Cook once, eat twice: Pork chops

Having SIBO and food intolerances means that I have to cook a lot of my meals myself. As demonstrated when I ate out last week, I often get unexpectedly sick when eating other people’s food. But I hate making dinner! So much that we refer to dinner as “the D word” in our house. Kids aren’t allowed to ask what is for the D word. Parents dread the D word.

I have tried the meal prep thing where you spend your whole Sunday cooking and then reheat meals all week. I found the meal prep day exhausting and reheating meals a mixture of gross and boring. Some days after work, I am just too tired to cook and my husband is often gone for work. Sure I have a few places I can go to eat out but pizza and hoagies don’t have much nutrition!

In this phase of my SIBO healing and nutritional deficiency recovery, I am trying to eat nutritious food at every meal, even on my very restricted diet. This week when I felt very ill, I made chicken and rice and enjoyed eating left overs for lunch and dinner the next day. It got me thinking that steaming vegetables is easy, it’s the protein portion that is a pain to cook on a weeknight.

So, I’m trying a new idea where I cook double the meat I need, then I will always have enough protein waiting in the fridge. I hope even when cooking double, that I will eat it all within two dinners and two lunches so it won’t be the same meal all week AND I’m only reusing the meat so the meal itself maybe won’t feel like leftovers. I hope!

Cook once

Meal one was pork chops with roasted red potatoes, red onion, carrots, and Brussels sprouts. I’ve tossed the veg with some olive oil and Herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. They are roasting at 450° for 30 minutes. I’m starting the pork chops on the stove top to brown them (medium-high heat about 7 mins each side) then finishing them for 15 minutes in the oven until they are up to 165°. I’ll have this for dinner, then again for lunch the next day. I can also have the vegetables with eggs for breakfast.

I did eat all these vegetables but I only eat half a pork chop for one meal!

Breakfast the next morning!

Eat twice!

For the second D word, I am chopping the pork up to cook it with jasmine rice, broccoli, corn, and fried egg. I add earth balance soy-free butter and my kids add stir fry sauce to make a SIBO fried rice. For lunch the next day I can have leftover fried rice!

If I really wanted to save time, I could have made a pot of rice while I was roasting the vegetables for the first meal. I use frozen corn and broccoli for the fried rice, so by making the rice early I can mix all the ingredients for meal 2 together in 10-15 minutes. This would also eliminate the stress of having the dreaded “What’s for dinner?” conversation.

*Broccoli and Brussels sprouts do aggravate some people with SIBO. So test yourself to see what works. Luckily for me I can tolerate broccoli. It is one of the most nutrient dense foods I can eat.

Results

This does seem to make weeknight cooking more manageable. My kids are in play practice, swim team, and martial arts. I have a few work meetings in the evenings this week so I hope cook once, eat twice will make things more manageable. The only negative to this trial was that my kids and friends ate so much for dinner that we don’t have many leftovers for lunches!

SIBO staple salad

Here it is! My favorite SIBO salad. I have to admit, this started with inspiration from Healing Histamine.

I’m my SIBO salad I add:

  • 1-2c Arugula
  • A thin slice of red onion, minced
  • Half a cucumber, diced
  • Carrot, cut into sticks
  • Hard boiled egg, diced
  • 1-2T. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  • Dressing (when I couldn’t tolerate any dairy, I just put a little olive oil on top. Now that I tolerate it, I indulge in a buttermilk ranch dressing from wegmans.)
  • Bacon, if I have any leftovers, crumbled on top.

This salad has a lot of things many of my other meals miss, Vitamin C, carotene, and magnesium to name a few. I love the bitter astringent arugula with the peppery red onion. The arugula is rumored to be good for being anti-histamine. Although I can’t find any supporting research, I know that this does calm down my stomach which is kind of surprising for a raw vegetable salad.

That’s lunch!