Monday, June 30, 2014

Chicken Thighs and Veggies

I love a one pot dinner and this fits the bill. I used my large 15-inch cast iron skillet for this dish. The only other thing you need to do is throw together some rice or quinoa or you can do what I did and use a short cut:  Seeds of Change Rice and Quinoa--done in the microwave in 90 seconds-Kaboom!

pkf of six bone-in chicken thighs
salt and pepper
olive oil

pkg of whole green beans, trimmed
4 carrots, peeled and cut in match sticks
1 medium onion in wedges
3 medium tomatoes in wedges
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T of fresh rosemary

apple cider vinegar
Dijon mustard

preheat oven 350

Rub thighs with olive oil then salt and pepper heavily. Brown the thighs in the skillet--five minutes skin side down then a few minutes after you flip them. Remove from skillet-spoon out accumulated fat. Throw in the green beans, carrots, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and rosemary and  cook for a few minutes. Place the thighs back into skillet on top. Make a mixture of the water, vinegar and mustard--1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup vinegar and a T of mustard-Pour this over the chicken thighs.

Bake (uncovered) for 1 hour.

Serve over rice or quinoa or whatever.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Zucchini Bread

I've never been much of a baker and I'm still not! However, I have been trying my hand at making a few low sugar muffins lately. I had some zucchini in the fridge and decided to sort of make up a bread. I looked at another recipe and then did a whole lot of substituting and omitting and came up with this and it's not bad at all. It's low sugar and gluten free if that interests you. 

Zucchini Bread


2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 mashed banana
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup shredded zucchini
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, syrup and banana. Fold in the zucchini. Stir in the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Transfer mixture to the prepared loaf pan.
3. Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pan, then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Spicy Chili-Coconut Tomato Salad with Pork Tenderloin

I had a leftover pork tenderloin in the fridge and wanted to do something "different" with it. Well, I found just the thing. When I first looked at this recipe from the Food Network online it sounded rather weird to me. I was intrigued and even somewhat perplexed by the suggested flavors. It is Thai-inspired so you have that whole hot and sweet thing going on, but tomatoes and coconut? I made a few tweaks to meet our needs and it worked out just great.

First make the sauce and then get the ingredients ready for the salad. I served the salad over brown rice so we got the full flavor from the sauce (which is a little thin).

1 cooked pork tenderloin, sliced and cut in half moons (you could sub chicken or tofu here)

Ingredients for Chili-Coconut Sauce:
olive oil
1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, cut into rounds
1 t coconut sugar
1 lime, juiced
14 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
1 T fish sauce
salt and pepper
Stems from 1/4 bunch of cilantro (odd, but true)

Ingredients for Tomato Salad:
3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 pound tomatoes-I used firm medium brown/red heirlooms
1/4 red onion, cut in slivers
1/2 a jalapeno, seeded and cut in slivers
leaves from 1/4 bunch of cilantro
Handful of fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper
2 scallions, trimmed and chopped



Heat olive oil in deep saucepan and over medium heat cook, garlic, ginger and jalapeno pepper for 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, sugar and simmer until thickened about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce and season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature. Add cilantro stems and puree with immersion blender. Set aside

Tomato Salad:

Preheat oven 375
Spread coconut out in thin layer on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake shaking now and then for about 8 minutes--check at 4 and shake or stir.

Cut the tomatoes into bite size chunks--drain a bit if they are really watery. Put the tomatoes in large shallow bowl. When ready to serve, to the tomatoes add the red onion, the jalapeno, the mint, the cilantro leaves and salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Fold in the coconut and the scallions and the pork tenderloin.

