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Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

March 14th, 2017

{photo by Anh Phan}

Are you resorting to Top Ramen too often during the busy seasons of life? It’s been awhile since we addressed the dinner time dilemma! What do you cook on time-crunched weeknights to feed your family? Today we have two more excellent and healthy suggestions, sent in by fellow SLOCA parents. We hope these can help spare your sanity and make your hungry family happy!

Our first recipe is shared by Track A mom Joy Newman, who likes this different take on pulled pork and thinks it’s a nice change from BBQ sauce. You can make sandwiches from it, or eat it over rice or potatoes, maybe alongside a salad. To save time buy pineapple chunks in a can. 

Tropical Slow Cooker Pork Roast

Photo and recipe from Pure & Simple Nourishment


  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
  • 1 can full fat organic coconut milk 
  • 2 tbsp diced chives (or sub one small onion, diced)
  • 1 tbsp dried basil 
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano 
  • 1/2-1 tsp sea salt  
  • 1 ethically raised pork shoulder roast (mine was ~3.5lbs)


1. Turn your slow cooker onto low heat.

2. Place all the ingredients into your slow cooker.

3. Cook for ~7 hours.

4. While the meat is still in the slow cooker, break it apart and then turn down that heat to "keep warm" and let sit for another ~30-60 minutes to tenderize

5. Serve and enjoy!

And here’s a vegetarian favorite shared by Track A mom Mary Knudson, who loves this quick, easy and super yummy meal. You can make this as a casserole, on the stove, or in the crock pot! Mary notes that she makes the stove top version of this recipe and often substitutes white rice for brown, to cut down on cooking time. She also tops this with sliced avocado:

Easy Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole 

Photo and recipe from My Plant Based Family


  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water (3 cups for casserole version)
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups cooked beans (or 1 can drained beans) I’ve used pinto and black beans.
  • 1 cup corn (optional)


For Casserole Version
1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Add all ingredients to a 9×15 casserole dish and stir gently.

3. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until rice is tender. Serve.

For Stove Top Version
1. Add all ingredients except beans to a pan (I use a skillet) and cover cooking over medium heat.

2. Stir occasionally, add more water if necessary.

3. Rice should be nice and soft after 45 minutes, add the beans and corn if using then stir to mix.

4. Heat until everything is warm. Serve.

For the Crock Pot version click here.

Notes: This is an easy potluck meal. You could easily double the beans too. We loved it on a bed of greens with a bit of guacamole and homemade pico or salsa. If you’re on the go throw it in a tortilla. I’ll be having leftovers wrapped up in romaine leaves.

I love how versatile (and delicious) this is; it can easily be made with pantry staples when you have no fresh ingredients in the house.

Thanks for sharing these time-saving and healthy meals, ladies!


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