Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Braised Pork Ribs with Bok Choy - Crock Pot

I don't know about you, but I have heard so many people talk about bok choy. I personally have never had or prepared bok choy. It has such a cool name I had to give it a try.

As you may have read from my previous post while traveling home from Disney World we had some travel delays. During this extra time I was able to review some new dinner recipes in a few magazines I brought along with me.

One in particular that stood out to me was Braised Pork Ribs with Bok Choy. Anytime I read crock pot in the description I get excited. It just so happens that my local supermarket had ribs on sale this week so I had to give this recipe a try. The original recipe comes from Rachel Ray's EveryDay magazine.

Braised Pork Ribs with Bok Choy - Crock Pot


3/4 Cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 Cup dark brown sugar
1 Bunch scallions, chopped (I used 1/4 cup of onions because that is all I had)
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 oz Fresh ginger, minced
4 lbs Country ribs or spare ribs
1 Large bunch boy choy, chopped into large pieces

Stir soy sauce, brown sugar, scallions, garlic, ginger and pepper together in a crock pot.

Add ribs and toss to coat with sauce. Add 1 cup of water and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

After meat is cooked thoroughly transfer to a platter. Pour the sauce into a large pan. Skim off the fat and bring to a boil.

Add bok choy and cook until the stems are tender, but still a little crispy, about 5-7 mins.

We really enjoyed this meal, especially the bok choy.

Serve ribs and bok choy over rice or couscous with the extra sauce.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Well it has been a long time, but we are back from Disney World and I am ready to try some new recipes.

While heading home from Florida our plane was unable to land in North Carolina because of severe weather. We were rerouted to Spartanburg, South Carolina to get fuel and wait for the weather to improve. During this extra long journey I was able to find some awesome new recipes to try in the EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine. I hope to make a few of them this week and present them to you.

I was able to make our dinner plan for this week as well...yeah!

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Sunday - Individual Pot Pies with Chocolate Avocado Mousse (I left the peanut butter out this time and topped with pecans)

- Braised Pork Ribs with Sauteed Bok Choy and Whole Grain Rice

Mushroom Quinoa Burgers, Bacon Roasted Turnips, Parsnips and Carrots and a side of Green Beans

Apricot Dijon Pork Chops, Homemade Pasta Salad and Applesauce

Pesto Pasta and Fresh Bread

- Homemade Pizza and Salad

- Leftovers

What are you having for dinner this week?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Star Wars Darth Maul Meatballs

My husband came up with the name for these delicious, but very ugly meatballs. To entice our kids to eat their dinner my husband usually comes up with creative names for each dinner item. We are huge Star Wars fans so Darth Maul seemed appropriate for these meatballs. I found the recipe in my pressure cooker cookbook and after some adjustments put it to the test.

Although, the meatballs were ugly they did have great flavor and were perfect for Super Bowl night.

I placed them on a slice of fresh bread to make an open face sandwich. Let me know what your kids think.

Star Wars Darth Maul Meatballs


1 Pound ground beef
1/2 Cup uncooked rice (I used Mahatma, but would suggest using parboil rice instead)
1-2 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp pepper
1 Tbsp parsley
1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
1 Can tomato soup
1 Cup water

Combine all ingredients except soup and water. Form into balls.

Mix soup and water in the pressure cooker pan.

Drop the meatballs in the pan. Cover and cook about 10 minutes after pressure cooker control jiggles. Cool according to the directions of your pressure cooker.

Great served over or in fresh bread or a hoagie topped with cheese. The side to our meatballs was roasted asparagus.

Roasted Asparagus


As much asparagus as you like
Olive oil
Garlic Powder

Place asparagus on baking sheet and toss with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Broil until they cooked how you prefer. We cook them until the tips are dark, it makes them crispy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our Dinner Menu Plan

The pressure cooker that I received for Christmas decided to break. My husband exchanged it for another pressure cooker (same model) and after we opened it we discovered it was broken as well. In honor of National Lame Duck Day, celebrated on Feb. 6th, we decided to get our money back and try to find the same pressure cooker model that my mom owns. We purchased a new one on Saturday and since I really wanted to use it on Sunday I decided to make Darth Maul meatballs instead of what I had planned.

I will be posting the pictures and recipe for the Darth Maul meatballs this week. The kids thought they were super cool!

Here is our dinner menu plan for this week. We are spending a lot of time with Grandma and Grandpa this week so our plan is rather short.

Our Dinner Menu Plan

Monday - Egg Drop Soup with Fried Wontons, Baked Wonton Rolls, and Sweet Apple Cheddars

Tuesday - Italian Breaded Shrimp, Wild Rice, Edamame

Wednesday - Whole Wheat Pasta with Anchovies, Salad and Fresh Bread

Thursday - Dinner with Grandma and Grandpa

Friday - Dinner with Grandma and Grandpa

Saturday - Homemade Pizza and Carrot/Orange Smoothies

Sunday - Mushroom Quinoa Burgers, Okra, and Homemade French Fries

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Black Bean Soup

A friend of mine just recently sent me a list of her favorite soup recipes. They all look amazing and I hope to try each of them. One in particular was a recipe for black bean soup. Since my kids are young and can not tolerate spicy I decided to come up with a less spicy version of black bean soup for our family.

I hope you enjoy!

Black Bean Soup


2 Cans black beans (DO NOT DRAIN)
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Orange, Yellow, Red or Green Pepper - diced finely
1 Small onion - diced finely
1 Small sweet potato - peeled and diced small
1 Cup homemade vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 Cup Salsa
2 Tsp Taco Seasoning
1 Bay leaf
1/2 Salt (you can omit this is if you use chicken broth or store bought taco seasoning)
Pepper to taste

Par Boil the sweet potato.

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add onions and pepper and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

Add taco seasoning and cook an additional minute or so. Slowly add broth and stir.

Add beans, salsa, sweet potatoes, bay leaf and salt/pepper.

Transfer to crock pot and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until sweet potatoes are tender.

If you do not want to use your crock pot continue simmering on stove until flavors are incorporated and sweet potatoes are tender.

Remove bay leaf and serve in individual bowls. Top soup with shredded cheese, avocado spread, sour cream, and tortilla chips. YUM, YUM! I also served the soup with a cheese and spinach taquito on the side.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Collard Green Chips

Our family tried kale chips for the first time a few weeks ago and really loved them. I cut the kale away from the stem and tossed them in olive oil and sea salt.

Well, since my mom brought us a ton of fresh collard greens this past weekend I thought maybe the kids would eat them if I made them into collard green chips.

The verdict; my husband and I thought they were fantastic, but the kids not so much. I will have to try them again with the kids because they were having an off day which may have contributed to their dislike for the collard green chips.

Collard Green Chips


Collard greens cut away from the stem - try to cut about the same size so they cook evenly
Sea salt
Olive oil
Garlic powder
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Toss collard greens with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes (using your hand is the easiest way).

Place on baking sheet and cook until they are crispy and the tips start to turn dark, about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on these because if they darken too much they will be burned and they do not taste good burned at all!

*Although my husband and I liked the collard green chips with red pepper flakes they were a little too spicy for the kids. I will probably leave the red pepper off next time.