Quick and Easy Meals on a Budget







By: Holly Fujan

Being in college, I know it can be hard to find time for school, homework and a job, let alone cooking yourself something other than a frozen pizza or a bowl of cereal. Cooking can be very time consuming. Below are a couple of recipes I always keep on hand. They are quick, easy and affordable, but even better than that they all involve pork!

Spiffy Grilled Cheese Sandwich: This recipe is quick and easy. It is a grilled cheese sandwich with a little twist. What you will need:

  • Loaf of bread
  • 3 slices of cheese (which ever kind you prefer)
  • 2 avocado slices
  • 2 strips of cooked bacon
  • 1 slice of tomato
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese (I prefer the chive and onion flavored)  holly food 1

Slice your bread into thick slices and spread butter on the outside or the sides that will be touching the pan like when making a grilled cheese. Spread cream cheese on the inside of the slices. Begin stacking the cheese, tomato slice, avocado slices, cheese, bacon and cheese (in that order or else it will taste bad!). Top off with the other slice of bread. Heat a pan on medium to medium-low heat and place your sandwich in it. Cook on each side about 5 minutes or until both sides are golden brown.

holly food 2

Calzones: These calzones only take about 20 and do not take very many ingredients, making them very simple. You will need:

  • 1 tube of croissant roll dough (need 4 croissant dough triangles for each calzone)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Meat of your choice (ham, bacon, pork sausage, pepperoni)
  • Any other toppings of your choice

Spray your baking sheet with a non-stick spray. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Roll out your dough from the package. It comes in triangles, so take two of the triangles to make one rectangle. Lay down two of these rectangles onto the pan and pinch the seam together.

holly food 6

Load up any filling you want on top of these rectangles leaving about 1 to 1/2 inch space around the edge. Unroll your second package of dough and lay down another rectangle of dough on top of the filling. Around the edge, press down gently with a fork to seal. Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.holly food 7

Pizza Rolls: This is similar to the last recipe, but with a little different presentation. You will need:

  • 1 package of pre-made pizza dough
  • 1/3 cup of pizza sauce
  • Diced pepperoni, ham or bacon
  • 1 cup of shredded pizza cheese blend


Pre-heat your oven to 375ºF. Using a 16×10 inch baking sheet, spray the pan then roll out your pre-made dough so it lays even on the sheet. Evenly spread your sauce, then cheese, then diced pepperoni, ham or bacon over the dough but leave a 1 inch margin around the edges. Start on one of the longer sides, and begin to roll the dough, pinch together the seam.holly food 3

Slice the roll into 8 even slices and place on a baking dish (that’s already been sprayed with non-stick). Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with some grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy!holly food 4



Baked Pork Sausage Meatballs: Easy meatball recipe that goes great with your favorite pasta. You will need:


  • 1 pound ground pork sausage
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a large mixing bowl mix together all of the ingredients except for 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, evenly scoop out a portion of the mixture and roll in your hands to make a nice even ball. In a bowl, gently roll the meatball in the rest of the bread crumbs and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Spread them evenly on the sheet, about an inch between them, and bake for 20 minutes.

holly food 8


Sloppy Joes: This is a simple sloppy joe recipe made with pork sausage! Make for good leftovers you can enjoy the next day. You will need:


  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 small onion and/or green pepper chopped
  • Hotdog or hamburger buns


Brown pork sausage with onion and/or green pepper, drain fat. Add remaining ingredients, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes. Spread some butter on the hot dog buns and broil in the oven for a few minutes before eating.holly food 9holly food 10



Pork and Beans Challenge Winners Are In!

First Place:jerk spiced pork'n bean burger with island mayo 'n caribbean carrot slaw

Jerk-Spiced Pork ‘N’ Bean Burger with Island Mayo ‘N’ Caribbean Carrot Slaw
By: Barbara Estabrook | Rhinelander, WI

Recipe: Island Mayo:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons mango chutney
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Caribbean Carrot Slaw:
2-cups shredded or julienned carrots
3 tablespoons green onions, chopped (include some green top)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons mango chutney (from jar)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 pounds fresh ground pork (butt or shoulder)
1 large egg white, slightly beaten
1/3 cup minced red onion
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely minced peeled ginger
1 teaspoon Caribbean Jerk seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
6 slices Monterey Jack cheese
6 soft Kaiser rolls, split
Grease grill grates with cooking oil and prepare a charcoal grill to medium-hot heat or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
For the mayo,  in a small bowl whisk mayonnaise, lime juice and chutney together.  Refrigerate until needed.
For the slaw, in a medium bowl  combine carrots and onion.  Whisk chutney,  lime juice, oil, brown sugar and salt together until well blended.  Add to  carrot mixture; toss until coated.  Refrigerate covered until needed.
In a large bowl, coarsely mash beans.   Add pork, egg white, onion, cilantro, garlic, ginger, jerk seasoning and salt to mashed beans.  Mix all ingredients together then form 6 patties equal in size.  Brush both sides of patties with oil.  Grill patties, turning once, until deep golden brown and cooked  through-about 10 minutes total or until juices run clear.   Cover grill during cooking is using a gas grill.  The final minutes of grilling, top each patty with a slice of cheese and cover grill to melt cheese.  Toast rolls cut side down on grill rack.
Spread mayo over roll bottom, top with a burger then with carrot slaw and close with roll top.

