Slow Cooker: BBQ Pulled Pork and Slaw

It’s almost Memorial day and I couldn’t be more excited for an extended weekend. This year is a little bitter sweet as the last two years I was running a marathon with two amazing running partners and friends. However, it’s always hotter than any other weekend in May so I may not miss it as much as I think I will! I digress! If you’ve got yard work to do and you want an easy summer meal to cook while you work…try my slow cooker BBQ pulled pork with a TWIST! Instead of adding slaw to the top, which I never liked due to the high mayo content, I add raw coleslaw right to the crock pot with the pork.

Mic drop! I know! See, Steve and I are on a tight budget and I like to stretch a recipe out by adding inexpensive extras right to it. A bag of coleslaw (or better yet shredding some of your own cabbage) is usually $1.00-$2.00 but adds a lot of extra fiber and nutrients to the pork. Plus, most of us would do well to have a little more fiber in our bellies so this is a quick and easy way to do just that.

As you can see in the photo, to make my plate more colorful (and fiber filled) I also added roasted sweet potatoes, watermelon, and a side salad. I used slider buns because we had them in the freezer BUT I found that my eyes were more satisfied having two sliders and a mix of my fruits and veggies! Hello, variety and color and nutrients…all of these combine to help make a more satisfying meal you can enjoy mindfully.

Last thing before I share the recipe, the prep work takes five minutes…and that’s if you’re struggling to open the bag of coleslaw! Not only does it have slaw cooked right in it, there’s one more hidden ingredient. Milk! There’s only one third of a cup but I find it helps to add a little fat to crock pot meat so it doesn’t dry out. Trust me, this recipe turns out super moist and I hate using that word so that must mean it’s good. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker: BBQ Pulled Pork and Slaw

This is better than regular pulled pork with slaw on top, trust me! It’s THREE ingredients and takes virtually no time.

Course Main Course
Keyword crockpot, pork, slowcooker
Author Jessi Holden


  • 1 Pork tenderloin try one plain or pre-seasoned
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce try to find one without high fructose cornsyrup
  • 1/3 cup Milk (2%)
  • 1 bag cole slaw mix or get a cabbage and shred your own, about three to four cups worth


  1. Plop the tenderloin in your slow cooker. If it’s too long, cut it into three chunks

  2. Add your BBQ sauce and using a rubber spatula, spread the sauce over and under the meat

  3. Add your milk and spread again using the same spatula

  4. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 3-4 (I find this cooks relatively fast so don’t be afraid to check it and cut back on time if your crock pot is speedy hot like mine)

  5. In the last hour, take two forks and shred the pork. Leave all of the juices/liquids in and add your cole slaw. Mix to combine and let it cook on low for the final hour regardless if you started low or high.

  6. Allow to cool by removing it from the crock pot (or set it to warm) and open to air (or crack the lid open a little). This helps some of the moisture escape but keeps the meat from getting to dry.

  7. Enjoy over sliders or on nachos or if needed add a little more BBQ on top! 

I’ve even added crushed pineapple to this recipe and that made for an extra sweet and savory mixture. Are you a pulled pork fan? What are you making for Memorial Day weekend? I hope you have a good one!

Italian Tortellini, Sausage & Tomato Soup

Friends, I get it. It’s getting warmer out but I promise this soup comes together really quick (so your house won’t heat up) and tastes like summer. How can I promise such a thing? Keep reading!

It’s all about your ingredients. Roasted green beans and cherry tomatoes are what made this recipe sing (hello, summer produce!). I have to make a confession though…I always hated cherry tomatoes and still won’t eat them raw. BUT! This recipe is the FIRST one ever to get me to try them once they’re cooked and I couldn’t believe it. I loved them. Just goes to show you that your taste buds can continue to develop as you get older. Steve (my husband) even waited with anticipation to see if I would gag and go spit out the tomato, that’s how far that hate goes. I digress.

You came here for a recipe! It’s really good and tortellini is not a noodle I cook with too often. If you swapped in a different noodle, I think chunks of ricotta cheese would be delicious to throw in. Fresh basil or parsley is also great for a garnish if you want it even fancier. Be sure to let me know if you make it, enjoy!

Italian Tortellini, Sausage & Tomato Soup

A Summer inspired soup that will leave you wanting more. No, seriously.

