Week 2 Grocery Challenge Review + Creamy Crock-Pot Pork Recipe

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The Meal Plan:

Saturday and Sunday: Out of town – Sunday it will probably be a “free night” dinner and I just may eat a grilled cheese sandwich with sprouted wheat and seed bread.
Monday: Vegetable Curry
Tuesday: Spinach and pepper stuffed chicken breasts with asparagus and dessert
Wednesday: Mom request: Creamy pork chops over rice + green beans  (slow-cooker)
Thursday: Beef Verde Chili and side salad
Friday: Steaks with potatoes and asparagus

What we actually ate:
Saturday through Tuesday went as planned, as did tonight’s dinner.
Wednesday: Beef tacos with lettuce, spinach, avocado, sour cream and cheese (I was really craving these and they were so satisfying to eat!)
Thursday: Creamy crock-pot pork (recipe at the bottom) with spinach salad

What I have left:

  • A can of cream of mushroom soup (a cheat for most of us, probably)
  • Green sauce
  • green chiles

Creamy Crock-Pot Pork Recipe

(it’s not pretty, but it still tastes good!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pork chops, pork loin, or pork shoulder
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, diced

Directions:

  • Sprinkle pork with pepper and sear in hot pan with olive oil or animal fat
  • Mix soup, milk, garlic, and some more pepper in slow cooker
  • Place pork in slow cooker, making sure to coat with sauce mix
  • Cook on low for 5+ hours (our pork was really thick sirloin chops, and they shredded beautifully after cooking all day)
  • Serve on rice, with a spinach salad, or as a sandwich filling

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I Love My Crock-Pot! Stew and a Whole Chicken

Saturday I made stew and yesterday I made a whole chicken in the crock-pot. It’s so easy cooking with a slow-cooker!

I made a different slightly different version of the stew I have posted before. Stew is so versatile, I think sometimes it would be hard to mess up!

Easy Saturday stew:

  • 2 packs stew meat
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup baby or diced carrots
  • 1-2 cups diced or small potatoes
  • 1 bottle of beer or 2 cups broth
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Italian seasonings
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  • Season meat with salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional – sear meat before throwing in the slow-cooker
  • Mix beer or broth, tomato paste, and a generous shake of Italian seasonings in the slow-cooker.
  • Add diced vegetables and meat (if you don’t like you vegetables too soft, throw them in half-way through the cooking process)
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours
  • You can also assemble the meal all together and freeze in large zip-lock baggies

Yesterday I also made a slow-cooker whole chicken like THIS ONE. I didn’t have any lemon, so I seasoned it heavily with garlic and paprika and tossed it in with a little bit of butter.

After I pulled the chicken out of the slow-cooker, I added about 5 cups of water to juices left in the crock-pot, 1/2 onion, carrots, and celery and a bay leaf and let cook on low overnight. I then strained the mixture and put it in the fridge to use today in a chicken chili recipe I’m going to try!

Recipe Review: Overnight, Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

I’ve been eyeing a cinnamon apple slow-cooker concoction for a while now, and I finally settled on trying The Yummy Life’s Overnight, Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal (say that 5x fast). My husband declined to eat it (too many carbs and oats are a grain), but being pregnant and carbing it up, I said “bring it on!”

Here is her recipe:

Ingredients
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground flax seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter
Directions

Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 7 hours. Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.

To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

Recipe can be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.

I picked up some of the tastiest apples recently and thankfully I bought a whole bag! I had to use 3 apples to equal 2 cups and I wish I would have used more! I love apple cinnamon and not a big fan of oatmeal, so I probably would enjoy it even more if it was cinnamon apples with oatmeal and not cinnamon apple oatmeal (I want a little oatmeal with my apples, not a little apple with my oatmeal). I also used whole-fat milk because low-fat milk doesn’t exist in our house.

I didn’t add any flax seed, but I did add some vanilla granola just on the top while it was still cooking to add some more texture and vanilla in the mix because I love vanilla. I let mine cook for 6, not 7 hours.  I also added half the water because I like my oatmeal really thick.  I also didn’t add the salt, but that was because I forgot, not because I am anti-salt. I added a lot of cinnamon, not sure how much.

Leftovers, heated up with some milk

It was so nice to get up in the morning and not have to walk back and forth in the kitchen, opening and closing the fridge for 30 minutes while I decide what to eat for breakfast (bad, I know).  I now have leftovers that will last me all week and the only real work involved in making the dish was prepping the apples.

Until I go back to low-carb eating, I am sure I will make this again!

Pulled Pork Recipe

I think I may have had pulled pork twice in my life, but I have really been craving it! I finally bought a pork butt at the store with the plan to make it in the slow-cooker. It ended up being super easy (definitely hit the spot with a toasted buttered roll) and I will definitely cook it again.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Yummy pork goodness

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 pound pork butt
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup ketchup or tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce

Directions:

  • Mix in the slow-cooker, all the wet ingredients except the BBQ sauce
  • In a small bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, enough to rub over all of the pork
  • After rubbing down the pork, place it in the crock-pot on low for 5-8 hours, turning over once, half-way through
  • After it has cooked, drain the liquid out and place the pork back in the slow-cooker (still on low)
  • With two forks, shred the pork then add a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Stir thoroughly and serve on toasted buns, make lettuce wraps, tacos, nachos, or eat it by itself or as a salad topper

This was great the next day too. We have already eaten 5 sandwiches from the batch and we still have plenty left!