Search Results for: chili

Amazing Crockpot Chili

Who knew Winter was coming back to say hi one last time??

Thankfully I had CHILI on my meal plan this week. And there’s nothing better than a good bowl of Chili to warm you up the inside when it’s chilly outside.

And this Chili is good.

It’s a combination of a few recipes I’ve tried and loved over the years. I’m excited to get it all down here because it’s currently just hand-scribbled on something.

  • 3 tsp. Chili powder
  • 2 tsp. Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1.5-2 lbs Ground meat (turkey or beef, I always use beef in this recipe because it’s just too good not to!)
  • Garlic – 1/2 tablespoon (more or less)
  • Corn, 1 can
  • One Onion Diced
  • Black or green olives, sliced
  • Two cans Black Beans (rinsed)
  • Diced tomatoes, 2 cans of 14.5 OZ.
  • 4 tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 2 cups Stock. Chicken, Beef or Veggie.
    Start by browning the beef
    Once it’s cooked through, throw it in the slow cooker and start adding the rest of the ingredients.
    I let Michael use a steak knife this morning to “cut” the onion, because you know, he’s TWO.
    Toss the onions in the crockpot with the meat, and then literally everything else on top!
    Stir stir stir.
    So much goodness in one pot!
    Cook on Low for 8-10 hours and then top with your favorites! We use avocado because we are dairy-free and it’s delicious and adds a creaminess to it. But in the old days I would be all about some sour cream and shredded cheese. (Drool.)Here’s to you, Winter! See you next year! xxxx




Our Clean Eating Journey Update

Oh happy day! I’m sitting in the hospital with my little sister, she just had a kidney transplant and is doing great. This has been a long long time coming and we are so grateful. It’s a new life for this sweet little 16-year-old!

So it’s been almost three weeks since things clicked and we decided to drastically change Brielle’s diet. I’m excited to write an update on it! I feel like I’ve disappeared off the face of the earth because I’m taking an Instagram break and have been totally off the grid. Who knows, if I continue to like it as much as I do now we just might break-up permanently. So far I’m loving this new Insta-free Sarah.

For example, old Sarah would sip this (my delicious homemade chicken bone broth, not currently in my hand, this is from last week) and I would take a picture of it and post it to Instagram. I would take my time constructing the perfect caption, posting it, and then proceed to scroll mindlessly through hundreds of other similar images.

By the time I was done with all that racket I would look down and my broth would either be gone (consumed distractedly) or cold. Then the process would start over again with something else. Another post about another topic, another moment instagramed away.

New Sarah just sits there, and sips. Hot rich flavor with a hint of lime and fish sauce. enjoying every taste… for real enjoys it, not just hashtag “#enjoylife.” What a zoo. Anyway, like I said, all that’s for another post!

Back to our clean eating journey. There have been plenty of ups and downs but here we are, (yesterday) with Brielle standing in the kitchen watching Brenden season a big hunk o’ ribs saying: “Let’s cook it!!”
Do my ears deceive me?? In the end she preferred the smoked chicken over the ribs, but still, it’s huge progress. Three weeks ago she wouldn’t touch chicken unless it was in nugget form.

And she ate Chili the other day. Chili. With a blob of sour cream in it. This is a huge deal for so many reasons.
1) The beef. Three weeks ago she wouldn’t taste it except for a couple times in spaghetti sauce. Now she eats beef tacos, meatballs, and now Chili!
2) The mixing together of things totally weirds her out. So eating chili, (beans, tomatoes, onions, corn, beef, spices, etc.) all together is just way out there.
3) Chili is my favorite go-to meal and the fact that all four of us are finally on board with it just calls for a celebration.

There have been so many positive results from just being consistent in this area. My health is benefiting from it too. We used to always find a reason for a “treat,” now we have to find other ways to entertain ourselves, reward ourselves, pacify ourselves. It’s stretching us and growing us in ways I never imagined it would! And what started as a pretty exhausting uphill climb is starting to feel more like a lifestyle.

