Tag Archives: bbq

Weekly Eating – Jan 8

Hey y’all! Welcome to the series Weekly Eating.

Here is where I’ll talk about the week’s meal plan versus reality, what we ate for the week, and how we did budget-wise. I hope it gives readers a behind-the-scenes look into our life through the lens of food, and it’s also a way to keep us on track with meal planning and grocery budgeting.

Feel free to share your wins and lessons in the comments below!

 

So remember the part where we are eating 80% vegetarian this year? I’d say we have totally nailed it so far! We had some great successes this week, and a few fails too. The week did include an impromptu cross country trip, for a family emergency situation, so that sort of threw the meal plan off the rails a bit. However, it was for good reason, and didn’t damage the budget too badly.

Monday:

Breakfast – Banana berry smoothie

Lunch – Beet & Sweet Potato veggie burger wrap with sprouts, red sauerkraut, tomatoes, spinach, & Green Goddess.

Beet, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Burger Patties

I just adore the bright pink colors going on here! Imagine all those lovely flavonoids running around my bloodstream detoxing and getting rid of free radicals… no, just me? #sciencenerd

Beet, Sweet Potato, Black Bean Burger Wrap

Dinner –Homemade pizzas. I whipped up overnight refrigerator pizza dough on Sunday so these were easy breezy. The boy had pineapple, ham and mozzarella on his, while I added handfuls of veggies to mine.

Homemade Veggie Pizza With Pork

Tuesday:

Breakfast – Banana & Cardamom Pancakes

Banana and Cardamom Blender Pancakes

Dudes, I had never had cardamom before (I think) but it’s one of the highest antioxidant spices so I’m trying to incorporate it into my cooking more. This pancake recipe was so simple, I whipped up the batter in a blender and poured it right onto the griddle. Easy peasy, and they came out fluffy and perfect. #winning

Banana and Cardamom Blender Pancakes

Lunch – Big salad with sprouts, walnuts, cranberries, quinoa, and my amazing Green Goddess dressing.

quinoa and greens sprout salad

Dinner –Tempeh Teriyaki Stir Fry.

Teriyaki Tempeh Stir Fry

Guys. Guys, I made a vegan meal that the boy said he loved and would eat again! That’s a huge win! TBH it was super tasty, I would eat it again, and also I nailed the plating. (Pats self on the back)

Wednesday:

Breakfast – mixed berry smoothie

Lunch – leftover mushroom risotto from last week. There was a lot left and we were leaving town, so I wanted to eat it up. However, after sitting for a few days, it became thicker and… blah. I forced down a few forkfulls, but couldn’t come close to eating it all. That led to a starving afternoon of snacking…

Mushroom Risotto

Snacks – first up was a handful of dark chocolate with almond kisses that someone at work brought in. I figured, dark chocolate has good flavonoid & antioxidants, and you can’t go wrong with almonds right?

dark chocolate with almond kisses

Well apparently 3 almonds isn’t enough protein to satisfy, so I was rooting through my desk drawers about a half hour later. I did bring this vegan banana bread that I swapped at last month’s Bull City Food Swap… sad to say, it also was “meh”. But when I found a tiny peanut butter packet, and was also getting hangry, it was like sweet mana from heaven, and I ate half the loaf.

vegan banana bread

Dinner – Lemon Garlic Parmesan Pasta with a salad. I needed to use up several lemons, so I whipped up a super simple pasta dish.

Lemon Garlic Pasta with Kale and Sausage

Thursday:

Breakfast – stressful morning getting to the airport and literally making our flight by ONE minute… so, breakfast was coffee and airplane snacks.

Lunch – stopped by a BBQ place, and they had a Thursday Special: $2 pulled pork sandwich! We were totally in, and they were delicious. The pork was so moist, and the BBQ sauce flavorful.

Stubb's BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

Dinner – a local pizza joint is a favorite here, so we had to indulge when in town. I got the Brussels sprouts one, which had sweet hot pepper jelly on it and was super tasty, while the boy got a meaty spicy one and compromised with a bacon jam covered in arugula as well. They were all amazing, and we ate nearly the whole thing!

Three whole Pieous pizzas

Friday:

Breakfast – Pineapple jalapeno smoothie and toast.

green smoothie and toast

Mom in law is obsessed with this smoothie which includes pineapple, spinach, coconut water, and jalapeno. It is fruity with a hint of spice, which is strange but definitely tasty.

Pineapple Jalapeno Smoothie

Lunch – Leftover pizza, which I threw a handful of salad greens on top of to make myself feel better about eating pizza for at least 4 meals this week…

leftover pizza with greens on top

Dinner – Korean tacos. It is super simple, a crock-pot beef roast with sweet sauce, a fresh crunchy slaw, and a peanutty dressing. They were really tasty, and I need to get the recipe.

