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Brunswick Stew Paleo Style

Would you believe it was 33 degrees here in Atlanta this morning?! It is Spring…right? Anyway, I thought it would be a good day to make a final winter stew.

When I was little, I would go with my dad to get brunswick stew at a place called Old Hickory House. I still remember the taste and that was about 25 years ago. Anyway, while I continue with my pork kick (can you tell once I find something I like, I stick with it?), I thought I would try to recreate the stew with a Paleo version.  While it doesn’t taste exactly like I remember, after all, it’s hard to do without sugar, white flour, corn, beans, and BBQ sauce, it’s still turned out really good. My daughter loved it! My husband and I did too. But, my son said “just so you know mom, I really don’t care for it.” Um, okay Tate. Fair enough. Of course he still ate it, because, well, it was what was for dinner, but he may not be begging me to make it again anytime soon. Regardless, the rest of us enjoyed it!

Rather than use pork loin, feel free to substitute with a whole chicken or pork shoulder. I think Boston butt is typically used in Brunswick Stew. But as much as I love pork butt (does anyone else hear a 6 year old boy laughing in their heads?) when cooked on the Big Green Egg, I am really kind of grossed out by it when cooks in a slow cooker.

Anyway, here is what you need for the Paleo Brunswick Stew:

  • 2.5 lb pork roast or shoulder/butt if you prefer
  • 28 ounces canned, crushed, tomatoes plus their juices
  • about 1 cup frozen precut, or fresh okra
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 stalks if celery, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons grass fed butter
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust accordingly)
  • 2 tbsp Celtic sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic or powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder and
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (look for low sugar)
  • coconut oil, for searing pork

Rub some salt, pepper and cayenne pepper on the roast. Then heat up your dutch oven or large pan on high, pour some coconut oil and sear the meat for about 3 minutes on each side, until it’s a nice golden brown. Searing isn’t absolutely necessary, my husband argues it doesn’t matter, so you can skip this part if you prefer…

_DSC9971c2Then, in a food processor, shred your celery and onion.

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Now, put that in your dutch oven (or slow cooker) on top of the meat. Then add the tomatoes, bay leaf, butter (you can just place it cold in the center of your food), all of the spices, BBQ sauce (if you use it), apple cider vinegar and coconut palm sugar.

_DSC9975Now in a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder and chicken broth and then pour that on top of your stew.

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Cook on 200F for 5-6 hours. If using a slow cooker crock pot, cook on low for about 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Then cut up the pork on a cutting board or just tear apart meat and place it back in the pot with the sauce. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes to soak up the flavor, and enjoy these last bites of winter! 

Stiritup.me Paleo Brunswick Stew

If you want it to have more of that traditional BBQ brunswick taste, add 1/2 cup of a low sugar, all natural BBQ sauce. _DSC9986

I didn’t use the BBQ sauce, but instead I did use a little of this new amazing hot sauce my good friend gave me the other day. Mmmm…_DSC9997

Happy Easter everyone! Well that certainly doesn’t sound right…

Brunswick Stew Paleo Style
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 2.5 lb pork roast or shoulder/butt if you prefer
  • 28 ounces canned, crushed, tomatoes plus their juices
  • about 1 cup frozen precut, or fresh okra
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 stalks if celery, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons grass fed butter
  • ¾ tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp cayenne pepper (adjust accordingly)
  • 2 tbsp Celtic sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp fresh garlic or powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce (look for low sugar)
  • coconut oil, for searing pork
Instructions
  1. Rub some salt, pepper and some cayenne add some to roast, aside from measurements from above. Use enough to lightly coat the roast.
  2. Heat up dutch oven or large pan, pour some coconut oil and sear the meat for about 3 minutes on each side, until it’s a nice golden brown.
  3. In a food processor, shred your celery and onion.
  4. Now, put that in your dutch oven (or slow cooker) on top of the meat.
  5. Then add the tomatoes, bay leaf, butter (you can just place it cold in the center of your food), all of the spices, the apple cider vinegar and coconut palm sugar.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder and chicken broth. Pour that on top and stir everything together until well blended.
  7. Cook 200 5-6 hours. Then cut up the meat on a cutting board or just tear apart meat and place it back in the pot with the sauce. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes to soak up the flavor, and enjoy these last bites of winter!

