As I have been checking in on all the blogs I follow this past week, it seems everyone is all about the new year, new resolutions, new diet, etc. I am about a week late with my happy new year post, but here it is. Getting back into my daily routine has been much harder than I anticipated. I can't, for the life of me, get out of bed in the morning. Brian has to kick me and remind me that I have to leave in ten minutes or I'll be late! I don't know what it is, I'm just so tired these days. And just to crush any rumors for those of you who think like my mother, no, I'm not pregnant! (She asks me that every time I mention I have a symptom that could be linked to pregnancy.) Last week was a busy one so I hardly cooked at all. We played host to three of Brian's friends visiting from out of town. I offered to cook, but we ended up going out to eat. So this week, I vowed to cook everyday!
I did make a little resolution to eat a little healthier this year, and if I happen to lose weight in the process then so be it! As much as I love cooking with butter, I thought I'd search out some healthy, week night recipes. I came upon the Cooking Light website and found quite a few recipes that would be perfect. Their recipes list nutrition information for every recipe, I loved that. We tried out the first recipe tonight and it was a success. Not only was it on the healthy side, it was a slow cooker recipe! I love those, I put it together the night before, Brian turns it on in the morning, I turn it off when I get home, and we eat an hour or two later. Little clean up and super delicious meals.
We love stir fry, and we usually do it with chicken, so I thought this pork would be a great way to change it up. The thing about this recipe is that it called for a few things I didn't have and didn't want to spend money on because I didn't know if I'd use them again, or enough to make it worth the purchase. So I googled how to substitute them and and used whatever I had on hand. I'm sure my version might be different from what the actual recipe should taste like, but we weren't complaining or missing any flavor.
The first substitute I made was for hoisin sauce. I actually meant to buy this, but kind of forgot, so google time. I found out that hoisin is an integral part of Chinese cooking and is the basis for a lot of their flavors. The flavor is combination of sweet, salty and spicy. This is the substitute I found:
- 5 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper powder
- 2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon hot chili sauce
- 1½ teaspoon honey
- 3 tablespoon peanut butter
Of course I didn't have all of these either, so I just mixed together what I did have and added it to the sauce. I didn't have light soy sauce, white pepper powder or hot chili sauce. I did substitute in chili powder for the hot chili sauce though, and I think it added the same amount of heat. Click on the link to find other substitutes.
The second substitute I had to make was for 5 spice. I wasn't sure exactly what 5 spice was, turns out it's not named for five spices used in it, but for its five flavors: sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty. The recipe only calls for 1/2 tsp, so I figured it couldn't be that big of a deal to substitute. I used cayenne, salt, cinnamon & ground cloves, equal parts of all, and added it to the marinade.
Now don't let all my substitutions, or new ingredients, throw you off, this really is easy peasy, and it turns out a very moist pork roast that just fell apart when I picked it up. I served it over rice with the extra sauce and a combination of vegetables I stir fried in the sauce. You can use any veggies you'd like, but I used red peppers, onions, snow peas, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and bean sprouts. I am linking to the original Cooking Light recipe, and also rewriting the recipe, below, with my substitutions. Here's to a year of mixing in the healthier fair with all my sweet treats, I think my waist line will thank me.
Slow Cooker Char Siu Pork Roast:
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 4 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
- 2 pounds boneless Boston butt pork roast, trimmed
- 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, EXCEPT vegetable broth, stirring well with a whisk. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours, turning occasionally. (Or overnight)
Place pork and marinade in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove pork from slow cooker using a slotted spoon; place on a cutting board or work surface. Cover with aluminum foil; keep warm.
Add broth to sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Shred pork with 2 forks; serve with sauce.