Daggone good pot roast recipe

potroast

Delicious Pot Roast

I found this Many Meals Pot Roast recipe a couple of months ago on one of my favorite recipe websites, allrecipes.com, and we absolutely love it. I made it today and my youngest had three helpings. She doesn’t even weigh 20 pounds yet, so hopefully that tells you something about the deliciousness of the recipe. The recipe meets my criteria because it has few and simple ingredients, most of which you probably have in your pantry/fridge right now:

  • beef chuck roast
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil
  • onion
  • carrot
  • celery
  • diced tomatoes
  • beef stock

This is actually a sponsored recipe so I was skeptical at first, as I am of all sponsored things online, but after reading the reviews, I decided to try it. I did make several changes including only using 1 pound of meat, half an onion, 3 carrots, 3 celery strips, one can of tomatoes and stock as needed. I cooked the meat in oil like the recipe says, pulled the meat out and put it in the crock pot, then added the veggies to the pan with tons of spices like basil, thyme garlic powder, and parsley, as well as the salt and pepper. I added the stock and tomatoes to get the yumminess off the bottom of the pan, brought the mixture to a boil then poured it all in the crock pot on top of the meat. I cooked it 3.5 hours on high, then cut it down to low for about 2.5 hours. So six hours total cook time in the crock pot. We serve this meal over egg noodles and have yet to have leftovers. I will have to double or triple the recipe next time so we can freeze some.

Photo thanks to allrecipes.com.
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Accidental stock

I needed to cook some chicken today for a Thai recipe so I decided to try something new, boiling chicken. Allrecipes.com has a Boiled Chicken recipe with very few ingredients, mainly water, vegetables, and spices. SCORE! I love when I want to make something and I actually end up having all the ingredients on hand. It’s like the stars align, okay not really that intense. Anyway, I started cooking and when the chicken was done, I pulled it out of the water, and I had stock. It was so easy. The stock is in my freezer right now in ice-cube trays, and I’ll be transferring them to a plastic freezer bag in the morning. I can just pull out the 1 ounce stock cubes whenever I’m making something that calls for stock. How amazing to have my own homemade stock on hand, with no preservatives, or fillers. I’m so proud!

Making your own stock is a real money saver, if you have the time, since the basic recipe is chicken, water, spices and veggies. I added some minced garlic and sauteed the veggies in oil before adding the chicken and water. Spices were salt, pepper, rosemary, and oregano. And bonus –  I used some celery, onion, and carrots that needed to be used or composted today. A smart cookie/good friend recommended saving celery and carrot ends when you chop up veggies, as well as any leftover fresh herbs you don’t need, and freeze them for the next time you make stock. Good luck if you decide to make your own, it is so simple and worth it, just do it, right now, go do it.

Holiday Party Gluttony

My first holiday party was earlier this month, and I swear, no one ever leaves those parties unscathed. I’m just as guilty as the next girl. I literally made out with that buffet table, not with any of the delicious treats the host made, but with the peanut M&Ms. Seriously. My point is that overeating during the holidays happens, and the most beautiful thing about it is that you get to hop back on the horse the next day. If you overeat/drink, go for a walk or run the next day. I promise you – it is the last thing you will want to do, but the only thing that will make you feel better. Oxygen will flow to your brain and wash out the cobwebs and flush away the toxins. If you eat tons of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. most of your life, splurging at the holiday party is not the end of the world.

The main thing I love about eating healthy and exercising is that you can always start over. You can and should enjoy splurging every now and then. But by ‘every now and then’, I mean one or two meals this month. Not once or twice per week. Pick the party with the best food, the best cheese if that is your thing, or best cake, and have a big ol yummy piece. Life is too short to be strict with EVERY SINGLE meal, you’ll drive yourself crazy living that way. But you have to do the work the next day, and every day. A healthy lifestyle is so worth it!

Happy Holidays, Ya’ll!

Make your own salad dressing

Salad dressing

Make your own!

I recently became exasperated with grocery store salad dressings. If the dressing tastes good, it is filled with things like MSG and sugar (I will miss you, Ranch). If the dressing is good for you, like the Organic versions I’ve found, they taste horrible. Maybe I’m the only person this has happened to, but I’ve been noticing it for a while, and just recently threw in the towel. This summer I was pouring straight olive oil on my salads. Which, honestly isn’t so bad, at least you can taste the vegetables. Call me high maintenance, but I want a dressing I can’t live without.

So, my research began. Tonight we tested a dressing called “Absolutely Fabulous Greek/House Dressing” I found on allrecipes.com. With that title, how can you go wrong? Look it up if you are interested in making it yourself. The ingredients are simple, as absolutely fabulous foods normally are. It includes olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, basil and oregano. It was a hit! I cut down the amount of vinegar so the ratio of oil to vinegar was 1:1, but after trying it, I recommend upping the oil in that ratio so you have more oil than vinegar. We had it tonight and my daughter actually thanked me for making such a yummy dinner. Seriously, my jaw was on the floor. She asked me why I was staring at her and smiling.

The recipe makes a ton of dressing, so I cut it down to just 10 servings and store it in a dollar store dressing bottle. It is on my kitchen counter right now, making me so proud. I know, I’m crazy!