Pulled Pork Chili

Pulled Pork Chili
Serves 10 (1 cup portions)

This morning I woke to 45F temperatures. To me, that means chili season. But some chili can be high fat, and some high sodium. This is neither, just high flavor. This is one of those little life hacks that I talk about on one my Make Your Someday Today Trevitorials. Make good food and eat it. When you make it yourself, you know what is in it!

In a large (3-4 quart kettle) add:
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
Add your preferred chili spices

Sautee that together until the onions begin to get translucent (5 minutes)
1 tablespoon tomato paste. Stir to mix together, then add:
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained, and low sodium if available
2 cans beans, drained and rinsed
1 pound pulled pork

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. After 30-40 minutes, taste and add more seasoning as needed. This is better if you can then chill it for a few hours or overnight.

So, why is the beer in the picture? I make my beans with a pressure cooker. I use 1 cup dried beans (here is a mix of white navy beans and black bean), one onion diced, 2-4 cloves garlic minced and 4 cups beer. This is one of my favorites, Green Bay’s own Wisco Disco. Put the lid on, set to high pressure and leave them cook for 45 minutes. When it is time to add the beans to the tomatoes, I dump everything in, beans, beer, onion and garlic.

Nutritional data:
Calories:         210
Fat:                  5.4g
Sat fat:             1.7g
Chol:           38.5mg
Sodium:      32.7mg
Carbs:            18.2g
Fiber:               4.6g
Protein:            19g

Classic Borsh (you might call it Borsht)

Serves Many! (Approximately 24 portions, 1 cup each)

Some people and cookbooks call this “borscht”. My Ukrainian-born friend who gave me this recipe says that it is supposed to be “borsh.” She was a Captain in the Israeli Defense Forces, and is a fierce woman. Who am I to question her?

Well, actually, I question her quite a bit, when I interviewed her for my podcast, Make Your Someday Today (abbreviated as MYST). You can hear the complete interview at MakeYourSomedayToday.com/JulieSheranosher


2 pounds (1kg) top loin steak or round steak. Use a lean cut, and trim excess fat. Cut this into squares 1″ (2.5cm) on a side
2 cans/bottles of beer (Do not use a very hoppy beer. A simple pilsner would be best.)
2-4 cloves garlic, or more to preference
6-8 black peppercorns
1 big or 2 small onions, diced
2 large beets, peeled and grated
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small cabbage, thinly shredded (or use a 12 ounce bag of pre shredded cabbage)
2 red bell peppers, diced
fresh parsely, 2 large handfuls 
1 tablespoon white sugar
sour cream and fresh chives for garnish.
  1. Put the meat in a big pot. Add beer, garlic, black pepper and 2 cups water.
  2. Bring to boil, cover and lower the heat to a medium flame and allow to cook for 1 hour.
  3. Add the beets, carrots, onion, potatoes and salt (optional). Add 1 cup boiling water if needed to cover.
  4. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for another 30 minutes
  5. Add the tomato paste, cabbage and peppers. Stir to combine.
  6. Bring to a boil and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Add the sugar and parsley. The parsley is NOT for garnish. It is necessary to complete the flavor profile.
  8. Cook on a medium flame for another 20 minutes.
  9. Cover, cool and place in refrigerator overnight. (Required for full flavor!)
  10. When serving, reheat over medium, and serve with a tablespoon sour cream and freshly chopped chives.
Nutritional data (not including sour cream or bread):
Calories:    161
Fat:            8.1g
Sat fat:       3.1g
Chol:        33mg
Sodium:   48mg
Carbs:      10.6g
Fiber:         2.3g

Protein:    11.3g

Do me a big favor? Please leave a comment here for Julie and her recipe and tell us when you have or will make it!

Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly podcast, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be.

