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

 

charred triple-onion dip with crudités

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

You know what every holiday party needs? A beautiful platter of vegetables served alongside a delicious dip.

But not just any ranch dip served with baby carrots. Oh. No.

A dip full-of-flavor and vegetables that are anything but expected. Like where I’m going here?

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

I took three types of onions: green, leeks and shallots. I charred them in the broiler. And then I turned them into a delicious dip.

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

Instead of serving it with the usual carrots, celery and pepper strips, I served it with baby boiled potatoes, mini romaine leaves, roasted brussels sprouts and fresh carrots with tops. (Technically speaking, crudités are raw vegetables, but there’s no need to get technical today.)

It was a welcome change. Other unexpected crudité ideas: roasted cauliflower or winter squash slices, thinly sliced beets or fennel, lightly steamed broccolini or haricot verts and any baby lettuce that’s sturdy enough to stand up to a dip.

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

If you are trying to eat more vegetables (who isn’t!?) try this dip. It’s reminiscent of the classic onion dip, but it’s made from real onions (not dehydrated ones) and the flavor will have you grabbing for vegetables like you never thought was possible!

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités | anutritionisteats.com

Charred Triple-Onion Dip with Crudités
 
Author:
Serves: 2.5 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 small leeks, cleaned and cut lengthwise
  • 2 shallots, peeled
  • 1 small bunch of green onions
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • few drops of worcestershire
  • salt & pepper
  • crudités for serving
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat broiler.
  2. Drizzle leeks, shallots and onions with olive oil.
  3. Broil for about 10 minutes, until slightly charred.
  4. Let cool a bit and chop all onions, removing roots of green onion.
  5. Stir together remaining ingredients and let chill for at least two hours before serving.

 

cottage cheese + hard-boiled egg toast

Cottage Cheese Sandwich | anutritionisteats.com

Any other cottage cheese fans out there?

I have to admit that I typically keep my cottage cheese-consumption pretty typical. You know, plain. Or with chunks of cantaloupe. Or applesauce. (Which was probably one of my first foods, I ate that combo as a baby!)

Cottage Cheese Sandwich | anutritionisteats.com

But today, in light of a cottage cheese conversation, I decided to step out and try something a little different. So I gave toast a protein boost with a scoop of cottage cheese and a hard-boiled egg. It sounds a little weird, right? But it makes sense.

Cottage Cheese Sandwich | anutritionisteats.com

And it works. It turns out that you can’t really go wrong with a hearty slice of bread topped with creamy cottage cheese, hard-boiled egg and sliced tomato. (Don’t forget a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to finish things off!) I had my whole family try it out and though everyone was skeptical at first, we all loved it. Or, try swapping out the egg slices for avocado for a protein-boosted twist on avocado toast!

Cottage Cheese Sandwich | anutritionisteats.com

Why do I like cottage cheese?

  • It’s high in protein (fun fact: a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese has more than double the protein of an egg!)
  • It’s low in sugar
  • It tastes good AND it’s satisfying

A serving of cottage cheese is a great addition to any meal, or perfect for a snack. Try it topped with fresh fruit or go the savory route with cucumber, chopped tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt & pepper. Find recipe ideas and ways to incorporate cottage cheese here.

And please, give this toast a chance!

This post is sponsored by Daisy Brand

slow cooker brats with sauerkraut + potatoes

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

If Wisconsin had a slow cooker-themed meal, this would be it.

And it feels SO appropriate to share a slow cooker recipe with you today, because I finally felt a bit of fall!

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

We spent last weekend in DC and while our first day was sunny and warm, the rest of the time was cold and drizzly. We’ve been craving this type of weather and while I would have preferred to be snuggled up watching movies to “enjoy it,” walking around the national mall made it really sink in. Cold feet, damp clothes and a yearning for anything hot. Hot chocolate, soup or a hearty slow cooker meal. Without access to a slow cooker, I settled for a coffee one afternoon and the next, some hot tea and a bowl of crab soup. Even with the less-than-ideal weather, DC was amazing. We went to the Capitol, walked down the mall, visited the Newseum (LOVED!) and Arlington Cemetery and had some perfect meals: Founding Farmers, Hanks Oyster Bar, Eat the Rich and the cafeteria at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Los Angeles greeted us with warmth and sun upon our return, but that small dose of fall was so very appreciated.

So from oysters to brats…how do you all feel about brats? It’s pretty much part of the culture I grew up in. The local meat market in Baraboo, WI has no less than 22 varieties of brats. We take it very seriously and from the moment it’s warm enough to step outside to grill (and let’s be real – even when it’s not for some) the aroma of brats are essential to spring/summer/fall nights.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Typically, brats are a warm-weather meal, but this slow cooker version takes it into fall and winter. Brats, sauerkraut and potatoes are slowly simmered in a mustardy-beer sauce. And though the result may not be the prettiest food around, the warm, comforting meal more than makes up for it.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes | anutritionisteats.com

Not only does your home (or tiny one bedroom apartment, in our case) smell incredible, but it takes a mere 10 minutes of prep work and some time in the slow cooker. It’s easy. It’s super-satisfying. It’s divine.

Slow Cooker Brats with Sauerkraut + Potatoes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds of baby red potatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 5-6 brats (I used a 1lb, 3oz package)
  • 1 cup beer of choice
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • salt & pepper
  • parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Layer potatoes, sauerkraut, onion and garlic in slow cooker.
  2. Nestle brats on top.
  3. Combine beer, mustard and caraway seeds in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook on low for about 6 hours.
  5. To serve, top with fresh parsley.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 734 Fat: 27 grams Carbohydrates: 85 grams Fiber: 8 grams Protein: 33 grams