Category Archives: pork

bbq pulled pork

Today is a recovery day.  I’d like to say it was because I had a great, intense work-out over the weekend and my muscles need a day to recuperate.  In reality, my 11-year-old had his birthday slumber party.  He and his friends stayed up until 4 a.m with the help of Skittles, Mountain Dew and a bowl of ice water (“We stick our faces in it when we get sleepy”).  I believe Marc went downstairs 3 times between midnight and 3 a.m. to “encourage” them to be quiet.  So I had interrupted sleep and a few spicy Nacho Doritos on Saturday night and a headache and a feeling like I had been run over by a truck on Sunday.  Hence my need to recover.

This recipe is great to have in your repertoire for those days when you are tired and don’t want to slave in the kitchen.  It is fantastic, delicious, and easy.  Which is a good thing, since Costco sells their pork sirloin tip roasts in a 4-pack.  This cut of pork is so lean..98% fat free with only 100 calories per 4 oz serving.  And the homemade bbq sauce was really good.  I served it in lettuce wraps topped with mustard and a spicy pickle spear for myself and on buns for Marc and Nic.  The vegetarian’s had to fend for themselves.

P.S.  Jim, this one’s for you!

BBQ Pulled Pork 

  • 2 lb. pork sirloin tip roast (I used Kirkland Brand)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 12 ounces diet cherry cola, divided
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Place the pork roast in a slow cooker, along with the onion, garlic, and 1/2 cup cola.  Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 3 1/2 hours on high, or until meat pulls apart when tested with a fork.

Pour the rest of the cola in a small saucepan.  Whisk in remaining ingredients.  Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until reduced by about 1/3 (you should have about 1 1/2 cups).  Set aside.

Transfer the cooked pork to a cutting board.  Using two forks, shred the meat by pulling it apart.  Drain liquid from the slow cooker, reserving 1/2 cup.  Return the pork and the reserved liquid to the slow cooker.  Add the barbecue sauce to the pork.  Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings.

Recipe slightly adapted from “Eat More of What You Love” by Marlene Koch.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, each serving has 4 Points Plus.

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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in points plus, pork


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phyllo-wrapped asparagus with prosciutto

It was weird not being at the ocean for the long 4-day weekend.  Except for the 4 years we lived on the East Coast, I have spent every Thanksgiving since 1970 at Long Beach.  So it felt odd, but change is just that.  Change.  Neither good nor bad, just different.

We also celebrated my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday last Thursday (her actual birthday is today.  Happy Birthday Mom!).  All the kids went in on a Kindle with accessories and a gift card to Amazon.  She is looking forward to using it on our upcoming trip this summer to Italy.  I have one and I find it to be a great travel device.

These asparagus were a surprise hit at Thanksgiving, and they will be making a repeat performance at Christmas.  They were a last minute addition, since I received the December’s edition of Cooking Light just days before the big event.  They were almost gobbled up before I remembered to take a picture.  Very easy, delicious, and low points!

 Phyllo-wrapped Asparagus with Prosciutto

  •  3 ounces proscuitto, cut into 30 long, thin strips
  • 30 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 10 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Wrap one prosciutto strip around each asparagus spear, barber pole-style.  Place 1 phyllo sheet on a work surface (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying); coat phyllo with olive oil cooking spray (I used a Misto).  Cut crosswise into thirds to for 3 rectangles.  Arrange 1 asparagus spear across 1 short end of each rectangle; roll up jelly-roll fashion.  Arrange rolls on a baking sheet; coat rolls with cooking spray.  Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, asparagus, and cooking spray.

Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until phyllo is golden and crisp.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Using the Weight Watcher’s Calculator with the calorie breakdown provided by Cooking Light, each serving (3 pieces) has 1 PointsPlus.


Posted by on November 28, 2011 in appetizer, points plus, pork, snacks


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apple cider braised pork loin

Last week was quite a week.  The two highlights were a flat tire on the freeway and dislocating my shoulder (again!)   So I was sore and tired and I didn’t do something that I do every Sunday.  I didn’t make a meal-plan (I can hear the gasps).  Instead of knowing what I was going to cook every evening of the week, I was flying by the seat of my pants, throwing caution to the wind, not knowing what the next day would bring.  It was awful.  But I was too tired/sore to do anything about it!

