Barbecue pulled pork – slow cooker/ Ninja Foodi /oven

Pulled pork simmered in a tangy, sweet and spicy sauce bringing back memories of a roadtrip  down to Texas where we had the most delicious and moist pulled pork – in the parking lot of a restaurant because of Covid. As we reminisced over the trip, we had to replicate the flavors at home.

Servings: 8 (for 8 sandwiches)

Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 6 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1.5 large onions, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 lbs pork shoulder butt roast
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon  red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (see notes to make barbecue sauce at home)

Method

  1. Lightly rub the pork with salt and pepper
  2. If using a Ninja Foodi, put on the sear option on high
  3. Pour the oil into the bottom of a slow cooker, dutch oven or the Ninja Foodi
  4. Add the onions, garlic
  5. Add the remaining ingredients including the pork
  6. Cover the container to cook:
    1. Turn on the slow cooker and set for high
    2. For Foodi, switch to slow cooker option and set to high
    3. For oven, preheat to 250F. Cover dutch oven and place in oven
  7. Cook on high for 5-6 hours until the pork shreds easily with a fork
  8. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred the meat using two forks
  9. Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, and stir the meat with the juices in the pot
  10. Serve on hamburger buns with a side of beans, coleslaw and potato salad

Notes:

  • Home made barbeque sauce:
    • Ingredients:
      • 1.5 cups ketchup
      • 2 tablespoon molasses
      • 3 garlic cloves minced
      • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
      • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
      • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
      • 1  teaspoon black pepper powder
      • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
    • Method
      • Combine ingredients in a pot on the stove. Simmer for 15- 20 minutes until sauce has deepened in color. Store in a tightly covered lid for upto 10 days

Mango Chia Seed Pudding

If you love mango and tropical flavors, this chia pudding is for you. A combination of coconut milk, combined with chia seeds and mango pulp, makes for a delicious pudding that will energize you and fill you up. A great way to start the day or a pick-me-up during the day.

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk (alternatively, almond or any other milk, or 1/2 cup coconut cream with 1/2 cup milk)
  • 1 cup unsweetened mango pulp
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Toppings: Mango cubes, pineapple, berries, almonds, granola

Method

  • In a large, lidded bowl, mix the mango pulp and almond milk. Stir
  • Add in the chia seeds and maple syrup. Stir with a spoon. Ensure no clumps of chia seeds remain
  • Close with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight
  • Top with mango chunks, pineapple, berries, granola, or nuts

Try these other chia seed pudding flavors:


Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

This deliciously sinful, chocolate chia seed pudding is for when those chocolate cravings hit or if you want dessert for breakfast without feeling guilty. This calls for only 5 ingredients and you likely have them already.

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk (alternatively, any other milk)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Toppings: Berries, almonds, granola

Method

  • In a large, lidded bowl, whisk in the cocoa powder into the almond milk, removing any clumps
  • Add in the chia seeds, vanilla essence and maple syrup. Stir with a spoon. Ensure no clumps of chia seeds remain
  • Close with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight
  • Top with berries, granola, or nuts

Try these other chia seed pudding flavors:


Matcha Chia Seed Pudding

Sophie loves her matcha boba tea and was very happy when we made a matcha Chia seed pudding. Not only did the matcha powder give it it’s beautiful green color, the matcha flavor was elevated with the use of coconut cream. If you love matcha, this pudding is for you! It will energize you while filling you up.

Why Matcha? Did you know it’s full of antioxidants, can speed up metabolism, and lower bad cholesterol? And of course, chia seeds contain protein, fiber and the good-for-you kind of fat

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • Toppings: Berries, almonds, granola

Method

  • In a large, lidded bowl, whisk the matcha powder, coconut cream and almond milk, making sure no clumps remain
  • Add in the chia seeds and maple syrup. Stir with a spoon. Ensure no clumps of chia seeds remain
  • Close with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight
  • Top with granola, fruit or nuts

Try these other chia seed pudding flavors:


Chia seeds pudding

Something I always struggle with is what to eat as a snack or have ready for breakfast for the kids to grab quickly before school. This chia seed pudding fits the bill – it is a make-ahead, easy and yet healthy breakfast or snack option that is energizing and filling. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. And best of all, it is so good for you.

