Tag Archives: pork chops

One Week of Meals from One Pork Roast

 

Do you ever wish you had more time?  Do you feel like you spend too much time at the grocery store, or in the kitchen, or waiting for delivery? Does you bank account look emptier because of all the ordering out you do?  Do you want an easy way to make a week’s worth of homemade meals, for less than $100, with minimal prep and cook time from one grocery trip?

I thought so. Here is your answer!

This post is created to show you how to get a week’s worth of dinners (with some leftovers for lunches too) from a single 4 pound pork roast.  All recipes easily feed 2 adults, with many recipes making much more food for leftovers and re-make meals.

By planning ahead to use one main dish all throughout the week, you can get creative and ensure that none of your food dollars get wasted by literally throwing them away. You will save time throughout the week by not having to go to the grocery store to pick up “just one or two things” and not having to worry what to make for dinner, it’s already planned out. And you can eat healthy, whole food, home cooked meals all week long!

Here is the list of recipes you will be making if you follow this plan:

As far as cooking equipment, you will need at least a frying pan, and preferably a slow cooker. You can slow cook the pork in the oven, and make the casserole in the oven as well, but that requires slightly more hands-on time from you. The full grocery list can be found at the bottom of the post, and you can go to individual recipes by clicking on the links throughout.

The first thing you’re going to need to do is assess your pantry and freezer situation.  If you have plenty of Italian dressing, some frozen mixed veggies, noodles, and plenty of spices, you’re already halfway there on this week’s grocery list. Then make your list of what you still need to make the recipes, and head to the store.

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You will need to pick up a nice pork loin roast, or other pork roast. I recommend 3-5 pounds for 2 adults for one week’s worth of meals.  You can adjust to larger or smaller sizes if feeding a larger crowd, or just one, or if you wish to double recipes or omit certain recipes this week.

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Once you have your pork roast, use a sharp knife to cut 2-4 pork chops off the end. You can also ask your butcher to do so if you go to a regular grocery store. These pork chops can be frozen for later depending on when you want to make the Italian Pork Chops.

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Once you have your chops cut, take about 1 pound off the remaining roast. This will be diced up into cubes.  You can also freeze these chunks for later, depending on when you want to make the Pork Lo Mein Stir Fry.

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As for the remainder of the roast, put that guy into your crock pot.  This is gonna become one delicious, fall-apart pot of BBQ Pulled Pork. If you’re game, add a sliced onion and a can of beer, then cook on low for 8-10 hours or high at least 4 hours.

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Shred the pork roast with two forks.  I recommend removing half of the meat to a container in the refrigerator, and adding 1 cup BBQ sauce to the rest and cooking another hour on low.

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Now you have about a pound each of plain pulled pork and BBQ pulled pork! Plus 2-4 chops, and a pound of diced pork in the freezer. And that’s after less than an hour total of hands-on prep time.

Now you can use the shredded plain or BBQ pork for:

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Pulled Pork Burritoes (above) or Quesadillas:

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And slow cooker pork and rice and broccoli casserole:

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And the diced pork chunks for a delicious homemade lo mein:

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And the best part is, you can choose when to make these recipes and in what order, because the pork chops, diced pork, and shredded cooked pork all freeze very well. You can turn these into breakfast and lunch too, pulled pork omelettes are great, as are BBQ pulled pork sandwiches on nice thick buns.  Enjoy!

 

Full Grocery List

  • 1 4-5 pound pork roast
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Frozen or fresh vegetables of your choice
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (or more, to taste)
  • 1 package tortillas
  • ~1 cup white or brown rice
  • 1 can beans (black or pinto)
  • 1 package lo mein noodles
  • Soy sauce
  • Shredded cheese
  • Fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup milk (optional)
  • Burrito toppings – sour cream, guac, salsa, etc.

And seriously, that’s it! I guarantee you can buy all of these items for under $100 (at least everywhere I’ve lived from Colorado to Connecticut).

 

Also, if you’ve read this far and you’re curious, I also have a post explaining all the cuts of a pig. So next time you go to the store, you can know the difference between a rump roast, shoulder roast, and a loin. 🙂

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Italian Pork Chops

 

Everyone who is a fan of recipes that are cheap, and quick, and take less than 5 ingredients, raise your hand!

Ok now put your hand back on your mouse or keyboard, so you can keep scrolling and read your newest favorite weeknight recipe.

Italian Pork and Veggies

This recipe kind of just happened one day; I had a bottle of Italian dressing in my refrigerator, as I often do. I had also picked up a “family pack” of boneless pork chops and separated them into 2-per-bag zip locks. (HUGE money saving tip if you’re cooking for one or two! Buy in bulk to save $/per pound, then parcel it out into meal-sized bags and freeze.)

Since I also always keep cans of diced tomatoes in the pantry, and bags of frozen veggies in the freezer, this meal came together in a snap! With supreme flexibility (Green beans and zucchini, no? How about broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or onions? Boneless, bone in, doesn’t matter. Or use chicken! Or shrimp. Or tofu, why not), healthy options galore, and a very low price point (I’d estimate $2 per meal for 4 meals), this is a go-to recipe in my repertoire.