Korean beef tacos

Snack – Chips & salsa. I cut up half an avocado, and mixed it with a half cup of salsa for a satisfying snack.

blue chips and avocado salsa

The Weekend

This weekend will be spent relaxing and spending time with family. We may get to go out and explore a little, and perhaps see some of hubby’s friends. The in-laws are great and are covering most of the groceries, so for food we will only spend on anything we go out for.

Food Total: $72.86

This week was just stocking up on frozen berries because we were out, and some other staples like soymilk, produce, and boxed wine. Don’t judge me, tons of people love boxed wine, even frugal folks and hard core wine lovers!

Thanks to last week’s big stock up, and tons of food still hanging out in the freezer and pantry, we should be set for at least another week (with the exception of a produce run). Maybe I need to do another of my own January Pantry Clean-Out challenges.

 

How was your week? Are you flexible with meal plans, or how do you deal with surprise travel?

BBQ Bacon Baked Beans

 

The quintessential summer side dish, barbeque baked beans are a staple of picnics and backyard BBQs. They are delicious on their own, and perfectly complement burgers, hot dogs, and ribs. Along with coleslaw and fresh corn on the cob, my summer memories are packed with these little tangy red jewels.

For a while in my life, I hated baked beans, for exactly the reason stated above: I had too much of a good thing. And I also had some bad experiences, wherein the beans were pure mush and tasted awful. It wasn’t until I began cooking in earnest, and made my own sauce, that I decided to give them another shot. And boy am I glad I did!

Homemade sauce, bacon, and beans elevates this humble side dish to a truly gastronomic experience. Try it yourself and you will see.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans red beans, drained
  • (Or 1 cup dried, boiled for 2-3 hours)
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cups BBQ Sauce
  • 1-2 tsp liquid smoke
  • Seasoning salt to taste

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Step 1: Open the beans and drain them. Rinse to remove excess sodium. Alternatively, use 1-2 cups dried, and boil them for 2-3 hours, until soft.

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Step 2: Cook your bacon over med-low heat, until beginning to brown. You don’t want it too crispy. Lay on a stack of paper towels to drain.

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Step 3: Place beans in a pot, and add BBQ sauce and flavorings. Cut or chop the bacon into bite-sized pieces. Simmer it all together for 20-30 minutes to let flavors meld.

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Then serve! Enjoy alongside whatever summer dishes you like, or in the dead of winter to remember these warm sunny days.

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The best part is that as long as you make the sauce yourself (can control the amount of salt, sugar, and fat added), and the beans too (how much sugar or salt or bacon is involved), this dish is healthier than you may think.

Typical store-bought baked beans come loaded with nitrates, stabilizers, preservatives, salt, sugar, and fat. This is to allow it to store on the shelf longer, and to taste addictively good.

Awesomely, you can create an even-better-tasting addictively good dish yourself with just a few minutes of active work, and a few minutes of unattended simmering. Whip this up for your next picnic or party and watch it disappear.

Perfect Sweet & Tangy Barbeque Sauce

 

Barbeque sauce, how America loves you, let me count the ways.

Put simply, barbecue sauce (or BBQ) is a flavoring used as a marinade, basting, or topping/dipping for meats and other grilled foods. While the ingredients vary as widely as the cooks creating it, most begin with a tomato and vinegar base. Other common additions include chilies, garlic, ginger, molasses or brown sugar, liquid smoke, coffee, and other spices.

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For a nice history lesson and some ancient sauce recipes, check out TIME and/or amazingribs.com. Every cook has their favorite ‘secret’ recipe, perhaps passed down from grandmothers or grandfathers, or containing an unusual ingredient they will never disclose, even on pain of death.

I’ve written before about BBQ sauces, and this recipe expands upon my simpler one. Most ingredients are staples I always have around the kitchen, while things like sriracha and liquid smoke you may have to make a special purchase. You can even choose to omit those ingredients you do not have, and likely it will still be delicious. Experiment with recipes until you find one you love, then it can become your “signature” BBQ sauce.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • Dash liquid smoke (1-2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plain cola
  • 2-4 tbsp maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like it
  • Sprinkle paprika, salt & black pepper to taste

Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a giant bowl, and whisk away!

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This makes a substantial amount of sauce, so be prepared to throw a huge backyard bash with tons of sauce on meats, or store what you don’t use in the refrigerator for about 2 months. The more salt or acid you add, the longer it can last in the fridge.

 

 

Chicken Nests Three Ways: Super Bowl Snacks brought to you by Tyson

 

Word on the street is that this super important football game is happening this weekend. News to me. Glad my mom cares as much as I do (read; not at all) since she is in town!

However, Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips is sponsoring a recipe contest, and of course when she is in town, we have to cook together! So this worked out great.

