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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrumptious Shrimp & Asparagus Stir-Fry

 After many requests here is the recipe! I modified this recipe from a Rocco DiSpirito recipe. The man knows good food! Before making this recipe the only way I had ever cooked asparagus, and only thin asparagus, was to roast it, whole. This recipe I ventured into unknown territory. I used much thicker asparagus and cut into bite size pieces! I also used a vegetable peeler to get off some of the thicker layers on the stalks. And you know that wonderful thing that happens to our body when you eat asparagus? I won’t say what it is but if you’ve ever eaten asparagus you know what I mean. Well apparently when you cut it up and not cook it whole that little phenomenon doesn’t occur!  It’s a win win! Plus this recipe is figure friendly. I would also recommend reading the entire recipe all the way through before cooking. Make the stir-fry sauce first also. You can even make it a few days before if you want.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced thin

1 large bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut on an angle into 1″ pieces

12-16 ounces medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined. NO TAILS!!!

¾-1 cup cooked brown rice (remember brown is better for you!)

½ cup chopped fresh basil 

sesame seeds for garnish

salt and pepper

2/3 cup of Rocco’s “Rockin’ Asian Stir-Fry Sauce” (see recipe below) or you can use a store-bought sugar-free teriyaki sauce. (Make this BEFORE you start cooking the stir-fry)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan or skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil. Add the onion and asparagus and stir fry until the veggies are almost tender, about 6 minutes or so.

2. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper to taste and add to the pan. Add the rice to the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often to get everything heated through.

3. Add the stir fry sauce. When the shrimp are cooked through and the sauce is hot, about 2-4 minutes, stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add sesame seeds for garnish.

Serves 4

Stir-Fry Sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon sesame oil

¼ cup chopped fresh ginger (this is key!)

6 cloves of garlic, minced

½ bunch of scallions (white and green part) chopped fine

1 tablespoon cornstarch

6 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

¾ cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons rice vinegar, plain

½ cup reduced-sugar ketchup (Heinz is the best)

salt and pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan/skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the sesame oil. Add the ginger, garlic and scallions. Saute, stirring frequently, until very fragrant. About 2-3 minutes.

2. In the meantime, place the cornstarch in a medium bowl and add the soy sauce, chicken broth, vinegar and ketchup. Whisk to blend.

3. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the sauté pan and bring the sauce to a simmer.

4. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, whisking constantly for about 2 minutes until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper if you want.

5. Store in a covered container in refrigerator for up to a week.

This sauce is incredible. I used it on ribs also. Tasted just like chinese spare ribs! 

This makes about 1¾ cups.

Asian Garlic Salmon with Spinach

Ok, I love garlic. It’s more of a condiment in my house. So if garlic isn’t your thing just reduce the amount in the recipe. I won’t be upset. This is a very simple recipe. It also doesn’t take long to cook so it’s great for a weeknight after a long day at work. I made this the other night after stopping at the supermarket on the way home. I had thought about getting rib-eyes for dinner but they were way too expensive. So I strolled past the fish counter. The salmon jumped out at me so I got a large one pound piece, with the skin on it. You can always get it without the skin if you prefer. Once I got home I cut the piece into 2 equal parts. Salmon is surprising. It doesn’t look like very much but once you start eating it you can get filled up pretty quick. So this recipe was plenty for two people. It came out so moist and delicious. Even my cat Toonces (aka The Driving Cat) loved it! I think she thought we were making it for her as she just LOVES salmon.

So give it a try. It’s fast, easy and good for you too. Lots of those good omegas for you! Plus the spinach if full of vitamins and iron. All good!


Ingredients:

1 pound fresh salmon (with or without skin), cut into 2 equal pieces

   Marinate the salmon in 3 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder and ground ginger. I usually do this in a large ziplock bag. Marinate for 10-20 minutes.

1 package fresh spinach (I think they are usually 12-16 ounces)

6-8 cloves garlic, chopped

2 large scallions sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

 

Directions:

  1. Saute garlic in the olive oil until lightly golden in a large skillet.
  2. Add the spinach and cook a few minutes, mixing well with the garlic until it just starts to wilt.
  3. Add the salmon on top of the spinach and cover.
  4. Cook on medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes until salmon is a light pink. Careful not to overcook. The spinach should all be wilted by now.
  5. Put spinach on plate and top with salmon. Top salmon with scallions.

