Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tonight's Dinner: Slow Cooker Pork Roast

When I was growing up, one of our favorite dinners was a pork roast cooked in a slow cooker. Made with garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and Italian sausage, it was a dinner that was tasty, but also tended to be high in fat from the roast (into which went the slivers of garlic) and the sausage.  At that time, no one really thought about the amount of fat we were consuming, even someone like myself, who was continually on a diet to try to shed the excess weight I was carrying. Still, it's a dinner that has the potential to be much healthier, with a few tweaks.

I selected a 1lb, 8oz (0.68 kg) roast for tonight's dinner, which I had trimmed of nearly all its visible fat after I had purchased it. Thinly slice 1 1/2 large green peppers (the only kind available during the winter, unfortunately) and 1 medium to large sized onion, putting them in the bottom of the slow cooker (vegetables cook better when on the bottom of a slow cooker). Add 1 large can of diced tomatoes -- no salt is great, as it will lower the sodium content of your meal, if you need to watch your sodium intake.  Add your roast, sprinkle with parsley, oregano, garlic powder (if you don't put garlic in your roast, which you're welcome to do; I don't because of garlic sensitivities in this house), and black pepper.  I like my pork spicy, so I generally add some red pepper flakes to give it a bit of spice.  This is also the time to add a little salt and/or some beef and chicken bullion powder, but remember to go easy on these if you're on a salt-restricted diet. Stir spices and tomatoes to spread spices through the pot.

For years, this is where I'd start the cooking.  We'd eliminated the sausage portion because of its high fat content.  Well, our local grocery store (Giant) started carrying a low-fat hot Italian turkey sausage that tasted even better than most of the pork Italian sausages we found in Pennsylvania, so now this pork creation tastes more like it did when I was a kid! I used 3 links (~10 ounces, or 283 grams), sautéing them in a pan coated with non-stick spray:

Yum, yum!! I added these, stirred to evenly distribute these through the meal. Cover the cooker, turn to high's now cooking. 

As this stands, it's a fairly low carb meal. Tomatoes, onions, and peppers aren't very high in carbs, and of course, the meats have no carbs in them at all. Now all that's left to do is for the meal to cook.  It should be done by around 7:00 this evening.

Generally, I serve this over rice and pair it with a green salad, making it a very healthy meal. When dinner's done and I have it plated, I'll update this entry so you can see how it looks.  'Till then, good eating!


Dinner is done and here's what it looks like:

Instead of rice, this goes well with noodles, too. No matter how you serve it, this dish has a lot of texture, aroma, and flavor. Now, I have to admit that this is not my plate; this has more than I normally eat. My serving is more like this:

This has 2/3 cup of noodles, ~ 3 ounces of meat, and an ounce or so of tomatoes and veggies. It's not a lot, but it does has enough to fill me up.

Again, good eating!!

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