Lite Bite: Crock-Pot Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes

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Back with a quicky "lite bite" post!

This was a go to meal for my mom growing up and still is for she and my dad. I've now translated it over to my everyday recipe book. Super simple pork chops and sweet potatoes pair perfectly together for a simple but comforting fall or winter dinner. #TBT to when I used to eat this meal and fix my sweet potato up with equal parts 5 Tbsp. butter to 5 Tbsp. brown sugar...

Crock-Pot Pork Chops & Sweet Potatoes
yields 4 servings

Ingredients: 
1-1 1/2 lbs. pork chops (account for one pork chop per serving)
4 good size size sweet potatoes
1 cup chicken, veggie, beef stock (whatever you have) 
1 Tbsp. Oregano or Italian Seasoning  
olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions: 
Heat a little bit of oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Season pork chops with salt, pepper and oregano on both sides. Place your pork chops in the pan, and sear on both sides. About 1 minute per side. You are not cooking the pork chops yet you just want to get them browned. Once seared, take out of pan and place in crockpot. Pour a little pit of chicken stock in the hot pan to deglaze it and get all the browned bits off the bottom. Pour over the pork chops in the crock-pot. Add a little more stock (1 cup or so) to moisten. 

Wrap your sweet potatoes in foil and place right on top of the pork chops. Put your lid on and cook on low all day (6-8 hours). Pork chops and sweet potatoes should be very tender when done.

I keep it simple and serve a pork chop with a plain sweet potato. I love mustard, so sometimes dip my pork chop in whatever fancy mustard I have in the fridge. Loving this right now. You could also do a nut butter or brown sugar on your sweet potato. 

Annie

Acorn Squash Salad Bowl

I love food out of a bowl. Back in college in the Kappa house, I would always forgo the large dinner plates and pile all of my food into 2 to 3 of our little cereal bowls. I'd be sitting in the dining room with bowls on bowls in front of me, strange but go with it. Salad in a bowl vs. a plate, so much better. Casserole, loaded sweet potato, pasta, meat and roasted veggies etc. in a bowl, it's just better.

When I was younger I hated my food to touch. But now I love getting bite of each part of the meal in one bite. And a bowl is the vessel to assist with that. 

With this recipe, acorn squash becomes your bowl. Save yourself from having to wash an extra dish. We are taking roasted acorn squash and filling it with salad full of wintery ingredients. This is great for lunch, a light dinner of could be great as a side dish with some protein. It's just pretty enough to be a side for your Christmas dinner!

Acorn Squash Salad Bowl
yields 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 medium size acorn squash
2 handfuls spring green mix
pecans, chopped
pomegranate arils
feta cheese
s&p

Balsamic Dressing:
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. dijon mustard
s&p to taste

Directions:
Cook your squash to your preference. If you are reading this ahead of time, use your crock-pot! First cut the pointy edge off each end so it has a flat surface to stand on. Then cut in half, scoop out seeds, wrap in foil and place in the crock-pot on low to cook for 6-8 hours (perfect way to cook sweet potatoes too). If you don't have that kind of time on your hand, cut edges off, cut in half, scoop out seeds, drizzle with olive oil, s&p, and roast skin side up at 425 for 20-25 minutes.

Combine your dressing ingredients in a small mason jar or bowl and shake/whisk to combine. In a mixing bowl, add two large handfuls of spring mix, chopped pecans, pomegranate arils and feta. Just eye ball your ingredients and add as more or less as you want. Sprinkle in a little extra salt and pepper. Toss everything with your dressing, starting light and add more as you please. (Sorry these measurements are haphazard, but that's the beauty of a salad).

Fill the cavity of your acorn squash with a serving of salad. Dig in by scraping up a bit of squash with each bite of salad mix.

Want more ways to use acorn squash? Take a bite here and here.

Annie

It's Getting Chili

Once the temperature drops I pretty much crave chili for every single meal. It's the ultimate cold weather, warm you up meal. Chili is easily one of my favorite foods. I've attended too many chili cook-offs to count, made several pots myself and eaten an unhealthy amount of Fritos all for the sake of an excellent bowl of chili.

I've rounded up a pretty stocked list of different kinds of chili. Turkey chili, white chicken chili, veggie chili, etc. I adore all kinds of chili, buuuuut if you ask me nothing beats my momma's. I know everyone says that, but I'll fight you on it that her's really is the best. It even won my high school chili contest back in the day. No beans, ground beef, lots of spices, and tons of Fritos. Scroll through for some pin worthy chili recipes, but keep scrolling for momma Tucker's chili recipe!

1) Quick Bison Chili

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11) And now, the only chili recipe you need.

Mom's Chili

Ingredients:
2 lbs. lean chili meat
1/2 lb. lean ground chuck
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 heaping Tbsp. chili powder
1 heaping Tbsp. cumin
3/4heaping tsp. oregano
1/2 heaping tsp. sage
2 heaping Tbsp. cornmeal
1 to 2-1 oz. Williams chili seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup chili sauce
1-6 oz. tomato paste
1-1 lb. can whole, fire roasted tomatoes
Fritos, sour cream, cheese, green onion to garnish

Directions:
Sauté ground meats, onion, green pepper and garlic in a large pot. Add remaining ingredients, combining well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Add more seasoning if desired. It's all up to your taste buds. Garnish with lots of cheese and Fritos. I like to do a bottom layer of Fritos, then a big helping of chili then lots of cheese, sour cream, green onions and more Fritos!

Annie