Archive for March, 2009

Sweet n Sour Pork

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I used to looove sweet n sour chicken. I’d have it for lunch in college a couple times a week! I saw this recipe for sweet n sour pork recently and thought it would be nice to try something different. And bonus! It’s a Weight Watchers recipe. 

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Ingredients:
1.5 lbs. lean, boneless pork loins, cubed
8 oz. can pineapple chunks, undrained
1 red (or green) bell pepper, chopped
3 tbsp. brown sugar 
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 cup vinegar
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. corn starch 

Directions:
Combine pork, pineapple, bell pepper, brown sugar, ginger, vinegar and soy sauce in your crockpot. Mix well. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. We cooked ours on low for 8 hours and the pork was a bit dry, but not too bad.

About 5 minutes before serving, combine water and cornstarch until well blended. Mix into pork mixture. Cover and cook on high for 5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened.

Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings.

Per Serving: 410 calories, 8g fat, 34 g protein; 49g carbs; 2g dietary fiber; 77mg cholesterol; 841mg sodium. WW points: 8.

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Menu March 22-27

This is the last full week before we move into our new condo! So with that in mind, I tried to plan this week’s menu with as many ingredients as possible that are already in our kitchen. My goal is to have to buy very little at the grocery this week, so we’ll see how I did.

Sunday: Tortilla Salsa Meatloaf
Monday: Cajun style corn soup
Tuesday: Sweet and sour pork
Wednesday: Pasta Fagioli
Thursday: Chicken parmesan w/pasta
Friday: Garlic shrimp open faced sandwich

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Apple and Brown Sugar Corned Beef

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Adapted from Big City Cooking

I bought corned beef brisket for the first time this week. I had never had it before (never really heard of it, actually), but it was one of the ingredients I needed for this week’s recipe in the cooking club I’m in. The Reuben was absolutely delicious, but it only used about a third of the brisket we bought. Luckily I found this recipe, and we had all the ingredients on hand, so I knew what we would have for dinner tonight! Overall, the meal was really good, although I think I liked the Reuben better.

We only had about 2 or so pounds of meat left, so I did a weird “halving” of the following recipe (even though it was a little more than half).

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Ingredients:

3 lbs. corned beef
3 potatoes, quartered
4 carrots, large dice
1 onion, large dice
4 cups apple juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp yellow mustard
2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:
Place meat, potatoes, carrots and onion in crockpot. Combine the apple juice, brown sugar, mustard, garlic and black pepper and pour into crockpot. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 12 hours. Remove meat and veggies from juice and serve.

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Lentil Rice Soup = fail

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My first failure. And it was a big one.

Would you try to feed this to your husband, kids, or yourself, for that matter? Didn’t think so. And trust me, it tasted about as good as it looks.

Being that the name of the recipe I found on fatfreevegan.com was Lentil Rice Soup, I assumed, oddly enough, that the meal would be a soup. So I was very surprised when I came home to this. I followed the recipe exactly, and am completely baffled as to what could have gone wrong. Maybe this would actually be appetizing to some people?

The fact that Rick called me on the drive home asking about the meal should have been my first clue. The fact that the first words out of my mouth when I got home were “What’s that smell?” should have been my second clue.

We did try to eat it, though. I think I had two bites. It wasn’t worth it. The whole 10-12 servings went in the trash, and we had a frozen pizza for dinner instead.

I was excited about this meal, too. I read in a magazine awhile ago that lentils are good for targeting belly fat, and ever since then I’ve been intrigued by them. I had never had lentils before, and didn’t really know what they were, but my belly is my problem area, so if there is some food that could help with it, then I am all for it! I’m still going to give lentils another shot, but definitely with a different recipe.

Here’s the recipe, just in case you want to try it for yourself. 

Ingredients:
2 cups dry lentils
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can vegetable broth
7 cups water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste
1 cup fresh mushrooms

Directions:
Combine all ingredients EXCEPT mushrooms in crockpot. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Stir in mushrooms 1 hour before serving.

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Menu March 16-March 20

We just found out that Rick is going to have to go to Michigan to work for one day next week. He’ll leave Thursday night, work in Michigan Friday, and then come home Friday night. The bad thing is that of course I will miss him! But the good thing is that he will get paid extra for it, and it made menu planning that much easier.

Monday: Taco Bake
Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Pork
Wednesday: Reuben sandwich
Thursday:  TBD
Friday: TBD

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Crab dip

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My mom came up to visit this weekend for a belated birthday celebration. I wanted to demonstrate my newly-acquired cooking skills for her, so I prepared a 3-course meal (which was mostly a success), including this crab dip as an appetizer that we snacked on throughout the afternoon. I found the original recipe from A Year of Crockpotting. 

I halved the following recipe. There were 3 of us snacking on this, and we still had some leftover.

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Ingredients:
1 lb. crab meat (I used imitation)
3 8oz. packages cream cheese
1/2 cup salsa or hot sauce (I used salsa)
1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1/2 cup milk 

Directions:
Cube cream cheese and place in crockpot. Turn it on to start melting. Add the salsa (or hot sauce), tomatoes and milk, and stir to combine. Add the crab last, and gently stir.

Cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring every 20 or 30 minutes. I served ours with Ritz crackers and potato chips (but the crackers were better!)

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Menu March 9-March 13

Finally, I am going to try lentils! I’ve been intrigued by them for awhile now, and finally found a recipe that sounds great to me. It’s a crockpot recipe, so look for a review of it later this week!

Monday: Chicken Squares
Tuesday: Lentil and rice soup
Wednesday: TBA. Rick is making dinner tonight because I will have to stay a bit later than normal at work, so it’s up to him to plan what we will have!
Thursday: Out
Friday: Fennel Pepper Spaghetti

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