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Monday, January 24, 2011

apple poppyseed spinach salad

with a little bit of the apple poppy seed dressing left over from the magical coleslaw and a bag of spinach on the verge of wilting in my fridge, there was nothing to do but create a salad to go with my sunday night roast and mashed potato dinner.

this might be my new favorite salad - made by me, panera bread, cafe rio or anyone else for that matter. use your leftover apple poppyseed dressing and whip this one up!

apple poppy seed spinach salad

baby spinach
slices of a sweet apple (i used fujis)
feta cheese
roasted almonds or walnuts (both good - whatever your preference)
apple poppy seed dressing (here)

1. no exact recipe here - just top a pile of spinach with apple, feta, craisins and nuts and then toss it with the apple poppy seed dressing. viola!

then let your mouth water between bites.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

bbq pulled pork and magic coleslaw sandwiches

okay.... here it is! the magic cole slaw. this stuff has changed my life.

let me start from the beginning. back in may when we moved a friend from my church offered to bring us dinner one night while we were getting settled in. she showed up with bbq pulled pork (yum), trader joe's ciabatta buns (yum), sun chips (yum), fruit salad (yum) and cole slaw (yikes!)... to put on the sandwiches (double yikes!).

since it would be rude not to try it, i decided i'd better.and wow! am i glad i did!

so i asked her what she put on the magical cole slaw (that's a direct quote). "girard's apple poppyseed dressing," she said.
problem: my budget doesn't do salad dressings that cost $4.99 (on my budget i have $7 total per day to feed my family. $5 for salad dressing doesn't work.)

solution: replicate the dressing. done! it's close enough to give the same effect on the sandwiches and hubby likes it better than girard's. so ha!

this really is a great, tasty, well-balanced meal when you add the coleslaw. cabbage is amazing for you.

bbq pulled pork and magic coleslaw sandwiches
enough coleslaw for 6 sandwiches

pulled pork:
a lean pork roast (size of your choosing)
your favorite bbq sauce (we love sweet baby rays - you can find it at walmart)

trim pork roast of excess fat and place in crock pot. smother with tons of bbq sauce (if you're not sure about how much to add, just make sure to check it a couple of times throughout the day and add more if it's looking dry). cook 8-10 hours on low. shred at the end and add more bbq sauce if it needs more.

magic coleslaw:
1 bag of prepared coleslaw
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup apple poppyseed dressing (recipe below)

mix coleslaw and dressing together in a bowl.

the bovine's apple poppyseed dressing:
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light tasting olive oil
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon molasses (optional)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
4 to 6 dashes salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon poppyseeds

combine all ingredients but poppyseeds in a blender. mix well until blended. add poppyseeds. mix well. refrigerate 4+ hours to let onions rehydrate and flavors meld.

put the sandwich together:

toast ciabatta buns (we like walmart's). top with pulled pork and more coleslaw than you think you'll want. serve with lots of napkins. :)

freeze leftover bbq pulled pork for [the following week] when you crave the sandwiches again. thaw in fridge over night. heat and serve.


you'll have extra dressing. what should you do with it? an apple poppy seed spinach salad up next to use it up! stay tuned!

Monday, January 17, 2011

snack time!

holiday blogging hiatus is over!

it feels good to be back, though it feels a little frustrating since hubby is gone until 10pm for the next three months. we're doing lots of kid-friendly, non-interesting food around here. but that's okay. i like kid food.

my mom packed awesome school lunches. one of my fondest school lunch memories is peanut butter and jelly on graham crackers. now i try not to eat it for lunch but i do eat it for a late night "non-dessert" snack once in a while. here it is for your enjoyment - with the trick that makes it eatable!

graham cracker pb&j

graham crackers
peanut butter (jiff reduced fat is my favorite... only because it's sweeter than regular pb)
grape jelly (try others - this is my go to for this snack though)

1. spread a thin layer of peanut butter on a graham cracker. spread a thin layer of jelly over that. top with another graham cracker.
2. ****here's the trick: let them sit for at least 30 minutes (or lots longer in a school lunch) so the crackers get slightly softer so it doesn't crunch and get as many crumbs all over the place when you bite into it.

next up - a magic cole slaw for people who don't like cole slaw. i would know - because i don't like it. :)

and more pb&j just for fun...

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!