Sunday morning I made carnitas in the crockpot for dinner, and to eat throughout the week. It’s one of my favorite meat dishes because not only is it very versatile, it’s really easy. Sunday was day day 28 on my Whole 30, and I wanted something fresh and flavorful, but light. I’ve made them before with this same recipe and I really enjoy the flavor.
- Pork shoulder/pork butt (about 5-6lbs)
- 1 orange
- 1 yellow onion, loosely chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
- Minced garlic (maybe 2 TBSP, I love garlic)
- 3 bay leaves
- Smoked paprika
- Crushed red pepper
- 2 cups Chicken broth
The meat I used this time was a combination 1/2 and 1/2 pork shoulder/pork butt wrapped together in netting (the butt was pretty fatty, YUM). I left the netting intact for cooking and generously coated the meat in salt and pepper, then sprinkled with the remaining spices: cumin, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper. Place the meat in the crockpot and squeeze the juice of 1/2 the orange over the top of the meat, then add all remaining ingredients. I set it on high for about 2 hours until it was boiling and then turned it down to low for a couple hours. I then flipped it and brought it back up to a boil on the other side, then turned it back down to low for another hour or so. Total time was about 6-7hrs. Then I cut the netting off and shredded the meat for dinner. We made carnitas bowls with all of our favorite fixings (cilantro, lime wedges, avocado, tomato, raw red onion, sliced green olive, hot sauce, salsa, cabbage, etc.).
All of the fresh flavor of carnitas, without the glycemic load of tortillas!
Cooler temperatures (although short lived it would appear) always give me the urge to cook and roast more food, and lately I’ve been doing more with the crockpot (hi, easy!). This past weekend I had two packages of good quality chicken that needed to be used (boneless skinless tenders and breasts), so I decided to make something I could eat throughout this week.
In addition, I don’t typically use condiments anymore. Chemical shitstorms that I personally prefer not to eat, and when I left them behind I realized I didn’t really miss them all that much. I’ll consume some quality condiments free of refined sugar, corn, soy, canola, etc. occasionally, but really not that often. My deployed sailor left me with three opened 1/2 full bottles of (good quality) bbq sauce – one sweet, one spicy and one in the middle. I wanted them out of my fridge, so there we have it, crockpot sweet and spicy shredded chicken!
Crockpot Sweet and Spicy Shredded Chicken
- 2 2-2/12 lb packages of chicken – really you could choose whichever you prefer
- 3 large sliced jalapenos
- 1 red onion diced
- 8 garlic cloves diced
- Random bbq sauces…probably totaling 1 cup worth
- 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
- Fresh ground salt and pepper
- TBSP garlic powder
- Generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon
Throw everything in the crockpot and cook for 6-8 hours on medium heat, then shred with a fork. A couple notes: if you don’t like spice, use 2 jalapenos, this is spicy with 3. In my defense, I just made a recipe with 2, and there was next to no spice. LOL. I covered the top of the crockpot with a nice layer of ground cinnamon. I did not stir anything up, just left it as is and let it simmer.
I had it with over-medium eggs yesterday for breakfast, with avocado for lunch on Sunday and on a salad for lunch today.
I like applesauce. I don’t like all the crap in store-bought applesauce. I also had way too many “too ripe to eat” apples sitting around and can’t let things go to waste, so I decided to try a version of crockpot applesauce. I scoured all sorts of paleo/non-paleo recipes and then just decided to wing it with my take on the idea. The bananas were totally random (also have a few “too ripe bananas”) and I crossed my fingers it would be good (FYI, they remained on top of the apples, a little shrunk up, and totally brown until blended-don’t be dismayed by their gross look).
It turned out fabulous and I can’t believe how easy it was. Never thought I’d say, “I licked the immersion blender,” ha. Saved lots of fruit from going to waste 🙂
And now, I imagine marinating some meat in it.
Paleo Crockpot Apple-Banana Sauce
- 8 apples, peeled and slice (I had honeycrisp and pink lady)
- 2 bananas
- 1 1/2 C hot water
- 1 TBSP Bourbon Vanilla
- 1/4 C organic, raw maple sugar
- 1 TBSP Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp Allspice
- Generous grinding of sea salt
Add everything to the crockpot, turn up high to bring to a boil then turn down and let simmer. I let mine simmer overnight on low. Use immersion blender to blend, right in the crockpot. Made about 10 cups. Enjoy!