Pork On Your Fork: Grilled Pork Panini

Grilled Pork Panini

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Times

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients Icon

Ingredients

3 cooked pork chops, thinly sliced *
8 slices Italian bread
1/2 cup pesto
4 1-oz slices Provolone cheese
olive oil

Cooking Directions Icon

Cooking Directions

New USDA Guidelines
Spread 1 tablespoon pesto on each slice of bread. Top four slices of bread with sliced pork chops and cheese; top each sandwich with remaining bread. Lightly brush outer surface of sandwiches with olive oil; grill in a medium-hot skillet until toasted on each side.
Serves 4.

* Use the leftovers from Balsamic Pork Chops.


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Serving Suggestions

Thinly sliced Balsamic Pork Chops are combined with pesto and Provolone cheese and toasted for tasty hot sandwiches. Serve with Black and Blue Cole Slaw and potato chips for an easy meal.


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Nutrition

Calories: 454 calories
Protein: 32 grams
Fat: 22 grams
Sodium: 690 milligrams
Cholesterol: 75 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 32 grams

Random Leftover Tip:

Make a salad with leftover pork!

Recipe from: PorkBeinspired.com

Pork Industry Day in 3 Words

 

 

 

 

By: Ann Oswald

You know the feeling. You’ve just attended a great conference or simply spent some time with some wonderful people, learning new things. These are prime opportunities for networking and knowledge building, so you take in all you can. At the end of it all you’re tired, but it was worth your time. Let’s say that you only have three words to highlight how you felt after each of these events. Ready? Go.

Now that I’ve challenged you, I decided I better take my own challenge. The event that I recently attended was the 2012 Pork Industry Days, which took place this past Tuesday at the Nielsen Community Center in West Point, Nebraska. Below are three words that I chose to describe how I (and many others, I’m guessing) felt after the event:

Encouraged. The community of people that met at the Nielsen Center were truly one-of-a-kind. It was so neat to be in the presence of and visit with men and women who believe in the same things I do. Stories were swapped, advice was given, and laughs shared. We were able to see how the pork industry is growing and the positive aspects taking place. Knowing that people are in the industry for the right reasons and have the desire to see it grow and develop is so encouraging. If that wasn’t enough encouragement, Tuesday ended in introducing eight more youth mentors, as well as celebrating having one hundred mentors over the years. Just think, that’s one hundred more young adults who are positively affecting the swine and agriculture industries. Also worth mentioning was the youth portion of the day, which brought in many young adults. The industry is the forefront of change and is blessed to have men and women who are working to better themselves, their farms, their communities, and their world.

 

Inspired. Through phenomenal speakers during the day as well as the ending speaker, it seems impossible to leave not feeling inspired. Producers as well as youth were reminded of their purpose in life and how much they make a difference for others. The concern and care that our producers have for others is powerful. For example, the table decorations of food were donated to a local food bank. On a larger scale, farmers are partnering around the world to feed the hungry. Overall, the theme of the day says it all: ‘Safe, Affordable, Abundant Food—Our Responsibility.’ Farmers are working hard to give the rights of food, choice, and sustainability to every consumer. I left knowing that big things are ahead for both producers and consumers.

Informed. Learning took place in many forms during the Industry Days. It could have been in talking to a producer, a vendor, or perhaps sitting in on one of the sessions. In order to provide the best care to their hogs, producers are always learning and adopting new ideas. New methods are constantly being applied in order to best take care of the environment, too, and the land that is farmed. Farmers take part in events such as these so that they can learn from others and make improvements. Remaining informed with current events is of top priority as well, and this was made possible thanks to the information shared at the conference.

There you have it. The 2012 Pork Industry Day in three words. Three powerful words. Make some room on your calendar for next year’s Industry Days. They are sure to be encouraging, inspiring, informative, and so much more. As consumers we can be thankful for safe, affordable, abundant food. Nebraska should be mighty proud of its pork industry. It’s truly one of great worth.

“Farm Kid” Lessons

By: Kristin Witte

Farm kids, we come from small towns where we made our own fun, knew everyone we graduated with, and didn’t have to worry about stop lights.  I have always been called a farm kid and never really thought about everything that I learned while growing up on the farm. The first time I heard someone comment that they love working with farm kids I was surprised. What made us different from kids who grew up in town? After observing others and thinking about this comment I have come to see that what I learned on the farm really has helped me become a desirable employee and a well-rounded person.