2nd Place:

Grilled Pork Chops with Apricot Glaze and Cannellini Bean SalsaIMG_0303
By: Gilda Lester | Millsboro, DE

Recipe: 4 fresh pork loin chops, cut one inch thick

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup apricot preserves

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 onion, minced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed, drained

1/4 cup chopped basil leaves

Parmesan cheese shavings

Basil sprigs.

Heat grill, medium-high heat.

Place chops on work surface and rub with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  In a small bowl blend the salt, black pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes and garlic powder. Sprinkle this mixture over the chops.  Set aside.  In a small saucepan heat preserves, butter, soy sauce, mustard and vinegar until preserves melt. Place chops on grill and grill 6-7 minutes per side, or to desired doneness.  Baste chops as they grill with the apricot mixture.  Remove chops to a platter.

3rd Place:

Fragrant Five Spice Pork and BeansFragrant Five Spice Pork
Lisa | Kennet Square, PA

Recipe: 1 pound pork tenderloin

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (for greasing roasting pan and skillet)

1/2 teaspoon Oriental five spice powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce

1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed

1 green onion, sliced on bias

Heat oven 425F. Place pork in lightly greased shallow pan. Mix five spice, salt and pepper; rub all over pork tenderloin in pan. Roast pork 35 to 40 minutes or until 155F. internal temperature. Place on cutting surface and tent with foil. Meanwhile, heat remaining vegetable oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and red peppers; cook, stirring, 5 minutes or until tender and golden. Add brown sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar is melted and sauce is slightly thickened. Add beans; cook just until warmed through. To serve: slice pork and arrange on serving platter with bean mixture. Sprinkle with green onions. Serves 4

Honorable Mentions

Cuban Style Pork and Beans SandwichesIMG_0304
By: Angela Buchanan | Longmont, CO

Recipe: Pork:

1 1/2-2 pound pork tenderloin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cup Great Northern beans (canned) rinsed and drained

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


4 Cuban-style buns (or small hoagie buns)

4 tablespoons mustard

sliced dill pickles

4 slices Swiss cheese

4 thin slices honey ham

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Oil a baking dish and place the tenderloin in the prepared dish.  Rub the tenderloin all over with the smoked paprika, salt, sugar and cumin.  Roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 185 degrees.  Remove, cool, and cut into 1/2 inch slices.

In a medium, nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the beans, cumin, and red pepper flakes, and cook, mashing part of the beans, until cooked through.

For assembly, split each bun in half and spread mustard on the bottom and pickle slices (as desired) on the top.  Divide the bean mixture into fourths and place on each bun bottom, then top with a quarter of the sliced pork, a slice of cheese, and a slice of ham.  Cover with the pickles and bun tops and press the sandwiches in a panini press until browned.  If you do not have a press, heat them in a nonstick skillet with another skillet weighing them down on top.  Slice each sandwich in half, vertically, and serve.  Serves four.

Tamed Pork N’ Beans Skillet Chili Wisconsin StyleIMG_0298
Barbara Estabrook | Rhinelander, WI

3 slices center cut hickory smoked bacon

1 pound diced pork shoulder or butt (1/2-inch thick dice) trimmed of fat

1 cup chopped sweet onion

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/2 finely diced,  seeded Anaheim pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced petite tomatoes, undrained

1 cup water

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 can (15-oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz.) pork and beans in tomato sauce

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (divided use)

1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano leaves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup nonfat sour cream

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Line a small plate with a sheet of paper towel.

In a heavy large skillet with 2-1/2 inch side, cook bacon until crisp over medium-high heat.  Drain bacon on lined plate.  Pour out all but 2 teaspoons bacon drippings from skillet and return skillet to medium-high heat.  Add pork and cook, stirring until well browned.  Transfer pork to a small bowl using a slotted spoon. Add onion, bell peppers and Anaheim pepper to skillet and reduce heat to medium; cook 3 minutes, stirring often.  Add garlic; stir 30 seconds.  Return pork to skillet and add tomatoes, water, tomato paste, chili powder and salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture begins to bubble.  Reduce heat to medium-low. Dice bacon (small dice) and add to skillet. Cover and simmer 30 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add black beans, pork and beans, 2 tablespoons cilantro, oregano and cumin; simmer 15 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.

While chili simmers, combine sour cream, lime juice and remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro in a small bowl; stir until well blended.  Refrigerate covered until needed.

