Menu planner: Slow-cooker pork pozole is flavorful and economical

Thinking ahead to your next few meals? Here are some main dishes and sides to try.

SHARE Menu planner: Slow-cooker pork pozole is flavorful and economical
Slow-cooker pork posole is packed with flavor and easy on the budget.

Slow-cooker pork pozole is packed with flavor and easy on the budget.

Joseph Keller/America’s Test Kitchen

Slow-cooker pork pozole

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 6 to 8 hours


2 1/2 pounds boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium white or yellow hominy, rinsed

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes

Additional salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle pork with 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet on medium-high until just smoking. Add half of pork and cook 7 minutes or until browned on all sides. Transfer all pork (browned and uncooked) to 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Add onion and remaining salt to now-empty skillet; cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until softened and browned. Stir in garlic, chili powder and oregano; cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Transfer onion mixture to slow cooker. Stir in hominy, broth and tomatoes with juice. Cover and cook until pork is tender, 6 to 7 hours on high or 7 to 8 hours on low. Skim fat. Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste; serve. (Adapted from “The Healthy Back Kitchen,” Griffin R. Baum, M.D., America’s Test Kitchen.)

Per serving: 332 calories, 25 grams protein, 9 grams fat (23% calories from fat), 2.4 grams saturated fat, 41 grams carbohydrate, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 1,378 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.5.

Soft and crunchy tacos

Makes 8 tacos

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes


8 taco shells

8 fajita-size whole-wheat flour tortillas

1 cup shredded 50% light cheddar cheese

1 pound lean ground beef

1 (1.25-ounce) packet reduced-sodium or regular taco seasoning

3/4 cup water

1 cup shredded romaine

1 cup taco sauce

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put taco shells on a baking sheet; spread tortillas on another baking sheet. Sprinkle each tortilla with 1 tablespoon cheese; set aside. Heat a large, nonstick skillet on medium and add beef; cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Meanwhile, put baking sheets in oven; bake 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Center a taco shell in each flour tortilla and bring up sides of tortillas. Fill tacos with beef mixture, lettuce, remaining cheese and taco sauce. Serve immediately.

Per taco: 287 calories, 16 grams protein, 9 grams fat (30% calories from fat), 3.5 grams saturated fat, 32 grams carbohydrate, 36 milligrams cholesterol, 780 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

Warm Greek shrimp salad

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes


1 (8- to 10-ounce) package baby spinach leaves

1 small red onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 pound large, uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup Greek oil-and-vinegar dressing (or another vinaigrette), divided

1/3 cup halved kalamata olives

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest (yellow part only)

Crumbled Greek feta cheese for garnish

Place spinach in a large salad bowl; set aside. Heat a large, nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add onion and pepper; cook 4 minutes or until softened. Add shrimp and 1/4 cup dressing. Cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are just opaque. Remove from heat. Stir in olives, remaining salad dressing, lemon juice and lemon zest. Immediately pour over spinach; toss to coat and slightly wilt spinach. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.

Per serving: 216 calories, 25 grams protein, 10 grams fat (39% calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 183 milligrams cholesterol, 698 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Leg of lamb

Serve with baked Dijon potato wedges. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 medium red potatoes into wedges. In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder; mix well. Add potatoes to bowl; toss to coat. Spread potatoes in a single layer on baking sheet covered with nonstick foil. Bake 15 minutes; turn potatoes. Bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until tender. Add fresh green beans, and spinach salad and sourdough bread.

Tex-Mex layered bean salad

Go meatless. In a 3 1/2-cup straight-sided salad bowl, layer salad as follows: 1 seeded and chopped large red or yellow bell pepper, 1 cup chopped red onion, 1 (16-ounce) bag salad mix (iceberg lettuce, carrots and cabbage, or make your own mixture), 1 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese, 2 (15-ounce) cans drained three-bean salad. Set aside. Mix together 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream and 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Spread mayonnaise mixture over top of salad. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 8 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle with 1/2 cup crumbled tortilla chips and 1 small sliced avocado. Toss and serve.

Rotisserie chick with apricot glaze

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pan on medium-high; add 2 thinly sliced shallots and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in 1/2 cup apricot preserves, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce and 1/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes or until heated. Brush glaze over 1 (2- to 4-pound) deli roast chicken. Place chicken on rack of nonstick foil-lined roasting pan. Bake 15 minutes. Serve with Potatoes O’Brien (from frozen), a packaged green salad. and biscuits.

The Latest
The former Blackhawks GM was part of the management group that suppressed sexual-assault allegations by former player Kyle Beach.
The COVID-19 test positivity rate in Chicago for the week ending July 19 was 9.8%, up from 7.6% the previous week. Hospitalizations also have increased, but not quite at the same rate, officials say.
There was nothing Williams could do in four non-padded practices to prove he’s the franchise quarterback the Bears need. But less than a week into camp, one thing is clear: He’s the right guy in the right place. The Justin Fields option is a mere footnote in Ryan Poles’ rebuild.
Leaders of the One Future Illinois PAC aim to “provide more balance in civic dialogue.” It includes business heavyweights who’ve held prominent positions in city and state government.
The worst recent increase in crime came under Trump’s watch, but many Americans blame President Joe Biden.