Okay, I know I’m posting two pork recipes back to back. I didn’t plan well. I’ve been busy organizing my kitchen.
Yup, organizing. If you ask my mother, she’ll tell you that I’m the messiest person alive. It’s funny, because I’m very organized with work (I always have been, even in school when that was “work”…… sigh.)
Now that my work includes my kitchen, it’s about time I get it together.
While I always pride myself in using the freshest ingredients, some ingredients for cooking are better left in the pantry. Actually, I did a post on my favorite pantry/fridge ingredients for making quick spiralized meals. You can check that out here.
Ingredients better left for the pantry are tomatoes in the winter and of course, pumpkin puree every day of the year. I actually made my own pumpkin puree a few times and sure, it’s not that hard, but it’s extremely time consuming. To be honest, I’d rather spend an hour flipping through my favorite blogs on Bloglovin (follow me if you aren’t already!) or spend an extra 30 minutes walking outside after work.
So, as I was organizing my kitchen (before and after pictures to come!) I stumbled upon three cans of pumpkin puree. THREE!! Do you know what this means? It means that I went to the grocery store multiple times asking myself, “Do I have pumpkin if I decide to make a pumpkin recipe this week?” “Well, I’ll buy it just to be sure.” Hence, three cans of pumpkin puree.
Organizing my pantry was extremely liberating. I couldn’t have done it without OXO’s POP containers. Every time I go into my pantry in the morning to get a scoop of my protein powder (now in a 4 quart POP container), I look forward to sealing it and placing it back neatly on the shelf. It is so neat, on account of the fact that these containers’ square and rectangular shapes make everything more space efficient. As you’ll see in the before and after pictures, my pantry seemed to double in size after I placed everything into the OXO POP containers. Not to mention, you only need a finger to open these bad boys – they really… well… pop open!
While organizing, I found some expired foods, some new items I forgot I had recently purchased and just a lot of mess. I found three bottles of nutritional yeast flakes. Again, THREE! What I’m saying is, organize your pantry and you’ll save yourself money, time and you’ll better understand what’s in your home so when you go to cook, you’re well equipped.
Let’s be honest, there’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe and realizing you don’t have any black beans, when you thought you had just bought a can. Devastating.
Before I get to my before and after, let’s talk recipe. This dish is called a “risotto” because of it’s creamy, ricey consistency (but you all know better than that – it’s made of sweet potato!) The goat cheese is just sensational here – the luxurious smoothness of this fisotto (fake + risotto!) creates an indulgent taste without the heavy nutritional counts. The maple-pecan crusted pork brings out the flavors in the pumpkin, sweet potato and highlights the thyme.
The kicker with the pork is the pecan crust. The pecans not only add extra unprocessed, whole, clean flavor – but a wonderful crunchy texture. I would call this a date night dish. You’re trying to make something tasty for your man or woman and want to impress them but still leave room for dessert, make this. The flavors are fall-inspired and every bite you take, you will catch your significant other hurriedly going for another forkful – it’s addictive!
Here’s the pork, seasoned, pre oven:
Now, pantry organizing. Please, don’t judge me. Also, my canned items are separate from this pantry – that’s for another day. Perhaps I’ll become motivated later this fall?
If you’d like to go ahead and order your own OXO pop-top containers to organize your pantry, go to www.containerstore.com! Here are some of my top picks:
Contest – OXO
OXO is hosting a contest to win a prize pack worth $500, including your choice of OXO Storage & Organization tools (up to $250), as well as a $250 elfa gift card, starting October 13th and running until October 31st. Mark your calendars to enter!
Click here to enter. Good luck!
Note: Although OXO provided the POP container set for this post, all opinions are my own.
What are your best organizational tips for a pantry?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Pumpkin-Goat Cheese Sweet Potato “Risotto” with Maple-Pecan Crusted Pork
- For the pork chops:
- 4 boneless pork chops
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup pecans crushed almost to a powder
- 1 teaspoons chili powder
- For the risotto:
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 shallot
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1.25 cups canned pumpkin puree
- ½ cup chicken broth low-sodium
- 1 teaspoon thyme flakes
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese about 3oz
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Pat your pork chops dry and season with salt and pepper and place on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Place maple syrup, chili powder, mustard and pecans in a small bowl and whisk together until combined. Using a brunch, spread the maple mixture over both sides of the pork chops. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until cooked all the way through. Reserve pan juices.
- While the pork chops are baking, peel and spiralize the sweet potatoes, using Blade C. Place the noodles into a food processor and pulse until rice-like. Mince the garlic cloves and shallot and set aside.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the oil. Once oil is heated, add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and shallots. Cook for 1 minutes or until shallots are translucent. Add in the sweet potato rice and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes or until rice heats through and begins to soften.
- Add in the pumpkin, thyme and broth and cook for 5 minutes or until sweet potato rice softens. Remove from heat, add in goat cheese and mix until goat cheese is evenly combined.
- Portion the sweet potato risotto into bowls and top each with a pork chop and a drizzle of pan juices. Garnish with parsley.