#ChewOnIt: Comforting combinations

Slow-cooker BBQ ribs are so tender they fall apart and are delicious shredded into rice and cole slaw.

Today I’m sharing a few recipes that I made specifically for dinner and with meal prep-ping for the week in mind: Cranberry BBQ Slow Cooker Ribs, Tangy Cole Slaw, and Seasoned Brown Rice.

Cranberry BBQ Slow Cooker Ribs: Instead of the usual ketchup base for the barbecue sauce, I used a jar of cranberry sauce that had been taking up space in my cabinet for way too long. The outcome was borderline too sweet, which balanced perfectly with tangy slaw and seasoned rice. These ribs are so incredibly fall-off-the-bone tended that I ended up shredding them with my fork and tossing them together with the slaw and rice on my plate. (The flavors and textures made a delicious combination of both summer barbecue and winter comfort food.) Since I’ve been meal prepping and I do not like to not eat the exact same meal too often, I swapped out the rice with a baked sweet potato and topped with shredded cheese for a tasty variation.

Tangy Cole Slaw: Continuing with my theme of meal prepping, I made the two major components of this dish separately – the slaw mix and the dressing – and am keeping them that way until I’m ready to serve. Shredded cabbage and carrots stay fresh for quite a while if left undressed. Additionally, the slaw mix is great tossed with lettuce for a quick dinner salad. In this recipe, I only used half of both a green and purple cabbage, which made for a large amount of slaw mix, so I’ll probably also be making some stir fry or cabbage soup with the other halves in the near future.

Seasoned Brown Rice: Lately, I have really appreciated making a huge batch of rice in one go and then freezing the leftovers in a big zipper bag if I’m not going to be eating it all within a few days. It’s so easy to break off just the amount you want, and then I either microwave it or “fry” it in a nonstick skillet with a bit of water to heat it back up. I also enjoyed some of this rice with Beaverfork Roast Chicken (recipe posted on thecabin.net on Feb 3, 2016) and roasted veggies.

As always, I hope you’ll eat as much local goodness as you can - and let me know if you try my recipes. If you’re looking for local ingredients, check out the “market update” for details on our two year-round farmers markets. If you didn’t place an order, make sure to check out their Facebook pages on Friday to see what they have on their “extras” tables.

Cranberry BBQ Slow Cooker Ribs

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

• 2-3 pounds beef ribs

• 3 tablespoons BBQ dry rub

Cranberry BBQ Sauce:

• 1 large red onion, chopped

• 16 ounces all natural cranberry sauce (Cucina Antica)

• 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

• 1/3 cup cranberry juice

• 1/3 cup orange juice

• 1 tablespoons dry mustard

BBQ Dry Rub:

• 3 tablespoons smoked paprika

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

• 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

• 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder

• 1 tablespoon onion powder

• 1 tablespoon sea salt

• 2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper

• 1 teaspoon dried thyme

• 1/2 teaspoon roasted cinnamon powder

Method:

1. Combine BBQ sauce ingredients in slow cooker, cover and set oh high.

2. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Combine dry rub ingredients in a jar. Close lid and shake.

4. Pat ribs dry (if not already). Cut into 3-rib serving sizes. Coat both sides of ribs with a generous amount of rub (about 3 tablespoons). Roast for 15 minutes on both sides to sear and begin rendering fat.

5. Transfer to crockpot, ensuring that each portion is coated in sauce. Cook until fall-apart tender (high for 3-4 hours or low for 7-8 hours). Rotate at least once during the cooking process to make sure everything gets an even coating of sauce.

Enjoy with seasoned brown rice or baked sweet potatoes and cole slaw.

Tangy Cole Slaw

Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:

Slaw Mix:

• ½ green cabbage

• ½ purple cabbage

• 3 carrots

• 1-2 tablespoons dressing per serving

Dressing:

• 4 baby garlics*

• 1/2 cup white wine vinegar

• 2 tablespoons honey*

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

• 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

• 1 teaspoon sea salt

• 2 teaspoons celery seed

Garnishes:

• Sunflower seeds

• Pumpkin seeds*

Method:

1. Make dressing: rinse and chop baby garlics and combine with dressing ingredients in a jar. Close lid and shake. Set aside.

2. Prep slaw mix: Chop or shred cabbages. Peel and shred carrots. Mix to-gether.

3. Before serving, put desired amount of slaw mix in a bowl and coat with dressing. Garnish with seeds as desired.

Enjoy with Cranberry BBQ Slow Cooker Ribs and seasoned brown rice.

*Local eats via Conway Locally Grown.

Seasoned Brown Rice

Servings: 8-12

Ingredients:

• 3 cups brown rice medley

• 2 tablespoons chicken Better Than Bouillon

• 6 cups water

Method:

1. Rinse rice in a strainer and put in a large pot with Better Than Bouillon and water (or chicken stock). Bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat.

2. Cook for 40-50 minutes, until water is absorbed.

3. Let rest 10 minutes, then fluff with fork. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Enjoy with Cranberry BBQ Slow Cooker Ribs and Taney Cole Slaw or roasted chicken.

Market Details:

Conway Locally Grown

Order Sunday evening – Tuesday night at http://conway.locallygrown.net/market

Pickup Friday at St Peter’s Episcopal Church, 925 Mitchell, Conway between 4:00 – 6:00pm

Some of the vendors include: ABC Nature Greenhouse & Herb Farm, Armstead Moun-tain Farm, Bar C Family Farm, Bluebird Hill Berry Farm, Cedar Rock Ridge, Crimmins Family Farm, Drewry Farm & Orchards, Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative, Green Acres Atkins, Hardin Farms, KMG Farms, Kellogg Valley Farms, Maria’s Homemade Country Fare, Ratchford Farms, Rattle’s Garden, RoZark Hills Coffee Roasterie, Weal and Woe Farm, Wylde Abandon Farm

Check out facebook.com/ConwayLocallyGrown early Friday afternoons to find out what goodies on the “extras” table.

Vilonia Handmade & Homegrown Market

Seasonal market is closed, but they now have a year-round market online! Visit at http://vilonia.locallygrown.net/

Pickup Friday at Dogwood Farm, 32 Bernard Lane, Vilonia, AR 72173 between 4:00 – 6:00pm

Some of the vendors include: Bar C Family Farm, Dogwood Farm, Flying C Ranch & Clark’s Pecan Grove, Folly Farm, Magness Creek Farm, Wilson Ranch

Check out facebook.com/viloniafarmersmarket for updates.

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