Southern Style Pulled Pork (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Barbecue is my family’s all-occasion food. Holiday? Barbecue. Birthday? Barbecue. The weekend? Well, you get the picture.

This recipe is so easy, you’ll be making barbecue every chance you get too!

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Many times, you see barbecue done with a dry rub. While dry rubs are wonderful, I decided to go with a wet seasoning.

I started with a big, boneless pork shoulder, then the rest of it happens in a food processor or blender.

Place all of the seasoning mixture, except for the water, into your food processor. For the jalapeños, I seeded one half of it so that it would have some heat but not too much. If you like it spicy, feel free to leave the seeds and ribs on both sides, or remove them for a more mild flavor.

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Pulse until it forms a slightly thick paste.

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There will still be pieces of onion and jalapeño – that’s OK!

Place the pork shoulder directly into your Dutch oven, pour the wet rub over the pork and massage it all over.

Carefully pour (around the pork, not ON) in the water. Place the lid on your Dutch oven and place it into a pre-heated 300 degree oven.

This bad boy is going to cook low and slow for 4.5-5 hours with the lid on, then the lid comes off and it will continue cooking another 45 minutes to an hour.  The pork should have a dark outer bark when it’s done.

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Cooking the pork in the oven as opposed to the slow cooker gives you tender meat, while also having a crispy outer bark. The bark, to me, is one of the BEST parts. It’s crispy, flavorful, and a little smoky. The fat cooks down, making all of the meat perfectly tender. It’s the best of both worlds between a slow cooker and smoker.

Let the meat rest for about 10 minutes before shredding it between two forks.

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Serve immediately, or refrigerate for a make-ahead meal on a weeknight. Try it with my quick and easy Sweet & Spicy Paleo Barbecue Sauce!

Southern Style Pulled Pork (THM S)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: Prep, 10 minutes; Cook time, 6 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 2.5 – 3lb boneless pork shoulder
  • 1/4 c EVOO or liquid coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeño, halved (option to seed halfway, all the way, or not at all)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Pyure or THM Gentle Sweet
  • 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 Tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Place all seasoning ingredients, except for the water, into a food processor and pulse until a slightly thick paste forms.
  3. Place the pork into a large Dutch oven, pour the seasoning mixture over it and massage into the pork. Pour the water (around, not ON) into the pot with the pork.
  4. Cover and place into the oven for 4.5-5 hours.
  5. Remove the lid, place back into the oven for another 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before shredding between two forks.

 

 

Sweet & Spicy Paleo Barbecue Sauce (THM FP)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

You are going to love how quick, easy, and flavorful this barbecue sauce is!

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Growing up in the South, with family who knows their way around barbecue, I know barbecue sauce to be a little on the sweet side with a kick.

The ingredients are pretty straight forward, and it only takes about 30 minutes for this to cook down.

This sauce is perfect to throw together as your dinner cooks, or as a make-ahead, because this sauce only gets better with time.

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It’s perfectly dippable or spoonable, and has just the right amount of spice.

Sweet & Spicy Barbecue Sauce (THM FP)

  • Servings: Makes 1 pint of sauce
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients


Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pot and cook uncovered over medium heat until it reduces by about 2/3 and is slightly thickened.
  2. Serve warm or cool and store in an enclosed container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Chorizo & Veggie Egg Bake (THM S)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I love when I can make a large, family-style breakfast without a whole bunch of effort. This chorizo-egg bake is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner (BBLD) and it’s a crowd pleaser.

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Chorizo is my husband’s favorite, and sometimes I like for breakfast to have a little kick. It’s a spiced Mexican sausage you can find in bulk, or in casing. I like buying my sausage in bulk, so I have more choices as to its use. If you like something more mild, regular breakfast sausage will do just fine.

This is a great make ahead meal – I actually browned the sausage and veggies the night before, so the next morning all I had to do was heat up the oven and plop some eggs on top.

Usually I’ll make something like this as a frittata or casserole, but I enjoyed doing the baked whole eggs because it cooked a lot of eggs at once, and I still got to have runny yolks (which are my FAVORITE). You could also do this in individual ramekins using the same method.

Brown the sausage, zucchini, radishes, and bell pepper together in a big skillet until the sausage is cooked through. Stir in the black beans, then transfer to a baking dish and cool slightly.

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Make valleys in the meat mixture with the back of a spoon, so the eggs have a place to sit.

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Place the eggs on top and season with a little salt and pepper.

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Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes, or until the egg whites are set.

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Nom!

