great side dish or even a meal in itself. If you have seen the movie you will know that Remy takes great care and time arranging the veggies beautifully. I simply do not have that sort of time as I am sure many of you do not either so mine is slightly messier. The result is the same, a yummy hearty meal perfect for a cool autumn night. Typically this dish also calls for egg plant, I however am allergic to it so naturally this dish is sans egg plant 🙂 If you like you can always add  it into yours.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Zucchinis
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1 Can of Tomato Paste
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1/4 Medium White Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Tsp Seasoning Salt
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Cup Hot Water
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

How To:

  1. In a food processor, slice your zucchinis on a medium setting. Then slice up your bell pepper into strips.
  2. In a baking dish, put the onion and olive oil into the bottom.
  3. In a small bowl mix the garlic, thyme, spices and tomato paste with the water. Combine them all until the paste is dissolved. (using hot water will help dissolve the paste easier)
  4. Pour the tomato ‘sauce” into the bottom of the baking dish and mix with the onions and oil.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 350F.
  6. Arrange your zucchini and pepper slices into the dish.
  7. Cover the dish with a piece of parchment paper then bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes.

Fall Wreaths

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These are just two of my favorite wreaths I made so far this year.  I don’t know what it is about crafts but when it has been a rough day, getting those creative juices flowing always helps.

Apple Cider Pickled Red Onions

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DSCN1218

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the inspiration for these bad boys came from several places. Initially we were in BC wine country over the summer and had an amazing lunch at Burrowing Owl. There we ordered a charcuterie platter and one of the fixing they had on the side were pickled red onions that they made on site. Amazing. A few weeks later we were in Vancouver and decided to stop off at a taco joint which several of my husband’s co-workers rave about. As a side and added fixing you could put on your taco was nothing other than pickled red onions. Being the person that I am and a grandchild to an amazing pickler of everything and anything you can think of, I decided I would try my hand at pickling! Thanks granny! All those early years spent watching you fill the basement with mason jars packed with veggies, fruits, jams and so on paid off! This was my very first attempt at pickling and I am proud to say they are delicious and jam packed with wonderful flavors! Try them on anything from tacos and Mexican inspired meals to pulled pork and sandwiches 🙂

Ingredients:

  •  1 1/2 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar (use coconut sugar for paleo)
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp Chili Flakes
  • 1/2 Tsp Cracked Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Boiled Water
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 1 Large Red Onion

* This recipe makes 2 full 500ml mason jars

How To:

  1. Clean and sanitize your mason jars. (I simply placed them in a large pot with water and boiled them for 10 minutes)
  2. Cut up your onion into strips and place into a strainer. Pour the 1 cup of hot boiled water over the onions and let them sit for a minute to soften them.
  3. In a small sauce pot combine the rest of the ingredients and bring them to a boil.
  4. Strain the onions then stuff them into the mason jars.
  5. Once the vinegar mix is boiling, pour it into the jars and fill to the top to cover the onions.
  6. Seal the jars and let them stand. Once they have cooled place them in the fridge and store for up to 2 weeks.
  7. The onions will be ready to at after 24 hours in the fridge.