There’s something about fall always feels like the time to declutter, organize, and just get my life together in general. I think it’s the result of years of my Type A self trying to get ready for school.
Luckily, I’m not in school anymore, but that leaves me trying to channel all this energy into organizing some other aspect of my life.
This year, I’m trying to do a better job of meal planning and prepping.
You may have noticed, I love to cook, but it’s always hard for me to come up with a menu for a week.
The perfectionist in me doesn’t want to do anything unless it’s perfect, so if I can’t come up with the perfect menu, I have a tendency to just wing it all week instead.
Now I am trying to put all my favorite recipes on here, so they’re in one place when I need meal prep inspiration.
Since it is back to school season, I figured everyone else could use some lunch inspiration.
Enter: the carnitas I posted a couple weeks ago.
I love them for meal prepping, because they come together quickly with minimal work and they’re so versatile that I don’t get bored with them after a day.
You can find the original carnitas recipe here. This meat goes well with everything, but it pairs especially well with sweet potatoes, guac, salsa verde, and the rice I make with the broth left over after cooking the pork (recipe below). Pair these dishes and sides up to your liking.
I put together a few of my favorite carnitas meal prep suggestions below. I like to garnish all of these with a little cilantro, a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, some minced red onion, and a squeeze of fresh lime.
Street taco style in 4″ flour tortillas. (If they’re half the size, you can eat twice as many, right?)
In a burrito with chunks of roasted sweet potato and rice.
Piled up on top of a baked sweet potato.
On a tostada on top of a super crispy corn tortilla.
Loaded nachos. Need I say more?
Whatever I make, I like to prep it into single servings in a glass container, so I can just grab one out of the fridge on my way out the door.
Instant Pot Rice
I make rice so much more now that I have my pressure cooker (Instant Pot). It comes together really easily. Plus, when I make rice on the stove top, I have a tendency to get distracted and brown my rice OR I get impatient and it comes out under cooked. I’m not sure that the IP really saves me more than a few minutes of actual cook time, but the fact that it is hands off is a game changer.
For this recipe, I (usually) strain the broth left in the pan after I make these pork carnitas (but sometimes I don’t strain it and it just ends up with little bits of pork in the rice. Not necessarily a bad thing TBH). But if you aren’t making carnitas, you can use store bought stock or broth.
1 tbsp. oil of your choice, I usually use olive or coconut oil
1 3/4 cups long grain white rice
2 cups broth – use whatever goes with the rest of your meal – beef, chicken, vegetable, whatever
salt and pepper to taste
Set pressure cooker to Sauté (high), add oil, and let it heat up.
Add rice and sauté it for a minute or two until it starts to smell toasty and you can hear it popping.
Pour in broth and stir to scrape up any thing stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Put on the lid and seal the vent. Set pressure cooker to Manual (high) for 5 minutes.
When the timer is done, let it naturally release (turn it off, but leave it sealed) for 5 minutes, then release pressure manually (open the vent) and remove the lid carefully.
Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.