Monday, April 05, 2010

Slow Down

I’m going to race through breakfast, lunch and snacks to get to the good stuff…dinner a la Slow Cooker

Breaky…

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Greek yogurt, drizzle of honey, thawed raspberries, 1/2 banana, granola.

There was coffee but I think the photo landed up on my other computer.  Ah well.

Snack…

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Cran-Bran Vitamuffin.

Lunch…

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Bigass salad: organic baby lettuces, matchstick carrots, Gala apple, old white cheddar, beets I roasted last night using my homemade maple-balsamic vinegrette.

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Dressed with more vinagrette and topped with a few slices of cacciatore.

Pre-gym snack…

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Raw Organic Bar in Cinnamon Raisin.  So good!

And the meal you’ve all been waiting for…Dinner!  LOL.

Ali issued a challenge to prove you can indeed cook healthy using a Slow Cooker/Crock Pot.  I agreed to join thinking I’d make a big and tasty meal for Arron and I. Of course, he had to leave town at the last minute so I made a feast for just little ol’ me!

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Pork Loin Roast with Gravy, Smashed Root Veggies & Roasted Broccoli

Roast:

  • 2 lb boneless pork loin roast, lean
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 palmful Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp cornstarch - you might need to add a little more(I did), if you like a thicker gravy
  • 2 tsp cold water

Rub the roast with olive oil and sprinkle with s&p.  Sear all sides in a hot pan until browned.  Place in slow cooker with the quartered onion broken into pieces.

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Mix chopped onion, chicken broth, garlic, vinegar, Worcestershire, sugar, seasoning, s&p together and pour over roast.  Add bay leaf.

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Cover and cook on low for approximately 2 hours.

Remove from slow cooker, cover loosely with foil tent and let rest at least 10 minutes.  Slice and serve.

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Gravy:

Remove large onion chunks from broth (save to use with roasted broccoli).  Skim fat if any (I had nothing to skim…quite lean roast).  Strain remaining broth into a saucepan over medium heat.

Mix corn starch with cold water.  Whisk into the broth, bring to a light boil whisking continuously.  Reduce heat to low bubble and continuing whisking until desired consistency reached.  Keep warm.

Smashed Root Veggies:

I opted for carrots and turnips as that is a family favourite we serve at Christmas.  I wanted a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes, and the flavour of these two veggies makes it easy to skip any fatty additions.

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  • 1 medium turnip (actually rutabega)
  • 5 carrots
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth, warmed
  • 2 tsp Olivina  (butter, EVOO, or other margarine is fine)
  • s&p

Peel turnip.  Wash carrots.  Chop into bite size pieces.  Steam for approximately 15 minutes until fork tender. 

Transfer to a medium pot, add chicken broth, and smash with potato masher.  I like a slightly “rustic” mash, but go with whatever texture you like.  Add Olivina and s&p near end of mashing.  Keep warm.

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Roasted Broccoli:

  • 1 medium head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • s & p
  • onions reserved from slow cooker

Toss broccoli and garlic with olive oil to coat.  Sprinkle with s & p and let stand while roast is cooking.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Bake broccoli along with the onions on a sprayed baking sheet for 15 minutes.  Stir once during cooking.  Serve immediately.

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All together now! 

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The idea here is that there is relatively no added fat (any fat added is from healthy oils) and because each item is super flavourful and slightly decadent feeling you don’t need a HUGE portion.  I enjoyed this meal after a 20 minute run and 60 minute yoga class, and it hit the spot! 

The best part is I have leftovers!!  Visit Ali’s blog to see who’s next in this week’s challenge.  I know I’m curious to see what other bloggers have up their sleeves.  :)  Um, droooool…Ali made tasty oatmeal today!!

Do you have a favourite healthy slow cooker recipe?   I was planning to sell my Crock Pot because I hardly ever use it, but after making this successful feast I’m kinda thinking I might just drag this puppy back to BC with me.  nom!

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8 comments:

Laura said...

I don't eat red meat but damn girl this looks delicious. woah, i'm kinda drooling right now.

Ali @ Fat to Fit said...

A tummy full of Easter food, and that STILL makes me hungry! YUMMY!

carla said...

I need to get my slow cooker out.
for some reason I equate it with my life on the east coast and COOOOL temps.

Ive been in TX for 10 years and not used it once (!)

JavaChick said...

I had not realized there was any question of whether slow cooker meals can be healthy - I think pretty much everything we make in our slow cooker is healthy. :)

andrea. said...

Yum, looks DELISH! There is actually a really good Weight Watcher's slow cooking cook book -- I think it's just called Slow Cook It. It's only available at meetings but it's honestly the best WW cookbook I've ever had, everything is healthy, delicious, and none of these old school slow cooker meals like "Dump a can of mushroom soup and some velveeta cheese on top of some chicken".

I love my slow cooker! :)

Salt said...

Oh my goodness that looks amazing. I think I'm going to have to steal that recipe.

We have a slow cooker. Actually we have had it for two years. Guess how many times we've used it?

Yeah. Zero. I need to get on this!

Kelly Anderson said...

I am so trying this on Thursday! Thanks.

Lainey said...

Yum! Are rutabagas related to turnips? I've wanted to try rutabaga for a long time, but I'm allergic to turnips, so I dunno...