Now, I have to tell you: I ate strictly paleo for a few years. I loved it, and felt great while eating lots of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and properly raised animal protein. I’ve added some select grains back into my diet. I know. WHY? HOW? It all started when I got pregnant. I was fairly sick for the first two trimesters, and very particular about what I ate for the third. I had a hard time digesting veggies unless they were cooked to mush, and couldn’t tolerate many animal proteins. As much as I wanted to eat mostly paleo, even tried to force myself to, my body and my baby did not agree. And since I believe it is super important to listen to my body, I complied. I tried cutting out grains again after Echo was born and it had a negative impact on my milk supply. So, as long as I’m the head milk-maker, I will continue with a small serving of sprouted grains or brown rice a day.
Now, I have to tell you something else: I am committed to eating properly-raised protein. Because of Echo’s food allergies, the typical diet of conventionally raised animals is problematic because it is full of grains. So, the animals eat the grains, I eat the animals, Echo drinks my milk, and then he has a reaction to the grains the animal ate. Crazy, right? This means I scour the weekly grocery ads for deals, and buy in bulk when I find a good price on meat at our local co-op or Whole Foods. I make deals with friends who raise their own chickens, and sometimes go a week or two without eating animal protein at all if it is too cost prohibitive. Because BUDGET.
During the days following my son’s birth, many people gifted us with food. One of our favorites was pulled pork made by our friend, Gwyn. She inspired me to make this simple crockpot-style meal. I lucked out and found pork shoulder for $2.49 a pound and made a huge batch. This meal is especially nice if it’s too hot to cook and you don’t have time to anyway because you’re too busy cuddling your new baby. It’s also wonderful on a cold day, or to share with friends over dinner and wine.
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder:
- 3-5 lbs Pork Shoulder, trimmed of some fat
- 1/4 cup of a dry spice rub (I made my own with whatever I had in my pantry: S&P, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, celery salt, cinnamon, parsley, tumeric, onion powder.)
- 2 Tbsp Braggs Amino Acids (optional)
- 1 Tbsp Organic Black Strap Molasses or raw honey (optional)
- 1 onion, sliced 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Method for Pork Shoulder:
- Rub pork shoulder with amino acids, black strap molasses, and then spice mixture.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Wake up early and put the pork shoulder in the crockpot with apple cider vinegar and onion.
- Cook covered on low setting for 8 hours-10 hours. Or longer. This is really hard to mess up.
- Serve with slaw and impress everyone with your cooking skills.
Ingredients for Fennel Carrot Slaw:
- 2 bulbs of fennel, thinly sliced (I recommend using a mandolin.)
- 2-3 carrots, shaved (I use a veggie peeler.)
- chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp raw honey
- Sea Salt and Pepper
Method for Slaw:
- Combine fennel, carrots and as much cilantro as you’d like in a bowl. I like LOTS of cilantro.
- Add vinegar, honey, S&P and mix thoroughly.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving to set.
My husband used Ezekiel tortillas as a conduit, but you can use lettuce or a sweet potato instead. The sweet potato is especially delicious, and that’s what I used. I also topped it with some goat cheese crumbles and it was heavenly. You could use queso fresco or feta if you don’t like goat cheese, or avocado if you’re trying to avoid dairy altogether. This heats up great in a frying pan for leftovers, and a great filling for a quesadilla.