Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pulled Pork

Sorry guys, no picture for this one because well, it's pulled pork. Certainly not the most aesthetically pleasing thing to see, just a bunch of shredded meat, but OMG, it is DELICIOUS!!

My local grocery store will often have pork tenderloin on sale for like $1.79/lb, but the downside is that they are vacuum sealed and frozen, in at least 1.5 pound portions, or larger. The last one I roasted and had a ton of leftovers, so this time, I decided to make pulled pork and it couldn't be easier or tastier.

  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1.5-2 pounds), thawed
  • 1/2 bottle (about 9-10 ounces) bbq sauce of your choice
Combine ingredients in a slow cooker on low for approximately 7-8 hours. About 30 minutes before the end, take meat out and shred with a fork and put back in the slow cooker to let it soak up the sauce.

I made this the other day and it's been in the fridge and I just reheated some on a whole wheat lawash bread and topped with a tiny bit of BBQ sauce and shredded cheese and wrapped it up, and I can't believe how juicy it is and how good it tastes!

Definitely a very easy meal when you don't want to cook and you can flavor it however you want.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Turkey sausage

Who doesn't love sitting down to a hearty breakfast of pancakes, eggs and sausage? Unfortunately, prepared sausage is usually made with unhealthy meats and the prepacked stuff is loaded with sodium, so, why not make your own? It is super simple, super cheap and super easy, and with you controlling the ingredients, you can make it as good as you want.

Turkey sausage patties (serves 5 @ 3 1-ounce patties each)
  • 1 lb ground turkey (make sure you use ground turkey, not ground turkey breast, because the breast meat is so lean it won't have enough moisture)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Combine spices and turkey and mix well in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator overnight (this will allow the spices to flavor the meat more).

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, and, using a small scoop if you have one (the one I have is about an ounce), form into small patties. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes (because they are small they cook up quickly) or until meat is no longer pink in the middle.

Freeze any leftovers.

I was very happy with how these came out, just the right amount of spice and tons of flavor!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin muffins

I found this delicious recipe at Pinch My Salt and finally got to try it and I was very happy with the results. It produced a very moist muffin, as promised, and even though I used a mix of molasses and honey (instead of just honey as the original recipe calls for), I couldn't tell any difference, nor could you tell it was just whole wheat flour, as sometimes it has a slightly different texture. And, as suggested, I filled the muffin tins up to the top.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins with Cranberry and Walnuts
  • 2 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 C. pumpkin puree (I use canned)
  • 2 T. oil
  • 3/4 C. honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C. buttermilk
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 C. sweetened dried cranberries (I used Trader Joes dried cranberries)
  • 1/2 C. chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a standard size 12 cup muffin tin (I use cooking spray).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, honey, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir together until just combined. Fold in the cranberries and walnuts.
5. Divide batter evenly between 12 standard sized muffin cups. Bake 20-23 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven. Muffins are done when they spring back lightly to the touch or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

This is a ridiculously easy recipe, and can easily be doubled, tripled or more, to be served at a brunch or party.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 2 eggs
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined.

Heat a skillet over medium low heat and drop 2 tablespoons at a time, flipping once after a minute or two (be careful not to burn these, they cook quickly!)

I top mine with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray and some Truvia sweetener, but the possibilities are endless. I'm sure I'd be breaking out the Nutella if I had it on hand :)

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I've been wanting to try this pizza dough recipe ever since I saw it in Rachel Ray's Magazine, and the other night, I finally did. And the verdict? The easiest pizza dough (and pizza) I've ever made!

Skillet Pizza Dough (makes 1 serving dough-I did the whole wheat version)
  • 3/4 Cup lukewarm water
  • 1 TB active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 Cups flour (for whole wheat, use 3/4 cup whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour)
  • 3 TB extra virgin olive oil
In a small bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, 3 to 5 minutes.

Using a stand mixer, mix the flour and salt at low speed. Mix in the yeast mixture and EVOO until a shaggy dough forms. Switch to the dough hook attachment and mix at medium speed until a ball forms and the dough is smooth, about 6 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover and let rise for about 2 hours or until doubled in size. When you are ready to use the dough, punch it down.

Now for the pizza part!

Grease a cast iron skillet and transfer the dough, and spread it out in the skillet. Let rise for another 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and top however you like, and bake it for approximately 20 minutes. Let pizza sit in the skillet for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven.

BBQ Chicken Pizza:
  • 1/2 pound chicken tenderloin or chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • BBQ sauce of your choice (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
  • Sliced red onion
  • Cheese (I used mozzarella and 5 cheese Italian)
Cook chicken and shred/dice and combine with half the BBQ sauce, set aside.

Top pizza dough with the remaining BBQ sauce, add the cheese, red onion and chicken

Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More oatmeal

I just wrote a blog about oatmeal in August, but I am currently IN LOVE with my latest concoction, so had to share.

First off, oatmeal really is a near perfect meal! It has fiber, protein, it's good for you, fills you up way longer then regular cereal, and not to mention, tasty.

  • 1 serving (1/2 cup) Country Choice Organic Multi Grain Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 cup soymilk (or whatever milk you use, I find it comes out creamier then if you cook it with water)
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 TB brown sugar (not an exact measurement, but it's probably around that)
  • 1 TB peanut butter
Combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently.

Serve in a bowl and top with a tablespoon or so of your favorite jam. I used sugar free raspberry jam.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Best mac and cheese ever

At least the best mac and cheese I've made thus far...

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

  • 8 ounces uncooked elbow noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry mustard dissolved in 1 teaspoon of water
  • 12 ounces grated cheddar cheese (I used 8 ounces of new york style sharp cheddar and 4 ounces sharp pinconning)
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • Dash of crushed red pepper (optional)
Cook noodles as directed on package

In a separate skillet, melt the butter and add evaporated milk, mustard, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and grated cheese. Stir over low heat until cheese is melted and barely forms a bubble (sauce should thicken as you go, but be careful not to let it get above 170 degrees or the mixture will curdle). Stir for about 5 minutes or until sauce is thick, and, after draining noodles, add them to the sauce and stir until blended.

My sauce didn't quite get thick enough so I just let the noodles sit in there for a few minutes and it came out great.

My dining companion was thoroughly impressed and went back for seconds, and this will easily serve 4 as a main dish or about 8 as a side. It was super simple, and using evaporated milk instead of fresh milk helped reduce the chance of curdling (which is one thing I hate about making mac and cheese) and it will DEFINITELY be a staple item in this house when I need some comfort food!