Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce 1

Confession: I’ve never wanted a glass of wine more in my life. A chilled glass of pinot grigio with dinner, or a dry glass of Chianti with some pasta? Gaaah!!

I know a few ounces of wine late in pregnancy is controversial and not quite the banished behavior it was once thought to be, but it still hasn’t been worth the risk to me. I have the occasional non-alcoholic beer which hits the spot…for beer. But wine or a yummy summer cocktail? Yeah, I want one. Badly.

Note to self: STOP PINNING DELICIOUS-LOOKING COCKTAILS.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce 2

Alcohol in cooking, however? Bring it. So much flavor and not the risk to baby Shea.

I bought mini bottles of dry white wine for cooking so opening an entire 750 ml bottle wasn’t necessary…or there to tease me.

Booze? We have a limited stock of tequila, vodka, bourbon, and whiskey…with a lot of Captain Morgan — Mr. Prevention’s favorite. The bourbon hasn’t been touched in years, but Google told me it was good to go.

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As we prepared for weekend guests, I took survey of our booze stock and perused Cooking Light, coming upon this recipe and instantly drooling. Despite meat not being my most loved food during pregnancy, meat with big flavor is tempting regardless. Add to that those slow-cooked onions, garlic, and peach preserves?

Heavenly. And very much so summer.

We served this pulled pork on the beloved burger bun, but the sky is the limit. Quesadillas? Tacos? Stuffed into a baked potato? Adorning a salad? Straight-up with a fork? Want, want, want.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce 4

5.0 from 3 reviews
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with Bourbon-Peach Barbecue Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 (about 3½ oz pork)
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1¼ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (3½ lb) bone-in pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), trimmed
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ cup unsalted chicken stock
  • ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup peach preserves
  • 2 small onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 2 Tbsp cold water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper; rub evenly over pork. Coat hot skillet with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 10 minutes, turning to brown on all sides; transfer to an electric slow cooker.
  2. To the skillet, add stock and next 4 ingredients (through crushed red pepper); bring to a boil over medium heat. Add preserves, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture over pork; top with onion and garlic.
  3. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 7-9 hours or until pork is very tender. Remove pork from pan, reserving liquid; cool slightly. Shred with 2 forks. Remove onion with a slotted spoon; add to pork.
  4. Discard half of the reserved liquid and heat remainder in a sauce pan over medium heat; stir bourbon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until mixture is reduced by half. Combine cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; add cornstarch mixture to sauce, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Drizzle sauce over pork; toss gently to coat. Serve on buns, if desired.
Notes
Recipe from Cooking Light
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3½ oz pork Calories: 203 Fat: 5.3 Carbohydrates: 11.6 Sugar: 5.8 Sodium: 420 Fiber: 2.6 Protein: 24.8 Cholesterol: 78

 Busy, long day ahead….go!

Be well,

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Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas

Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas 1

Sometimes, I have good ideas. More rarely, Mr. Prevention has good ideas (kidding, kidding).

When I started this blog over 5 years ago, it was a great idea and Mr. Prevention didn’t think I’d blog for more than a few weeks. Silly guy.

When Mr. P decided to build a garden this year – it was a great idea. We have squash and tomatoes galore!

Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas 2

Mr. Prevention’s recent idea: to buy a wave runner.

My idea: to buy a larger SUV/crossover with Shea’s imminent arrival.

Hmmmm…one is so practical and one is so…not practical.

So what does he do? He installs a trailer hitch on my crossover, plans to buy a rack, and when we have overflow luggage when traveling with dog & baby, we can strap it to the back. PERFECT!!! Wait, no. Eye roll.

Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas 3

Sometimes, our ideas are…not so great ideas. It happens.

Like the time I made COLD avocado soup – not a great idea. That was at least 4 years ago and Mr. Prevention still likes to remind me of that culinary disaster.

Other times, on occasion, I hit a culinary home run. Like these Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas, for example. They are husband-approved and coworker-approved. So much flavor going on. I know I teased everyone with these on Instagram yesterday when we enjoyed leftovers, so, alas, here’s the recipe. :)

Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas 4

5.0 from 3 reviews
Avocado and Carnitas Tostadas
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 (2 tostadas each)
 
