5-Day Meal Plan: When you crave slow-cooked carnitas tacos and tostadas

My name is Allison Robicelli, and I am a chef, cookbook author, food writer, entrepreneur and mother of two crazy boys. Even though I’m a pro in the kitchen, when you’re a modern woman juggling career and kids, dinnertime can be hard, because I would rather repeatedly slam each of my fingers in a car door than have to cook. Seriously, smash them up good and busted so I can never make dinner again.

Fortunately my professional skills have given me an edge in creating meals that are not only healthy and affordable but also specifically designed for me to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible during the workweek. With some advance planning and clever kitchen hacks, you too can make dinners that look so good that everyone on Instagram will believe you have your life completely under control.

More: 5-Day Meal Plan: We have ways of making you love pork chops

This week’s menu

  • Pork carnitas tacos with pickled red onion
  • Carolina pulled pork sandwiches
  • Cabbage and crispy eggs
  • Rigatoni with shredded pork and arugula
  • Breakfast tostadas

Probably my top dinner hack, so you’ll likely see this again in another menu plan: slow-cooked pork shoulder. It’s probably the most flavorful cut of pork, as well as the cheapest, but off-putting, as it must be cooked low and slow for hours on end. Don’t be intimidated! We have the technology to make this happen!

slow cooker
Image: JulNichols/Getty Images

That’s right — we’re going to slow-cook once, then reap the benefits for an entire week. There are no secret tricks, seasonings, sauces or mystery ingredients here. Just put the pork shoulder cut side down in the slow cooker, cover the entire thing with heavy-duty aluminum foil (the lid won’t fit), then cook on low for 10 hours or so. Plug this in first thing in the morning, and it’ll be ready for dinner when you are.

Shopping list


  • Pork shoulder (about 10 – 12 pounds)
  • Bacon
  • Eggs


  • Avocado
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 – 3 limes
  • Green cabbage
  • 1 bunch baby arugula
  • 2 onions
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 head garlic


  • Sour cream
  • Grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • Parmesan cheese


  • Red wine vinegar
  • Apple cider
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Boxed chicken stock
  • Hot sauce


  • Rolls
  • Corn tortillas
  • Rigatoni

Keep reading for this week’s recipes.