Balsamic Pork & Apples in Crockpot

It’s that time year and autumn is officially here.  Apples are in full season by the bushels and they are a great addition to any pork dish.  And, I love using the crockpot.  It takes less than 5 minutes to prep and your meal is ready when you get home from work or when you are finished with your daily chores. I have to admit this recipe I threw together was absolutely delish!!!

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WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 Boneless loin pork chops
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1-2 Tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large apple

DIRECTIONS:

In crockpot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic on high for a few minutes. Place pork chops in crockpot and season with black pepper, allspice and basil. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the pork. Cook on high for 4-8 hours until done. An hour before done place sliced apples on top.

NUTRITION INFO per 1 Pork Chop

  • 189 Calories
  • 7 g Fat
  • 1.7 g Sat Fat
  • 4.1 g MUFA
  • 53 mg Cholesterol
  • 12 g Carbohydrate
  • 1 g Fiber
  • 18 g Protein
  • 50 mg Sodium

 

January is National Oatmeal Month

How perfect for January to be National Oatmeal Month.  A big bowl of hot oatmeal is best on cold winter days!

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Oatmeal can be easy and fast to prepare. Place 1/2 cup rolled oats and 1 cup water in a large mug and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Then, I usually stir in skim milk and a touch of brown sugar or honey. Now, it is ready to eat.

What is oatmeal?

  • Oatmeal is ground oat groats.

What are the health benefits?

  • Oatmeal has a high soluble fiber content which helps lower cholesterol. Oatmeal is also sodium free.

What is the difference between rolled oats and steel-cut oats?

  • Rolled oats are oats that have been steamed and rolled flat.
  • Steel-cut oats are oats that have been sliced into small pieces. They take much longer to cook and have a nutty robust flavor. They have the same nutritional value as rolled oats; however, they have a lower glycemic index.
  • Instant oatmeal has added sugars and is high in sodium.

Turkey Chili with Barley

Chili is perfect any time of year; but, especially on cold snowy days.  This recipe is a healthier version of chili and quite tasty.  Please enjoy and pray that nicer weather is around the corner.  As they say, “Enough snow already!”

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1-15 oz can red beans
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup barley

DIRECTIONS:

Brown turkey and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Drain the fat and discard.  Stir in the spices.  Add the tomatoes, sauce, water, and barley.  Let simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir in the kidney beans and simmer an additional 20 minutes.  Makes 8- 1 cup servings.  May top with fat-free sour cream and shredded cheese.

NUTRITION INFO:  (PER SERVING)

175 Calories; 5 gm fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 806 mg sodium; 19 gm carbohydrate; 5 gm fiber; 15 gm protein

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Skinny Corn Bread

Cornbread is a generic name for a quick bread containing cornmeal.  It is a common bread in southern cuisine, but enjoyed by many for it’s texture and aroma.  Here is a recipe for a healthy version of cornbread.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1 cup whole wheat white flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, combine first 4 ingredients.  Add the milk, egg and oil.  Stir until blended.  Pour into  a 8×8 baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cut into 16 squares.

NUTRITION INFO:  (per serving)

102 Calories; 4 gm fat; 14 gm carbohydrate; 1 gm fiber; 3 gm protein; 13 mg sodium; 12 mg cholesterol

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Quinoa Banana Muffins

These muffins are filled with healthy ingredients and very satisfying.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1-1/2 cup oats, dry
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup egg beater
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 medium bananas, smashed
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Cook quinoa (boil with 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes).  Mix all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, well and let sit.  Meanwhile, line muffin tin or spray with Pam.  Stir the chips into batter.  Fill muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Yields 12 muffins.

NUTRITION INFO: per muffin

120 Calories; 2.5 g fat; 3.5 g protein; 21 g cho; 4 g fiber; 27 mg sodium 

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Are You Addicted to Oreo’s?

If you think you may have an oreo addiction, it might be true.  Eating high-fat sugary foods stimulate the neurons in the pleasure center of the brain.  This is the same effect that addictive drugs have on the brain.  Please read http://www.today.com/health/addicted-oreos-you-truly-might-be-8C11399682 for more information.

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