Honey-Glazed Chicken

I used to make this recipe quite a bit many years ago. For some reason I haven’t made it for a while. I don’t know why. It’s delicious and very easy to make. The recipe calls for a broiler/fryer chicken cut up but when I make it I like to use chicken thighs. Love chicken thighs. It also works with any chicken parts you want. I will also swap the honey for agave nectar and brown sugar for Splenda brown sugar substitute. But that’s just me. Feel free to use regular honey and sugar.

This is a great meal for family dinners and even to serve to company. I will definitely be making it again very soon. I will have to be planning my dinner menus out now so this will be one of the first ones I add to the menu. It will be a hit. I also like to serve this with my recipe for Spiced Carrot Strips. (Recipe will be posted tomorrow!)

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup all-purpose flour (or soy flour)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 broiler/fryer chicken or parts (about 3 pounds), cut up

½ cup butter or margarine, melted, divided

¼ cup packed brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup honey or agave nectar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1½ teaspoons curry powder

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a bowl or bag, combine flour, salt and cayenne pepper; add the chicken pieces and dredge or shake to coat.

2. Pour 4 tablespoons butter into a 13″x9″x2″ baking pan; place chicken in pan, turning pieces once to coat.

3. Bake, uncovered, at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Combine the brown sugar, honey/agave, lemon juice, soy sauce, curry powder and remaining butter; pour over chicken.

4. Bake 45 minutes more or until chicken is tender, basting several times with pan drippings.

Makes 4-6 servings

Easy Steak Marinade

Well today is my birthday. And since it’s my birthday I was thinking of what I wanted for dinner. My husband and I will be going to my favorite restaurant, EVO,  on the weekend but for tonight I needed a dinner plan. Have to eat anyway so it may as well be my favorite, all time, go to dinner. Steak and mashed potatoes. Ever since I was a kid and even when I got older and went away to college I always wanted steak and mashed potatoes for my dinner. So off to the supermarket I went this morning to get a couple of rib eyes. I usually buy ribeyes when they are on sale and stash them in the freezer. So when I went to the supermarket I was beyond shocked at the regular price of them! Needless to say I didn’t get them. I instead went for a steak my Mom used to make for us all the time as kids growing up. Chuck steak. It is much cheaper and it really isn’t all that bad. I used to by them in college too. So I figured why not. And to be on the safe side I will marinate them. I found this marinade in a low-carb recipe cookbook and I’ve used it with several types of beef in the past. It was intended for sirloin but it works for pretty much everything. If it’s too much for what you are using just cut the recipe in half.  So I will be enjoying my steak and mashed potatoes tonight for my birthday! Yum Yum!!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup water

½ cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

½ medium onion, finely minced

1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar

½ tablespoon wine vinegar

1½ tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon spicy brown or Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, crushed

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine the water, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion, balsamic vinegar, wine vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and garlic in a large measuring cup or bowl.

2. Place your steak in a large zipper-lock bag. Pour in the marinade and seal the bag. Place it on a plate or in a bowl and place in the fridge for at least several hours or overnight if you have time.

3. Remove the steak about 15 minutes before you are ready to cook.


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

Smothered Chicken

I feel like today is a Monday! The job hunting takes up most of my mornings these days, leaving the rest of the day to do my endless list of “house” chores. Today I was supposed to clean up the office buried underneath the rubble. I started this finally at 6pm! And now I just remembered I forgot to post a blog recipe! So here I am, 7:23pm, starting my blog, and watching an episode of Roswell on Hulu.com (I love Hulu by the way!) I have an iMac and the screen is 21.5″ so watching a show and working is easy! So here goes.

Today’s recipe is another recipe from Dom DeLuise’s book “Eat This Too!” Normally when I see a recipe that has the word “smothered” in it I try and avoid it. Though this recipe is low-calorie and high in protein. It’s actually a very easy recipe to make and it won’t take up all your night cooking! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons olive oil

pepper to taste

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, minced

¼ teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons flour

1½ cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon soy sauce

18-20 mushrooms, sliced

4 cups cooked brown or white rice (I prefer jasmine brown rice)

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

1. Set chicken in deep broiling pan. Season with olive oil, pepper, garlic, onion and paprika.

2. Set broiler about 5 inches from heat. Broil chicken 3 minutes on one side, turn and broil one minute on the other side. Remove and set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, stir flour into broth and soy sauce until flour dissolves. Add mushrooms. Pour the broth mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium heat while stirring constantly until sauce thickens.

4. Slice and arrange the chicken breasts on the rice and “smother” everything with the mushroom sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serves 4