Cola-Braised Pot Roast

It is a beautiful Sunday morning here. I couldn't ask for a better day. It is such a beautiful Spring day. Spring has got to be my favorite season when flowers are beginning to bloom, trees are getting their leaves back and everything just seems so alive! Not to mention the temperature is perfect! Right now I am visiting family for the weekend and it is such a struggle to stay on plan when I am out of town. I am constantly tempted by all the great food here and all the good old fashioned home cooking. Nothing beats your mom's cooking right? Well, I have virtually no will power when I come here so I must admit I managed to fall off the wagon on Friday. No surprise to me since this isn't the first time this has happened. I love visiting my family, but I am so easily tempted to not make smart choices or the best choices. I do very well when I am at home alone where I have no bad foods in the house that would sabotage my diet. That is something I just have to work on. There is always going to be temptation around me, especially when hubby gets back, so I need to learn how to deal with being strong. I know I can do it. I have no idea how much I gained over the weekend, but I need to face the scale tomorrow. (Please be kind to me scale!) It is not the end of the world that I went off plan, but I realize I must get back in gear and get focused again. I am human. I know I have to accept the fact that I will have to lose the additional weight I gained, but that is okay. I am ready to re-start and that is all that matters :)

Today, I decided I will cook dinner for my family and it would be something on plan. I decided on a cola-braised pot roast created by Emeril Lagasse. His recipes are usually quite tasty so I had no doubt it would be hit. As always, I made a few adaptions but it still turned out very good. Normally when I make a pot roast, I just add beef broth and season with a few spices. This time I wanted to try a different twist by adding coca-cola. You might think it turned out overly sweet, but it didn't. It really didn't taste like coke was an ingredient at all. The gravy had a subtle sweet taste which made it taste really good, but the meat wasn't sweet at all. Everyone loved it so I am happy it turned out to be a crowd pleaser even for those not on Medifast. I ate my roast with cooked, grated cauliflower that resembled rice and they had mashed potatoes. It was a delicious meal! I wanted to add that Emeril's original recipe states to cook the beef in a dutch oven inside the oven at 325 degrees for about 3 and a half hours. Keep in mind that this is for 4 and a half pounds of meat. If using a smaller portion of meat like what I used, then you will have to cook it less than what is stated. Probably 2 hours. I didn't do it this way. I just cooked it on the stove like I always do. It may work in a slow cooker as well, but I have never tried this recipe that way so I can't tell you if it turns out good or not. If you use the slow cooker, skip the olive oil. Be sure to get rid of the fat on the meat before weighing it so that you get the most accurate amount of lean meat which is 5 oz per serving. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

My husband sent me a few more photos today. I love when I get photos from him. It is always such a nice surprise when I do get them because I don't expect them. I am just so happy he has the time to send them. I love him sooooo much!

Another photo...

And one more!

Cola-Braised Pot Roast

1 lb 12 oz pounds boneless chuck roast - yields 20 oz cooked (4 Lean)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (3 Condiments)
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (1-1/2 Condiments)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves (1/2 Condiment)
1 cup low-sodium canned beef broth (1 Condiment) 
6 ounces Coke Zero
2 teaspoons tomato paste (2 Condiments) 

Combine salt, pepper, garlic powder and rosemary. Season the roast well on all sides with the spice combination. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat over high heat. Add the roast and cook until brown on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the roast and set aside. Add the beef stock and cola to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits. Add the tomato paste and stir to blend. Add the roast back to the pan. The liquid should be about 1/2 way up the sides of the roast. Cover the frying pan with a lid. Bring the liquid to a boil. Continue cooking the roast over low heat (enough to still have a slight boil) for about 3 hours. Turn the roast over every hour, adding extra water if necessary to keep the liquid level at about 1/3 up the sides of the roast. Roast is done when the meat is fork-tender. Mine was done in about 3 hours. When the meat is fork-tender, remove the roast from the oven and carefully transfer the roast to a serving platter. Cover loosely to keep warm. Skim the fat from gravy and serve with pot roast.

4 Servings with 1 Lean and 2.25 Condiments per Serving

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