Course Main Course
Author Jessi Holden


  • 1 package tortellini noodles
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1/3 cup milk we keep powdered milk on hand, I think you could sub in just about anything here
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bouillon cube
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomato pesto

Only if roasting vegetables ahead of time

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning


  1. For the BEST results: Take the cherry tomatoes and green beans (cut the ends off and cut them into thirds) and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp Italian seasoning. Roast at 400 for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. If you don't have time, see step below about adding veggies.

  2. Boil your water with the two bouillon cubes.

  3. Add the cut green beans and cherry tomatoes (if skipping roasting step, do not add olive oil or Italian seasoning) to the pot and allow to cook 5 minutes

  4. Add the tortellini and let cook for 7-8 minutes with the veggies, cut heat to low for a simmer.

  5. While noodles cook, on medium heat cook the sausage until fully cooked

  6. Add the sausage, milk, and sun-dried tomato sauce to the pot. Mix and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Show me over on Instagram by tagging me @The_Beer_Dietitian or come back and leave me a comment!


Who’s excited for summer veggies like I am? If you need other recipe ideas, head HERE and scroll through! I’ll be updating my search tools soon so it will be easier to look through my recipes. With love, friends!

Ground Beef & Sweet Potato Quesadillas

This was not a recipe a planned on posting here but I got a lot of requests for it so here it is! If you are not following me on Instagram go here now! I save insta-recipes in one of my story highlights with simple meals I throw together but want to share with you. This is one of those recipes and I feel like it’s perfect timing with Cinco De Mayo tomorrow!

I did use ground beef which is very uncommon for me, I pretty much never buy it but it was on clearance and too good of deal to pass up. Side note, I love buying clearance meet and freezing it when I get it home. I digress, you could switch it to ground turkey or chicken or any meat you prefer. Enjoy!

EASY Ground Beef & Sweet Potato Quesadillas

These quesadillas are incredibly fast and easy to make. You could also make them into nachos or tacos, or on salad too!

Course Main Course
Keyword beef, easy, mexican
Author Jessi Holden


  • 1 pound ground beef (or any preferred meat)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn, do not thaw
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup salsa, your choice on chunky, mild, hot, etc!


  1. Start cooking your ground beef over medium-high heat. You don’t really need to spray or add oil because there’s enough fat in the ground beef.

  2. Add the frozen corn to the pan. Continue cooking. I leave it sitting there while I prep the next ingredient.

  3. Add your drained and rinsed black beans (this removes more of sodium).

  4. Chop your sweet potato. If you like the flavor of roasted potatoes then roast it ahead of time. I chopped it, threw it in a microwave safe bowl some some water and steamed it for a good 3-5 minutes.

  5. Add in the sweet potato and the salsa and mix to finish up cooking. Make sure all the pink is gone from the meat. 

  6. For Quesadillas: Take the mixture out of the pan and grab a paper towel to quickly wipe out any extra residue. Add a quesadilla (empty) to the pan and let it sit on low heat for a minute or so. Add mixture to half of the quesadilla, sprinkle with cheese and fold the other half over the mix. Use a spatula to flatten it. Let it brown slightly on one side and put using a spatula, flip over the quesadilla. Do this by going under the open side and flipping it over, not by starting from the folded side. 

  7. For Nachos: Add your chips and cheese. Boom.

  8. For Salad: Add the mix to a salad with your favorite dressing.

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Tag me on Instagram #NutritionBrewed and @The_Beer_Dietitian.


Black Bean & Barley Soup

If you’re trying to participate in meatless Monday, you’re a vegetarian/vegan, OR you’re on a tight budget because you recently bought a house. Hi, that last one is us! This soup is for YOU!

How exciting is the whole buying a house thing? Super exciting and it’s a definite way to wake you up in terms of budgeting. Luckily, Steve and I have been working on budgeting this year so we’re already in the watch your spending mindset.

This recipe costs under $10.00 total. TEN DOLLARS! I’ll take that any day. Also it makes about 10 cups so it is a good recipe for leftovers. The most expensive thing would be the barley (pearl or instant) because I don’t see that a lot of people have barley as a staple grain in the pantry. You could easily sub in rice or pasta in this soup too. If you opt to not add in grains, only add 4 cups of liquid.

Black Bean & Barley Soup

CHEAP and EASY vegetarian soup


  • 2 cans black beans, no salt or low sodium drained & rinsed
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pearl or instant barley (if using instant barley, reduce simmer time by 15 minutes)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 cups chopped spinach (optional)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 bouillon cube


  1. Chop all veggies and mince garlic. Add to pot with 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Cook 5-8 minutes.

  2. Add spices and mix to coat the veggies.

  3. Drain and rinse your beans. Take half of the beans and mash with a potato masher. 

  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, water, and bouillon cube to the pot. You can also take your bouillon cube and break it up to make sure it spreads throughout your soup.

  5. Bring to a boil and add the barley. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. If using instant barley, simmer for about 10 minutes.

  6. If desired add in chopped spinach. 

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Tag @The_Beer_Dietitian on Instagram


When we ate this, we enjoyed it with some plain Greek yogurt on top and some chopped green onions. You might also like it with tortilla chips and a little added hot sauce or some guacamole. Enjoy the meal and the savings $$!

Beer Mac & Cheese

Hi friends! This has been quite the month. Steve and I leave for Belgium SO soon and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve also closed on our first home and I can’t wait to add in some posts here about design/home updates, etc! However, I wanted to get you one more recipe before I take a week and a half off for our vacation. Since we’re going to be tasting all kinds of Belgium beer, I thought a Beer Mac & Cheese would be appropriate!

This is an ooey gooey cheesy noodle dish and while it was good as leftovers, I felt like it tasted best fresh. Kind of like how kraft mac n’ cheese is just not the same when you heat it up the next day. I encourage you to use a light beer and nothing too astringent in this recipe. While the alcohol cooks off as you make the sauce, the taste from the hops and malt remain. Enjoy!

Beer Mac & Cheese

A thick white cheese sauce over your favorite pasta or veggie based noodles! 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cheese, pasta, plant pasta
Author Jessi Holden


  • 1 box pasta (I used Banza pasta for added protein and fiber since I didn’t add veggies or meat IN this dish)
  • 3 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat flour (You can use all purpose too)
  • 2/3 cup beer, at room temp (I used an IPA)
  • 1 and 1/3 cup milk (we keep powdered milk on hand and make it as needed)
  • 2 cups mozzarella (1 block or pre shredded)
  • dash salt, for pasta


  1. Cook noodles according to packaging. I’ve been experimenting with Banza pasta right now and you definitely want to add in a dash of salt to the water and spray the noodles with some cooking spray after you drain/rinse them. This way they don’t stick together.

  2. Put your noodles aside.

  3. Use the same pot and add your butter and 1/2 of your chopped green onions. Saute until butter is melted.

  4. Add your flour for 1 minute and use a whisk to mix it with the butter, it will be thick and chunky.

  5. Start pouring the beer into the pot. Don’t dump it it from above, pour it gradually in and whisk it with the flour/butter.

  6. Slowly pour your milk in and whisk. Turn up your heat to get it bubbling/simmering lightly.

  7. Start adding your shredded cheese and continuing whisking. Whisk and let it sit for a bit until bubbles rise. Whisk again and wait, repeat this until it starts to become a thick gooey cheesy sauce. This can take about 5-8 minutes. Do not let it sit and boil without whisking it, it will burn.

  8. As soon as it’s thick cut your heat. Add your noodles back to the pan and mix to coat. Add some green onions for garnish or red pepper flakes for spice.

Recipe Notes

Chef Notes: 

  • I added jam and bacon bits as a fun topping. The sweetness from the jam cut into the thick cheese nicely.
  • You could also add veggies to this dish easily such as roasted broccoli and cherry tomatoes.

Did you make this recipe? Tag me @The_Beer_Dietitian on Instagram!

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Steve and I love Chinese food. I can’t help but enjoy the oversized portion of fried chicken and rice and I love duck sauce even though I’m not exactly sure what it is. The downfall? It hits our budget hard if we do it too often and it always bloats the next day from all that sodium. This got me determined to start making our own take-out that tastes better and is healthier for our bodies and budget.

Enter in the Egg Roll in a Bowl recipe! I think you’ll enjoy this as much as we did. In fact Steve took leftovers once and finished it – so much for leftovers all week! That’s a sign that this recipe will be on our staple list. Which if you don’t have a staple list, we keep ours in a Google doc, I highly recommend taking recipes that work well for your family and keep a running word document or Google doc of them. I have some more to say about go-to staple meals which you can read about here.

Eggroll in a Bowl

20 minute recipe that will be done in the same amount of time it would take to go pick up expensive take-out.

Course Main Course
Keyword asian, Chinese, rice
Cook Time 20 minutes
Author Jessi Holden


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3-4 cups cabbage, shredded (we used bagged, pre-shredded)
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium, soy sauce
  • 1 heaping tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup jasmine rice (or any rice you prefer)
  • 1 lemon – if desired for squeezing on top


  1. Cook rice according to directions – for extra sticky rice, cut the water by 1/4 cup.

  2. Add your ground turkey, ginger, and garlic to a pan and cook through.

  3. Add in your carrot, most of your onion (leave some for garnish), and cabbage. Mix together and add in your soy sauce and sesame seeds. Mix and cover to let it steam on low heat for about 10 minutes. 

  4. Serve hot over the rice and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Tag @The_Beer_Dietitian on Instagram

Are you a fan of take-out? What’s your favorite kind of take-out? I’ll keep trying to take popular choices and revamp them into homemade, healthier options. Share those favorites below!

Turkey Carrot Chili & Pasta Confidence

Okay, so the name might not be SO inviting BUT I can guarantee this chili is satisfying, tasty, and full of lots of textures. That is something I love about chili, the variety of textures and not just chunks of meat and tomatoes. When I was little (and you can ask my mom about this) I would cry when she served chili because I hated tomatoes that much. Fast forward to now and I still do not love tomatoes but having them cut small and cooked is much better overall.

Also, I love pasta with chili chili with pasta. To make the childhood experience with chili better, she always served it with some noodles. So, this pasta paired here is perfect for someone like my inner child who still prefers pasta over chili 😉 it’s Banza pasta! Have you been following me on Instagram? I became one of Banza’s RD Ambassadors and they sent me over some noodles and recipes to try out. Thanks, Banza!

What’s so great about Banza?

Banza pasta is made from chickpeas and it’s very high in fiber and protein. Those two things alone create a filling food, but together a small portion goes a long way. Chickpea pasta might be a great option for a vegetarian, vegan, or someone who simply needs more protein / fiber but is struggling to get it in. I also think this pasta can help build pasta confidence.

Pasta confidence!?

Yep, it’s when you really love pasta but feel like it’s a food you can’t have, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. The relationship we have with food is complex, but the relationship we have with grains can be especially complex. There is a lot of nutrition noise and people who will tell you that pasta is BAD. While I’ll fight for helping people understand the need for carbohydrates/grains, I understand that encouraging you to eat a food you identify as a trigger isn’t going to work. Enter in pasta choices like Banza and it might be a way for someone to reintroduce pasta back in their life in what feels like a safer way. Okay, a little long winded but if you love chili, textures AND noodles…try the recipe below!

Turkey & Carrot Chili

Course Main Course
Keyword carrot, chili, turkey


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 can kidney or white beans
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp oregano


  1. Brown the ground turkey until it’s no longer pink (use a cooking pot so you can use one dish total for the chili)

  2. Chop onions and carrots (or shred the carrots) and add them to the ground turkey

  3. Add your spices and spread them over the whole amount of meat/veggies and cook for another 5 minutes

  4. Add in your tomatoes, water, and beans

  5. Mix and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy! But! Don’t forget to serve over some Banza noodles or with some fun toppings.

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Tag me Instagram @The_Beer_Dietitian

What do you think? Are you needing some pasta confidence or simply some noodles to add to your chili? Can’t wait for you to try this recipe out!

Apple, Peanut Butter & Maple Oatmeal

Hi friends! I shared a quick photo on Instagram the today and thought I would make sure the recipe had a home here as well! This oatmeal bowl has been a staple for me for a while but when the light hit is just right the other day, I realized I better share it with you all! Comes together in 10 minutes, enjoy!

Apple, Peanut Butter, & Maple Oatmeal

Quick easy oatmeal that will leave full & satisfied 

Course Breakfast
Keyword oatmeal
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 335 kcal
Author Jessi Holden


  • 1/4 cup Old fashion oats
  • 1 tbsp Flax meal
  • 1 small apple, diced
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (I used a spicy habanero flavored syrup)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 pinch cinnamon (if desired)


  1. Chop your apple and start sauteeing it over medium-high heat (spray pan first) and let it saute for 5-8 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle cinnamon on the apples if desired

  3. While your apples cook, put your oatmeal and flax meal in a bowl and add 1/2 cup of water (plus one more splash if you like it a little runnier)

  4. Heat in the microwave for one minute (nothing flashy here)

  5. Add your peanut butter to the oats so it starts to melt

  6. Add your apples to the bowl

  7. Drizzle your maple syrup across the top, take a photo, mix and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Did you make this recipe? Make sure to tag me on Instagram @The_Beer_Dietitian