Chia seeds contain protein, fiber and the good-for-you kind of fat. Soak them in a liquid and you get this smooth, gelatinous pudding texture. Add a little sweetener, a topping of your choice like fruit or granola, and who can resist dessert, and a healthy one at that??!

I make this Chia seed pudding with simple ingredients. And then top it with granola (at time of eating) or layer it with fruit for a grab-when-you-need option. I have found that 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 1/4 cup of milk is the ideal ratio.

Once you have this, it may soon be a go-to, so check out the links below to other chia-seed pudding options.

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups light coconut milk or almond milk (or cow’s milk)
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1.5 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)

Toppings

  • Berries
  • Granola or chopped nuts
  • Chopped fresh mango or pineapple
  • Coconut flakes

Method

  • In a lidded container, pour in the milk. Stir in the chia seeds. Cover the container and shake well to combine. Wait for 2-3 minutes and then stir well with a spoon making sure to break any clumps
  • Add in the vanilla essence and maple syrup, and stir
  • Cover with a tight light and let set in fridge overnight or at least 2 hours
  • When serving, top with your favorite fruit, nuts or granola, and enjoy!

Other Chia Seed Pudding recipes:


Mushroom, Spinach and Black Bean Quesadillas

When you want a healthy and yet quick meal or a snack on-the-go, these quesadillas are a great option. A mix of spinach, corn, mushrooms, black beans, onions, and creamy avocado makes for a filling, delicious vegetarian meal. And if you’re craving meat, just add some shredded chicken to the mix.

Servings: 4 quesadillas Cook and prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 large Red Onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper flakes
  • 8 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups fresh Spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen Corn
  • 1/2 cup cooked Black Beans
  • 2 large Avocados, removed from shell and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  • 4 medium Tortillas (I use whole wheat although flour tortillas are usually tastier but less healthy)
  • Salt to taste
  • Salsa, for serving
  • 2 cups shredded chicken, optional (for when you want a non-vegetarian option)

Method:

  • In a pan, heat the Olive oil
  • When oil is hot and shimmering, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir and add in the onions, stir occasionally while the onions turn translucent.
  • Add in the sliced mushrooms. Fry the mix, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and caramelized, and the water from the mushrooms in the pan has dissipated – approximately 3-4 minutes
  • Add in the spinach, black beans and corn. Cook till spinach has wilted. Sprinkle salt, stir and keep aside
  • Lay out the four tortillas on plates
  • Cover a half of each tortilla by distributing the 1 cup of cheese across the tortillas
  • Distribute equally the spinach, corn, black beans, and mushroom mix over the cheese
  • Layer the mix with equal amounts of avocado slices and sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese evenly over it, as well
  • Fold tortilla into half by pressing the empty half of the tortilla over the toppings
  • Heat a medium/large size skillet. When skillet is hot, place the folded tortilla in the skillet. Cook on both sides for a total of 4 mins, flipping half-way through
  • Before serving, cut the quesadillas into 3 equal sizes
  • Serve hot with a side of salsa
  • Enjoy!

Tuvar Dal (Pigeon-Pea lentils)

While growing up, dal, or lentils, was a staple part of a meal. Tuvar dal, moong daal, chana dal, it didn’t matter. There were so many different recipes, and all were so nutritious and delicious. When you were sick, you had a simple dal soup, and on occasions, you had some more complex recipes. This recipe is a staple in our home. It’s flavorful and can be just had with rice. On some days, the perfect accompaniment to dal and rice is fried fish, stuffed with red masala…..but more on that fried fish later!

