Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Delicious Clean Eating Slow-Cooker Italian Pot Roast

As I promised, I have another clean eating recipe for you. This week's recipe is Williams-Sonoma Italian Pot Roast. This is my go-to recipe for pot roast. I discovered this little gem of a recipe in my Williams-Sonoma Slow Cooker cookbook several years ago. I love this cookbook! Even though they no longer sell this particular cookbook you can find this recipe at Williams
I made this recipe three times and all three times I have changed something about the method. My first attempt I omitted the red wine. I followed the recipe but it didn't seem to have enough flavor. During my second try, I decided to use left over red wine (whats that?) and came out with an even less flavorful dish. As they say, the third time is a charm. I found my groove and figured out how to make the dish flavorful, the meat moist and the end result something I am proud of. I dropped the flour from the dish altogether and added salt and pepper to the slow cooker instead of only the flour mixture. After all, I like to have leftovers for a second meal and if it doesn't taste good hot off the pot then it REALLY won't once it's reheated. This is the best Italian Pot Roast recipe ever!

Delicious Italian Pot-Roast

4 lbs (or about) Boneless beef chuck (I used bottom round)
1/4 cup Olive oil
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Dry Red Wine (make sure it tastes good otherwise it will make your meat taste bad, too)
1 can Organic Roasted Tomatoes
1 TBSP Oregano
1 Packet Stevia
2 Bay leaves
1 TBSP Basil
1 TBSP each Salt and Pepper

Deglazing with Red Wine
Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. I used a cast iron skillet which holds heat well, so medium heat was fine for browning my roast. Place the beef in the pan and brown on all sides about 2-3 minutes on each side but no longer than 8 minutes total, just enough to leave pieces of meat on the bottom of the pan. Once all sides are browned, remove the meat and place in your slow-cooker. Leave the pan on medium heat. Add some oil to the pan if there isn't any and throw in the garlic. Saute just until you can smell the garlic. Stir about one minute. Add the red wine. Deglaze the pan. Use a spatula to pull up the bits and pieces of meat left on the bottom of the pan from browning. The liquid should be bubbling.

Once you have stirred all the bits off the bottom of the pan, pour over the roast in the slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, sugar, bay leaves and basil over the top of the roast. At this time, I add a little fresh ground salt and pepper. Cover and cook, depending on your slow-cooker, 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. I cooked mine for 6 hours on low. I like to fix this in the morning and forget it. Simple, easy and delicious!

Italian Pot Roast
Once the roast is done cooking, transfer to a plate and slice. Then spoon the sauce from the slow cooker over the roast. Serve this tasty Italian Pot Roast with Warm Arugula Salad. Make this delectable warm salad by heating olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic in a skillet, add a package of organic arugula and sautéing just until the arugula is slightly wilted. Transfer the arugula to a bowl and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Serve immediately. This is delicious and won't challenge your waistline! You'll feel better for it!
Happy Cooking,
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Clean Eating Recipe 1# Mini Prosciutto Frittatas

I love clean eating, so my recipes will follow that guideline. My other stipulation is the recipe must have ingredients that I think will taste good. If there is one thing I learned about food while living in Hawaii for 7 years, it was healthy, clean, food can taste GREAT. So here goes.

Clean eating is defined as foods that are whole, unprocessed and as free as possible of unnatural substances such as sugar, sweeteners and trans fats. While my recipe uses pasteurized egg whites which some would argue is not considered "clean", separated egg whites could be used. The prosciutto, which was left over from another meal, is just the pork and a little salt for curing. Making sure the recipe was a clean recipe meant I skipped the shredded cheese which is traditionally in frittatas, too. I did use non-stick spray but you could easily use the silicone muffin cups or muffin tin to make sure they don't stick to make this recipe even more "clean".

Technically these are individual frittatas. Frittatas are my go-to breakfast, especially when we have guests in town. They are quick, easy, tasty and healthy. I love them because they are simply eggs, milk, and whatever meat and/or veggies you want. That's it, they are that easy.

You can pretty much add whatever you like to frittatas. You could add chopped mushrooms, peppers, onions, kale, spinach, asparagus, etc, etc, etc. The possibilities are endless!! This is the reason I love frittatas. They are so versatile. You can even customize each muffin cup and let the kiddos choose their own "toppings". Plus the munchkins think they are getting muffins, salty muffins, but muffins. They enjoyed their muffins with strawberry jam. A trick courtesy of Maverick. But I'll take mine plain with a side of fruit, thank you.

Here is my clean eating egg recipe:

Healthy, Tasty and "Clean" Egg Muffin Mini Frittatas

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray non-stick muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or use silicone cups or muffin tin.

3 slices of prosciutto, chopped
1/4 cup Fat Free Organic Milk
6 whole eggs
1/2 cup Egg Beaters, 100% Egg Whites or just separate 6 eggs keeping only the whites
1TSP Garlic Salt, more or less to your taste
Fresh Ground Pepper
Pinch of Salt-Free Herb/Spice Seasoning of your choice

Beat the eggs and spices together. Place a little prosciutto in the bottom of each muffin cup. Pour eggs over top to about 3/4 full. Stir each cup lightly with a fork just to get the prosciutto to mix. Place in oven for 15 minutes. If they are slightly brown on top they are done. If not, leave them in another few minutes. Once done, gently loosen each with a knife and enjoy immediately. The first batch was gone that morning and the second batch, pictured on the left, I placed in the refrigerator and heat for about 15 seconds in the microwave every morning. Since there is about one egg per cup this mean each cup has about 6 grams of protein. Eat two egg muffin frittatas for breakfast and you start your day with 12 grams of protein! Add some fruit and what a way to start your day. Clean eating is only a recipe away!

Try this recipe and let me know how it turns out for you. Happy cooking, everyone!