If you’re looking for a more healthful way to eat, you’ve probably heard about the Paleo diet. For those of you who haven’t, the basic idea is to eat like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did before the development of agriculture and diets heavy in grains like rice and wheat. Paleo is a protein heavy diet, but allows for vegetables, nuts and seeds. Many people feel better eating the paleo way and have lost weight or gotten rid of health problems like diabetes due to it. The Paleo diet also works well those who eat gluten free because of having celiacs or food sensitivities, since Paleo recipes don’t contain wheat or other types of glutenous foods.
Eating the Paleo way isn’t very hard to do, especially if you love to grill steaks or fish or enjoy a nice salad or sautéed veggies. However, until I came across The Paleo Slow Cooker: Healthy, Gluten-Free Meals the Easy Way cookbook by Arsy Vartanian I never thought of using my slow cooker to cook Paleo foods. Arsy, who blogs at Rubies and Radishes, makes it look easy and delicious! Her cookbook features chapters on beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and seafood. The Paleo Slow Cooker also features recipes for appetizers, breakfast, drinks and even Paleo friendly desserts. I’m impressed! Even better, it’s a visually beautiful book with excellent photography, though I wish there was more of it.
Whether you’re a hardcore Paleo dieter or just looking to turn your health and cooking around with simple and healthy recipes, then maybe the The Paleo Slow Cooker is for you! Not convinced? Try Arsy’s recipe for Pear Ginger Pork Ribs. This is a perfect dish when pears are in season, plus pork is very reasonably priced. I like that Arsy uses coconut oil in this recipe, which should really give this pork dish a lovely flavor. And yes, honey is considered OK on the Paleo diet, especially raw honey (local if you can find it). If you need to avoid honey, try using stevia instead, which is OK on the Paleo diet, has no calories, and is considered a natural sweetener.
Finally, I would double this recipe if you have a big slow cooker. That way you can have leftover pork chops the next day for lunch – gently reheat in the microwave or dice up the pork and put it in a salad or Paleo friendly stir fry!
Pear Ginger Pork Chops
From the The Paleo Slow Cooker: Healthy, Gluten-Free Meals the Easy Way cookbook by Arsy Vartanian
- 4 thick cut pork chops
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 ripe d’anjou pears, cored and cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup white wine (can substitute water or broth)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- Salt and pepper just before serving
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
- Brown the pork chops on both sides (in batches if necessary) for about 5 minutes total and place in the slow cooker.
- Sauté the pears and ginger in the remaining coconut oil.
- Add the vinegar and wine, turn to medium low and cook for 5 minutes to reduce slightly.
- Pour mixture over chops in slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Salt and pepper to taste, then serve.
Recipe and photograph used with permission.