Meat

Freezer Burritos #2: Slow Cooker Pork and Roasted Sweet Potato Freezer Burritos

Freezer Burritos #2: Slow Cooker Pork and Roasted Sweet Potato Freezer Burritos

I’m back with round two of these easy, make-ahead freezer burritos! If you missed my first post, Freezer Burritos: Chicken Verde, Mushroom, Kale and Brown Rice Burritos, make sure you go read it. It’s essentially part one of this post and it goes through all the tips and tricks for making your own healthy freezer burritos at home.

Freezer Burritos #2: Slow Cooker Pork and Roasted Sweet Potato Freezer Burritos

Today I’m sharing another variation that Matt and I have enjoyed: Slow Cooker Pork and Roasted Sweet Potato Freezer Burritos. They are stuffed with tender roasted pork and sautéed peppers and onions. I’ve also substituted spiced roasted sweet potatoes in place of the traditional rice. The pork and the sweet potatoes pair really well together. As promised, below are some protein, grain and filling ideas so you can mix and match to make your ideal freezer burritos. Do you have any favorites that I didn’t include below?

Freezer Burritos #2: Slow Cooker Pork and Roasted Sweet Potato Freezer Burritos

Protein

Shredded chicken
Sliced steak
Shredded salsa verde chicken
Slow cooker pulled pork
Seasoned taco meat
Refried beans
Drained black or pinto beans
Crumbled sautéed chorizo or sausage, drained
Scrambled eggs (breakfast burritos!)

Grain/Starch

Cooked brown or white rice
Lime cilantro rice
Cooked quinoa
Roasted sweet potatoes
Fire roasted corn, drained
Cooked lentils, drained

Filling

Sautéed peppers and onions
Sautéed mushrooms
Cooked kale or spinach greens, drained
Roasted broccoli
Roasted chiles, drained
Caramelized onions
Sautéed zucchini
Shredded cheese

Freezer Burritos #2: Slow Cooker Pork and Roasted Sweet Potato Freezer Burritos

Freezer Burritos #2: Slow Cooker Pork and Roasted Sweet Potato Freezer Burritos
 
Yield: 8 burritos, plus extra shredded pork
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder roast
  • 2 onions
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, stems removed
  • 8 tortillas
  • ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella or colby jack cheese, optional
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Salsa, for serving
Directions
  1. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. Add to the slow cooker. Chop one of the onions and add to the slow cooker, along with the dried oregano. Add 3 tablespoons water then slow cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. When the pork is done and cooked through, remove from the slow cooker to a cutting board. Leave the onion and juices behind, discard. When the pork is cool enough to handle, shred. Let cool completely or put in the fridge to use later. You will have leftover pork after making the burritos - eat or freeze in a freezer bag for later.
  2. Roast the sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside. You can peel the sweet potatoes if you prefer; I always leave them unpeeled. Cut the sweet potatoes into ½-inch rounds then cut each round into pieces so you have roughly ½-inch diced pieces. Place the sweet potato pieces on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer and spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle the garlic powder, ground cumin, paprika and chili powder over top. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Bake until tender and slightly caramelized, about 28-35 minutes, tossing about every 15 minutes. Let cool completely or put in the fridge to use later.
  3. Cut the remaining onion in half then cut into slices. Slice the bell peppers. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the sliced onions and peppers, season with salt and pepper. Sauté until soft and lightly charred, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely or put in the fridge to use later.
  4. When you’re ready to make the burritos, make sure all your ingredients are room temperature or cold. Place the first tortilla on a plate. Add some shredded pork in a lengthwise strip towards the bottom of the tortilla closest to you. Top with some sweet potatoes and then some peppers and onions. Top with some cheese, if using. Fold in each side then take the bottom of the tortilla closest to you and tightly roll it up and over the filling. Continue to roll up the burrito, tightly, tucking in the sides additionally as needed. Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Set aside and repeat for the remaining tortillas and fillings. Place all the rolled burritos in a labeled gallon freezer bag and place in the freezer.
  5. To heat: Remove the burrito from the freezer. Remove and discard the plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the burrito on a microwave safe plate and microwave at 70% power for 3 minutes. Sear the burrito in a sauté pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat for 1 minute on each side, until lightly browned. If you don’t want to sear your burrito, microwave for a total of 5 minutes instead of 3. Serve with salsa.

 

Cheese and Pear Stuffed Pork

Cheese and Pear Stuffed Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

This week is all about tasty and healthy dinner recipes! I have so many dessert recipes coming up that I had to make sure I started off with plenty of real food recipes so Matt and I wouldn’t just be eating dessert for dinner every night. I’m always looking for new healthy dinners to rotate through so I was excited to try some new ones out.