Once Brielle got used to the fact that this was the new normal and there wasn’t a treat hiding behind every corner she decided to start really participating. And the more she participated the more she realized there wasn’t anything to be scared of. It’s amazing how much her confidence increased just by her ability to try new things. She’s like a whole “nother” (as Michael says) person.

And of course we have treats. But they are thought out and planned for, and not nearly as frequent as they used to be. And dare I say we enjoy them more. Way more. Because they really are “treats,” and not just everyday occurrences. Yesterday after dinner we had this:

Ridiculous ice cream sandwiches made with Tate’s chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream. Michael thought it up. And Brielle requested a root beer float. They ended up having both, because in the end I’m still a pushover. And I wanted both too.

We still have days where it’s like pulling teeth and I have to remember that this isn’t something we will ever be finished with. I need to just try to take it slow and steady. It’s a new life of making one good food decision after the other and teaching them to do the same.

Excited about a new week of trying new foods!


















Amazing Keto Kung Pao Chicken

I wanted to make this again and it wasn’t on my blog. For shame!! I really have enjoyed having all our favorite meals in one place. With little naked pictures of my sous chef and his super cute dirty face. Seriously, can life get any better?? And then throw in a napping cat out the kitchen window and I’m just in heaven… What is it about a napping cat?

So this dish: Let me just say, if you like Chinese take-out but you also like to stay on track heath/diet-wise, make this asap. It’s the best of both worlds. Healthy AND delish.

The Ingredients:

2 medium chicken thighs, bone in skin on
1 tsp. ground ginger
salt and pepper
1/4 cup peanuts
1/2 medium green pepper
2 large spring onions
4 red Bird’s Eye Chilis, de-seeded (I used 2 Serrano peppers instead)

The Sauce:

1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. rice wine vinegar 
2 tbsp. chili garlic paste 
1 tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. maple extract (I used a couple tablespoons of maple syrup instead, yum!) 
10 drops liquid stevia (I didn’t use this because of the above) 

First I began the painstaking task of cutting up the meat. Granted, you could probably use boneless/skinless meat as well, but I think the skin adds extra flavor and fat to the dish.
I’ve experimented with different ways of cutting chicken, and point down/handless cutting with shears wins for me. The less I have to touch raw poultry the better. And it ensures I don’t cut myself too!

De-bone and cut into tiny bite sized peices. I removed any huge pieces of skin but a little skin attached to the meat is good! It will fry into little crispy golden pieces of heaven in the fry pan.

M added the salt and pepper and ground ginger after it was all cut up. 

Mix up the sauce and cut up veggies (green pepper/onions/chilis) and set aside.

Next heat a pan over medium/high heat and add some oil. Once the pan is super hot add the chicken. Let chicken cook until browned (about 10 minutes). You will start to recognize little Kung-Pao-like pieces. In your very own kitchen. Yay!
Once the chicken is browned, set aside and cook the veggies and peanuts in the same pan (with some oil) for a few minutes until a tiny bit tender. After a few minutes lower the heat and add the chicken and the sauce to the veggies and peanuts. Stir and cook a few minutes until the sauce has reduced a bit. The end result will be a little sticky (aka Delishhhh,)
I don’t believe in Chinese food without some steaming hot rice so thank goodness for this keto fried cauliflower rice recipe. I had no idea a non-rice “rice” could be so good!

And of course we never shy away from hot sauce over here.. bring it on! I hope you try this recipe.. it’s so worth it!


To keep this recipe Keto-friendly, follow the stevia/maple extract instructions and leave out the maple syrup. And Thank you for this crazy good recipe!





Slow Cooker Paleo Pork Carnitas

Did you know “Carnitas” means “little meat” in Spanish? How cute is that? And delicious.

These are the best Carnitas we’ve ever made in our own kitchen. I’m speed typing this and hitting publish so I have it in my “slow cooker” search whenever I’m meal planning for the week.

Start with a 4lb pork shoulder. I found this at Whole Foods: (I haven’t seen any change since the Amazon switch, I wonder if/when that’s coming?)

Mix the seasonings.
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt, or more, to taste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Rub it all over the meat. I put it back in the paper and let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours but you can use it straight away as well.

