Friday, July 26, 2013

"Clean" Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce

Now that the summer is in full-effect, there are TONS of pool parties and Barbecues taking place here in sunny California!  And with Barbecues, comes the demand for BBQ sauce!!!!  If you're like me, and trying to eat much cleaner, then you'll know what I mean when I say that a good "clean" BBQ Sauce is slim pickins!  It's very hard to find a delicious sauce made with natural ingredients (i.e. none of that high fructose corn syrup or other corn syrup derivatives junk).  So, in an effort to avoid the "sugar crack", I have created my own sauce!!!  Yes... you heard (or read) me right! This amazingly delicious concoction of all natural ingredients will have you begging, no - SCREAMING for more!  Put it on your pizza, use it on your grilled chicken/steak/shrimp, dip your nuggets in it, hell - you can even add it to a little homemade Ranch dressing & drizzle this sucker on your salad!  The possibilities with this sauce are truly ENDLESS!

Don't believe me, it's sooooo simple to make, so whip up a batch & test it out for yourself!  I'll even let you tell your family that it was alllll your idea! ;-) #yourewelcome

Sweet & Tangy BBQ Sauce

Original Recipe


Ingredients
  • 1-15oz can tomato sauce - no sugar added
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 TBSP unsulfured molasses
  • 1 TBSP + 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 TBSP dried minced onion
  • 2 TBSP raw organic honey
  • 2 tBSP balsamic vinegar
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients into a saucepan and stir until well blended.
  2. Simmer on low heat for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Store sauce in a mason jar with the lid tightly secured - keep refrigerated.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Crock-Pot Sloppy Joe's

So here's a new twist to the All-American Dish... Sloppy Joe's!!!!  Have you ever tried cooking them in a crock-pot?!  Me neither!  Until now... =)  Sloppy Joe's are so easy to make, and they're every kid's favorite meal!  But if you want to turn your ordinary simple Sloppy Joe's into more of a gourmet dish, then give this recipe a try!!!  I've been testing out a few different ways to make semi-homemade Sloppy Joe's, ever since I discovered that my favorite brand - Manwich - is PACKED with that high fructose corn syrup crap! YUCK!  In an effort to remove that from our diet completely, I had to find alternatives.  So, I began buying the Sloppy Joe seasoning packets instead - making sure there were no hydrogenated ingredients included.  After my first attempt, by simply following the packet's instructions, the Joe's were tasty, but not as sweet as I had hoped.  After a few more tries, I have finally perfected the recipe - and have turned it into a crock-pot sensation!  Okay, enough with the chit chat - make it, try it, LOVE it!


Crock-Pot Sloppy Joe's

Original Recipe / Serves 4-6 [based on your sloppy preference ;-)]

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1-16oz can tomato paste
  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 1 packet sloppy joe seasoning
  • 1 TBSP molasses
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 100% whole wheat hamburger buns
Directions:
  1. Add onions, garlic, and ground turkey to skillet, and cook until brown.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together tomato paste, seasoning packet, water, and molasses, until well blended.
  3. Add browned turkey mixture, celery, and sloppy joe sauce to the crock-pot and stir.
  4. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
  5. Serve on toasted hamburger buns.
  6. Enjoy!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Crock-Pot Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal

Hello my lovely readers!!!!  It has been a few months since my last post, and I know that you were just DYING to get another recipe under your belt.  I had an extremely long day yesterday, and came home very exhausted from my day at work then spending hours in traffic commuting home from work/school, and still had to cook dinner for my munchkin.  After all was said and done, I was so close to calling it quits at about 8:30 that night.  BUT... as always, my mind had another agenda, and in popped the idea of preparing crockpot oatmeal for this morning's breakfast!  I did a search on bing for crockpot steel cut oatmeal recipes and came across one that I found very intriguing.  After modifying it a bit, I threw all of the ingredients together, and created an AMAZING breakfast with an aroma that anyone would want to wake up to!

My original plan was to take the oatmeal to-go - allowing my daughter to eat hers in the car, and I'd eat mine once I made it to work, but I just couldn't resist!  It smelled so darn Good!  So, we sat down for a mini family breakfast at 7am this morning, and I have to tell you - both my daughter and I were extremely pleased at how DELICIOUS it tasted!!  I have to be honest, I was actually a bit amazed that she found it so appetizing, seeing as how I added the chia seeds & it was my first time cooking with them.  And best of all - all I had to do this morning was throw it in a bowl & it was ready to eat!!  Quick & Easy - now that's my kind of weekday morning breakfast!  Now if I can only get my daughter to eat her food a little bit faster, then I think we'll really have something here! ;-)  Either way, I'll definitely be making variations of this dish for weeks to come!  Can't wait to try different fruits and toppings!  I'm salivating just thinking about all of the delicious possibilities! =)

Okay, enough with the introduction... I know you're just ITCHING to get your hands on this lovely recipe, so here you go!

Ingredients all mixed up & ready to cook!

Crock-Pot Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal
Recipe adapted from The Yummy Life / Serves 6

Ingredients:
  •   2 apples, peeled, cored, chopped into small chunks (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
  • 1-1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 3 TBSP raw honey (or you can sub 2 TBSP brown sugar or other sweetener)
  • 1-1/2 TBSP butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional) *I used Smart Balance Light
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP ground chia seeds or flaxseeds (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • cooking spray
Directions:
  1. Spray inside of the pot with cooking spray - to avoid sticking of final product.
  2. Add all ingredients into the pot and stir well.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6.5 to 7 hours (time may vary depending upon your crockpot, so be cautious if you are cooking overnight - my crockpot automatically switches to warm when done - preventing overcooking of the oats.)
  4. Top with additional almond milk, butter, and/or chopped nuts - if you so choose.
  5. Enjoy!
 

Oatmeal cooking away!
Leftovers may be stored in the fridge - or freezer in individual 1-cup servings to help with the hussle and bustle of your busy weekday mornings!  To re-heat, simply add milk to 1-cup serving of oatmeal and place in the microwave on high until hot, stirring occasionally.  & Voila - instant pleasure!