Italian Pork Over Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 pork chops
  • 1 cup vegetables of choice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup italian dressing

Italian Dressing Pork Chops

Step 1: Put the pork chops and the Italian dressing in a frying pan, and cook on medium heat for 7-9 minutes, until browned on one side.  Flip and cook 5-7 minutes until brown on the other side. You will have to decide when to add the vegetables based on whether you use fresh crispy ones (broccoli, carrots) vs softer or frozen ones (peas, fresh green beans, zucchini).

Easy Weeknight Pork and Veggies

Step 2: Add the canned tomatoes with juice and any other vegetables at this point. Simmer for 4-6 minutes, until heated through. Serve like this for a low-carb meal, or serve over rice or with baked potatoes on the side.

 

Italian Pork Chops

Italian Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 2 pork chops (or chicken breast/thighs)
  • 1 cup vegetables of choice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing

Instructions

  1. In a frying pan, put the pork chops and the Italian dressing. Cook on medium heat for 7-9 minutes, until browned on one side, and flip. Cook 5-7 minutes until brown on the other side. You will have to decide when to add the vegetables based on whether you use fresh crispy ones (broccoli, carrots) vs softer or frozen ones (peas, fresh green beans, zucchini).
  2. Add the canned tomatoes with juice and any other vegetables at this point. Simmer for 4-6 minutes, until heated through. Serve as is for a low-carb meal, or over rice.
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Pork with Peppermint Raspberry Sauce

 

This is a super-easy dinner you can create in less than 30 minutes, and it looks like you slaved all day.  Raspberry and peppermint naturally go together, with a sweet yet menthol cooling after taste.  Thin boneless pork chops are great to keep in the freezer for a quick last-minute dinner, because they defrost very quickly, and take to hundreds of different flavors and sauces well.

For this recipe, use either 4 small pork chops, or one larger 1-1.5 pound pork roast.  The sauce can be made while the chops cook, so that they are ready at the same time.  I made some potatoes and wilted spinach, but you could have a salad or any roasted veggie you like on the side to complete the meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pork chops or 1 pound roast
  • 1 tbsp butter or margerine
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp cran-cherry juice
  • 2-3 drops peppermint
  • 1/2 pint raspberries

Step 1: In a frying pan, melt the butter and fry the pork chops.  Cook 5-6 minutes, then flip and cook another 4-5 minutes.

Step 2: In a small sauce pan, mix the juice and vinegar.  Add the raspberries, and bring to a simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 3: After the raspberries have basically fallen apart, add the drops of peppermint, and strain it if you don’t want the seeds.  Drizzle over the cooked pork.

Pork Shepherd’s Pie

 

This is a super simple recipe I came up with when I had made pork chops and mashed potatoes, then had copious amounts of leftovers. It is so easy, and takes only 5-6 ingredients. To save even more time, you could use raw pork chunks, and store-bought mashed potatoes. If interested in other Shepherd’s Pie recipes, read my earlier posts.

Or even one step further, use dried potato flakes in the liquid. Then you will not have  a top layer, but will cut down on steps. You  can use whatever type of veggies you like, or not use them at all. I just like to try to stuff vegetables into anything and everything. Frozen mixed vegetables are a cheap and healthy way to pack in extra vitamins & filling fiber.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 small pork chops, diced
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 can biscuit dough
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2-3 tbsp flour (or 2-3 tbsp potato flakes)

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Step 1: If cooking the mashed potatoes, simple microwave on high 8-10 minutes, or cook in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes, until you can mash them with a fork. Cook the pork chops on medium heat in a skillet for 4-5 minutes, then turn and cook other side 2-3 minutes. Cut to make sure there is no pink inside.

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Step 2: Spray an oven-safe baking pan, and layer in the veggies and the pork chops. It is best to thaw the veggies, or you will end up with extra-watery pie as they thaw.

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Step 3: In a pan, combine the milk and flour. Heat until just simmering, and ensure all flour dissolves. You could also use cornstarch, or dried potato flakes. Or cream of potato soup.

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Step 4: Pour the milk mixture over the veggies & pork.

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Step 5: Cover in a layer of mashed potato. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, paprika, anything you like. Spread out the raw biscuits on top of the potato layer.

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Step 6: Bake in the oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

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Another chapter in my life

 

To all the readers who are in the New England praying fervently for spring to finally be here, so the snow mountains can begin melting and we can reclaim half the roads, I am one of you now!

Yes, that’s right, the Budget Epicurean has physically relocated across the country from Denver, Colorado to New Haven, Connecticut.

I question my sanity too, join the club.

Jobs brought us out here, but I already have a sneaking suspicion the beauty and ocean may make us happy about the change. Of course, driving a UHaul with a car being trailered behind it and two dogs in the cab for 32 hours, the final 12 of which are a force-you-to-do-20-on-the-highway blizzard isn’t exactly a picnic. But we made it!

I am quite excited to try all that the New Haven area has to offer, and it seems there is so much here! Of course, you may experience an uptick in seafood-related reviews and recipes. Cannot tell you how excited I am that the ocean is only 30 minutes away! And NYC only 2 hours by train. Lots of exploring to be done this year.

So dear readers, that’s the scoop. Hope you stick around for whatever comes next.

 

I’ll leave you with some ideas for St. Patrick’s Day this Tuesday. These recipes also work great for St. Patrick’s Day leftovers like leftover mashed potatoes, or leftover cabbage.