Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lunch Week 26: Roast Mustard Pork, Pesto Pasta, and Salad

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it, unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Roast Mustard Pork, Pesto Pasta, and Salad
I am back in the kitchen! Oh it feels so good. I wanted to do more complicated cooking but I haven't restocked my fridge yet. So I used what I had on hand instead.

I started with some pork tenderloins.

I seasoned then with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, oregano, sage, nutmeg, ginger powder, and thyme. After I rubbed that in with some olive oil, I marinated the meat with some grainy mustard. I used a garlic mustard but you can use whatever you have on hand. Then into the oven at 350oF for about 30-45 minutes.
While the pork roasts, I cooked some pasta. When it cooked to al dente (retaining a bite in texture), drain and toss with pesto. I like to keep a container for pesto in my freezer at all times. It stays fresh and green if you use enough oil. Just make pesto as usual with pine nuts (or whatever nut you prefer), basil leaves, garlic, salt, pepper, good extra virgin olive oil. I say good because you're basically eating the olive oil raw. You can a good quality oil for the taste. Also, I like cheese-less pesto but you can add parmesiano if you like. Then freeze. I use a small plastic container but you can freeze them individually in ice trays for single servings. Whenever you need the pesto, take it out of the freezer when you put your pot of water on the stove. By the time the water boils, pasta cooks and drains, the pesto will be soft enough to scoop just like ice cream. The heat from the pasta will melt the pesto sauce and you have an easy dish in 15 minutes or so. Easy.

While the pork is roasting and pasta is boiling, I sliced up vegetables for my salad. This time I'm using a spring mix with grape tomatoes (sliced in half), sliced kirby cucumber, red onion, and baby bella mushrooms. Previously, I've really hated raw mushrooms. I didn't enjoy the flavor or lack of taste at all. But over the years, I've discovered that I've just been eating the wrong mushrooms raw. And now, I really enjoy them! Btw, white button mushrooms were the flavorless kind.

So when the pork is done, let it rest for about 10 minutes then slice to serve.
I placed everything in my sectioned lunch container for portion control. Salad in the largest space, then 4 slices of roast pork, then pesto pasta. I guess this is kind of like bento-ing but not. Anyway, I really enjoyed this lunch. It's nice to eat homemade food again and it's nice to have a vegetable rich diet with lots of variety in flavors and textures.
Watch out world, I'll be cooking and baking up a storm!


  1. I have that same container! It's a little on the large side for me normally but with salad in the big compartment it's perfect. Or a sandwich, with lots of veggies in the smaller containers.

    BTW - I totally froze some of my pesto this time around. Thanks for the tip :) Your lunch looks so good!

  2. @FF: Thanks! If we were going to school/work together, I'd totally bento with you!


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