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Crockpot Pork Loin

10 Mar

I know it has been quite some time since I made a post but my iphone was stolen and I had no phone (which means no camera) for the past month plus the boyfriend and I are taking this online class that has been great, but time consuming…But, I still have been eating dinner and this crockpot pork loin is one of those meals that I am definitely making again!

Pork loin is a big hunk of meat. Like, you’re best off buying it at Costco (it is much cheaper here than if you buy a small loin at the regular grocery store). So the other day, boyfriend and I had a friend take us to Costco and we bought ridiculous amounts of food that will last forever in our freezer – talipa fillets, a huge hunk of pork loin, Clamato (for all those micheladas – this one doesn’t go in the freezer though), and a ton of frozen fruit for the breakfast smoothies we have in the mornings. Boyfriend butchered this pork loin into a 2 good chunks of pork loin and many, many pork chops.

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This pork loin made me love my crockpot. Especially because about two weeks prior, I had tried to make the same recipe but didn’t fully click the crockpot on so came home to cold, raw pork in the crockpot. I was very disheartened at the waste of the meat and the lack of dinner that night so it took me a few weeks before I could re-attempt this recipe. But goodness. It’s almost to re-up on pork at Costco because I want to make this again!

Ingredients:
– Pork loin (probably 2-3 pounds…because the boyfriend butchered it, it is hard to know exactly how big it was)
– Half an onion (not chopped – just leave it)
– 3 garlic cloves, whole
– Salt and pepper
– Garlic powder
– Onion powder
– Parsley
– Oregano
– Cayenne pepper
– Chicken broth (enough to fill your crock pot – for me, this was 4 cups)

Directions:
1. Mix together all your spices to become a dry rub for your pork loin – salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Then, rub this all over your pork loin.

2. In a heavy bottomed pan (I used my dutch oven), heat up the oil of your choice. On high heat, sear all sides and edges of the pork loin until the dry rub creates a nice crust on the meat.

3. Then, add the onion, garlic, and pork loin to your crock pot. Fill with chicken broth and set your crock pot on low.

4. I left this in the crock pot for about 12 hours. I made it at 6am before I went to work, came home and checked on it, shredded it, and then left it in the crock pot until dinnertime around 6pm. After about 8 hours, the pork should just pull apart with a fork — it is that tender. You could probably eat it at that point, but I thought I had boyfriend shred it and then kept it in the crock pot so that literally each bite of pork loin was juicy and flavorful. Sooooo good!

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I served ours with the delectable butternut squash mash, half an avocado, and oven roasted brussel sprouts. I am starving now that I have wrote about this….

The best part? It makes enough for dinner, for lunch the next day, for lunch the day after that, and breakfast tacos that I will write about soon!

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The Boyfriend Rates It:4

This pork loin was delicious and juicy. Having 12hrs to cook it really made it fall of your fork tender and shredding it for the last 3-4 hrs really lets the broth soak into each piece.

Kale and Tofu Soba Noodles

20 Feb

Ooooooh goodness. This is a bowl of healthy yumminess. I like eating it almost as much as I like to look at it because it’s another one of those meals that just beams good for you. I can also take zero credit for this recipe because I found it here. I do nothing different except add extra amounts of veggies. Oh, and one time I topped it with sliced avocado. That was a good choice, and probably one I’ll repeat.

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Ignore that white piece of furikake dead in the center. I don’t know what happened, but this is the only pic I took, so love it.

Ingredient List:
– 1 bunch kale, torn and blanched
– 3 small carrots, finely grated
– 1 avocado, thinly sliced
– Tofu, cubed
– Soba noodles
– Green/spring onion
– Sesame oil
– Shoyu
– Dashi
– Rice vinegar
– Honey

Directions:
1. Cook your soba noodles according to the package instructions. Once it is done cooking, remove from the boiling water and rinse with cold water. This helps your soba noodles to not stick together. Trust me, I made that mistake once and it was a mushy mess that I did not enjoy.

2. The tofu. If possible, a few hours before you are going to cook your tofu, take it out of the packaging, drain it, put paper towels on the top and bottom of it, cover it, and let it drain. This helps take the moisture out and will allow your tofu to crisp up better when cooking.

