School is about to start. I keep reminding myself this, as if I can’t actually believe it. But – in just a few days, I’ll have an empty house during the day. Time to plan out meals (ha!) shop in peace (as if, I shop online, I’m not kidding anyone) and head to the grocery whenever I like and not have to fear the cereal aisle.
Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but…I get in a rut. A dinner rut. Even as a food blogger, when it comes time to make dinner, and the kid is starrrrvvviiinng, the husband is exhausted, and I would just prefer to eat take-out, I still find it hard to break free from the tried-and-true recipes I know by heart.
You know the ones.
Mac and cheese. Spaghetti. Things that are quick and painless and I can make them in my sleep.
But…that gets boring, and there’s really no need for it.
I was challenged by Aldi to twist up a traditional meal, and I gladly accepted. I love to mix things up! Take for example this spin on a pretty darned easy meal.
Caribbean Pork Kabobs with Coconut Rice.
Sounds like a vacation, no? Tastes like one, too.
Any of us can make rice. It practically makes itself, so, let it. This rice, however, will change your life. No kidding, it’s the most delicious and tropical vacation conjuring rice you will ever consume, thanks to the hint of coconut. I would eat it as dessert if I had to, it’s that good…and for me, that’s saying a lot, as I am a dessert fiend.
Let’s not eat it as dessert, though, let’s serve it up with pork kabobs.
All of us have time to cut up some pork, no matter which night of the week it is or how tired we may be. Chop chop chop, done. Skewer it with some Caribbean flavors like pineapple and onion, and you are talking. But the true delicious here steps in courtesy of a powerful (and truly spectacular) basil orange balsamic vinaigrette that quite honestly may be the recipe I am most proud of.
Basil. Pineapple. Orange. Garlic. I wasn’t shy with the combination of flavors, and the result sings.
Dances, too, but I won’t push it.
My family and friends devoured this dinner, and all told, it took no longer to make than a weeknight spaghetti supper if you do a little morning prep before heading off to work. So many of the ingredients are a simple stop away at your local Aldi, so swing by, fire up the grill, and enjoy!
Caribbean Pork Kabobs and Coconut Rice
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into large pieces
- 2 sweet onions, cut into wedges
- 3 green or red peppers, cut into large pieces
- 2 oranges, quartered with peel on
- 16-20 chunks pineapple
- Basil Citrus Vinaigrette, divided
- 8 large skewers
- Coconut Rice
- Place all items in a large Ziploc bag with ½ of vinaigrette to marinate. Seal tightly and place in refrigerator for 1 hour or longer. Discard vinaigrette after marinating.
- Skewer, alternating ingredients. Grill until meat is cooked and vegetables are tender. Brush with remaining vinaigrette while cooking. Serve over coconut rice.
For the basil orange balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 orange, juice and zest
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- 4 garlic cloves
- salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.
For the Coconut Rice
- 1 1/2 cups Sticky Rice, soaked overnight
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Wrap the drained sticky rice in cheesecloth and place in a steamer for 30 minutes or more, until the grains are soft. While rice is steaming, bring the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a sauce pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Strain and set aside.
When the rice is steamed, place in a mixing bowl with the coconut mixture and stir gently until well combined. Cover and allow to rest 15-20 minutes.
As mentioned, this recipe post was sponsored by Aldi. All thoughts and opinions are my own. You can view the original post on the Aldi site here, as well as a lot more innovative recipes!