Good Friday is a special occasion, a holiday for some – or a simple meal for two. Easter weekend has become famous for deviled eggs, dyed Easter eggs, and Easter egg hunts – and if you grew up like I did from the South – vegetables and salads.
At this time of the year, fresh fruit stands fill up with the sweetest fruit and wonderful green herbs and veggies. Organic. Nutritious. Healthy. Fresh out of the garden.
Vegetables are filled with nutrients that you can easily combine into any meal. Green veggies may not tempt you the first thing when you wake up in the mornings. But they are so good foryou and good with any meal.
Find a Farmers’ Market
Love vegetables? Go to your local farmers’ market. Stand near sweet strawberries and fresh cilantro. Take a deep breath, inhaling the aromatic scents. You can’t resist purchasing them.
Hmmm. Did you see what I saw in that last paragraph?
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Mondays are best when started off with a big protein breakfast. It almost makes you forget it’s a Monday. Today I decided on a 2-egg omelet with some chopped sweet onion, cilantro, and chopped carrots. As if that wasn’t enough protein, I added a serving of 2% cottage cheese and a slice of toast with the best homemade apple butter I’ve ever had (it had cinnamon – maybe that’s why I liked it so much). This was the kind of breakfast you’d want to serve your honey on Valentine’s Day. Or, better yet, serve him breakfast every day this week. Hmmm.
I found the little jar of apple butter at a truck stop in Kansas. Those country cooks from that state know how to make jam and jelly. Recently, I posted about Holmes Made Fruit Spread Peach Habanero Dip that I made. Sweet and spicy with a bite to it.
After I cooked the omelet this morning, I decided to brown some pork chops and cook them in my slow cooker. The thought did occur to me that I could have pork chops with eggs. Imagine the loaded protein I would have had then. It has been quite a long time since I’ve used the crockpot. I chopped up a little sweet onion and seasoned the meat and cooked it for 7 hours.
The house smelled like comfort food all day. I needed that comfort on this particular day as I was going through books to get rid of. I have a large selection of books, and many of them are cookbooks. Lest I become a hoarder of books, I forced myself to organize the books into categories and make a separate pile of what I was willing to let go of. “Let it go,” I said to myself as I debated on which ones should have another home.
One hour before the pork chops would be ready, I added a cup of brown rice, one can of sweet peas (where I’m from we call them “English peas”), and carrots. One of the carrots was a tiny thing. I found it growing in my vegetable garden.
Look at how little the carrot is compared to the giant green onions I pulled up out of my square foot garden.
Imagine my excitement when I walked around the garden and noticed green vegetables. What is that, I wondered. Onions. LONG onions. There were so many and so big that I shared them with one of my neighbors. But that little carrot, half the size of my little finger, had to go in my crockpot meal.
Crock Pot Pork Chop Meal
Crockpot Pork Chop Meal
4 Porkchops, thawed
1 Tsp. Olive Oil
1 Can Sweet Peas
1 Cup Brown Rice
2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Tsp. Knorr Chicken Bouillon
1 Tsp. Paprika
1 Tsp. Basil
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1/4 Sweet Onion
5 Small Carrots
Salt & Pepper
Brown pork chops on electric griddle or in pan on the stove.
Season the pork chops and place them in a crockpot.
Add broth and bouillon.
Cook on high for 1 hours.
After 1 hour, turn crockpot on low and cook for 6 hours.
Add the rice and peas when you have 1 hour left to cook.
Option: Substitute the peas and carrots with different vegetables if preferred.
While I enjoyed the steaming pork chops, rice, carrots, and peas, I talked to my honey on the phone, describing to him the delicious meal he was missing. The nice thing is that there is plenty to save for leftovers, so he didn’t get left out.
Cooking crockpot pork chops is like a new thing. It seems that way. I don’t remember how long it has been since I cooked in mine. But when your stove isn’t working (and mine isn’t that old), you come up with another plan. A crockpot, electric griddle, a microwave, and a toaster.
Come back Thursday to see what my next surprise meal will be. Will it be comfort food cooked in the crockpot, microwave, on the griddle, or the toaster (That would be an interesting meal – since it’s not a toaster oven.).
Thursday Blog Linking Party:Miz Helen’s Full Plate Thursday
Preparing nutritious meals is made easier with access to an organic kitchen garden. Craving a Southwestern salad I saw, I made a trip to the grocery store and loaded up on organic vegetables. My home garden already had yielded many ripe Roma tomatoes and some corn.
Growing corn in the garden has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done because it’s the first time I’ve planted it. Not only that, I actually planted the seeds, and the corn grew.
When checking the height of the stalks and looking inside them to see real cobs of corn, I feel like an elated child. It’s in times like this that I miss calling my mother to share the excitement because she, the experienced vegetable gardener, would laugh with me about it. If you’ve lost a parent, you know the feeling. Before you realize it, certain events or funny experiences happen in life that you automatically think to call and tell your loved one. So you share with others, your friends, and those who read your blog.
Making the Southwestern vegetable salad was just as much fun as eating it. The preparation of the vegetable salad began with chopping the lettuce,
then adding garden Roma tomatoes,
an orange bell pepper,
organic garden corn,
among a few more vegetables, topped with black beans. I noticed a chopped vegetable salad recipe that looked very appetizing. First, I checked for vegetables in my garden then went to the grocery store for more ingredients. The recipe below is what I came up with. I made an avocado, cilantro, and lime dressing and included various flavors of vinegar. I used a blend of three types of vinegar: Coconut, Balsamic, and White Distilled. I made a double batch of dressing but didn’t need double lime. The original dressing recipe had Greek yogurt. However, sour cream works great.
The best part was the corn. One of my brothers told me that you can eat tender, sweet corn that is raw. I tried it and it definitely was tender, but I boiled both ears of corn for ten to fifteen minutes then shaved the corn off for the salad. Delicious!
If you love salads and nutritious raw veggies, try this recipe: