Crock Pot Pulled Pork & Quinoa

Part two of this week’s pre-made meal makeover was pulled pork in the crockpot, served twice (and counting!) with quinoa and veggies. It started with my recipe for taco-ready crock pot pulled pork, which basically consists of a pork tenderloin, a large can of diced tomatoes, frozen corn and taco seasoning in the crock pot.

I served mine two ways with quinoa as a base: accompanied by spinach and tomatoes on the first night…

On the second night, I melted a slice of pepper jack cheese over quinoa in the microwave, then topped it with leftover pork and sliced avocado…

And there is still plenty of leftover pork!

Taco-Ready Crock Pot Pulled Pork

It bothers me when I pile a bunch of delicious toppings into a taco shell while propping it straight up, and as soon as I let go, all the toppings fall out. This crock pot recipe solves that problem.

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I’ve seen similar shredded chicken recipes, but I’m a fan of the low maintenance pork tenderloin, so that was the nexus of this recipe:

In a crock pot, mix 1 large can of crushed or diced tomatoes with 4 tbsp taco seasoning and 1 bag of frozen corn. Add pork tenderloin and stir to cover loins with sauce. Cook on low for 6 hours. Pull meat apart with two forks and stir until blended.

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Since corn and tomatoes are already included, you technically don’t need to add toppings. But, we had ours with fuss-free shredded cheese and green onions.

The results were so delicious, I kept sneaking bites before dinner, David had spoonfuls on a plate for seconds, and Indy wouldn’t stay out of the kitchen all night.

Cleaning out the Fridge (Again)

Once upon a time I made homemade Pad Thai. I used a similar method the other night to clean out the limited items in my fridge, this time using rice noodles, corn, spinach and egg (cooked in garlic). The sauce consisted of soy sauce and brown sugar – but the original recipe calls for lime.

Basically, you saute two chopped cloves of garlic, scramble two eggs in the same pan, and then set aside. Meanwhile soak the noodles as instructed. Saute the spinach and corn in the same pan used for the eggs; remove. Saute the noodles with the sauce, then mix back in all the other ingredients.

It’s a light way to enjoy the Thai fan favorite. We ate the entire batch in one sitting!

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Starting Fresh

Fresh produce from @FarmFreshtoYou = healthy weekend kick-off. Tonight I went to work in the kitchen, chopping up all the seasonal veggies I could get my hands on for dinner. David and I both ate pretty decadently this week (hello, In-n-out) so we thought it was a good night to start fresh.

First, I shredded a head of cabbage, reserving two bowls’ worth for the base of a pseudo farmer’s market salad. Next, I chopped up tomatoes and walnuts, sliced two carrots, and diced an avocado. And a salad in the Jackson house isn’t complete without dried cranberries and Ranch. 😉

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Meanwhile, I steamed fresh corn on the cob and roasted a combo of fingerlings and sweet potatoes on a makeshift foil “tray” in the oven. I only had two sweet potatoes, so I mashed them up with ricotta and brown sugar. The fingerlings were delicious with a bit of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

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No guilt this Friday night! And it probably cost less than $10 given it was half my delivery from Farm Fresh to You.

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Accidental Gravy and Other Experiments

Buttery potatoes + leftover chicken + broth = surprise gravy! Tonight I was short on time, but had a random burst of ideas for a “hands-off” meal. First, a fresh delivery from Farm Fresh to You arrived, so I prepared “Herbed New Potatoes” from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot in Paris” cookbook (using red potatoes, even though she calls for white or Yukon Gold).

While the potatoes steamed for 30 minutes or so, I microwaved frozen corn and pulled out the leftover “honey-baked” chicken breast from last night. The potatoes left a nice frothy butter sauce in the pan, so I poured chicken broth in and added the chicken breast. After bringing it to a boil, a delicious aroma started rising. Suddenly David was asking for some of the “sauce” to pour over the chicken – and voila, gravy!

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In our quest to eat healthy in 2010, I thought I’d share some of my other recent experiments:

Honey-Baked Chicken Breast with Sauteed Peas & Baby Bella Mushrooms and Brown Rice

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Leftover Turkey & Butternut Squash Meatballs with Broccoli and Flax Fettuccini

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“Case of the Mondays” Dinner

With extra daylight peering through the windows, I was hardly motivated to spend a lot of time in the kitchen tonight. So I grabbed my go-to four cheese tortellini, frozen corn, and chopped pancetta from the market. (Don’t forget to recycle the plastic!)

To cut down on dish duty, I microwaved the frozen corn in a casserole dish filled 1/3 with water, while boiling the tortellini. After I drained and plated the tortellini (which cooks quickly), I use the same pot to warm the pancetta with a little olive oil over low heat (cooks even faster!). Mix all three together, drizzle with olive oil, and serve.

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“One-Pot” Salad

When looks don’t matter, I make “one-pot” salad with Tupperware or the generic Ikea plastic container set I picked up for $5 back in September. All-in-one, I combine lettuce (straight after washing is okay – use the lid to drain excess water) and desired ingredients with dressing, place lid on tightly and shake it… like a Polaroid picture! Divide among plates or bowls, and serve.

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Fat Tuesday Dinner with David – Feb. 24, 2009

In honor of Fat Tuesday and my memories of New Orleans eating, I made a super quick version of red beans & rice. To spice up the classically Cajun dish – without actual spices (we’re a heartburn house) – I combined rice, beans, corn and Aidells Chicken Apple sausage.

Preparation couldn’t have been easier; rice from the rice cooker, frozen corn in the microwave, and organic red beans from a can. Just heat the sausage in a saute pan until warm throughout (about 10-12 min.), add the beans and turn the heat down to medium-low for about 5 minutes until heated. Combine with corn and rice, and serve.

I recommend seasoning with butter, salt, and pepper; but David had his with a little yellow mustard.

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