Ingredients
Pork:
  • 3 lb pork shoulder, all fat removed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut into quarters
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
Tostadas:
  • 3 large avocados
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 16 tostadas
  • 1 small head of romaine, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
Instructions
  1. Season pork with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the pork and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board.
  2. In a small dish, combine the cumin, adobo seasoning, and garlic powder; mix well and rub over all surfaces of pork. Using a sharp paring knife, insert blade into the pork on all sides, inserting slivers of garlic into each hole, repeating with all of the garlic.
  3. Transfer pork to a slow cooker and add chicken broth, chipotles in adobo, and bay leaves. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove to a cutting board and shred meat using 2 forks. Drain all but ½ to ⅔ cup of the liquid in the slow cooker and return meat to the slow cooker; cover and allow to cook an additional 5-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mash the avocados against the side of a bowl using the back of a fork; add salt and combine well.
  5. To assemble, spread avocado over the surface of each tostada and top with 3 ounces of shredded pork, lettuce, tomato, and salsa, if desired. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tostadas Calories: 500 Fat: 26.5 Carbohydrates: 31.9 Sugar: 2.6 Sodium: 805 Fiber: 7.8 Protein: 35.6 Cholesterol: 90

 The end of the week is in sight! Good thing, I could barely hold my eyelids open for most of yesterday afternoon.

Be well,

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Caribbean Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa

Caribbean Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa 1

I’m so thankful I haven’t had heartburn…yet. I should probably knock on some wood, right? I’ll do that…

My boss asked me about a week ago how I was feeling (it’s so true that everyone is nice to pregnant women…I kind of love it). I told him I was feeling good and he followed up with, “Any morning sickness?” I had to poke fun at him just a bit, something along the lines of, “No. No morning sickness, but that would’ve passed about 3 months ago anyway. Thanks for asking, though!” He just smiled and said, “Oh, okay. I don’t know about this stuff!”

Endearing.

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I chug along with very few (no?) changes to my diet. I thought I’d be one to track my calories and be sure I was feeding baby appropriately, but I haven’t micromanaged at all. My eating has been on par with pre-prenagncy and my hope is that will continue to manage my weight gain. That said, I *had* to have cheese fries today and they were so, so good. Best decision I made all day, even when it was followed up with a sweat session on treadmill.

My coworker offered my Rolaids afterwards as she swore they’d give me heartburn, but…nope. ;)

Caribbean Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa 3

Spicy foods aren’t off limits either. I love spicy foods as much as ever and after meals like this, I fall in love with my crock pot all over again. Double bonus that this recipe can not only be prepped ahead of time, but it can cook all day long. This dish can easily cook for 10 hours and the meat only becomes more tender as it cooks.

I wasn’t sure how Mr. Prevention would feel about these tacos considering there was no cheese involved, but he quickly devoured FIVE tacos. I blinked and they were gone. I served leftovers to my family during their weekend visit and my dad and brother were fighting over the last one. They even loved the mango salsa. These will most definitely be made again and again…even if antacids are required at some point ;)

Caribbean Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa 4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Caribbean Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 (2 tacos each)
 
Ingredients
Pork:
  • 2½ lb boneless pork shoulder, well-trimmed
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, sliced
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Salsa:
  • 2 mangoes, diced
  • ¼ red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup lime juice
Serving:
  • 12 corn tortillas
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, food prep, blender, or cylindrical container with an immersion blender, process the garlic, onion, jalapenos, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, brown sugar, thyme, allspice, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon until well-combined and transfer to a slow cooker. Add the pork shoulder and turn to coat. Cook on low 7-10 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until use.
  3. Once through cooking, remove pork from the slow cooker and shred between two forks. Pour all but about 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker and return the pork to the slow cooker; gently mix to combine. Serve pork in corn tortillas and top with salsa.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Sweet Peas & Saffron, marinade adapted from Gourmet by Sweet Peas & Saffron
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 431 Fat: 13.7 Carbohydrates: 39.3 Sugar: 14.9 Sodium: 524 Fiber: 4.8 Protein: 38.3 Cholesterol: 100

Friday, here I come!  Not a thing on the weekend agenda :-D Hope cherries are ready for picking, though!

Be well,

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Crock Pot Chicken Spaghetti

Crock Pot Chicken Spaghetti 1

We had a huge catering gig at the hospital today. The group coming in wanted a three course meal for 35 people in the conference rooms across the street from the hospital. We had spoken with the coordinator of the event several times to review the menu and the final count of 35 was provided to us on Monday of this week.

Yesterday afternoon, the coordinator called to say that the head count was dropping from 35 to 25. Ugh, okay. I told her that unfortunately, with the late notice, the entrees had been prepped and we would have to charge them the full amount of the entrees but I would do what we could to cut some of the cost elsewhere given the dip in numbers.

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I woke up today to rain. Getting plates, flatware, glasses, food, beverage, etc. across the street in the rain was going to be a challenge. I hate rain. My little Kia turned into a catering vehicle today, needless to say.

