Back from two evenings off of making dinner. The conference I attended on Monday and Tuesday was fabulous. I can’t wait to share more of it in the coming days.
But, I still had to cook dinner last night. When I explained my blog to people at the conference most asked me how I had the time to cook all the different dishes I do or is this all I do? I do not cook all day, well – most days, and I am organized about it. I would say the biggest tip I can give to anyone is plan at LEAST one week of meals at a time. Make sure you have all the ingredients except for the fresh items that you need to pick up toward the end of the week to make at least those seven dishes.
Look at your schedule and be realistic about the amount of time you have to prep and cook. Busy day at work and with kids, utilize your slow cooker and prep as much as you can a day or two ahead of time. Have a bit of extra time one evening? Make the casserole for dinner a night or two ahead and refrigerate it. Then you just need to pop it in the oven when you are ready to bake it. Teach your kids to cook with you. They LOVE it! They can help prep salads and veggies with a kid safe knife or mine loved to stick their hands in the bowls and mix the meat or casserole ingredients.
Don’t be a slave to your schedule either. If something comes up one day switch your planned meals around to fit your life. At least you know you have the ingredients on hand for a week of meals.
So, this meal came about because I had a piece of leftover pork in my freezer that I wanted to use up. I cook pork quite often because right now it is one of the cheapest cuts of meat for sale around here. I try to come up with several of different way to cook it so that we don’t get tired of it. After I made a pork loin two weeks ago I cut up the leftovers into small pieces and froze the leftovers. Tonight was the night to use it. I took the pork out the night before to thaw in the refrigerator and dinner was on the table in about 30-35 minutes.
This was a hands down favorite of everyone. It may not be authentic Pork Carnitas but it worked for us. I am planning on using this recipe (super sized) and making a pork loin in the slow cooker next time so it has time to sit all day in the spices to really infuse the flavor into the meat.
I served this meal with a spinach salad and extra cut veggies.
- 3 cups diced pork, cooked, leftover pork loin works great
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 2 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 TBSP canola oil
- 3 TBSP lime juice
- 8 flour tortillas, I grilled mine by brushing with olive oil for about 1 minute each side
- Feta cheese for tacos
- 1 1/2 thinly sliced large onions
- 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 2 TBSP sugar
- Place the vinegar, cumin, 2 bay leaves, coriander and sugar for the pickled onions in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir ingredients until the sugar has melted. Add the onions to the pan and lower temperature to medium-low for 15-20 minutes.
- After onions have been cooking about 5 minutes place canola oil in a wok or skillet. Allow to warm over medium heat.
- Add pork and garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, oregano, minced garlic and bay leaf to the pan. Lower heat to medium low. Stir often and cook until meat is warmed through about 6-10 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves from both of the pans. Drain onions with a strainer.
- Serve meat on a tortilla shell with onions and feta over the top.