Serve over rice and ladle the sauce over all.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Crockpot Tenderloin

Even though it's summer, I still pull out the good old crockpot at least one night a week. My weekly yoga class meets over the dinner hour and I like to use the crockpot on these nights so that dinner is already made when I get home. I only have a few quick things to do and dinner is served. I'm also exhausted from the work out and love having dinner basically ready and waiting. This week I made a new recipe. I served it over spaghetti squash to keep it lower carb. However, the gravy is really good and would be wonderful over pasta bow ties or wide noodles. The tenderloins always come in a pair so now we have a cooked tenderloin for leftovers. I adore leftovers--cook once-eat twice :-)

pkg of pork tenderloins
1 packet of Lipton onion soup mix
3/4 cup red wine
3 T soy sauce
1 cup water
3 cloves of garlic, minced

2T cornstarch
1/4  cold water

Put tenderloins in slow cooker, add all the other ingredients and turn the tenderloins around to get them seasoned all over. Cook for 5 hours on LOW. When ready to serve, take tenderloins out and put on platter, cover with foil. Pour sauce into saucepan and bring to low boil, add 2 T cornstarch that has been mixed with 1/4 cup cold water. Whisk around and bring up to boil--it should be thickening but not too much. Turn heat to low.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Breakfast for Lunch!

We often like to have breakfast for dinner and sometimes for lunch! I had leftover cooked collard greens in the fridge so a fritatta was in order.

1 cup cooked collards
1 red pepper chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
6 eggs
dash of milk
sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
dried red pepper
dried thyme

Preheat 400

In ten-inch oven proof skillet, heat a bit of olive oil and sauté the red pepper and onion. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, some thyme and some dried red pepper while cooking. Stir in the collard greens. Whisk the six eggs up, add a dash of milk and a sprinkle of parmesan and then pour all that over the vegetable mixture. Cook until the edges of the fritatta are setting up and then pop the skillet into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool a bit before cutting--will cut easier and the flavor is better when not piping hot.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Salmon with Wild Rice and Collards

Don't you just hate it when you're ready to make a new recipe and it's an hour until dinner and the first line says, "Soak the wild rice for two hours"? Seriously, it's so darn irritating but you only have yourself to blame. Obviously, I needed to do some quick thinking. When in a pinch, I often call on good old Uncle Ben. He has saved my butt on more than one occasion. I hardly ever follow a recipe as written. I'm a bit of a rascal like that. However, tonight I really had to do some major alterations but the outcome was quite tasty.

1 lb salmon-(I used Copper River salmon which was happily on sale at Arbor Farms this week!)
Juice of one lemon
salt and pepper
3 T chopped fresh dill
1 T sesame oil

1 T black sesame seeds
olive oil
1/2 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 pkg of Uncle Ben's Quick Microwave Wild and Brown Rice

1 pkg of chopped mixed collard greens
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken broth
some chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley) for garnish

Get fish ready first-let the fillet sit with marinade for a bit while you do other tasks.
Cover the fish with 1 T sesame oil, salt, pepper, fresh dill, and lemon juice.

Toast the black sesame seeds in a bit of olive oil. Toss in the garbanzos and mix that all around, turn off heat and save.

Mince the garlic.

Preheat oven 400

Put the fish in a greased baking dish and set the timer for ten minutes.

While the fish bakes, sauté the garlic in some sesame oil, pour in the broth and then gradually add all your greens.

Microwave the Uncle Ben's and stir the black sesame seeds and beans into that mixture.

To serve, put some rice and greens in a bowl and top with baked fish-garnish and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I just love brussels sprouts and how can tossing them with a little bacon hurt?

1 bag of fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 strips of peppered turkey bacon, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper
balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven 400
Toss the brussels sprouts with olive oil salt and pepper and spread out in single payer on foil or parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle chopped bacon over all.

Roast 35 minutes, giving them a stir every ten minutes.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar before serving.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rosemary Mixed Nuts

This is a great way to fancy up your bags of unsalted nuts from TJ's!

3 cups of unsalted nuts of your choice-I used almonds, cashews, and pecans.
3 T melted butter
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t cayenne pepper
3 T chopped fresh rosemary (if you don't have fresh you can use 1 T dried)

Mix all that together and then spread on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for ten minutes--giving them a stir several times.