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup tuvar/tur dal rinsed
  • 3/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large tomato, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • .5 tsp red chili powder
  • .5 tsp garam masala powder
  • .5 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • Optional: 1 tsp lime juice

Method:

  • In a pressure cooker, or Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot (both on sear setting) heat oil
  • When oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds, they will splutter
  • Add in the onion, ginger and garlic and fry for 2 minutes until onions are soft and translucent
  • Add in the tomato and fry for 2 minutes
  • Add in the dry powders and stir for another minute
  • Add in the dal and 2.5 cups of water along with the salt
  • Put the pressure cooker lid on (for Foodi or Instant Pot, turn setting to Pressure cook and put timer to 16 minutes)
  • Pressure cook for 16 minutes
  • When done, wait until the lid can be safely removed. You can change the consistency of the daal by adding more water
  • Stir in the cilantro leaves (and lime juice, if using) and serve with rice or chapatis

Mango Pineapple Salsa

Sweet, tangy, healthy, fresh mango, pineapple salsa will have you dreaming of the tropics with a single bite. This salsa is the perfect make-ahead appetizer or a topping for fish, tacos, grilled chicken or pork. Best of all, it comes together in minutes.

We often make salsa for fish tacos or as a quick snack for when the kids come home from school. This mango and pineapple salsa brings vision of glorious summer days. I sometimes add a dash of Tagin, a Mexican seasoning available in ethnic grocery stores, and just dig in with a spoon – why waste calories on chips?!!

Prep: 10 minutes Total time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced Pineapple
  • 2 cups diced Mangoes (see notes on chopping a mango easily)
  • 1 small Red Pepper
  • 1/2 small Red Onion, diced fine
  • 1 Jalapeno, diced fine (deseed if you don’t like it too spicy)
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh Lime juice
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

  • In a bowl, mix all ingredients well
  • Serve with tortilla chips or over tacos, chicken, fish…. or just grab a spoon and dig in
  • Refrigerate to keep fresh up to two days

How to chop a mango easily:

  1. Wash and dry the mango
  2. Place the mango upright on a cutting board, supporting it with your non-dominant hand
  3. Hold a sharp knife in your other hands
  4. Cut the thickest (widest) side of the mango, cutting from top to bottom as close to the pit as you can
  5. Repeat on the other side
  6. These sides are called “cheeks” – so you end up with two cheeks and a pit that still has a bit of flesh around it
  7. Use a knife to make lengthwise and crosswise cuts in each cheek, being careful to avoid cutting through the skin. Now, press the skin side of the mango cheek to turn it inside out, to resemble a porcupine. Scoop out the cubes off the skin using a knife or skin
  8. Peel the skin of the remaining middle piece and using a paring knife, cut as close to the pit as possible. Cut the remaining fruit flesh into cubes
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Sesame Garlic Bok Choy

A delicious, crisp vegetable that comes together in minutes. Bok Choy, a Chinese cabbage, can be braised, stir-fried or roasted. You can eat all of it, which reduces prep work. It has a crisp texture with a slightly nutty flavor.

Bok choy is 90% water, negligible fat and full of vitamins A, C and beta carotene. Pair it with soy sauce, sesame seeds, chili flakes, ginger and garlic, and you have a flavorful side on the table.

Sometimes bok choy is harvested when not yet mature and sold as baby bok choy. It’s usually 3-6 inches in length, sweeter and can be cooked whole.

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb baby Bok Choy (quartered or halved)
  • 1 small White Onion (diced fine)
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 5 large Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tsp Ginger (minced)

Method:

To clean Boy Choy: Under running water, rub off any dirt from the leaves and especially at the bottom of the stalks. Chop the boy choy into quarters or halves. Place them in a bowl until you are ready to cook.

To cook: In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 10 seconds. Add in the onions, and ginger and cook over high heat until fragrant, 20 seconds. Add the bok choy and stir-fry until the leaves start to wilt, 2 minutes. Add in the soy sauce and sesame seeds. Stir for about 20 seconds. Remove the bok choy from the heat and serve.


Blueberry Oat Vegan Smoothie

You are guaranteed to be pleasantly surprised with this oat-filled smoothie. Raw oats are safe to eat. They aid weight-loss and improve heart and gut health. It makes a smoothie heartier and more filling. Blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse, full of anti-oxidants.

Interestingly when Nilesh’s cholesterol numbers went up, one of the ways to manage that was with regular oatmeal for breakfast.

Ingredients


1 cup cold almond milk
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats, dry
1 cup blueberries
1 tbsp maple syrup

Method

Fill a blender with all the above mentioned ingredients.
Blend…sluuurp!!