We have a new burger!

Don’t you feel like – especially as the seasons change – you are in need of some new recipes and ideas, because you’re just sick of everything? I certainly am! It’s a hard transition sometimes. I’m done with soups and chili and spaghetti squash casseroles (believe it or not). But I’m just not quite ready for chicken salads yet.

So as I stood at the Whole Foods meat department and just stared aimlessly at the meat counter thinking something new would pop out at me, I noticed they had 85/15 ground pork on sale. I am so use to getting beef and chicken and turkey, but thought pork could be a good change. I asked my buddies behind the counter what I could do with this and they said “burgers!”. Oh. Yeah. Easy enough!

They also had some chorizo sausage. I discovered Chorizo last month when we were at the beach and my father-in-law made an amazing payaya on the Big Green Egg. I still need to share that recipe, I know. Anyway, check this out…

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How pretty is that meal? The chorizo sausage with seafood was ah-mazing.

Anyway, since I still didn’t really know what I was cooking and just getting random stuff, I thought I’d get a couple of links of chorizo as well.

I ended up using both the ground pork and the chorizo together to make the burgers and they were delicious and so full of flavor!! They are my new favorite burger. I even like them better than the Chicken Thai Burgers that we still cook fairly regularly.

If you can’t find the chorizo, don’t sweat it though. I think the burgers would be great without the sausage, too!

stiritup.me pork burgerPork Chorizo Burger StirItUp.Me

I hope y’all like them!

Pork Burgers
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 lb ground pork 85/15
  • 3 Mexican Pork Chorizo sausages, casing removed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp thyme powder
  • 2 tsp Celtic sea salt (or more)
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients together and pat out your burgers.
  2. In a cast iron skillet or pan, heat on high and place your patties in the skillet. Smash the down pretty flat. I actually liked to make them pretty small, about the size of a silver dollar and then really flatten them out. The outside gets a little crispy so the flatter they are, the more crispiness there is to them, if that makes any sense.
  3. Cook until brown, and then flip and cook until brown. Now turn the heat to medium and cook until they are done in the middle. Since this is pork, be sure it is well done. It should take about 10-15 minutes in all.

I Hope it’s Not this Confusing for the Easter Bunny!

It’s finally Spring!! And, I cannot believe tomorrow is April 1st. Phew! With that said, Easter is just right around the corner. I have heard lately many people commenting on the confusion of massive variety of eggs at Whole Foods (or other grocery stores). It really is ridiculous, and hard to understand!

Anyway, with Easter (and Easter eggs!) right around the corner,  I thought now would be a good time to give a mini tutorial on what the wording on the egg cartons mean. Hopefully it will help you make an educated, and less confusing, purchase the next time you go to buy eggs at the grocery store…

Cage-free: It just means that the chickens are not raised in small cages, although it doesn’t mean the hens have access to the outdoors. They still are most likely raised in tight conditions, in a barn-like setting, with clipped beaks and wings, and very little exposure to sunlight. And unless it states otherwise, it certainly doesn’t mean these chickens are free of antibiotics, hormones, vaccines and feed that may include animal by products or GMO-crops. It’s a really deceiving word, isn’t it?

Free-range: It means that the chickens have some exposure to the outdoors for a portion of their life, but there are no absolute standards on time or duration.  According to SF Gate, “It does not mean that the poultry must be allowed access to pastures or grassy yards, nor does it ensure a certain amount of time outdoors or the size of the area for a given number of birds.” Again, same thing here regarding the antibiotics, hormones, vaccines and feed. Unless it says “no antibiotics”, you have to assume it’s in there.

