By: Leanne Ely
Figs have been harvested since the 9th century BC where they were a staple in Greece. And let me tell you the Greeks took their figs seriously. There were laws that forbade people from exporting the highest quality figs!
If you’ve ever enjoyed a fresh fig, you know why this fruit of the ficus tree was so revered.
And I, for one, certainly am glad that these delectable fruits eventually made their way to the western hemisphere! Figs are delicious on oatmeal for a sweet treat for breakfast, or on greens with goat cheese and walnuts. Poach them in wine and figs can stand in for dessert, too!
High in potassium, Vitamin B6, manganese and dietary fiber, figs are as nutritious as they are delicious!
Here’s your Trick:
Ripe figs should be kept in the fridge on a paper towel-lined plate. If you cover the figs, they will dry out. If you’ve purchased under-ripe figs, store them on a plate at room temperature. But don’t leave figs in direct light.
Because fresh figs are so very perishable, buy them the day before you plan on eating them. And when you’re buying figs, look for fruits that smell mildly sweet without any signs of mold.
And your Recipe:
Pork Loin Stuffed with Figs and Apricots
1/2 cup dried figs, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Zest of 1 medium lemon
Zest of 1/2 medium orange
1/2 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 medium stalks celery, diced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pounds pork loin, butter-flied
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, place first 7 ingredients (figs through cider); cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes; remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and celery; saute for 10 minutes then season with salt and pepper. Add fruit mixture; blend well then spread down the center of the pork loin. Roll loin back together and tie with kitchen string in the middle and at both ends.
Roast stuffed pork loin for 1 hour or until cooked through.
By: Leanne Ely
Be honest . . . how many chocolate eggs did you eat over the weekend? I’m not entirely sure how chocolate and bunnies found their way into the Easter holiday, but here we are!
Most homes in North America at this very moment have egg- and/or bunny-shaped chocolates or marshmallow peeps hanging around, and the temptation might just be too much for you to resist. I mean, who doesn’t love biting the ears off a large chocolate bunny? 😉
If you overdid it on the chocolates and sweets this Easter holiday, it’s time to clean things up because spring has indeed sprung. The days are longer, the produce is fresher, and we’re all thinking about our beach bods, am I right?
Since I went Paleo, I haven’t had to think about dieting or counting calories (thank heavens!), and it’s one of the most freeing feelings to no longer have to worry about points, calories, portions and all that nonsense. But that isn’t this biggest needle mover for me believe it or not.
You see, there is this monster called Sugar Addiction. And believe me, no one understands the seriousness of sugar addiction better than this recovering addict! I have to tell you, once you beat your sugar addiction that sweet tooth loses its power over you. Suddenly you can easily walk past a plate of cookies without taking one because you have victory over this demon at last.
And eating this way (Paleo) GAVE me that freedom from sugar addiction, which has had a profound effect on my weight, my health and well-being. I cannot tell you how freeing it is!
I truly believe that challenging yourself to try the Paleo way of eating for just 30 days will make such dramatic changes in your body that you won’t go back to eating the stuff that used to bring you down. You know the cycle, right? Eat well on Monday and by Friday, all bets are off and you’re depressed, vowing to start over on Monday. Rinse and repeat, it’s frustrating. Been there/done that/got the t-shirt.
So, if you overdid it on the chocolate bunnies this weekend, consider making a fresh start and joining us on the 30 Day Paleo Challenge!
You can join us for just $15 for the month, and we’ll provide you with all of the menus and recipes you’ll need. We’ll also give you a guide to teach you the basics of this Paleo lifestyle, and we’ll grant you access to our private Facebook group where you’ll get tons of inspiration and unbelievable support—this is an amazing group! Plus I’m in there everyday, too– I’d love to connect with you!
Are you ready to take these next 30 days and change your life? Join us here!
Tricks, Tips and a Recipe
The appeal of plantains
By: Leanne Ely
It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a tip, a trick and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?
Today’s Focus is on PLANTAINS
How many times have you walked past the plantains at the market, not sure about what to do with them if you took them home?
Well, I encourage you to pick one up the next time you’re out shopping and take it home to see what it’s all about.
Plantains look like bananas. The two foods are related, but plantains are not sweet. They’re actually considered a vegetable, while their banana cousins are considered fruits!
Plantains are quite starchy and must be cooked before they’re eaten. Plantains are actually more like potatoes than they are like bananas, so you would want to use plantains as a side dish ingredient and not for dessert.
Some people will tell you to buy and cook green plantains while others will tell you plantains should be very ripe—almost black—for best results. I lean closer to the ripe side of that argument, but go ahead and look for recipes like the one I’ll give you in just a minute, and try experimenting!
Plantains are high in vitamins A, B6 and C. They’re also a great source of potassium. But remember, they are extremely high in starch, so go easy on them!
Now that you’re anxious to get out and see what’s so appealing (groan!) about plantains, it’s time for your Trick!
To peel a plantain, cut both ends off and slice the plantain into several sections. Make three vertical cuts in the peel of each of those three chunks. After they’re peeled, saute them or toss them into a soup or stew.
When shopping for green plantains they should be nice and firm. If you want to buy your plantains ripe, they’ll be almost black in color and will be quite soft.
And your Recipe:
Caribbean Crock Beans
3/4 pound dried chili beans, sorted rinsed and soaked overnight
1 1/2 plantains, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
3/4 cup seeded, deribbed and chopped green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Sort, rinse and soak beans overnight. Drain beans and place in slow cooker; cover with water. Cover and cook on Low for about 7 hours, or until beans are tender. Thirty minutes before serving, add plantain, tomato, bell pepper, onion and garlic to slow cooker. Raise heat setting to High; cover and cook for another 30 minutes, or until plantain has softened.
NUTRITION per serving: 262 Calories; 1g Fat (3.3% calories from fat); 14g Protein; 52g Carbohydrate; 16g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 9mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fruit. Points: 5
The appeal of plantains