Crock Pot Pork Loin and Butternut Squash

I have been struggling as of late. It’s that crazy nutso time of year for us called spring. With spring we have added responsibilities from the garden and the bees, but both of the girls are also in high school soccer and club volleyball. I noticed a few weeks ago that we had gotten into the slump of eating out WAY too much. I have always prided myself on the fact that we eat fresh and home-cooked meals 90% of the time, but we were barely hitting 50% because we were just so busy and honestly too tired to make dinner.

I reached out to some friends that have similar lifestyles to ours, as well as my facebook group for some ideas and I pretty much all got the same advice, suck it up.

Ok, ok, not in so many words, but the gist from everyone was to make the time, plan ahead, and make use of things like slow cookers, BBQ grills, and Instant Pots. I know this. I just didn’t want to. I stomped my feet around for a day or two, then pulled up my big girl boots and got crack – a – lackin’ in the kitchen.

I know why I didn’t want to eat at home, but I didn’t want to face it. We had all gotten bored with having the same cycle of food, yet I just was so tired and busy that I didn’t have the energy to come up with some new ones. Well, the rest of this month, I’ll be knocking your socks off with some great new easy, go-to, healthy recipes .

This recipe was a take on my Herb Encrusted Pork Loin, but one that could be done in the slow cooker.  I really haven’t liked to do pork loin in the slow cooker as I always thought it was super dry. After talking to a friend, she mentioned that if you sear the loin first, and then pour broth over it to cook (instead of water) it would help seal in the moisture! She was absolutely correct and I will honestly never cook a pork loin in the slow cooker any other way! The bonus with this recipe is that one side is already in the pot so it’s not too much more to think. I cracked open a jar of my home canned green beans and it was a perfect dinner for the 4 of us.

Crock Pot Pork Loin and Butternut Squash

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cubed Butternut Squash
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: kosher salt, black pepper, pumpkin pie spice, garlic powder
  • 1.5 lb. boneless pork loin rosast
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 quart chicken stock or bone broth
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce

Instructions

  1. Place cubed butternut squash into slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine all the seasonings. Rub mixture all over pork loin; set aside.
  2. Heat Olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. When hot, add pork loin and brown on all sides. Place the pork on top of the butternut squash in slow cooker. Pour broth and applesauce over. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
  3. Remove cooked pork to a cutting board. Portion out and drizzle sauce over pork and squash.
http://houghfamilyhomestead.com/2017/03/25/crock-pot-pork-loin-butternut-squash/

If you want more motivation and inspiration RIGHT.THIS.MINUTE, then here are a few resources that should help you find what you are looking for. Remember, recipes are just a guideline, they are not the gospel. Feel free to tweak and change things to make something that you know you’ll love.

The Healthy Make-Ahead Cookbook: Wholesome, Flavorful Freezer Meals the Whole Family Will Enjoy – $10.03 Paperback / $1.99 Kindle

The Make-Ahead Kitchen: 75 Slow-Cooker, Freezer, and Prepared Meals for the Busy Lifestyle – Paperback  $16.74 / Kindle $7.99

Make-Ahead Paleo: Healthy Gluten-, Grain- & Dairy-Free Recipes Ready When & Where You Are – Paperback $17.97 / Kindle $9.99

Herb Encrusted Pork Loin (aka the recipe that gave me street cred)

We visit a warehouse store 4 times a year to stock up on bulk items. Often we pick up several large pork loins and cut them into 3 pieces each, cover them with freezer paper and save them in the freezer for later.

When I was learning to cook about 5 years ago I was that person who people delegated to bring paper products, drinks, ice, or the one thing that I could make which was homemade pizza.  I wanted to make something that was tasty, easy, and looked like a masterpiece. This was the recipe. It was seriously so easy, and gave me instant credibility with my family and friends.

Now it is a great go-to on a busy night. I can put it in the oven on my way out the door to pick up a kid and it’s done by the time I get home. Also, like the other night, when my previous idea was a complete and epic fail, it was something easy to pull together just in nick of time for dinner.

Herb Encrusted Pork Loin (aka the recipe that gave me street cred)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1 pork loin (1.5 - 2 lbs)
  • 2 tsp of each: garlic powder, oregano, rosemary, paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of each: salt, pepper, red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Cooking Spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425
  2. In a small bowl mix all herbs.
  3. Spray pan or casserole dish with cooking spray.
  4. Place loin on pan and slather with olive oil.
  5. Rub herbs on oiled loin.
  6. Cook for 35-45 minutes or internal temperature is 145 degrees F.
  7. Allow the loin to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
http://houghfamilyhomestead.com/2017/03/14/herb-encrusted-pork-loin-aka-the-recipe-that-gave-me-street-cred/