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Cook Once, Eat Twice: 2 Healthy Pork Recipes

Sep 21, 2021 | Recipes | 0 comments

Healthy Pork Recipes

These healthy pork recipes aren't only healthy & delicious, they're perfect for meal prep. Cook one batch of pork, make two delicious meals!

Today I'm sharing two recipes with you, but really, they go way beyond recipes. I'm sharing one of my all time favorite meal prep strategies: Cook Once, Eat Twice.

The concept is you cook a big batch of something, usually a protein like this healthy crock pot pulled pork, and use it in two entirely different ways. This is one of the top meal prep hacks we've been using on our weekly super fast meal plans. It allows you to eat two totally different dinners, with very little extra work.

I hope you love the recipes and that they make your weekly meal plan a little bit easier!

 

Healthy Crock Pot Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 3-4 # pork shoulder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Instructions

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  • Rub pork shoulder w/ spice rub on all sides.
  • Place pork shoulder in slow cooker and cook on low 8 hours or until pulling apart. Shred and store.

Instant Pot Instructions:

  • Rub pork shoulder w/ spice rub on all sides and cut into 3 pieces.
  • Add 1 cup of water or broth to the Instant Pot and add the pork shoulder.
  • Lock the lid and make sure the pressure valve is sealed. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure, remove the pork and shred.

Easy Pulled Pork Sandwiches

We're gluten free in my house and don't eat a ton of grains. You can easily serve these on gluten free buns OR even on lettuce wraps. Make it your own!

 

Easy Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 4 buns of choice (or sub lettuce wraps!)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 12 oz coleslaw mix
  • 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup avocado mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 batch healthy crock pot pulled pork

Instructions

  • To make the slaw, mix together 1/3 cup mayonnaise, juice of 1 lime, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp honey, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar and chopped cilantro.
  • Mix in 12oz slaw mix. 
  • On a bun, place shredded pork and top w/ coleslaw. Option to serve slaw on the side.

Pulled Pork Rice Bowls

If you haven't tried pulled pork rice bowls, they're a delicious way to use pulled pork. You can of course use rice, cauli rice, quinoa, etc., whatever your family loves.

 

Pulled Pork Rice Bowls

Ingredients

  • 1/2 batch healthy crock pot pulled pork
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • tomatillo salsa (optional)

Instructions

  • Place 1 cup rice and 2 cups water in a small pot, cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 15-20 until water is absorbed. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.
  • Slice 1/2 a red onion. 
  • Slice 2 zucchini into slices.
  • Slice 2 red bell peppers.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over med heat and add sliced zucchini, red peppers + sliced red onion.
  • Sprinkle w/ salt and saute until softened, ~10 mins. 
  • Assemble bowls with rice, pork, vegetables and optional salsa.

What is the nutrition like in these healthy pork recipes?

Finding meals that are both tasty enough that you'll look forward to them and healthy enough that they'll make you feel great is pretty much my happy place. While these recipes might not be what comes to mind when you think about “health food,” they offer plenty of nutrition and will leave you feeling great. Here are some of the nutritional benefits you can expect!

Pork (Protein, B Vitamins, Selenium, Zinc, Iron, Beta-Alanine)

An excellent source of protein, consuming pork can help you maintain muscle mass. Pork's high levels of beta-alanine may also support improved athletic performance.

Cilantro (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K)

Cilantro supports the health of your brain, possibly reducing the risk of Parkinson's and Alzheimers disease as well as anxiety. In addition, one of cilantro's biggest benefits is the prevention of blood sugar spikes. Finally, cilantro has antimicrobial elements and thus may help prevent food poisoning. It's worth noting that many studies on cilantro use cilantro extract, rather than the leaves.

Cabbage (Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Manganese, Antioxidants)

Like other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage is good for reducing inflammation. Its high fiber content also supports healthy digestion.

Red Onion (Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium)

Did you know that the humble onion is actually packed with antioxidants? Yellow onions and red onions, like the ones used here, are highest in antioxidants. A certain type of antioxidant, anthocyanins, is only found in red or purple onions, not other varieties. Eating onions may support bone health, stable blood sugar and reduced risk of cancer.

