Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce

I don't cook many pork recipes, but I have a friend who tried this one and said she loved it so I had to try it. Thanks Jillian for sharing this recipe! She found this one at Cooking Light. I'm from the south, so it's really hard to find good barbecue out here where I live so I typically just don't bother. But this recipe is great and it's absolutely worth repeating!

What makes this recipe taste so good is the smoked paprika. Not regular plain ole paprika, but smoked paprika. It really gives it a smoky flavor and it reminded me of my southern barbecue from back home. This one is gluten free (use gluten free soy sauce and make sure your chicken stock is gluten free) and dairy free. Make sure you read all your labels to ensure everything is gluten free if you are going that route! One thing I want to point out is this recipe calls for balsamic vinegar. I love flavored vinegar and I had a peach balsamic vinaigrette on hand, so I used that. Regular balsamic vinaigrette does the trick, but if you have flavored, use it!

I love my crock pot meals, so take advantage of this one! This recipe goes great with baked beans and cole slaw. It's evern really tasty on rolls for a sandwich!!

Nutritional Information is below!


Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3 1/2-pound) bone-in pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), trimmed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson) 
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup peach preserves
  • 2 cups vertically sliced onion 
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup bourbon 
  • 2 tablespoons cold water 
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


Directions

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper; rub evenly over pork.


2. Coat pan with about 1 tsp of olive oil. Add pork to pan; cook 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place pork in a 6-quart electric slow cooker.


3. Add stock and next 4 ingredients (through crushed red pepper) to skillet; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add preserves, stirring with a whisk.



4. Pour mixture over pork; top with onion and garlic. Cover and cook on LOW 6 1/2 hours or until pork is very tender.



5. Remove pork from pan, reserving liquid; cool slightly. Shred with 2 forks. Remove onion with a slotted spoon; add to pork.

6. Place a large zip-top plastic bag inside a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Pour cooking liquid into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into skillet, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat.

7. Stir bourbon into drippings; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Combine 2 tablespoons cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; add cornstarch mixture to sauce, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle sauce over pork; toss gently to coat.


Nutritional Information
Amount per serving: serving size: about 3 ounces meat and about 2 tablespoons sauce

Calories: 206
Fat: 5.9g
Saturated fat: 2g
Monounsaturated fat: 2.6g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g
Protein: 17g
Carbohydrate: 20g
Fiber: 1g
Cholesterol: 54mg
Iron: 2mg
Sodium: 369mg
Calcium: 41mg
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Curry Roasted Cauliflower

I absolutely love curry so I wanted to try it on some roasted cauliflower. Wow! It was delicious! It was sooo good that I had to have it 3 days in a row! Yes, it was that yummy! I just love how curry adds a warm spice flavor, along with the smoked paprika, and bring boring cauliflower to life.


Hubby gives it two thumbs up too! He is one of the reasons why I had to make it again... and again.... and again. I think by the third day, we were ready to move on to a different veggie :)


It is so easy to make! You could use one medium head of cauliflower and cut it up into bit sized florets or you could buy the cauliflower already cut up and ready to go in the produce section.


I used three different spices: curry powder, smoked paprika and garlic salt. I think they make a nice combination of spices. Feel free to use regular salt if you don't have garlic salt. As for the smoked paprika, I would rather stick with smoked paprika rather than regular paprika because it gives a sweet smokey taste.


Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the bowl of cauliflower. Toss the oil and cauliflower around in the bowl. Try to make sure all the cauliflower florets get covered with the oil as much as possible. Pour the cauliflower into a gallon sized Ziploc bag.


Sprinkle the spice mixture over the cauliflower in the bag. Shake the bag and massage the cauliflower with the spices so that all the florets are covered.


Pour the cauliflower onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick foil.


Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes, turning once half way through. Mmmmm... delicious curry roasted cauliflower!


Curry Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups raw cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets (9 Greens)
1 tbsp olive oil (3 Healthy Fats)
1 tsp curry powder (2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp garlic salt (2 Condiments)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil. Combine oil and cauliflower florets in a gallon size Ziploc bag and shake the bag until combined. Try to make sure all the florets are coated with oil. Then put the curry powder, smoked paprika and garlic salt in a small bowl and stir until combined. Pour the spice mixture over the cauliflower florets and shake the bag until all the pieces are coated with the spice mixture.

Spread the cauliflower florets on prepared pan lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Bake for about 25 minutes; stirring halfway through.

3 Servings with 
3 Greens, 1.7 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat per Serving


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Not Your Mama's Chicken Alfredo

This is Not Your Mama's Alfredo Sauce for a reason. This recipe doesn't have all the cream, butter, flour and other unhealthy ingredients that traditional Alfredo recipes might have. It actually has only a few ingredients, but with those few ingredients, it packs a ton of flavor.



What I like most about this sauce is that it is smooth, thick and creamy. It really sticks to the squash noodles and chicken. No watery sauce for me!



I used my Ninja to blend the ingredients together but you can use any small blender you like. You just want to blend until all the ingredients have a smooth texture, resembling sauce. I added cottage cheese, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, unsweetened almond milk and black pepper. That's it! You are done! Easy peasy!



The sauce is actually a great source of protein because of the cottage cheese and it doesn't have a lot of fat! It is right up my alley!



You can kind of see the thickness in this photo. Feel free to add a little more almond milk if you don't want the sauce as thick.


Slap on that sauce!

