These caramelized pork meatball “vermicelli” bowls are made with paleo-friendly caramel and spaghetti squash instead of noodles.
My favorite thing to order at our local Vietnamese restaurant is bún chả, a bowl of vermicelli topped with pickled vegetables, peanuts, and grilled sliced pork or pork meatballs, served with a generous bowl of nước chấm (sweet fish sauce) on the side. This caramelized pork meatball “vermicelli” bowl is a paleo version that hits all the right notes without refined sugar, legumes, or actual vermicelli–the noodles are spaghetti squash instead!
I’m not always a fan of swapping spaghetti squash for regular noodles, but it really works in this dish. There are so many flavors and textures intermingling that the squash flies almost completely under the radar.
As winter settles in, I’m trying to remain focused on the few cold-weather activities I actually enjoy– namely, roasting things, making hot drinks, and baking cookies. (Don’t even try to get me excited about skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. I’ll just meet up with you in the lodge for some hot chocolate when you’re done freezing your nose and toes on the frigid slopes.)
There is one other winter activity I enjoy, though, and that is going on Caribbean vacations. I don’t have the money for a trip anywhere warm this year, but Ben and I had an amazing time in Jamaica year before last. Today we relived some of those good times by eating this paleo roasted jerk chicken with carrots and potatoes. It’s no trip to the islands, but it does taste really good.
I love to read. It’s actually somewhat of a problem.
Whenever I read fiction or a memoir, one of two things happens. I either put the book down because I can’t get into it, or I’m so into it that I can’t think about anything else, and end up reading the whole thing within a day or two. The latter happens much more frequently than the former, and everything else I’m supposed to be doing falls by the wayside. I fall into reading rabbit holes so easily that I usually don’t allow myself to read anything other than my school textbooks during the semester itself. (Of course, I’m very interested in speech and language pathology, but books with titles like Understanding Voice Problems and Preclinical Speech Science never really end up being page-turners. Instead of keeping me up all night like a suspenseful novel, they’re uniquely capable of sending me into a sudden nap if I read them anytime after the sun sets.)
Do you think beautiful food tastes better? I do.
Of course, every once in a while you come across a beautiful dish, take your first bite, and feel disappointed because it doesn’t taste nearly as good as it looks. In my experience, though, that doesn’t happen much.
More often, a food’s level of beauty and deliciousness are relatively close together, with the gorgeousness boosting the deliciousness up a notch or two (or perhaps vice versa, but I don’t really find that a food looks prettier once I’ve tried it and know that it’s tasty…we eat with our eyes first, after all). The food looks good, so it tastes even better. I think that’s how it goes with me and figs. Yes, they’re yummy, but most of all, their colors are just so pretty. When I take a bite of fig while looking at the freshly-sliced figs that are still on my plate, the beauty of those figs makes the one in my mouth taste even better.