Adventures of Eating with dReJ: healthy, cheap, delicious

Archive for October, 2010

New pumpkin beer to checkout!


Okay so I love fall because of all the pumpkin flavored stuff. I heard good things about the Catawba Valley Brewing Company right here in the Carolinas (Morganton, NC). They have the King Don’s Pumpkin Ale which I finally found at Healthy Home Market off south blvd. It only comes in growlers so be prepared to either drink one with every meal for the weekend or find a pumpkin loving friend to share with.

You twist the cap off and u are met with an awesome whiff of pumpkiny goodness. The taste doesn’t disappoint either. It’s kinda like fall in a glass. It’s almost dessert like and sits a little heavy but in a “glad you are here” kind of way.

This might be a contender with the Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale I love so much. Enjoy! This was 13.99 for the growler!

What rj is drinking tonite


Nor*cal IPA. We picked this up from Healthy Home Market (home economist for those that can’t deal with the name change). It was in the 5$ range for a 22oz. Initial thots: lighter type of IPA. light to Moderately hoppy and a lighter in color IPA.

Has a citrus beginning taste and a sweet finish. Thumbs up.

Yummm beer!


I am usually pretty lame when I drink beer. So when we went to total wine this weekend I expanded from the usual. Highly recommend this Hefeweizen. It’s UFO by Harpoon. Light and great with an Orange slice!

Restaurant Review – The Liberty, Charlotte, NC

The Liberty in Charlotte, NC

Dining Area at the Liberty

This past weekend we finally tried someplace new. There are so many interesting places to eat in Charlotte – and we always go to the same place. The Liberty is located in Charlotte’s South End area and we both really enjoyed our lunch. We had been there for a few beers before – they have a fairly impressive list of beers available.


Week In Review – Oct 18-22

Wow – where does the time go? Another week, another delicious four meals to report on. This week, we’re going to include the 4 recipes we cooked below with the links so you can quickly jump to them if you are interested. Then in separate posts each with the recipe name – I’ll put our review, pics, tips, and any changes we made so you can reference that if you want – or not!

Here’s the 4 we picked for last week:

Slow-Cooker Black Bean-Mushroom Chili (A+)

Meatloaf (this calls for ground beef but we used ground turkey breast instead!) (see review for tips for a sauce that will bring the score on this recipe up) dReJ rating: B (A with sauce)

Slow Cooker Braised Pork with Salsa (this recipe says to serve it over quinoa or rice and we decided to make a Salsa Cornbread instead) dReJ rating: A

Loaded Potato Soup (we served this with a french baguette for yummy dipping) dReJ rating: B-

Check out our individual recipe reviews for additional info.  Enjoy!

-Dre & RJ


Slow-Cooker Braised Pork with Salsa & Salsa Cornbread


A healthier take on cornbread


Quick link to recipe:
8 servings, generous 3/4 cup each (again, we only made HALF – so 4 servings worth)
Active Time: 7-8 hours
Total Time: 7-8 hours

INGREDIENTS (remember to split this in half to make your 4 meals for the week!)

  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, or butt
  • 1 1/2 cups prepared tomatillo salsa, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, or ground cumin
  • 3 plum tomatoes, (1/2 pound), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Again, other than cooking half the amount – we followed this recipe. The main recipe page suggests serving this over quinoa or rice, but we decided to make a yummy cornbread (inspired by delicious cornbread at San Antonio’s Modern Mexican restaurant in Charlotte – review to come!) to dip into the pork/broth yumminess.


Meatloaf (Turkey Version)


Hearty homecooked meal - minus all the extra calories & fat!


Quick Link to recipe:

10 servings (we only made 5 servings – so be sure to split everything in half)
Active Time: 40 minutes
|Total Time: 1 3/4 hours

  • 1 cup dried mushrooms, such as shiitake, porcini or chanterelle (we picked shiitake)
  • 1 cup bulgur, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup nonfat evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 pounds 90%-lean ground beef We swapped for Lean Ground Turkey ~ 3/4 lb (this is already halved for 5 servings)
  • 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

What we Changed: Above in  the ingredients list you see we left out the bulgar and traded ground beef for lean turkey. We don’t eat red meat 99.9% of the time (unless it’s a holiday party and someone has gourmet appetizers 🙂


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