Monday, October 31, 2011

Better Than Take-Out Fried Rice

India decided to create a main dish to go along with my kale salad and Devon's oven fried French fries, for dinner last night.  I recently bought my kids this fantastic cookbook called "Kids 4 Books In One:  Breakfast/Lunch/Snacks/Dinner" and they are super excited about trying these beautifully illustrated recipes.  We had a pork tenderloin in the freezer so she decided to adapt this recipe while leaving out the rice was delicious!
3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 yellow bell pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil
6 green onions, cut into 1" pieces
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 lb boneless pork loin or tenderloin, cut into 1" pieces
  • Combine soy sauce, vinegar and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  • Cut bell pepper into 1" pieces.
  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bell pepper, green onions, ginger and garlic; stir-fry for 1 minute.  Add pork; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until pork is cooked through.
  • Stir in soy mixture and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute.
  • Serve and ENJOY!

Wheat Berry, Kale & Cranberry Salad

With the weather getting much cooler, I must admit that a salad sounds far less appealing than a bowl of warm soup, however this one was too good to pass up!  The chewiness of the wheat berries is nice with the crisp kale and sweet cranberries.  If you don't want to use wheat berries, substitute 2 1/2 cups of quinoa, green lentils or brown rice!
1 cup dried wheat berries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup EVOO
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
5 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup diced red or white onion
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • Rinse the wheat berries.  Combine with 8 cups water in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-high.  Cook, covered, until wheat berries are tender (approx. 30 to 35 mins).  Stir in cranberries during the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Whisk olive oil with vinegar and salt in a large bowl.  Season with black pepper.  Stir in wheat berry mixture, kale, onion and bell peppers.  Serve immediately.  Keeps really well refrigerated for up to 1 day!
  • ENJOY!!! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pork Persillade with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Sauteed Mushrooms

Admittedly I have been making old favourites such as "Carrot Dill Soup", "Smashed Rutabagas with Ginger-Roasted Pears", "Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Potatoes & Maple Syrup", "Thai Cashew & Broccoli on Quinoa", and "Mum's Pork Sausage Stuffing" that went into the Thanksgiving turkey...but with the dramatically cooler weather that we have been experiencing, I felt like some pork tenderloin, Brussels sprouts roasted in the oven, and mushrooms sauteed with garlic and fresh parsley!  This is a delicious and easy wintertime meal (especially if you cook up several tenderloins at once like I did, and then have it in a container sliced and ready for sandwiches and for a quick addition to meals!).  Don't be intimidated by the title of this recipe ~ persillade is a simple parsley and garlic rub that is quick, fresh and easy to make!!

2 pork tenderloins(I did 4 loins at once and just doubled the recipe!)
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp of EVOO (or enough to make the parsley into a paste)
Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (I usually count 6-8 Brussels per person)
2 tbsp EVOO or grapeseed oil
1 tsp seasoned salt (use Lowry's as it doesn't have MSG!), or lemon pepper
8-10 mushrooms cleaned, stems removed and cut into 1/4's
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/4 cup finely diced fresh parsley
2 tbsp EVOO (although you could combine 1 tbsp EVOO with 1 tbsp butter as well)
Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Preheat oven to 375F and lightly oil a baking dish.
  • Combine the 1/2 bunch of parsley with the garlic, salt and pepper and olive oil for the pork.  Stir until a paste-like consistency.  If it is still dry, add a little more extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).
  • Lay the tenderloins in the baking dish and rub parsley mixture into the skin of the pork, turning to ensure even coating on all sides.
  • Place in the oven for approx. 35-45 mins.  Using a thermometer, ensure the internal temperature of the pork loin is 160F before removing.  
  • Remove from the oven and slice.
  • Meanwhile, place Brussels sprouts in a bowl with the olive oil and lemon pepper or seasoned salt.  Stir to coat and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Place in the oven with the tenderloin for approximately 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.
  • Remove from oven.
  • While Brussels and pork are cooking, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium high heat, and add the olive oil, mushrooms, parsley and garlic.  Saute stirring often till mushrooms and garlic is golden.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Place slices of pork tenderloin on a plate along with the Brussels and the mushrooms ~ ENJOY!
*If you wish you can prepare a gravy like I did in the photo to go along with the pork (although the pork is generally flavourful enough by itself!)
*Instead of mushrooms, serve mashed potatoes or scalloped potatoes with this dish, perhaps some glazed carrots and parsnips, or try my smashed rutabagas with ginger-roasted pears....all this seasonal produce tastes wonderful together!