Disclaimer: Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine.
As you’re checking off the items on the back-to-school list, are you dreading the hustle and bustle of having the kiddos back in school? From school drop-offs to sporting events and extracurricular activities, the school season can be a tricky time to squeeze in the much needed family time.
When my brother and I were in school, our days were filled with all sorts of activities as my parents ran around making sure we got where we needed to be when we needed to be there. Our days were full of going from one classroom to the next while our evenings were filled with practices and/or games and homework. At times I felt like the hockey/figure skating rink and baseball/softball fields were my second homes…and I loved it.
We were very active kids and into all sorts of activities which, I’m sure, made it difficult on my parents as they tried to squeeze in family time. But, one of the many aspects of my childhood that I hope to instill in my family is the importance of family meal time. No matter what we had on the schedule for the day and evening, my parents made it a point to have all four of us around the dinner table. Why do I believe that family mealtime is important?
- Social Benefits: Eating dinner together as a family provides the opportunity for conversation. Family members can discuss the day, current events, etc. all while encouraging the children to join the conversation.
- Developmental Benefits: There have been many studies that report that eating dinner together as a family helps nurture children into well-rounded adults. Family mealtime can have a positive impact on children’s values, motivation, personal identity, and self-esteem.
- Nutritional Benefits: When families eat dinner together, healthy eating habits are encouraged and practiced.
But, let’s face it. Trying to find time to cook dinner and sit down together as a family can be tricky, especially during the school season. I’m always of the belief that food doesn’t have to be complicated to taste good. With just a few quality ingredients and a few simple steps, you can be well on your way to a great tasting meal that the whole family will enjoy.
One of the ingredients that I always prefer to have in our refrigerator is a Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork tenderloin that I can easily find in Safeway’s fresh meat section. From grilling to sautéing, the flavor of the meat is always outstanding and the recipe possibilities are endless … the product provides real flavor, real fast.
Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork is made from 100% fresh pork with no artificial ingredients. The prep work is done because the meat is slow-marinated and perfectly seasoned in a variety of delicious cuts and flavors. Simply roast, sauté, grill, or slow-cook Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork for an easy and delicious meal your family will enjoy any night of the week. With the prep work already done for you, you can deliver real flavor, real fast.
We usually grill the Smithfield meat, slice it, and serve it with a few side dishes. But, there are other times when I decide to sprinkle the meat on top of a homemade pizza or mix it into a pasta dish. No matter what you decide to do with the cooked meat, the best part is that the Marinated Fresh Pork means that you don’t have to turn to less flavorful options when you’re in a hurry to answer the “What’s for dinner?” question. Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork is an easy meal solution for any night of the week, not just occasions.
If you’re in a hurry, my favorite tip for getting food to the table quickly is to slice the meat prior to cooking. By doing so, the meat cooks faster and can be easily tossed into a dish, like the pasta recipe I’m sharing.
What’s your favorite cooking tip? Smithfield is challenging you to submit your tip on how you get dinner ready in 30 minutes or less using Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. Be entered to win the grand prize! For more 30-minute meal preparation ideas, and to submit your original recipe for a chance to win great prizes, head to www.SmithfieldRealFlavorRealFast.com.
Creamy Black Pepper Pork Pasta with Mushrooms and Spinach
- 1 lb uncooked fusilli pasta
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 package Smithfield Roasted Garlic & Cracked Black Peppercorn Pork Tenderloin, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 8 oz package of sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 15 oz container alfredo sauce
- Garlic salt (about ½ teaspoon)
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta.
- Add the butter to a sauté pan and melt the butter. Toss into the sauté pan the thinly sliced pork, thinly sliced onions, and mushrooms. Sauté until the pork is cooked and the onions and mushrooms are soft.
- Add the spinach to the sauté pan and cook until the spinach is wilted.
- Pour the reserved pasta water and alfredo sauce into the sauté pan and cook over medium heat until the sauce is warm.
- Sprinkle into the sauté pan a few tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese.
- Season the sauce mixture with garlic salt (season to taste).
- Toss together the pork mixture and pasta.
- Place the pasta mixture in a serving bowl or in individual bowls and top with remaining Parmesan cheese.
The next time you’re at Safeway, be sure to stop by the fresh meat section and pick up a Smithfield Roasted Garlic & Cracked Black Peppercorn Pork Tenderloin so that you and your family can enjoy this meal that is ready in 30 minutes or less and perfect for any night of the week.
What’s your favorite 30 minute meal?