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Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Ribs

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Yet another recipe I found on Facebook courtesy of Tasty on Buzzfeed! I changed it up a little bit and they came out amazing! And yes, they browned IN THE SLOW COOKER!  Wow, talk about falling off the bones. I will definitely be making these again! The original recipe called for 1 rack of ribs, I had 2 so I doubled the recipe. Took a little clever maneuvering of the ribs but they came out just beautiful.  The recipe will be for 1 rack but definitely double it up to two.

The smell in my kitchen all day was heavenly. I also used a mix of honey and agave. I didn’t have enough honey in the house so I improvised. I think if I had used all honey they may have been a little sweeter but these came out just fine. Use all honey if you want or all agave or both. Sticky, messy, tender, melt in your mouth pork. They are a little bit like chinese spare ribs but better, way more meat for sure. I used St. Louis style ribs but I am sure you can use any type. I like the St. Louis because they are meatier. Make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand! Leftovers will be divine!

Tip: Use a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup! Trust me!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (2 ½-3 lb) rack of pork ribs, halved
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup agave
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine in a small bowl the salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. Season the ribs evenly by rubbing all over and on the sides.
  2. Add the honey/agave, soy sauce and garlic to a large slow cooker. (I used a 5 qt)
  3. Carefully place the ribs into the cooker and turn them over into the sauce until they are coated. Then place the ribs standing up (yes I said standing up, this confused me at first too), with the meatier side down so that the meat side is against the walls of the slow cooker. Bones should be facing in. (Since I used two racks I had 4 pieces and I just overlapped them a little making sure most of the meat part was against the wall) You can also now pour sauce all over them making sure all gets covered.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours. (I checked them at 7 hours and turned them over, still keeping the meat to the wall)
  5. Check to make sure also that the meat is cooked through and tender when time is up.
  6. Carefully remove the ribs to a cutting board and cut apart. They will most like fall off the bone. 
  7. Serve with additional sauce from the slow cooker if you desire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Slow Cooker Cheesy Enchilada Soup

I keep talking the talk about my slow cooker but I hardly use it. So this past weekend I finally did.

Though I have to remember to start it early in the day, not at the end of the day. Either way, we had this soup twice during the week. It was delicious! So simple too.

I got the recipe from a fellow blogger Reeni. She has a great blog and I make quite a few of her recipes. Check out the original recipe at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice.  I changed a few things but it still came out awesome.

I can’t wait to make it again when the weather here in Florida finally cools down for more than a day. Don’t be afraid of your slow cooker. I honestly use to only use it to warm wine for Mulled Wine!  But I’m experimenting more and plan on using it more and more. And this recipe is pretty healthy for you as well! Lots of fiber and protein! 

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet or Vidalia onion, diced

1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (11 ounce) Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles

4 cups low-sodium/low-fat chicken broth

1 ¼ pounds boneless chicken breasts

2 cups corn (15-16 ounce can is good)

1 can black beans (15 ounces or so)

1 tablespoon chile powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon oregano

2 cups shredded cheese of choice (I used Great Value’s Fiesta Mix)

1 cup light sour cream, plus more for serving

sliced avocado for garnish (this is delicious by the way, I was skeptical at first but happy with the results!)

Tortilla chips for serving if desired.

Coarse salt and pepper 

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Season with salt/pepper. Cook this until everything is softened, about 10-15 minutes.

2. While that is softening add to the crock-pot the Rotel tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, corn, black beans, chile powder, cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher is good) and about ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

3. When the onions, garlic and peppers are softened add to the crock-pot and mix it all up thoroughly. Cook on high for 3-4 hours (this is what I did because I started late in the day) or 5-6 on low. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and shred or cut into small pieces. I shredded mine. Add the sour cream and cheese to the pot and mix well. Add the chicken back to the pot. Cook 1 more hour on low heat.

4. Serve same day or next day. We had it the next night and it really gave the flavors time to grow. Garnish with more cheese, sour cream and avocado, or chips. 

Leftovers are even better! Love this soup!

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Sassy Steak Bites

Ok I can’t take the credit for this recipe. It’s another great recipe from my favorite, Hungry Girl. It’s from her newest cookbook Happy Hour. (I did change the title of the recipe however) A great little book with tons of yummy snacks and cocktails! All low-calorie! She even gives Weight Watcher points for all the recipes! How cool is that! She’ll have a new TV show on the Cooking Channel in January. I can’t wait! So I was looking for something different that we could actually serve for a party snack. I like easy recipes that are really delicious that I will make more than one time. This is one of them. I love steak. Could eat it all the time! But this recipe uses it cut into little bites. The best part is it’s cooked in a slow cooker! Yep, just throw the stuff in there and forget about it for hours! Or until you need it for the party!

