Slow-cooker Rabbit and Veggies (and an account of my first slip)

Confession time: I slipped. It happened a week and a half ago, on a Sunday night. And it taught me a thing or two about the importance of vigilance and the profound impact that what I eat has on my energy.

So, my day job involves a lot of baking, and sometimes I get requests to make cakes for various occasions. Last Sunday, I made a cake for a friend’s celebration: as per her request, it was a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and raspberry filling. All went well through the preparation of the cake… I even spat out the nibble of frosting I tasted to make sure the flavor was right.

But then I was there, and everyone was eating the cake, saying how delicious it was, etc. etc. And I was there slicing the cake, smelling the cake. And I thought to myself, “Well, just a sliver won’t hurt…”

It did, though. One sliver became two, which then unfolded into a night of poor sleep and renewed sugar cravings. Ugh. Not to mention a headache that you wouldn’t believe.

I was back to Paleo the next day, and it was a pure delight. And then came… a road trip. With a friend. Who isn’t Paleo. At all.

It was a very important road trip: I went to go see the Hoosiers kick MSU’s ass in a nail-biter of a game of hoops. I had a blast, and I regret nothing.

In fact, I did pretty well on the trip. I brought a bag of healthy, real food treats for the drives to and from Rochester, and avoided the many refined sugars that taunted me. But no, I was not perfectly Paleo. I admit it, I ate a bratwurst at the game, and then a sub sandwich afterwards. However, I was able to find a Paleo-friendly breakfast, and have been back to eating real food ever since my return.

What were the other results of my grain and sugar slips? Well, I slept poorly both of the nights when I had wheat and sugar. I also had the first asthma attack that I’ve had since I quit smoking back in 2011. My energy was low, and my stomach felt yucky.

Lesson learned: Paleo is helping. Grains and sugars aren’t.

I’m taking another trip this weekend to Toronto, and you better believe I’m preparing myself better! I did some research and found a locavore, real-food, Paleo-friendly restaurant, and I already made dinner reservations. I will NOT eat any of the junk food at the game (yes, this is another basketball-related trip, this time to cheer for the Pacers against the Raptors… what can I say, I’m from Indiana, where basketball is the hub around which the rest of life revolves). I will take this as an opportunity to embody my commitment to health. And I will keep you all posted regarding how it went when I return!

One of the meals I made this week turned out wonderfully: I made rabbit for the first time, and felt so confident that I even made up my own recipe for it, despite my neophyte status in the realm of bunny cooking. And it was so delicious, I knew it would be the feature of my next post.

I got a whole rabbit for this process, and proceeded to cut it according to the directions in one of my favorite books, On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. For anyone who is not familiar with this process and who doesn’t have a copy of On Cooking, the process is well-described on a variety of websites, including this one (http://honest-food.net/2010/05/19/how-to-cut-up-a-rabbit/).

And, with no further ado, the recipe…

IMG_6358'Slow-cooker Rabbit and Veggies

  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bunch beet greens, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 4 or 5 oz. grape tomatoes
  • 8 oz. bacon, cut into bite-sized peices
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 3 large shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 1 head garlic, peeled, cloves left whole
  • 1 whole rabbit, cut into pieces (see link above)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Small handful fresh thyme
  • 1 quart homemade chicken stock
  1. Place the kale, beet greens, parsley, and grape tomatoes in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Fry the bacon in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high until crispy: add to slow cooker.
  3. Sauté the onion in the bacon grease until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue to sauté until the moisture from the mushrooms has fully evaporated. Add to slow cooker.
  4. Brown the pieces of the rabbit in the same pan, just a few minutes per side. Add to slow cooker.
  5. Season the veggies and meat with some salt and pepper, top with the thyme, and pour in the stock.
  6. Cook, covered, on low for 3 ½ to 4 hours. Remove the thyme before serving.
  7. That’s it! Enjoy!
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