I decided that it was far too long since I did some food blogging, and I thought it would be nice to do a feature that encourages you to use the food you buy – not just buy a slew of ingredients for one recipe and then never use them again. Do you ever do that? Yeah, me too. It sucks and it’s wasteful and I have resolved to not do it as often. This is how I came up with the “eat this – then that” concept – as a way to use the food you spend your hard earned money on and not just let it go to waste. Now, if you or your family doesn’t like eating left overs, this idea may be a hard sell. However, if you remix some of the ingredients just enough, maybe it won’t feel like leftovers and supper will be exciting again. Does it sound like a plan? Great, let’s get started!
Meal One: Crockpot Tenderloin with Gravy
The first meal I found on Pinterest and I remixed it to my own liking. The original recipe was Trisha Yearwood’s Crock Pot Pork Loin from Flavorite which I have adapted as you see below. You can totally follow the original recipe, but I don’t roll that way – so:
- Get a pork tenderloin, as much as you may need (recipe calls for 2.5 to 3 lbs). I got a larger size (2 tenderloins, actually) than I usually would so I would have lots of pork left for my second meal – keep that in mind if that’s your plan. FYI – Pork tenderloin is often on sale for cheap! Trim that pork of any fat.
- Make a rub! I mixed together 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp dried thyme, and 1/4 tsp black pepper and rubbed it on one tenderloin. Repeat as many times as needed (one batch per tenderloin).
- Heat up a large frying pan and put about a tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil in the bottom. Heat until oil shimmers. Then, brown those loins! If the meat is sticking to the pan, it needs a little more time. Just keep an eye on them and brown on all sides. You’re just looking to brown the loins, not cook through. Then toss the tenderloins in a crock pot.
- Mix together 2 cups of chicken broth, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and 3 tsp soy sauce (or tamari if you’re gluten free). Pour this sauce over the meat in the crock pot.
- Cook for 8 to 10 hours on low heat or 4 to 5 hours on high heat. I suggest getting a meat thermometer to check your meat if you will be cooking with a crock pot often. It gives me peace of mind when I haven’t been hovering over my meal all day. Just as a side note, I Googled the temperature for pork done-ness and I guess it’s 145˚F, which is much less than what my meat thermometer says, but whatever!
- Once cooked, take the meat out of the crock pot and place on a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Now, it’s gravy time! Pour the liquid from the crock pot into a large measuring cup. If needed, add water so that the liquid amount equals 2 cups. Pour liquid into a saucepan, reserving 1/2 cup of liquid.
- Stir 3 Tbsp cornstarch into the reserved liquid until dissolved. Stir the reserve liquid into the saucepan. Heat the mixture and whisk until it thickens. Taste and add salt/pepper as desired.
You can serve this yummy pork tenderloin with whatever you’d like – I chose some baby potatoes that I roasted in the oven and some broccoli with cheese sauce. If you want to do the meal for Day Two, be sure to reserve some of the pork and gravy.
Meal Two: Pulled Pork Poutine
This is the easy part, folks. Since you did all of the work in yesterday’s meal, it’s really just time to sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labour.
- Make your fries. I chose to roast some more baby potatoes in this case, to make it a little more cost effective and use what I already had. In case you’re wondering, I preheat the oven to 400˚F, wash off the potatoes, cut into halves or quarters, put into a small oven-safe dish that has been greased with some olive oil, coat the potatoes with a little more olive oil and whatever seasoning you’d like (Montreal steak spice, garlic salt, onion powder, or seasoning salt are all great options – or just salt and pepper!). Cook for about 20-40 minutes (depending on the size of your chunks). Just check your potatoes as the time goes on and toss them every once in awhile so they don’t stick to the pan. You can also just use frozen fries!
- Warm up your pork. I like to pull the pork apart with two forks first, then warm it up in the microwave for about 60 seconds.
- Warm up your left over gravy in a saucepan. Add a little water if it is too thick.
- Assemble! Layer your fries, pork, cheese curds (or shredded cheese if you can’t get curds in your area), and gravy. Enjoy!
Now how easy was that? Two delicious meals with two completely different “feels” to them. Just in case you were wondering, the ingredients for both of these meals (pork tenderloin, potatoes, chicken broth, and cheese curds) totaled $19.91, and I had leftover pork at the end! So if you have a good selection of supplies at home already, this may be an easy, budget friendly meal for your family as well! Will you try this two-day meal idea in your home? If you want more ideas like this, let me know in the comments, or on the Homemaking on Howard Facebook page. Thank you so much for checking this post out!