Cut two onions in quarters and peel four cloves of garlic.

I usually use jarred minced garlic but I used whole fresh garlic for this recipe because it calls for whole, not diced. And as long as I don’t have to cut it, that’s fine with me. 🙂

Juice two limes and two oranges… Smells so fresh! 

Place garlic, onions, orange juice, lime juice and pork into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. You can also do high for 4-5 hours but I highly recommend low and slow heat. 🙂

Then go about your day!

For us that that looked like dropping M off at preschool and going on a walk to the library to do homeschool:

And I bought myself an extra hour and a half sans Michael by putting him in lunch bunch (which he loves) so I could go to the semi-annual consignment sale down the street. So glad I went. I got some great Fall finds. Michael said “thank you for these shoes mommy! Are they super-fast running shoes?” Of course the answer is always yes.

Next we went to piano lessons for Brielle. This is when M and I get to read all the piano teacher’s great books!
Eventually we got to dinner time (around 8:30 actually, after we got back from church) and what I had planned to be black beans and salsa and tomatoes and lettuce bowl with our Carnitas turned into “Let’s do this! we are starving!”

So the last step: Remove the pork from slow cooker and shred it into pieces (hence, “little meat”) and put it back in the juices in the crockpot. We did this in super-fast motion, with kids under-foot.

Then we put the pieces of meat in a hot frying pan (using a tablespoon or so of the drippings in the slow cooker) and fried it up in small batches until it was crisp on the outside. (The original recipe says to broil for a few minutes in the oven, so that is an option too but this tastes better to me.)

And don’t forget to add salt at the very end. It takes it from “wow this is good” to… “Damn this is good!” Which is actually the name of the site where I got this recipe! 🙂

Serve the ridiculously delicious “little meat” with black beans and rice or on a (heated) tortilla with salsa and etc etc etc.

Tonight we ate it with salsa and nothing else. Well, corn on the cob and some rice made an appearance toward the end of the meal after it was done cooking, but we were too famished to wait for it!

Yum! This will be on our meal planning rotation until we get totally sick of it. 😀














Paleo Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole

This dish is just as good as it looks! Lucky for me I don’t like dark chocolate plain, so this made it into the recipe and not into my mouth. 😀

2 lbs chicken pieces bone in breast – Skin removed
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbsp ghee
1 medium onion chopped
4 cloves garlic crushed or minced
two cans of tomatoes, crushed, 15 0z each.
Two tomatoes chopped
2 dried chipotle chilis
1/4 cup creamy Almond Butter
2.5 oz dark chocolate 70% or above
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon power
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder 
avocado cilantro and jalapeno, all chopped

Generously salt and pepper the chicken.
Place a pan over medium heat and add the ghee.
Once the ghee has warmed, add the chicken and brown on all sizes. This may need to be done in batches.
Move the chicken to slow cooker.
Add onion to the same pan and saute until translucent.
Add garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer onion and garlic to the slow cooker.
Add the tomatoes, chili peppers, almond butter, dark chocolate, salt and spices to the slow cooker.
Cook on low to 4 to 6 hours or until the chicken is tender and pulls apart easily.
Top mole with the avocado, cilantro and jalapeno and serve!

The curiosity of chocolate chicken kept them in the kitchen. 🙂

I couldn’t wait until dinner to taste it. Wow, it was even better than I expected!
I served it over roasted cauliflower.

Delicious! I can’t wait to make this again.










Just A Random Wednesday – A Post Only A Mother Could Love

Today I documented everything that happened on a random day.. everything we did, everywhere we went, what we had for breakfast, what I felt at 8am and what I felt at 1:30 pm., all the monotony and all the joy…

This post is for future me. I want something real and tedious to look back on, a way to re-live the details, the minutia, the beautiful (and not so beautiful) everything that makes up our lives today.

So future Sarah: Have fun remembering. It really was this good, their soft sweet kisses and their little laughs, the way their energy made me breathe in new life every day in a new way. Their conversations that have little to no logic and that make me laugh continuously. It really was this good.

And it really was this hard. The constant ON(ness) of being responsible for the well-being and safety and growth of two human beings. The constant effort and love and work. The constant thought and worry and sacrifice. The questions, the whining, the non-stop requests and complaints. It really was this hard.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 – Our day in pictures:

6:30 am: “Mommy I’m donnne! I wanna Bottle milk rub your tummy!”

Cat’s out of the bag, he still gets a bottle of milk in the morning. I hold him and he rubs my tummy and I drink my coffee and look in his eyes and tell him all the things I love about him and why he’s special and how much God loves him.

I love this time of connecting and building him up and soon I think we’ll graduate to doing it over tea or something other than a bottle. Maybe??

And yes, he’s still in a crib, and that might last forever because he hasn’t climbed out yet and we all lovvvvve it. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

As soon as the kids are awake it’s the signal to the animals to start demanding things too. Eustace wants to come in and have his breakfast – I wish I had a pic of his mouth open and yelling at me. That’s his signature “good morning” face.

Eustace after breakfast – retirement must be nice!

Bacon and eggs in the morning for Brenden Michael and I – cheerios for Brielle.
I crack them in the pan and then scramble them. I want chickens so bad!
We bake our bacon! 3-15 minutes on 385 until crispy. So much easier and less mess than on the stove-top!

It’s 8am and he’s already saying “I want to cook!” I told him we were going to make Chili and he won’t be happy until we start. I try to make our dinners super easy on Wednesdays because we have community group at 6:30 and there’s no time for anything else in the evening.

He loves to help me make this Chili. He rinses the beans and adds the corn and spices. The only part he doesn’t like is when I add the chopped onion. “It hurts my eyyyyes!”

Then when I went to shower I saw this…. And I laughed out loud. Just thinking about documenting my life in detail today makes everything stand out so much more. So many bumps in the road!!! Nothing is smooth and easy!

I’ll let this newly wrecked blush compact stand in for all the pictures I won’t be able to take during the chaos and spills and falls and arguments and confusion and mess and everything else that happens today.

Poor blush.

After we got dressed I set the kids up with their on-going project this week: A book report! It was Brielle’s idea to write a book, and I got so excited thinking about going to the library to “research” our topics.

Brielle chose insects, Michael chose instruments, and then Brielle said “mommy what will your book be?” Umm.. what a novel idea. (Pardon the pun.) I was giddy at the thought.
I chose wildflowers and we went to the library and picked out the most beautiful vibrant books we could find on our topics.

Already we learned about Pasture Roses and Morpho moths and listened to tons of different instruments on youtube.

After we had about twenty minutes of book writing (our max attention span with Michael around) I told them to go play while I cleaned the kitchen. Making chili with a 3 year old isn’t pretty.

Then I heard Michael say “I want some gum, B-ell.” Apparently she’s his dealer? “I know where some is, let’s go outside.” She led the way down the front stairs but neither of them could get the door open.

Then I heard, “Let’s try the back door!!” They came back upstairs and opened the back sliding door and ran around the side of the house to the car. I met them outside:

They had no idea how to open the car doors! I couldn’t stop laughing.

I let them in so they could play “Driving to Rhode Island” while we waited for the appliance repair guy.

(Brielle asked me specifically for this side pony-tail.) *Heart-eyes.*

His new thing is picking the rubber spikey things off the tires whenever he gets a chance. Is that bad for the tires I wonder? It sure does make his hands gross.

I sat on the front steps while they played, simultaneously making sure they didn’t get killed by the appliance repair man’s truck when he drove up, and painting my nails.

Literally I had just sat down to paint my nails (which is a bad idea if you are a mom and anywhere other than in a salon or the kids are asleep) and Michael said “mommy my feet are wet can you wipe off my shoes?” And Brielle said “mommy I’m thirsty can you get me some water?”

And then horror of horrors they noticed I was painting my nails… so of course they had to join in. Michael pointed to his right hand – “I want three nails!!” But he wouldn’t let me paint them, he wanted to do it himself.

Nail painting party.

As soon as he blew his fingernails dry he said: “Boys don’t like nail polish.” Brielle agreed with a “yeah daddy hates to wear nail polish.” And he promptly picked off all his polish.

Brielle asked if she could pick the neighbors flowers. How can I refuse that face? Somehow I did.
Still no appliance repair guy… It should be illegal to make moms wait more than an hour. Ridic.
Then we went into the back yard to check out our tomato plant and found a few more little green ones!
I have green peppers, zucchini and tomatoes growing in three pots side by side and I think they are all kind of one big plant now.

Finnnnally the repair guy came, fixed what he needed to fix and left and we were able to get in the car and head to the Discovery Museum. But first a stop at the dry cleaners to get Brielle’s purple princess dress mended. A seam was coming apart and she wanted to wear it (specifically) to a friend’s Princess party this weekend.

Then to the drive-thru library window (which we love) and then we were on our way to the Discovery Museum. For real this time. We love the Discovery museum, and it’s freeee when you either have a membership (which we don’t this year) or have a very handy pass that you can check out at the library for free!

Five minutes before we arrived at the parking garage (and only after a 12 minute drive) this guy was passed out.

Now whatttt. Brielle was insistent that the DM could not wait for another day, so we let him sleep for another 10 minutes and then woke him up.

It was like waking a bear. And I realized it was 11:30 and he was hungry. Total mom fail.

We always get french fries on Friday, usually from Chick Fil A because that’s everyone’s favorite, but today I was desperate and we pulled through the drive through at McDonald’s. Whateves.

I love that I do this on the day that I am trying to be as detailed as possible about my day!

Michael went from angry bear to happy puppy and we went to the downtown mall to get our Discovery on!

They love elevators and I love that the elevator has a glass wall so I can see out of it!

The Discovery museum was a hit as usual. Seriously, we could have stayed all day if it wasn’t for gymnastics.

On the way out we rode on the carousel. I remember when they were too afraid to ride this. It was only last year. 😀

It’s amazing how fast a mood can change when you’re with kids. I feel like I have emotional whiplash half the time. This morning we woke up so excited about the day and by 1:30 I was like, “It it too early to send them off to college? And can the dog go too?”

By gymnastics time we were all a little worn out. Into the car we go, back home to get Brielle’s leotard and then down the road to the gymnastics center.

I find it fascinating how as moms we are at the mercy of their little moods and developing emotions and attitudes. It requires so much resilience and strength to not be sucked down whatever path they happen to be on, and some days I just don’t have that resilience!

Michael had a hard time at gymnastics because he was exhausted… He didn’t want to nap but he also didn’t want to be awake. Cue hell. So I drove around trying to get him to nap while Brielle did her class.

“Mommy how are your arms rully rully long to reach?”

He didn’t nap.

We got home and the house smelled of delicious Chili. Thank goodness. Can I just say how nice it is to have dinner ready with nothing needed by me?? I love my crockpot.

I resisted the urge to have a bowl of half-done chili and I had leftover red beans and rice and coleslaw for lunch. This is how I roll when I’m eating alone, whatever is in the fridge goes on my plate. It was delicious.

I made the kids dinner. Wow, this is a reallllly bad day to be talking about what we ate, but such is life. I made Brielle a peanut butter and honey sandwich and Michael had some chili.

Peanut butter and honey sandwiches, rice, and cheerios are her staple foods right now. She’ll eat raw veggies too, and some chicken, etc., but those are her three go-to favorites. We are working on it.

Neither of them ate much of it, they just sat and played restaurant with their food, which means they will be hungry in about an hour. Joy.

They just brought me this “special” dish from their restaurant. 🙂

I sat next to them as they played restaurant (aka ate dinner) and sipped tea and tried to type this post, or at least part of it, and all I heard was loud LOUUUUD voices singing: “First I was a pea and I grew and I GREW and I grew so big that the pea pod POPPED!!” Over and over. I love it, right? Right. So much so that I considered buying noise canceling headphones the other day. Lol.

Shoes were found and clothes put on, troops were rallied and we left to go to our community group meeting. I am so grateful to be doing life with other Christian families and individuals that I LOVE and love Christ! It makes life so rich and so beautiful.

