Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Easy Pork Loin and Decadent Stuffed Chili Peppers

As a mom of four hungry guys and a husband who eats more than all of them, I'm always looking for simple, delicious, hands off recipes that don't break the bank. They also need to be Paleo\Primal or close to it. While this one isn't strict Paleo (it has cream cheese), it's a fantastic "gateway" meal, especially if other members of your family aren't Paleo\Primal. My family hasn't jumped on the bandwagon...yet. But they love the food! And this meal is quickly becoming one of our favorites.

Don't be intimidated by the length of time it takes to cook- it's a "fix and forget" type of meal. The hands on time for the pork loin is under 5 minutes. The chili peppers don't take that much longer. The key is to defrost the pork loin overnight in the fridge or sous vide style- put it in a sealed plastic bag and sink it in some hot water for a while. I'm always surprised how fast it thaws (and I like steering clear of the microwave when I can!)

You can see the video here: or watch it below. (This is an entry for the Make a Primal Blueprint Recipe Video contest. Wish me luck- I want those cookbooks!)

A note on the video: This is my first cooking video (with the help of my very talented oldest son Sean), so it's far from perfect. The baby was fussing a bit in the background, I desperately need a haircut, and I still have a ton of weight to lose. And I forgot to say stuff or repeated myself. And paleo is spelled wrong at the end. Oops. Oh well. I did it anyway and it was fun! Hopefully we'll all see the weight fall off as I do more, right?

'Nuff said, here are the recipes:

Easy Pork Loin

5 lb pork loin, thawed
kosher salt or other salt of choice
ground pepper (fresh is best)
herbs of your choice- I like rosemary, thyme and sage from my garden, fresh is best but dried is ok
chopped fresh garlic (I forgot this in the video, but makes the pork smell and taste amazing!)

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Put pork loin in a baking dish with a cover. Sprinkle salt, pepper and herbs on all sides.
3. Cover and cook 1 hour. Just before 1 hour mark, make the stuffed chilies (below)
4. Uncover pork loin, bake another 30 minutes along with chili peppers.
5. Serve with steamed veggies, a salad, applesauce or more pork loin and chilies!

Kim's Decadent Stuffed Chili Peppers

The butcher counter at Hyvee has been selling something similar to this for $6.99\lb. I figured I could do better at home. I'm not sure how much mine weighed, but I made 8 halves and 4 full, large chilies for $6.50 (about 80 cents a stuffed pepper). I know we had a lot more than a pound of them!

2 boxes (about 8-9) Anaheim chili peppers
2 - 8 oz pkgs cream cheese
1 lb bacon

1. Wash chili peppers and slice lengthwise, discarding seeds (unless you want these hellishly hot!)
2. With a butter knife, fill insides with cream cheese.
3. Wrap with bacon (we did 6 halves that were wrapped and stuck the other 6 together, then wrapped).
4. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes until bacon is crispy (depends on size of peppers, dish you're cooking in, and your oven.)

A note on handling peppers: I don't use gloves, but you may want to. If you forget to wear gloves and later find your hands burning, rub some coffee grounds on them. I think it's supposed to neutralize the oils or something.

How much did it all cost?

Everything in this recipe was bought on sale, at farmer's markets, or grown by myself. No, the bacon and pork weren't organic or grass fed. I've only been doing Paleo\Primal for a little over three weeks, but that's the point - if I can pull this together, so can you!

$10    - 5 lb Pork Loin- sale, 1.99\lb @ Hyvee
$2      - 2 boxes Anaheim chili peppers $1 ea @ farmer's market
$2      - 2 pkgs 8 oz cream cheese $1 ea @ Kroger
$2.50 - 1 pkg bacon on sale @ Hyvee (yes, I found this on sale just last week!)
$1      - 1 pound fresh green beans @ the farmer's market
$0      - herbs from my garden, and miniscule amounts of kosher salt and pepper

TOTAL: $17.50

We made 8 half peppers and 4 full ones and tons of pork loin. We fed four of us last night. Two of us had leftovers for lunch and there's still enough for another dinner. Depending on how much your family eats, you could easily get 2-3 restaurant-quality meals out of this. That's $6-$8 for an entire paleo-friendly meal! Plus, you could freeze this and keep it on hand for a busy day. I haven't tried freezing the peppers (they get eaten up too fast!) but the pork loin and green beans freeze great.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Discussion is encouraged, but offensive comments will not be posted.