I served this over some chopped rainbow tomatoes and sliced avocados, but there are many more possibilities. Top with fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, or any other S-friendly topper your mind can dream up.

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Top with some fresh chopped cilantro, and you’re ready to serve!

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My favorite part about this whole meal…

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That beautiful, runny yolk coating the sausage and veggies, making its own little sauce.

The sausage lends a little spice, while you get some crunch with the veggies, and the fresh avocado cools it all down.

This egg bake will please the whole family!

Chorizo and Veggie Egg Bake (THM S)

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: Hands on 7-10 minutes, bake time 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1lb bulk chorizo sausage (or other breakfast sausage)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 bunch radishes, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 c black beans, drained and rinsed (sub cubed sweet potatoes for paleo, or additional vegetable)
  • 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • few dashes of hot sauce
  • 6 eggs (or one egg per person)
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • Toppings of choice: pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese, avocado, etc.
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Brown the sausage and veggies with the paprika and coriander in a large skillet until sausage is cooked through and veggies are tender.
  3. Add the meat to one large, or several individual, baking dishes and make valleys in the meat mixture with the back of a spoon. Add the eggs in the valleys, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes, or until egg whites are set.
  5. Top with fresh cilantro and serve immediately with toppings of choice.

One Pot New Orleans-Style Gumbo (THM S/E)

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

I’m a spicy gal and although I wasn’t born in Louisiana, creole cuisine of New Orleans speaks to me on a spiritual level.

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Gumbo is one of my favorite, warming meals because it’s spicy, hearty, and still packs a veggie punch. Also, this is one of those meals that you can cook (a bunch of) one night, and when you’re eating its leftovers a few nights later the flavor is even deeper – it only gets better with time! However, my favorite part of this meal is definitely that it only takes one (big) pot. Because I still hate doing dishes ^_^.

Start by heating a large Dutch oven over medium low heat, and add the sliced smoked sausage. I used andouille, which is a creole spicy sausage. If you’re not into the spice, any smoked sausage will do. Since it’s already cooked, you just want to sauté it enough to get some color and crispness on the outside.

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Take the sausage out, add some coconut oil if needed, and begin sautéing the cubed chicken. It doesn’t have to cook all the way through since it will simmer in the gumbo later. Just make sure it has some good color on it, and season with salt and pepper or a touch of Cajun seasoning.

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Take the chicken out, then start on the shrimp. I bought easy-peel shrimp from my fish counter at Sprouts, which are already deveined. You can keep the tails, or whole shell, on if you wish. I find it easier to remove the whole shell, tail included, prior to cooking. Add more coconut oil to the pan, if needed before adding the shrimp. Again, season with salt and pepper and sauté away. Cook them about 1 minute on each side, just to get good color. They won’t be fully cooked yet, but once you add them back to the gumbo they’ll finish cooking without becoming overcooked.

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Remove the shrimp. Next comes the vegetables! Don’t worry about the brown bits on the bottom of your Dutch oven – that’s flavor, and the stock we add later will pick it all up.

Chop some mirepoix – celery (leafy green parts included!), onion, green bell pepper, and garlic.

Add a touch more coconut oil, turn the heat down just a touch and add the vegetables. Sauté until onions just start to caramelize, about 5-7 minutes.

And, I’ll go ahead and tell you, I’m a bad Southerner – I greatly dislike okra. Unless it’s pureed, in a cookie, or otherwise hidden beyond recognition I cannot stomach it. HOWEVER. You are welcome to add okra to this lovely gumbo if it is your thing. If you do add it, go ahead and do so at this step.

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De-glaze the pan with one 15-oz can of fire roasted tomatoes. I like the smoky flavor of fire roasted tomatoes, but you’re welcome to use any kind you prefer. Mine also were seasoned with garlic and onion. Add in the chicken (or vegetable/seafood) stock, a bay leaf, sausage, chicken, Worcestershire sauce, and a few dashes of hot sauce. Place the lid on your pot and let it simmer for about 10-12 minutes.

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Once it’s finished simmering, turn off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pot, cover again and let stand for about 5-7 minutes. This will allow the shrimp to continue cooking through slowly.

Serve the gumbo as is or over a big pile of cauliflower rice. For my cauliflower rice, I pulsed half a large head of cauliflower in a food processor until it was in small pearls. Then I served it raw underneath the hot gumbo – easy peasy! I liked it raw because it didn’t become mushy from cooking and retained a nice textural contrast like rice.

