It’s not everyday that DreamWorks Animation zips an email to your inbox; so when I was invited to develop a recipe based on the upcoming movie about the world’s “first family” it was not hard for me to say YES, OF COURSE!!! Dear readers, how perfectly fun and easy this project was for our little family to undertake because, well, The Croods are PALEO, like, really really paleo, and my kids were literally through the roof with excitement when we watched the trailer together; which you can check out right here:
The Croods, scheduled to hit theaters March 22nd, is a 3D comedy adventure that follows the journey of the worlds first family as they leave their cave home (after it was destroyed) and head off together on a “path trip” of a lifetime. Rocked by generational clashes and seismic shifts, The Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures, and a future beyond any they imagined.
I can’t wait to watch this movie with my boys and I LOVE that the main character, Eep, is depicted as an assertive, tough, and independent young woman (I mean, did you see her in the trailer – that girl can MOVE and she’s STRONG – awesome…) which will be fun and refreshing for a family flick. The family is comprised of patriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage) who is fiercely protective of his wife and three kids. His hyper-vigilance has kept his cave-bound family safe, secure and….super-bored. Grug’s strong and dutiful better half, Ugga (Catherine Keener), accepts her husband’s “fear is good; change is bad” mentality, as does their son Thunk (Clark Duke), who’s content with the static status quo. Feisty mother-in-law Gran (Cloris Leachman) never tires of needling (or sometimes assaulting) Grug; and stone-tough toddler Sandy might be the fiercest Crood yet.
It was Sandy who gave me inspiration for this recipe. Our family, like Sandy, lives life fiercely and we love to cook and eat food that is fun and lively, so I give to you Sandy’s Stuffed Sweet Potatoes! I figured that The Croods (after discovering fire of course) would not only enjoy this meal but would need the sustenance and energy that would be required to make their epic journey. Our kids loved the meal, and I hope yours will to, and we all can’t wait for The Croods!! Now, here’s the recipe:
Sandy’s Carnitas Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado Aioli and Coleslaw With a Kick!
To make this creation, it may seem like a lot of steps but it’s actually pretty simple. Once the potatoes are baked, split them down the middle, stuff them with the carnitas, drizzle with the avocado aioli, and serve with a side of coleslaw. Instructions and ingredients are below!
Slow Cooked Carnitas
4 lbs pork shoulder cut into 2″ cubes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons melted lard (or coconut oil)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
½ cup water
2 bay leaves
1. In a large bowl, mix the pieces of pork with 2 tablespoons of the melted lard or coconut oil, salt, garlic, and oregano until all of the pieces are coated.
2. Place the pork in a slow cooker, add the water and bay leaves, cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until the pork is fork tender.
3. In a large skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of lard over medium high heat and add the pork chunks. Cook, stirring often until the pork is browned and crispy on the outside.
4. Use a fork to shred the pieces of pork and set aside.
5-6 medium sized white sweet potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Bake for 40 minutes or until fork tender.
3. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare the coleslaw and avocado aioli.
Coleslaw With a Kick
4 cups green cabbage, shredded
½ cup diced green onions
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 small apple diced
8 ounce bacon, finely chopped and cooked until crispy
Dressing for Coleslaw
Juice from 2 limes
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
Pinch of cayenne (or more if you like it spicy)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
2. Toss together the coleslaw ingredients, drizzle with the dressing and mix well.
1/2 cup Everyday Paleo Mayo
1. Mash the avocado with a fork.
2. Add the mayo and whisk together until well blended.
Here’s two out of three of my crazy cave kids enjoy dinner! (Sadly, Coby wasn’t home to participate in The Croods madness…)
Although this is a sponsored post, all thoughts (like always) are my very own!
Photo Credit: Michael J. Lang