‘Eating Clean on the Cheap’ – Hoppin’ John and Pork Loin Stew

Ringing in the New Year with Hoppin’ John is a traditional to say the least. However, most recipes that call for bacon, butter, and other saturated fats will knock you off your New Year’s resolution of being healthy as you enter 2012. So, I took leftover pork loin to add the meaty flavor to this favorite dish. I love pork loin because it is easy to roast and there are numerous ways to utilize the leftovers, just as this recipe does. Pork loin is an excellent source of lean protein, and that combined with the black-eyed peas, gives you a protein-packed meal that is also high in complex carbs. Adding the spinach and tomatoes gives an even more nutrient-rich punch, and all these belly-filling foods allow you to eat a small, satisfying bowl of this stew and freeze the leftovers in single servings in the freezer for a quick meal when you are in a rush. A simple recipe to prepare with the promise of leftovers- what’s not to love?! Pork loin is on sale this week at Publix for just $1.99 a lb which is the best price you’ll see, so buy extra and freeze! Check out my Roasted Pork Loin recipe in order to have the leftovers to make this stew.

Hoppin’ John and Pork Loin Stew

(*On sale this week -12/26/11-1/3/12, at Publix)

1.5 cups black-eyed peas, cooked and rinsed*

.5 lb pork loin, cooked and chopped*

3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

½ medium onion, diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half*

3 cups chopped fresh spinach

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons dried thyme

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Bake 8-10 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and roasted. Remove from oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and garlic and cook 5 minutes or so until tender. Pour in the 3 cups of broth, black-eyed peas, bay leaf, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Add pork loin, roasted tomatoes and chopped spinach and cook another 10 minutes. Add more broth if you would like a more liquid-based stew. Serve over brown rice if desired and top with fresh chopped parsley.

Need other ideas for leftover pork loin? How about…

Cuban quesidillas

Pork and Sauerkraut

Roasted Pork Loin with Chickpea Salad

Red Beans and Rice


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