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As is, the gumbo is a great S. However, if you want to have the rice and make it an E – that’s completely achievable. You can either choose a smoked turkey/chicken sausage with less fat, or leave it out completely and make this a chicken and shrimp gumbo – your call. Just make sure any time you’re adding coconut oil that you do so with a spray to keep the fat in check.

Either way you make it, this gumbo is a spicy, hearty, and delicious shake-up to your weekly routine. The leftovers just get better with time – this is a meal you can make on Monday and still enjoy on Friday.

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New Orleans Style Gumbo (THM S/E)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1-lb andouille sausage, sliced (or any smoked sausage – For E choose a chicken or turkey sawusage, or omit)
  • 1/2 lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 stalks celery, leafy greens included, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 c cut okra (optional)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 15-oz can fire roasted tomatoes seasoned with garlic and onion
  • 1 1/2 c chicken/vegetable/seafood stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • 1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 6-10 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • cauliflower rice (for S) or cooked brown rice (for E), for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and sauté the sliced sausage until browned and crispy. Remove to a plate.
  2. Add coconut oil, if needed, toss the chicken with a touch of Cajun seasoning and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate (with the sausage is fine).
  3. Toss the shrimp with salt and pepper, then brown for about 1 minute on each side. Remove to a plate with the chicken and sausage.
  4. Add more coconut oil, if needed, then begin sautéing the onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and okra (if using). Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions begin to caramelize.
  5. Add the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire, bay leaf, hot sauce, chicken, and sausage back to the pot. Cover and simmer on medium-low for about 10-12 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat, add the shrimp back to the pot, cover, and let stand for about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Serve over cauliflower rice, brown rice (for an E), or as is.

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Smokehouse Cowboy Burgers

Burgers are so much fun! If you have a husband who may not be fully on board with Trim Healthy Mama, just serve him this and tell him everything will be OK.

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Smoky Sriracha Barbecue Sauce (THM FP)

  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 Tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 Tsp GF Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 5 dashes liquid smoke
  • 2 Tsp apple cider vinegar
  • up to 1 Tsp Sriracha, or hot sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 -3 c water

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pot, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer over low heat for about an hour. When it’s reduced to the consistency you like, test for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Vidalia-Bacon Jam (THM S)

  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 12oz package bacon, diced
  • 1 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1 c whiskey (I used Evan Williams)
  • salt and pepper

Add diced onion to a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat. Simmer until onions are golden brown and slightly tender. Add salt, pepper, molasses, and bacon. Continue simmering until bacon is cooked. Add whiskey, continue simmering until alcohol is cooked off and mixture is reduced by about half.

Remove from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly. Add mixture to a food processor and pulse until a loose paste forms. Put it in a small bowl and let stand at room temperature.

Cowboy Burgers (THM S)

  • 1 1/2 lbs 85% beef
  • 1 Tsp GF Worcestershire sauce
  • 10 dashes hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp season salt (Your favorite sugar-free blend, I like something with garlic and celery salt)
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 egg

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl, and combine with your hands until the mixture just comes together. Form 4-5 patties, denting in the middle to prevent ballooning.

Place a cast iron pan or griddle over medium heat. Place the patties on the pan one by one, and leave them alone! No squishing, rearranging, or anything. Leave them alone for a good 2-3 minutes. When you start to see a good sear on the underside, flip them over, add cheddar cheese slices, and cook another 2-3 minutes. NOTE* I lightly vented my patties with a big lid and a splash of water to get the cheese fully melted.

Remove the burgers from the heat, add bacon jam and barbecue sauce. You can keep this bunless on pile it high on some romaine, or you can do an S-friendly bun.

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Less Time, More Flavor

Y’all already know that my girl, Rachael Ray, and I are besties.

I have more than a few of her cookbooks, and over this last week I found myself looking for inspiration the old-fashioned way – in a book. I’ve flagged a ton of recipes, and only tried a few (much like Pinterest, no?). So, as a challenge to myself, I’m trying new recipes every week.

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Enter fishwiches.

We’ve all had a fish sandwich, right? Usually something fried, and a bit on the heavy side.

This one is a game changer.

Everything about it is bright, fresh, and hearty. The homemade sauces are what make it. I even upgraded the ketchup! Traditional ketchup off the shelf is packed with  sugar, so I’ve stopped buying it (much to my children’s dismay). I built that one from the ground up, and the store gave me some help with the mayo.

[Recipe adapted From Rachael Ray’s Just in Time Cookbook, Grilled Fish Sammies.]

