It feels like it’s been eons since I wrote up my daily eats. (I have no excuses; I’ve just been juggling other stuff and trying to spend more quality time with the kids.) Let’s hope I haven’t gotten too rusty!
My first meal of the day? A couple of over-easy eggs seasoned with furikake and bacon.
I know: it often feels like there’s not enough time in the morning to make a proper breakfast. As a full-time working parent, I feel your pain. The convenience of boxed cereal and toaster waffles is undeniably alluring. But it really doesn’t take much effort to throw together a healthier morning meal. And besides: it tastes better!
This morning, as soon as I trudged out of my bedroom and into the kitchen, I popped a tray of bacon into my countertop toaster oven. While the porky slices sizzled unattended, I prepared the kids’ school lunches and fried up plates of over-easy eggs. By the time Henry got home from his morning CrossFit sweat-fest, the eggs were done and the bacon was crisp. I sliced up some fresh fruit, and presto! Breakfast was ready for the entire bed-headed clan.
For those of you demanding to know “WHAT IN THE SAM HILL IS FURIKAKE?” (and too captivated by this oh-so-riveting blog post to tear yourself away to do a Google search), let me explain. Furikake’s an umami-packed traditional Japanese seasoning blend made with dried seaweed and often featuring other ingredients like toasted sesame seeds and dried bonito.
But be careful: most store-bought furikake contains sugar and MSG. That’s why I stick with the “All-Natural” line by Urashima, which contains just two ingredients: seaweed and sesame seeds. It’s currently sold out at Amazon (just like my book—GET WITH THE PROGRAM, AMAZON!), but it can be found in most Asian markets. (Oh, and if you want to buy our book, Barnes & Noble has it in stock right now—as do most independent bookstores. Yay!)
After walking to school with the boys, I headed straight for the kitchen. I’m kicking off another week of zombie drug-dealing tonight, so I only had a few hours to cook like a madwoman.
(For those of you new to the blog, I’ve been a full-time hospital night shift pharmacist for the past 12 years. To survive, I stick to a very strict schedule when I’m working.)
Meal-planning isn’t my strength, but I always try to whip up a few things in advance of my workweek to make dinner prep easier. Yesterday, I used my Instant Pot to cook Mexican Braised Beef (updated recipe coming soon!), Braised Kale and Carrots, and a batch of bone broth. And last night, I threw a seasoned pork butt in my trusty slow cooker. Slow Cooker Kalua Pig is a staple in our house ’cause it’s so ridiculously versatile and easy to make.
(Honestly, I’m thinking of assigning the bi-weekly Kalua Pig duties to my children. I just need to have a little talk with them about the importance of not adding extra ingredients to the slow cooker. Like Play-Doh.)
To make sure I had an easy-to-reheat vegetable side on hand, I decided to prepare Warm Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Asian Vinaigrette.
Some dishes taste even better as leftovers, and this happens to be one of them.
And while I’m fully aware that tomatoes are not in season, I had a hankering for Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, so I picked up some mealy Romas at the market. Thankfully, the roasting process magically transforms these out-of-season nightshades into deliciously sweet morsels. I love how these “candied” tomatoes add umami to any dish.
By the time my veggies were done cooking, my Slow Cooker Kalua Pig was ready, too, so I shredded up the tender pork and adjusted the seasoning to taste.
By now, I was famished for lunch, so I made myself a couple of Kalua pig lettuce tacos…
…topped with guacamole and roasted tomato.
Then, I packed everything into the fridge and conked out in bed for a few hours.
When I got up in the evening, dinner prep was a breeze. I reheated the shredded pork and Brussels sprouts slaw, and topped it with leftover Paleo Cran-Cherry Sauce that’s been sitting in the freezer since Thanksgiving.
And I ate it with some white rice. Yes, you read that correctly: RICE. I know this goes against Paleo orthodoxy, but I’ve slowly reincorporated white rice and potatoes into my diet; as an active person not looking to lose weight or restrict my carb intake, I feel great with these “safe starches” back on the menu. Plus, they taste pretty darn good, too.
No, I don’t eat mountains of the carby stuff like I used to, but a few times a week, I’ll serve potatoes or rice with dinner. Some people think of it as eating according to the Perfect Health Diet, and I’ve heard folks refer to this as “Paleo 2.0.” (Russ Crandall’s terrific new cookbook follows this approach.) Me? I’m just convinced that eating rice is encoded in my DNA.
Time to head to the hospital and bring home the bacon! Hasta la pasta, baby.