Hello, hello everyone – I hope you had a wonderful weekend! We’d planned on going pumpkin picking yesterday but the farm we were to visit flooded, so we’ll have to delay it by a week or two. They might think I’m smuggling one out with the belly I’ll have by then! Other than that it was really low key here – just organizing away and getting ready for our own little pumpkin to make his arrival. ?
Speaking of pumpkins of the human variety, I have something specific to talk to you about today (as opposed to my usual drivel,) which is family meal time. I grew up eating dinner as a family at least four nights a week, no matter what. As a teenager I thought this was HORRIBLY lame, but as a result my parents knew everything that was going on in my brother’s and my lives at any given moment. Well, almost everything – a girl’s got to have some secrets! At any rate, the TV was turned off, cell phones weren’t even a thing back then (#old) and there was nothing else on the agenda besides connecting for a bit.
After Ben and I got married we attempted to sit down and eat together a few nights a week, but dinner gradually moved from the table to the couch where we’d scarf our food over conversation and a beer. What can I say, most 24 and 25 year olds, at least in our case, do exactly what their parents teach them not to do, right?
Fast forward to our early 30s and I think our parents would be proud. We’re back at the table – er, counter (it’s not the location but action that counts, right?!) – eating dinner with little Lincoln almost every night. I can now fully appreciate how important it is to eat as a family, and not just so Ben and I can trade off convincing our little man to take “ONE MORE BITE, MISTER!” Family dinner is truly the only time of day when all three of us are able to be in the same spot with nothing more to do than talk to each other. And convince Lincoln that my butternut squash noodle bowls don’t taste “gross-o, Mom.” Le sigh. I look forward to it all day. The conversation, not the insults, of course.
Anyway, Hy-Vee is celebrating National Family Meals Month this September by encouraging families to eat 1 more meal together a week. To further encourage this time of togetherness, Hy-Vee is asking that you share a photo of your family meal on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #HyVeeFamilyMeals – every time the hashtag is used by September 30, Hy-Vee will donate $1 to Meals from the Heartland up to $100,000. This is HUGE!
Meals from the Heartland is an Iowa-based organization that packages and delivers food to not only hungry Iowans, but children and adults in need all over the United States, and the world. Since 2008, they’ve provided nearly 65 millions meals to the hungry and starving. I’m so incredibly proud this organization is essentially located in my backyard, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a local that hasn’t helped them in one way or another. Their packing events can get absolutely enormous and are a great way for schools, churches, and organizations to help (my MOPS groups volunteers every year.)
I know fall is a tough time of year to get the family together around the table, let alone take a photo of it happening, but the recipe I’m sharing today will ensure there’s plenty of time to eat and snap a picture before racing off to the evening’s events.
Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork is a 5-ingredient, long-cooking crock pot recipe that slow cooks all day so all you have to do at dinnertime is shred it, mix the pork with BBQ sauce, then pile onto buns and eat. This meal is seriously simple, inexpensive, and family-friendly. If your kids don’t like buns, add the succulent shredded meat to a wrap and call it a day. Want to pump up the nutrition of your meal? Toss the pork with greens and vegetables for a filling and nutritious salad. Lincoln loved it over a bowl of rice. This BBQ pulled pork recipe is so, so versatile and absolutely delicious. Plus the leftovers freeze beautifully – just scoop the meat into Ziplock bags then freeze flat. It’s the meal that keeps on giving!
Speaking of giving, I really hope you’ll take Hy-Vee up on their offer to squeeze in 1 more family meal this week then snap a photo to post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #HyVeeFamilyMeals. You definitely don’t have to be a local to participate – hunger is a worldwide issue! Even easier, you can simply retweet this message, or share this post by 9/30 and Hy-Vee will donate $1. Let’s help feed more people in need this fall!
Start the Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork by trimming a 4lb pork shoulder/butt of any large pieces of fat and/or connective tissue then slice into big hunks. I’m not going to lie, this isn’t the most pleasant of tasks but kitchen shears and a sharp knife make it much easier. By the way, please notice the price of this cut of meat – $2.98 a pound. Definitely budget friendly, especially since this recipe make a TON of food!
Place the pork into the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot then season generously with garlic salt and add 1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce. I whipped up the same sauce I used for my Crock Pot BBQ Chicken which worked perfectly.
Next add up to 12oz root beer or cola – you just need enough to nearly cover the meat. I’ve been looking for a root beer/cola that’s free from caramel coloring for ages, specifically to make this recipe, and was so glad to see Zevia has removed it from their soda line – AWESOME!! Truly you can use whatever root beer or cola your family likes and/or you have on hand (that said, I’ve been making this recipe for years and take my word for it – don’t use Pepsi unless you like Pepsi-flavored meat!)
Anyway, stir everything together then top the meat with 1 thinly sliced yellow onion. Cover then cook on low for 8 hours or until the pork shreds very easily with a fork. It should literally just fall apart.
Tip: If you want to get this crock pot recipe cooking even faster, combine all the ingredients in the crock at night, place in the refrigerator, then pop onto the base and turn it on in the morning. So simple!
Last step is to mix the shredded pork with more of your favorite BBQ sauce then pile onto buns, tortilla chips, wraps, or salads. I went the extra step of tossing bagged coleslaw mix with my go-to Italian vinaigrette to top our sandwiches off with. The mix of tangy slaw and sweet bbq sauce was out of this world!
Don’t forget to take a picture of your family enjoying this simple crock pot meal, or any other, then post to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #HyVeeFamilyMeals by September 30 to help raise money for Meals from the Heartland. Enjoy, enjoy – and THANK YOU!
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Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork
Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork is a 5-ingredient, long-cooking crock pot recipe that couldn't be simpler. Use the pulled pork in sandwiches, or for nachos, salads, and wraps!
- 4lb pork butt (also called "pork shoulder",) trimmed of excess fat then cut into large hunks
- garlic salt
- 1 cup gluten-free BBQ sauce, plus more for serving
- 12oz root beer or cola (do not recommend Pepsi)
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- gluten-free buns, for serving
- Place pork into the bottom of a 6-quart crock pot then generously season with garlic salt. Add BBQ sauce and enough root beer or cola to nearly cover the meat then stir to combine. Sprinkle onions on top then cook on low for 8 hours or until pork shreds very easily. Mix shredded pork with more BBQ sauce then serve on buns.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.