Does your diet contain enough vitamin B12? When I analysed a typical week of meals, I realised that our diets weren’t balanced and we were neglecting a lot of the foods rich in the vitamins we need. This had to change, especially as we are all at home at the moment, so I set about trying to find ways to incorporate more of the foods we need in our everyday life.
This recipe features lean pork plus sweetcorn, tomatoes (in the passata), onions and lettuce plus the toppings of sour cream and cheese for some dairy. Plus, it uses store cupboard ingredients and you can also swap out many of them — for example instead of smoked paprika, you can use regular paprika or chilli powder, hot sauce or black pepper (add carefully because of the kick!) — or even leave them out. You can make your own barbecue sauce using ketchup, sugar and vinegar (just search online). And while we have these with a fun side salad, they’re great with practically any vegetable you have in the kitchen on the side.
Vitamin B12 & Our Diet
Looking at our diet, it was clear to see that we should be eating more meat, which is a natural source of vitamin B12. With adults needing around 1.5 micrograms of B12 a day, it was concerning that our diet contained little of the products rich in this vitamin.
Pork is a source of four essential vitamins and minerals that help the immune system to work normally. These include vitamin B6, vitamin B12, zinc and selenium. Pork also provides five essential vitamins that help reduce tiredness and fatigue. These are Niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
I wanted to create a simple midweek meal that was also balanced – perfect for the whole family so we could sit down and enjoy it together. Dinner time is the ideal moment to come together and unpack our days. The trouble was Henry has a slight aversion to vegetables or salad, so I knew if I suddenly changed up the menu, I was likely to be met with resistance. It was important for me to be able to incorporate more balanced meals rich in all of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need so I needed to come up with a way to get Henry excited by food.
Lean Pork Lettuce Wraps
Now if you told me a few months ago, my son would be not only eating a recipe with lettuce in the title but actually declaring it his “favourite meal ever” I think I might have fainted. This recipe is simple and easy, and you can modify the ingredients to include whatever you have to hand.
I wanted to use pork in my recipe. and the great reasons for this are:
- Pork is a source of vitamin B12
- Vitamin B12 helps energy production in the body
- Vitamin B12 helps the nervous system work normally
- Vitamin B12 helps red blood cell formation
- Vitamin B12 helps the immune system work normally
- Vitamin B12 helps reduce tiredness and fatigue
- Not only can some cuts of pork be lean, like medallions, but it’s naturally rich in protein, low in salt and provides ten vitamins and minerals that contribute towards good health and wellbeing. These are: thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, selenium and pantothenic acid.
Recreating this recipe is super simple and easy. You will need:
- 500g of lean pork mince (5% fat)
- ½ a red onion chopped finely
- 2 peppers chopped into small chunks (if you have a fussy eater cut them smaller)
- 2 heaped tbsp of sweetcorn
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 300ml of passata
- 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce
- 4tbsp of water
- Pinch of salt & pepper
**If you can’t find peppers or sweetcorn, try courgettes or aubergine instead)
For the wraps:
- Little gem lettuce (although any lettuce will work)
- Grated cheese
- Sour cream
The great thing about this recipe is that you can use whatever you have to hand. Raid the fridge for bits to throw in, and you can even use frozen sweetcorn and peppers if you don’t have fresh to hand!
How to Make it:
- Fry the onion in a pan for five minutes until soft. You don’t need a lot of oil, and personally, I use a spray oil but if you don’t have this, just go sparingly.
- Add the chopped peppers, sweetcorn, spices and a pinch of salt and pepper and fry for a further minute.
- Add and fry the mince until brown.
- Stir in the passata, BBQ sauce and water.
- Increase the heat until bubbling then simmer, so the sauce reduces, coating the meat.
- Serve mixture in lettuce wraps adding cheese, sour cream and salsa if you choose.
Henry loves this meal because it’s quite interactive. He can make up his own wrap, choosing to add a bit of cheese and some sour cream, and it makes mealtimes fun. You can, of course, use a regular wrap or taco shell but lettuce wraps are great because they don’t go soggy and even my fussy eight-year-old says he can’t tell it’s lettuce!!
Do you have any favourite recipes using pork that you’d recommend? I’d love more suggestions!
The #SimpleBalancedMeals #CookingatHome campaign is sponsored by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) – the English, Welsh and Scottish levy bodies that between them cover all food groups in a healthy balanced diet.
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