Posted in Easy, Salads, Vegetables

Southwest Corn Salad


Original Post 2011: Here’s a great summer BBQ side to try this holiday weekend.  It’s easy, quick & delicious.

Southwest Corn Salad

Serves 10

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time:  5 – 10 minutes

Refrigerate: 1 to 2 hours or overnight

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 130                        Fat: 4 grams

Ingredients:

6 slices turkey or center cut (low fat) bacon

3 cups corn kernels

1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans – rinsed and drained

½ cup minced red onion

½ cup red or green bell peppers

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chili peppers

¼ cup fresh cilantro – finely chopped

¼ cup canola oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

Few drops of Tabasco (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium high heat, coat with cooking spray and fry bacon for 5 – 7 minutes until browned.  Remove from heat and cool on paper towels.
  2. Crumble cooled bacon.
  3. In a small pot, boil ¼ cup water and add corn.  Cook until tender for about 5 minutes.  Rinse, drain and cool.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, black beans, onions, bell peppers, chili peppers, cilantro  and bacon.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice and Tabasco.  Pour on top of corn mixture and toss well.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Posted in Bake, Beef, Easy, Main Courses, Poultry

BBQ Meatloaf


A New Twist to an Old Favorite…

As the weather starts to cool down, I like to cook comfort food favorites.  This meatloaf is a great combination of a classic with a BBQ twist.  It’s really easy to make and I think your family will love it…

Enjoy!!

BBQ
Meatloaf

Serves 6

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 1 to 1 ¼ hours

Preheat oven 375o

Estimated Values Per Serving:

Calories: 200                                                Fat:  4 grams

 Ingredients:

½ cup onion – chopped

4 slices turkey bacon

¾ pound ground turkey breast

¾ pound 93% lean ground beef

1/3 cup egg substitute

½ cup breadcrumbs – unseasoned

½ cup BBQ sauce

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat and add bacon.   Cook until crispy and browned.
    Remove from heat and cool.  Chop bacon once cooled.
  2. Using the same skillet, heat on medium and add chopped onion.  Cook until soft and browned.  Remove from heat to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey breast meat, beef, egg substitute,
    breadcrumbs, BBQ sauce, bacon and onion. Mix all ingredients well until combined.
  4. Coat a 9X5X3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Mold meatloaf into pan.
  5. Bake for 1 to 1 ¼ hours until thoroughly cooked through (temperature should reach 170o).
  6. Drain off the excess fat and served sliced on a platter.
Posted in Grilling, Main Courses, Pork, Poultry, Spices, Tips/Hints, Vegetables

Mixed Grill


This is such a great summer recipe and the best part is that you can get creative with it.  If you don’t like eating pork, simply substitute it with beef instead.  If you also don’t like some of the vegetable suggestions in the recipe, you can substitute others, some other suggestions might be escarole, eggplant,endive leaves or cauliflower .

The important thing is to have fun with it.

Enjoy…

Mixed Grill

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Grill Time: 20 – 25 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 250                        Fat: 7 grams

Mixed Grill

Ingredients:

Seasoning:

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon pepper

      Vegetables:

10 ounce package button mushrooms – cut in half

2 zucchini – cut into 1” pieces

2 red bell peppers – cut into large pieces

2 medium onions – quartered

2 large potatoes  – cut or sliced

      Meat:

1 pound boneless pork loin

1 pound boneless/skinless chicken breasts

Directions:

  1. Heat an outdoor or indoor grill to 400o.
  2. Combine all spices in a small bowl.
  3. Season meats with half of the seasoning and set aside until ready to grill.
  4. Combine the zucchini and mushrooms in a bowl, coat with cooking spray and fold in half of the remaining seasoning.
  5. Combine peppers and onions in another bowl, coat with cooking spray and fold in the remaining seasoning.
  6. If you are using an outdoor grill, coat a vegetable basket with cooking spray and add the zucchini and mushrooms to the basket.  Use an additional vegetable basket for the onions and peppers.  If you only have 1 vegetable basket, you can grill the vegetables in batches.
  7. If the potatoes are large enough, add them directly on the grill (coating them with cooking spray first), if not, use a vegetable basket to grill them as well.
  8. Grill the vegetables and potatoes for 10 – 15 minutes until browned and softened.
  9. If you have a large grill, add the pork loin while the vegetables and potatoes are grilling.  Grill the pork for about 7 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165o.  Remove from the grill, cover and rest the pork until ready to carve.

10. Grill the chicken breasts for 5 – 7 minutes on each side.

11. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a large serving platter.  Carve the pork loin and transfer to the serving platter.  Remove the cooked chicken breasts from the grill and transfer to the serving platter.

12. Serve hot.

Posted in Pork, Rub, Salads, Sauces, Season, Slow Cook, Spices, Vegetables

Pulled Pork with Amercian Style Coleslaw


Every year this weekend kicks off the holiday BBQ season.  To get ready, I am experimenting with some classic menus that won’t make you feel guilty.  Tonight we had pulled pork and coleslaw sandwiches.