Today we talked about sharing our story, what God has brought us through and brought us out of. I want to be more proficient in sharing my testimony with people that I know and that I meet. I want to be challenged in this area and I’m so grateful for a group of people who are doing that in my life. Sharing our story is powerful!

And speaking of stories:
Every Wednesday this beautiful girl is here to play with us. We love our Aunt Genevieve! She is such an amazing young woman, has the most beautifully unique and inspiring story, and is just over the moon amazing with the kids. And I hear her right now practicing her harp downstairs. It is beautiful!! Yes, she is too good to be true.

Tonight Brielle asked her to make her a “crown braid” and she did this. So sweet.

We got to church a few minutes early, just in time to have Brielle almost smash her head hanging from the stair banister on the concrete steps. I reminded her we weren’t in gymnastics class… and she did it again. I’m trying to be more firm and have absolute consequences when she disobeys, like taking away her toys or a show for a bit, the verdict is out on the success of this.

Of course we had to walk down the sidewalk to Sweethaus while we waited for the doors to open. We looked in the windows and saw all the deliciousness but didn’t get anything… “because we didn’t have dinner, remember guys??” They are so silly.

I feel like in mom life you can experience the entire spectrum of emotions in one day. If the morning is all glittery rainbows and smiley faces the afternoon or evening is bound to be some level of hell. I can’t remember a day when we’ve been like yes… it’s been amazing all. day. long. No. It isn’t possible.

But it is possible for me to try to keep my sanity and be the happiest I can be no matter what is going on around me. And that will allow the kids to come back to my level whenever they can/want/are able to. It makes it easier for them to get back to “normal” if I am at that normal level on the regular.

I’m reading Triggers again, (for the second time) and love it so much. It’s teaching me so much about parenting and my own sin, and how my kid’s actions usually make me react out of my own shortcomings and sin, not theirs. It is so humbling and I love it!

The kids are in bed now, see how I skipped the ‘get home at 8PM and get them to sleep’ part? No thanks, even I don’t want to see pictures of that. There’s nothing like two over-tired kids who didn’t eat their dinner and didn’t nap. That’s when life gets cray and everyone needs their pillows flipped because “my pillow’s  too hotttt” and “I don’t want to take a bath, my legs itch.” And I just asked Brenden for some more bedtime complaint examples, because they are adorable and I don’t ever want to forget them, and he said, “oh sweetheart… I’m off the clock.” Good enough.

Okay, that was a long post. Loooooong. And I know I’ll be glad I wrote it one day. That’s just how I am.

Happy Normal Wednesday from my crazy family to yours!



Slow Cooker Mexican Meatballs And A Rainy Day At Home

Last Tuesday started with a dead truck battery and ended with a traffic ticket from a very kind police officer. No really, he was so kind.

After one look in the back of my land-cruiser packed with three preschoolers he went from business as usual to sweet and comforting: “Just call DMV and renew your registration and it’s like you never even got a ticket….”

“Call DMV??” I don’t know what planet he’s from, but it’s not earth. Even so, I was thanking him as I drove away.

Kindness! It makes the world such a better place.

After we were merrily on our way I asked my audience in the back; “Can you believe I got a ticket??” To which Brielle’s little friend replied, “A ticket?? To what?”

I mean, adorable.

Days like that remind me how little my happiness and joy depends on my actual circumstances, and how much it depends on my willingness to just be content.

(Telling stories and having our snack in the car before resigning ourselves to an unplanned morning at home.) 

Some days motherhood is a whirlwind of places to go and to-do lists and some days it’s rain coming down and hours of nothing but fights and make-ups and Netflix and crafts and meals and clean-ups and books and games and snacks and make-believes and time-outs, and doing it all agains…

And that leads me to the Mexican Meatballs… They were simmering quietly in the background, not needing or requiring me.. just getting “done” on their own. Ahhh.

I used to think slow cookers were for chili and soup in cold weather. Now, as a mom, I know they are for survival. There’s nothing better than turning a pot on and having dinner done eight hours later.

