Everybody has that weird thing that they enjoy, even though most other people hate it or are indifferent to it. Maybe you get a high out of cleaning toilets, or a satisfaction from balancing your budget, or maybe you’re like my aesthetician friend who gets a perverse pleasure out of popping people’s zits. My own personal strange divertissement comes from……(drum roll)…….(don’t worry, it’s nothing super gross)…..(like wiping dog butts)…..(or chewing someone else’s gum)…….
Whew! See? Nothing too funky. Meal planning is an art I strive to perfect every week. I get a thrill from the challenge: Can I make use of the foods already occupying space in my pantry and fridge and not spend too much on special new ingredients? Can I achieve a balance of cooking trusted standards but also incorporating the new recipes I’m dying to try? Can I somehow make it all work together like a giant puzzle? Well, I try. To some people, that probably sounds miserable, but to me it’s the pleasure of bringing order out of chaos–delicious order, if at all possible. So you probably won’t be surprised when I tell you that the gold standard, the hit-the-jackpot of meal planning for me is that diamond-in-the-rough, one-two punch of…..
the Double Duty Dinner!!
The Double Duty Dinner is the kind that you prepare one night and are then able to use in a different way another night. This is not the same thing as leftovers. It’s a creative reinvention of one or more components of one dinner to create a second dinner. The best is when the second dinner bears little resemblance to the first. Then you really and truly don’t feel you’re having leftovers.
This fantastic Barbeque Pork Pizza is probably my favorite example of such a high-scoring Double Duty Dinner. Well, it’s the second half of it. The first half is another dinner: pork tenderloin slathered in barbeque sauce, slow-cooked in the Crock Pot. Barbeque pulled pork can of course be used in several ways for the first dinner: served on buns as a sandwich, served with corn on the cob and potato salad in summer, roasted sweet potatoes and onions in winter, or any combination of sides you can dream up. The key is to make extra and save it for later in the week, when you’ll make this pizza and kill another day’s meal plan bird with one stone. Because you do not want to miss out on this pizza. Tender barbeque pork, gooey mozzarella, crispy red onions, and some cilantro for a bite that rounds out the whole mix. If my digestive tract would let me, I could eat this entire pizza.
And seriously, I looooove meal planning. So if you’re ever interested, comment or shoot me an email and I’d be happy to send you some sample week meal plans. It would make my day!
Barbeque Pork Pizza
1 lb. store-bought refrigerated or homemade whole wheat pizza dough (such as Trader Joe’s)
3/4 c. barbeque sauce
1/2 lb. barbeque pulled pork (leftover from your first Double Duty Dinner)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c. loosely packed cilantro leaves
1. Remove pizza dough from refrigerator and follow package directions for rising. (Trader Joe’s dough rises for 20 minutes.) If using homemade pizza dough, follow recipe directions for rising.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
3. Grease a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan. Spread pizza dough across pan, overlapping the edges slightly. (It will contract as it bakes.) Bake in preheated oven about 10 minutes.
4. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
5. Spread barbeque sauce over dough, followed by pulled pork. Top with mozzarella, red onion, and cilantro.
6. Bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and red onion begins to wrinkle and brown.