Vail Colorful Cooking column: A slow cooker meal
Ski season is in full force, making for long days outside! Whenever the season hits, my family gets really busy and life is somewhat hectic. The busier we are the easier it is to eat convenience foods filled with fat and calories and lacking healthy vitamins and minerals.
Using the slow cooker is an easy, time saving solution that creates healthy meals while saving you time and money. Placing a dinner meal in the pot, covering it and coming home to a house with the comforting smell of a hot meal warms the soul, provides healthy family suppers and let’s you relax during the evening and rest those tired legs.
Healthy dinners are easy when you start with a meat that has the word “loin” in it. It is the most lean cut of any meat. The pork loin is the choice cut for this recipe, which is low in fat and calories and has a low price tag. Mix this lean cut with your favorite barbecue sauce and you have a simple dinner that is fuss free and family friendly.
The slaw adds a crunchy fresh flavor to the sweet and savory pork sandwich. Granny smith apples add a bite of sour to offset the sweet and spicy flavors of the sauce. Apples are high in antioxidants that help protect the heart, lower cholesterol, maintain healthy urinary tract and vision. Pectin in apples helps improve the efficiency of the digestive system by detoxifying it. This is a colorful, simple way to add fruits to a main course.
Crock-Pot cooking puts a full dinner course in one pot, which helps reduces dish pileup and uses a small amount of energy while cooking. It does require a little prep. See the sidebar for tips on making a great Crock-Pot meal.
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Soups are a favorite in the slow cooker, but there are many other great slow recipes; visit ColorfulCooking.com for more healthy recipes.
Crock-Pot pulled pork sandwiches
2-3 lbs. pork tenderloin or pork loin, fat removed
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups barbecue sauce
1/3 cup water
6-8 hamburger buns
Place all ingredients in slow cooker on low heat. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours. Do not uncover while cooking. When cooking is done, shred pork using two forks and stir all ingredients together. You may need to add extra sauce at this time. Serve on buns with pickles and/or coleslaw.
Makes 6-8 sandwiches.
3 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup sliced green apple
1 Tablespoon dill pickle juice (optional)
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Shred the cabbage and apples. In a bowl, mix pickle juice and next five ingredients. Stir in the cabbage and apples and chill for 1 hour to 1 day.
Tracy Miller adds fruits and veggies to all her meals. She teaches culinary classes at Colorado Mountain College and Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company in Edwards. Tracy is the in-house chef at TV8 and shares recipes on Good Morning Vail. To contact her email Tracy@colorfulcooking.com or log onto Colorfulcooking.com.