So when my friend Kristina told me on about a dinner she had made the night before, I told her thank you, you have just helped me decide what to cook tonight.  She had even served the pork with my smashed potatoes on the side.

Apple Cider Braised Pork Loin

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 (2 lb.) boneless pork loin
  • 2 medium onions, vertically sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/4 inch slices (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried sage, or 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven.  Add pork and cook until well-browned on both sides.  Remove to a plate.  Add onions, carrots and celery to pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until onions are tender.  Stir in garlic, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Return pork and any juices to Dutch oven and pour cider over top.  Cover and simmer, basting occasionally, for 1 1/4 hours or until temperature on meat thermometer inserted in middle reaches 150 degrees F.  Remove roast from pan and let rest for 10 minutes.  Slice pork and serve with vegetables and pan sauce.

Using Weight Watcher’s Recipe Builder, if the entire recipe has 46 PointsPlus.  If you made 8 servings, each serving would have 6 PointsPlus.

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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in points plus, pork


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pork chops with mushrooms

Since you can’t have tenderloin every day, here is another great main dish with a mushroom sauce.  I love entrees with only 5 Weight Watcher PointsPlus!

Pork Chops with Mushrooms

  • 1 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 pork loin chops (with bone), trim all visible fat
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 10 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley

Season pork loin chops with salt and pepper.  In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.  Add pork chops to pan and saute for 7 minutes.  Turn chops over and cook until browned and internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.  Remove chops from pan and put in a warm spot.

Add onions to the pan and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add stock, mustard, and 1 tablespoon parsley, stirring constantly .  Add mushrooms and fresh black pepper and cook for 3 minutes.  Put the chops on a platter and pour the mushroom sauce over the meat.  Top with remaining parsley.

Recipe from Gina’s Skinny Recipes.  She calculated each serving as having 5 Weight Watcher PointsPlus.

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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in points plus, pork


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spaghetti carbonara

Here’s a little insight into how my mind works.  My husband returned home early from our vacation to the ocean, so I hadn’t seen him for 3 days and I was getting a little mushy thinking of him.  We’ve been together for 23 years and I think he’s the cat’s meow.   The peanut butter to my jelly.  The bacon to my eggs.  Mmmm….bacon and eggs.  Carbonara for dinner!

This is a classic Italian dish. I learned this from my father-in-law.  I believe this is his only bacon indulgence.  His preferred pork fat is prosciutto, which is really just delicate bacon.

This recipe is from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.  Marcella cautions eating undercooked eggs due to risk of Salmonella.  I thought I should pass it on. 🙂

Spaghetti Carbonara Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in pasta, points plus, pork


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dr. pepper shredded pork sandwich with slaw

My amazing husband ran the Seattle Rock ‘n Roll Marathon this morning, crossing the finish line at 3:42.  Even more amazing is the fact that due to a traffic jam near the drop-off, he actually added 4 miles to his total distance when he hopped out the car on the freeway off-ramp and ran/walked to the start.  30.2 miles!  He jokes that this is his first ultra-marathon.  The kids and I were able to cheer him on at mile 14 with a big “Go Marc” sign, and his dad met him around mile 18 for a brief chat.  He feels really good about his run, and we had a great time supporting him with his goal.

I decided today would be a great day to try this shredded pork sandwich.  Made in the crock pot, it’s perfect for a day when you are away from home but want to come back to a quick dinner.

I was intrigued with the idea of cooking the pork in Dr. Pepper.  I’ve read about roasting a chicken with Coca-Cola, so I figured this wasn’t too much of a stretch.  The recipe was extremely easy and very delicious.  The original recipe called for an entire can (11 ounces) of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, and I know from experience this is too much for me and my family.  I decreased it to 1 tablespoon.  Much milder, but still had a little hint of heat.  Kids loved it!

Marc reports that the sandwich was “awesome, and that’s not because I just ran a marathon”.  His comment makes me smile, because I still claim that the cafeteria at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, MA makes the best egg salad sandwich I’ve ever had (first thing I ate after being in labor for 3 days with our daughter).

Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork Sandwich Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in pork


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