With the kids back in school this week, I worried momentarily about our new evening routine. They usually come to the gym with me a few days a week, but with homework, earlier bedtimes and alarm clocks buzzing way earlier than they should, I wanted to make an attempt to be organized from the get-go. This week, it meant a menu plan.
Truth be told, I’m usually good for only a few weeks with a menu plan before my good intentions quickly go by the wayside, as you may very well recall, so it remains to be seen how long it will really last. For now, though, having a plan for dinner every night makes it a bit easier to keep us (and my work-outs) on track.
I have a stack of new-to-try recipes that either fit the “clean eating” guidelines or can be easily tweaked to fit, so when I threw together this week’s menu plan over the weekend, I leafed through those first. It seems like I got a bit lucky that the pile had the roast pork from yesterday, and a recipe for Pork Tortas as well. Could I really be so organized as to use pork from yesterday’s dinner to create an entirely new meal tonight? Most of the time, no. But this time? You bet.
This Pork Torta recipe comes to us from the good folks at Cooking Light magazine. Although their recipe specifically calls for using pork chops, I knew roast pork leftover from last night’s dinner would be perfect, and make tonight a breeze. And it was, and it did. Because the pork was already cooked and ready to go, pulling this together was simply a matter of slicing up a few vegetables, toasting the bread and layering it all together. One bite and I was hooked. Between the butteriness of the avocado, the juiciness of the tomato (and WHY is it so hard to find ripe tomatoes in New Jersey in the summer, for pete’s sake?!) and the sharp bite of the onion … oh my, so.very.good.
If you make the pork from last night (and you really should), this is a great way to serve up the leftovers in disguised this-isn’t-really-last-night’s-dinner way. Full-on flavor for five minutes of time? Don’t need to ask me twice.
Seared Pork Tortas
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light magazine, August 2010
Torta is Spanish for “sandwich”—and is usually a hefty stack of meat, beans, and veggies.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 (2-ounce) boneless center-cut pork loin chops (1/4 inch thick)
1 (12-ounce) baguette, cut in half horizontally (I used whole wheat)
1/2 cup canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons refrigerated fresh salsa
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I skipped)
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
1 large tomato, cut into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (I skipped)
1/2 ripe peeled avocado, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine cumin and salt; sprinkle evenly over pork. Add pork to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 5 minutes; cut into thin slices.
3. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving a 3/4-inch-thick shell; reserve torn bread for another use. Place bread halves, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Place beans and salsa in a small bowl; mash with a fork until almost smooth. Spoon bean mixture into the bottom half of baguette. Top with pork, cheese, onion, tomato, jalapeño, avocado, and top half of baguette. Cut into 4 pieces.
This is definitely a reinvention of those leftovers…in such a delicious way! I find that if I don’t have a menu plan, I’ll spend an inordinate amount of time during the week thinking about what I should eat. Which would be fine if I wasn’t supposed to be studying during that time. So I always have a plan! Good luck with sticking to it!
Looks yummy!! One recipe book that helps me stay organized is called “Dinner Survival” by Sandi Richard. Her recipes are super easy to follow, they have grocery lists, and kids love the flavours. She also has a show on the Food Network and many of her recipes can be found on that web sight. Look her up…she will definitely help your menu planning stay on track. Good luck.
Great use of leftovers. I am crazy over pork so I could definitely see myself enjoying every bite of this torta.
I love tortas and that looks so good! I never thought of making them at home, but now I will! Thanks!
Looks delicious. Sounds like your schedule is going to be quite busy!
Ripe tomatoes are readily available during the summer in New Jersey at your local farmer’s market.
Jeanne – thanks. We regularly visit our farmers’ markets, but unfortunately they’re once a week, so don’t always buy enough to get us through the week. :) The ones at the grocery store have been quite sad.
Michelle – thanks for the heads up on the cookbook – will definitely look it up!