The hardest step in preparing for a cook-in is selecting a menu. If you think about it everyone has different tastes, health considerations, and budget. Therefore when selecting our menus, we ask the participants what they are interested in, then take a middle of the road approach. Here’s how we selected the menu for Tuesdays cook-in.
When selecting a menu, our first consideration is healthy food. Our meals can always be tweaked to satisfy vegetarians so we look for foods that are somewhat healthy compared to other choices.
Other important things to consider include whether it is budget friendly, easy to prepare, and made with common ingredients.
So for this meal we chose to feature roasted pork. According to the Pork Council, the leaner cuts of pork contain 120 cal per serving while lean chicken and beef hover around 140 cal per serving.
Roasting with the vinaigrette and Herb marinade is also healthy choice. For side dishes we are choosing roasted vegetables coated with herbs and Virgin olive oil. Our choice for dairy and fruit includes low-fat cottage cheese with peaches packed in natural juice. For a grain we chose whole grain rice because it is gluten-free and can be used in future meals.
Budget-wise, pork cushions cost less than two dollars a pound at Cash and Carry, a restaurant supply warehouse. Vinaigrette, olive oil, low-fat cottage cheese, vegetables, rice and fruit are staples always kept in our pantry. Therefore the ingredients are readily available.
For a chart of different cuts of pork and cooking information visit this page.
Roasting is a healthy way to cook and it can be done in an oven. Pork can also be braised in a crock-pot, fry pan, roaster, or covered wok. The vegetables can be cooked along with the pork making it an easy meal to prepare.
For more information about nutrition, recipes and various cuts of pork visit the Pork Council website:
Note: If you live in the Pacific Northwest, Come on up to Ferndale Washington on Tuesday, December 9 starting at 5:30. Our kitchen is in the United Church of Ferndale, 2034 Washington St. Ferndale, WA 98248 and you are welcome to cook with us or observe how to host a cook-in. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ferndale Community Resource Center 360-three eight zero-2200
by donR 12/08/14