Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast

I am so happy, yesterday I went with a very happy 2 1/2 year old to the airport to pick up my parents! It isn’t easy being across the ocean from my family so moments when we get to see them feel even more precious. Thank goodness for technology because thanks to Skype even though Morgan doesn’t see her American family members much she knows them all and has a relationship with them. Watching my daughter dragging my dad by the hand down the airport terminal and giggling as she chatters away to him means so much to me. They are here for 2 weeks and I can only imagine the fun the 3 of them are going to have. My daughter tends to be quite possessive about time with them, I guess she realizes how precious and short it can be. Lets hope I can steal away some time with my parents as well. 🙂

Having my parents around is also going to mean some much needed rest for this pregnant mummy. Having them around means I can take some naps and just get caught up with life which makes things so much easier for me. So in the spirit of easier I wanted to share another tasty crock pot recipe, because lets face it you can never have too many simple crock pot recipes to make life a little easier on us.

Crock-Pot-Balsalmic-Glazed-Pork

Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast

1 Kilo (2 lbs) boneless pork shoulder roast
kosher salt, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
83mL (1/3 c.) chicken or vegetable stock
83mL (1/3 c.) balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp cornflour
Recipe from Skinny Taste

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Hoisin Beef Chili #SundaySupper

The Sunday Supper team isn’t adverse to a little competition so today we are excited to share a chili contest. We have all been challenged to share our best chilli recipe and it is up to you to vote on which one you think is the best. After reading through everyone’s titles I am so excited to say that competition seems to bring out the best in us because we have come up with some incredible sounding chilies.

And just to make things interesting, there will be prizes involved. The dish with the most votes at the end of the voting period will get one ticket to the 2014 Food and Wine Conference, being held once again in sunny Orlando, Florida this July + a $25 gift card. If the person with the most votes is unable to attend, then they will still get to keep the gift card, but the ticket will be passed on to the person with the next highest votes.

How do you vote? We will be holding votes through Thursday February 27th on the Sunday Supper website. Choose a tried and true one that you have attempted or let your taste bud imagination make the choice. This is such an incredible list I know it won’t be an easy choice to make.

What I have decided to try and tempt you with today was an attempt to step a little outside my box of regular chili thinking. I have actually already shared some of my favourite chili recipes so I wanted to challenge myself by creating something completely new that I had never tried before. Seeing as how my natural instincts is to go more towards Asian flavours I decided to play around with Hoisin sauce. The result was incredible but definitely a 9 out of 10 on the heat scale. So make sure you serve it with a nice big scoop of sour cream for those nervous about heat.

Hoisin Beef Chili

1 400g (14.5oz) tin diced tomatoes
65g (1/4 c.) tomato paste
1-2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
80g (1/4 c) Hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cocoa powder
Freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 Kilo (2 lbs) top round or beef chuck, cubed
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 large onion , chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 4oog (14.5 oz) tins kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
*Optional: Sour cream.

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Crock Pot Beef and Parsnip Stew over Greens

I have a confession to make, a few months ago I decided to start eating healthier and reduced my intake of carbs and started working out. I was so happy as I was feeling great and seeing results. But yet again life got in the way and derailed me. I get stuck in this pattern every time. I set out with such determination to change my life and finally lose the weight and it lasts for maybe a month. I have no will power and sadly neither does my husband so we always seem to derail our healthy goals. I keep thinking that I must not really want it badly enough if I keep failing at it but I know that isn’t true. I do want to be healthier and to not pass on my bad habits to my daughter. What is annoying is that the reason I keep falling off the wagon isn’t because I don’t enjoy eating healthy. I actually would often choose some of the healthier meals when given a choice, it is all down to time and money. Cutting out carbs increased our family budget quite a bit. We found that our portion sizes had to be a bit larger in order to feel full and eating that much fresh veggies just ended up costing more. But I know the cost of my health is far greater then the financial cost of buy more produce. I am not entirely sure what it is going to take to make these changes permanent as I have been a yoyo health eater for years now. But yet again I am climbing back on to the wagon. I stared off the week with this stew, similar to a stroganoff, and served it over a bed of greens from my garden. It was yet another reminder how good and filling healthy food can be. Lets hope this time I stick with it. I will let you know how my progress is going over the weeks. Maybe talking about it more on here will keep me accountable.

Crock Pot Beef and Parsnip Stew over Greens

178mL (3/4 c.) beef stock
500g (1 lb) steak, cubed
1/2 tsp salt
Olive oil cooking spray
320g (2 c.) cubed peeled parsnips
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
400g (3/4 lb) mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp cornstarch
500g (20 ounces) greens, (spinach, curly kale, turnip greens)
4 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil

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Slow Cooker Chana Masala #SundaySupper

I’m back!

After a week holiday in Italy for my brother’s wedding and then a crazy week at work with studying for my citizenship test, which I am so happy to say I PASSED! I have been MIA but I am back and so excited about this Sunday Supper theme. Today we are all sharing slow cooker meals. And I don’t know about you but I could always use inspiration on slow cooker meals. Especially when life gets as busy as it has for me.

For my recipe I decided to attempt something I have wanted to do for a while now, Chana Masala.

This is one of my favourite curries and yet I have never had success with it at home. But this recipe from Simple and Sustainable Cooking seemed a lot easier then others I have seen so I decided to finally give it a try. I have to say when I noticed she used dried chickpeas and yet didn’t soak them first I foolishly questioned whether or not it would work. Not only did this recipe amaze me with how well they cooked but it has made me want to start to cook my dried beans in the slow cooker instead of the stove from now on.

We seriously have such an amazing collection recipes to share with you today so don’t forget to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper menu.

Slow Cooker Chana Masala

140g (3/4 c.) dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
600mL (2 1/2 c.) water
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander powder
3 tomatoes
1 inch piece peeled fresh ginger
1-2 green chilies
1 tsp garam masala
1 lemon or lime
2 scallions, chopped
handful of coriander (cilantro)

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Southwestern Crock Pot Baked Sweet Potatoes #WeekdaySupper

I am not sure why I never thought about this before, doing baked potatoes and sweet potatoes in the crock pot. But let me just say this is a genius idea. I love jacket potatoes (baked potatoes) but can never seem to co-ordinate the baking time right to have them for a week day meal. It ends up just being a weekend side dish for a BBQ or something like it. Sticking them in the crock pot to cook during the day and then coming home to them ready for toppings makes this such a simple week day meal. By adding more filling ingredients as your topping something like a jacket sweet potato or potato can instantly transform from a side dish to the main meal. As we are trying to lose some weight I didn’t add any butter to the sweet potato but I have to say with he filling it wasn’t needed. The only thing I would have done differently is stuck it under the grill for a minute to melt the cheese.

Southwestern Crock Pot Baked Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes
400g (1.5 c.) frozen corn, rinsed and patted dry
Salt, to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
400g (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
40g (1/2 c.) cheddar cheese, grated
handful of coriander, chopped (cilantro)
sour cream for serving

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