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*no nitrites or other preservatives, very little salt, no refined sugars, and added vitamins and minerals.

Healthy Boston Baked Beans

serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dry navy beans, presoaked overnight
  • 3/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 T pure honey
  • 1 t worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup no sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 t dry mustard
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 white onion
  • 6 oz nitrite free bacon
  • 3.5 cups low sodium, organic chicken stock

Instructions:

  1. Wisk molasses, honey, worcestershire sauce, vinegar, orange juice, tomato sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until sauce begins to bubble, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Spray a large crockpot with cooking spray.
  3. Cut onion into thin rounds. Layer one third of onions on bottom of crockpot.
  4. Spread one third of beans over onion.
  5. Pour one third of sauce over beans.
  6. Layer one third of bacon over beans.
  7. Repeat steps 4 through 6 two more times.
  8. Set crock pot to high for 6 hours.

Chili with Beans, spicy

serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 lb 90/10 ground sirloin
  • 3 c small red beans
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes w/ jalapeno OR 1 1/4 c tomato, diced + 1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 t worchestershire sauce
  • 2 chipotle peppers in mole sauce, finely chopped
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T light brown sugar
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 3 c water

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil over medium high in a large skillet.
  2. Add onion, red pepper, garlic, and salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef and brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. Put beans in crock pot. Pour ground beef over beans.
  5. Add remaining ingredients, except water, and mix well.
  6. Add water. Cook on high for 6 hours. Lightly mash beans with potato masher for thicker consistency. 

Potato Soup

serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 2T unsalted butter
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 3 ribs celery with leaves, diced
  • 1 1/2 c baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • dash fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c whole wheat all purpose flour
  • 2.5 lb russet potatoes, 1″ cubes
  • 5 c low sodium, free range chicken stock
  • 1 t dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 c half and half
  • 1 t corn starch

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add carrot, celery, mushrooms, onions, garlic and salt. Cook until translucent stirring occassionally, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add flour and stir until completely incorporated. Slowly stir in 1 cup stock until smooth.
  4. Put potatoes in large crock pot. Pour vegetables over potatoes.
  5. Add dill and bay leaves, mix well.
  6. Stir in remaining 4 cups of stock.
  7. Cook on high for 4 hours.
  8. Add corn starch to half and half and mix well.
  9. Add half and half to soup, mix thoroughly.
  10. Lightly mash potatoes for a thicker consistency.

Red Beans and Rice

Ingredients:

  • 3 c low sodium, free range chicken stock (or homemade if you have it)
  • 1 pork sausage link (we use Chappel Hill)
  • 1# small red beans, soaked and drained
  • 1 c fresh minced onion
  • 3 stalks celery heart with leaves, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in mole sauce, minced
  • 1 T worchestershire sauce
  • a few drops of Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot, stir until mixed well.
  2. Cook on low for 10 hours. Mash some of the beans with a fork to thicken.
  3. Serve over cooked brown rice.

Crock Pot Pork Loin

approximately 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb pork loin
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced in 4 slices each
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • dried mustard
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 c cabernet sauvignon
  • 1/2 c free range, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1.5 apples, quartered and cored
  • 2 stalks celery with leaves, quartered
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut in large pieces
  • 1/2 lb baby carrots

Instructions:

  1. Clean silverskin from pork loin.
  2. Using a paring knife make 8, 1/2″ deep slits on the top of the pork loin.
  3. Insert sliced garlic into slits, then pinch slits closed at top.
  4. Sprinkle rosemary, thyme, dried mustard, salt, and fresh ground pepper generously on both sides of the pork.
  5. Pour wine and chicken stock into crock pot.
  6. Put seasoned pork in crock pot.
  7. Place remaining fruit and vegetables  in crock pot both on top of the pork and in the wine/stock mixture.
  8. Lightly sprinkle more rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper (no dried mustard) on top of the meat and vegetables.
  9. Set crock pot to high for 8 hours.
  10. To serve, remove meat and place on platter. Discard celery and apples. Remove carrots and place on platter with meat. Slice meat and ladel cooking juices over meat and carrots or serve juices on the side.

MamaJo's Black Bean Tortilla Soup Close-Up

Plated, with cheese quesadillas.

Plated, with cheese quesadillas.

MamaJo’s Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pablano pepper, seeded, cut in 1in x 1/4 in strips
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 c (app) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 4 cups (app) natural chicken broth
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • spray oil (canola or olive)
  • sour cream
  • 2 avacados

Instructions:

  1. Add oil to large skillet, heat to medium.
  2. Add pepper and onion, saute until just tender.
  3. Turn off heat, add cilantro.
  4. Pour chicken broth in large sauce pot, set heat to med high.
  5. Add contents of skillet to broth.
  6. Add black beans, tomatoes, corn, and spices. Increase heat to high, bring to boil.
  7. Reduce heat to low, simmer at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Cut tortillas into 1/2 in strips.
  9. Set oven to broil.
  10. Spray cookie sheet with spray oil.
  11. Place strips on cookie sheet, try not to overlap.
  12. Spray tortilla strips with spray oil, sprinkle with kosher salt.
  13. Cook in broiler until exposed sides are golden (just a minute or s0).
  14. Flip strips, brown other side.
  15. Garnish soup with tortilla strips, fresh diced avocado, and a small dollop of sour cream.

Guilt Free Sloppy Joes (or is it Sloppy Does??)

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 lbs – ground venison (mine is a deer/pork combo)
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/2 T + 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c katsup
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2T cider vinegar
  • 2T yellow mustard
  • 1T chili powder
  • 1T worcestershire sauce
  • 1T liquid smoke
  • 1T flour

Instructions:

  1. Preheat cast iron skillet or dutch oven to medium-low.
  2. Add onion, garlic and meat to pan.  Stir until well mixed.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high.
  4. Add dried mustard, 1 tsp salt, and pepper. Mix well and brown.
  5. Add browned meat to large crock pot (do not drain if using lean meat!).
  6. Add remaining ingredients to meat. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Cook on high for four hours or low for eight hours. (This recipe can be converted to stock-pot by simply simmering on low for about 45 min.)

Serve over whole wheat buns with mustard and pickles to garnish. Pair with beans and a green salad for a complete evening meal.

About the Cook



I'm a busy wife and mom who knows the value of a meal that can be prepared quickly. I prefer to cook with whole foods and you will almost never find a prepared food in my recipes or my pantry.

This blog started as a way to recall recipes that I've created and now I am excited to share them with you! Bon Apetit!
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