Tasty Tuesday – Crockpot Pork Tacos

Hello!

First things first.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have served, those who are currently serving, and those who are preparing to serve. Thank you for all your sacrifices and selflessness.

And, all you military family members – spouses, children, parents, etc – deserve thanks and appreciation, too. I know how difficult it is to watch your loved one(s) go, often many, many miles away, and you’re left to keep things in order at home. That’s a whole different level of service. 🙂

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My favorite sailors! 3 generations of service. 🙂

Now, it’s time for Tasty Tuesday!

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Make sure you head over to Lena’s page and check out all the other Tasty Tuesday yumminess. Like Italian Wedding Soup. Yum! 🙂

This week, I bring you some comfort food that only requires a minimum amount of work.

Pork tacos!

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Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that roasting pork until it falls apart and tastes UH-mazing can take hours and hours and hours.

That’s why, if you haven’t already, you should most definitely invest in a crockpot!

It does all the work for you!

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Pssst……Christmas is coming…..ask Santa to bring you one. 😉

You put this in the crockpot before you go to work, set the temp to low, and when you come home, you’ll have this!

Pork that’s so tender, it practically falls apart and into the tortillas on its own.

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Top with whatever floats your boat.

Tomatoes or salsa, shredded cheddar, avocado or guac, lettuce, sour cream, etc, etc, etc.

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Heat up some corn tortillas and dinner is served.

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Crockpot Pork Tacos
serves about 8-10, depending on how many tacos each person eats

2-4 pound pork shoulder
4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
1 whole jalapeño
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon thyme
1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 (12oz) beer
Corn tortillas

1. Pierce pork roast in several spots and shove garlic clove pieces in roast. Sprinkle with oregano, thyme, and crushed red pepper and place in crockpot. Add jalapeño and beer; cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours until pork is tender.

2. Remove roast from crockpot, shred, and make tacos! OM NOM NOM!!

Talk to me: How many tacos can you eat?

– jennifer

Why is 3:30am so early? Eat – Chicken and Bean Burritos

Hello!

Because I am a glutton for punishment, I decided it was a really good idea to get up at 3:30 in the morning again and head to CrossFit. So. Early. This is totally going to be me this afternoon. Wake me up if I start drooling.

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Today’s workout wasn’t as intense as yesterday’s but it was a good one.

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I wasn’t really sure about those front squats – especially at 95# for Rx! Um, no. I can back squat 95# no problem but my form gets a little wonky with the front squats and with my sartorius not 100%, I knew I didn’t need to push it. Besides, it’s 30 reps total so it’s not like I needed to be testing out my one-rep max. So, I loaded up with 55# pounds and went from there. I’ll tell you what – round 3 was TOUGH! My legs were shaking and my arms were tired from the pullups (C2B stands for chest to bar, aka – pullups). It was programmed to be a sprint workout and I finished in 5:39. Woot!

The cool down was a mini-workout on its own! Front and side planks, both right and left), 30 seconds each side, 3x each. Oof!

Raise your hand if you love planks!

So, let’s talk food. All the recipes I’ve planned on making this week have come from the June 2012 issue of Cooking Light magazine. Most are grilling but this one wasn’t. And, that’s okay because we’ve been having thunderstorms around dinner time and while I love grilling, I draw the line at lightning. Um, hello, grills are METAL!

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Anyway, this recipe is definitely a keeper! We like to do taco nights at my house and this one will fill in quite nicely as a little change in pace. Burritos stuffed with chicken, black beans, and cheese for under 300 calories a serving? Yes, please! And the bonus is you probably already have everything in your pantry and it comes together in a snap. Dinner in less than 30 for less than 300 while tasting great and packing a powerful nutrition punch. Om. Nom. Nom.

Do you do food-themed nights such as “Taco Tuesday” in your house?