Turkey Dumpling Soup

Turkey Dumpling Soup
Serves 4

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
16 ounces (2 cups) reduced sodium chicken stock
12 (1.5 cups) ounces water
4 ounces (0.5 cup) white wine
8 ounces shredded, cooked turkey (or chicken)
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon seasoning (I used Penzey’s Sunny Paris. Alternative combinations could be tarragon and thyme, onion and garlic powder, or sage and celery seed)

  1. In a medium to large sauce pan (3-4 quart), heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute until the onion begins to turn translucent.
  2. Add garlic. Saute another minute.
  3. Add stock, wine, cooked turkey and sage. Bring to a boil, reduce heat (medium-low, but not to a low simmer) to a low boil for 15 minutes.
  4. While you wait for the soup to boil, mix together dumpling ingredients.
  5. After 15 minutes, increase the heat to medium-high.
  6. Using a soup spoon or tablespoon, drop dumpling batter into the soup by the spoonfuls. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and let the dumplings cook for 15 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Nutritional data (approximately 1.5 cups soup and 2-3 dumplings)
Calories:    192
Fat:             3.9g
Sat fat:        1.2g
Chol:            97mg
Sodium:     190mg
Carbs:        19.1g
Fiber:           1.9g
Protein:     17.9g

Creamy Turkey, Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

Creamy Turkey, Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
Serve 4

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup shredded carrot
Seasoning (your preference–I used Penzey’s Sunny Paris.)
1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock (I used homemade, no salt added chicken stock)
1/2 cup white wine
8 ounces shredded cooked turkey (or chicken)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat a 10″ non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Add olive oil.
  2. Sautee onions until beginning to soften and turn translucent.
  3. Add mushrooms. Let them cook, undisturbed for 2 minutes, then stir together.
  4. Add garlic and carrot.
  5. While the mushrooms are cooking, melted the butter in a small saucepan. Add flour to form a roux.
  6. Add milk, and stir over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat.
  7. Add shredded turkey to mushrooms.
  8. Add stock and wine. Bring to a boil.
  9. Stir in the roux. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. As it cooks it will thicken.

Nutritional data:
Calories:       222
Fat:                7.7g
Sat fat:           4.3g
Chol:              46mg
Sodium:         54mg
Carbs:         16.5g
Fiber:            1.5g
Protein:      16.4g

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup

Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
Serve 4
2 ounces (dry) mushroom blend. I used a blend of porcini, shiitake, oyster and black mushrooms.
8 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 Vidalia onions, diced
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1/2 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Rehydrate mushrooms with one quart boiling water. Let set for 30 minutes or more.
  2. In a 2-3 quart non-stick sauce pan, preheat over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil.
  3. Place onions in pan. Cook until beginning to get translucent.
  4. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  5. In the same pan, add remaining oil.
  6. Add white button mushrooms.  Cook until they are beginning to get soft.
  7. Drain rehydrated mushrooms. SAVE THE JUICE! Squeeze the mushrooms to get them as dry as possible. Add to button mushrooms.
  8. Cook mushrooms until they are about half their volume (10 minutes).
  9. Return onions to mushrooms.
  10. Measure and add mushroom water to pan. (There should be about 2 cups)
  11. Add wine.  Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Bring to a boil.
  13. While the broth returns to a boil, make the roux.
  14. When the broth boils, stir in the roux. Simmer until the desired thickness.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup skim milk

  1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in flour to make a paste.
  3. Add Greek yogurt, stir until well mixed.
  4. Add milk. Stir until smooth. Return to heat over low-medium, just to get it warm.

Nutritional data:
Calories:         253
Fat:               14.4g   
Sat fat:               7g
Chol:               28mg
Sodium:           46mg
Carbs:           18.5g
Fiber:              2.8g
Protein:         10.1g

The Many Lives of Beer Can Chicken

I try to be efficient with my time. Why only cook one meal when you can easily prepare for two meals simultaneously?

Beer Can Chicken (aka Beer Butt Chicken)
Serves 2? 4? 8? 16? Depends on how hungry everyone is!

Get your grill going to about 350F.

Take a whole chicken. Rub the outside with some olive oil. Sprinkle your favorite seasoning on it. I used Penzey’s Bouquet Garni.