  1. Responsibility:  It didn’t matter if I was tired, sick or just plain didn’t want to do it.  I always had to take care of my livestock. I knew there were no excuses for not feeding and watering my animals, if I didn’t want to care for them not only would my parents be upset but my animals would suffer. To this day if I am in charge of taking care of something I take care of it, no excuse.
  2. Strong Work Ethic: Getting up at six in the morning to load hogs was never fun or my idea of a perfect morning. But, my Dad expected my sisters and me to help even if we had stayed up late the night before. Once the hogs were loaded we weren’t done for the day. Often times we would go eat breakfast and then head back outside to do chores. My least favorite part of hog loading days was helping clean up the barn. This job was smelly, usually hot and not glamorous but it still had to be done and no amount of whining was going to get me out of it. I learned to suck it up and do my best to complete the task at hand.
  3. Connectedness:  In small towns, everyone knows everyone and can typically list at least a handful of relatives that the person is related to. This is an example of connectedness; Agriculture, just like small towns is very connected.  It doesn’t matter if you are a grain farmer, a hog or cattle producer you still rely on each other to be successful. Hog and cattle producers can’t raise livestock without grain to use for feed. Grain producers wouldn’t have such a demand for their crops if livestock producers didn’t need feed.
  4. Where my food comes from: Many consumers these days have no idea where their food comes from. They don’t know anything beyond the fact that they purchase food at the grocery store.  I used to take my knowledge of how our food is produced for granted. I am now thankful for my understanding of production agriculture. While others may believe all the horror stories they hear about mistreated livestock, I know the truth: that producers care for their livestock to make sure they are comfortable and healthy.

Growing up in agriculture definitely made for some great memories and laughs. I am just now starting to understand how much of what I learned on the farm can be used in my everyday life.  People have already recognized that as a farm kid I understand responsibility and hard work. Now I am realizing how important it is to comprehend and share the idea of connectedness of agriculture and share where food comes from.

Pork On Your Fork: Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Brushetta

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Times

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients Icon

Ingredients

8-10 slices Bacon, crispy cooked and crumbled
3-4 roma tomatoes, (plum), seeded and chopped, about 1 1/3 cup
1 cup green lettuce, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic , minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
About 1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 16-oz. package twin French bread loaves, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup blue cheese, OR feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

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Cooking Directions

New USDA Guidelines
In medium bowl, stir together all topping ingredients; set aside. Brush olive oil on both sides of bread slices; place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F., turning once, for 7 minutes per side or until crisp and golden brown; cool. Spoon about 1 tablespoon topping on each toast round.*

Makes about 24 appetizers.

* Or, serve topping in a small bowl, surrounded by the toast rounds.

Tailgate Tip: Prepare and refrigerate topping ingredients and bake toast rounds ahead of time. For best flavor, stir together topping ingredients just before serving.

Analysis is for one piece.


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Serving Suggestions

Turn this popular flavor combination into bite-size appetizers.  Great as a starter for Italian Marinaded Pork Chops or Italian-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.


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Nutrition

Calories: 68 calories
Protein: 2 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Sodium: 121 milligrams
Cholesterol: 2 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Carbohydrates: 6 grams
Fiber: 1 grams

Random Safety Tip:

Cover a plate with plastic wrap to carry pork to the grill. Throw away. Use the clean plate carry food back in!

Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com

Incorporating Pork Into Your Diet Can Tip The Scales In Your Favor

 

 

 

By: Ali Steuer

Take a glance at your watch, or cell phone might be more relevant to today’s population, but it is February.  Slightly just one month has passed since party hats were worn and New Year’s greetings were exchanged.  What else has passed? Oh yeah, that New Year’s resolution many of Americans make every year most commonly to quit using tobacco or shed some unwanted pounds. Statistics show that just after one month, only 64% of the American population has kept their new year’s resolution.  While that means a portion of citizens have become discouraged and quit, it also means that over half of the people still want to follow through! If your goal this year, 2012, is to lose weight or simply eat healthier turn your attention to pork products, the other white meat! And even if it is not, this article might share some healthy recipes you can try at home.

You might be surprised that a pork tenderloin actually contains less fat than a skinless chicken breast.  In fact there are seven cuts of pork with a total fat content that falls between a skinless chicken breast and a skinless chicken thigh.  So while you have a measly two options with cuts of chicken, pork offers eight different cuts (including tenderloin) that will add a variety to your diet.  According to Quick Facts published by the Pork Checkoff, “women who cut calories but included more protein, including six ounces of lean pork per day, kept MORE muscle mass while losing weight than women who consumed the same amount of calories but less protein.  It also adds that consuming higher protein diet also helped retain a sense of satiety or fullness after meals.”

Pork is healthy, pork is lean, and you get it I know. The next step is taking this information and incorporating it into your daily life.  If you are anything like me, cooking an interesting and fun meal is at the back of your “TO DO” list every night.  Instead of flipping through cookbooks (which are always nice to have) I use the many resources on the internet.  If you just use the Google search engine and type “healthy pork recipes” over 79,500 results show up, that should give you a start. Other great resources I personally use include: porkbeinspired.com/recipes, pinterest.com (not only pork but many great recipes), foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking, and finally thepoineeerwoman.com. On most of these websites you will have to physically type “pork” in a search engine bar but once done many decadent recipes come up.  Living on my own now, I have begun to try different ways to cook pork rather than just pork burgers and chops on my George Foreman and am quickly finding out how great it is; my goal is one new recipe a week.

Living a healthy lifestyle is important to me and what better way than to utilize pork into my diet.  Eating lean pork shouldn’t be a New Year’s resolution, because face it a small percentage of those actually follow-through, it should be a life altering decision. And the best thing about it is it requires eating, something we all love to do.  Even though a month has gone by and yes your phone is right the month is February, there is still plenty of time to incorporate pork at least once a week into your diet, so give it a try!