Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mexican Slow Cooker Tacos

I found this recipe on www.simplyrecipes.com  I absolutely love it because on any given day I pretty much have all the ingredients in my spice cabinet.   I try to pick up boneless country style pork ribs whenever they're on sale and this has become our Tuesday Taco night favorite!  Tuesdays are our crazy, everyone going 100 different directions, day so we love this recipe!!

**I have never taken the time to brown this roast and I have never marinated it over night.  I just rub the dry rub on each piece, put them in the crock pot and let it cook.  And both times I have made this, I did not get it in the crock pot until after 11am.  I set it on high and it cooks to the perfect shredding tenderness by 5pm.  No doubt it would be even yummier on low for longer. :)

The rub:
  • 4 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Scant pinch of ground cloves
The roast -- (I have always used country style pork)
  • 3 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil


1 Whisk together the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
2 If the roast is tied up with butcher string, untie it. Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Rub the spice mix into the roast all over, reserving any leftover spice mix for later. Marinate in the rub at least one hour or overnight.
3 Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. (If you are using a slow cooker with a removable container that can be used on the stovetop, use that, otherwise use a separate pan.) Place the roast in the pan and brown on all sides.
4 Place the roast in a slow cooker, and add any reserved spice rub. Cook on the low setting for 6 to 10 hours, until the pork is fall apart tender.
5 Remove the roast from the slow cooker and place on a cutting board. Cut into large chunks. Then use two forks to pull the meat apart into bite sized shreds. Return the shreds to the slow cooker and toss to coat with the juice from the roast.
Serve with tortillas, avocados, and salsa.
Yield: Serves 8.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Simple Bolognese

These noodles caught my eye at Target the other day and when I saw a recipe on the back of the box I thought I would give it a try.  SOOOOOO glad I did!!  This recipe was so easy and so incredibly tasty!!  I didn't have fresh parsley or basil so I used dried but I can't imagine it tasting any better.

(These noodles are called Fusili col buco -- I bought the Giada brand from Target)


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced (I used half of this)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
1 carrot, peeled and minced (I did 2 carrots just to add a little more healthy goodness)
1 pound ground beef
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (I used an Italian blend that I already had)
1 pound Giada Fusili Col Buco, cooked according to package directions) -- (I cooked the pasta the full 14 minutes and it was not soggy at all)


-In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrot; saute until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to high, add ground beef; cook until no longer pink, breaking up large clumps, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, parsley, basil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Cook over medium-low heat until sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Stir in cheese; season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cooked pasta.

Makes 6-8 servings (This fed my whole family. My girls both had thirds or fourths, I lost count.  And we had more than enough left-overs for a few of us to have it for lunch.)

**Next time I think I will try adding some diced zucchini.  I'm thinking if I dice it like the carrots and celery then I can disguise it enough to get my kiddos to eat it. :)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Sauce

Another winner from www.skinnytaste.com...

I would not change a thing!  These were so yummy!  The only thing I will do differently next time is I will double the batch.  They freeze (uncooked) perfectly and I was sad when they were all gone.'

And if you like recipes with pictures, go here.


For the Spicy Chipotle Mayo:
3 1/2 tbsp light mayonnaise (Hellman's)
1 tbsp canned chipotle in adobo sauce

For the Black Bean Burgers:

16 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 jumbo egg
1 tbsp cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup quick oats (use gf oats for gluten free)
4 whole wheat 100 calorie buns (Martin's)*
1 small hass avocado, sliced thin

Combine mayonnaise and chipotle, set aside.
Dry the beans well after washing, extra moisture keep the burgers from sticking. In a medium bowl, mash beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, cilantro, onion, and garlic, then add oats, then eggs and spices. Then stir into mashed beans.
Divide mixture into four patties (using slightly oiled hands helps) and place them onto a flat surface covered with wax paper. (If it's too wet, chill the mixture 30 minutes in the refrigerator or add another tablespoon of oats)

Freeze at least 2 hours before cooking or keep frozen until ready to cook.
Heat a lightly sprayed skillet to medium heat and cook frozen burgers about 7 minutes on each side.
If grilling, preheat grill over medium heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil; grill 7-8 minutes on each side or you can bake in the oven at 375° on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats

This was probably my favorite recipe I have ever made.  It was work, but it was, every single little minute worth it 100%!  I only made one change.  The enchilada sauce turned out very spicy, probably because I used 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce.  Next time I will probably do just one, but the meal was so yummy that I am afraid to change anything next time.  I ended up mixing 8 ounces of Green (store bought) Enchilada Sauce with 8 ounces of the home made enchilada sauce.

One more thing.  On the website skinnytaste.com the blog author recommends having the chicken already cooked at the beginning of your week.  She plans her meals accordingly and will crockpot a bunch of chicken at the beginning of the week, shred it, and use it throughout the week.

I do wish I would have chopped and cut everything up right when I started making this recipe (instead of cutting and chopping as I went), probably would have made things go a little quicker.  It took me about 1 hour 30 minutes prepare and the cook time is 40 minutes.