Anyway, cube the tofu. Then in a pan with the oil of your choice, fry the tofu. While it is cooking, I like to season with shoyu, dashi, and a dash of sesame oil.

3. Tear your kale into bite-sized pieces and then quickly blanch it. Grate the carrots. Chop the green onion.

4. In a small bowl, combine the shoyu, sesmae oil, rice vinegar, honey, and green onion. Go heavier on the shoyu and sesame oil and lighter on the rice vinegar and honey — but taste it until it is delicious.

5. Now, in a large bowl, mix your veggies, noodles, and dressing all together. Serve up in individual bowls and top with furikake. Eat healthy and feel healthy!

The Boyfriend Rates It:4.5

I love this dish because it is good for you and it taste great. As I’ve stated before, I did not grow up eating Asian flavors, but I have always loved them. The shoyu and sesame flavors are the ones that I imagined all Asian food to taste like and I love them till this day. The kale along with the noodles really make this dish stick to your ribs, in a healthy way of course. And the carrots and green onion give it that crunch and bite that I always appreciate.

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

18 Feb

I am newly obsessed with spaghetti squash. I am not sure I will ever eat spaghetti with regular pasta noodles again. Roasting the squash can take some time, and I know sometimes people just microwave it for convenience. However, I roasted mine and it was delicious. And like a little kid, I was so excited to rake the squash with a fork and watch it become strings of pasta!

Also, on this new little health kick I am doing, I am experimenting without pastas, rice, and other starchy foods for four nights a week. I got inspired by one of my Paleo-eating friends but I am Japanese. I can’t give up shoyu and rice. And my boyfriend is Mexican – he needs rice and beans. So we are just making a few adjustments during the weekdays and then on the weekends allow ourselves to eat like normal people. I am only mentioning this so it makes sense why the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese are optional in this recipe but usually those things are pretty mandatory for me. Boyfriend and I just need to shed a few pounds before we start hitting the beach here soon!

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Ingredient List:
– Spaghetti squash
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper

Spaghetti sauce:
– 3/4-1 lb. ground beef
– 2 cans tomato sauce
– 1 can tomato paste
– 2 large tomatoes, chopped
– 1 yellow onion, chopped
– A ridiculous amount of mushrooms, chopped
– 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 tbsps sun-dried tomatoes
– 1/3 cup heavy cream (optional if you’re doing Paleo)
– Salt and pepper
– Dried oregano, basil, and thyme
– Red pepper flakes
– Parmesan cheese (optional if you’re doing Paleo)

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Cut your spaghetti squash in half (you’ll need a tough knife, or a tough man, for this job). Remove the seeds and then dress the squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in your oven for 30-45 minutes until the flesh is easily raked into strings with a fork.

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2. Make your spaghetti sauce. To begin with, in a pan on medium-high heat, cook about 1/4 of the chopped onion and 1 minced garlic clove in your favorite cooking oil. Then, add your ground beef. I like to cook mine on pretty high heat so that the meat gets crispy on the outside. While it is cooking, I also like to add about 1 tbsp of sun dried tomato paste (you can use just regular tomato paste) to the meat. Once the meat is cooked, drain on a paper towels to get rid of some of the fats/oil. Set aside.

3. In a large pan, use your favorite cooking oil and cook the remaining onion and garlic. Add a dash of salt and pepper.

4. Next, add in your mushrooms. Cook until the liquid is gone.

5. Add in the tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, dried basil, and red pepper flakes. I like my spaghetti a little on the spicy side.

6. Mix in your tomato paste, tomato sauce, and the sun dried tomatoes. Stir everything together and adjust your seasonings, if needed. Now, here is the big thing – the longer this sits and simmers on your stove, the deeper the flavors will develop and the better it will taste. Let it simmer!

7. Once your squash is ready and your sauce has simmered for a good long minute, rake your squash out and serve in a pasta bowl. Add a generous portion of your spaghetti sauce and top with Parmesan cheese. Perfect!

