Friday, August 23, 2013

On a Mission: Meal Planning!

Boy was I on a mission this week!  When I say our cupboard was bare, I mean we were out of even staples like olive oil, peanut butter, milk, etc.  Somehow my chores never really get done with a newborn around!

My hubby and I did two shopping trips to restock our empty shelves, fridge, and freezer (well, I had plenty of freezer meals).  We went to our local supermarket and wholesale club.  These are the meals I shopped for:

Pasta alla Norma - a tomato/eggplant pasta sauce
Italian Bangers and Beans - something I've adapted from Extra Virgin
Pork and Apples - one of my favorite combinations!
Hearty Black Bean Soup - we like to eat this for lunch!
Baked Chicken and Artichokes - my Aunt made this for me when Ben was born and I plan on making a lighter version

Up first, pork and apples!  I had a 2 1/2lb pork roast in the freezer that I've been dying to use.  I didn't want to use it for pulled pork so I remembered one of my favorite dinner combinations: pork chops and applesauce!  I also decided to plop everything in the slow cooker.  Yummo! 

Sweet and Smokey Pork and Apples
2lbs center cut pork chops or roast, trimmed of visible fat
3 gala apples, diced with skins on
2 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp chipotle seasoning
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Mix sugar, water, mustard, cinnamon, chipotle, cayenne, and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved.  Place fresh (or slightly frozen) pork roast or chops in slow cooker.  Pour mixture over the pork and top with 1/3 of diced apples.  Cook on low 6-8 hours (depending if you put pork in frozen or fresh).  In last 4 hours of cooking time add the remaining apples.  Serve pork with sauce and apples poured on top!
*I like to put some meats in the slow cooker frozen because they shred less and hold up their shape.

To make freezer friendly:
Place the pork in a freezer safe bag with sauce and diced apples.
To cook:
Follow directions above, but place all apples in slow cooker initially. 

Stay tuned for my next meal planning on a mission recipe!

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