Cheese and Pear Stuffed Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

This Cheese and Pear Stuffed Pork recipe came from my recipe binder archives, this time by way of Cooking Light Magazine. The combination sounded intriguing so I thought I would give it a shot. I made it on a night my Dad was coming over for dinner, which was a bold move since he can be a little particular about food. But Mikey liked it! I mean Dad liked it!

Cheese and Pear Stuffed Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

The pork tenderloin is split open and then pounded thin before being stuffed with a creamy and crunchy mixture of blue cheese, walnuts, panko bread crumbs and tart sautéed pears. The whole thing gets rolled up and stuck together with toothpicks, which is a lot easier than it sounds.

Cheese and Pear Stuffed Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

Due to all the prep steps to get this pork tenderloin stuffed and rolled, it’s not exactly a weeknight dish, but the great part is that once you have the pork tenderloin prepared you can cover it and stick it back in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. I served it alongside some green beans and roasted potatoes, but you could also go really light and just serve it over a spinach and pear salad. Enjoy!

Cheese and Pear Stuffed Pork  |  Lemon & Mocha

Cheese and Pear Stuffed Pork
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped Anjou pear (or other firm, tart pear), leave skin on
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see note)
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 12-ounce pork tenderloins
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • Ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a saute pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper and cook for 6 minutes. Add the chopped pear, white wine, Italian seasoning and some ground black pepper. Cook for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Let cool slightly then stir in the walnuts, blue cheese, panko and parsley.
  3. Butterfly the pork tenderloins by slicing them lengthwise up to, but not through, the other side. Put the first butterflied pork tenderloin between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until ¼-inch thick. Top the flattened pork with half the pear mixture, being sure to leave a ½-inch border. Roll from the long side and secure with toothpicks. Tuck in the end edges when you secure with the toothpicks as well. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat for the remaining pork tenderloin.
  4. In a saute pan large enough to fit both pork tenderloins, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Saute both rolled pork tenderloins for 5 minutes, turning to make sure all sides get browned. Remove from the heat and transfer the pork to a baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pork reaches 145 degrees F (being sure to temp the pork not the filling). Move the pork from the baking dish to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the pork before serving.
  5. In the pan used to saute the pork, bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Scrape the pan to make sure you get all the browned bits. Cook for 4 minutes and serve over the pork. Alternatively, you could slice the pork then carefully add to the broth and let cook in the broth as the sauce forms.
Notes
To toast walnuts, bake for 3-5 minutes in a 350 degrees oven, being sure not to let burn.

 Recipe from September 2011 issue of Cooking Light Magazine.

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

I still remember the day Matt and I bought our cast iron pan. Of course I do, it’s a food-related memory! We were in our very first apartment right out of college and Matt had seen someone online make steak in a cast iron pan. They seared it on the stove-top then finished it off in the oven resulting in a charred outside and juicy, tender inside.

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

When Matt gets convinced he wants to make something it usually happens right away, much unlike my years and years worth of recipes piled up, so we walked to the nearest hardware store and bought the cast iron pan. Thankfully we didn’t have to walk far because this thing is heavy! Matt cooked us up some steaks and they were pure perfection. All these years later we’ve gotten a little fancier with our cooking and now prefer to sous vide our steaks, but this recent recipe had me go back to our cast iron steak roots.

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

This recipe came from my favorite little cookbook, “Cook This, Not That!” and was one we hadn’t tried before. It’s incredibly simple: steak is cooked then topped with a panko breadcrumb and blue cheese mixture that gets crispy and bubbly in the oven.

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

We already know blue cheese and steak is a winning combination from my Grilled Steak with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce recipe and the crunch from the breadcrumbs adds great texture and flavor. Matt and I gobbled this down for dinner and even had the leftovers the next day for lunch – we couldn’t wait for dinner. I told you we’ve been living the good life with our meals!

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have a delicious salad side that made a great meal alongside this steak and I’ll share it with you all later this week. In the meantime, enjoy this recipe and the rest of your Monday!

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak  |  Lemon & Mocha

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 sirloin or tenderloin steaks (4-6 ounces each)
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the panko, blue cheese, parsley and Italian seasoning. Set aside.
  3. In a large cast iron pan or oven safe pan (see note) heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the steaks all over with salt and pepper then sear the meat for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the steaks from the heat and top with the panko mixture. Transfer the steaks to the oven to finish cooking, about 6 minutes. For medium, the internal temperature should be 140 degrees F. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
If you don’t have an oven safe pan, cook on the stove-top in sauté pan then transfer to a baking sheet or baking dish for the oven step.

