2 lbs. boneless, skinless (6) chicken thighs
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. coconut oil
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup pineapple juice
3 Tbsp. raw sugar
2 Tbsp. lower-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp. cold water
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 cups cooked Jasmine Rice (kept warm)
Sprinkle chicken thighs with pepper and salt. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
Transfer chicken to a 4-quart electric slow cooker coated with nonstick cooking spray. Stir pineapple juice into drippings; scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove from heat; stir in raw sugar and low-sodium soy sauce. Pour juice mixture over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 1/2 hours.
Transfer cooked chicken thighs to a serving platter with a slotted spoon. Increase heat to HIGH. Combine the 3 tablespoons cold water and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a small bowl; add to sauce in slow cooker, stirring with a whisk. Cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring constantly with whisk.
Place 1/2 cup of rice on each of 6 dinner plates. Top rice with chicken thighs and spoon with sauce. Sprinkle each serving with pineapple tidbits and enjoy.
Karen’s note: You can also sprinkle on top of each serving a little bit of sliced green onions, a pinch of toasted coconut and/or a few roasted almond slices and enjoy!
This wonderful recipe is from a school friend of mine. It is a Shredded Italian Beef (or Italian Pot Roast) given to me by John Armato. A recipe handed down to him from Lenore Messina to Millie Armato to John Armato…Enjoy!
3 – 4 lb. rump roast, trimmed of all visible fat
2 pkgs. Good Seasoning Italian dressing mix-1 “zesty” and 1 regular
1 16 oz. jar pepperoncini peppers, undrained
1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 2 cups boiling water
1 large yellow sweet or Vidalia onion, sliced
6 medium russet or Yukon potatoes, peeled and chunked
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into discs or use 1/2 c. baby carrots
1-1/2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1-1/2 c. red wine (optional)
1-1/2 c. canned green beans, drained (optional)
1 cup sliced fresh button mushrooms (optional)
Put all ingredients in CrockPot (Slow Cooker) in order listed, except for (optional|) green beans and mushrooms.
Cover and cook on high for approximately 8 hours or low for approx. 14 hours.
Add optional green beans and sliced mushrooms the last 2 hours of cooking.*
After the slow cooking, the meat will fall apart at the touch of a fork, while shredding or slicing easily. Serve on Italian rolls with a side of the broth for dipping a la a French Dip, or simply pile on a plate for forkfuls of goodness.
Note from John: This is the basic recipe. Variations are endless. I’ve added onions, fresh garlic, carrots, mushrooms and small Yukon gold potatoes with great success. Add those or similarly hearty veggies from the start. *More delicate veggies such as (optional) green beans may be best added part way through the cooking to keep them from becoming too “mushy”.
Also, a cup or so of red wine gives the broth an even richer flavor.
The pepperoncini peppers and zesty dressing mix give the roast a spicy edge. Go easy on the peppers/juice or try 2 regular dressing packets instead of 1 zesty and 1 regular to make it milder.
This is a fantastically simple recipe and absolutely delicious. The interplay of the pepperoncini’s vinegary bite and the spices in the dressing mixes keep the flavor alive and tingling on your tongue well after each bite.
Many thanks to Lenore (now “Aunt CrockPot” to me) for the recipe, and mom for giving me it’s first taste.
Karen’s Note: This is definitely comfort food all the way and though it isn’t low in fats, sodium or carbohydrates, I believe this to be a good food if portioned correctly into regular sized portions and not eaten all at once. Make it over the weekend and enjoy reheating and serving it right out of the fridge the following week. Thank you, John, for such a wonderful family recipe!
Cooking Time: 14-16 hours
3.5 – 4 lbs. boneless* pork roast (shoulder or butt)
1 large Vidalia or yellow onion, sliced
4 tsp. garlic powder
4 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. seasoned salt
2 tsp. red pepper flakes, crushed
1 cup (8 oz.) ginger ale
Non-stick cooking spray
1 (18 oz.) bottle honey barbecue sauce
8-10 hard rolls, half sliced
Honey barbecue sauce (optional, for serving)
Dill pickles (optional, for serving)
Onion slices (optional, for serving)
Spray slow cooker crock with non-stick cooking spray. Place half of the sliced onions into bottom of crock.
Remove any string from the pork roast and do not trim fat. On one side of the pork roast sprinkle with 2 tsp. garlic powder, 2 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. seasoned salt and 1 tsp. red pepper flakes.
Put roast in the crock and sprinkle the remaining spices on top. Cover with the other half sliced onions. Pour over the ginger ale, cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours.
Remove the cooked meat from the crock. Strain the “drippings” and save the cooked onions and any leftover seasonings, discarding all liquid. With two forks, shred the meat, discarding any remaining fat, bones (if not boneless*) or skin. Most of the fat will have melted away.
Return the shredded cooked meat, onions and seasonings to the slow cooker crock and stir in the honey barbecue sauce. Continue to cook for another 3.5 to 4 hours on LOW, stirring every 30-45 minutes to make sure meat and barbecue sauce doesn’t get “over caramelized” on the bottom edges and sides of the crock.
Serve with sliced hard wheat rolls or slightly toasted wheat hamburger or hot dog buns, extra BBQ sauce, dill pickles and onions.
Karen’s Note: Leftover BBQ Pulled Pork can be put into a zip-lock freezer bag and put into a freezer for up to 6 months. A nice tip: Free ready-made sandwiches – a scoop of meat on a bun, well-wrapped, make a great quick meal or snack idea for the coming colder months. Just reheat by removing wrapping, wrap in a paper towel and put into microwave on high for 2 minutes.
Always reinventing myself by creating new recipes or craft ideas. All photos are genuine. Please send me an email or recipe you liked or tried.