Tag Archives: easy meals

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

As a food writer I get the opportunity to taste a lot of amazing dishes.  But over the past few months, I haven’t really been “wowed” by food.  I loved our wedding dinner from Grappolo and enjoyed the steak at Vitaly, but aside from that, everything else was just ok.  Then I traveled to Maui and had my first bite of kalua pork and it was a game changer.  I hadn’t eaten anything quite that good in quite some time.  My taste buds were so excited in fact, that I immediately had to make slow cooker kalua pork upon returning home from the islands.

Koa's Seaside Grill Kalua Pork

One of the great things about that pork was it not only made for two fabulous meals, but it also rekindled my love for cooking and recipe development.  I felt inspired after biting into that perfectly salted and tender meat, and suddenly I wanted to cook all of the things again.  And I know it may sound weird to wax poetic about pork, but eating that kalua pork reminded me why I write about food all the time.

When I decided to make the slow cooker kalua pork I wanted to prepare it the same way the Hawaiians do – just seasoned with red Hawaiian sea salt. I even bought a new slow cooker from unclutterer for this recipe.

No sauces, marinades, spices.  Just Hawaiian sea salt.  I wanted to respect the simplicity of the dish and really let the pork shine, rather than cover it in condiments.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork Bowl

This is the world’s easiest recipe and yields a bunch of delicious, tasty pork.  I made this for a World Cup party and sent all of our guests home with leftovers.

If you are looking for a last-minute 4th of July recipe, I highly recommend this Slow Cooker Kalua Pork!

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork


1 5lb pork butt

1-  1 1/2 tbsp Hawaiian Sea Salt


If you are planning to enjoy your pork the same day you prepare it, set your slow cooker setting to HIGH for 7 hrs.  Place pork and sea salt in the slow cooker and let it cook until the meat is juicy and tender.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork Salt

This dish can also be prepared the night before, just switch your slow cooker setting to LOW and set for 12-13 hours.

Remove your pork from the slow cooker and then shred your meat.  The meat should fall apart easily from the bone and be nice and tender.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork Plate

We’ve used this pork in a variety of meals including a savory pie and a stir fry dish – both yielding wonderful results.  Since there are no additional spices or sauces added to the meat it can be used in a wide variety of dishes which is awesome.  It also freezes very well.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork Plate

Thank you Hawaii for reigniting my passion in the kitchen!  I can’t wait to develop more delicious dishes.

Easy Eggplant Lasagna

Every now and again I make a recipe on the fly and it turns out so good that I find myself repeating it over and over again until I’m sick of it.  Right now I’m currently having a love affair with this easy eggplant lasagna and I can’t get enough.

Easy Eggplant Lasagna CloseI was torn between calling this recipe easy eggplant lasagna and easy eggplant Parmesan.  But since I added ground pork to this dish, easy eggplant lasagna won out.

It’s pretty ridiculous how easy this dish is.  Cook your meat, assemble your lasagna, place in oven, bake for 45 minutes and done.  Super easy peasy (and when your wedding is less than a week away, you NEED easy).

I’ve made this with wild boar and pork and both yield excellent results.  Of course you can use ground beef, turkey, bison – whatever your heart desires.

Easy Eggplant Lasagna DishThe Englishman and I have been adding this dish to our weekly dinner rotation and I don’t see us getting sick of it anytime soon.

Easy Eggplant Lasagna (makes 3-4 servings)


1 large eggplant

1 package ground pork (or other meat of your choice)

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

2 tbsp chopped shallots

1 can marinara sauce

1/3 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Trader Joe’s quattro formaggio)

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 375F.  In a large skillet saute your mushrooms and shallots until the shallots are caramelized.

Add your ground pork and cook all the way through.  Set aside.

Easy Eggplant Lasagna PorkWash your eggplant and cut into thin slices.

Spoon some of your sauce into a large baking dish and layer with eggplant slices.

Top your eggplant with the ground pork, ricotta and marinara sauce.

Easy Eggplant Lasagna LayersAdd another layer of eggplant on top of the mixture.

Spread your shredded cheese on top of the eggplant and add extra tomato sauce if you like.

Easy Eggplant Lasagna CheesePlace in the oven and bake at 375F for 45 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Easy Eggplant Lasagna DoneRemove from the oven and enjoy!

What’s your favorite easy recipe?