Recently Mr. Second Helpings and I had a little meeting of the minds. We identified a mutual desire to replace some of the usual grains on our dinner table with squash or other hearty vegetables. We realized that our bodies just seem to function better with more colorful plant based fiber and vitamins than grains. By reducing the amount of higher carbohydrate load foods served at the dinner table we still enjoy grains and starches in other meals but are eating less carbs over all. I, again, am not a nutritionist this is just an observation we have made on our own and we completely reserve the right to change our minds later.
With our new plan in mind I discovered a slow cooker recipe, for pork roast cooked with sauerkraut, in my new Weight Watchers cookbook*. I liked the idea of the pork because I could cook a large roast and use it for several meals during the week. I did not like the idea of jarred sauerkraut, I have never liked the taste or smell of the stuff. Fresh cabbage had a much nicer ring to it. Another thing that had a nice ring to it was pulling out my food processor and shredding the heck out of some vegetables. (cheaper than therapy!) So that’s exactly what I did.
I had a fantastic time running several batches of finely shredded and thinly sliced purple cabbage, fuji apples, and red onions through my food processor. To achieve the familiar spicy, vinegary flavor I played mad mixologist with my spice cupboard then let the slow cooker do its thing. An hour before dinner I whipped up a side dish of rosemary roasted cauliflower and BINGO! Hearty enough to kick off our snowy week with no rice or potatoes in sight.
A snowy evening called for snowflake dinner plates.
Slow Cooker Pork Roast and Sauerkraut
- Red Cabbage – approx. 2/3 of a head shredded
- 3 Medium Apples – washed, cored, and run through food processer
- 2 Small Red Onions – run through food processer
- 2 TB White Wine Vinegar
- 1 TB Balsamic Vinegar
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 2 TB Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp Ground Mustard
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp (or more to taste) Caraway Seeds
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. of Dry Sherry (or Dry White Wine)
- 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 lb boneless pork tenderloin roast – trimmed
- Using a food processor: shred the cabbage and thinly slice the apple and onion.
- Fill a 6 quart slow cooker between 2/3 and 3/4 full with the cabbage mixture and turn it to high heat.
- To the cabbage mixture add the ingredients from the vinegar through the salt and pepper. If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand just try to get a balance of acids to spices that you like. Fortunately this isn’t rocket science!
- Start cooking cabbage so it is fully heated before the roast is added to the pot. If possible allow an hour of extra cooking time.
- Sear meat to a nice golden color on all sides. Use a good non-stick pan so no oil is needed (if needed use a scant amount of vegetable oil in the pan)
- Once all sides are golden transfer to the fully heated crockpot and pour the wine over the top.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or until meat is fully cooked based on the internal temperature
- Set to warm until ready to serve
- Let meat rest for at least ten minutes and then slice into 7-9 slices
- Serve on a slice of pork on a bed of the cabbage
Makes 7-9 slices of pork and heaps of cabbage.
Rosemary Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 Large head of cauliflower
- 3 fresh garlic cloves minced
- the leaves from two small sprigs of fresh rosemary minced
- 2 TB Olive Oil
- a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400
- Cut the cauliflower into floret sections about the size of a small potato
- Arrange cauliflower florets in a baking pan large enough for the florets to be uncrowded
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper – toss to coat
- Begin roasting when oven is fully pre-heated
- Cook 25-35 minutes until a fork slides easily into a thick part. Stir once or twice during roasting to get caramelization on more sides of the florets.
- Serve anytime you might serve roasted potatoes for a delicious lower carb alternative.
Cooking a large roast on the weekend makes a good starting place for more quick and easy meals. The leftovers made several appearances during the following week both reheated for lunch and as two more dinners.
Monday night we ate the cabbage with grilled Turkey Smoked Kielbasa, deli mustard and pretzels (couldn’t resist).
Wednesday the pork joined black beans to become Enchilada Lasagna – Make the Enchilada filling but slice whole wheat tortillas (4 or 5) to the width of lasagna noodles and layer the filling and tortilla strips adding about 1/2 cup of Enchilada sauce in the middle and over the top. Bake in a medium oven for about 40 minutes, top with about 1/2 cup of reduced fat cheese and finish baking about 10 more minutes. - I apologize to the Enchilada purists and hope people keep reading now that I have peaked from behind my curtain of mock sophistication.
*My new book is: Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook – Over 500 delicious recipes for the healthy cook’s kitchen