Once a month we’re featuring a new family-friendly dish from the Hatfields for our Kids Can Cook section. The dairy-free teen cooking star is Katherine and this week she and her “mama”, Sarah, are making Crockpot Peking Pork Chops with Vegetable Lo Mein. It’s a dinner that older kids and teens can make to give their parents the night off!
When brainstorming for this month’s column, Alisa suggested we write about an easy entree kids can cook. Katherine thought of Crockpot Peking Pork Chops, which was the first main dish she ever made for our family. I can’t count how many times she’s cooked it since then!
The recipe is from Stephanie O’Dea‘s first cookbook, Make It Fast, Cook It Slow. Our copy is well-loved and splattered. The pork chops are simple and flavorful and are great served with rice and a vegetable. But this time around, I was inspired by my friend Nicole MacPherson to create a meal easily enjoyed by people with a variety of dietary preferences and needs.
Along with the peking pork chops, we served a simple salad dressed with the first salad dressing Katherine ever made, and a tasty vegan vegetable lo mein. The lo mein makes a great side dish with the pork but is also a hearty entree on its own. It’s made with a pound of pasta, so there is plenty to go around!
With a few basic substitutions, this meal can also be made gluten free. While I like using peanut oil for flavor, you can easily substitute vegetable oil if peanuts are a concern. The sauce for the pork chops would also make a great tofu marinade.
Invite your friends and family over for a meal everyone will love!
Special Diet Notes: Crockpot Peking Pork Chops with Vegetable Lo Mein and Teriyaki Salad
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, tree nut-free, and optionally peanut-free. The Vegetable Lo Mein recipe is vegan and vegetarian.
For a fully vegan and vegetarian dinner, try Peking Tofu! Swap in extra-firm tofu (about 2 12-ounce packages) for the pork chops. Press the tofu to remove excess liquid. Cut the tofu into cubes, then coat it in the marinade. It can be cooked immediately or marinated overnight. Spread the tofu on a baking sheet that’s greased or lined with a silicone baking mat. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350ºF, or until it reaches your desired crispiness. Serve atop the vegetable lo mein.
- 6 large bone-in pork chops or 12 boneless pork chops
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon five spice powder
- ½ cup soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free)
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped or put through a garlic press
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or other high-heat oil)
- 2 to 3 cups of chopped or sliced vegetables, raw or cooked, cut into bite-size pieces (such as: carrots, mushrooms, green onions, onions, bell peppers, cabbage, broccoli, sugar snap peas
- peas, or shelled edamame)
- 1 pound angel hair pasta, cooked and drained (use gluten-free, if needed)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Place the pork chops in the stoneware of your slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, spices, soy sauce, ketchup, and garlic.
- Pour the sauce evenly over the pork chops.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
- Serve with rice or vegetable lo mein. Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers. Leftover pork chops can also be sliced and added to leftover vegetable lo mein.
- Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add any raw vegetables and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add any cooked vegetables, along with the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine.
- Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and toss to evenly coat the pasta and vegetables with the sauce.
- Serve as a vegan entree or as a side dish with the Peking Pork Chops. Refrigerate any leftovers.
The Crockpot Peking Pork Chops portion of this recipe is reprinted with permissions from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O'Dea.