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)


  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.

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.

Slow Cooker Glazed Pork Roast with Carrots and Corn

I loved this one! Plus it literally was less than 5 minutes to put together in the crockpot! No veggie prep at all, since it is just a bag of baby carrots and a bag of corn!

Comes from the beloved Betty Crocker! I did follow some reviews and kept the corn separate.

Slow Cooker Glazed Pork Roast with Carrots and Corn

1 boneless pork shoulder roast (3 lb)
1 bag (1 lb) ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers Niblets® frozen corn

  1. If pork roast comes in netting or is tied, remove netting or strings. Remove fat from pork. In 3- to 4-quart slow cooker, place pork. Arrange carrots around and on top of pork. In small bowl, mix 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, the honey, vinegar and seasoned salt; pour over pork and carrots.
  2. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.
  3. Remove pork and vegetables from cooker; place on serving platter. Cover to keep warm.
  4. In small bowl, mix 2/3 cup barbecue sauce and the flour; gradually stir into juices in cooker. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
  5. Meanwhile cook corn as directed. Serve sauce over pork and vegetables.

Hearty Ham Casserole

We had lots of leftover (delicious!) ham from Sunday, so I set out in search of a way to use the leftovers.  Found this recipe, and didn’t have all the ingredients, so modified as follows.  It was delicious!  Definitely a keeper!

Hearty Ham Casserole

2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 (15.25 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 cups O’Brien HashBrown Potatoes
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine the first three ingredients and 1/2 cup cheese; set aside. In a saucepan, saute potatoes in butter for until tender; stir in flour until blended. Gradually add milk and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; pour over the ham mixture and stir until combined. Transfer to a greased 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Crockpot Cranberry Pork Roast

I got this recipe several years ago from my aunt.  I finally made it the day after Christmas when Chad’s parents came over to see all Maria’s presents.

It was super easy and very delicious!  I loved the sweet cranberry gravy it made. Very good with mashed potatoes!

Cranberry Pork Roast

2 1/2-3 # pork loin roast
16 oz jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp ground clove
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp water (cold)
salt (to taste)

Place pork roast in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mash cranberry sauce; stir in sugar, cranberry juice, mustard and cloves. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove roast and keep warm.

Skim fat from juices; measure 2 cups adding water if necessary, and pour into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Combine cornstarch and cold water to make a paste; stir into gravy. Cook and stir until thickened. Season with salt. Serve with sliced pork (and mashed potatoes!)

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Fajitas

Since I knew we were going to be gone most of the afternoon, I thought a crock-pot meal would be the best and easiest way to get dinner on the table tonight.  I found this recipe through bettycrocker.com and only changed it up, because I couldn’t find frozen stir-fry bell peppers at the grocery store. I substituted fresh bell peppers instead. Oh – and I just realized I forgot to add the salt.

It was very good (although a bit drippy) and with just the two of us (Maria ate separately and went to bed before we ate) made plenty for leftovers later this week and some in the freezer for future.   And I will definitely make this again. I like that it can cook for 10 hours, so it’ll work for days I’m working!

Slow Cooker Barbecued Pulled-Pork Fajitas

1 pork boneless loin roast, (2 1/2 pounds), trimmed on fat
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cups barbecue sauce
3/4 cup salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder
1teaspoon ground cumin
2-3 sliced bell peppers (or 1 bag (1 pound) frozen stir-fry bell peppers and onions)
1/2 teaspoon salt
18 flour tortillas (8 to 10 inches in diameter)
Shredded cheese, if desired
Guacamole, if desired
Sour cream, if desired

  1. Place pork in 3- to 4-quart slow cooker. Place onion on top. Mix barbecue sauce, salsa, chili powder and cumin in small bowl; pour over pork and onion.
  2. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 8 to 10 hours.
  3. Remove pork from cooker; place on cutting board. Shred pork, using 2 forks. Return pork to cooker and mix well. Stir in stir-fry vegetables and salt. Increase heat setting to High. Cover and cook 30 minutes or until mixture is hot and vegetables are tender.
  4. Using slotted spoon to remove pork mixture from cooker, fill each tortilla with 1/2 cup pork mixture. Fold one end of tortilla up about 1 inch over filling; fold right and left sides over folded end, overlapping. Fold remaining end down. Serve with cheese, guacamole and sour cream.


Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Chops

First off – Don’t forget to vote!!!

Now to the recipe: on Sunday we had dinner with Chad’s whole family. His mom made an extra pan of potatoes (cheesy) just for Chad to bring home, because they are his favorite. So yesterday, I wanted to incorporate them into our dinner, but didn’t have time to get to the store.

After some brief research at allrecipes.com, I decided I could serve them up with pork chops.

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Chops

4 extra thick pork chops*
18+ oz BBQ sauce
1/2 large onion, sliced
1/2-1 green pepper sliced

Add all ingredients to crockpot, layering BBQ sauce and vegetables between pork chops. Cook 6-10* hours on low.

*My pork chops were frozen when I put them in this morning, so I cooked them the full 10 hours, but I like that since that is about how long I am away during the weekdays.


Cranberry Pork Chops

I originally found this recipe of the September issue of Parents magazine.  It was very good. Unfortunately I did not have the foresight to take a picture before consumption… maybe when I reheat the leftovers I’ll see if I can manage some presentation… depending if a certain toddler is around to distract me.

I was unable to find the rice blend they recommended (I found the brand, just not that flavor), so I substituted Vigo White and Wild Rice.

Was the recipe easy to follow?

Yes! It was very easy. Just a few simple ingredients (only 1 measurement, since I eyeball’ed the oil).  And just a few dirty dishes: 1 pan for the rice, a skillet for the pork chops, a measuring cup, a spatula, and a spoon. Oh, and I guess a knife and cutting board for the onion, but I did that the night before.

Did the dish taste good?

Yes, it was very very good. Good fall flavor. The rice was excellent. I will probably get that to go with other dishes again. Love the cranberries with a hint of orange on the pork chops.

Would you make it again?

Most definitely. It is a really quick but hearty weeknight meal.  I basically put the rice on to cook, and then started the rest. It took a total of about 25 minutes.  Bonus!!

Cranberry Pork Chops

1  package (5.4 ounce) Near East Whole Grain Blends, Roasted Pecan & Garlic (or other rice blend)
1  tablespoon vegetable oil
1  medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
4  boneless pork-loin chops, cut 1 inch thick
Salt and pepper
1  can (16 ounce) whole cranberry sauce
1/4  cup orange juice


1. Cook whole-grain blend (a mixture of brown rice and pearled wheat) according to the package directions.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Season pork chops with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes.

3. Stir cranberry sauce and orange juice into skillet. Head just to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 5 to 7 minutes more. Serve pork with whole grains and fruit sauce.


Four Bean Medley

Our 4th of July for the past 3 years has consisted of a grill-out potluck at our house. I always try to cover all the areas since it’s potluck and I don’t want a big gap in the spread. This year I decided to try making beans in the crockpot. These were very good. Frying all the bacon was a pain, I think I should have diced all the bacon before frying… original recipe and mine…

Four Bean Medley

8 bacon strips, diced
2 medium onions, quartered and sliced
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 (28 ounce and 16 ounce) cans baked beans, undrained
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can butter beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen green beans, partially thawed


1. In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings; set bacon aside.
2. Saute onions in drippings until tender. Stir in brown sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard and garlic powder. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until onions are golden brown.
3. Combine the beans in a slow cooker. Add onion mixture and bacon; mix well. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until the beans are tender. Serve with a slotted spoon.