Tag Archives: BBQ

Smoky and Sweet BBQ Sauce

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The Stars at Night, are Big and Bright…

All my fellow Texans just clapped in their heads and sang “Deep in the Heart of Texas”. Admit it, you know you did! I’m certainly missing Southern California, but I am happy to be back in my great state. Texans are a proud people, and one of the things we pride ourselves on is our BBQ. You can find at least one little BBQ joint, if not three or four, in pretty much every tiny town in Texas, and probably every single one boasts it’s own “special BBQ sauce”. I love BBQ sauce; I cook with it, dip things in it, and top things with it! It’s so versatile; sweet, spicy, tangy…and loaded down with refined sugar. A popular brand of BBQ sauce has a staggering 16g of sugar in only 2 tbsp of sauce, and the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25g of added sugar for women and around 12 for children, depending on their age. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want nearly all of my sugar consumption for the day to come from a measly 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce.

So what are we supposed to do when we want that sweet, tangy sauce? Make some with no added sugars! This BBQ sauce is sweetened using dates, which are a sweet and sticky fruit, so the sugar content is natural and unrefined. The smokiness comes from charring an onion, and the tangy flavor comes from apple cider vinegar and garlic. This sauce is delicious in my Barbecue Meatloaf, is perfect to top shredded chicken or pork with, or use as a marinade. However you use it, I know you will love the flavor, and relish in the fact that there are no added sugars. Healthy food doesn’t have to be flavorless or boring; enjoy it!

Smoky and Sweet BBQ Sauce

Makes about 2 cups.

Ingredients:

  • 1.25 cups of water, or more for a thinner sauce
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste, no salt or sugar added
  • 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 yellow onion, charred either over gas burner or in the broiler
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp of cayenne, depending on taste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp of chipotle powder, depending on taste

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat
  • Stir until combined and just starting to steam
  • Carefully transfer ingredients to food processor or blender
  • Puree until desired consistency
  • Use immediately, or store covered in fridge for up to 2 weeks

For other flavorful sauces, be sure to check out my Dairy free Garlic Herb RanchSpicy Garlic SalsaClassic Garlic Hummus, and Lemon Garlic Aioli. For creative ideas on how to use this BBQ sauce, check out my Barbecue Meatloaf, or possibly with leftovers from my Roasted Chicken with Carrots. And, of course, all BBQs need a delicious side of Mustard Potato Salad. Yum!

I hope this BBQ sauce inspires you to cut out added sugars and to truly enjoy healthy foods! Cover everything in sauce…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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Barbecue Meatloaf

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Awesome Sauce!

As a born and raised Texan, barbecue has pretty much always been a staple, and any good Texan will always have a good BBQ sauce on hand. Right there in the fridge next to the sweet tea (P.S. I hate sweet tea). However, during my two rounds of Whole30 I had such a hard time locating a delicious and “clean” sauce without spending 45 dollars and my left thumb. Finally, I found this amazingly tasty and simple barbecue sauce with no added sugars! I made a couple of changes, simply adding a little paprika and cayenne, and using a few less dates.

After making a batch of BBQ sauce, I wondered what to do with the leftovers. I had some frozen ground beef and thought I would try out a BBQ meatloaf. I rarely make meatloafs, but after making this I’ve decided it will be a staple in our home! We have a hard time getting our 18-month-old, Zemirah, to eat meat, but she loved it! And my husband, David, said it is his new favorite meal!

You don’t have to make the same BBQ sauce I did, and if you have a favorite, healthier sauce on hand, try it out and see what you think. Serve this with my Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes and an extra spoonful of sauce (or in Z’s case, mustard), and you will have a happy tummy. I hope this meatloaf will be a hit around your dinner table and become a staple in your home, too!

meatloaf3.jpgBarbecue Meatloaf

Makes one meatloaf, will serve five.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, divided in two
  • 1/2 cup, plus two tbsp almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • Three eggs
  • One small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne, depending on taste

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 F
  • Prepare baking sheet with foil and cooking spray
  • Combine all ingredients, except 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, in medium mixing bowl
  • Mix with hands until well combined
  • Shape mixture into a loaf on prepared pan
  • Brush the top with remaining BBQ sauce
  • Cook for 35-40 minutes

A good sauce can really enhance a tired dish, but this is not your grandmother’s meatloaf. It’s spicy, sweet, and satisfying! I hope you make it soon…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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