Friday, 13 December 2013

Crock Pot Pineapple Ribs

Happy Friday! Who doesn't love Friday?

   My family is full into the Christmas swing of things. Grey tells us about 34 things an hour that he wants from Santa. Do your kids love the Wishbook? Ours looks about 10 years old, it's been dragged around so much this year!

   Lots of people comment to me that they want to clean up their eating, and maybe go towards a Paleo lifestyle. But they have no idea where or how to start. My friend Buffy was the one who introduced me to Paleo, and at the time I had no clue what half the things she cooked even were. It seemed like a lot of work and like a bunch of weird food we wouldn't like. After I researched a bit, I realized it was the opposite. It's all great food. Once you get in your groove with food prep, and finding out your family's fav's, it's pretty darn easy!

   This is what I did. I spent about a month reading and researching food and recipes. I didn't stress myself with trying to get back into working out just yet. I wanted to do this the right way. I needed to change everything. How I shopped, cooked and thought. Why? Because my huzz and I were miserable, my baby was just coming into eating solid foods, and I wanted to do better. And I had tried lots of ways before, and always gained the weight back. If it isn't a total lifestyle change, you are not very likely to be successful.

   I didn't go all insane and start throwing out millions of dollars worth of food. I just finished off what we had, and tried to buy a better version next time. Or better yet, I figured out if I could make a better version. I try not to buy anything in a box or packaging. Now, I mean things like Bear Paw's and granola bar type stuff. We try to just eat real food. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm not Little House On The Prairie. Growing , raising and making all my own food. If I can make it, I try to do that instead. We decreased our trash bin from around 6 bags a week to maybe 2 .

   Once I felt I had a handle on the food prep and cooking, I started working out at home. I am lucky to have a pretty good gym here in the house. We have both an Elliptical and a treadmill, and some weights. We downloaded some Zumba videos and I went from there. One thing thing that really annoys me is when people say to me that they wish that they could be a stay at home mom so they had all the time to do this kind of thing. Well, let me tell you a little secret. Just because I'm at home during the day doesn't mean I'm sipping wine and lounging by the fire! My kids don't just sit quietly and colour while mommy works on recipes! Christ no! They throw shoes in the garbage, pee in the toilet (if I'm lucky) and throw toys into the pee! They fight, cry and cling to me like velcro, just like everybody else's! While I'm very grateful to be able to not work, it's still hard as hell to crank out an edible meal some days!

   If you're looking to make some changes, here are some easy swaps/tips that I started out with.

1. Coconut oil. It's a fabulous, good fat and has tons of great properties. I use this multiple times daily. Frying, greasing, smoothies, on a spoon, lotion, get the point. Check out this link for more info.
Make sure you're getting virgin, cold pressed. Buy it at Costco!

2.Get rid of vegetable oils. Canola, sunflower, vegetable, corn. Stay with a good quality olive oil or as mentioned, the coconut. These are filled with GMO ingredients, and do not have a high smoke point. When you heat them they release toxic substances. Ditch them! Good old butter is great too. Don't you dare buy margarine or I'll break up with you on the spot. Real food only, missy! I'm watching you, throw out that Pam!

3. Make your own! Sauces, flours, baked goods,soups, nuts, creme, almond milk, crackers, fruit leather/gummies. Endless. Now, I'm certainly not saying I do all of this all the time. When you are making a meatsauce, triple the crap out of that and freeze it! Make 3 banana breads. You see where I'm going here. Don't tell me it's too much work to cook. You have a family, you're doing it anyways. Know what is going into your foods. Make it count. And then brag to anyone that will listen that you made it yourself. :)

4. Pump up your food. There a tons of things that you can add into your food that goes unnoticeable, but packs a big punch. A few fav's are Hemp Hearts,chia seeds and flax seeds. I dump hemp hearts into almost everything. My pancake batter, smoothies, sauce, soups, baking, scrambled eggs. A friend mentioned she just eats them plain, in a handful post workout or a s a snack. Both of these are easy to find, and I strongly recommend Costco for both coconut oil and hemp hearts. You can't compare the price difference.

5. Ditch the side dishes and load up on veggies. No newsflash there, right? Here's the secret. Learn how to cook the veggies properly, and try different ways! There is more to them than just steaming them. With all the unlimited Internet access these days, no excuses for not being able to come up with ideas! Plus, that's why I'm here! When I started my husband liked onion, peppers and carrots. Kind of. Not a lot to work with there! Now he eats everything excluding celery, I can't win on that one! We have squash as a main dish, and they love it. Don't just assume they'll never eat it. Try, try and try again! Make it a goal to buy and try a new vegetable every week.

These are just some ideas and tips that are working for me. Once you read a bit, you'll discover what you and your peeps like, and you'll be making changes in no time! Research!!

Here is my recipe for the pineapple ribs. This is a daring one for me, as Shane has always hated anything I've ever made in the crock pot. No exaggeration. In 12 years not one success with it. I usually cram it in the closet and forget I have it. But I tried these and he liked them! At least he says he did! The rest of us enjoyed them,  and they were good leftover. If nothing else, they'll make your house smell like you know what the hell you're doing!

Crock Pot Pineapple Ribs:
You need:
1-2 lbs of either pork back or side ribs
2 cans cubed pineapple, or 1 whole pineapple cored and cubed
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (get sugar free if you can)
1 tbsp raw honey

Cut up your ribs into 2 or 3 bones per piece.
Dump 1 of the cans of pineapple into the crock pot, juice included

Mix together the paprika, mustard and honey in a small bowl.. You can micro the honey for around 15 seconds to loosen it. Be careful when you take it out though, it's hot! It will glue your tank top to your chest if it splashes you. Not that I know about that. 
Rub this mixture all oven both sides of your ribs. Get it it there good, girl!! Stack the ribs on top of the pineapple.

Dump your other can of pineapple on top, making sure there is pineapple on top of the ribs.

Close the lid and cook for 4-6 hours on low. Now, I find this hard because all crock pots (or crack pipe, as my auto-correct keeps hoping for) are different. Mine is super hot, and they were done just short of 4 hours. keep and eye out.
When done, or close to, transfer the ribs to a baking tray lined with cooking racks.Don't toss away the liquid in the pot, use it to baste the ribs until you serve. I put the pineapple on top of the ribs when I put them in the oven. Cook in the oven to give a desired "crispy" edge. I did about 15 minutes at 300. Or broil for a few minutes.

I just added some broccoli and cauli to a baking tray, brushed with butter and cooked them while the ribs were in. Let the ribs rest 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy! Watch for Oatmeal Raisin cookies and pepper quiche cups, coming soon!
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