American

All Seasons, American, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Paleo/Primal, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Hickory Smoked BBQ Short Ribs

Do you have a craving for BBQ ribs, but no time to precook them, bake them, and then grill them? No problem, as this slow cooker does it all for you. It’s finger-licking, fall-off-the-bone good and pairs perfectly with cornbread, coleslaw and an ice cold beer (fresh lemonade for the kids).

All Seasons, American, Beans/Legumes, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Sides, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Baked Beans

This is my whole foods version of baked beans that can be eaten as a main dish; a little bit tangy and a little bit sweet. Serve this with a side of greens, homemade cole slaw or a crispy salad. I like it over brown rice, but a warm loaf of baked bread or dinner rolls, and chunks of cheese would also suffice.

All Seasons, American, Beef, Dairy Free, Fall, Main, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker French Dipped Sandwiches

If you happen to be in Los Angeles you must make a stop into Phillipe the Original in Chinatown for the best French dipped sandwiches. While all their versions are pretty yummy (lamb, roast pork, turkey or ham) it’s their classic roast beef French dip that is iconic LA food and I had to recreate the sandwich at home for when the craving just needs to be satisfied. This is the restaurant’s classic recipe adapted for the slow cooker. Much cheaper than a plane ticket!

All Seasons, American, Dairy Free, Fall, Gluten free, Main, Paleo/Primal, Pork, Slow Cooker, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Winter

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Quick and easy pulled pork sandwiches are the perfect come home to meal on those really busy weeknights. It’s as easy as adding a heap of store bought coleslaw (my favorite is Whole Foods) on top of this vinegar-based BBQ or put out some baby carrots and celery sticks for a fast veggie side.

All Seasons, American, Chicken, Fall, Gluten free, Low Sodium, Main, Paleo/Primal, Salads, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetable, Winter

Chicken Chopped Salad

Serve with whole grain baguette and herbed goat cheese-

I found a great tutorial in a Better Homes and Garden magazine on making a great chopped salad. Mashing the garlic in salt and letting it sit while you prep the vegetables is the key to a creamy, tangy dressing that set the flavor for the salad. I had fun modifying a classic chopped green salad into a main dish version my family loves (and it’s a great way to sneak a lot of vegetables in too!).

All Seasons, American, Beans/Legumes, Fall, Gluten free, Grains, Grains, Main, Sides, Sides, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter

Hoppin’ John

Serve with braised collard greens-

“Eat poor that day, eat rich the rest of the year. Rice for riches and peas for peace”. This is a southern saying on eating a dish of Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day to ensure a prosperous year filled with luck.

This is my quick, vegetarian version (the original Hoppin’ John calls for dried black eyed peas soaked overnight and a ham hock). While I like to make this on New Year’s Day (we all want prosperity and luck for our families, right?), it is also a great dish that I prepare almost year round.

All Seasons, American, Contains Nuts, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Fall, Fruit, Gluten free, Low Sodium, Paleo/Primal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter

Chocolate Cranberry Truffles

I was looking for a whole foods alternative to the highly processed “energy” bars (more like crash and burn) so favored by my daughter, who is a swimmer. Upon experimenting with different dried fruits, this was the final version that won her approval, as well as her teammates and friends. Nuts provide a bit of protein, dates and cranberries are a natural sweetener, and coconut adds good fat. I usually add some unsweetened cocoa powder and semi sweet chocolate chips for the chocoholic in all of us! It’s a no cook (all you need is a food processor) snack, treat, dessert your family will love. Once you get a hang of the basic recipe, you’ll enjoy making variations on the basic nut and date base.