Let them cool completely and store in air tight container. Bet you can't eat just ONE handful :-)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Roasted Rainbow Carrots

I saw some adorable rainbow carrots at the market and had to have them. This is super simple but you do need fresh dill.

Preheat oven 400

Peel and cut carrots in large 1 1/2 inch chunks cause they shrink  If the carrots are really thick you may want to cut them in half.(the rainbow carrots are fun when you see them-otherwise just use regular carrots)

Toss carrots with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread out on foil lined cookie sheet and roast 35 minutes, stirring around every ten minutes. You may want to roast longer if you like a softer carrot--it really is personal preference here. I like soft roasted carrots but that's just me :-)

Toss with lots of fresh chopped dill and enjoy!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

This is a moist dense cake baked in a loaf pan. It happens to also be gluten free if that matters to you. We were celebrating a friend's birthday and I wanted to make a cake he could eat. This was very tasty and paired well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top :-)

2 cups almond meal
2 oz. 70% dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup dried sour cherries
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup coconut butter, melted
1 cup zucchini, grated

Grease a loaf pan and preheat oven to 325

Add all the dry ingredients (the first ten) into large bowl and mix well.
In separate bowl whisk the two eggs, melted coconut butter and zucchini.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix really well. The batter will be very thick.
Spread the batter into the loaf pan and bake 35-40 minutes.
Cool for ten minutes and then turn out of pan to cool further on wire rack.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mario Batali's Sautéed Spinach

So, I  like Mario Batali. Why? Because he loves Michigan and has a house Up North. Tonight I was looking for a little something different than my usual stir fry veggies that I make ALL the time. Ran across this recipe and of course had to tweak it (sorry, Mario). However, I did basically use his suggested flavors and it was a hit.

1 pkg. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
1 box baby spinach
1 lemon, get the zest and then squeeze for the juice
2 T red wine vinegar
olive oil

In large skillet or wok, sauté mushrooms in a couple T of olive oil for about 8 minutes or so--adding the lemon zest about half way (4 min). Add the red onion and then the peppers and keep stirring until they begin to wilt a bit--5-6 minutes. Add the spinach and the red wine vinegar and stir all to combine well and wilt spinach (maybe two minutes)--add the lemon juice and serve. yum-O

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dover Sole

Got some frozen Dover Sole last time I was at TJ's and decided to make it tonight. The fillets were very thin so I knew they would cook very very fast. Decided to do a quick bake at a high heat with some flavorful ingredients that I happened to have on hand.

1 lb Dover sole
1 jar marinated artichoke quarters
fresh basil-1/2 cup chopped
salt and pepper

Preheat to 450

In a greased flat dish lay out the fillets, sprinkle on the artichoke quarters, salt and pepper and also a little of the juice from the jar (maybe 2 T) and the basil--bake 15 minutes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kitchen Business: Fresh Juice

It seems like almost every dish I make needs a little lemon or lime juice and I have the perfect little gadget that sits on my counter top for just that purpose. It is not very big and isn't extremely sturdy but it gets the job done. (and it didn't cost a fortune, either)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Roast Turnips

If I had known how good these were going to be, I would have made more. I only bought two smallish turnips. Next time I'll make double this. No matter how many turnips you may use, the recipe is pretty simple. Peel the turnips and cut into large chunks. Toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and thyme. Put on a greased cookie sheet or one covered with parchment. Bake 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir them around and cook for another ten minutes. Top with some feta if you have it.

This makes a nice low carb side dish.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Zucchini Chickpea Salad

So, did you know it's a good idea to peel your chickpeas? Seriously, the stuff you learn on the Internet! Who knew that chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, have a tiny little skin that just readily slips right off? This salad is super easy to throw together ONCE you get the darn chickpeas peeled. You don't have to peel them, but I've been told that once you have a peeled chickpea, there's no going back.

