I hope everyone had a relaxing and restful weekend – perhaps enjoyed the big yesterday with a few friends and some good food? I know I did. I ended up cooking most of Saturday and all of Sunday, but I have a fridge full of leftovers so I am skipping my menu plan for this week.
One of the items I made was pulled pork in the slow cooker with homemade BBQ sauce over homemade sandwich buns. Now – I could have cut corners and dumped a bottle of Kraft BBQ sauce on the pork and picked up a bag of sandwich buns at Publix and the meal would have been essentially the same – but not as delicious or satisfying (IMO).
The BBQ sauce recipe I made was not difficult or special – just a basic sauce, even included ketchup from a bottle (I am making my own ketchup soon – neither Mike nor I eat it but I do use it in recipes occasionally). Here are the ingredients: ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, ground black pepper, water
Here are the ingredients from Kraft original recipe BBQ sauce: concentrated tomato juice (water, tomato paste), high fructose corn syrup, vinegar, molasses, salt, modified food starch, contains less than 2% of spice, natural flavor, paprika, mustard flour, caramel color, guar gum, red 40.
All of the bolded ingredients are not things I want to top my meat with, thankyouverymuch!
OK, just because this is so much fun, let’s do the sandwich rolls:
My recipe: Water, egg, flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter
Orowheat buns (this is one of the more expensive brands on the west coast. I have no idea what a good brand would be to use on the east coast because I never ever ever buy bread. ever :)): Whole wheat flour, water, sugar, wheat gluten, wheat bran, soybean oil, yeast, salt, calcium proponate (preservative), sodium stearoyl lactylate, monoglycerides, calcium sulfate, ascorbic acid (dough conditioner), soy lecithin, azodicarbonamide
Again, bolded ingredients are not really things I want in my bread – some because I have no idea what they are and others (like soy-based products) because I do!
And probably the most important part of the discussion would be – and where did the pork come from that was the main attraction to this meal? Well – this particular piece of meat was part of the quarter pig I got over the summer from a farm about an hour from here. But we can save that discussion for a later blog post.
One of my guests yesterday made a comment that if Kraft made something, I could (and usually did) make it from scratch. And why not? Its usually cheaper, tastier, you can tailor the seasonings and spices to your preference and avoid all the nasty preservatives, starches, conditioners, soy-based ingredients and artificial flavorings and colorings ( it’s scary that BBQ sauce has artificial coloring it in- it really is everywhere!).
Now – I am not suggesting everyone goes and buys a share of beef and throws away everything in their kitchen that has a bar code (although – if you want to do that – that is awesome and I’m right behind you.. someday). Instead, I wanted to give a basic guide to some easy items you can switch out in your kitchen, with minimal effort. A & I have posted on some of them, and some of them I have picked up from other bloggers and a few of them are on the ‘to try’ list. (SAD = Standard American Diet; also could be called processed/pre-packaged):
|SAD Food Item||Homemade Alternative|
|Bottled BBQ Sauce||Homemade BBQ sauce (tons of recipes on the internet -I will share my favorite soon!)|
|Crackers (Nabisco types)||Homemade sourdough crackers|
|Ice cream||Homemade Ice cream|
|Bread||Homemade bread (sourdough is the best – IMO)|
That’s my starter list. Things on my ‘to-do’ list are tortillas (concerned about shelf life), chocolate-covered raisins (don’t laugh – they are delicious and not terrible for you), figure out a better process for home cooked meat to eat cold (to replace lunch meats, which are gross, for the most part).
What about everyone else? Are you trying to ‘fight the man’ so to speak by making your own ____? Or just trying to save a few bucks (this is the main reason I like to make things from scratch!)? Share your ideas/experiences!
Oh – and the picture? A little teaser for my favorite recipe for homemade croutons – far superior to anything you can buy in the store.