It’s a summer holiday weekend and in Alabama, that means barbecue.  And by barbecue, we mean pulled pork.   We spice it up with ribs and maybe some chicken, but pulled pork is where it’s at.  

The great thing about pulled pork is that it is inexpensive, reheats beautifully, feeds a crowd and pretty much everyone loves it.  Oh, and it’s gluten free if you use a gluten free barbecue sauce (which many are) and paleo in its natural state.  So Brooke can eat it with her salad and stay on her diet.

Are you a snacker? If so, you know: It’s not easy to find a healthy, low-fat and low-carb treat to enjoy. This month, I’ve got a solution! These Low Carb Cheez-It® crackers are an excellent option as a go-to when you need something flavorful that won’t destroy your healthy eating plan. And this is easy - so no need to put off making because you can make these quickly. Summer is almost's time to dial back all our unhealthy eating habits. It can be done without sacrificing tastiness. So, whether you need a snack as you catch up on the week's DVR shows or something to bring to the ballpark (these are great for sharing), give these crackers a try.

Tuscaloosa, you astound me: Thanks for all the compliments about this tomato basil soup – I’m honored. If there’s one thing we know about here, it’s great food, and this soup recipe is excellent, if I do say so myself. It’s fast and easy, too, which helps tremendously when we’re on the go as we so often are here.

Enjoy the rest of this busy month and, as always, bon appétit!

Hooray, it’s finally spring! Now, let’s celebrate with this nifty, tasty orange dream smoothie – the perfect pastel treat to fit into this season, shall we? This smoothie is healthy and delicious (and let’s face it, these terms are not always synonymous).

Bon appétit!

If you’re looking for a great chili recipe to feed the family on a relaxing (okay, lazy) Sunday evening, I’ve got one that’s a sure fire hit. And no, it’s not freezing outside – thankfully – but it’s certainly still chilly enough that a nice, hearty bowl of chili will hit the spot.



Sunday Night Chili 

12 ounces packaged bacon 

1 pound lean ground beef 

1 red bell pepper, diced 

1 sweet onion, diced 

**Oh, this recipe is fantastic - and our special thanks to Birmingham Post-Herald Editor Hanson Watkins for sharing!

If you still have pecans left over from the Glenwood pecan sales that happen at Christmas, this is a wonderful  way to use those up.

This granola is really delicious – sweet, nutty, crunchy.  It has the added value of being high in protein and iron plus you get a serving of surreptitious vegetable (thank you pumpkin).  Since it is high protein and lower in carbs, it helps keep blood sugar stable. 

Serve on top of vanilla or fruit Greek yogurt or in a bowl topped with the milk of your choice. Almond milk goes well with this granola.  This is a very filling mixture, so a little goes a long way.

  • 2 cups Pecans (chopped or halves)
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds, Raw
  • ½ cup Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
  • 2/3 cups Canned Pumpkin Puree
  • ½ cup Unsweet Applesauce (the little lunch sized container works here)
  • 1.5 TB Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 TB blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup Maple Syrup*

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment or oil two cookie sheets. Parchment works best plus is easy to clean up.

Mix together pumpkin, apple sauce, pumpkin pie spice, sweetener and molasses until well combined. Add nuts and seeds.

Spread the mixture onto cookie sheets. It will be clumpy, but avoid big chunks as they will not dry as well.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, stir and bake for another 15- 20 minutes.

Cool, break into pieces and store in a ziplock bag in the freezer. This mixture can last 4-6 months in the freezer, but it tends to be eaten much quicker. No need to defrost before eating as it will defrost well enough to eat in the time it takes to get it to the table.

Makes 12 – 1/2 cup servings

*Can use Swerve or Splenda to make this a low carb recipe.  Doing so reduces the calories to 227 per serving and 4 net carbs.

This recipe is grain free and Paleo friendly as written.


For those of you looking for a way to make a delicious breakfast without having to wake up an hour early, I’ve got a suggestion: This overnight oatmeal is perfection. Prep everything, use the slow cooker and wake up to a hearty breakfast! And, let’s face it, given the chilly temps we’ve “enjoyed” (Ha!) here in Tuscaloosa in recent weeks, a nice, hot breakfast can’t be beat. It’s not sweetened, but obviously it can be – just add as much, or as little sugar as you like.

Bon appétit!

Ah, Nutella – such a versatile treat! World Nutella Day is coming (Feb. 5), so I thought this would be the perfect time to share one of my favorite new dessert delicacies: fried Nutella bites!

These are delicious and really very easy to make. Enjoy, and as always, bon appétit!

By Amy Poore

Ah, what to do when you have a house filled with loved ones, and you've spent all your free time (HA!) planning and cooking a ginormous holiday Christmas dinner for all of them - but they want some Christmas morning breakfast?! Well I have a solution: Whip up this super easy and incredibly delicious deep dish breakfast bake. Prep time is minimal, and the ingredients are simple. Enjoy, and have a wonderful holiday!

Deep Dish Breakfast Bake 


1/2 lb. sausage (mild or hot – your preference) 

1 package crescent rolls 

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 

5 eggs 

1/4 cup milk 

1 tsp rosemary 

1/2 tsp salt 

1/4 tsp pepper 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Brown sausage over medium high heat, breaking it up as it cooks. 

Roll out crescent rolls into a 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Press seams together as so to make a whole sheet of pastry. 

Sprinkle cooked sausage over dough, followed by cheddar cheese. 

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with milk and add in rosemary, salt and pepper. 

Pour egg mixture over the cheese. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until eggs are set and the crust is a golden color. 

Note: This can be made with bacon and diced ham in place of the sausage as well.

Photo: Amy Poore

By Amy Poore 

Happy Holidays, everyone. I’m sure many of you have traditional recipes you like to use for Christmas dinner, so I thought I’d offer up a fun treat that's easy to make. These mistletoe kisses are the perfect thing to leave out for Santa if you want something a little different (though cookies are certainly the Jolly Man's favorite). Enjoy making these colorful, festive, chocolate delights!

Mistletoe Kisses 


One bag of square pretzels 

Hersey Hugs 

Hersey Kisses 

Red and green M&Ms 


Preheat oven to 250.  

Place pretzels on foiled line baking tray.  

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.


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