Trying to stick with an exercise routine? Better switch it up *cough*CrossFit*cough* to keep yourself interested. You started mountain biking? Great! Now how long would you stick with it if you only rode the same trail over and over? So our venture into paleo(ish) eating shouldn't be any different.
Everyone has their go-to foods- you know they are good for you; you know how to cook them; you know you don't hate them (chicken and broccoli sound familiar?). Ok, it's time to add some excitement to your life.
For the past few years (except this year; we are determined to have a successful garden this season!) my household has received a CSA box once a week. CSA stands for "community supported agriculture"...you are basically buying into a share of a farm's harvest, whatever it may be. By signing on for one of these things you are supporting your local farming community and getting delicious organic veggies at a great price (ours came out to $22/week for a household of 4 adults), and you have a chance to try some things you would never really consider buying at the grocery store. Here are just a few things the CSA box introduced me to: pumpkin (and I mean, like, an actual pumpkin that I had to figure out how to cook, not a can of pumpkin puree), parsley root, romanesco, turnips, green garlic, and agretti. Here are the links to the two farms that I used to get my veggies from (they now operate their own individual CSA programs)
I'm not even going to tell you how many different spices we have in our kitchen. A lot. A lot a lot. And I think I've attempted to make something with every single one. When we go to the grocery store we always check the spice aisle because sometimes there is a sale (spices can be pretty pricey) and we stock up on our basics- cayenne pepper, chili powder, thyme, rosemary, etc- and then sometimes, when we're feeling a little crazy, we'll get something like annato seed, or cardamom, or caraway seeds. And then figure out what to do with it. I definitely grew up in a household where the spice cabinet consisted of salt and pepper and that's it (love you mom!) so it's fun to experiment by making our own rubs for bbq-ing, or trying to replicate the amazing food from Los Cubanos.
Have you ever...?
I learned to cook from watching the Food Network. I really did. Now I'm learning to cook again by poking around every single paleo website known to man and I'm still seeing things I never would've thought of on my own. Every week I'll try to post something like yesterday's "Have you ever...?" and hopefully you will say, "No, I never!" and then go try it.
Ok, here are the recipes for the rest of my meal from yesterday.....
Pork loin marinade:
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice of 2 limes (zest of 1 lime)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 t dried oregano
1 t salt
1 t cumin
1 t black pepper
This is a very quick marinade based on a Cuban "Mojo". Quick to put together and quick to do the job. You do not need to let the pork marinate for more than an hour or so.... actually you wouldn't want to because longer than that and the pork will end up mushy from all the citrus. Yuck. After that, you pretty much just grill it until it reaches an internal temperature of about 150. Then (and this goes for all meat!) let it rest before you slice it so the juices don't all run out, otherwise you will have a big mess AND dry meat, and nobody wants that.
Cucumber and Tomato Salad (shout out to Dato for introducing this to me):
2 cucmbers, sliced into half moons
2 tomatoes, sliced into half moons
2-3 green onions, sliced or chopped
Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
Equal parts red wine vinegar and olive oil, maybe just under 1/4 c each? (I add a little more vinegar)
Salt and pepper to taste
Um... mix it all together in a bowl! I like to let it sit for 10 minutes before eating.