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Chicken and Bean Burritos

3/4 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 cup lower-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove, minced
2 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 ounce preshredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1/4 cup)
Cooking spray
1/2 cup pico de gallo
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl; toss well.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add chicken mixture; cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. Add beans and garlic; cook 2 minutes or until heated, stirring frequently. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each burrito with 2 tablespoons cheese. Roll up each burrito jelly-roll fashion.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat both sides of burritos evenly with cooking spray. Place burritos in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Cut burritos in half. Top with pico de gallo and sour cream, if desired.

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Per serving (1/2 burrito):
Calories 287; Fat 8.8g (saturated 2.6g, monounsaturated 3.8g, polyunsaturated 1.6g); Protein 24.7g; Carbs 25.4g; Fiber 2.9g; Sodium 499mg; Cholesterol 57mg

And, because you read all the way to the bottom, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Tomorrow is National Donut Day! Not sure if Krispy Creme is playing along but Dunkin Donuts is offering a free donut with the purchase of a beverage. 🙂 Score!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end, btw. 😀

– jennifer

Marathon recovery and Crockpot Chicken Tacos

I have been feeling pretty good since Saturday. No lingering stiffness, no pain, no soreness at all. I just walked some on Monday and Tuesday and climbed the stairs at work. So, I figured I would go to CrossFit this morning! Cross-training and strength training aren’t running and, with my BQ training plan (!) set to kick off on May 13, I figured I should do some active recovery to keep my fitness level high. The WOD promised to be good: 12 minute AMRAP of: 5x overhead squats, 55#; 8x KB snatch, 15#; 10x AbMat sit-ups. I was totally down for that! Well, okay, I was a little lot freaked out about the overhead squats because I suck royally at those. But hey, I’ll never improve if I don’t work on them, right? Right.

So, I got down to the business of warming up and was reminded that I may have pulled a rib fascia or ligament or something last week. Hrm. :/ Well, I kept on – push-ups, squats, a few AbMat sit-ups….ow….no more AbMat sit-ups. Okay, I figured I would do some more squats and decided to grab the 35# bar. No problem with front squats and back squats and then I did a push press. OW! Okay, I might be stubborn and bull-headed (thanks, Dad!) but stupid I am definitely not. I reracked the bar and set off to do some stretching instead. And then I did about 20 minutes of non-aggressive rowing and stretched some more. No WOD for me. 😦 And probably not on Friday either. I see rowing and stretching in my future. My goal is to heal so I can hit it hard come May 13.

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Yes, I have little motivational reminders written on yellow stickies stuck to my bathroom mirror. Sometimes, I need a visual reminder! (There’s that bull-headedness showing off again.) That one also applies to injuries. I’m not going to NOT take care of myself now and get in my way in the future. My goal is a BQ and I have a little bit of rest time before my training plan kicks off. Some smart decisions, active recovery, and low-impact cardio (thank you spin bike at home!) and I should be good as new in no time!

How do you deal with injuries and/or training setbacks?

Tacos!

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Okay, I will admit it. I did not make these tacos.  Well, I mean, I did not physically put the ingredients into the crockpot. I grabbed an interesting taco seasoning packet, defrosted the chicken, and went to CrossFit.  Later, I thought up the recipe, picked up the phone and called Thing 1, and told her what to do. So, because she sliced the onions, chopped the green pepper, mixed seasoning with salsa, and put it in the crockpot, she gets credit for “making” dinner. And you know what?  That is just fine with me! Sometimes, dinner needs to be a group effort. 🙂

So, generally I make my own taco seasoning but I was cruising through the Winn-Dixie and this taco seasoning packet caught my eye.

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I checked out the ingredients and didn’t see anything that scared me so I figured, “What the heck? ” And that’s how dinner was conceived! Wow, the birds and the bees discussion is so much easier when you’re talking about dinner!

So, what went into the crockpot?
1/2 onion, sliced (feel free to do more)
1/2 green pepper, chopped (for some reason, that was all I had)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts with rib meat
2 cups salsa (pick your fire power)
Taco seasoning
1 teaspoon chopped garlic

Cook it on low for 9 months 8 hours-ish. Shred chicken. Place in corn tortillas (or whatever you prefer). Add your toppings. Gobble it up. Om nom nom!

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– jennifer