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Slow Cooker 2-Ingredient Ham

HamYou can cook ham in a slow cooker and it’s the best ever!  My sister in law, Heidi, made a ham this way for Thanksgiving last year and it was one of the best things I’d ever put in my mouth.  I had no idea ham could be that good!  All the juices from the ham get trapped in the slow cooker rather than evaporating and you end up with incredibly flavorful meat that I have never personally tasted coming from an oven.

There are TONS of different seasoning recipes out there for slow cooker hams.  Some had a bunch of ingredients, and a lot had added sugar or salt.  This one is so simple and while pineapple does add some sugar, it also at least adds a little nutritional value along with it.

This seems like it could be such a time saver/stress reliever on a holiday if the ham is to be a second entree on top of a turkey and all the trimmings.  Just throw it in the crock pot and forget about it.  No fussing with it, no taking up valuable real estate in your oven, no trying to keep it warm while other things cook.  Just shove the crock pot into the corner of your counter and go about your day. Heck, stick it in the living room to save counter space!

I tried this with a super lean, uncured ham, which can be kind of bland and dry if not cooked right, but this one tasted as juicy as any, and we ate every bite!  You probably won’t be able to slice this because it will fall apart.  I served this with cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes and a bagged kale salad mix.  I also thought it would have been great over rice, Hawaiian style 🙂

Slow Cooker 2-Ingredient Ham

  • 1 Fully Cooked Boneless Ham (5-6 lb)
  • 2- 20 oz cans pineapple slices or chunks in 100% pineapple juice

Place ham in crock pot.  Pour pineapple over ham.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

 

 

Dietician-Approved Cheesy Popcorn

popcorn

Yep, you read that title correctly.  I’ve been working with a dietician for a while now, and the first time I had to fess up to eating this popcorn, I was nervous.  I fully expected her to tell me this was not a good idea, to eat it sparingly, blah blah… but she loved it! She said it was a great snack, and a fantastic thing to have if dinner hadn’t filled me up.  Best news I’d heard in a long time, because this is my absolute favorite.  With the holidays coming up, this seems like the perfect cozy treat for a family movie or game night 🙂

You can use those weird cans powdered cheese-flavored stuff they sell as popcorn seasoning to make “cheese” popcorn too, but using real cheese and butter is sooo delectable you’ll never want the fake stuff again after you taste this.  It has taken me years to figure out how to use real cheese as a popcorn topping and get it to stick to the popcorn, but here’s how: you can’t use the pre-shredded cheese you buy from the store. You have to grate it yourself with a super fine grater.  Here is what the cheese looks like before I pour it on the popcorn- almost powdery:

popcorncheese

The other key to this recipe is to work quickly to coat the popcorn with the cheese and butter once it is popped.  You want those little shreds of cheese to melt onto the popcorn so they stick.  Sprinkle them on to the hot popcorn right away, and then pour the hot butter on top and toss or stir to distribute it.

To keep this recipe dietician-approved, you’ll want to use grass-fed cheese and butter, and to keep the salt to a bare minimum.  Grass-fed cheese and butter are associated with decreased heart attack risk and are generally considered healthier than dairy products produced from grain-fed cattle. If you’d like to read more on that, click here.  I use Kerrygold brand that I buy at Costco, where it is actually about the same price as regular (not grass-fed) stuff from a grocery store.  Cheese and butter freeze very well so   I’m happy to buy them in bulk and just freeze if we can’t finish them before they go bad.

Dietician-Approved Cheese Popcorn

  • 1/4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 2 oz very finely shredded grass-fed cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 T grass-fed butter, melted
  • salt, to taste

Pop popcorn using an air popper or your preferred popcorn popping method.  While popcorn is still very hot, sprinkle cheese evenly over top of popcorn.  Pour butter evenly over cheese, and sprinkle with salt.  Stir or shake popcorn to evenly distribute cheese, butter and salt.  Serve hot.