Find an empty beer can. If you don’t have an empty one, buy some beer and pour half the can into a glass. Insert the can into the open end of the chicken. It will stand upright on its two legs and the half-full can of beer.

While working, drink the beer in your glass. Repeat as needed. Grilling is hot work!

If you prefer to not use beer, use any empty soda can and your choice of liquids. I have used orange juice, cola, ice tea, wine and margarita mix. The options are endless.

When the grill is hot, place the bird on the grate as in the picture. Use indirect heat if possible, and place the bird on a pie tin to catch the drippings and prevent a flair up. It will be done when the breast meat has an internal temp of 165F (or when the internal juices run clear.)  This will be approximately 90 minutes.

Nutritional Data (per 6 ounces of meat, skinless and boneless):
Calories:       180
Fat:                 4.5g
Sat fat:            1.5g
Chol:             128mg
Sodium:          75mg
Carbs:              0g
Fiber:               0g
Protein:          36g

The meal as I served it to the family.  Beer Can Chicken, Sweet-Sour Cucumbers, Corn on the Cob, and my Zucchini-Potato Pancakes.

Sweet-Sour Cucumbers
Serve 8 (Approximately 3/4 portions)

5 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, slice very thin
Kosher salt

In layers, slice one cucumber, add a slice of onion, and top with a sprinkling of salt. Repeat until the cucumbers are all sliced. Place a plate on the cucumbers and top with a heavy weight (a gallon of water is ideal.)  Let sit on the counter at room temperature. Occasionally drain off the liquid. The idea here is to dehydrate the cucumbers so that they absorb the dressing when you add it.

1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons table sugar
2 tablespoons Splenda

Dissolve together. You will probably need to microwave this to get the sugar fully dissolved.

After the cucumbers have been sitting for 3-4 hours, and all liquid is drained off, quickly rinse with cold water, and then press with the plate to remove the water. Pour the dressing in the bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutritional Data (per 6 ounces of meat, skinless and boneless):
Calories:          31
Fat:                0.2g
Sat fat:           0.0g
Chol:             0.0mg
Sodium:           3mg
Carbs:            6.5g
Fiber:             0.9g
Protein:          0.8g

After the meal, strip all the meat from the carcass of the bird. Add to a large kettle, with a medium onion chopped in large pieces, 2 large carrots chopped, 2 ribs of celery, a bay leaf, 2-3 cloves garlic crushed, and 1 tsp whole peppercorns.  Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let simmer for 2 hours and pour through a colander. Chill overnight and remove the thickened chicken fat.  You should have about 1 quart of low-sodium chicken stock. (I doubled everything for my batch as pictured above.)

Then, the last step …

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Serve 4 (1 3/4 cups per portion)

1/4 cup wild rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces raw mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup white wine
1 quart chicken stock
1 tsp sage (or other preferred spices)
1/4 tsp table salt
8 ounces cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

1.  Prepare wild rice according to directions. You will need about 1/4 cup dry rice. This will take about an hour.
2.  While the rice is cooking, prepare the mushrooms, carrots, onions and garlic.
3.  Heat the olive oil in a large soup kettle. Add mushrooms, onions and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic.
4.  Add flour.  Cook another 2 minutes, stirring.
5.  Add wine.  Mix, then add 1 quart chicken stock. Bring to a boil.  Add chicken, and reduce to a simmer. Add spices and salt.
6.  When the rice is done, add to the soup. Stir in Greek yogurt.
7.  Taste and adjust spices and salt as needed.

Nutritional Data (per 6 ounces of meat, skinless and boneless):
Calories:       257
Fat:                7.5g
Sat fat:           2.2g
Chol:              48mg
Sodium:         240mg
Carbs:              30g
Fiber:              1.9g
Protein:         20.8g

We just got done feeding this soup and a bowl of salad to four teenage boys and a teen age girl. They all agreed that the soup was a good meal.