It was so flavorful, the perfect amount of spice, and so worth all the effort.  I served it with Lipton Spanish Rice.
Okay, here is the recipe... the direct link is here Green Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats from the website www.skinnytaste.com  The picture itself will have your mouth watering!

For the enchilada sauce:
olive oil spray (I used my Misto)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 tbsp chipotle chile in adobo sauce, more if you like it spicy
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2/3 cup fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the zucchini boats:
4 (about 32 oz total) medium zucchini
1 tsp oil
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
8 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
3 tbsp water or fat free chicken broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

For the Topping:
3/4 cup reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar
chopped scallions and cilantro for garnish

For the enchilada sauce: In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Addchipotle chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Zucchini Boats: Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a small spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4" thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.
Drop the zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute; remove from water.
In a large saute pan, heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini and cilantro; season with salt and pepper and cook about 4 minutes. Add the cumin, oregano, chili powder, water, and tomato paste and cook a few more minutes, thenadd in chicken; mix and cook 3 more minutes.

Place 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a large (or 2 small) baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up. Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup chicken mixture, pressing firmly.

Top each with 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce, and 1 1/2 tablespoons each of shredded cheese. 
Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.
Top with scallions and cilantro for garnish and serve with low fat sour cream if desired.

Sweet and Fiery Pork Tenderloin

This is another recipe from skinnytaste.com  The pictures on this site are better than anything I could even try to take so just click on this link for Sweet and Fiery Pork Tenderloin if you want the original recipe.  I made absolutely no changes to this recipe and everyone loved it.  There were no leftovers.  The only thing I might do differently is to make two 1 pound tenderloins so we have leftovers. 
There was plenty of Mango Salsa (I just realized I used 2 mangoes but I didn't double anything else) and the next day we ate the salsa with the leftover Pernil on Whole Wheat buns. (again, delicious!)

•             1 tsp garlic salt
•             1/2 tsp ground ginger
•             1 lb pork tenderloin
•             1/4 cup Sweet Red Chili Sauce (I used Thai Kitchen)
•             1 tbsp honey
•             1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (or more to taste)
For the salsa:
•             1 large ripe mango, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
•             1-2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
•             1 small clove garlic, minced
•             1 tbsp minced jalepeño, seeds removed and diced
•             2 tbsp fresh lime juice 

For the salsa: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate salsa until ready to serve. Makes 1 cup.
Preheat oven to 375°. Mix garlic salt and ginger in small bowl. Rub evenly over pork.Place pork on rack in foil-lined roasting pan.

Roast pork in preheated oven 40 to 45 minutes or until desired pork is cooked to your liking. (New pork guidelines allow pork to cook to 145°, if you prefer it cooked well, cook it until the internal temp reads is 160° with a meat thermometer)
Mix chili sauce, honey and sriracha in small bowl.
Brush over pork during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Slice pork and serve with pan juices and mango salsa on the side.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lemon Feta Chicken

*Another Weight Watchers Winner!!!  Crazy Easy and so yummy! Got it from www.skinnytaste.com

The direct link for this recipe (with pretty pictures)  is...
Lemon Feta Chicken with Oregano

I made this exactly as directed and we served it diced over spinach with feta sprinkled over the top and balsalmic vinagrette spray salad dressing.

  • 8 skinless chicken thighs
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

    Preheat oven to 375°. Trim all fat off chicken. Season chicken with salt, pepper, oregano, and lemon juice. Place in a roasting pan and bake for about 35 - 40 minutes. When chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and sprinkle with feta.

    Broil on low for about 2-3 minutes, until cheese is golden brown (careful not to burn).

    Slow Roasted Pernil

    We are on the Weight Watchers quest to find good recipes.  I have found a website that has not let us down so I wanted to share what we have tried.  Every recipe has been amazing and so easy!  Win - Win!

    I was a bit hesitant with this one, even as I prepared it I was concerned there wasn't enough liquid or flavor, but it was delicious and I didn't even marinate it overnight like suggested.  It is a great crockpot recipe!
    The website is www.skinnytaste.com and she has beautiful pictures to go with each recipe.

    On the website she even lists the points for each recipe...

    This is the exact link for this recipe if you want to go directly there...
    Skinny Slow Cooked Pernil


    • 3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed
    • 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 tbsp coarse salt
    • 1/2 tsp oregano
    • 1/2 tbsp cumin
    • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
    • 3 oranges, juice of (1/2 cup)
    • 2 limes, juice of

        Using a sharp knife, cut slits into the pork and stuff holes with half of the crushed garlic. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Place in the ceramic part of the crock pot, cover and refrigerate, turning pork occasionally so the marinade covers all of pork.

        The next day, remove the crock pot and cook on low, 8 hours.

        After 8 hours, remove pork and shred using two forks. Remove liquid from crock pot and add pork back to crock. Add about 1 cup of the liquid back and adjust salt, pepper and cumin (you will probably need to add more). Let it cook another 15-30 minutes.

        ***Ours was a little salty and I only had 1 lime so I didn't add as much lime juice as called for.  I will reduce the salt in half next time and possibly just add salt to taste after shredding the pork.

        I served ours in tortillas for the kids with cheese and salsa, for my husband he ate it over spinach with salsa and jasmine rice.