I found this recipe years ago and I’m excited to share it with you and have it eternally on my meal-planning radar.

Slow Cooker Mexican Meatballs:

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
6 garlic cloves (I use minced in a jar, so a couple teaspoons full.)
Shallots, 2 bulbs diced
Ground pork 1 1/2 lbs
Garlic powder 2 tsp
Cumin 1 tsp for meatballs and 1 tsp for sauce
Chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce 1, chopped
Chili Powder 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Crushed tomatoes (Can, 14 oz)
Crushed Tomatoes (Can 28 0z)
Avocado, 1 cubed
Lime, sliced into wedges

I always chop my veggies before I deal with the meat, because of the obvious grossness factor.

So I chopped the cilantro (Ahhhh the smell!)

It’s so fresh and amazing.

Then I diced the Shallots:

I added the Cilantro to the pork (The shallots go into the sauce.)

Then I added the spices:

Then I took off my rings and mushed it all together.

Next I made the sauce which is so easy:

I combined the cans of tomatoes in the crockpot with the second half (1 tsp) of cumin and the adobo pepper as well as the shallots and minced garlic.
Stir stir stir.

Then I rolled the meat into balls and dropped them right into the sauce.

Once they were all in there I covered them up with the spoon, being careful not to damage them.
Then I covered the slow cooker and turned it on low for 8 hours (You can also do high for 6 hours.)

As an additional step, (but not necessary for a delicious meal) you can remove the meatballs from the slow cooker when they are done and puree the sauce with an immersion blender before mixing the two together again.

Don’t forget salt and pepper!

They are tender and delicious and way too easy not to add to my monthly meal rotation.

Happy Tuesday everyone!




Mexican-Style Pulled Pork

Yet another slow-cooker pork recipe to add to my arsenal! Praise the easy recipe gods.

And this might be my favorite yet.

I had high hopes for this recipe for a few reasons. One being that it called for enchilada sauce. That just spelled “comfort food” to me. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint in this category.

This pulled pork can (and should!) be served over everything from baked potatoes to big fat rolls to corn tortillas. And the sides… I can’t even imagine the tastes that would compliment this. Coleslaw, Pinto beans, Collards, oh my!

We kept it simple tonight and ate the face off some tacos. With a side of spicy black beans.

Mexican-Style Pulled Pork:

You will need –

  • 2 to 3 lb. pork butt or shoulder
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 2 green chilies, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix the last six ingredients in the list (the spices) in bowl and rub it all over the meat.
img_0719Put the seasoned meat in a slow cooker (turned on low.)

Now pour over the meat:
The salsa, the enchilada sauce, the green peppers, (I used 1/2 can of mild green chilies – sliced – instead) and the beef stock.
img_0722Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Once it’s done, take the meat out and let it rest. Strain the sauce with a colander into a saucepan.) It’t hot! Cook the sauce over medium heat until it thickens a bit.

I added two tablespoons of corn starch to a portion of it and once it was dissolved I added it back to the pan. It thickened the sauce nicely! Totally optional, but gave it more of a gravy comfort food vibe.

Shred the pork using two forks, and put back in the slow cooker with the thickened sauce, combining with a few stirs. Cover the crock pot and cook on high heat for another 20 minutes. I didn’t cook it the additional 20 minutes, (we are impatient over here,) and it still turned out perfect. 

Open it up (again) and enjoy!!!!


*This recipe (minus a few changes) is from Paleo Leap: My go-to treasure trove for all things Paleo!



Slow-Cooker Cochinita-Style Pork

Can I just tell you how much I love trying a new crockpot meal? Especially pork?

1) If we love them, I have yet another easy meal to add to my list of go-tos.
2) I love seeing Brenden happy, and it seems he’s happiest eating PORK.
3) Slow-cooker recipes usually have lots of leftovers, and leftovers are my best friend.

This is a style of pork I’ve never even heard of before! It’s a traditional Mexican slow-roasted pork that is prepared by marinating the meat in strongly acidic citrus juice. And the mix of spices is superb.

