On Sundays, we love to have special family dinners. We gather around the table, discuss our day, laugh and consume mass quantities of delicious food. Yesterday was no exception. However, we were missing a few of our family members which made it a little strange. It was just Bill, Billy and I, but the food was still the highlight (naturally).
Bill made his famous Pork Roast in the crock pot. It’s totally simple and easy to do (details coming). On Saturday nights, we go to the grocery store and buy food for our Sunday Dinner, including whatever meat is on sale at Smith’s. And Pork Roast was really cheap this week. Here’s what was on the menu:
- Bill’s Crock-Pot Pork Roast (recipe below)
- Bill’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes (recipe below)
- Green Beans
Now here’s where it gets interesting…we usually use canned Cream of Chicken or Mushroom soup for this concoction. BUT, I have long been concerned about using that stuff, because of the ingredients. Here are the ingredients from Campbell’s website for their Cream of Chicken soup:
CHICKEN STOCK, WATER, VEGETABLE OIL, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, WHEAT FLOUR, CREAM (MILK), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF: SALT, DEHYDRATED MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, CHICKEN FAT, YEAST EXTRACT, FLAVORING, BETA CAROTENE FOR COLOR, CHICKEN FLAVOR, BUTTER (CREAM [MILK]).
What in the world? What is “dehydrated, mechanically separated chicken”? And Soy Protein Concentrate? MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is gross stuff that gives me a stomach ache. Then we have chicken fat and yeast extract…this just gets more and more scary. Now for the Nutritional Facts…in 1/2 cup of the condensed soup, there are 110 calories, 7 grams of fat and 750 mg of sodium. Yikes, that’s a lot of salt and fat. Now don’t get me wrong…there are times when a can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup are the only option for a recipe. But, I believe that with a little pre-planning, you can avoid ever using them and it will take almost as little time as opening a can! Read on for a brilliant alternative…
I made my own “cream” soup from a recipe that I got out of a cookbook called: The Essential Food Storage Cookbook by Tami Girsberger and my friend, Carol Peterson. Here’s a photo of the cookbook:
It’s really an amazing collection of health-conscious recipes with lots of “homemade” alternatives. You can get it on Amazon as well as in selected bookstores.
The cream soup was delicious, simple to make and very tasty. I used some of my food storage dried milk, which is especially good. Food storage is something important that we keep on hand in case of an emergency. We have a lot of dried milk and it doesn’t last forever. Using it for recipes is a perfect way to rotate it around and keep it fresh.
Bill’s Crockpot Pork Roast
- pork roast of your choosing (we had this really long one and cut it in half)
- 3-4 Carrots
- 3-4 Stalks of Celery
- 2 cloves of Garlic
- 1 onion
- 2 cans Cream of Mushroom or Chicken Soup (or homemade-recipe follows)
- Seasoning to taste: garlic granules, onion powder, season salt, pepper
Put the roast in a large crock pot. Season the meat to taste. Add the carrots, celery, garlic and onion. Pour the cream soup (recipe follows) over the entire thing. The juice from the meat will mix with the soup and make a perfect gravy. Turn the crock-pot on “high” and cook for 5-6 hours or until the pork falls apart and the carrots are soft. Serve with mashed potatoes, your favorite vegetables and salad.
Bill’s Creamy Mashed Potatoes
- 5-6 large potatoes
- 1/2- 1 cup milk
- 2 T butter
- Season Salt*, garlic granules, onion powder, pepper
Peel and chop potatoes. Place in pan and cover with water. Bring to a rapid boil and reduce heat slightly to prevent boil overs. Once fork soft, drain. Add to Kitchen Aide mixer or use a hand-mixer. Pour in warm milk, butter and seasonings. Whip until all lumps are gone and potatoes are smooth.
*I use “Johnny’s” brand because it has no MSG. Costco also sells an organic, no salt brand if you are concerned about your sodium intake.
Cream Soup (“The Essential Food Storage Cookbook” by: Tami Girsberger and Carol Peterson, page 164)
- 2 cups powdered milk
- 2/3 cup cornstarch
- 2 T dry onion soup mix
- 1 1/2 T chicken bouillon
- 1/4 tsp celery salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an air-tight container. To use mix, add 2/3 cup of Condensed Cream Soup Mix and 1 1/3 cups water in a small saucepan. Cook and stir until thick, about 3-4 minutes. Use in recipes in place of one can of commercial condensed soup. This makes a low fat soup. If regular soup is desired, stir in a pad of butter.
Liz Notes: Believe me, this recipe tastes great and is simple to make. Plus it’s nice to have extra mix on hand for future recipes. It didn’t take any longer to prepare than opening a can and scraping out all that condensed soup with a knife. I didn’t have any onion soup mix so I used dehydrated onions. I also didn’t have any dry chicken bouillon so I used a little “Better Than Bouillon” paste (which is organic) and added it right to the pan when cooking the soup mix. I am currently in the market for some onion soup mix and dried chicken bouillon that don’t have a lot of additives. I’ll let you know when I find them…