1 large zucchini, trimmed cut in half long ways then slice in half moons very thinly
1 can chickpeas, rinsed, drained AND peeled (if you want and have time)
your favorite vinaigrette (homemade or store bought)
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

In a colander, make several layers of zucchini, salting each layer and let that sit for 15 minutes. Peel the chickpeas while waiting :-) Rinse the zucchini and spread out on paper towels to dry--pat with paper toweling to get rid of moisture.

Toss zucchini and chickpeas with dressing and refrigerate several hours before serving. Toss with fresh mint before serving.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Kitchen Business

There are certain kitchen tools and gadgets that I use all the time and others not so much. I thought for a change of pace I'd occasionally feature some tools that I find really useful.

In the picture below from left to right:  ice cream scoop, garlic press, and mini-funnel.

Ice cream scoop, in addition to its obvious use, is really good for scooping batter into muffin tins--works much better than a spoon!

I have tried many different kinds of garlic presses and this is the best. I use A LOT of garlic in my cooking so this is one of my most fave tools in the kitchen.

The mini-funnel comes in so handy for spices. If you buy them in bulk anywhere (World Market, Costco, etc) it's always a hassle filling the small jars at home but not so IF you have a mini-funnel. This little guy is also great for filling small salt and pepper shakers :-)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Good Morning Smoothie!

This is a super easy way to get your day off to a good start!

1 cup frozen sliced strawberries
1 frozen banana
1 T almond butter
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup water

Whirl it up in a blender and enjoy. This makes two medium sized smoothies.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Salsa Verde Lasagna

I had leftover chicken in the fridge and salsa verde which I had made a few days ago. Decided to try a Mexican Green Lasagna. It actually turned out to be really good. We did end up putting hot sauce on it because we really like spicy and this didn't have a lot of kick. However, it was very good and a great way to use up those leftovers.

8 ounces lasagna noodles (I used brown rice, no boil noodles)
2 cups ricotta cheese 
2 cups grated Mexican blend cheese
2 eggs
2 cups salsa verde
2 cups cooked shredded chicken


Preheat oven 350
1. Mix the ricotta, 1 cup cheese and eggs.
2. Lightly grease the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish.
3. Place a layer of noodles followed by 1/2 of the the ricotta mixture followed by salsa verde and shredded chicken.
4. Repeat a second layer in the same fashion and top with a final layer of noodles and top with the 1 cup of Mexican blend cheese.
6. Bake in a preheated 350F oven, covered with foil for 45 minutes.(spray foil so it doesn't stick to cheese) Remove foil and bake for 15-20 minutes more to brown on top. Let sit at least ten minutes before cutting.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


I usually always have the fixings for a fritatta in the fridge. Basically, all you need are some eggs and bits and pieces of veggies, leftover meat, sausage, etc. I find this recipe that I made up works well for two people and makes a good lunch/brunch paired with some fruit or sliced tomatoes. This fritatta was made with what I had available today--tomorrow would be different.

5 eggs, whisked
4 slices turkey bacon, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 cups collard greens, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper, some Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes
a little bit of grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 425
In medium oven proof skillet ( I use cast iron), sauté the bacon and red pepper in some olive oil. Add the spices and then toss in the collard greens and stir around while they wilt a bit. Pour in the whisked eggs and let that cook for few minutes--when the edges of the egg mixture seems to be setting, dust with Parmesan and put skillet in oven and set timer for 10-15 minutes. I overcooked this fritatta a bit today because I was doing something else and didn't hear the timer go off. Take a look after ten minutes and then cook more or not. I usually go for a very lightly browned top.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Caprese Salad

Ahhhhhh, summer at last. I picked up some fresh mozzarella cheese today at the farmer's market as well as few nice looking tomatoes and knew this would be great first course tonight. I like to bring my balsamic vinegar to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes so it reduces and thickens a bit. I think it clings to the tomatoes and cheese better. Enjoyed this out on the deck with a nice red wine, followed by grilled porterhouse steaks and asparagus. Summer has officially started!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chicken Chili Verde

Usually when a recipe calls for a verde sauce I use a good commercial one like Trader Joe's. This time I made one from scratch and it was really pretty tasty. It also made a lot so I was able to save more than half for other dishes I may make this week.

