slow cooker pork sandwiches

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

So not Christmas cookies. Or Christmas brunch ideas or even really Christmas-related. Which given that we’re only a few days out from Christmas, may not make sense.

But it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s Eve. I’m not trying to rush Christmas, or anything crazy like that. But menus need to be planned, food needs to be considered and drinks, drinks definitely deserve a little thought.

So what are you doing? I’m flying back to LA on New Year’s Eve and to be perfectly honest, I’m not feeling very confident that I’ll be able to stay up until midnight. Last year we had friends over for dinner and we drank fancy champagne – it was perfect! This year? Maybe a nice dinner at home.

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

But we’re getting off-track. These slow-cooked pork sandwiches? Perfect for casual New Year’s Eve get-togethers or New Year’s Day football and lounging.

I absolutely love slow-cooked pork. It’s so versatile, so comforting and so tasty. Usually I keep it ridiculously simple and season it with some garlic, salt and pepper before letting the slow-cooker do it’s magic.

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

Here, pork is seasoned with a flavorful rub and then slow cooks away, until it shreds with the slightest touch. The rub is easy and SO worth the few minutes it takes to pull-together.

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

So the pork cooks away and your work is essentially done. There are a few things to prep, but really, it’s nothing.

Serve the pork sandwiches on baguettes or soft buns with:

  • a variety of mustards (hot, yellow, spicy, etc.)
  • pickles (I went with sweet, but dill would also be great)
  • freshly chopped parsley (always a good idea)
  • cooking juice/broth

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

The mustard and pickles cut through the succulent pork in a superb way. You definitely don’t want to skip them!

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches | anutritionisteats.com

Oh, and serve with plenty of napkins – it’s juicy!

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 3 Tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
  • 3.5-4 lb pork shoulder
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 baguettes or 8 buns
  • various mustards
  • pickle chips
  • freshly chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Mix together orange zest, rosemary, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and salt & pepper.
  2. Cut 6 small slits into pork and fill with garlic cloves.
  3. Rub pork with spice mixture.
  4. Pour orange juice around the pork.
  5. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
  6. Season with salt & pepper if necessary.
  7. Serve pork sandwiches with various mustards, chopped parsley and pickle chips.
Notes
Nutrition info is for 8 sandwiches.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 561 Fat: 30 grams Carbohydrates: 35 grams Sugar: 3 grams Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 37 grams

 

waldorf salad

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

I love this time of year. The lights, the cheer – everyone seems so happy! And I can’t forget the constant stream of sweet treats. I don’t know about your office, but between the gift sweets and homemade sweets, it’s hard to stay away from the kitchen. And then there’s my own kitchen…which has seen its own constant stream of sweet treats lately. Dessert > Wine. (Only while pregnant.)

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But with all of the extra treats, it’s also a time of year when cutting back elsewhere needs to happen. Cookies > Other Carbs.

It’s not something that I actively keep track of, or even stress out about, but I make sure that salads are a staple for lunch and dinners are built around protein and vegetables. For me, it feels easy (and honestly, salads at lunch are the norm) but painless. I still get to enjoy the treats and while I’ll be gaining weight this year no matter what, at a minimum, I can feel good about fitting in some nutritious foods into each day.

Waldorf Salad | anutritionisteats.com

But it’s not the time to cut-back too much – meals still need to be filling! This salad, though pretty light in calories, still packs a protein and fiber punch, and it will keep you satisfied until your cookie snack! :)

Need more convincing? This salad is:

  • high in protein (32 grams!)
  • full of fresh produce (crunchy romaine and celery + sweet apples!)
  • healthy fats from almonds
  • light and tasty yogurt-based dressing

Enjoy every cookie. And every salad!

Waldorf Salad
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1-lb chicken breasts
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (not greek)
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Grill or broil chicken until cooked through.
  2. Let cool and thinly slice. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice, yogurt and mayonnaise.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
  5. Layer lettuce, celery, chicken, apples and almonds on each plate.
  6. Drizzle with dressing.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 308 Fat: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 19 grams Sugar: 12 grams Fiber: 5 grams Protein: 32 grams

How do you balance things this time of year?  

italian chicken sausage & vegetable soup

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup | anutritionisteats.com

Back when we lived in Minnesota, soups were a regular lunch rotation while I suffered through winters.