This recipe is a little more substantial for a party snack. It’s more filling therefore everyone won’t fill up on too much else! This makes 5 servings so if you need more just double the recipe. The serving stats I got from the Hungry Girl website with all her photos of all her recipes. Check it out! I am trying to get back into healthier eating again now that the holidays are almost gone and the New Year is upon us. My New Year resolution is to start going to the gym in my community’s clubhouse. I didn’t say how much I would go but I am going to go. I’ll keep everyone posted. Once I start that and get in a routine it’s back to Weight Watchers for me! But for now try this easy snack and enjoy!

Photo courtesy of Hungry Girl

INGREDIENTS:

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple packed in juice, lightly drained

1/3 cup sweet Asian chili sauce

½ teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more if you like it spicier

1 pound raw lean beefsteak filet, cut into about 30 bite-sized pieces

1 onion, finely chopped (a medium size onion is good)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place pineapple, chili sauce, soy sauce and crushed red pepper in a crock pot. Mix it well.

2. Add the beef and onion and stir well to coat.

3. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 7-8 hours.

4. Serve with excess sauce and toothpicks.

Per Serving: (about 6 bites with sauce) 196 calories, 4.5g fat, 254mg sodium, 18g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 15g sugars, 19.5g protein. Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value: 5

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Crockpot Lemon Chicken

I was swamped today so I cannot take credit for this recipe. I got it from “The Hillbilly Housewife”. Check her site by clicking on her crockpot icon on the side of this page.  It used the ‘crockpot’ as stated and makes a great dinner when you don’t have the time. The recipe is easy and mindless, which is something we need every so often! Plus it’s healthy and full of protein! So enjoy!


INGREDIENTS:

4 chicken breast boneless skinless (about 25 oz)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp light butter
2 cloves garlic minced
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp no sodium chicken bouillon granules

DIRECTIONS:

Start by cutting the chicken into bite sized pieces. Mine are roughly 1 inch square. The chicken will shrink as it cooks, so keep the chunks a little larger than you would like them to be in the end. As always when you are working with raw chicken, be sure to wipe down all surfaces, cutting boards and knifes well.

Get out a medium-sized bowl and pour the flour and spices in it. Add the chicken pieces and cover them to coat all sides with the flour.

Get out a large pan and add the oil and butter. I’m using the butter for flavor and the oil for the higher cooking temperature. If you are watching your budget, you may omit the butter and use a little more oil instead. Put the pan on medium high until all the butter has melted.

Take the chicken out of the flour mixture, shaking off any extra flour as you go and drop them into the hot grease. I usually cook this in two batches. Cook the chicken for a few minutes until it has a chance to brown nicely on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and put it in your crockpot.

Pour the water and lemon juice in the pan you cooked the chicken in and add the garlic and bullion. Stir them to combine and use your spatula to scrape the bits of chicken and flour mixture off the bottom of the pan. They will help thicken the sauce as it cooks. Pour this mixture over the chicken in the crockpot.

Close the lid and cook everything on low for about 3 hours. Remove the lid and cook on high for 30 to 40 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

I serve this with brown rice and a green vegetable like broccoli or green beans. In the summer I serve it with a mixed salad.

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Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff (Light Version)

I really love beef stroganoff but with all the fat calories in the sour cream and other rich ingredients I never make it anymore. Till now that is. This recipe uses a slow cooker or crock pot. Most of us have one somewhere in our cabinets so take it out and get ready to make this simple dish. I used to use our crock pot to heat wine for my mulled wine recipe in the fall. No more! Now I use it all the time. I even went out and bought a brand new one! I have an old one from my first bridal shower way back when and it still works but I wanted a more up-to-date model.

Serve this dish with no-yolk noodles or my favorite Shirataki Tofu Noodles keeping it low cal! This recipe calls for fat-free sour cream and 98% fat-free soup, but you can substitute the lightversions for it as well, adding a bit more fat to the recipe but it’s still lower calorie.

INGREDIENTS:

1½ lbs. lean beef stewing meat, trimmed of fat, cut into bite size pieces

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped (use 1 clove if you don’t want too much garlic)

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 pound fresh mushrooms (small white or baby bellas are a good choice), sliced or chopped

10¾ oz. can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup

1 cup water

1 cup fat-free sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all ingredients except for the sour cream into the slow cooker. Best size slow cooker for this is 4-quart but any size is ok.

2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

3. Stir in sour cream.

4. Cook on high for a few minutes more to heat the sour cream. Serve!

Makes 6 servings

Per serving (if made as shown above): 240 calories; 7 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrates, 800mg sodium, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams sugar, 27 grams protein, 75mg cholesterol.

If calculating points the each serving is 5 points, without the noodles.

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