Carnitas Lunch Bowls (Meal Prep) are the perfect way to way to prep for the week with these healthy lunch bowls! Healthy, high protein and so nutritious!
The only thing more stressful than planning dinner for the week, is figuring out what you are taking for lunch for the week. Seriously!! Why is this so hard?
Every week I start off with the best of intentions and tell myself that I am taking salads all week long for my mid-day lunch break and usually by … um… Tuesday… I am over the salads and heading to my favorite fast food destination for a quick carb filled, fat filled lunch. Yes, I feel guilty.. No, that doesnt seem to change the pattern.
Not. At. All.
So now enter the back up plan of bringing delicious, microwavable leftovers in the next day for lunch. How can THIS plan go wrong?? I will tell you how it can go wrong… when you have two people who are both trying to eat smarter and healthier with smaller sized portions, there are NO leftovers. Plan B #fail.
Instead of subjecting your taste buds to endless amounts of rabbit food or starve to death (yes, this DOES happen by 11:56 am in an office cubicle setting) due to lack of leftovers, why not make a plan, spend a little time on meal prep Sunday afternoon and have a nutritious, healthy lunch waiting for you each and every day of the week? Win, win and WIN!!!
These Carnitas Lunch Bowls (Meal Prep) are the perfect lunchtime meal and you can customize them anyway you please. This recipe is my favorite way to make them up but if there is an ingredient you would rather substitute, go for it! You can also make these with chicken, pulled pork or even meatless, if you choose.
For this version of Carnitas Lunch Bowls (Meal Prep), I am relying on my favorite recipe for Mexican Pork Carnitas. It takes a little time in your oven but the rewards are worth it. Juicy, succulent and oh so tasty, this is my go-to recipe when I am craving carnitas. Then all you have left to do is boil off some brown rice, open a few cans of beans and corn and chop up a bit of veg and you are in business.
*Note.. I usually add my cheese and cilantro to my lunch bowl right before I eat it.. I keeps them fresh.
Happiness and Blessings!
- 5 lb boneless pork butt
- 2 large oranges , quartered
- 6 large garlic cloves , smashed
- 2 tbl canola oil + 1/4 cup canola oil
- Spice Rub
- 1 tbl salt
- 1 tbl dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp red pepper powder (cayenne)
- 1 tsp chipotle pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Remaining Ingredients
- 15 oz can black beans , rinsed and drained
- 15 oz can corn , drained
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 3 cups instant brown rice
- 1 large avocado
- 8 oz crumbled feta cheese
- 1/3 large red onion , diced
- 1 small carton cherry or grape tomatoes , quartered
- 2 limes , quartered (for squeezing)
- 4 tbl cilantro , diced
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
- Start with a 5lb boneless pork butt.
- Remove the excess layer of fat from your pork butt.
- Slice your pork butt into large, thick slices and then then cut your slices into large chunks.
- Pour 2 tbl canola oil over the meat and using your hands, rub all of the meat together to ensure that all sides of each piece has been coated in the oil.
- Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, oregano, cumin, chili powder, pepper and chipotle powder together.
- In batches, pour over your meat chunks and rub together until all of the seasoning has been rubbed over each side of each chunk.
- Smash each piece of garlic with the back of your knife to release the garlic from it's paper exterior.
- Do not chop up the garlic clove but so make sure it has a nice 'smash' to it.
- Mix in the garlic pieces with the meat.
- Cut up two oranges into large pieces and place in a casserole cooking container that will be just big enough to hold all of the ingredients.
- Pour the meat / garlic over the oranges and arrange everything to fit nicely and then press down gently to compact the meat and oranges together.
- Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup canola oil on top of the meat and then cover your dish tightly with foil.
- Cook in your oven at 250 degrees for two hours. After two hours, increase the heat to 275 degrees for the next hour and a half.
- Remove your carnitas from the oven and check for doneness.
- Remove the meat to a large cutting board. Using two forks, shred the meat and remove any lingering fat pieces from the meat.
- Set your oven to broil.
- Pour out the oranges and most of the juices left from the cooking process.
- Return the meat to the casserole dish and move your oven rack up to just under the broiler. When your broiler is red hot and ready, slide the carnitas under the broiler and babysit the process.
- The edges will start to darken and get crispy.
- Once a nice char has been achieved, remove the meat, stir the meat and then return it to the broiler one last time. This whole process should only take a couple of minutes.
- Bring chicken broth to boil in large saucepan and add in brown rice. Stir, cover and remove from the heat. Let sit approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Separate all other prepared (already diced, rinsed, etc) ingredients into their own space and when rice and carnitas are done, assemble your lunch containers with a little of each ingredient into each container.
- Refrigerate and take one each day for lunch.