The recipe calls for Pork Butt. Which, if you want to be less grossed out you can just call “Pork Shoulder.” It’s a great cut of meat for the crock-pot because it has lots of good fat to render, and it’s a great cut of meat for your wallet because it’s more economical than most cuts. WIN.

The ingredients:

  • 4 lbs pork butt
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2/3 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 habanero peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

I always cut my veggies first, even before I even open the meat. I want the meat to be the last thing that touches my surfaces.

So first I dice the tomatoes, slice the red onions, and dice the red peppers. Already I am loving this meal, just look at these beautiful colors!
I dump all of that in a big bowl, and put it aside for later.
Now I juice the limes and pour the juice in a bowl with the orange juice and the garlic. I dice the habanero peppers and throw them in there too.
I set the bowl of juices aside and go on to the spices.
I mix all the spices in a little bowl and then the meat makes an appearance.
I always try to buy happy meat/meat that came from happy animals.
I rub the spices into the meat.
Now it’s time to put it all in the pot!
I set the meat in the slow cooker and pour the delicious liquid over the top.
img_7292Next I pour the bowl of veggies on top of that.
Once the meat is cooked (8 hours later) I shred it and mix it all in the crockpot to make sure it has access to all the flavors and juices.

This pork can be served with a sweet potato mash, or with anything really, but I chose to make tacos.

I made some black beans to go with it, and warmed some corn tortillas in a pan. I find that doing this without butter makes the corn tortilla perfectly warm and crispy while still being just a little chewy. (Which I love.)
The most important ingredient they saved for last:
Add some sea salt and plenty of cilantro to your final dish! It takes the entire meal to a different level.

It was a winner! Michael loved the pork by itself, Brenden and I loved the tacos, Brielle wouldn’t try it, (but what’s new??) and I’ll for sure be making it again.

Next time I plan to marinate the meat in the spices and juices overnight.

*This is yet another recipe from paleoleap. I could make a recipe -a-day from these guys and never get bored! Check them out for all things Paleo!



Slow Cooker Turkey Enchilada Soup

Yesterday morning Michael and I prepared Turkey Enchilada Soup and started up the crock pot…

There’s nothing like having dinner DONE by 8AM.


Side note: This is my version of Cooksmart’s Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe. Do yourself a favor and try their meal planning service for a couple of months and see what you think! There are sample meals on their website too, to get you started. You won’t be disappointed!

Back to this crazy good soup!

One chicken breast or Turkey breast, bone in skinless.
3 cloves garlic (I use about a half tablespoon of pre-minced *hallelujah* garlic.)
One onion, diced
1 Can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce – Use 1 pepper, chopped, and 2 tsp. of the sauce. (You can also sub smoked Paprika if you can’t find this! But it does add a unique happy taste.)
Diced tomatoes, 14 oz. I use Fire Roasted
1 Tbsp tomato paste
Cumin – 1 Tbsp
Coriander – 1 Tbsp
Green Chilies, 2 oz can
Chicken Stock, 4 cups (You can sub water)
Black beans, drained and rinsed (1 14 oz can) or you can cook your own!
Corn kernels, frozen or fresh, 1 cup
1 avocado. Once my avocado is ripe I keep it in the fridge to HALT the ripening process. It works!

First, deal with the poultry. GAG.
You can use chicken too but I find a Split Turkey Breast at Trader Joes that works great. I sincerely dislike handling raw poultry, and for this dish I have to strip the skin off. Yuck. But trust me, it’s worth it for the end result.

Throw the entire thing in the slow cooker, sans skin.

Next I cut the onion and toss it in the crock pot with the turkey.
Then I rinse the beans, and throw them in too.
Then the rest of the ingredients! Everything just goes in. Easy.
Turn the pot on low for 7-8 hours.
When the soup is done, take the entire breast out of the pot to remove the bone and shred the meat.
Then add all the shredded deliciousness back to the pot and stir!
Add salt and pepper and any hot sauce if you so desire.
Slice the avocado and add it to the top. You can also add sour cream and shredded cheese, (in my dreams!!) But lucky for me the avocado adds tons of creaminess and is the perfect dairy-free topping.
Now it’s ready to devour!