Omega-3 Enriched eggs: This just means that the feed given to the chickens are enriched with an omega-3 diet, usually in the form of flaxseeds. There chickens are not free of hormones and antibiotics either.

Organic Vegetarian-fed: It means that the chickens are not fed any meat or fish (since when do chickens eat cows or salmon?), organic vegetarian-based diet. While this might sound “healthier”, they are actually not meant to be a vegetarian-fed animal. They actually do best eating bugs and worms, but that’s where the next last one comes in. Oh, and again, I know I’m a broken record, but, you guessed it, these are likely also not free of hormones and antibiotics.

Certified Organic Eggs: The feed that is given to these chickens is organic, and the chickens are not given any antibiotics or hormones. These chickens most likely have some (not all) exposure to sunlight. Ah, finally, it’s getting better.

But, the clear winner goes to…

Pasture-raised eggs: These chickens are free to roam on open grassland, eat an organic diet, enjoy bugs and worms, see daylight, and are not given any hormones or antibiotics. While this is clearly the most humane way to raise the hens, they also provide us with eggs that have darker/richer yolks that taste better and have a higher nutritional value.

A 2007 study by Mother Earth News showed that pastured eggs have, in comparison to those confined to a cage:

  • 66% more vitamin A
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene

While they are more expensive (find a friend with chickens!) they are worth it!  If you can’t always get the pasture, then at least try to go organic to ensure that they are free of hormones and antibiotics. Costco carries Organic eggs now, too!

I’ve got some good recipes to share with you all the next few upcoming weeks so be sure to check back soon! In the meantime, here are a few good old favorite recipes for your eggs:

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Frittata

Happy egg hunting!!

Landria - Hi Rebecca! So I checked out their facebook page and saw that many people have asked if they are GMO free and or cage free or for pics of the chickens and the farm never responded which is odd. Look under the
“Recent Posts by Others on Latta’s Egg Ranch” on their web site. They dont seem very forthright which is disappointing. I start to respond to you saying they were likely fine; now I’m not so sure. I use White Oaks Pastures Free Range for 5.99 when I don’t get them from another source. Might be worth trying?

Rebecca - Hey Landria, the eggs I buy from WF are the Latta’s Egg Ranch eggs…on the pkg it says cage free chickens, hand gathered, fed pure grains with no antibiotics (realize now maybe not best here) and no animal fat in feed…thoughts??

Marla-Deen - Love this post! What seems so easy can definitely be so confusing!

Havana Pork Loin

I was looking for a different flavor from our regular meals and thought some Cuban pork would hit the spot.

I know the picture isn’t very pretty. And to be honest, when I first tasted it, I thought it was just okay. I was planning on it taking hours to cook since I was “slow cooking” on a low temperature but it only took a hour plus some.  Since it was done so quickly, I left it covered on the stove until dinner time which was 2 hours later. Anyway, when I came back, I had a bite, and well, I just couldn’t quit eating it. I had so many bites that I just ended up eating the veggies from our dinner since I ate so much of the pork earlier on. It was really good and the whole family loved it! I hope y’all love it too!

stiritup.me havana pork tenderloin

Havana Pork Loin
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 7-8 garlic cloves, minced (used TJ pre-pealed)
  • ⅓ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat 300F.
  2. Trim fat and tendon on pork loins.
  3. In your dutch oven, heat your stove on high, add 2 tbsp coconut oil and sear each side for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add onions on the sides.
  5. Pour in the OJ, red wine vinegar and then the olive oil.
  6. Then add salt, pepper, cumin and bay leaves.
  7. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and cook for about 1 hour or until it reaches an internal temp of 150.
  8. Shred it all so the juices can soak in (you may have to cut it at first but as it cools, it will be easier to shred) and let it sit at least an hour.

Paleo Kung Pao Chicken Dish…

“Oh my gosh. This is. The best dinner. Ever.  I mean…I can’t even explain the taste…it’s so good.” That is a heck of a compliment coming from my 9 year old daughter. I have to agree, it really was SO good. In fact, it’s my new favorite chicken recipe. Who said chicken has to be boring?