Bell Peppers (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Potassium, Folic Acid)

Red bell peppers, like the ones in this recipe, offer the most nutrition. They have more than one and a half times the Vitamin C and more than ten times the beta-carotene as green bell peppers. Red bell peppers actually have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any food.

Zucchini (Vitamin A, Manganese, Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin K, Folate)

Zucchini is rich in many vitamins but is especially high in vitamin A, which supports vision and immune function. In addition, the zucchini skin is high in antioxidants. Super low in carbs, zucchini is also a great choice for those following a Keto or low carb diet.

Are these healthy slow cooker pork recipes meal prep-friendly?

Yes, indeed! Both of these healthy slow cooker pork recipes are meal prep friendly. The best part is, you can prep them very quickly. These were part of one of our Super Fast meal plans which are designed to allow you to meal prep five dinners in one hour or less.

To prep, you can make the pork ahead, OR simply mix the pork spice rub ahead and then stick it in the crockpot or Instant Pot the day you plan to serve.

For the sandwiches, you can also make the slaw ahead of time. Make the rice and chop the veggies for the pulled pork rice bowls.

On the day you serve the sandwiches, all you have to do is warm up the pork and assemble the sandwiches. When you're ready to serve the pulled pork rice bowls, all you need to do is sauté the veggies and reheat the rice and pork. It's that easy.

One other note – when I design meal plans, I tend to spread out the repeat items, in this instance, the pork. So for example, I might serve the pulled pork sandwiches on Tuesday and the pulled pork rice bowls on Thursday. This way you don't have dinners with a similar flavor profile two nights in a row.

Meal Prep Pulled Pork

Tell Me More About Cook Once, Eat Twice

Cook Once, Eat Twice goes way beyond these two recipes. It's a strategy you could use every week to make meal planning and cooking easier if you like. I talk more about this meal prep strategy here but I also wanted to share a few more ideas on how to use this strategy here:

  • Roasted Vegetables: Make a big batch of roasted vegetables on your meal prep day. Use as a side for roasted chicken one day and use as the base for a breakfast hash another day.
  • Grains: Make a big batch of quinoa during meal prep. Use half for Spinach Pesto Stuffed Acorn Squash and half for a quinoa salad.
  • Chicken: Bake or grill 2# chicken breasts. Use half to make chicken salad and the other half for chicken burrito bowls (chicken + rice + your favorite toppings like avocado, tomatoes, etc.)
  • Pork or Beef: Make a double batch of the pork from this salad or this green chili beef. Use half for a hearty salad and the other half for tacos.
  • Sauces: Make pesto and use half on salmon and half on a pasta salad or zoodles. Make chimichurri and use half on shrimp kabobs and the other half as a dip for veggies throughout the week.

These are of course only a few of the many ways you can use the “cook once, eat twice” strategy. We use this meal prep hack frequently in our meal plans, so make sure to check out a Prep Dish free trial if it's the kind of thing you'd like more of!

What are some healthy sides for pulled pork?

If you're looking for more ways to serve pork, here are some of my favorite healthy sides for pulled pork:

  • Gluten Free Biscuits: Both the slaw and the almond flour biscuits in this post are delicious with pulled pork.
  • Herbed Corn & Kale: This side is not only delicious, it's totally freezer/pantry-based, so you can easily keep the ingredients on hand.
  • Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes: How delicious would these potatoes be topped with pulled pork?

Beginner Menu Guide

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Allison Schaaf Chef, Prep Dish

Prep Dish is a gluten-free, paleo, and keto meal planning website. Celebrity personal chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf thoughtfully crafts each plan using her own well-tested recipes. Each meal plan allows you, the home cook, to spend only 2-3 hours preparing a week’s worth of crave-worthy, healthy meals using seasonal, whole foods (nothing processed!). We aim to save you time while keeping your family’s taste buds happy.

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