It’s Monday (though I swear it was Friday 5 minutes ago) and honestly, what is better to come home to than a delicious dinner that is already prepared for you? Perhaps skipping Monday all-together, but the NEXT best thing might be this recipe.
I’ve also decided this is also the best meal to stuff inside a toasted tortilla. It just so happens to have all of the necessary burrito ingredients: meat, rice, sauce, peppers, onions, cheese and herbs! Perhaps plate it in an aesthetically appealing fashion for Monday night dinner and then stuff it in a glorious taco the next night in recognition of Taco Tuesday?
Voila! Your first two weeknight dinners are set!
I tried Spanish Rice for the first time recently and I am completely dumbfounded by the fact that I waited 26 years to do so. It is SUCH a delicious accompaniment to steak, chicken, pork or Mexican entrees such as tacos or enchiladas.
Being italian and having a deep love for any type of red sauce, Spanish rice may as well be the marriage of my two favorite cuisines – Italian and Mexican. In traditional Spanish rice, the rice is browned (or toasted) prior to cooking it, but for ease of preparation, we are just adding it right to the slow cooker. However, by using brown rice instead of white, you’re getting more of that earthy flavor (in addition to added nutrients) that browning rice typically yields.
I absolutely love the combination of rich tomato sauce with refreshing cilantro and sweet, creamy goat cheese. This dish is my idea of healthy comfort food. The rice is cooked perfectly and soaks up loads of flavor. Since the rice of slow cooked in creamy tomato sauce, it stays incredibly moist and almost creamy. The texture was actually similar to risotto. So delicious!
You could use chicken breast or thighs, pork shoulder, or pork butt in place of pork tenderloin in this recipe. However, since pork tenderloin is just as lean as chicken breast and tends to be more flavorful, I would highly recommend it!
Slow Cooker Pork and Saucy Spanish Rice
- 1 pork tenderloin (~18-20 ounces)
- 1 cup brown (or white) rice
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used RoTel)
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper of choice (or 8 mini sweet peppers), diced
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Harissa
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: fresh cilantro and crumbed goat cheese
- Start by adding chicken stock, water, diced tomatoes and tomato paste to the slow cooker. Stir with a wire whisk until combined. Pour in rice, making sure all grains are completely submerged in liquid. Add onions and peppers.
- In a small bowl, mix oregano, garlic powder, Harissa and a touch of salt and pepper. Season pork tenderloin generously with spice mixture.
- Place pork tenderloin on top of rice mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, use tongs to remove pork tenderloin from slow cooker. Pork may start shredding when you try removing it, so be prepared!
- Spoon out rice and transfer to serving platter. Top with pork loin. Finish it off with fresh cilantro and crumbled goat cheese.
Nutrition Facts per Serving (1/4th of entire recipe; ~5 ounces of pork with 2/3 cup prepared rice)
Calories: 350; Total Fat: 6 gm; Saturated Fat: 1 gm; Cholesterol: 53 mg; Sodium: 650 mg; Carbohydrates: 45 gm; Fiber: 3 gm; Sugar: 5 gm; Protein: 29 gm