This Week’s Menu: Things Are Heating Up

I got my trusty Cuisinart slow cooker for free a few years ago using Amazon credit from Swagbucks!

I realized this week that we actually use our slow cooker more during the spring and summer here than we do during the winter, backwards from how we used it on the mainland, where it appeared more in the fall and winter. Living here, when it cools down in the winter is when I am more apt to cook on the stove top, or turn on the oven. When the weather warms up, and boy is it heating up now, working in a hot kitchen in the early evening is the last thing I want to do.

So, this week the slow cooker will make a couple of appearances, and Brett will be out at the grill. Side dishes are more likely to be “cool” or fixed in the rice cooker, which also doesn’t heat up the kitchen. The chili-pork sauce for the burritos slow cooks for a couple of hours over low heat, so doesn’t raise the kitchen temperature too much (I have tried making the sauce in the slow cooker, but it doesn’t thicken as nicely). The only really “hot” meal of the week will be the omelets, where I have to stand over the stove to make them. At least there are just the three of us, so hopefully it won’t be too bad.

The chili-pork sauce for the burritos is too good not to share. Any leftover sauce is delicious over rice, or with eggs:


  • 1 1/2 pounds lean pork, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 sliced onion
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 8-oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 7-oz. can of diced mild green chilis (if you like things spicy you can use chopped jalapeños)

Put the flour into a bag and add salt and pepper, about 1 tsp each. Add the pork cubes and shake in the bag so that all the cubes are coated with flour (you may want to do this a few batches as a time). Heat vegetable oil in the bottom of a 4-quart saucepan, and add onions and pork, cooking until the onions are translucent and the pork browned. Leaving all the browned bits in the pan, add the can of tomato sauce, 3 cans of water, and the can of green chilis. When it comes to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, stir occasionally, scraping the browned bits into the sauce, and cook until the sauce has thickened and reduced by almost half. When I make burritos, I put a little of the sauce inside the tortilla, over the beans, and then smother with sauce after the burrito has been rolled.

Here’s what we’re having this week:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Grilled chicken & apple sausages; couscous; broiled tomatoes (no couscous for me)
  • Wednesday: Spicy steak pizzaiola; garlic toast; grilled asparagus (no toast for me)
  • Thursday: Leftovers (track meet night)
  • Friday: Slow cooker chicken adobo with bok choy; steamed rice (no rice for me)
  • Saturday: Chili-pork burritos; yellow rice; sliced tomatoes (no rice or tortilla for me)
  • Sunday: Omelets with leftover chili-pork sauce; toast; some kind of fruit
  • Monday: Slow cooker Thai-style pork stew; steamed rice; cucumber salad (no rice for me)

We have everything on hand, and will only need a few things from the farmers’ market this week: cucumbers, bok choy, zucchini, papayas, and hopefully we can still find cabbage and broccoli.

5 thoughts on “This Week’s Menu: Things Are Heating Up

  1. Hello Laura, thanks for sharing your recipe. I find I use my slow cooker more in the winter too. But a device I use all year round is our Instant Pot. My husband wanted it and I went along. We are doing a mostly vegan way of eating and I find cooking legumes and/or brown rice to be so easy in the Instant Pot. Before we started more vegan the Instant Pot made fantastic steamed eggs in the shell.
    It’s getting warmer here as well. I’m doing vegetable stir fry with mushrooms and small jewel potatoes and huge tossed salads. Other days it’s lentil stew, black bean stew and veggie toasted sandwiches (bread is toasted). Breakfasts are shredded wheat, muesli and granola mixed with blueberries, bananas and strawberries. Topping the cereal is soy milk for my husband and almond milk for me. Interestingly enough we tend to lose weight eating this way.
    I do save room for a little something sweet with my tea however, and that’s where the buttery bird in your first Japan Give Away will be savored should I get so lucky! I love that as a subscriber your blog posts immediately arrive in my email once released into cyberspace!
    Thank you for sharing your meal planning and recipes.


    1. I have heard many positive reviews of the Instant Pot. I think if we weren’t on the edge of having all the girls leave the nest I would seriously consider getting one. But, I’ve told Brett that once it’s just the two of us, I’m not cooking any more, and I’m only semi joking! I like to cook, but I’d also like a break from meal planning, cooking, etc. We’ll see how that goes.

      Your vegan dishes sound delicious! I enjoyed eating vegan, but I ate too much and ate too many carbs. I’m OK with the meat now, and am actually eating less. At least I know I can do vegan all the time if I really want.


  2. The menu looks delicious. We frequent chicken & apple sausage for a meal too. but pairing them with mashed potatoes and sauteed bell peppers (of red, orange and green). And you can’t never wrong with chicken adobo!


    1. Love the mashed potatoes and sauteed peppers side dishes for the sausages! We have another package in the freezer, so this may be the way I got next time we have them!

      The slow cooker chicken adobo recipe is one of our all-time favorites. The recipe comes from Real Simple magazine – sorry I didn’t link the recipe this time. It’s easy and good!


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