The cherry on top was the coordinator dropping the head count to ten. TEN!? Less than 90 minutes before the event. How does a headcount drop from 25 to 10 in less than a day? We had all been running around like chickens with our heads cut off…and they were unhappy to be paying for a meal for 35 that ended up feeding 10. Lose-lose.

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When the group asked for t0-go boxes for all of the leftovers, we weren’t surprised. I’d question how well they liked the food had they not wanted to take leftovers to go ;) They must enjoy leftovers as much as I. Leftovers and good food, of course.

When I make meals like this Crock Pot Chicken Spaghetti, Mr. Prevention always asks, “Why did you make sooo much?”

For leftovers. For meals like tonight when I don’t want to cook and you walk in the door with Little Caesars. Duh.

Crock Pot Chicken Spaghetti 4

4.0 from 1 reviews
Crock Pot Chicken Spaghetti
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Ingredients
  • 1¼ lb (5 breasts) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 10 oz uncooked whole wheat spaghetti
Instructions
  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with non stick spray and lay chicken breasts in the bottom; top with sliced green pepper.
  2. Combine the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, oregano, Italian seasoning, and salt in a large bowl and mix to combine; pour over the pepper and chicken.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-9 hours or on high for 4 hours. Before serving, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Serve chicken and spaghetti sauce over hot cooked pasta.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Mostly Homemade Mom
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup cooked pasta with 4 ounces chicken and scant 1 cup sauce Calories: 399 Fat: 2.6 Carbohydrates: 58.8 Sugar: 15.2 Sodium: 731 Fiber: 9.8 Protein: 35.6 Cholesterol: 55

 This week is going by fast…weekend, come to meee!

Be well,

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Crock Pot Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches + Weekly Menu

Crock Pot Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches 1

Mr. Prevention and I had to get out of the house yesterday. Our weekends free of all commitments are enjoyable, but incredibly lazy and somewhat unproductive. As we kept complaining about being ready for a nap 3 hours after our 9-10 hour night of rest, it was clear that we needed some fresh air and activity.

Activity in the form of retail therapy, that is.

“We can be boring and shop here or we can be ADVENTUROUS and shop in South Bend!” Mr. Prevention offered.

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I piled into the car and let him choose. He chose the “adventure”.

For those of you familiar at all with South Bend and Grape Road — what a nightmare on Saturday afternoons. I thought Chicago traffic was bad, but heavens no. Grape Road in South Bend, Indiana on a Saturday afternoon is painstakingly sluggish. We sat at multiple lights for 4-5 cycles before actually getting through…only to hit more traffic.

Our “adventure” entailed TJ Maxx and Whole Foods. We live on the edge, let me tell you.

Crock Pot Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches 3

Whole Foods was much more enjoyable than TJ Maxx, even if the store was overcrowded and far too small. I chugged along with my mini cart and stared longingly at all of the fresh produce, cheese, and meat as I sampled guacamole and Irish cheddar, throwing items in the cart as quickly as Mr. P, surprisingly.

Whole Foods is the only store where I actually drool over the meat counter. Drooling over raw meat…yep. They make everything look so fresh and appealing…that is until you check out the price tag. They did, however, have chuck roast on sale (chicken breasts, too!) so I stocked up. After making these Crock Pot Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches with the very lean chuck roast cut, I fell in love with these easy to make, super flavorful & spicy sandwiches. Perfect for a fast meal that also reheats great for later.

Crock Pot Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches 4

Crock Pot Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 banana peppers
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 bottled pepperoncini peppers, chopped
  • 2¼ lb chuck roast, trimmed and halved
  • 8 (1½ oz) sandwich rolls, toasted (if desired)
Instructions
  1. Preheat broiler. Place peppers on a baking sheet and broil for 4-6 minutes, turning as needed to char on all sides; remove the stems and transfer peppers to the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. To the crock pot, add the vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper,1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and chopped pepperoncini; stir well.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place beef in slow cooker and sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  4. Remove beef to a cutting board and shred with 2 forks. Return beef to crock pot; gently stir to moisten meat with liquid before dividing evenly between the sandwich rolls and serving.
Notes
Recipe from Cooking Light
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sandwich Calories: 373 Fat: 11.0 Carbohydrates: 36.3 Sugar: 4.9 Sodium: 622 Fiber: 2.9 Protein: 28.1 Cholesterol: 77

 Weekly Menu: March 16th – 20th

I think the stair mill is calling me today…

Be well,

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