Grilled platanos verdes and pernil-inspired slow cooker pork over mashed sweet potato with a cilantro chimichurri dressing

Happy Fiesta Friday! On this rainy Friday, I am still in spring-cleaning mode! And as I mentioned yesterday, it’s very fitting that the week I set aside to cleanse my house, I once again became focused on cleansing my body – and I’ve been feeling very centered. This reemergence made me realize there had been an absence of that as of late.

I am again trying a super strict, albeit brief, Autoimmune Paleo detox. I’ve largely stayed legume and grain free but I’ve been loving my nuts, eggs, and non-refined sugars a bit too much. I figured a detox was needed. It’s a short one because we’ve got a busy few weeks coming up with my daughter’s birthday party and family flying in so frankly, I want to be able to have a glass (or 2 or 3!) of wine and make my sweet healthy treats during that time. And perhaps I will even have 1 or 2 bites of the ice cream cake at my daughter’s party. DetoxMama is not doing a detox birthday for Miss L. I’ve taken the moderate approach with her; she eats well at home but conventional treats can be had for special occasions.

This dish was created very specifically with AIP in mind and using the latin flavors I love. I had an organic pastured pork shoulder that I spiced as if I was making pernil (roast pork) but did in the slow cooker instead for much less mess and less fuss since I was zipping around the house purging, cleaning, and garage-selling. Instead of the rice and beans that would be served, I did mashed sweet potato and instead of frying some tostones (again, the mess and time factor), I threw those babies on the grill! Easy, no mess, and done quickly. Lastly, a cilantro chimichurri accompanies this dish. You always want to add sabor! Especially when cooking healthfully, fresh herbs go a long, long way. I didn’t do my usual curtido because well, frankly, I forgot until just this moment, but it didn’t need it. It was delicious, flavorful, hearty and yet light. It was a home run with the fam!

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Pernil-Inspired Pork Shoulder
-1 Pork Shoulder (ideally organic and pastured)
-Ground cumin, fresh garlic, fresh oregano, fresh cilantro, salt, pepper, juice from half an orange.
-Sliced carrots and onions (not typical of doing a pernil but this was where the stew-like improvisation came in)

Normally with pernil, there would be a whole prep phase of rubbing and marinating the pork, but since it’s going in the slow cooker, there is much less fuss! Practically, none actually!
Make some cuts in the pork and stuff garlic cloves in. How many? How much garlic do you like? Do that.
Season the pork with all the spices. I’m sorry, I really just don’t measure. Again, do it taste. I will say that cumin is a powerful spice so maybe be lighthanded with that one.

Throw the roast in the crock pot, throw in the coarsely chopped carrots and onions. Throw in some chopped fresh cilantro and oregano. I grabbed these right from my garden.

Squeeze in the juice of half an orange, and add about 2 inches of water.

Let that baby go on high for about 6-7 hours. Do the low setting if you need to leave it for more like 12 hours.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
I like to bake them rather than boil because boiling saps out the nutrients, and I think they are more flavorful when baked (and this is specifically because the nutrients have not been depleted!) I bake at 375F for about 45 minutes or until soft. Mash with skin (high in vitamins and fiber) or without. Up to you. Again, because of how I’m cooking, there’s not butter or cream here. Add if you like but it doesn’t need it. I add a little salt and that’s it. Yams are so naturally sweet, I eat them alone like dessert. Plus, the idea here is that this is one component of a larger dish; when you take that bite with a bit of pork, sweet potato, and chimichurri you’ll see what I mean! 🙂

Grilled Platano Verdes (green plantains)
Easy peasy, peeps. Cut and prep as I’ve directed here.
Slice oblong, toss in olive oil and salt and throw those babies on a medium grill. When you’ve got gorgeous grill marks, flip.
You will probably be left with some smaller end-pieces and that’s ok, throw them on the cooler side of your grill since they will cook faster.

Chimichurri-inspired Dressing
Chimichurri usually has parsley but sometimes I like using cilantro and it’s my sister’s favorite way! The one I did here was more of a play on chimichurri, it was looser and more of a dressing. This is because I didn’t want to pick all of my cilantro! It’s still growing! 😉
So here I took fresh cilantro, fresh oregano, fresh garlic, fresh squeezed lime, olive oil, salt, pepper and zipped up in the Vitamix. The standard chimichurri recipe goes like this: instead of cilantro, use parsley (and it’s usually a good honking handful), instead of lime, use red wine vinegar, and you typically add red pepper flakes but since I’m nightshade free, I skipped it. You also typically hand chopped all of this so it is a course, robust mix.

Happy Fiesta Friday & have a great weekend! 🙂

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