In our house, if we don’t meal plan, we don’t eat. Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic but it’s pretty close; things just get weird. To prevent this from happening, every week my husband and in-laws get together and talk about what the menu for the upcoming week will look like. While we split cooking (and cleaning) responsibilities across the household, it can still be a lot to coordinate when you’re managing kids, pets, a pandemic, jobs, mental and physical health, and anything else that lands on your plate. Recently we’ve started to give ourselves a bit of relief by preparing one large protein source on Sunday and using it for an entire week’s worth of meals. In this volume of “what is Kat eating?” I am going to share our favorite recipes while using the same protein source for each one.
First, you’re going to start with your protein source. We have really been digging a slow cooked pork butt (or shoulder). If you don’t eat pork, not a worry. You could use chicken or beef instead. Below is the slow cooked pork recipe that we use. Rumor has it that my mother in law at this pork at a restaurant and loved it so much that she actually paid the chef for the recipe! Yes, it’s that good.
Slow Cooked Pork Butt
Rub for Pork:
- 2/3 cup kosher salt
- ½ cup cumin
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup coriander
- 1/3 cup chili powder
- 1/3 cup salt
- 1 cup paprika
- 1/3 cup pepper
*Note: you will have leftover rub, we store ours in a mason jar or large plastic spice container.
Cooking the Pork
- Pork butt/shoulder (7-8 lbs)
- Pork rub
- Can of coke OR can of light beer (the latter is easier to find for us as we don’t drink soda)
- 1 cup of orange juice
- Place seasoned pork into crockpot
- Add coke/beer and orange juice
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours
- Remove from crockpot and shred
- Make a sandwich, top with your favorite BBQ sauce and toppings
Ramen with Shredded Pork
Ramen is one of my all-time favorite things to eat (you can’t ever go wrong with a soup, right?!) and this recipe is quick, easy and oh so tasty! To be clear, this is not your noodle with seasoning packet kind of ramen. (Personally, I am a fan of that type of ramen but there is a time and place for it and this is not the time nor the place.)
- 1 pound protein source
- Salt and pepper, to season
- 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp minced garlic (1.5 tsp garlic powder)
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 4 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup fresh mushrooms (shitake are preferred, button or bella are fine too)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup scallions, chopped
- 2-3 oz ramen noodles
- Optional: jalapenos, chopped
- Make the ramen broth: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, until shimmering. Add garlic, ginger and scallions and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the soy sauce and mirin and stir to combine. Cook for another minute. Add the stock, cover and bring to a boil. Remove the lid, add mushrooms, and let simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Make the soft-boiled eggs: Fill a pot with an inch of water and bring to a boil. Add the eggs (still cold from the fridge) and simmer for 6 minutes. Place in large bowl with ice water and wait for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle. Peel shell and slice in half, lengthwise.
- Cook ramen noodles: Follow package instructions for cooking the ramen noodles.
- Assemble the ramen bowls: Once cooked, add noodles to bowls. Add shredded pork, jalapenos, and soft-boiled egg. Serve immediately.
Shredded Pork Tacos
You can’t go wrong with a pork taco. We keep things really simple with this one and assemble the usual topping suspects. Overall this takes about 15-20 mins to prep and is simply delicious
To prepare the pork:
- Turn broiler on high
- Line sheet pan with parchment paper
- Spread pork out on sheet pan
- Drizzle olive/avocado oil on top
- Add some chicken stock to the pan (keeps the pork from drying out – don’t need a lot, just enough to add moisture to the bottom of the pan)
- Sprinkle taco seasoning on top of the pork
- We make homemade taco seasoning and use this recipe.
The usual topping suspects:
- Avocado (or guacamole)
- Sour Cream
- Refried Beans (we love this instant pot recipe)
*Note: these is not an all inclusive topping list, just our favorites…you’re the boss applesauce so feel free to use whatever toppings you and your family like!
Shredded Pork Totchos
- A variation of nachos where tortilla chips are substituted with tater tots
Who doesn’t love a plate of nachos piled high with protein, cheese-y goodness and any other delicious toppings? You’re right, no one. Imagine your favorite nachos with tater tots instead!
- All your favorite nacho toppings: shredded pork, cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, beans, etc.
- A bag of frozen tater tots
- Cook the tater tots per the instructions on the bag
- Pile the cooked tater tots with all your favorite toppings including the shredded pork
- Turn the broiler on low and place the totchos in to get all melted and awesome
- Serve and enjoy immediately
Spicy Shredded Pork Chili
This is a fun spin on my favorite chili recipe. Prepare as you normally would but use a pound of shredded pork instead!
You can find the original recipe here: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/spicy-chicken-chili
And head over to a previous volume of what is Kat eating for my recipe notes: http://osi-online.com/whatiskateating-1/.