Good Monday morning to all our Paleo Comfort Foods friends! Based on tweets, Facebook messages, and the like, looks like you all had some fantastic Thanksgiving meals. If you made anything in particular that was outstanding, we’d love to hear about it!
We were fortunate enough to head on up to Philadelphia to spend time with my family – six nieces and nephews ages 3 – 8 certainly take a lot of energy! We had a blast AND…despite how tempting those cheesesteaks were, we managed to just say no and stay pretty paleo, as the tummy distress from gluten (for me) just isn’t worth it in my book! We did venture out here and there, and it was much fun getting to see our book and Robb’s, Sarah’s, Bill & Haley’s in Reading Terminal Market, not to mention all sorts of great, locally grown produce. I was also somewhat impressed by one of the vendors lauding coconut oil as the “healthier choice” for their popcorn. Baby steps…
So here we are back to some sort of routine, and a new paleo recipe. Now, I was torn up about what to make today. I have noticed a trend with our blog postings, and it seems the most popular ones, the ones that get the most likes, the ones you all tend to get the most excited about, are the paleo desserts. While I like some paleo-friendly desserts just as much as the next person, I’ve found that they have been slipping into our lives more and more, and that I’m back in the habit of craving something sweet after my meals. And that’s just a not-so-good place to be, when sugar is running the show. Especially heading into the holiday season when there are going to be a zillion different treats here and there. I don’t like feeling as though sugar is calling the shots, as I know that is not good for me (or really anyone).
And believe you me, we’ve gotten e-mails requesting some help in “paleo-ifying” some favorite holiday sweet treats (especially for those cookie exchanges), but sadly, we have to decline – at least for the next 25 days. Why the next 25 days? Well, we’re running a little “25 Days of Eating Clean” for the members at our gym, CrossFit Vinings, and we’re walking the walk and talking the talk – for all 25 days. No sugar. No alcohol. No gluten (but that’s an everyday rule in our house). Other members are setting their goals based on things they are going to be steering clear of for 25 days (wrapping up end of day December 22). Yes, there will be holiday parties in there, where there will be alcohol served. And amazing desserts. But you know what? There will be alcohol and paleo-ish desserts served on Christmas Day (at least in our house), and on New Years Eve, and alcohol on St. Patrick’s Day, and…the list goes on and on. We’re not saying we’re never going to have these things ever again, we’re just holding to a stricter paleo path, at least for the next 25 days. We encourage you all to set some goals for yourself over these next 25 days too, set up some motivational consequences (which we’re setting up with our members), and make some kind of plan as to what your paleo guidelines are during this time. While you may think throwing all caution to the wind might be best, we really and truly think you will be much happier if you don’t go off the deep end. Don’t get us wrong: we absolutely want you to celebrate these holidays with family and friends and not stress out about it! But we also know that can be done and you can fully enjoy every moment of these times even when adhering to some paleo parameters. Having your own personal goals and/or checks and balances will help you not fall so far off your paleo path, and I guarantee you you’ll feel a ton better (and look way hotter in holiday photos too!). We’ve encouraged our clients to think about these 25 days as their own personal journey, and to set their own goals (paleo or not) that will just give them something to strive for.
Never fear, we’ll post a sweet treat dessert or two in the future (though I don’t know if anything will be as popular as our paleoish nutella), but for now, we’re sticking to more of the savory foods that will fill you up and make you feel great! If you’d like to play along for these 25 days, please join us!
Okay, so here is today’s recipe. I suppose this one pays homage to the German side of my family, and indeed it is a tasty and easy one. Do yourself a favor: get the really thick pork chops from your local farmer – the bone-in kind if you can get them. This recipe is super easy in that you only have to use your stove top for it! I will say: we’re big fans of only using the best pork that comes from your local farmers who raised them the right way.
Paleo Pork Chops With Cabbage
- 4 6-8 ounce bone-in pork chops (thick cut is preferred)
- salt and pepper
- 3 pieces of bacon
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 small head of green cabbage, sliced thin
- 1 1/2 cups of hard cider (or apple cider if preferred)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
Note: you’ll want to have a skillet or saute pan that has a lid for this recipe. Or become like MacGyver and make your own lid!
1. Pat the pork chops dry, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to come to room temperature.
2. Heat a large skillet (cast iron or stainless steel work best) over medium heat, and add bacon. Cook until crispy.
3. Remove the bacon, leaving in some of the bacon grease (pour off excess if you have too much in the pan).
4. Add in the pork chops, working in 2 batches if your pan cannot fit all 4. Allow to cook 6-8 minutes per side, until nicely browned and internal temperature of about 140-145 degrees Farenheit.
5. Remove pork chops to a clean plate, and tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.
6. Add in the onion and Granny Smith apples into your skillet, scraping up the browned bits, and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent.
7. Add in 1/2 the cabbage, the hard cider, chicken stock, mustard, and celery seed stirring to combine all, allowing to cook for a few minutes to wilt the cabbage, giving you room to add in the other 1/2. Add in the other 1/2 of the cabbage and stir.
8. Place lid on your pan, and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is softened and cooked.
9. Place your pork chops on top of the cabbage, and place lid on top, just slightly reheating chops.
Easy, German-like, with pork (chops and in bacon form). Hard not to be happy with that – and so filling too!
Now we’re off and running for our 25 days of eating clean (paleo). It’s our way of having some sort of guidelines for the up and coming holidays. Are you setting any guidelines for yourself or your family? Chime in!