Recipe from Cook This, Not That!.
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Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Look at this sizzling skillet of juicy pork chops and caramelized peaches! Ugh, this meal was so good. Both Matt and I decided we would love to have these Skillet Balsamic Pork Chops with Feta and Basil along with the Summer Peach Greek Quinoa Salad every week this summer.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Of course that will never happen since I’m always too busy trying out new recipes, but I’m determined to fit it into our busy meal schedule at least a few more times this summer because I already cannot wait to eat it again.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

This was my first time cooking bone-in pork chops and I was super impressed with how flavorful and juicy they were being cooked in our cast iron skillet. The pork chops get a nice sear on the stove-top before adding in an easy sauce of balsamic vinegar, honey and oregano that gets thickened as the pork chops cook. Fresh peach slices are added to the skillet and then the whole dish is broiled in the oven so the peaches can get caramelized.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Final touches include some salty feta and sweet basil and you have yourself a drool-worthy, company-worthy and easy dinner. I was skeptical of how the finished dish would taste since I had previously tried a peach and chicken dish that I did not care for, but the peach and pork combination is a definite winner.

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet you can use any oven-safe pan instead, or you could sear in a pan then transfer to a baking dish for the broiling portion, but I highly recommend getting yourself a cast iron skillet so you can easily make stove-top to oven dishes like these Skillet Balsamic Pork Chops, this Strawberry Dutch Baby or this Caramelized Onion and Apple Dip. I hope you all enjoy this meal as much as we did!

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil  |  Lemon & Mocha

Skillet Balsamic Peach Pork Chops with Feta and Basil
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 bone-in pork chops, about ¾” thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • Feta, for topping
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper. When the olive oil is hot, add the pork chops and sear both sides for 3-4 minutes each. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
  2. While the pork is cooking, whisk together the balsamic, honey and oregano. When the pork has 2 minutes left in cooking time, pour the balsamic mixture over the pork. Remove from the heat when the pork has reached 145 degrees F and add the peaches. Broil the skillet for 4-5 minutes or until the peaches are lightly charred. Top with the basil and feta before serving.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral if you purchase something. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!
Recipe slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

I never thought I would be obsessed with a lettuce wrap until I tasted these Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook. When I got this cookbook a few years ago I asked Matt to pick out a couple recipes he would be interested in and of course he went right to the beef section. Lean ground beef is sautéed with finely chopped carrots, red bell pepper and scallions then coated in a sweet and savory sauce.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

The sauce has only five ingredients, but I was shocked at how flavorful it was and it immediately became a go-to recipe. The sauce is able to add so much punch because there’s a few secret ingredients. Soy sauce, ginger and garlic are all standard fare for Asian lettuce wraps, but then we have hoisin and orange marmalade. I’ve discussed my love for the salty and sweet qualities of hoisin before in the Crispy Sesame Pecan Chicken Tenders with a Hoisin Dipping Sauce and the Hoisin Beef Kebobs posts. The orange marmalade adds the perfect amounts of citrus and sweet notes to the dish that gives it that gotta-have-seconds vibe.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love the freshness the crispy lettuce wraps add. I usually use Boston or Bibb lettuce and I like to scoop the filling onto the lettuce right before I eat it otherwise I find the lettuce can get soggy. Although there is a bit of chopping, the actual cooking of the lettuce wraps on the stove takes ten to twelve minutes making it a great weeknight meal to have in your back pocket.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve never tried these lettuce wraps with ground turkey instead of beef, but I’m sure they would still taste good. They just wouldn’t have the rich sumptuous quality you get from eating beef.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

On a slightly unrelated note, have any of you tried the Impossible Burger? There’s a few restaurants around us that have it, but we haven’t tried it out yet. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, it’s a plant-based burger that supposedly tastes like real meat. I’m intrigued by the potential positive environmental implications, but the ingredient list gives me some pause. Hmm… anyways, have a great Wednesday and I hope you love these Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps!

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps  |  Lemon & Mocha

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps
 
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
  • 8 scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 12 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the marmalade, soy sauce, hoisin, ginger and garlic until combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef, scallions, carrots and red pepper; cook for 5-7 minutes or until the meat is mostly cooked. Add the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, until well blended. Remove from the heat and serve with the lettuce leaves.
Notes
The cookbook suggests serving with a side of watermelon. I usually just serve them alongside some additional veggies.

Recipe from Flat Belly Diet! Cookbook: 200 New MUFA Recipes.
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!