Saturday, January 11, 2014

Lower Carb Sorta Pastelon Slow Cooker Thing


Imagine is completely OK to post two entries in one day.  I just wanted to share this with my Friend, Junior 'cos we were talking about it today at our January event, The Color Run, down at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.  We had such a blast!  (Yep, a color blast.)

Here we are after the run...well we didn't actually run very much, because I don't think we CrossFitters like running. We did manage to get pretty colorful and have a fun time hanging out with each other outside of the gym. It is the greatest thing to be surrounded with like-minded people. Talk about keeping yourself grounded!  We work out super hard at our box and we love it; this is the most encouraging group of folks you could ever sweat with; heck we get really ugly and still love one another.  Even though not all of us eat Paleo, we are concerned with eating whole foods and understand the benefits of eating well in every aspect of our lives.  We all even hand lunch after the race today at our local Burger FI restarurant. They feature grass-fed beef and will even wrap it in lettuce for you, sans the bun! YUM. Paleo burgers all around!

I do not think, however, that the colors we were doused in were Paleo...but it all washed off pretty easily in the shower and I tried hard not to breathe any of it in.

Getting back to my pal, Junior.  He is such a great sport!  Prior to our Color Run adventure, we had a running tutu making party.  The girls did, that is.


The guys just headed upstairs here at the little towncasa and shared some beverages. But, Junior had no problem modeling my running, though. He looks quite dashing and gangster-ish, don't you think? 

 So for being such a swell model and great guy, I dedicate this recipe to you, Junior!  And thanks for always being there to help me at the gym.  You never miss an opportunity to recognize the successes I've had and the encouragement really helps keep me going.  I am so proud to call you Friend.  And not to leave out that precious wife of yours, Melissa.  It is special to see couples work out together and share so much love.  You both just really rock.


And now for the recipe and a little background.  I've been looking for more ways to use a slow cooker.  It's way more versatile that I ever imagined back in my vegetarian years when all I used it for was to cook dried beans!  This made kind of a casserole and we really liked it more than the pastelon that I made a few weeks ago.  I used sweet potatoes, which have a few less carbs than plantains.  (Next time, I am going to try it with butternut squash for an even lower carb option.)  Anyways, it turned out super delish and made a lot of food.  Junior and Melissa have two awesome boys, so I hope they will enjoy this dish and fill their bellies!
Lower Carb Sorta Pastelon Slow Cooker Thing
with sweet potatoes
1 sweet onion, chopped

4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup red wine
1 six ounce can tomato paste
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled
8 eggs, beaten
Coconut oil for cooking onions and to grease your slow cooker.
Saute the chopped onion over medium/low heat in a couple tablespoons of coconut oil.  While the onion is cooking, prepare the peeled sweet potatoes by popping them in the microwave for about 4 minutes, just to soften them a little.  Slice them either into rounds or lengthwise, making sure they are about 1/4 to 1/2 inch don't have to be exact.

Return to your onions and add in the chopped garlic; when you smell it, it's ready  (quick quick!); add the ground beef and brown it, just until it loses that red, raw color.  Add in your spices and let them hang out together for about five minutes.

Stir in the wine and let it reduce a bit.  Add in the tomato paste and mix sort of melts into the sauce.

Grease the crock of your slow cooker and place a layer of the sweet potato slices on the bottom.  Add a layer of the meat sauce, and alternate for another layer each of sweet potatoes and meat sauce; make sure you end with a layer of sweet potatoes on top.  Add about a teaspoon of salt to the beaten eggs and pour them evenly over the mixture in your slow cooker.  Set the temperature to low and cook for 4 hours.  Let the dish cool for a while and slice into 8 portions.
Enjoy and take good care, k.

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