I chose to serve the sauce on spiraled yellow squash and zucchini so that it resembled pasta. My favorite spiralizer is Paderno which I got from Amazon. Right now it is running about $35 with free shipping, but the price is always changing so check it out. They are really simple to us. You just press the zucchini against the blade of the slicer and crank the handle. As you crank the handle, the spirals come out on the other side. The best part about this machine, is that you don't have to worry about your hand coming in contact with the blade while you are spiraling. Also, this machine will take out the core of the squash which has the seeds. The seeds prevent the noodles from holding together, so you want to make sure the core isn't included.

Another option is the Veggetti which is also on Amazon but I think you can find it in some of the big box stores such as Target and Bed Bath and Beyond. This runs around $13.

You can also use any julienne peeler you like and get great results. These are easy to find and run around $10 or less. If you use one of these peelers, you would pass the peeler down the side of the squash, lengthwise. When you approach the seeds, turn the zucchini and slice another side.

Chicken Alfredo never looked so good! With added color from the squash, healthy nutrients from using veggies instead of pasta, and creamy sauce packed with protein... what more could I ask for in kick starting my weight loss? Enjoy!


Not Your Mama's Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:
4 oz grilled or baked chicken, sliced or diced (2/3 Leaner)

For Alternative Pasta:
1 1/2 cups yellow squash and/or zucchini, spiralized (3 Greens)
1 tsp olive oil (1 Healthy Fat)
1/4 tsp dried basil (1/8 Condiment)

Alfredo Sauce:
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese (1/3 Leaner)
1/8 tsp salt (1/2 Condiment)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
1 tbsp reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese (1/2 Condiment)
1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (1/16 Condiment)
1/8 tsp Fresh ground pepper (1/4 Condiment)

Directions:
Prepare your squash. You can peel your squash so that it resembles pasta or leave the peel on to add more color to the dish. I like to leave it on because the peel has extra fiber that can regulate your digestive system. Cut the ends off and discard. Next decide which gadget you want to use to make your noodles. Measure out 1 1/2 cups.

Add 1 tsp olive oil to a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add spiraled squash to the oil and cook until squash gets tender for about 2 minutes. Add basil and any other additional seasonings such as salt, pepper, or garlic powder if desired. Put on a plate and set aside.

To make Alfredo sauce, combine cottage cheese, salt, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, almond milk and pepper in a small blender until mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour into a microwave safe dish and heat until warm (about 45 sec to 1 min), stopping the microwave every 15 seconds to stir. Make sure the cottage cheese doesn't get too hot because cottage cheese and heat do not mix well. It will start to separate, get stringy, and watery. Once it was mixed with the squash and chicken, I had no problems with re-heating.

Place cooked diced chicken over squash noodles and then pour warm sauce on top. Enjoy!

1 Serving with 
1 Leaner, 3 Greens, 2.5 Condiments, and 1 Healthy Fat

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Sweet Garlic Chicken

I have such a funny story to go with this recipe post! I received a text tonight from my next door neighbor and she said her husband walked by our house outside and smelled this wonderful smell. He walked back in his house and said, "Amanda must be cooking something really good because even the outside of her house smells fantastic!" Ha Ha! I LOVE IT!

And yes, indeed I was :)

I made this wonderful little dish from myfridgefood.com called Sweet Garlic Chicken. It is really easy to make and is a fast prep. This is a gluten free dish and has 4 easy ingredients: chicken breasts, olive oil, fresh garlic and brown sugar. That's it!

I do want to share that this dish stirred up a lot of conversation on a Facebook post about the 4 Tablespoons of brown sugar this dish calls for. But let me stress that it's only 4 Tablespoons of brown sugar spread over 4 breasts of chicken. That's really not a lot. I dont eat brown sugar every day. As a matter of fact, I rarely eat sugar. But having some sugar in your diet is not a bad thing. If you are diabetic, you may not want to try this dish. But it's a chicken dish and there is nothing wrong or unhealthy about eating chicken with about 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar on it per piece.

Ok off my soap box:)

Below is the recipe and I hope you love it! Oh! And my neighbor text me about 2 hours later and said they saw my post on Facebook for this recipe (and they loved how this smelled outside my house) and decided to try this chicken dish tonight.  They told me they loved it and it will be a repeat in their house! So, yes it's worth repeating!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Directions:


  • Preheat oven to 450°F.  Line a Pyrex baking dish or cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil.

  • In small sauté pan, sauté garlic with the oil until tender.

  • Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Add salt and pepper as desired.

  • Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with the garlic and brown sugar mixture. NOTE: Your brown sugar mixture should be the consistency of a rub and not a liquid.

  • Cook uncovered for about 30 to 40 minutes until your chicken is done all the way through. You are then ready to serve! 





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Grilled Green Beans

If you guys have a Facebook account, you have probably seen this recipe floating around out there. Everyone claims this recipe is super simple and tastes great, so of course I just had to try it!

And let me tell you, not only is it simple but it also has a really great taste! This has to be the one of the easiest and most convenient recipes for a side dish that I have posted. It's gluten free and you want to make sure you use fresh green beans! I used fresh lemon juice and Parmesan cheese too. This one is a keeper and a great side dish for summer meals!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz green beans
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (optional)
  • pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Cut the ends off your fresh green beans and wash thoroughly.


2. Mix all ingredients except the Parmesan cheese in a large Ziploc bag. Let flavors marinate for 10 minutes or so.


3. Put on a grill over medium heat. Turn green beans frequently until crisp tender (about 10 minutes). (Use one of those special grill skillets or a cast iron skillet if you are worried about losing beans through the cracks. I used a grilling basket).


4. Remove beans from heat, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and you are ready to serve. Easy!

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