Now that winter = 60 degrees, I find myself forgetting to make soups and stews, always waiting until it “cools down just a bit more.” Well, no more. I figured that since my office always feels cold, there’s no reason to wait until it cools down.

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup | anutritionisteats.com

The (very hot!) day I decided to make this soup, I watched Giada make a Vegetable & Barley Soup and I took two things from the episode: 1) Use a parmesan rind to help flavor soup (which I’ve always meant to do) and 2) Use the sausage as a topping instead of letting it simmer in the soup.

Like any good lunch or dinner – it’s healthy and tasty!

italiansausagesoup3

I wanted the soup to be full of vegetables as well as a good source of protein and fiber. So it’s simple. Fill the soup with tender-crisp vegetables and throw in some chicken sausage for a protein boost, it’s a filling combo. It happens to be gluten-free and paleo, if you’re into those things!

Italian Chicken Sausage & Vegetable Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • about 1 heart of celery (2 cups chopped)
  • about 1 pound of carrots (2 cups chopped)
  • 10-12 cups of chopped kale
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • parmesan rind (optional)
  • 12 oz italian chicken sausage
  • salt & pepper
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot.
  2. Add onion and sauté for a few minutes.
  3. Add garlic, celery and carrots and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add kale, broth, water, tomatoes and parmesan rind and simmer for about 35-40 minutes.
  5. While soup is cooking, thinly slice chicken sausage in half lengthwise and then chop.
  6. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp of olive in in medium pan and sauté about 3-4 minutes, until brown, set aside.
  7. To serve, top serving of soup with chicken sausage and parmesan cheese if desired.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 370 Fat: 17 grams Carbohydrates: 35 grams Fiber: 10 grams Protein: 25 grams

 

healthy lunch ideas

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Do you love packing lunches as much as I do? (I’m kidding, that’s not a real question.)

I love cooking, but prepping lunches? Not one of my favorite things to do. And I get the feeling that those of you who pack lunches day in and day out get sick of it real quick as well. And it’s totally understandable – it takes a ton of planning, prepping and energy to pack lunches every day.

When I think of the goal of this little website of mine, it’s to provide simple, delicious and healthy inspiration to eat well. For kids, for adults and for everyone in between. With that in mind, these healthy lunch ideas are suitable for the entire family, and I kept them as easy as possible.

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

Ideally, each lunch (and meal for that matter!) should consist of a protein, vegetable and whole-grain or starch component. The fruit and treat are optional, but may help you score good lunch cred! Portion size will depend on the size of the human. :)

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Protein | deli meat, cheese cubes, hard boiled eggs, edamame, beans, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, nut or sun butter, grilled or leftover meat, tuna or egg salad, smoothie (frozen in molds), meatballs, frittata, cheese quesadilla, grass-fed hot dogs

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Vegetables | carrot sticks, grape tomatoes, lettuce wraps, cucumber slices, roasted vegetables, red pepper strips, snap peas, coleslaw, sautéed zucchini, steamed broccoli, roasted cauliflower

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Fruits | berries, apple slices, orange segments, grapes, melon chunks, sliced kiwi, mango

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Whole-Grains (or Starch)| crackers, pasta, bread, popcorn, tortillas, pita bread, mini bagel, waffles, pancakes, english muffin, focaccia, cereal, baked oatmeal, cinnamon raisin bread, cubed sweet potato, roasted squash, mashed potatoes, potato pancakes, sweet potato fries

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Lunch Ideas: Treats | fruit leather, whole-grain cookies, mini-muffins, trail mix, dried fruit, granola bars

Want More? I rounded up 225+ lunch box ideas here.

Dealing with Food Allergies? Healthy Alternatives for Food Allergies.

Helpful Products: these products might make packing lunch a little easier and a little more fun! The popsicle molds are great for filling and freezing with healthy smoothies (add some greens!) and the baking cups are helpful for keeping foods separate in bento-box style lunch containers.

Healthy Lunch Ideas | anutritionisteats.com

LunchBots Quad Container | Silicone Popsicle Molds | Silicone Baking Cups | Laptop Lunches Bento Buddies *affiliate links

What do YOU pack for lunch?