This is an easy crowd pleaser for my crew. You just need to decide to make it at least 4 hours before you plan to eat.
Pork Loin, at least 2lbs
One bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce. (We use Sweet baby Ray’s or Williamson Brothers for this recipe)
¼ cup of water
2 cloves of garlic
One package of Hamburger Buns or Rolls
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: get out the slow cooker and lightly spray this inside with olive oil or Pam
Step 2: Slice a large onion in to chunky slices and place on the bottom of the cooker along with the garlic.
Step 3: Add the pork on top of the onions. Salt and pepper the port to taste.
Step 4: Use at least 3/4 of the bottle of BBQ sauce to cover the pork. (Leave a little bit to use for dipping when you serve it.)
Step 5: Add the ¼ cup of water, cover and turn on the cooker.
Step 6: Cook for 4 hours.
Step 7: Use two forks to break up the meat and coat it evenly in the BBQ sauce.
I serve this with hamburger rolls, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese and cole slaw. You can make all of that from scratch, but if you’re like me there’s no time for that between getting home from soccer, homework and bedtime for the kids. So I use the fresh mashed potatoes and mac and cheese from the supermarket, as well as cole slaw from the deli. Sometimes I’ll make the cole slaw from scratch.
Also, my youngest really likes this meal, but not all of the sauce. So I remove his pork from the cooker prior to mixing it all and serving it to the family.
This is the "picky kid plate", with minimal sauce interaction, and not on the bread.
This is the "grown up" version of the plate.
Easy (!) Low-Fat Baked Ziti
This is an easy, yummy recipe that evolved over time. Plus its only one dish, which makes cleanup easy.
16oz box of ziti, penne, or rigatoni
One green pepper
8oz of cottage cheese
8oz neufchatel cream cheese
32oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce (we prefer Michaels of Brooklyn’s Home Style Gravy)
4oz of low fat shredded mozzarella (1/2 a package)
Pam or olive oil cooking spray
And for this recipe, I use a 3Qt. pyrex glass rectangular baking dish
Step 1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as per the box instructions (usually around 11 minutes).
Step 2: Place the Neufchatel cheese (still in the wrapper) near the pasta pot to help soften it to make it easier for mixing later.
Step 3: Slice a medium sized onion into chunks.
Step 4: Remove the seeds from the green pepper and cut in to small chunks.
Step 5: Lightly spray the inside of the baking dish with Pam.
Step 6: When the pasta is done cooking, drain it and then add to the pyrex dish.
Step 5: Mix the pasta with the peppers and onions.
Step 6: Mix in the cottage cheese, and remove the wrapper from the Neufchatel cheese to add it as well.
Step 7: Once thoroughly mixed, pour the pasta sauce over the top. Mix it to make sure it is evenly distributed throughout the dish.
Step 8: Sprinkle the top with the shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese.
Step 9: Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes.
Kris Delaney is a marketing executive, foodie, travel enthusiast, and book nerd based in Atlanta, GA.