This Chinese dish is very similar to a Kung Pao chicken dish, but better. Seriously. Between the four of us, we ate all 2 pounds of chicken!! So much for leftovers.
Stiritup.me Paleo Kung Pao Chicken
As I’m taking pictures of the Chili Paste, so you’ll know what to buy, I see this tiny hand in my background…

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Me: “Okay, Tate, you want to hold the paste for me?” Tate: “Sure mom.”  This is how that went, the whole time, but here are just 3 shots of many…

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I know the chili paste has some refined sugar in it, but since we are only using 2 tsp, that is a total of 2-3 grams of sugar, I think it’s okay, and so totally worth it!

Here is what you need for your Paleo Kung Pao Chicken:

Main Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (this dish wasn’t spicy at all)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, lightly crushed
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 green onions, chop the middle sections

Marinade

  • 2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Tamari

Sauce

1. Cut your chicken into bit sized pieces and put in a large bowl. Then add 2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar and 1 tbsp of Tamari and let it sit while you are getting the sauce ready.

2. In a small bowl, mix the Sauce ingredients together and set it aside.

3. In a large sauce pan, add 1 tbsp of sesame oil, cashews, and red pepper flakes. Cook on medium (don’t burn them like I did) for about 5 minutes or until they are brown. Then pour them in a small bowl and set aside.

4. In that same large pan, wipe it off and then heat the sesame oil on medium high and add the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes, while stirring it the whole time, and then turn the stove down to medium low and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until done.

5. Then pour or scoop out any extra liquid as best you can (you don’t have to get it all) from the pan with the chicken in it. Now add in the cooked cashews and red pepper, your scallions and ginger and half of the sauce you made and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens. Once it’s done, pour it all into a large bowl, sauce and all.

6. Then, in that same large pan, pour the other half of the sauce and let it cook for a minute or two until it thickens and pour it over the bowl of chicken.

We also had bok choy and rice (for my kids and hubby) with it. We were going to do the cauliflower rice with it but there just wasn’t time. The sauce went quite well with the bok choy (I used the same pan and did not clean the sauce out and just added more sesame oil). I also poured the extra sauce on top of the rice as well. Anyway, I am excited to have a new staple and I hope you guys like as much as we did!
Stir it up Kung Pao Chicken

Let me know what y’all think!

By the way, Tate came home with this “math” book the other day from school. Seriously?!?

photo (2)
We hear about the big junk food or toy corporations targeting kids at a young age but really? They now go through the schools and disguise their marketing as education. Wow. Just wow. How is this even allowed?

landriav - Hey Leane, glad it worked out for y’all! Next time try to use a reduce sodium Tamari if you didn’t before. I always do and that seems to help. Thanks for posting and letting me know! :)

Leane - Hi, I made this a few nights ago. Mine turned out a bit too salty… Of course, the fact that I used salted cashews didn’t help. But when we went to eat the leftovers, i added some full fat coconut milk and steamed broccoli… super yum! Thanks for creating!

landriav - Hope it turned out for yall Carley!! :)

Carley - Going to tryn this recipe tonight, Landria. Wish me luck!

landriav - Crazy isn’t it Kristine! Thanks for sharing! And as for the recipes, I don’t think there are any nightshades in it, are there?? Thanks again!

landriav - Thanks Berry!! Thumbs up from a professional chef? Nice!! :) Glad everyone liked it! Thanks so much for sharing!:)

Kristine - Um, WOW.

How is that allowed in school, indeed? I will be sharing this link.

Your recipe looks amazing. I can’t eat nightshades, so it’s not worth it for me, but it’s a beautiful creation and I will share on my blog’s FB page.

Berry - I made this last night for dinner and it was so delish! My kids thought it was a little spicy but your kids probably eat more adventurously than mine. They all gave it thumbs up though, including my former professional chef of a husband.