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There’s always been some sort of middle-America, low-class, country-home kinda connotation associated with crock-pot cooking in my mind. I don’t know exactly where it came from, or if other people have similar associations, but even though I own a crock pot (and cook with it), I have to admit that somewhere in the back of my mind I have this negative association with the crockpot.
Negative prejudices aside, I love using it. Not only do I frequently cook whole chickens while I’m away at work, but my recent foray into cooking pork roast sealed the deal. During our Sunday trip to the grocery store this past weekend, we decided to change things up a bit and pick up a pork roast. Having very little experience with this type of meat, I went poking around the internet for ways others before me have prepared pork roast. As soon as I saw that many people have tossed their roast in their crockpot for about 10 hours, I thought, “Of course! Could it be any easier?”
So, Monday morning, I chopped up a sweet potato, some carrots, and a small onion. I placed the veggies in the bottom of my crockpot, placed the roast on top, added a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper, and set the whole works to cook on low while we were away at work.
I literally forgot about it while I was away, but the smell that greeted me when I arrived home was nothing less than amazing. The smell tortured me for another couple of hours until Ben came home, when I pulled some of the pork into a small saucepan, added some gluten free barbecue sauce, and made BBQ pork sandwiches. The veggies were somewhat salty and sweet, having absorbed the flavor of the meat and each other. Last night, with some of the leftover pork, I made pork spring rolls with broccoli slaw, onion, and freshly grated ginger. Ben and I both agreed – we’re doing this again.
Playing around like this has been getting me through these past weeks when I’m tired of cooking winter root veggies and waiting desperately for spring, when various foods are once again “in season.” I’ve been buying zucchini and spinach, though they are technically not “in season” right now in order to keep some green veggies in our diets (in addition to the Brussels sprouts, of course).
In my playing around with my food, I’ve been doing a lot of Asian-inspired meals (as evidenced by the pork spring rolls), and I made up this stir-fry the other night – with snow peas and scrambled egg. I’ve also been making a lot of Asian-inspired meals because I’ve fallen in love with real ginger root. OH MY! Try it once and you will never go back to the dried, ground stuff again. And, you’ll be as addicted to using it as I am, finding all sorts of excuses to make meals around it.
But then again, I’ve always loved ginger. A friend of mine and I discovered a while back that I didn’t understand who would eat all of the wasabi that came with sushi at one of our favorite sushi places and she didn’t understand who would eat all of the ginger root. Well, we found out that she does indeed eat all of the wasabi and I eat all of the ginger root, wishing I had more. Snow-pea stir-fry: In hindsight, this would have been mighty tasty with a little of that pork roast cut up and tossed in the mix, but it was uber delicious with just the scrambled egg as the protein source.
3 cups snow peas 1 small onion, chopped 4 eggs 1 cup broccoli slaw 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed 1 teaspoon sea salt About 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger ¼ teaspoon ground clove 1 tablespoon cilantro 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely diced Fish sauce Wheat free Tamari Olive oil
In a medium-hot skillet, heat some olive oil and crack open the four eggs directly into the skillet. Stir until cooked through and set aside.
Heat a couple more tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat and sauté onions until they begin to soften. Add garlic, ginger, seasonings, and a few splashes each of fish sauce and Tamari.
Add broccoli slaw and snow peas and cook briefly, until peas turn bright green, stirring almost constantly.
Before serving, add scrambled eggs and stir to mix.
(Optional) Serve over rice spiked with cilantro and sea salt.
Any transition can be a struggle, but it can also be an opportunity to grow and flourish. Since discovering I am gluten-intolerant, I have grown as a cook and as a person. In fact, I dare every day to live my life in a way that promotes strength, healing, and, most of all, thriving.