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Grilled Fishwiches with Garlic Aioli and Bloody Ketchup (THM E)

  • 1 lb halibut filets, skin removed
  • Sprouted sandwich  buns
  • Sandwich toppings: lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, etc.
  • 1/4 c light mayo
  • 1 Tsp capers, lightly chopped
  • 1 Tsp fresh  chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 bag frozen sweet potato fries (I used waffle style)
  • 1/4 c tomato paste
  • 1/4 c water
  • 2 Tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 packets Truvia, or Gentle Sweet
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp (up to 1 Tsp) prepared horseradish
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • salt and pepper

For the garlic aioli, combine light mayo, capers, lemon, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine, and set in the fridge.

For the ketchup, whisk the water and tomato paste until well combined. Adjust the water as needed, adding a little at a time. Too thick, add more water. Add the apple cider vinegar, salt, and sweetener. Adjust until you achieve the regular “ketchup” flavor you like. Then add the Worcestershire, horseradish, hot sauce, and taste for salt and pepper. Set that in the fridge until go time.

Begin by cooking the fries according to package directions. For my THMers, I place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, to avoid having to spray. You can gloss them with a small spritz of coconut oil if you like. Also, one of my best tips (especially for summer cooking) is to throw those puppies in the oven before it’s preheated. Your cooking time will be less, and you won’t have to crank the temperature way up to get them done sooner.

For the fish, preheat a cast iron (or outdoor) grill to medium heat, and spray lightly with coconut oil. Season the fish simply with salt and pepper. Place the filets on the hot grill, and grill until they cook through (about 3-4 minutes on each side for my 3/4 in. filets).

After the filets are done cooking, slice the sandwich rolls and place them cut-side down on the warm grill to lightly toast.

Build your sandwich with the toppings of your choice (I’m a lettuce, tomato, onion gal) and a smear of garlic aioli. Serve it up with your crunchy fries and bloody ketchup.

If you’ve never tried halibut, DO NOT BE AFRAID. This was my first time cooking and eating halibut and I can honestly say I loved it. My creatures loved it too! Plus, it was super easy to work with. And on a busy weeknight, what more can you ask for?

And P.S., the leftovers are just as good the next day!

Pretty Fast Po Boy

Shrimp is one of my main go-to proteins during the week. It’s easy to make, and takes very little hands-on time.

And, honestly, what’s faster to make than a sandwich?

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Grilled Shrimp Po Boy with Spicy Remoulade (THM E)

  • 1-2lbs peeled and deveined shrimp with tails removed
  • Sprouted sandwich buns or sourdough
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Toppings for sandwich: lettuce, tomato, onion, etc.
  • 3 Tsp low fat mayo
  • 4-5 dashes hot sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Cajun seasoning

Place shrimp in a colander to remove any excess water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Season liberally with Old Bay and a few pinches of salt and toss to coat. Place shrimp on a preheated grill sprayed lightly with coconut oil. Grill 2-3 minutes on each side, until firm and cooked through.

Place the bun halves onto the grill to lightly toast them.

For the remoulade, combine mayo, hot sauce, lemon juice, and Cajun seasoning in a small bowl.

Spread about 1 tsp of the sauce onto one half of your bun and add the cooked shrimp and any toppings you like.

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If you want more than one sandwich, keep the sides nonstarchy. If you only want one, you can serve with sweet potato fries.

NOM.

 

Crockpot Barbecue Brisket

I love barbecue. I come from a long line of Southerners who know their stuff when it comes to barbecue.

Even though I don’t have the family-secret sauce recipe, I can still create something amazing.

However, I’m a little scant on supplies. I don’t have an outdoor grill or smoker, which are normally quintessential to barbecuing, and it’s *WAY* too hot to even think about turning the oven on for hours.

Enter in crockpot.

I love my crockpot for so many reasons. Mainly because it cooks everything for me, and I don’t have to lift a finger. The trick to tender brisket is to go at it low and slow, the crockpot’s specialty.

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Originally, I envisioned this as a saucy barbecue with a beautiful bourbon-based sauce over top.

However, as my husband put it, “The brisket has such a strong, deep flavor it really doesn’t need sauce.”

I,  on the other hand, thought the sauce balanced out the slight bitterness from the coffee.

In the end, he enjoyed his sauceless and I enjoyed mine tossed in sauce.

Crockpot Barbecue Brisket (THM S)

Serves 4

  • 2.5lbs brisket
  • 1 Tsp ground coffee
  • 1 Tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1-2 tsp chipotle chile powder (it packs the heat, so use it wisely)
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Mix the dry spices (except bay leaf) together in a small bowl. Remove the brisket from its packaging and pat dry with paper towels. Take the dry rub by the handful, and begin massaging it into all sides of the brisket. You don’t want it to just sit on top of the meat, you want to infuse the meat with flavor so don’t be ginger about it.