Verde Sauce
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
8 large tomatillos, husked and quartered
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large white onion, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro
Juice of two limes
1 t ground cumin
salt and pepper

4 boneless chicken breasts-salt and pepper each side

In large pot bring broth to boil, add tomatillos, jalapenos, and garlic and bring to a high simmer for 6 minutes. Add the onion, cumin, cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes then transfer to food processor or use an immersion blender right there in the pot and blend the mixture until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper. Set aside.

In skillet with lid, brown the chicken breasts about 3 minutes per side. Then ladle on enough verde sauce to cover. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. When chicken has cooked, shred the chicken into the sauce.

I made quinoa, but this would be great with rice.

I garnished with some chopped tomato, avocado and a dollop of Greek yogurt.

The side dish is just sautéed garlic, red pepper strips and chopped kale drizzled with some vinegar.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Green Eggs and Ham!

Oh, the places you'll go....with this recipe! This is really tasty and definitely a candidate for Breakfast for Dinner! I served this for dinner with a salad of cucumber, tomato, scallion and avocado tossed with grape seed oil and balsamic vinegar. I also toasted up two slices of whole wheat bread and sliced them into toast strips or "soldiers" if you think that sounds like more fun!

olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 slices of turkey bacon, chopped
1/2 t turmeric
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
1/2 t red pepper flakes
8 oz of chopped collard greens and spinach (I get a mix like this at Trader Joe's)
5 large mushrooms, chopped
4 large eggs

Preheat oven 400

Heat some olive oil in large cast iron (or oven proof) skillet. Add the onion, bacon and mushrooms and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle on the spices and the garlic and stir for 2 minutes then add the greens and keep stirring until they wilt. Make four "wells" in the vegetable mixture and crack an egg into each--trying not to break yolks. Salt and pepper the eggs. Bake until the eggs are firm and the yolk is to your liking--7-10 minutes.

Serve with toast soldiers---whole wheat toast cut into strips. Of course, I added a drizzle of hot sauce across the eggs--what could it hurt?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Copper River Salmon with Mustard Mint Sauce

I often make a yogurt dill sauce to go with salmon so I thought I'd switch it up a bit with this sauce. It is really good and we ended up dipping the roasted broccoli in the sauce too! I'm growing mint on the deck so it was nice and convenient to go get the herbs :-)

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
3 T Dijon mustard
2 T olive oil
Juice of half a lemon

Combine the ingredients in small food processor and purée until smooth. Refrigerate 20 minutes or so to let flavors develop.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Belgian Endive

I don't often buy Belgian endive but the other day I was in the store and saw some. At home in the fridge I had some really tasty sauce/dip leftover from the soba noodles recipe. I decided those endives would make great little "cradles" for that mixture. Topped with a few sliced cherry tomatoes, those endives made a nice side dish to the soup I was serving for lunch.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Soba Noodles with Bok Choy

This is an unusual dish. I love anything with a peanut sauce and this dish has that same texture but a different flavor. The sauce has tahini and almond butter in it. We really liked the flavors and it's a very filling and rich meatless meal.

8 oz soba noodles
sesame oil
1 large head of bok choy, cleaned, trimmed and sliced thin
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 large handful of cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
grape seed oil

Sauce ingredients
Put into blender or food processor
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup almond butter
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 T soy sauce
Juice of one lime
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients in blender or processor and then slowly add the oil to emulsify.

Boil noodles according to package-cook the noodles to just past al dente then drain, run cold water over and shake out excess water. Add them to a bowl and drizzle on some sesame oil to prevent sticking.

