Chinese Pulled Pork (Crock Pot)

This recipe was really interesting. Usually when you think of pulled pork, you expect a spicy Southwest flavor. But this one has an awesome Chinese sauce that is mellow and mild and is perfect with pulled pork.

Chinese Pulled Pork
Chinese Pulled Pork

8 servings
227 calories per serving

1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c hoisin sauce
3 T ketchup
3 T honey
2 t minced garlic
2 t grated fresh ginger
1 t dark sesame oil
1/2 t five-spice powder
2 lb. boneless pork roast, trimmed
1/2 c chicken broth

Mix soy, Hoisin, ketchup, honey, garlic, ginger, oil and five spice and place in a zip loc bag. Add roast and mush it around so the spice adheres to the roast. Place in refrigerator for 3 – 24 hours. When ready to cook, place in crock and cook on low 8 hours. Remove roast and cover to keep warm. Place broth in croc, re-cover and cook another 1./2 hour or until sauce thickens. Shred pork and serve with extra sauce.

If you do not have Chinese 5 spice, here’s a quick recipe so you can make it yourself:

Mix all of this in a spice grinder and then use the appropriate amount in your recipe:

1 T peppercorns
1 T cloves
1 t anise seed or 1 T star anise
1 T fennel seeds
1 T cinnamon

Apricot Sweet Rolls

These are sooooo easy to put together. Serve warm from the oven and you’ll have the family waiting in line for the sweet goodness of these perfect sweet rolls.

Apricot Sweet Rolls
Apricot Sweet Rolls

8 servings
160 calories per serving

1 can low fat refrigerated dinner rolls or biscuits
1/3 c apricot – pineapple preserves (or any flavor preserves that you like)
2 t sugar
¼ t cinnamon
¼ c sliced almonds
Pam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan or a deep dish pie plate with Pam. Separate dough into individual rolls and place in pan – I do a circle around the edge with 8 rolls and 2 in the center. Starting ¼ inch in from the edges cut a deep X into the top of each roll then open slightly by pulling the dough toward the edges. Fill each with 2 t of the preserves. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle with almonds and bake ½ hour or until golden. Serve warm.

Roasted Green Beans

Get the pre-washed, pre-trimmed beans and your prep time is literally 1 minute. Using kosher salt can really make a difference in recipes and it does in this one. Kosher salt is a much larger crystal (much like sea salt) and instead of melting into the food, it kind of stays on the surface giving you a much bigger burst of the salt flavor – I think it works really well with green beans.

Roasted Green Beans
Roasted Green Beans

4 servings
42 calories per serving

1 pound fresh green beans
1/2 T olive oil
1 t balsamic vinegar
2 t minced fresh basil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Mix together green beans, oil, vinegar and basil. Place on a non-stick baking sheet in one layer and roast for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lunch Nachos

Sometimes you are just in the mood for ‘junk food’ for lunch. This junk food favorite gets pretty healthy when you bake your own chips and add healthy toppings. So go for it !!

Lunch Nachos
Lunch Nachos

6 servings
344 calories per serving

12 6 inch corn tortillas, quartered
Pam
1 T oil
2 t ground cumin
1 ½ t chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
30 oz. pinto beans, undrained
1 c crumbled queso fresco or shredded low fat cheddar cheese
1 c chunky salsa
1 c diced avocado
6 T chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with Pam. Sprinkle tortilla quarters with salt and ½ t chili powder and bake 8 minutes or until crisp. Work in batches. Heat oil and add cumin, 1 t chili powder and garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add pinto beans and bring to a boil stirring frequently. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes then partially mash beans. Place 8 chips per plate and spoon bean mix over the chops. Top with cheese and microwave 30 seconds to melt cheese. Add salsa and avocado and garnish with cilantro.

Mini Calzones

Here’s another one of those appetizers that also makes a great dinner side – these are great served next to a hearty bowl of minestrone soup.

Mini Calzones
Mini Calzones


24 servings
50 calories per serving

1 11 oz. can soft breadsticks
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 c shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
6 slices very thin deli ham, each rolled and cut into 4 pieces
¼ t oregano flakes
2 T grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Let dough come to room temperature then unroll it and separate into 12 sticks then cut each in half making 2 short sticks. Flatten each piece of dough to about a 2 inch wide piece. Sprinkle all the dough pieces with garlic powder. Place 1 t mozzarella cheese in the center. Fold ham and place over the cheese making sure to leave a border so you will be able to seal the calzones. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges to seal and make a little pocket. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the parm and oregano. Bake 15 minute or until golden brown.

