Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

This was dinner.  So delicious.  I ate it over Zoodles (zucchini noodles) and the kids ate it with whole wheat spaghetti.  Maria thought it was great that I put her vegetables right in the sauce!  I was just happy that the kids ate it.  The first time I think they’ve eaten homemade sauce without complaints… plus there was no added sugar.  I figured the carrots and the fire-roasted tomatoes would add enough sweetness. PLUS this was totally Whole 30 compliant!

Just a couple minor tweaks from the original that I found at  Wellness Witness
Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce #whole30

Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce

2 onions, chopped
3 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup chopped carrots
2 lbs ground beef
3- 28oz cans crushed FIRE-ROASTED tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp. basil (dried)
1 tsp. onion powder
12 oz frozen spinach*

In large skillet, heat up the Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Medium-High heat. Add
the carrots, onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink.  Once done, drain fat and then add to a large slow cooker.

Add all other ingredients and stir. Cook for 8-9 hours on low.

This makes LOTS!  It is probably 3-4 meals total.  I love having a stocked up freezer!

*I found a bag of frozen spinach at Trader Joe’s.. it wasn’t as mushy as the traditional frozen box, you typically find…

 

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Porketta with Homemade BBQ Sauce

This has been a favorite recipe for a while.  And definitely makes the rotation regularly.  Also great for birthday parties.

My recipe is based on a conglomeration of other Porketta recipes, I found, plus my love of the crockpot.   And since I’m doing it with the Whole30, I paired it with my variation of this homemade BBQ sauce.  So good.  Pictured below with broccoli slaw (sauteed in olive oil) and homemade baked sweet potato fries.  Technically this is not following all the Whole 30 Rules (because fries…) but all the ingredients are compliant, and I needed this yumminess tonight (Day 16!)

Also good with a bottled BBQ sauce and buns.  My kids like it with ketchup. 

NOTE:  add a sliced avocado for yumminess, and the good fat!

Porketta with homemade BBQ sauce #whole30

Crockpot Porketta

1 boneless pork shoulder roast (2 1/2-3 pounds)
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon dried celery seed
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-3 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Cut about five deep slits across top of roast. Rub olive oil on roast.
  2. Combine seasonings; stuff some into the slits. and rub into roast.
  3. Cook in crockpot for 10-12 hours on Low.

Homemade BBQ Sauce

1 can tomato paste (6oz)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup unsweetened 100% apple sauce
1 tbsp coconut aminos
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
a few dashes hot sauce to taste (I like Trader Joe’s hot pepper sauce)

Instructions

  1. Whisk all ingredients together and store in a mason jar in the fridge. It should stay good to use for about one month.

NOTE: Original recipe called for Chipotle Powder (I did not have this) and Balsamic Vinegar, which I inadvertently left out!  Oops – but it was still good.

Sweet Potato Chili

Since I love chili and I love sweet potatoes!  And since my traditional chili is not Whole30 compliant (beans).  I went in search for a new recipe.  And found this great one from tastesoflizzyt.com

I did make a few tweaks, based on what I know I like.  But not much, And it was good!  I cooked it in the crockpot.
Sweet Potato Chili #whole30

Sweet Potato Chili

  • 2 lbs. hamburger
  • 1 /2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 large can (29.5 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2-3 cups of fire-roasted tomatoes (do NOT drain)
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 3 carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 5 small sweet potatoes*, peeled and cubed (about 4-5 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • dash of oregano
  • dash of red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, brown hamburger, onions and garlic. Drain off the fat.
  2. Add the ground beef and other ingredients, to your crockpot and let it simmer on low all day (8-10 hours) or on high for 4-5 hours.

*I bought cubed sweet potatoes in Targets produce section. Made this super easy to throw together

Lasagna Soup

I found this recipe earlier this week on Pinterest and made a few tweaks, including cooking it in the crockpot. Super yummy! Photo and Original Recipe from joyfulhomemaking.com

 

 Lasagna Soup

1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes with garlic, oregano & basil
1 pound of ground beef, cooked with dried minced onion and drained
32 ounces of pasta sauce (I used Kirkland’s Marinara)
1 teaspoon of Italian blend seasoning
2 cups of beef broth
1 cup of water
1 to 1-1/2 cups of uncooked pasta
Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella or Provolone cheese

First, brown your ground beef with minced dried onion and drain. Add meat to crockpot. Then add tomatoes, the pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, broth and water. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Add the pasta the last 30-40 minutes.

The soup is ready when the pasta is cooked. Serve with Parmesan cheese and/or mozzarella or Parmesan cheese.

Slow Cooker Breakfast Quinoa

I am not always a lover of quinoa, but in an effort to up my protein in the morning I decided to try cooking it for breakfast.  As part of my efforts to add healthy fats to my diet overall, I decided to cook it in coconut milk.  And then because I don’t want to get up early to cook breakfast, I decided to cook it in my slow cooker.  And what I got was delicious!  Especially when I added fresh blueberries!  I made this on Monday night, and reheated it the rest of the week.  It was so good, even reheated.

Breakfast Quinoa

Slow Cooker Breakfast Quinoa

1 cup quinoa (rinsed, if it is not pre-rinsed)
1 can coconut milk (I used full-fat – found in the Asian food section)
2 tbsp raw sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
fresh blueberries
butter or coconut oil

Lightly grease crockpot with butter or coconut oil. Add all remaining ingredients, except blueberries.  Stir.  Cook overnight on low for 7-9 hours.  Serve with blueberries.

I cooked this in a small 2 quart crockpot. If you do not have one that small, I would recommend using a bowl inside of the crockpot with water to create a water bath (read how this is done at Mommy’s Kitchen)

Crockpot Pulled-Pork Tacos

Wow, I thought these were so delicious.  Definitely a nice twist on my typical tacos. The sauce has a bit of cocoa in them so they have a slight mole flavor.

Pulled Pork Tacos

The original recipe called for pork shoulder, but I used thick boneless pork chops, because that is what I had in the freezer.  Served on corn tortilla with sour cream (soy version for me & Maria), avocado & lettuce.  The kids also had cheese (substitute).  I then went back for seconds, but had it just with lettuce, black beans, corn and avocado with some tortilla chips.  Both was good. I really loved the flavor…

Crockpot Pulled-Pork Tacos

24 oz jar of salsa
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 boneless pork
corn tortillas
toppings: sour cream, avocado, cheese, lettuce, corn, black beans, chips, whatever you desire

  1. In crockpot, combine the salsa, chili powder, oregano, cocoa and salt.  Add the pork, turn to coat.
  2. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily.  On high 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
  3. About 15 minutes before serving, remove the pork and shred. Return to cooking liquid and stir.

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

So good!  I loved this too.

 

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

Ingredients:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 5
Salt and pepper
1 cup of honey
1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Cornstarch
Sesame seeds

  1. Place the chicken thighs in the crockpot insert and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, ketchup, oil, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine well. Pour over the chicken in the crockpot.
  3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or high for 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours.
  4. When done, remove chicken from stock pot and cut into chunks. Prior to putting the chicken back in the stockpot, combine some cornstarch in water and whisk it into the crockpot to thicken up the sauce a bit. Throw the chicken back in and stir around to recoat the chicken in the sauce.
  5. Serve hot over a bed of white rice (optional) and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.