Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pork with Spinach, Carrots and Rice

What's on
the menu tonight? Something I've been planning for several days now. There were too many crazy twists and turns in my schedule to make it happen before, so tonight is the night.

My doctor wants me to watch my cholesterol. That has meant reading food labels religiously and seeking the best meat choices in particular. My husband is a meat lover. He could live on steak, ham, pork chops, ribs and more. When it comes to poultry he prefers the darker meat as it is juicier - that means more fat.

While trying to balance his preferences with my needs, I have come up with lots of tricks to make it work. And I allow myself cheat days as well. I truly believe our overall diet is more important than one single meal. I have come to use Pork Tenderloin when I need to mix things up as it's very lean. My favourite is making Bahn Mi shredded pork that I use in tons of ways. 

When I saw this recipe on the Woman's Day website, I was intrigued. Honey and mustard combined with Granny Smith apples sounded like a great mix. As it's a slow cooker meal, it's also super easy. Add in some carrots and fresh spinach and it's a full meal deal.

Update - I made it last night and do have some notes. The picture on the original website is deceptive as always.  They must have placed the veggies and meat carefully with tongs.  When you make it you are supposed to put the meat on the rice and then the veggies on top.  Because you grate thee. onion and apple, mix flour in, it is a mushy mixture.  The flavor is good, but the presentation left something to be desired. I also used a coarse, seedy old fashioned mustard as I loved the look, but will probably switch to the Dijon next time and compare.  

I did like the flavor and easy prep, though. So next time I will probably dice the onion and apple. I'm on the fence on whether to take out the flour or leave it in. A thickened sauce is nice, but not sure it is necessary here. Having it more of a juice would help the presentation look more like what the original website showed.

If you make it, let me know what you think.

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Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Pork with Spinach, Carrots and Rice

Ingredients - 

1                 Medium Granny Smith apple
1/2              Medium onion
1 T              Flour
6                 Medium carrots (about 1 lb.), cut into 2" pieces
2 T             Dijon mustard (Note - gave coarse old fashioned mustard a try here. Like the seedy look)
2 T             Honey
1 T             Low-sodium soy sauce
1 lb            Pork tenderloin
4 Sprigs     Fresh thyme, plus extra leaves for serving
1 C             Long-grain white rice
2 C             Baby spinach

Directions - 

Using a food processor, coarsely grate the apple and onion. Add to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker; toss with the flour, then add the carrots. (Update - may dice the apple  and onion next time and possibly skip the flour, but not sure that yet. This creates a mushy texture.)

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, honey, and soy sauce. Cut the pork in half, place in the slow cooker, then coat with the sauce and nestle it among the vegetables. Scatter the thyme sprigs on top. Cover and cook on high until the pork is cooked through and the carrots are just tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

25 minutes before the pork is finished, cook the rice according to package directions.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and thinly slice. Discard the thyme from the slow cooker, then fold in the spinach. Serve the pork and vegetables over the rice, spooning the extra apple, onion and juices over the top. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves, if desired.