After much brainstorming and asking friends for ideas, we settled on one of the most versatile bases we know: biscuit cups. The base of all these following combinations is the humble buttermilk biscuit. Then they can be topped with all manner of mouth-watering concoctions.

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The top three: chicken-bacon-ranch, Buffalo chicken dip, and chicken-barbeque-tater tots.

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The Buffalo dip can be served on its own, it is so stinking addictive! Seriously people. Spoons.

Chicken Nests

Ingredients:

  • 1 can biscuits
  • 1/2-1 cups filling
  • Sprinkle of cheese

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tyson fully cooked chicken breasts
  • Biscuit dough
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1/2 c cream cheese
  • 1/2 c ranch dressing
  • 1/2 c shredded cheddar
  • Hot sauce to taste

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Step 1: In a bowl, mix the sour cream, cream cheese, ranch, and hot sauce. Thaw and chop or shred the chicken breasts, and mix in.

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Step 2: Mix the cheese in well. Use later to fill biscuit cups. Alternatively, you can heat this dip in the microwave or the oven, and serve with chips. Or spoons.

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Step 3: Spread biscuit dough in the bottom of a sprayed muffin or tart tin.  Put about 1 mounded tablespoon into the center. Sprinkle a little cheddar on top.

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Step 4: Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8-11 minutes, until biscuit dough is puffed and slightly browned on top.

 

Chicken Bacon Ranch

Ingredients:

  • Biscuit dough
  • 1-2 Tyson fully cooked chicken breasts
  • 3-4 pieces bacon
  • 2-3 tablespoons Ranch dressing
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

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Step 1: Chop up or shred the chicken. Spread the biscuit dough in the bottom of a sprayed pan.

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Step 2: Cook and drain the bacon, and crunch it up. On top of the biscuit dough, add 1 tbsp chicken, 1 1/2 tsp ranch, and a sprinkle of bacon. Top with a pinch of cheddar.

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Step 3: Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8-11 minutes.

 

BBQ Chicken Tater Bites

Ingredients:

  • Biscuit dough
  • 1-2 Tyson fully cooked chicken breasts
  • 2-3 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • Handful of tater tots
  • Sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese

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Step 1: Spread biscuit dough in the bottom of muffin or tart pans. Chop the chicken and layer 1 tbsp in the dough.

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Step 2: Pour 1 1/2 tsp BBQ sauce on top of the chicken. Plop a tater tot on top, and cover with shredded cheddar cheese.

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Step 3: Bake in a 400 degree oven for 8-11 minutes. If using a muffin tin rather than a tart tin, bake an extra 4-5 minutes.

 

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These are the muffin-tin sized cups, same recipes but add about three times as much of each filling. The size makes for a great dinner, especially if served with extra sauces on the side. These can also be frozen, and re-heated for lunches and snacks later.

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Muffin sized and tart sized

 

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These are the hot tarts right from the oven. Cheese is all bubbly, and they all smell amazing.

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Served on a vaguely football-shaped serving tray

 

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I can’t even tell you how fantastic these things turn out!!!

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Every one of these flavor combinations is totally delightful.

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They are super delightful, and very customizable. You could top with just about any combination you prefer. Add spinach, or caramelized onions, use other meats or just cheeses.

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The larger muffin sized ones are very filling, with a larger filling-to-dough ratio if that’s what you’re looking for.

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They also make for a very nice presentation.

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Serve with extra dipping sauces. Ranch, BBQ sauce, and hot sauce.

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Add some carrots and celery to your ranch, or make some extra Buffalo Dip on the side as well. Great finger foods, I guarantee these will not last long!

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Diced tomatoes, olives, or green onions can also be a nice topper.

 

This post is sponsored by Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips and The Daily Meal.

Sweetly Simple Barbeque Sauce

 

One of my favorite things about football season is the food. Delicious, greasy bar food with the occasional bit of healthy thrown in to pretend (I’m looking at you, those two celery sticks that come with five sides of ranch and bleu cheese and two dozen hot wings).

But not all of it is unhealthy, and one really great option to make healthier without much extra work is BBQ pulled pork. I’ve already written about how much I love crock pots and how to make pulled pork in one.

But you can take it one step further by making your own BBQ sauce. This lets you control how much sugar goes into it, along with everything else. This sauce can of course be used for anything which could use some sweet/spicy/smoky flavor. Feel free to mix it up to your own tastes, adding extra chiles or less sugar, whatever.

Ingredients:
1 cup ketchup
1 small can tomato sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple juice
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp sriracha/hot sauce
1 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp Worchestershire

Step 1: Simply combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
Step 2: Pour over/brush onto your grilled meat of choice.
You can use it as a dipping sauce, condiment, marinade…
If it’s too thin, add some flour or cornstarch to thicken it up. If it’s too thick, add some extra tomato sauce or vinegar to thin it out. The longer you let it mix, the more the flavors will meld. Store in the refrigerator up to a week.