Bernie’s BBQ Sauce (With a POM Twist)

So I got this case of POM juice last week, and in my email from Janny, he asked that I try to cook with it and see what I can come up with. I was at a complete loss. Sure, I could’ve put it in oatmeal like some bloggers did, but since I do a dinner blog, it wouldn’t be featured. I could make a cocktail, but I don’t really drink… so I ran my dilemma past my best sounding board: my mom!

She suggested that I use a bottle of the POM juice in what was my grandfathers “famous” BBQ sauce. I think I said “wait, hold on, I can MAKE BBQ sauce? Doesn’t it just come in a bottle?” Of course, my mom laughed and proceeded to tell me how to make it, and where to incorporate my POM juice . Without any further adieu, for the first time on the internet, my grandfather Bernie’s BBQ sauce:

Just like Papa used to make.

Just like Papa used to make.

Papa’s BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

5 slices center cut bacon, diced

1 onion, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. chili powder

2 tsp. Worscestshire sauce

1 c. ketchup

8 oz. POM Wonderful Juice

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Directions

Heat a large pot, and add the bacon and onions. Cook until the bacon is very crispy and the onions are near caramelized. Add the green peppers and cook ten minutes. Add ketchup, hot pepper, Worcestershire sauce, POM Wonderful juice,  chili powder. Mix well, then stir in brown sugar. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat and cook until it tastes like BBQ sauce. Puree with a stick blender, and serve with your favorite meat.  Makes at least 10 servings, only 1 Point® per serving.

Just like my mom had said, most bottled BBQ sauce has a fake smoke flavor. This one though, has the subtle smokiness of the bacon, combined with the sweet and tart flavor of the POM, and the spiciness of the pepper. I’m really glad that I have a bunch of extra servings of this, mostly to try it on other meat, and on actual outside grilled steaks! I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make my own BBQ sauce… it’s hard to say if I’ll ever buy bottled again!

You couldn’t have noticed the 2 side dishes with my heavily sauced chicken. One of them was pan-roasted cauliflower and broccoli and the other was something that’s sure to be a new favorite.

dscn2037I roasted some frozen butternut squash, sprinkled it with reduced fat coconut (just found it yesterday and I’m a HUGE fan!0 and a little Splenda. SUCH a good treat! I can see how something like that could be a great breakfast as well.

My BSI Announcement was my 100th post, and I had all these plans for a cool giveaway for my 100th post… alas, you will have to wait until TOMORROW for my cool giveaway post! In the meantime, be sure to check out Beadie’s giveaway! She’s giving away a bottle of Country Bob’s all-purpose sauce… looks like good stuff!

Make sure to keep those BSI entries coming!

All Natural, WONDERFUL Meal!

MY OH MY am I feeling better!! My appetite came back with a vengeance today, and I was desperately craving protein!! It made me realize exactly how little I’d eaten in the last few days…

Adam and I decided to go to the health food store, The Fruitful Yield to see if we could find anything for dinner. This particular store has not only the vitamin aisles, but also a full frozen food section and dry goods section, so our odds were good. Since I really wanted protein, we got a pound of lean ground buffalo to make burgers. I’d never cooked it before, and thought that worst case, we know buffalo tastes good! I mixed the buffalo with my usual hamburger recipe, but omitted the buns. In an attempt to be even more adventurous, we got rice cheese to top the burgers with.

We also found this microwave-in-pouch brown rice and quinoa blend with garlic as a side dish.

Delicious!

Delicious!

I started cooking dinner, and Adam discovered the package of center-cut bacon leftover from last week’s chicken carbonara.  He suggested we cook up the remaining strips as an “appetizer” and I happily obliged. After 4 days of eating super light, I’m a little anxious about what this dinner will do to my stomach… but it was SO GOOD!

no veggies here... oops!

no veggies here... oops!

I did leave out vegetables… oh well. I can eat vegetables tomorrow. I think this all-natural, mostly organic, amazingly delicious meal more than makes up for my not-so-natural eats of last week!

In other news, the health food store had the seasonal flavors of Clif bars, so tomorrow’s breakfast will be a pear-apple strudel bar! AND, Saturday morning at my weekly Weight Watchers meeting, I weighed in at my lightest weight in nearly 6 months, hit my over 50 lb lost mark, AND am under 200 lbs…GO ME!

Non-vegan, Not-So-Natural dinner

CAUTION! THIS IS NOT AN ALL-NATURAL VEGAN, VEGETARIAN, RAW, OR VEGGIE-FULL MEAL! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! 🙂

OY did I have a long day!! I won’t go into details, but lets just say that a trip to the grocery store after work was NOT top on my list. I went though, as we needed supplies for dinner, and I desperately needed a snack. I went into the store having NO idea as to what dinner was going to be. I wandered down the health food/organic aisle, and what did they happen to have? LARABARS!!! AT MY NORMAL GROCERY STORE!!! 4 for $5!!! SO EXCITED!

Ok, no more caps. Anyway, once I knew I had a car snack, I could think about dinner, and the first thing that came to mind was chicken carbonara. Don’t know why, but it was ALL I wanted. I went through the store, grabbing what I needed, and then hurried up to check out. The result: HUGE HIT! (And fairly low-Point® too!)

Trying the "close-up"...what do we think?

Trying the close-up, what do we think?

Cheapo Chicken Carbonara

Ingredients

2 chicken breast halves, cut into small pieces

1 small onion, diced fine

2 tsp. olive oil

1 can peas, drained

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 c. fat free milk

5 strips center-cut bacon, cut into small pieces

1 lb. high-fiber or whole wheat pasta, cooked

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Once the onion is transluscent, add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Then, add the chicken and cook until nearly done. Stir in the soup and milk, and then add the peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then stir in the cooked pasta. Serves 6.

The one problem with this recipe is that now, I have over half a package of center-cut bacon in the fridge. Luckily a) I love bacon and b) center-cut bacon is much lower fat than regular bacon! I also have though, 2 new Larabars to try!

QOTD: What have you bloggers found is the most effective way to increase blog traffic? Some days I have over 400 hits, and other days, barely 200… I don’t get it! Any hints you can offer would be great 🙂