So I went shopping all afternoon after a nice gym trip. I was looking for a coat ( on super sale now that its out of season) and unfortunately I went everywhere and couldn’t find any left in my size!
I ran to the store to get a few ingredients for a dinner I had thought about pulling together: Eastern Carolina BBQ with the fixins too. Of course I wanted to make it “B-healthy style” but Jeff had a crappy day at work so I was hoping to make it taste great enough for him!
Oh man- I literally impressed myself on this one because I had no idea it would turn out to be so wonderful and especially considering I just eyeballed everything and substituted healthy ingredients!
I did use the Southern Living Cookbook as my inspiration- however- my recipes and creations were filled with subsitutions and straight up disobedience of recipe meausrements. What can I say, I’m “Innovative” according to my food principles course.
Eastern BBQ Quick Chopped Pork:
For those who do not know, eastern carolina bbq is pulled pork in a vinegar based sauce. Jeff’s family has hosted several pig pickins throughout the years ( my first pig pickin was the first time I met his family! how cute). So the Southern Living Cookbook has a recipe for the Eastern NC Sauce, I threw together a sauce of my own based on ingredients I had on hand.
I used white vinegar, ginger ale, crushed red pepper flakes but then added paprika to give it a smokey flavor. I let that marinate in itself for a few hours in the fridge.
A week or two ago I had purchased Smithfield lemon pepper pork tenderloins, 8 individually wrapped chops for about $6. We had 3 left- so I threw those in the skillet on low with the entire sauce/marinade over top. I simmered those on med/low until cooked nearly 100%. I chopped each chop into as fine of pieces as I could.
I let that simmer for about 20 mintues.
My BBQ Plate sides….
BLT Potato Salad ( minus the “T” because I forgot tomatoes at the store)
2 to 3 large russet potatoes ( I used 1 HUGE and 1 good sized)
3/4 container nonfat greek yogurt ( I used chobani)
2 globs ( about 1/3 cup) mayo ( I used Smart Balance for nearly all healthy fat)
1 block of softened cream cheese ( I used nonfat)
1/3 cup milk ( 1%)
1 packet ranch dressing seasoning packet
1/4 cup parm reggiano cheese ( the sprinkle kind)
1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon ( I found a bag of premade chopped pieces)
1 teaspoon pesto sauce …. ( the original recipe called for fresh basil and fresh pesto. They are like $3 each at the store and I would never use them up. I didn’t feel like buying separate fresh herbs. I knew I had the pesto jar which will keep longer and be just as versatile- so I used that!)
To Make It:
I chopped the uncooked potatoes into small even chunks and boiled in water for 10-12 minutes until tender. I drained them and put the potatoes into the freezer and/or fridge for a short until cool. While cooling, I used an electric mixer to beat the yogurt with the following 3 ingredients. Then, stirred in the next 5 ingredients ( the seasoning packet through pesto).
Then stirred in the taters.
Voila- EASY, FAST, HEALTHY, high protein, low fat tater salad.
Easy, HEALTHY Broccoli Slaw!
Here is the picture and recipe from the book:
My recipe was this inspiration but different. I didn’t follow these exact standards but here is my “general” recipe – Eyeball away!!!
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 globs nonfat greek yogurt ( about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon Lite parmesean peppercorn dressing ( I used Ken’s Brand)
2 tablespoons djion mustard
1 bag broccoli slaw
( I added chopped pieces of broccoli from a bag of fresh cut veggies: These are by the bagged salads in grocery stores. And I added the last of the chopped bacon too- less than 1/4 cup which is about 40 calories)
Literally just mix all ingredients together well. Chilled for about 30 minutes while cooking all the other stuff. Eyeball-ing works well in this case because it is a vegetable salad which can be easily more covered in dressing if you prefer, or lightly coated if you prefer- so you can add in broccoli slaw as necessary depending on your personal preference for dressing coated-ness. Does that make sense?
So here are up closes photos of my plate.
We had the chopped pork on whole wheat Arnold sandwich thins ( instead of white buns). I used extra veggies to soak up the sauce.
Broccoli Slaw. On top I added some of these crunchy sprout and lentils I found above the broccoli slaw bag in the store. I couldn’t really taste them to be honest with the other dressings but I know they added extra fiber!
Let me preface with the fact that I don’t really like potato salad- I never have. I don’t like pork really either. It’s a texture/taste thing for me not health concern- but I wanted to make it and see if it could turn out healthy AND good. Variety is also nice.
I say: I was blown away. My opinion was that it was delicious but of course my favorite part was the veggie-full broccoli slaw. I think this would be an INCREDIBLE must -meal for parents maybe that want to cook healthy, cook with a budget friendly lean cut of pork instead of a whole pig! It was fast and easy which is always great for hungry busy people! So I will leave you with Jeff’s review because this meal was for him as it was all his favorites only healthy.
Jeff says: “You really need to do a cookbook! I would’ve expected nothing less to be blown away by your healthy creation but I didn’t expect the potato salad and broccoli slaw to be of the best I have ever had in my life- And I have had ALOT of those, I’m pretty much a potato salad expert. It was that awesome. I was pleasantly surprised at just how nicely the pork turned out being cooked in a pan, oh and especially the sauce, we have to make that sauce again.”
All of this was quite healthy yet absolutely delicious. The healthy substitutions would be lean individual pork boneless chops with the fat trimmed, nonfat greek yogurt ( 6 oz. plain has 100 calories and about 20 g protein), smart balance mayo ( which has cholesterol lowering plant sterols and healthy fats), nonfat cream cheese ( its not the healthiest by itself but overall, it adds a great texture without extra saturated fat).
Please let me know if any of you try it out!