Paleo Pulled Pork Recipe for Slow Cooker

paleo pulled pork recipe

Paleo Pulled Pork Recipe

I’ve always loved pulled pork but the recipe I’ve used for years involved a lot of sugary things (brown sugar, apple cider, barbeque sauce, etc.) so I haven’t made it in a while. On a recent “fill the freezer with meat” shopping expedition I found a great deal on pork shoulder so I was inspired to buy one and figure out how to make pulled pork without all of the sugar stuff. After looking at several variations on both pulled pork and pork roasts I came up with this recipe for paleo pulled pork which takes about 5 minutes of prep time before it hits the slow cooker where it slow cooks for 8-10 hours. It’s a “dry” pulled pork without a sauce and it’s tasty as is but you could also sauce it with a paleo or primal barbeque sauce if you prefer.

This makes enough pulled pork for 6-10 servings.
We like it served without sauce over mashed cauliflower or on a baked sweet potato. It also makes a great topping for scrambled eggs for breakfast or with a salad for lunch.

This pulled pork freezes well – just thaw and reheat to serve.


2013 Primal Blueprint 21 Day Challenge!

I’m finally blowing the dust off of this site today because I’m ready to change.

In 2011 I discovered Marks Daily Apple and the Primal Blueprint and in a very short time my entire life was different. A whole new me. I followed the Primal 21 Day Challenge and not only did I lose weight but I also had more energy, my moods improved, fewer headaches, no migraines, and even joint pain seemed to disappear. I became that annoying person who told everyone about the Primal / Paleo lifestyle and how drastically it changed my life.

And then the holidays hit. Not only do I have the Christmas and New Year holidays that many of us celebrate but I also have both of my children’s birthdays in late December. Combine that with some out of town visitors and a hectic schedule and well, I fell off the Primal / Paleo lifestyle bandwagon. Hard. And I’ve never managed to get back onto it.

The first time I did the Primal 21 Day Challenge I was fierce. I stripped my kitchen of any source of wheat, grain, gluten, sugar, processing, additives etc. I was walking and lifting heavy things. I was buying grass-fed, locally raised meats. It seemed easy. But… after falling off the Primal / Paleo lifestyle wagon during the 2011-2012 holiday season I have never managed to get back to Primal /Paleo for more than a couple of days here and there. I have no idea why it’s been so hard. You’d think after living with the great results firsthand, it would be simple to get back on track but it’s been a nearly 2 year struggle. Meanwhile, I’ve gained back all of the weight I’d lost. I’m tired. I ache. I have nearly daily headaches and my digestive system is back to being cranky. I’ve been depressed. Unfocused. Ugh. Every week I say to myself that THIS week is the week I’ll get back on track but I haven’t stuck with it.

Last week I bought a Fitbit Flex armband so I could start tracking my activity. The week before I bought my first pair of Nike athletic shoes since high school. Buying the Fitbit and the Nikes made me feel like I was getting back on track but the pizza, burgers, fries and fast food breakfast sandwiches I’ve consumed during this same period tell a different tale. The fact that I reset the Fitbit Flex from the default goal of 10,000 steps to 5,000 steps so I could feel like I was getting somewhere speaks for itself.

This morning I woke up and I saw a notice on Facebook that Mark’s Daily Apple was kicking off another Primal Blueprint 21 Day Challenge today and I’m in! Maybe this time, doing it with the other Primal Challenge folks I’ll stick to it past a few weeks. No, not maybe. This time I WILL stick to this new lifestyle for good. It’s time.
I’ve reset my Fitbit Flex back to the default of 10,000 steps. I’ve tied on my new Nike running shoes. I’ve taken my bread, jam, & snackfoods to the garbage. It’s on!
The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge
Learn more at Mark’s Daily Apple.

Paleo Breakfast Ideas

Steak and Eggs Paleo Breakfast

"Steak and Eggs" image by stu_spivack used via creative commons license

Breakfast can be one of the more frustrating meals when you first decide to follow a Paleo diet. Many of the so called “breakfast foods” like toast, bagels, muffins, pancakes, oatmeal and breakfast cereals are now off the menu.

Now is a good time to rethink what breakfast really means. Breakfast or “break fast” doesn’t mean pancakes or Cheerios, it simply means to break the fast your body has been on since your evening meal the night before. And that means anything goes. Leftovers from the night before. A salad. Some fruit. A traditional breakfast of steak and eggs or bacon and eggs or an omelette of course falls under the Paleo diet as well.

One of our favourite breakfasts here at is simply to saute some onions and mushrooms along with some chopped up cooked steak from dinner the night before and serve over some scrambled or poached eggs. It takes, at most 10 minutes to make, and is a satisfying meal that will keep you going for hours without the mid-morning carb crash associated with grain heavy breakfasts like bagels or cereal.

We’ve gathered up some links to other Paleo diet friendly breakfast recipes from around the web for you to try:

  • Curried Beef, Broccoli, Mushroom Frittata Muffins
  • Baked egg in an avocado
  • Eggs cooked in bell pepper or onion rings
  • Zucchini pancakes
  • Eggs baked in bacon baskets
  • Microwave scrambled egg in a mug You can make this in 2 minutes!
  • Banana cinna-roll smoothie
  • Green smoothie
  • Blueberry crumble-top muffins – uses coconut and almond flour. Paleo!