Once the meat is well seasoned, put it fat-side-up into your crockpot and place the bay  leaf on top. Set the crockpot to low and let it go for 8-10 hours.

Bourbon Barbecue Sauce (THM FP)

  • 1 8-0z can tomato sauce
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c whiskey (something GOOD that you would want to drink)
  • 2 Tsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp blackstrap molasses
  • 1-2 Tsp Swerve, or Gentle Sweet
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • scant 1 Tsp minced dried onion
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pot over medium heat uncovered. TIP* I open the tomato sauce first, and then use it as my measuring cup for other liquids. Also, spray your spoon with coconut oil before measuring the molasses – it will help it not stick.

Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. The mixture will reduce down and become thick and rich. Try not to judge the taste too much at the beginning. Do most of your adjustment at the end, when the flavor has had a chance to develop.

When the brisket is finished cooking, shred it between 2 forks and leave it to soak in the cooking juices with the lid off the crockpot.

Serve with or without sauce and your favorite “S” sides – I did sliced fresh tomatoes (a Southerner’s weakness) and steamed buttered broccoli.

Happy barbecuing!

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One Pan Wonder

I have to be brutally honest – I am not a sausage person. It’s always presented a textural issue for me as being unpleasant.

HOWEVER.

Sausage with other things…not so strange.

This was my first attempt at gumbo, and it certainly was not a bad one. I’m not sure why I was hesitant to try it, maybe it seemed to labor-intensive, but this quickie version is certain to satisfy.

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One-Pan Gumbo (THM S)

  • 1 package fully cooked andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 lb chicken tenders, cubed
  • 1 cup cooked shrimp (I used some  leftover from the grill the night before; they added a wonderful “smoke” flavor)
  • 1 can seasoned diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 stalks celery, with leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • hot sauce
  • salt and pepper

Start by browning the sausage in a large, deep skillet with a pat of butter. When the sausage has good color, remove it into a bowl. Add 1 Tsp butter or coconut oil and cook the chicken through. Once it’s cooked, remove it into a bowl (the same one with the sausage is fine).

Add more butter or coconut oil if needed, and begin to cook the celery, bell pepper, and onion with salt, pepper, and the bay leaf.

Once the veggies have become tender, add the tomatoes and cooked meats (not shrimp yet) back into the pan. Add hot sauce, Old Bay, and salt and pepper if needed. Simmer everything together for about 5 minutes, then add the shrimp and cook another 1-2 minutes.

You can serve this over cauliflower rice to give it more of a gumbo feel. I loved it just piled up in a big bowl.

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Creamy Shrimp Fra Diavolo

You can probably gather by the name, “Diavolo,” that this meal has a bit of a kick. However, the spice level can be customized to your tastes.

Traditionally, this sauce is a spicy red sauce, and this time I gave it a little extra wink by adding in some cream.

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You can even take a shortcut by using your favorite (no sugar added) jarred marinara and adding red pepper flakes to it, which is what I did. Usually, I love making my own marinara but there are times that I don’t have the time for it.

If you do have time to make your own marinara, go for it!

Creamy Shrimp Fra Diavolo (THM S)

  • 1lb large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store bought
  • 1/3 c heavy cream or half and half
  • parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 medium zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan, add garlic, salt and pepper, and a small pinch of red pepper flakes. When the butter is melted, add the shrimp and saute on medium heat until cooked through (about 2-3 minutes, depending on size of shrimp). Set the shrimp aside, leaving as much butter in the pan as possible.

To the same pan, add the zucchini noodles with salt, pepper, and another small pinch of red pepper flakes and saute on low heat until desired tenderness. I like mine al dente, so I only saute to heat them through  (about 3 minutes). Set the zoodles aside.

Add the marinara sauce to the same pan with the cream and a small pinch of red pepper flakes. Heat through on low for about 4 minutes, stirring  constantly. When the sauce is heated, add the zoodles back to the pan with a sprinkle of cheese and toss to combine. Add the zoodles to a bowl, top with shrimp and a little more cheese.

Even with the 3 pinches of red pepper flakes, this dish was not very spicy. My kids were fine with the spice level, and to me I only tasted a little tickle of the red pepper. It was perfect though! I think the first time I made this dish, I was more aggressive with the spice as if I was trying to burn my lips off my face. Less is more!