The Boyfriend Rates It:4.0
While most of the flavor comes from the amazing spaghetti sauce, this is a great overall meal. And it is kinda fun to scape the squash after its roasted and watch it become “spaghetti.” Just make sure you don’t burn you hands. The texture of the “spaghetti” has a little more bite that your traditional pasta. It is a great alternative to regular pasta as it has less calories (28 versus 158 in traditional pasta) antioxidant rich, and is low carb (about 9g versus 31g).

Cabbage, Tuna, and Egg Stir-fry — Japanese comfort food

10 Feb

I have been barely posting lately, but I still have been cooking. Between the new clean eating I am trying to do, work, and my online class I am taking to become a certified online teacher, things are crazy! And when things get crazy, you need comfort food.

This is pure comfort food. My mom always made it for me on cold days, sad days, and poor days. It is cheap, easy, and delicious. I am always embarrassed to cook this for other people because I know it sounds weird and I can totally understand why people would not take to it. But if you like the ingredients, try it. It’s a perfect meal that leaves your belly full and your wallet full. I decided to finally post it because boyfriend actually liked it — and I figured maybe me and my mama weren’t crazy eating this. Even better, it’s ridiculously healthy — the egg and the tuna offer lots of protein and there isn’t anything bad in it to make it unhealthy. Plus, it’s delicious. Just try it.

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Ingredient List:
– 1 whole green cabbage, shredded
– 1 onion, chopped
– 4 eggs
– 2 cans of tuna
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper
– Dashi
– Shoyu

– Furikake, for topping
– White rice, for serving

Directions:

Serves 2 for dinner & lunch the next day

1. Taking apart an entire green cabbage can be some work. The center is rough and there are a lot of white parts that are a bit tougher and not as tasty. However, cut it in half, cut out the core, and then start shredding the cabbage. I use the entire thing.

2. Chop your onion and mince your garlic.

3. Whisk together the eggs. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Sometimes I add a little pour of milk.

4. Drain the two cans of tuna.

5. Now, in a wok, add your oil of choice. Cook the onion and garlic. Once it starts to smell good in your kitchen, add in the cabbage. Warning – there is a lot cabbage so you might have to add this in batches. Cabbage cooks down a lot so what seems like a lot when it is fresh, actually wilts pretty quickly. As it is cooking, add the shoyu, dashi, salt, and pepper to taste.

6. In a separate pan, scramble your eggs.

7. Once the onion and cabbage have cooked down, add the tuna and egg. Stir together and season as necessary.

8. Serve over rice and top with furikake! Delicious, nutritious, and cheap! Everything a meal should be.

The Boyfriend Rates It:3.5
This dish is simple and even though I didn’t eat it growing up, I can why it’s would be considered comfort food. Cheap ingredients, filling and quite tasty.

Caprese Salad Portabellas

26 Jan

If you like portabella mushrooms, you’ll like this. If you like caprese salads, you’ll especially love this. This is a combination of the best of both these worlds. Portabella mushrooms are meaty, earthy, and filling. Caprese salads are fresh and light. Combine them? Melty, earthy, delicious. This works well as a main course but you’ll need a side salad or quinoa to accompany to be a complete meal. I served one mushroom each with a quinoa salad for a meal.

Ingredient List:
– 4 large portabella mushrooms
– Cherry tomatoes
– Basil, torn
– Buffalo mozzarella
– Balsamic vinegar

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Directions:

Serves 2 for dinner & lunch

1. Prepare your portabella mushrooms. These are delicate, I broke 3 out of the 4 that I cooked. To begin, wash your mushrooms and pat dry them. Then, cute the stem and remove the gills. This just allows for more space for the mozzarella cheese and other goodness to fit.

2. Let the mushrooms marinate with a generous pour of balsamic vinegar for 10-15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

3. In your mushrooms, layer a slice of mozzarella, halved cherry tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese has melted and the mushroom is tender.

4. Serve up with some quinoa for protein (the mushroom only tastes meaty, it isn’t actually a protein packed meat) or a side salad. I think an arugula salad would go really nice with this dish. Enjoy!

The Boyfriend Rates It:4.5

This is simple but absolutely amazing meal. The earthiness of the portabella, sweetness of the tomato and aromatics of the basil made it a completely satisfying meal.