Posts Tagged ‘Slow cooker’

We’re well into Fall and you know what that means!  It’s slow cooker season.  I’m not kidding when I tell you that the slow cooker is a fit girl’s best friend.  I absolutely love that fact that I can throw some ingredients into it at some point during the morning, cover, and walk away.  When I get home from work, errands, picking up the kids, etc., dinner is there just waiting for me.  The time between picking the kids up from school and their bedtime is absolute chaos in my house.  Snacks, homework, dinner, showers, reading, dishes, and everything else that didn’t get done that day is crammed into a block of a few hours.  The last thing I want to worry about is having a lot of prep work for dinner.

Over the course of a few blogs, I’m going to share some of my favorite slow cooker recipes but I’ll start with one of the easiest and tastiest!  Slow cooker pulled pork.  Ok, who doesn’t love pulled pork??  If you answered “me”, stop reading and go seek help (J/K of course)!

Anyway, you need 3 ingredients…that’s it!

  • 1-2 extra lean pork tenderloins
  • Natural (no sugar added) applesauce
  • BBQ Sauce of your choice – read labels here because many brands are loaded with extra sugar.  You can even use one of those “no calorie” sauces like from Walden Farms (but, since I’m not prepping for anything at the moment, I prefer something a little thicker)

Spray your slow cooker with a light layer of cooking spray (I use Olive Oil Pam).  Place the pork in the center (for one) or next to each other with a small space between (for two).  Cover the pork with a layer of applesauce.  Layer the BBQ sauce over the applesauce carefully.  Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.  Use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s fully cooked through.  Once the pork is done, you can remove it from the slow cooker and use a fork to shred it.  The beauty here is you can add as little or as much “sauce” as you want.  Make a sandwich or eat as is!

I’m including a “before” and “after” picture so that you can have a look.  Please, for the love of God, ignore the fact that the before picture looks like 2 large tu—….oh, nevermind…just keep the comments clean please 😉

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I think I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that I’m a self-proclaimed gadget-girl.  I love anything and everything that can make my life easier, more productive, or save time.  There are 2 areas where I am bordering on obsessive when it comes to handy little items:  fitness gadgets and kitchen gadgets.  Since I am in full contest prep mode at the moment, I thought I would share with you some things that I have that are essential for my food prep.

  • Digital scale: This is a must-have item for measuring out your daily portions.  I have a relatively cheap scale that measures in ounces or grams and can be zeroed out with the push of a button (makes it super handy when you don’t feel like doing math:  i.e. having to subtract the weight of your food container – place container, reset, measure food, and go).

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  • Measuring Cups/Spoons:  Have ones for dry and liquid measuring.
  • Various Sizes of Tupperware Containers:  Another must have when you prepare several meals in advance or you travel with your food.  When you bulk cook, you can just measure out the amounts you need for each meal, store them in containers and have them ready to go in the refrigerator.
  • Cooler Bag/Ice Packs:  I have both a small one that holds 1-2 meals when I’m away for only a couple of hours and a larger one for the days that I work and will need 3-4 meals.
  • Magic Bullet/Nutribullet or other Individual Blender:   I used to make all my shakes/smoothies in a regular blender but it was such a pain to clean (not to mention I would have an additional cup to wash).  With my Nutribullet, I make my shake right in an individual cup.  One cup to blend and clean.

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  • Slow Cooker (Crock-Pot):  An awesome item to have when you want to make larger portions or an entire meal in one easy step.  I’ve made chicken, soup, stew, chili, etc.  The options are endless.  It’s great to be able to throw everything together in the morning and have dinner ready when you walk through the door.
  • Indoor Grill:  During the warmer weather and even on colder but dry days I definitely prefer to grill outdoors.  But, sometimes it’s just not possible (rain, snow, running out of propane! :-P).  This is where an indoor grill is priceless.  Just remember to get one with removable plates to make cleaning a snap!

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  • Rice cooker:  I absolutely love my rice cooker!  I can make steel cut oats in half the time, quinoa, steam meats/vegetables, and yes, I can even cook rice in it (who woulda thought?)
  • Microwavable Cookware  Ok, so microwaving food for me is not the ideal but when you’re tight on time and need something healthy in a snap, I have several items that make microwaved food, well, edible.  Two of my favorites include my handy hard-boiled egg maker and omelet maker.  I can make 4 (or less) hard-boiled eggs in under 10 minutes without having to watch a thing and I can make an omelet with any items I want in less than 5.  I also have a steaming plate that is awesome for fish, meats, and vegetables.  I use the Nordicware line http://www.nordicware.com/store/categories/browse/microwave/EFCB8864-4975-102A-B382-0002B3267AD7