Pork Bahn Mi Bowl

Mains

I’ve never been the sort of person to make a big deal about my own birthday. I always joke that nothing can ever top my golden birthday (turning 8 on February 8th) at the Universal Skating Rink in Orlando, Florida. My third grade guest list was awesome, the popcorn and pretzels were delicious, and I believe this may have been the first time I ever had ice cream cake. My parents couldn’t have done a better job!

This year, I was pleasantly surprised by a random act of kindness from my good friend Carolyn. A few days after my birthday I found a gorgeous cookbook and a post-it wishing me a  happy belated 28th birthday sitting on my desk.

Now, when I say this cookbook is fabulous, it’s kind of an understatement. Skinnytaste Fast and Slow has nutrition facts, allergy notes (mostly pertaining to gluten), a nice variety of regional cuisines, plus plenty of meat and meatless options. Best of all, the recipes are super straightforward and concise. (As much as I enjoy trying new things, I’ve realized I have little patience for longwinded recipes.)

Since Jon and I both love Asian cuisine last weekend I finally busted out my cookbook for a little inspiration. The Slow Cooker Bahn Mi Rice Bowl recipe was literally everything I hoped. It was a little spicy, a little sweet, and required very little effort on my part.

I have provided an adapted version of Gina Homolka’s recipe below. If you like what you see here, I suggest grabbing this book for yourself or gifting it to a friend!

P O R K   B A H N   M I   B O W L

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Ingredients

1 Pound pork tenderloin

1/4 Teaspoon kosher Salt

1/8 Teaspoon black pepper

1/4 Cup soy sauce (Skinnytaste recommends low sodium but I used the regular stuff since that’s what I had in house)

1 Tablespoon light brown sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 Cloves garlic

6 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1/4 Cup white granulated sugar

1 Cup shredded carrots

2 Radishes

1/2 Cup red onion (optional)

1 Cup red cabbage

3 Cups brown rice

1 Cup english cucumbers

2 Jalapeno peppers

1/4 Cup fresh cilantro

Process

For the Pork

1. Set crock pot to low and place the tenderloin inside. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and jalapeño. Cover the crockpot and let this cook for 6 – 8 hours.

2. When the pork is fully cooked, use a fork to shred the meat.

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For the Pickled Veggies

1. In a medium to large size container add vinegar, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, carrots, sliced onion (optional), sliced radishes and any other desirable veggies. Seal the container tight and refrigerate for least 3hrs (I prepared mine the night before).

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For the Bowl

1. Prepare 3cups of the rice of your choosing.

Time saver note: Jon and I used microwaveable rice (since it only takes 90 seconds). He used jasmine rice, I used a brown rice and quinoa medley— both were delicious.

2. Chop red cabbage into strips,  cucumber into rounds, and cilantro into small pieces.

3. In a large bowl, scoop 1 serving of rice into the base of each bowl. Add pork, freshly chopped vegetables, and pickled veggies on top.

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Whole 30: Days 1-3

Hello, Whole 30, Mains

Meal Summary

 

Day 1

Breakfast: Avocado Egg bake (kind of), Pederson Farms Bacon, Lara Bar

Lunch: Turkey Burger, 1/2 Sweet Potato, Green Beans

Snacks: Cashews, Banana

Dinner: Mango Chicken, Coconut Cauliflower Rice, Balsamic Baked Bok Choy

 

Day 2

Breakfast: Lara Bar, Boiled Egg, Pederson Farms Bacon

Lunch: Grilled Chicken and Chopped Veggies

Snacks: Cashews, Pear

Dinner: Mustard Marinated Pork, Roasted Potatoes, Greens with Tessemae Cracked Pepper Dressing

 

Day 3

Breakfast: Lara Bar

Lunch: Grilled Chicken and Chopped Veggie Salad (EVOO & balsamic vinegar for dressing)

Snack: Fresh Pineapple

Dinner: Lemon Sea Trout & Red Fish

Thoughts

Day one started off with a bit of a fail. Although breakfast happens to be my favorite meal, unless it’s a weekend I’m usually a grab and go kind of gal. Jon however is more of well-balanced-meal kind of guy.

Cue Avocado Egg bake.

Process: Chop one Avocado in half, crack one egg over the avocado canyon and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Let this bake on a sheet pan for 15 minutes at 425 degrees.

Process: Chop one Avocado in half, crack one egg over the avocado canyon and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Let this bake on a sheet pan for 15 minutes at 425 degrees.

For us, this was not a winner (hence my subsequent Lara Bar when I arrived to my desk). We’ll chalk it up to texture and the concept of warm avocado but this could be worth a try for someone else!

Day one’s savior was definitely the Mango Chicken and Coconut Cauliflower Rice we had for dinner. The recipe we found was pretty easy to follow but the coolest part was working with tapioca flour for the first time. Although this dredging wasn’t as gooey and awesome as Panda Express, it did create a perfectly crisp texture on the chicken and helped it bind nicely to the mango. Very cool life hack if you’re wanting to steer clear of gluten long term.

As for day two and three, I have to give Jon major props for discovering the best banana chips and coming up with a great pork recipe (below). Day three was truly a struggle in the morale department (exhaustion and super snappy) but a quick round of tennis and Bare Banana chips served as a serious pick-me-up that night! Publix sells these guys for $3.99 and they are the perfect crunchy snack (only ingredients are ‘nanners and organic cinnamon). If you do treat yo’ self to a bag– just try and keep your snacking to a handful. Not only will this 2.5 serving bag last longer but you’ll be less likely to spiral down to binge town!

Mustard marinated pork

So filling, so flavorful! Plus it’s the perfect item to pack for lunch the next day!

M U S T A R D    M A R I N A T E D   P O R K

Ingredients

4 Pork chops

3 Tablespoons olive oil,

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 Tablespoons coconut amino,

3 Tablespoons mustard

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 Tablespoon Frank’s hot sauce

Salt and pepper.

Process

1. Marinate pork chops in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, coconut amino, mustard, minced garlic and Frank’s Hot Sauce for at least 3 hours. Leave out of fridge for 30 minutes to soak up the last minute flavors.

2. Place in stove top pan with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 – 155 degrees. Salt and pepper to taste. Let pork rest for 5 minutes before serving.

R O A S T E D   P O T A T O E S

Ingredients

Potatoes (3-4 Red Bliss,  or 2 Sweet or Idaho Potatoes)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 Teaspoon dried rosemary

Salt and pepper

Process

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1. Chop potatoes into bite sized cubes or wedges and toss in olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.

3. Place potatoes onto a roasting pan (or sheet pan with foil) and bake for 45 minutes.

Tip : If you’re starving, microwave the chopped potatoes for 2- 3 minutes then place in the oven, it’ll cook much faster!

Mustard marinated pork