Don’t Let Anyone Dull Your Sparkle

It seems like my reading list lately is made up entirely of a kind of self-help books; books urging me to live a more fearless, creative, authentic life (although I do note that Kindle categorizes most of these books under “Professional & Technical” not self-help).  Clearly, I’m searching for something; I just can’t articulate exactly what it is for which I’m searching.  An interesting conundrum.

Today after school, the kids got up from their checkers game (yeah, I know, my kids sat down, unprompted and started to play checkers – I thought I was in an alternate universe when I realized what was going on – crazy!) and joined me in the kitchen.  They both wanted to help make dinner.

And so, with my favourite 40’s era jazz playing softly in the background, the three of us chopped, minced, and diced.  It was a moment of pure magical happiness.

And that’s when I started to understand what all these authors of all these books have been talking about; when we do what we love (in this case, hanging out in kitchen, cooking, taking care of the ones that I love) and when we go about it in a way that is rooted in kindness and goodness, the magic will follow.

And so, my wish for you . . .”don’t let anyone dull your sparkle”.  Do what you love, do it with kindness (even in the face of people who doubt you or what it is you’re doing), and let the magic follow.

And if nothing else . . . try making this dish for dinner.  The Husband and I think it’s pretty magical.  Although, truth be told, it’s far better the next day for lunch.  It’s pretty much a simplified version of this recipe from Paleomg.com.  I reserve some of the cooked pork and serve that plain pork to the kids.  We usually serve this over quinoa (that I cook in bone broth) and have it with a side of broccoli.  I do also often add peas right into the sauce as it’s cooking. Oh, and this totally works with chicken breasts or thighs too!

Creamy Spicy Coconut Pork

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 pork tenderloins cut into 1″ slices and then cubed

1/2 an onion, diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup tapioca starch or flour if you’re not worried about gluten

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce

1 can of full fat coconut milk

coconut oil for the pan

sirracha to taste

Directions

  1. Put 1-2 tbs of coconut oil in a large shallow pan and heat on medium heat.  Once the oil has melted, add in the pork and cook until the pork is cooked through.  Remove the pork from the pan and drain any accumulated liquid from the pan.
  2. Put another 1 tbs of coconut oil into the pan and once it has melted, add in the onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add in the can of coconut milk, honey and coconut aminos.  Use a whisk and stir until everything has melted and is well combined.  At this point, add in the tapioca flour or regular flour and whisk again.  As you whisk, the sauce will get thicker.  Once you have a achieved a thickness in the sauce that you like, remove the pan from the heat, add in the pork, and stir again to fully coat the pork in the sauce.

Kindness Part II

I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness since our little study of Cinderella last week.  It’s a theme that came up again Peter Pan over the weekend, and it’s a theme that seems to pop up in a number of the stories we’ll be looking at over the next few weeks.

Earlier today, a friend commented on my post saying that if he “had to choose one character trait to instil in (his) children, it would be kindness”.

I agree completely.

But how do we do that in this day and age where it seems that the more competitive you are at something, the better you are as a human; if you’re out to win at all costs, what room is there for kindness?

For now, the Husband and I can model kindness to our kids in how we treat each other, how we treat them, and how we treat others.  And I can only hope that the lessons the kids learn from watching us now, and from our talks about the power that can flow from being a kind person, will last them into their teen years . . . . and beyond.

Now, while I’m on the subject of kindness, I practiced some kindness towards myself yesterday.  As much as I wanted a less hectic after-school schedule this year, it seems like we’re getting home even later from programs and lessons than ever before.  Family dinners are important to the Husband and I – we both grew up eating as a family each night – and prepared meals from the grocery store don’t exactly fit into our health-ier eating plan.  Which means I’m finding myself having to get more delft at menu planning, grocery shopping, and meal preparation.

This week, I accepted that we don’t get home from the little one’s dance classes until about 5:45.  We generally eat at 6.  Which leaves me 15 minutes to get a meal on the table . . . So, thanks to a little inspiration from a friend, yesterday morning saw me bringing out the crockpot and “making” dinner at 7 in the morning.  When we ran in the door at 5:45, all I had to do was get the broccoli steaming (I had it prepped and ready on the stove) and we were ready to eat at 6.  Perfection!!!

Everyone enjoyed this dish.  It is basically pork tenderloin with homemade applesauce all cooked in one pot!  I served it with a side of broccoli – next time I might serve it over pureed cauliflower.  It would be good with mashed sweet potato too!

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin with Apples

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 pork tenderloins of approximately the same size

2 cups bone broth (aka chicken stock – I use my own, but you could use a low-sodium store bought stock)

4 apples peeled and cored (you could leave the peels on if you are short on time)

1 onion sliced

Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Use a bit of butter/olive oil/coconut oil to grease the bottom of the crockpot
  2. Put the sliced onions in the bottom of the crockpot
  3. Lay the 2 pork tenderloins on top of the onions.
  4. Throw the apples in over top and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour the broth over the pork.
  6. Put the lid on and simmer the pork for about 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

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