Green Beans and Tomatoes

This just has ‘summer’ written all over it. Use garden fresh or farmer’s market fresh veggies for the best flavors :)

Green Beans and Tomatoes
Green Beans and Tomatoes

8 servings
90 calories per serving

1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into pieces
2 lb. beefsteak tomatoes, seeded and cut into ½ inch wedges
5 T balsamic vinegar
3 t minced garlic clove
½ t Kosher salt
½ t pepper
1 anchovy fillet, minced
3 T oil

Boil green beans 3 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Add tomatoes. Whisk vinegar, anchovy and oil and add to beans. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Asian Sesame Slaw

This has WOW flavor ! Serve this next to any Asian inspired dish (Asian Grilled Chicken comes to mind) for a great salad that takes over every tastebud in your mouth !

Asian Sesame Slaw
Asian Sesame Slaw

8 servings
60 calories per serving

1/3 c Miracle Whip light
2 T KRAFT Light Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing (I use this dressing in hot and cold dishes)
3 T lime juice
6 cups finely shredded cabbage (get the Dole pre-shredded to save a lot of time)
1 c snow peas, julienned
1 carrot, coarsely grated (not necessary if you use the Dole cabbage that has carrot in it already)
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1 T minced ginger
2 T sesame seeds, toasted
Touch of salt

To toast sesame seeds, place in a hot skillet and sauté for a couple of minutes until they turn golden and are aromatic. Mix lime, Miracle Whip and Sesame dressing well and pour over the rest of the ingredients (except the sesame seeds). Mix well. Chill at least 2 hours. Sprinkle with seeds just before serving.

Poblano Grilled Cheese

Looking for something a little spicy and a little different? This will definitely perk up your lunch ! The poblano pepper makes a great grilled sandwich – coupled with the bean and salsa mash, you barely want anything else – even the cheese becomes secondary (and that is often IMPOSSIBLE).

Poblano Grilled Cheese
Poblano Grilled Cheese

4 servings
305 calories per serving

4 poblano peppers
14 oz. can pinto beans
3 T salsa
1/8 t salt
½ c shredded low fat Cheddar cheese
2 T low fat plain yogurt
2 T chopped cilantro
8 slices 45 calorie per slice whole wheat bread
ICBINB Spray

Place peppers in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave 4 minutes to soften. Let sit covered until cool. Mix beans with salsa and salt and mash most of them to form a paste. Mix cheese with yogurt and cilantro. Heat a Panini maker or indoor grill with a press. Spread the bean mix on 4 slices of bread and then top with the cheese mix. Split the peppers in half and remove the seeds then place peppers over the cheese and finish the sandwich. Spray both sides of the sandwiches with 5-6 squirts of ICBINB spray. Grill until golden brown.

Halibut Kebobs

It’s not hard to cook fish – some people shy away because they think it is too complicated. This recipe even does away with the ‘is the fish done?” fear. By cutting it into small cubes it is sure to be done during the 6 minute broil time. And even done simply, fish can taste just amazing !

Halibut Kebobs
Halibut Kebobs

4 servings
111 calories per serving

1 lb. halibut steak, about 1 inch thick
¼ c fresh lemon juice
¼ c oil
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
¼ t oregano flakes
¼ t parsley flakes
¼ t garlic powder
½ t thyme
Pam
½ large onion cut into chunks
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat broiler. Rinse and dry fish and cut off skin. Cut fish into 16 cubes. Mix lemon juice, oil, shallots, herbs, spices and thyme. Add fish and mix well. Cover and marinate ½ hour. Spray baking sheet with Pam. Peel onion into single layers and place on sheet with fish cubes. Broil 3 minutes each side or until fish is done. Garnish with lemon wedges.

Alternately, you can spray a grill basket with Pam and place the ingredients in there, being careful to stir gently and not break up the fish. Cook approximately 6-8 minutes or until fish is done.

White Fish with Lime Basil Pesto

This pesto sauce is so incredibly flavorful that you will want to put it on everything. Usually pestos have nuts in them – the subtraction of the nuts leaves you with a lighter pesto and this one would go great with so many different dishes.

White Fish with Lime Basil Pesto
White Fish with Lime Basil Pesto

4 servings
226 calories per serving

1 c basil leaves
¼ c grated parmesan
½ t grated lime zest
2 T lime juice
1 ½ T oil
¼ t salt
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 6 ounce sea bass fillets (or other white fish)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pam

Mix basil, parm, lime juice and zest, oil, garlic and salt in a food processor until very finely chopped.

Spray a skillet with Pam and cook fish 3-4 minutes per side or until done. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with basil blend.

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