Last weekend we visited friends up in the NC mountains near Spruce Pines and had a wonderfully relaxing getaway. Besides enjoying the fantastic views of the mountains from their front porch we also had some incredible meals. They weren’t anything exotic, but there were genuinely delicious meals that had us grabbing seconds and thirds of it.
Curious and definately wanting to have more of these meals at our place, I decided to find the recipes for two of my favorite dishes from our trip: slow cooked pulled pork and Amish cole slaw.
Pulled Pork in the Crockpot
Having some pulled pork for dinner can be the perfect comfort meal.
- 4 lb pork roast
- 2 onions, sliced, divided
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 or 6 whole cloves
- 2 cups water
- 16 oz bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
- salt and pepper
Place one sliced onion at the bottom of your crock pot. Stud pork roast with cloves and season with salt and pepper. Place roast in slow cooker on top of the sliced onion. Cover with the second sliced onion and add enough water to fill Crock Pot two thirds of the way. Cover and cook on low 8 to 12 hours.
Remove roast from the crock pot. Discard cloves, bone and fat as well as any water, onions and grease remaining in pot. When pork roast is cool enough to handle, use a fork or your fingers to pull it apart until the entire roast is shredded.
Return the pulled pork to the crock pot. Mix in the chopped onion and BBQ sauce and cover. Heat on high for 1-3 hours or until the onions are soft.
Amish Cole Slaw
With the pulled pork having some Amish cole slaw can be a perfect and simple side.
Cole Slaw Ingredients:
- 2 (16 ounce) bags cabbage coleslaw blend
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 cup vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, onion, and 3/4 cup sugar. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, salt, celery seed, 1 teaspoon white sugar, mustard and oil. Bring to a boil and then cook for 3 minutes. Cool completely, then pour over cabbage mixture. Toss to coat and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Toss again prior to serving.
Thoughts on Vacation Dishes
What has been some of your favorite dishes to eat while on a getaway?
Photo Credit: ginnerobot
I’m wrapping this Food on the Go themed week with a Thai styled chicken wrap. I think that a wrap is an excellent choice for brown bagging – it’s easy to make and easy to eat.
Thai Style Chicken Wrap with Peanut Sauce
I think some of the best wraps I’ve eaten have had Rotisserie chicken included. Using leftovers can surprisingly yield fantastic results and spread out your meals from one bird. However if you’re pressed for time, grabbing one of the already season and prepared chickens from the grocery store can be a quick alternative.
If you’re looking for a recipe I found chicken wrap at Rachel Ray‘s that works as a great starting point. If you have time to make your own peanut sauce go for it. If not, there are some prepared bottles at the store you can use.
- 3 (6-ounce) chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon grill seasoning
- 1/2 seedless cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on an angle
- 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 3 scallions, sliced on an angle
- 12 leaves basil, chopped or torn
- 3 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. Toss chicken with soy and oil and grill 6 minutes on each side.
- Combine cucumber, sprouts, carrots, scallions, basil, mint and sesame with a generous sprinkle of sugar and vinegar.
- Slice cooked chicken on an angle. Toss with veggies and herbs.
- In a very hot nonstick skillet or over a gas burner heat tortillas 15 seconds on each side.
- Pile chicken and veggies in wraps and drizzle liberally with spicy peanut sauce before wrapping and rolling.
What’s great is that you can change the flavor of the wrap by simply switching out the sauce. Maybe you’d prefer Chipotle instead of Peanut sauce.
Thoughts on Food on the Go
How many of you eat on the go during the week? What brown bag meals do you like to prepare? What are some of your favorite wraps to create?
The other day I started the brown-bag lunch series with a recipe for Tomato, Onion, and Cucumber Salad. This time I wanted to a quick and easy protein that can also serve as a snack, used in tacos, or be added with the salad. I’ve had it a few times before and it has always been delicious – Cilantro and Lime Shrimp. It’s light lunch (along with the salad) and yet it can keep me filled until I get home for dinner.
Cilantro and Lime Shrimp
Use the recipe as a guide – you can add more flavors as you see fit. I’ve seen many use the shrimp in a variety of ways. My favorite is having it by itself with a little bit of pesto to dip it in. However it’s delicious enough by itself if you prefer.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 pounds fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 lime
- salt and pepper
Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when the oil is hot add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté another minute or two until shrimp is cooked and pink, careful not to overcook. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro.
This is such an easy recipe to make at home. However if you are at Costco, you can also pick this up by the container if you’re severely pressed for time.
Thoughts on Quick and Easy Lunches
I’d love to hear from you about your favorite dishes. How many of you make your lunch at home? What brown bag meals do you like to prepare for your office lunch?
This week I wanted to go with a brown bag theme. With many families going on vacations before school starts up again, eating healthy on the go can seem difficult.
However it can be done if you take a few minutes to prepare something the day before. I found that preparing a meal the same morning I’ll eat it usually means I have a hectic morning and a so-so lunch.
Preparing ahead for an office lunch or for a trip means I’m less stressed and I have an opportunity to choose a healthy dish.
Salad on the Go
Being a fan of Rachel Ray’s style of quick meals, I found a wonderful tomato based salad that is filling and delicious. I think it’ll help those who want a salad with a bit of substance.
- 5 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
- 1/4 red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- 1 Kirby cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- A generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
- 2 splashes red wine vinegar
- Coarse salt and black pepper
Mix the tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. let it stand for about 20 minutes. When you eat your salad, re-toss the salad ingredients. If you want, you can enjoy your salad with a slice of crusty bread and add a bit of feta cheese.
Thoughts on Food on the Go
How many of you eat on the go during the week? What brown bag meals do you like to prepare? What salads do you like to prepare? What salads do you enjoy?
I can’t think of a more versatile recipe than pizza. You can top it with vegetables or meat. You can use a traditional tomato based sauce have some fun with pesto or another sauce. You can also transform it into a dessert pie.
Pizzas can be personalized based on your tastes. If you haven;t tried making a pizza, here’s an easy to follow recipe from The Pampered Chef. We have a pizza stone with them and it’s helped us make some delicious pies.
Italian Sausage and Vegetable Pizza Ingredients:
||tbsp (15 mL) cornmeal
||pkg (13.8 oz/283 g) refrigerated pizza crust
||cup (175 mL) pizza sauce
||cup (250 mL) chopped fresh vegetables such as zucchini, red or green bell peppers or onion
||lb (250 g) Italian sausage or ground beef, cooked and drained
||cups (500 mL) shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz/250 g)
||cup (50 mL) grated fresh Parmesan cheese (1 oz/30 g)
What’s great about this recipe is that you can make it from scratch with your own homemade pizza sauce or you can grab some sauce from the store. This pizza is great for casual cooks or kitchen mavens.
Preparation for the Pizza
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Sprinkle Medium Round Stone with cornmeal. Roll dough into a 12-in. (30-cm) circle.
- Spread sauce evenly over crust. Top with sausage and vegetables; sprinkle with cheeses.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Thoughts on Making Pizzas
How many of you enjoy making pizza pies? What are some of your favorite toppings? what sauces do you like to use?