Thursday, July 27, 2006

A quick, healthy, somewhat ho-hum stir-fry

Pork and Pineapple Stir-Fry
Pillsbury Good For You Copyright 2006

1 ½ cup uncooked instant rice I made regular brown rice
2 cups water
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, if desired
3 tablespoons soy sauce I used low-sodium
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks or 16 fresh pineapple chunks, drained, 2 tablespoons liquid reserved
¾ lb. boneless lean pork, cut into thin bite-size strips
1 bag (16 oz.) coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)

1. Cook rice in 1 ½ cups of the water as directed on package. (I just cooked brown rice my normal way, the night before.)
2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the cornstarch, ginger, red pepper, if desired, the remaining ½ cup water, the soy sauce and reserved 2 tablespoons pineapple liquid; set aside.
3. Heat 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add drained pineapple chunks; sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Cook 5 minutes, turning chunks occasionally.
4. Remove pineapple from skillet; set aside. In same skillet, cook and stir pork over medium-high heat 2 minutes.
5. Add coleslaw mix; cook and stir 3 to 6 minutes or until pork is no longer pink in the center and cabbage is tender.
6. Stir pineapple and cornstarch mixture into pork mixture; cook and stir 3 minutes or until pork is glazed and sauce is slightly thickened. (I added more soy sauce and cornstarch - for flavor and thickening. ) Serve over rice.

Makes 4 servings.

This was one of those recipes that was perfectly enjoyable yet I probably won't bother making it again. It was good yet nothing special. The sauce was mild but tasty, the dish was healthy overall (well, low-fat but it did have all that brown sugar), and it was quick to prepare. It was a nice weekday meal but nothing to add to the do-over list, considering all the similar recipes that are out there, waiting for me.

So far, this cookbook has one winner (Easy Italian Spiced Pork) and now two nothing-specials (this and the Mustard-Glazed Pork Chops).

Last night was grocery night. I've really got to figure out a way to cut down my grocery bill. I try, I really do. I make a list, try not to overbuy and I try to take advantage of sales. I don't use as many coupons these days since I'm just not finding coupons for the items I'm buying. It's not my blog recipes that are killing my budget, it's everything else. But it's all basic stuff - why does it add up to so much? Have prices really gone up that much? I know I'm feeding one more person (but one less cat - RIP sweet Mookie), but my son isn't a big eater.

Question of the Day: Have you noticed a sizeable increase in your grocery bill over the past few years?


Annie said...

Absolutely. Last night I went to the market to pick up just a few things. Of course, I did'nt make a list, but I knew what I needed to buy...Milk, bread, sausage, cheese, olive oil and mushrooms. I did buy a few more things, one small package of pork chops and some canned artichoke hearts, the bill was close to $60 bucks. I intended on spending around $25. What's going on?????

Randi said...

Im curious, what city do you live in? What are the costs of some of your items? Can you plan your menu according to whats on sale each week?

Kim said...

My boyfriend is a master coupon-er. I am in awe! It's not a quick process, but saving a ton of money with coupons can be done. You can check out his exploits at

Unknown said...

Well, considering that over the past 3 years I've gone from being at a college and eating in the cafeteria to someone living in an apartment...Yes! It will go up more this year because I won't have leftovers from my parents' anymore! I know that wasn't why you asked, but I thought I'd join in the fun.

ThursdayNext said...

I did, so that is why when Stop and Shop opened here a few months ago, I got a card and started going there to look for better deals on things like water and such. It all adds up so fast!

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I'm glad to see it's not just me noticing this. I discussed this a bit more in my next post.

Anonymous said...

It is not just you. I did couponing and entered sweepstakes and made a huge effort to be frugal by shopping sales and not wasting food, for years (not all those things at once, necessarily). I realized that these frugal steps can be incredibly time consuming. People who do extreme couponing often spend more than 20 hours a week. My friend and I realized that we were "making" $2/hour entering contests. I realized that my time also has a lot of value. I don't mean any of this as a blanket statement, as everyone can figure out what works best for their own unique situation. For me, especially being such a perfectionist which was then applied to my frugality, I learned to step WAY back and get some perspective. It was really hard at first to be less frugal and to even waste a little more (gasp)! But soon it felt like freedom. Now, I save money by mostly buying produce that is on sale when I get to the store (I rarely look it up and menu plan ahead anymore). I just go to the store that already tends to have good deals on produce, and stock up on other stuff at Walmart. I splurge for foods that taste better to me. I rarely use coupons. This is not what is best for everyone, but I wanted to share it because I think that a lot of us can be hard on oursleves ("I should menu plan around sales", "I should waste less food", whatever, but the reality is that it can be very time consuming for most people. By all means if it works for you, keep doing it! But it is a choice with pros and cons just like everything else. Some of us make enough at work where it is more efficient to save time than money, while others love extreme couponing because they can stay at home, whatever works is great, but I for one have tossed the expectations on myself :)