To serve, ladle chili into bowls and top with a dollop or two of sour cream mixture and scatter cheese over the top chili. Serve with taco chips.

Pork On Your Fork: Brie and Bacon in Pastry

Times Iconbrie_and_bacon_in_pastry_recipe


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients Icon


4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 15-oz. wheel Brie
1/4 cup toasted almonds, sliced
1/4 cup parsley , chopped
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Cooking Directions Icon

Cooking Directions

Thaw pastry 20 minutes; roll sheet out on a lightly floured surface to a 15-inch square and cut to a 15-inch circle. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice Brie in half horizontally and layer with bacon, almonds and parsley. Place in center of pastry, trim away multiple cuts of pastry from the folds.  Brush pastry edges with egg wash, pull up sides to enclose. Place seam side down on ungreased baking sheet. If desired, decorate top with pastry scraps. Brush with egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

Serving Suggestions Icon

Serving Suggestions

Both the height of elegance and simplicity, this rich and savory appetizer is perfect for a small crowd. Serve fresh grapes alongside.

Nutrition Icon


Calories: 173 calories
Protein: 10 grams
Fat: 14 grams
Sodium: 289 milligrams
Cholesterol: 57 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 7 grams
Carbohydrates: 3 grams
Fiber: 1 grams

Random Cooking Tip:

For marinated pork chops, put pork in a self-sealing bag with marinade in the refrigerator first thing in the morning. By suppertime, pork chops can be removed from marinade -dispose of used marinade- and ready to grill.

Recipe from: PorkBeInspired.com

The Pinterest World of Pork





By: Courtney Schaardt

We live in a society where communication is constantly happening. We are connected to everyone at all times through the Internet and our phones. Knowing this, we know that we can share things with other people. Most of us have Facebook and twitter but the new thing is Pinterest. Pinterest is a site where users can create boards of pictures where they can pin things about their interests, hobbies and events. This blog gives sense of what my “pig board” looks like on Pinterest.

To start off my board I have different types of recipes. My first one is bacon hearts. This is just something that is easy to brighten anyone’s day.

courtney pintrest 1

The next is a breaded pork chop. I pinned the pork chop because it is something easy and cheap for college students to make.

courtney pinterest 2

The next thing is Indonesian Pork Tenderloin. This is pinned for special occasions when I want to try to make something special. All of the recipes are included in the links on Pinterest. If you click on each of these pictures, it will take you to their recipes.

courtney pinterest 3

Next on my “pig board” are some of the more fun things about pigs. I have a picture of a baby, a pig at a state fair and some pig cupcakes. These are all fun and give a fun portrayal to pork.

courtney pinterest 4 courtney pinterest 5 courtney pinterest 6

Social media is a good way for us to advocate how we want to be seen as an industry. When we pin things, we need to take into consideration how the public views us.  Pinterest is a fun and exciting way to be connected to the people around us. As we “pin” have fun with what you find but remember that we are all connected and that we need to remember the importance of how we wish to be viewed.

Social Media: Bacon Style










By: Emma Likens

Bacon is a hot commodity on breakfast tables and brunch buffets all over the world.  In fact, bacon is so awesome that it has created quite a buzz among several social media outlets (for example, check out #baconwaffles on Twitter).

In case you forgot all the available social media outlets out there to use, here’s a little refresher in bacon terms:


Obviously, everyone loves bacon.  But just like the misconception of chocolate milk coming from brown cows, it’s surprising how many consumers don’t realize that bacon actually comes from pigs.  We can use social media as an agent to communicate to consumers about where their food comes from and how it is produced.  One great example is through #AgChat, a weekly Twitter conversation for those involved in raising food, feed, fuel and fiber.  Some common discussion topics are sustainability, water, communication, agronomy, animal welfare, USDA programs, media and consumer perceptions of farming.  #AgChat creates an ongoing dialogue for stakeholders in agriculture.

In addition to #AgChat, it’s sister chat, #FoodChat, takes place every third Tuesday of the month, which allows consumers the chance to meet a farmer and ask questions.  This chat is targeted towards consumers, nutritionists and food choice influencers.

I had the opportunity to meet one of the founders of #AgChat, Darin Grimm, during Ag Future of America Leader’s Conference.  Darin is a farmer in northeast Kansas with a passion not only for farming and precision agriculture but for social media as well.  He believes that participating in social media is not only about telling your story, but also about listening and understanding consumers’ questions.

Last semester I had to get a Twitter account for one of my classes, but I’ve never gotten into the practice of tweeting.  Darin’s advice for those interested in advocating for agriculture through social media is to start slow by following conversations and learning about how Twitter works, then join in on the conversation when you’re ready.

Pretty neat stuff right?  You can learn more about #AgChat and join in the conversation here.

Finally, here’s some pork inspired humor.  Feel free to share it.  Social media is a simple way to be an advocate for the agriculture industry.
















Thanks for reading!