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  • Mary Kay

Heart Healthy Rice Pork and Veggies!

Here’s something you can do for your health – a heart healthy easy to make meal. And, it’s quick!

You can whip up this meal with rice in a matter of minutes! If you have a boil-in-bag of rice, it takes even less time.

This meal is an easy and quick to fix combination of frozen fresh veggies (no salt or high cholesterol creamy sauce), rice and a low-cal, low cholesterol pork chop or cutlet. Cutlets have a little more flavor than chops since they have a little fat mixed in. Just look at the back of the package for nutritional value.

If you like a little sauce, add it, but remember that you may be adding salt, cholesterol and calories. Always double check by reading the nutritional value on all packages. There’s a lot of important easy to read information there. I was going to try this with some soy sauce sprinkled on the rice, but when I read about the almost 1,000 milligrams of sodium in one tablespoon, WHEW! Not for me - that's 2/3 of the sodium recommended for me in one day. Even the low-sodium soy sauce is very high in sodium.

This easy to make meal combines a simmering of rice, sauteing of the pork cutlet and heating the veggies in the microwave. If you want fried rice with veggies, just a little bit of butter (not too much!) to give it a fried taste and look. Or, avoid the butter and fry it in the grease from the pork or extra virgin olive oil.

More flavor can be added through spices and herbs from your spice cabinet or from any fresh herbs you may have in your kitchen or fridge.

This meal serves two.

Prep your pan:

Heat up a 10” – 12” sauté pan on your stovetop.

Gather your Ingredients:

2 Pork Cutlets

2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 -2 C bag of Boil-in-Bag Rice

2 C Veggies, fresh or frozen (sans sauces or salt)

Pepper and herbs to flavor

Start your meal-prep

- Start your rice first and let it simmer according to the box directions. This rice comes in little bags that are easy to set into a boiling sauce pan of water, and fix the rest of your meal while it simmers. The rice takes about 10 minutes, much less time than if you were steaming regular dried rice.

- Heat your sauté pan on medium heat on the stove, drizzle the olive oil in the pan and start sauteing your pork. Be sure to use a good extra virgin olive oil. I have tried some of the cheaper ones and find their flavors not so pleasing.

- While the pork is sauteing, heat about 2 cups of frozen veggies in the microwave. If you are using fresh, cleaned and diced vegetables, you will need to boil or sauté them before adding to the rice. If I use fresh veggies, I usually choose from peas, corn, diced carrots, red and yellow sweet peppers, chopped broccoli, Kale and cauliflower – whatever I have in my fridge. If I use fresh frozen veggies, I like to use corn, carrots and peas since they can be purchased as a combined mixture in one bag.

- After the rice has been cooked and drained, add to the sauté pan after the pork has been finished and removed. Mix the cooked veggies in with the rice. Flavor the mixture with herbs from your pantry.

- Depending on what I’m hungry for, I use a saltless or low-sodium taco seasoning, or a saltless Italian seasoning. Sometimes I use a saltless fajita seasoning. You can find these in the spice aisle at your favorite grocery store. There’s a myriad of seasonings you can choose from or you can even mix your own ahead of time and have it ready to use. There are many recipes online to choose from.

- Serve and garnish with parsley or with a lettuce and tomato salad alongside.

This is an easy and delicious meal you can make for the entire family of just for one person. There are so many ways you can serve up this meal, using pork, chicken, hamburger or sliced sirloin. Change it up with different veggies and a variety of herbs or spices. Add just a touch of sauce if you want a deeper flavoring. Make it your own and keep it low-sodium by adding an array of spices that you enjoy. And, at the same time, “Bake your own Memories!”

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