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Healthier Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Healthier Slow Cooker Pulled Pork | www.kiwiandbean.com

I have so much to say about slow cookers that I don’t know where to start.

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with mine. I love the idea of it: throwing a bunch of healthy ingredients into a pot, turning it on, leaving it all day, and coming home to a nourishing stew, soup or chili. What’s not to love about that? But my attempts to execute on this idea have been met with mixed success. Mostly failure, actually.

I expect slow cookering would be relatively foolproof if I used commercial sauces and soups—powdered onion soup mix, canned cream of mushroom, or jarred barbecue sauce, for example. This is what slow cookers (or crock pots) were invented for back in the convenience-food-crazed 1970s.

But slow cooking with real food—vegetables, stocks, fresh herbs, and stuff like that—doesn’t work quite as well. You often end up, in my experience, with a dinner that is bland, soupy and cat-foodish in appearance. I once made a promising slow cooker peanut-butter chicken stew recipe that tasted and looked so terrible it went straight into the trash.

I considered giving up on the slow cooker all together, but judging by the amount of requests I get for “slow cooker recipes, puh-lease!!!!” I figured it would be something like shooting my busy-parent-cooking-blog in the foot. So I persevered. And I’m finally ready to unveil my first (hard won) Kiwi & Bean approved slow cooker recipe. Continue Reading →

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Mushroom, Caramelized Onion & Cheddar Burgers

Mushroom, Cheddar & Caramelized Onion Burger | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

So I had planned to share a nice warm and stewy fall recipe today, the second day of October. And then BAM, Mother Nature served up a week of sunshine and summer temps. Which, when you live in Canada especially, is something you don’t take for granted or ignore or treat with anything except the utmost respect and gratitude. So I stashed away the Dutch oven, moved aside the slow cooker for the week, and threw some burgers on the barbeque for a little summer Swan song. Continue Reading →

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Cooking for Beansprout, Part 2: Patty Cake Patty Cake

Meat Patties, Sliders and Meatballs | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean

Welcome back to my Cooking for Beansprout series, where I’m dishing up recipes that you can share with your babes. If you are the mom, dad, or caregiver of a mini person, this series is for you! If you are just joining me, check out the Introduction (and giveaway!) and this Baby-Led Weaning Primer.

Today I’ve got patty recipes! Meat patties, sliders and meatballs are perfect for beginning eaters, because (1) you can chop them into soft bite-size pieces perfect for little hands and teeth-less mouths (or even puree them if that works better for your babe), (2) you can pack them with interesting flavours (like lemongrass, ginger, fresh herbs, garlic and caramelized onions) and super-nutritious grated or mashed veggies, and (3) you can make larger adult-size versions (burgers!) for the big people in your family. They are also great for batch-cooking; I like to make a large quantity, bake them up, cool them down, and freeze them in zipper bags for quick lunches and dinners. Continue Reading →

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Weekday Weenie Bake

Weekday Weenie Bake | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean | www.kiwiandbean.com

As weeknight family dinners go, this Weekday Weenie Bake ticks all the boxes: delicious, healthy, one-pot, make-ahead, kid-proof (with a side of ketchup, perhaps), and wallet-friendly. Are you reading this Kiwi? I said WALLET FRIENDLY. Cheap and cheerful. Economical.

Kiwi and I have a long-standing debate about our monthly grocery spend. For the sake of marital endurance, I will not hang out this piece of dirty laundry. Suffice it to say that I like to spend (on leeks, not on Louboutins, in my defense!), and he likes to save, or at the very least spend more modestly.

Weekday Weenie Bake | (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean | www.kiwiandbean.com

So this recipe is dedicated to Kiwi. And to everyone out there looking to trim their grocery bill. Continue Reading →

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