Paleo Snacking

The first thing you think about when you make the decision follow the Paleo Diet or the Primal lifestyle is all of the things you will now give up.

Giving up grains means no more bread, donuts, cookies, pie, cake, crackers, popcorn… the list is too horrifying to continue.

Giving up sugar means no more candy, chocolate, soda, cookies, pie… again too horrifying to continue!

Giving up potatoes means no more fries, chips, potato skins, tater tots… are you sensing a theme here?

Well before you give up on Paleo completely and head down the closest aisle of bad decisions, we’ve put together a list of some Paleo friendly snack options for those of us who just need something to munch while we watch tv or hang out with friends.

The aisle of bad decisions

The aisle of bad decisions

Paleo Friendly Snack Ideas

  • Berries – cherries, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
  • Nuts – almonds, cashews, pecans (remember no peanuts – peanuts are legumes not nuts)
  • Fruit – any kind but we particularly love apples sliced with a wedge of cheddar on top
  • Eggs – hard boiled eggs and deviled eggs make great snacks
  • Veggies – veggies and dip is a classic snack
  • Cheese – if you’re not avoiding dairy, a few ounces of good quality cheese is a satisfying snack
  • Kale Chips – baked kale chips – sounds weird but surprisingly good!
  • Beef Jerky – preferably your own homemade jerky not store-bought jerky filled with nitrates and additives.
  • Pork Rinds – preferably your own homemade pork rinds
  • Chocolate Covered Bacon – chocolate covered bacon – I had to say it twice ;)

For more Paleo Snacks Mark’s Daily Apple has a great post on Paleo Snacks which includes quick recipes for Primal Veggie chips, Primal Trail Mix, Better-Than-Store-Bought Apple Chips, Blueberry “Candies” and more.

Paleo Lasagna

Eggplant Lasagna

Image by Robotskirts on via creative commons license

Paleo Friendly Eggplant Lasagna

Here’s a basic Paleo friendly lasagna recipe for those who, like me, miss pasta!
You can change this up and customize it to your own taste by adding mushrooms, spinach and other veggies; using ground pork, ground turkey or no ground meat at all; layering some ricotta cheese; adding different spices, etc. Or use your own favourite lasagna recipe and make it Paleo by substituting the eggplant layers instead of pasta noodles.


  • 1 or 2 eggplants, thinly sliced length-wise (you can substitute zucchini if you prefer)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large can of no sugar added tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • Packet of dry Italian dressing seasoning
  • Your favorite cheeses (shredded or thinly sliced)
  • Garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste


  • Dip the sliced eggplant into beaten egg, and then dip in parmesan cheese and lightly fry in hot oil until the parmesan is golden. These will become your lasagna “noodles” in the recipe.
  • Cook up the ground beef, onion and peppers in the bottom of a lightly oiled saucepan until cooked thoroughly. Drain any liquid.
  • Into the ground beef mixture add one large can of tomato sauce, a dry packet of Italian dressing seasoning mix, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer and then remove from heat.
  • In a lightly greased lasagna pan layer eggplant,  sauce, cheese
  • Repeat layering two more times and then bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted to a golden brown.

Introduction to Merlene’s Paleo Journal

June 2011, 168 lbs

It’s funny. I was always the skinny kid. The kind of skinny that had people asking my parents things like, “don’t you feed her?” and “is she sick?” on a regular basis. In high school and even in my 20s, after the birth of my two children, I was still slim. I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and never gained an ounce.

I was 112 lbs (and 8 weeks pregnant) at the age of 20 on my wedding day. I was 115 lbs a year after my daughter was born. I was 120 lbs a year after my son was born 5 years later. Throughout my 20s my weight seemed to stay in the 120-125lb range without worrying about what I ate. I was lazy, lived a very sedentary life so I can’t attribute it to exercise. I just had “good genes” and a “fast metabolism”.

Then around my 30th birthday I gained 10 lbs bringing my weight to around 135 lbs. At 5’4″ that was still a reasonable weight and I was unconcerned about it.

By my 40th birthday I’d gained another 10 lbs and while it’s bigger than I’d ever been, it was still a reasonable weight so I was still unconcerned about it.

The photo above is of me at my daughter’s college graduation lunch in June, 2011. I was 42 years old and my weight had jumped up to 168 lbs and somehow I didn’t really notice. Until I saw this photo. Most of my clothes no longer fit me but I’d just ignored that fact, hoping it would go away. I bought some new summer clothes that were baggy and lose so I could hide my saggy, flabby belly. I’d never had to deal with weight problems before and I wasn’t about to acknowledge I had a weight problem now. Until July, 2011 when during a routine physical when my doctor said my liver felt enlarged and decided to send me for a bunch of blood tests and an ultrasound of not only my liver but all of my organs.

The good news is that my liver was not enlarged and my blood tests all came back within normal levels. But the whole experience was enough to throw a good scare into me and make me stop and reassess my lifestyle. Maybe eating pizza 2 or 3 nights a week and pasta daily wasn’t a good idea. Maybe sitting all day wasn’t such a good idea either. Maybe it was time for some changes.

[Read more...]