Tuesday 11 September 2012

Slow cooker Pulled Pork

So, I just moved into the new condo, and.... it's still under construction. I still don't have a tap in the kitchen, or half of my counter tops. But, I just can't handle eating out anymore. So I tried to figure out what I could use to cook to make some kind of hot meal. As I was unpacking, I found my crock pot, and got an idea. I really wanted to make some pulled pork. I got all the ingredients, and found a delicious sounding recipe. I still had to turn on my stove, and I have a lot of dishes to do in the bathtub. But it was worth it.

This was my lunch, pulled pork and sandwich bread that I put together at school.

1.75 kg pork shoulder
3/4 tsp each salt and pepper
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground coriander
2 bay leaves
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke

Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper, and brown in a pan with half the oil. Put in the slow cooker once it is browned on all sides. It doesn't need to be cooked through, just browned. It will keep cooking in the slow cooker.

Add the other half of the oil to the pan, and cook the onions, garlic, chili, coriander and bay leaves, and cook on medium-high heat until the onions are softened. Then add the tomato paste, and cook for 2 minutes, until brown. Add the tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke. Add the mixture to the slow cooker. Cook on low heat, for 8-10 hours.

Transfer pork to a cutting board, and cover with aluminum foil, and let stand for 10 minutes. With 2 forks, shred the pork.

Add the sauce to a pan, and skim the fat. Bring to a boil over high heat, boil until the mixture is reduced to about 3 cups, about 15 minutes. Serve with the pork, over buns, over salad, tacos, or however desired!

Thursday 6 September 2012

Non-homemade oatmeal, but good in a pinch!

So this is not a homemade oatmeal. Last week, I was in Toronto to move to my new condo. I did not have anything left in the fridge or cupboards to have for breakfast, so I had to eat out. I decided to go to Starbucks, and was really trying to figure out what I was going to have that would keep me full for a long time, and give me loads of energy. Lo and behold, I found oatmeal! I was worried that it was going to be too sweet, because a lot of places use some type of Quaker Oats mix. But I thought I would try it anyway, because I typically really like oatmeal. It turns out that you get plain oatmeal, and they give you mixins! I took just dried fruit and nuts, no sugar. It was fantastic (well, for something I bought at a store, it was also a little on the expensive side)! I highly recommend it, in case you ever need breakfast on the run!

Macaroni and cheese

I told Shawn that I would make him macaroni and cheese a long time ago so I finally followed through on my promise. Only problem was that we didn't have macaroni pasta. We also didn't have enough cheddar, so I used extra cheese we had lying around. I threw in some corn kennels because we have so much leftover from a garden share that he just took over.

The picture is terrible because I took it when I was packing in Toronto. I forgot to take a picture the first time around. Oops!
1 pound pasta
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups grated old cheddar cheese
1 cup Oka cheese
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup proscuito
2 tomatoes sliced
Cook the pasta according to directions on the package.
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat, and add the flour, stirring well to mix everything together. Slowly add the milk and bring to a small boil. Turn down the heat to simmer, and cook for around 5 minutes or until thick. Add the cheeses, and heat to melt.
Add I'm the pasta and the corn and proscuito and mix well.
Put the mixture into a baking dish, add slices of tomatoes on top. Cook in the oven at 375 to bake for 20 minutes.

Most delicious popsicles

I won't go as far as saying that I rely on Pinterest for new cooking ideas like some people, but I have definitely found some gems there. One example of that are these popsicles. I have been looking all summer for a good recipe for popsicles, one of my favorite summer time treats.

The recipe is so easy and so customizable. I made chocolate mocha, the best!

1/4 cup uncooked oats (not steel cut)
1 1/2 cup ground Chia seeds
1/4 cup milk (or any liquid)
1 cup yogurt (Greek is good)
2 Tbsp honey (or other sweetener  though I'm not convinced it's necessary)
2 small bananas
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 Tbsp espresso powder
Those are the ones I used. But you could add fruit, peanut butter, anything really.
I'm definitely making these again, just as soon as I get back my popsicle molds.

Monday 23 July 2012

Chocolate chip banana bread

We have so many bananas that get a little too ripe, it's ridiculous. I continuously find myself wanting to use them up in baking. Sometimes in smoothies, sometimes in banana bread. Or sometimes, I eat them overripe. The other day, I did so with iced coffee, and came to a realisation: Coffee flavor goes really well with bananas! Chocolate, peanut butter, and now coffee! Is there any flavor that I don't like with bananas?

In my never ending quest to use up bananas, I made chocolate chip banana bread the other day, and added a little something unusual: a few teaspoons of instant coffee. The result was good! Although, if I'm honest, I could have used some more coffee flavour. As a snack today, I spread peanut butter onto a piece of banana bread, and it just took it to a whole new level. 
On a separate note, the only peanut butter that I like is natural peanut butter. I find it completely unnecessary to add anything else. Just ruins the flavour. 

Ingredients (adapted slightly from preventionrd.com)
1 1/2 cup mashed banana
1/3 cup greek yogurt
5 tbsp canola oil
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup flaxseed
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp instant coffee powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/ 3cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Combine banana, yogurt, oil, eggs in a large bowl. Add sugar, and beat until blended.
3. Weigh or spoon flour lightly into measuring cups. Combine with flaxseed, baking soda, salt, coffee powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to the banana mixture. Beat until just blended.
4. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into 9x5 inch loaf pan coated in cooking spray and tossed with flour. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes, until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.


So, a little break from tradition. I realised that a lot of what I use the blog for is to store recipes that I like, and keep them for future reference (particularly the recipe for granola, which I keep going back to!). The other day, I did a crazy workout with Yves, and it was really effective! The only problem is that it was so intricate, that I don't think I would be able to remember it if I tried to repeat it. Anyone who knows him knows that Yves is a beast. So if this workout helped him because as strong as he is, I'll try to do it too, so that I could also become strong like him. 
Since a lot of people who like healthy eating also like to keep fit and active, I thought I would post this workout for other people to be try it too! It is a total body workout, so you could split it up over a few days. I promise that you feel this the day after, you really do feel this workout. 
Make sure you bring some music along, this workout is long and tough. Even better, do it with a friend to keep you honest, and entertained!

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Pumpkin pancakes

I've had this recipe stashed for a while, but I've been delaying actually publishing it. We made them as a dessert a few weeks ago. We had some pumpkin purée left in the freezer from a while ago (we made some in November or December last year? at some point when I came home from school). I searched for a while for an appealing recipe and found one that I really like it. I adapted one from Prevention RD. I dressed them up with some Cool Whip and fruit. It was incredibly delicious. 

1 cup pumpkin purée
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
2 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, eggs, and buttermilk. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Stir in walnuts.
Cook in a heated pan, until small bubbles start to form on the top of the pancakes, and flip the pancake. Cook on the other side, until lightly browned. You can leave them in an oven on low heat to keep them warm while waiting to serve.
They freeze well for breakfasts in the morning. The nuts add a good crunch to the pancakes.