Cooking Method: Crock-Pot

Slow Cooker Pork Roast

I love, love LOVE Chinese barbecued pork. I will drive 30 miles for really good stuff at a restaurant. I love it so much I even make it myself. But it's a bit of a hassle, a tad drippy, and I have to scrub my roasting rack of sticky goo afterwards. YUCK!

So I was beyond happy when I found this simple recipe using my favorite kitchen utensil ... the crock pot. The only drawback ... you need a gravy separator to get rid of the fat that accumulates during cooking. I actually shredded the pork, put it in a ziploc bag, and refrigerated both it and the sauce. Then I skimmed off and discarded the congealed fat from the top, reheated the sauce, added the broth mixed with cornstarch, and stirred with a whisk until thickened. I added the cornstarch to this recipe because I like a thicker sauce; you can leave it out if you want. And the gravy separator went on my must-have shopping list for my next sojourn.

This is so versatile that I've used it as an entree atop some steamed veggies and Carrot-and-Pea Fried Rice (see recipe), as the traditional meat part of a meal with potatoes and salad, and in the pictured TERRIFIC kid-pleasing sandwich-potato tot combo using a gluten-free hamburger bun (Canyon Bakehouse) and GF tots (Trader Joe's) with Thousand Island dressing (you can use any GF dressing or ketchup you desire).

The recipe comes from Hello Healthy via myfitnesspal.com, my wonderful food-record phone app. THANK YOU BOTH!

By Jill Place

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 8 hrs

Slow Cooker Spaghetti and Meatballs

Who doesn't love and often crave comfort-food spaghetti and meatballs on a regular basis. This terrific recipe is almost verbatim from one of my all-time fave online Gluten-Free resources, Nicole Hunn of glutenfreeonashoestring.com. Who adapted it from Fine Cooking. My add-ons ... 1/2 tsp. culinary lavender finely ground in my mortar and pestle (or a spice mill) and added along with the dried spices and herbs at the beginning of cooking as dried ones fare much better with crock pots and long cook times. As well as a finishing of chopped, fresh herbs added 5 to 10 minutes before the end of cooking for a more layered flavor.

Don't be put off by the long ingredient list; they're mostly herbs and spices and the whole thing comes together rather quickly. And the meatballs are unbelievably light and mouthwatering even when frozen! I like to freeze two each (they're large!) with some sauce in individual containers and reheat the amount I need for 2 to 3 minutes in the microwave while my Gluten-Free pasta is cooking. Bon appetito!

By Jill Place

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 6 hrs

Jill’s Slow-Cooker Split Pea Soup

Who doesn't like split-pea soup! And this is my all-time fave recipe adapted from a very old crock-pot cookbook. Adapted to my own food sensitivities. But I'll give you the regular ingredients in parentheses. This makes a very thick and flavorful stew-like brew. And the added sausage ... MWAH!

As I'm sensitive, to onion, I substitute all recipes calling for it with fennel. When it's cooked, it has the consistency of onion and a much milder flavor than its raw counterpart. It's a little bit more expensive but definitely worth it. I'm also sensitive to celery (who would have thunk it?) so I omit it, add more of the veggies I do use (like more carrots here) and a few more grindings of salt. Believe me ... you don't miss anything in this highly flavorful soup!

By Jill Place

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 8 hrs

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