One of the reasons I love serving this to company is because it is better if made a day or two before the BBQ.  The coleslaw should be made at least 24 hour in advance and kept cold until ready to serve.  The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the better it gets.  The pulled pork can definitely be made the day before and heated up and served in a crock pot.  So if you are looking for hassle free cooking the day of your party, this is a great menu.

The family loved it (even if it was 60 degrees and cloudy) and was asking for seconds.

Enjoy!

American Style Coleslaw

Pulled Pork with Amercian Style Coleslaw

Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Refrigerate overnight

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 55                           Fat: 2 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup low fat mayonnaise

¼ cup skim milk

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons white vinegar

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon celery seed

¼ teaspoon salt

1 scallion – chopped

4 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup shredded carrot

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, sugar, vinegar, pepper, onion powder, celery seed, and salt.
  2. Add shredded cabbage, carrot and scallion and toss.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or for several days and serve cold.

Pulled Pork

Serves 8

Pre heat oven 250o

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Bake Time: 4 – 5 hours

Cook time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 200                        Fat: 5 grams

Pork Loin Rub Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless pork loin

1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon thyme

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Trim any excess fat from pork and set aside.
  2. To make the rub, combine all the ingredients. Rub over the surface of the pork loin to coat.
  3. Place pork in baking pan and cover with aluminum foil.  Cook pork for about 4 – 5 hours.
  4. Cool pork until you are able to handle it then shred the meat.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup strong coffee

1 jar (12 ounces) chili sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

¼ cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 – 3 dashes pepper sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in large saucepan and bring to a simmer on medium low heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Add sauce to shredded pork and mix well.  Serve hot.
Posted in Bake, Beef, Main Courses, Poultry, Tips/Hints

Make Ahead – Day 3


Cooking Ahead:

  • Cook the meat filling the night before then about 30 minutes before dinner, preheat the oven and assemble.

BBQ Meat Pie

BBQ Meat Pie

Serves 6

Preheat oven 425o

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 340                        Fat: 7 grams                          Points: 6

Ingredients:

1 onion – chopped

1 clove garlic – minced

½ pound ground turkey breast meat

½ pound 93% lean ground beef

1 cup ketchup

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

¼ teaspoon hickory smoke salt

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 package refrigerated pizza dough

½ cup Mexican blend low fat shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium and spray with cooking spray.  Add onion and cook 3 – 5 minutes until soft and browned.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
  2. Add turkey and beef and season with salt and pepper.  Cook 5 – 7 minutes, stirring, until meat is browned and cooked through.
  3. Add ketchup, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, liquid smoke, hickory smoke salt, Worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature or refrigerate overnight if baking the following day.
  5. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray.  Roll out pizza dough and stretch onto a large baking pan.
  6. Place meat in the center, leaving enough room to fold dough over the meat.  Spread cheese on top of meat.
  7. Fold corners of dough into the center of the pie first then bring sides up toward the center so the meat is completely covered.
  8. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the dough is browned.
Posted in Main Courses, Poultry, Rub, Slow Cook

Pulled BBQ Chicken


I made this for my son’s birthday party last night and did not get the chance to take a picture because we were so busy getting ready.  I also did not write the exact measurements down when I was preparing hot sauce but remember the ingredients.  You may want to add a little more of this or that as you make the sauce per your own individual taste and heat level.

Happy BBQ’ing!

Pulled BBQ Chicken

Serves 10

Oven or Crock Pot

Preheat oven 300o

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 3 – 4 hours

Estimated Values per Serving:

Calories: 300                        Fat: 6 grams                          Points: 6

Ingredients:

4 pounds chicken breast on the bone

1 pound chicken thighs on the bone

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons chili powder

BBQ Sauce Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic – minced

2 cups ketchup

1 jar (12-ounces) chili sauce

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ cup molasses

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

2 teaspoons onion powder

3 – 4 dashes hot sauce

½ teaspoon powdered mustard

Directions:

  1. Remove skins from chicken pieces and arrange in a baking pan.  Combine brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper and chili powder and whisk until combined.  Rub on chicken pieces.
  2. Cover baking pan with aluminum foil and cook for 3 – 4 hours.  Chicken will be ready when you can easily remove the meat from the bone with a fork.
  3. When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
  4. While chicken is cooling, heat a sauce pot on medium heat, spray with cooking spray and add garlic.
  5. Cook garlic for 1 -2 minutes until slightly browned but not crisp.  Add ketchup, chili sauce, water, brown sugar, liquid smoke, onion powder, hot sauce and mustard.  Cook until heated and bubbly.
  6. Add hot sauce or other spices for taste.
  7. When chicken has cooled, shred meat off the bone by holding the chicken with a fork in one hand and scraping the meat off the chicken with a fork in the other hand.  Add chicken meat to a large serving bowl, stir in hot BBQ sauce and serve.

NOTE: If you cook the pulled chicken in advance you can re-heat in the microwave, or keep it hot in a sterno or place in a slow cooker set on “warm”.

