Slow Cooker Salsa-Infused Ground Pork with Black Beans and Rice – in a Lettuce Wrap!

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Ahoy, ACF readers! Happy summer! I have missed this blog so! It’s been over TWO MONTHS since I last posted here, which I’m definitely not proud of. I’ve been acutely aware every week over these last two months of the ever-growing chasm of time between this post and the last. But to be fair to myself, it’s been a pretty cray-cray few months.

Over the course of two weeks this May, I juggled working at my day job full time with completing a 40-hour training program that allows me to volunteer with a local women’s shelter. I’d been wanting to participate in it for well over a year, and this was the first out of the last three semiannual training sessions offered where all of the training dates fit into my schedule – so it finally happened! Yay!!!!! Then, because I’m insane, I also decided to pick up a part-time second job waitressing, which included a few weeks of intense training that started a week and a half after the shelter training concluded. So yeah . . . it was nuts. The dust is finally starting to settle, and I’m feeling better equipped to set up a regular writing schedule again. I am very much looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and sharing some new recipes with you!

Enough about me. Let’s talk about our featured guests, lettuce wraps! Lettuce wraps are great because a. they help eliminate carbs, which we all know are quite delectable but not the most cooperative buggers when it comes to staying summer-svelte; b. they help get rid of all that lettuce that is starting to run wild in your garden just now and c. everything is more fun to eat when it’s wrapped up in something! It’s an indisputable fact of the Universe.

And these lettuce wraps are even more awesome because the filling is cooked not by you, but by your handy-dandy Crock-Pot. Yes, it’s a SLOW COOKER RECIPE!!! 🙂

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OK, I’m perhaps a bit overly enthused by the prospect of a slow cooker recipe, especially one that I created myself. But life is busy right now, and even though I love to cook, I don’t always have the time or energy for it. So I – and you, too, I suspect – can definitely appreciate a recipe where I basically dump a bunch of ingredients into a ceramic vat and do nothing more than maybe stir it occasionally.

This recipe uses ground pork, which I’ve developed a fondness for over the last year. It cooks well in the Crock-Pot and has such a rich flavor. It doesn’t hurt that one cube over at my office job is a heritage pig farmer who will sell me her free-range, organic pork when she has some to spare. If you prefer to use ground beef, that will work, too.

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Slow Cooker Salsa-Infused Ground Pork with Black Beans and Rice – in a Lettuce Wrap!

For the filling:

-2 lbs. ground pork

-1 cup dried black beans

-1 cup brown rice

-2 cups salsa (a garlic-infused one works nicely)

-1 large onion, diced

-2 cups water, plus extra as needed during cooking process

-2 tbs. chili powder

-1 tsp. garlic powder

-1 tsp. black pepper

-1 tsp. cumin

For the wraps:

Any head of lettuce with leaves that are large enough and durable enough to withstand being used as wraps; I used romaine hearts.

Set slow cooker on high setting. Add all filling ingredients to it; mix well. Cover and let cook for four hours, checking about every hour if you are around and stirring and adding more water to it if it looks dry. And that’s it! Makes an abundant amount of servings (I lost count!).

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Jackie

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