We’re almost at peak autumn here in Nashville so I made a very autumn-inspired meal prep this week. I went deep into the Budget Bytes archives and pulled an awesome recipe that I haven’t made in forever—Apple Spice Pork Chops. These amazing chops are the perfect blend of sweet, savory, and warm spices, plus the pan sauce it creates is just to die for.
Because I had all that awesome pan sauce it was only natural that I paired the chops with some mashed potatoes to go with that pork and apple gravy. To make the mashed potatoes I converted my Slow Cooker Mashed Potato recipe to use my Instant Pot (pressure cooker) and it worked like a charm. I may never make mashed potatoes any other way. I’ll include instructions for that later in the post.
And then for the “green” portion of the meal I tried something new and went with frozen green beans. The fresh green beans were looking kind of sad at the store so I thought why not buy the frozen beans, just let them thaw in the containers, then they’ll actually cook when the containers are reheated. The only flaw for this method is that the green beans that I bought ended up being super thin compared to fresh green beans, so I think they might over cook while reheating. Oh well, meal prep and reheating food is never perfect and I know I’ll still gobble up the whole box anyway!
For more information about meal prepping, how it works, and why I do it, check out Meal Prep 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Prepping and Portioning Meals, or check out my entire Budget-Friendly Meal Prep Archive.
Apple Spice Pork Chop Meal Prep
This Meal Prep Includes:
Apple Spice Pork Chops: $9.40
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes (recipe below): $2.17
1/2 lb. Frozen Green Beans $1.15
Total Cost: $12.72
Cost per meal: $3.00
Cost of leftovers (2 servings mashed potatoes): $0.72
Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are fast and effortless with the use of an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker. Season to your liking!
- 3 lbs. russet potatoes $1.50
- 1 cup chicken broth $0.13
- 1/2 Tbsp seasoning* $0.15
- 3 Tbsp butter $0.39
Peel and cube the potatoes (about 1-inch cubes). Place them in the Instant Pot along with the chicken broth and seasoning of your choice (see notes for what I used).
Close the Instant Pot lid, close the steam valve, and select the "Steam" option. The machine will auto-set to 10 minutes. Let the machine come up to pressure, cook for 10 minutes, then naturally release pressure.
Once the pressure has released, open the pot and mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the butter and stir or mash into the potatoes until melted. Taste and adjust the salt or seasoning as you see fit.
*I used the "Onion Salt" seasoning blend from Trader Joes. It's not very salty, despite the name, but added a wonderful onion and chive flavor to the potatoes.
And I think that’s all I’ve got for you this week! As always, any questions or ideas can be left in the comments below. :) I hope you have a wonderful week!