Posted in Beef, Grilling, Pork, Poultry, Rub, Slow Cook

A great rub for Barbecuing


to marinate and cook with.  The meat came out very tasty.  This rub recipe is for 5 pounds of meat but if you are cooking with a smaller amount, use some of it and the rest can be stored in an airtight container.

Rub for Meat

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground coffee

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon smoke salt

1 teaspoon coriander seed

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon oregano

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and rub on top of 5 pounds of pork, beef or chicken. 
  2. Marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. 
  3. Cook on grill until done.
Posted in Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables

A perfect compliment with BBQ…


Smoky Corn Salad

This is a great side dish that goes with any BBQ you are cooking up for family or friends.  The bacon and Tabasco sauce offers a nice contrast to the sweetness of the corn and the beans offer a lot of fiber to make it healthy as well.  If you’re planning a crowd, just double up on the ingredients, it’s easy enough to make.

Enjoy, eat well and feel good about it too.

Smoky Corn and Bean Salad

Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes

Refrigeration time: overnight

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 110                                              Fat =  2 grams

Ingredients:

2 cups corn kernels

2 slices turkey bacon – chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

3 – 4 dashes Chipotle Tabasco sauce

1 cup red bell pepper – chopped

1 cup canned black beans – rinsed and drained

Salt to taste (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add corn and sugar and sauté for 5 – 7 minutes until browned.
  2. Transfer corn to a bowl and cool. 
  3. Cook turkey bacon in skillet until browned.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  4. Add lime juice, Tabasco sauce, red pepper, black beans,  corn and bacon to a bowl and season with salt.
  5. Refrigerate overnight and serve cold.
Posted in Side Dishes, Vegetables

A Little Fun in Your Sandwich…


Grilled Chicken and Coleslaw Sandwich

Coleslaw may sound pretty boring but it can really bring a sandwich alive with flavor.  I am a big fan of coleslaw and always taste the different versions in restaurants, at parties or from the local market.  I like the wide variations of coleslaw available but my favorite does have at least a little mayonnaise in it.    

So for dinner tonight, I grilled chicken breasts.  To add a little fun with the plain grilled chicken sandwiches, I made 2 different kinds of coleslaw to put inside the sandwiches.  One has a ranch flavor and the other has paprika for a more smoky taste.  We all enjoyed both and the call is still out on which we like better.  Over the next few days, the coleslaw will continue to get better as it marinates in the sauce.

Next time you are having company, try one or both of these and encourage people to try it on their sandwich.  I think they may find that it make a common sandwich something a little more special.

Enjoy the slaw!

Creamy Ranch Cole Slaw

Serves 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Marinating time: 4 hours

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 95                                                Fat = 3 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup white vinegar

½ head of cabbage

1 cup shredded carrots

1 onion – thinly sliced

1 cup fat free sour cream

½ cup low calorie mayonnaise

1 tablespoon ranch dressing mix (powdered)

½ teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon horseradish

Directions:

  1. Heat water and sugar until sugar dissolves.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar water, salt, vinegar, cabbage, carrots and onion.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  3. Strain excess liquid from cabbage mixture but still keeping it juicy.
  4. Stir in sour cream, mayonnaise, ranch dressing mix, celery seed and horseradish and serve.

Smoky Cole Slaw

Creamy Ranch Cole Slaw

Serves 12

Prep time: 10 minutes

Marinating time: 4 hours

Estimated Values per serving:

Calories = 95                                                Fat = 3 grams

Ingredients:

½ cup water

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup white vinegar

½ head of cabbage

1 cup shredded carrots

1 onion – thinly sliced

1 cup fat free sour cream

½ cup low calorie mayonnaise

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon celery seed

1 tablespoon horseradish

Directions:

  1. Heat water and sugar until sugar dissolves.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar water, salt, vinegar, cabbage, carrots and onion.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  3. Strain excess liquid from cabbage mixture but still keeping it juicy.
  4. Stir in sour cream, mayonnaise, paprika, onion powder, celery seed and horseradish and serve.
Posted in Tips/Hints, Travel

Back at the homestead…


We made it back home, but not without having had enjoyed just a few more Southern BBQ meals along the way.  We stopped in Knoxville Tennessee for lunch and were lucky enough to bump into a restaurant called “Famous Dave’s”.  They have five varieties of BBQ sauces at every table and encourage samplings with your meal.  It is interesting to see how different BBQ sauce can be based on individual preferences and various regions throughout the United States.  If you are ever traveling through Tennessee, this is a place worth visiting.  The meat was very tender and the sauces are delicious.

While in Christiansburg Virginia, a local recommended we try a restaurant called “Due South”.  This was also good and I had the awesome opportunity to try fried green tomatoes for the first time.  Even though this is clearly not a “Delicious & Light” side dish, I just couldn’t resist.  They were really good and I am determined to try to re-create some light version of this at home in the summer when our garden is up and growing.

Back home and back to cooking.  I know there will be a roast turkey breast on the menu tomorrow and will let you know where I go from there with cooking it.

Until then, enjoy and happy samplings…