Heat some grape seed oil in wok or large fry pan and stir-fry almonds, sesame seeds and then throw in the noodles to get all that hot.

Turn the noodle mixture out onto platter and scatter the bok choy, onions, and cilantro over that. Toss each serving generously with sauce.

Sorry that the picture is not better-I was rushing and didn't focus very well!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

No Hanger Appeal

My mother had an expression when we were out shopping together and it was "Don't rule out that outfit, it may not have any hanger appeal".  Of course, as usual she was often right. I would try the garment on in the dressing room and it looked way different with a body in it. There are clothes that are really like that. As well, there are dishes that are just not that photogenic no matter how skilled you might be as a photographer. This dish, largely made from leftovers in the fridge is one such case. I had leftover pork tenderloin, half a cabbage, a quarter of an onion and a couple of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce lurking on the refrigerator shelves. I also had leftover curry cauliflower mash from a few days ago so there you have it: looks like dinner to me :-) So, my advice about this dish is to go easy on the chipotle peppers cause they're hot.

1/2 cooked pork tenderloin, sliced in strips
1/2 cabbage thinly slice
1/2 large carrot sliced in thick strips with vegetable peeler
1/4 onion, sliced
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce whirled up into a puree in the food processor
some cumin
salt and pepper
olive oil

In wok, heat a little oil and quickly sauté the meat strips and stir in a teaspoon or tablespoon of chipotle depending on the amount of heat you like. Spoon the meat out and reserve, heat a little more oil and add all the vegetables, sprinkle on some cumin, salt and pepper and keep stirring and cooking until the cabbage has wilted to your liking. Add another dollop of chipotle--again depending on how spicy you like your food. This goes really well with a mild side dish (like mashed curry cauliflower) as well as a dollop of greek yogurt to control the the heat :-)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

We eat pork tenderloin quite a bit because it's lean and I can use it in a lot of dishes. The tenderloins usually are packaged two to a package.  Since I'm cooking for two I can often get four dinners out of a package. First, I marinate the tenderloins and grill them. Then, I usually have the first half one night for dinner and use the other half in a stir fry. I freeze the other grilled tenderloin and use it later (within in a week or so) in the same manner. I really like the following marinade. Put the tenderloins in a ziplock bag with these ingredients early in the day.

4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Asian chile sauce, such as Thai Sriracha 

The 7-6-5 rule works well for grilling pork tenderloin: Put the pork on a hot grill for 7 minutes, turn it over for another 6 minutes, then turn the grill off and let it continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove and keep warm (cover with foil) and let "rest" (5 minutes or so) before slicing. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Peanut Penne with Shrimp

A friend of mine found this recipe and it is a keeper! This not only tastes wonderful but it also looks mighty fine. The dish is full of bright red peppers, red onion and spinach and makes for a delectable presentation in a large flat pasta bowl. This recipe feeds a very hungry crowd of six. Just add a nice loaf of bread, some butter........and don't forget the wine!

4 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves minced
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
6 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon of Sriracha
4 tablespoons sesame oil
2 lb medium shrimp
3 red onions sliced
5 red bell peppers cut into strips
1 bag fresh spinach
1 and 1/2 package of whole wheat penne pasta
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Combine first 8 ingredients in a bowl. Set aside
Bring large pot of water to boil for pasta. Drain pasta and hold to add to shrimp/pepper mixture.
This is a lot of veggies to sauté, so it may be easier to use two large skillets and divide up the peppers, onions.
Heat 2 large skillets over medium heat and add oil, onions and peppers. Saute for 3-5 minutes.
Divide shrimp between the two skillets and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add sauce mixture to each skillet and heat for about 2 minutes. Turn heat off and add spinach and cooked pasta to each skillet. Spinach will wilt by combining all ingredients.
Turn one skillet out into your pasta serving bowl and then when the crowd wants more (and they will!) go back and get your second skillet!