Saturday, November 3, 2012

Apple Cranberry Pork Loin

I love fall ingredients and I try to cook with the seasons as much as possible.  If you love fall flavors, especially cinnamon, apples, and cranberries, try this pork recipe.  It tastes like autumn on a plate and pairs really well with some roasted squash or sweet potatoes.  This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, nut free for those of you with allergies!

Apple Cranberry Pork Loin
feeds 6-8 people
  • 2-2.5 lbs of pork loin (this was 2 for me), I think tenderloin would work too
  • 5 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or another acid, such as orange juice)
  • slightly less than 1/4 cup of real maple syrup (brown sugar can be a substitute)
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground sage
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tsp of salt, depending on taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients above, except for the pork.
  3. Place the pork in a square casserole dish, or any other oven safe cooking vessel with sides high enough to hold the pork and apple mixture.
  4. Pour apple and cranberry mixture over pork.  Make sure the pork is covered evenly with the mixture.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for about 35-45 minutes, depending on the thickness of your tenderloins.  The best way to determine if the pork is done is with a meat thermometer; it should be about 145 degrees.
  6. After allowing 10-20 minutes to rest, slice pork and serve with some of the cooked apple and cranberry on top.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Coconut and Macadamia Crusted Chicken Tenders

Sometimes I miss fried foods, but its not really for the bread or the "fry," but for the crunch and the flavor. I wanted to find a replacement food that would have lots of healthy fat and stick with my paleo way of eating.  I also have the added challenge of being allergic of two delicious kinds of nuts: almonds and hazelnuts.  But, I lucked out and found a yummy sounding recipe from Stuff I Make My Husband.  Mine wasn't nearly as pretty as hers, but it was yummy and had the flavor and crunch that I love.  Added bonus: Mango dijon dipping sauce that reminds me of a honey mustard!

Coconut and Macadamia Crusted Chicken Tenders
slightly adapted from: Stuff I Make My Husband

  • 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut flakes
  • about 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts (I used raw, roasted and salted would work too)
  • pinch of salt (more if you used raw macadamia nuts)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 egg whites
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F).  Have a baking sheet lined with parchment ready.
  2. Cut chicken into even sized pieces, similar to chicken tenders.
  3. Using the shredder on your food processor, chop up the macadamia nuts.  Best way to do this: put the nuts in the tube of the food processor lid and cover with the pusher so they don't fly up and hit you in the face!  
  4. Use the same technique as above to shred your coconut into smaller pieces.  Combine nuts, coconut, garlic powder, and salt onto a plate.
  5. Put the egg whites in a shallow dish.
  6. Dip chicken in the egg whites and then press into the nut mixture until thoroughly coated.  Place onto parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Cook for about 20 minutes.  Flip chicken over and cook for another 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and coated is golden brown.
Mango Dijon Dipping Sauce
also from: Stuff I Make My Husband
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  1. Peel and cut the mango (doesn't matter if the chop is neat, you are going to blend it)
  2. Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Dip in your yummy chicken!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Maple and mustard glazed chicken

I love pinterest and I found this recipe for "Man Pleasing Chicken" on Pinterest.  I have tried a lot of recipes that I have found on there so far and this one was so tasty I've made it twice.  It has so few ingredients, making it is a snap.  My only problem with it is that the burnt sugar from the maple syrup gets stuck on my pans!  Totally worth it though.  I made this with roasted tomatoes and zucchini dressed with parsley, garlic, salt, and olive oil.
 Maple and Mustard Glazed Chicken
from: Witty in the City

  • 1.5-2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • 1/2 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place chicken in a 9x13 pan.
  2. Mix together mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour sauce over chicken and coat thoroughly.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.  It depends on the size of your chicken thighs.  Coat chicken in sauce halfway through cooking to get extra flavor!  Enjoy with lots of veggies!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Tzatziki Sauce

I love Greek food!  Monday, we had gyro from our favorite local Greek restaurant.  It inspired me to make a variation of my husband's Greek-style burgers (recipe soon) and a creamy, cool tzatziki sauce.  I forgot to take a picture of both, but I hope you give this a try.  Tzatziki is a cucumber yogurt sauce with many uses.  It is great on top of burgers, chicken, salad, and anything else that could use a great sauce.  While mine isn't necessarily "classic," it is yummy.  Its also really easy!

Tzatziki Sauce

  • Plain, whole fat yogurt (or Greek style yogurt if you want to save the straining step)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (or slightly less dried dill)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  1. Shred the cucumber.  Put in a colander of some sort (with small enough holes that the cucumber won't fall through) on top of a bowl and place a paper towel on top.  Place something heavy on top to help squeeze excess water from the cucumber.  Let sit for about 20 minutes.
  2. Place yogurt in a towel or paper towel fine mesh sieve.  Let sit over a bowl or sink for about 20 minutes with the cucumber to get rid of excess whey.  You are essentially making a Greek yogurt with this step.
  3. Once the draining of excess liquid is done, mix together all of your ingredients: yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  4. Let sit for a half hour in the fridge before serving.  This step lets the flavors meld.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Caprese Chicken

I've been a little absent lately, but there hasn't been much cooking lately in my house.  Its been hot and, without air conditioning, the want to cook is missing.  When I have cooked, its been a lot of basics or things you've seen already: chicken tikka masala, enchilada casserole, chocolate mousse, and some pork stir fry (which I might share soon).

One of my favorite combinations for summer is tomatoes and basil, so when I came upon a recipe for Caprese Chicken, I had to try it.  I don't have a grill, so I had to come up with some alterations for this recipe.  It has cool, creamy cheese with fresh, bright basil on warm chicken with a zingy balsamic glaze.

Caprese Chicken
adapted from: Add A Pinch

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
  • a handful of basil leaves
  • 1 or 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil on chicken breasts and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake until thoroughly cooked, 30-40 minutes.
  2. Slice mozzarella cheese and tomatoes about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Heat balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan or saute pan over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble.  Turn heat down to medium and simmer until the vinegar reduces down and becomes much thicker, between 5 and 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  4. Start to build your caprese chicken stack: place mozzarella, tomato, and one or two basil leaves on top of the chicken breast.  Drizzle balsamic glaze over chicken and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Steak and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

I posted a recipe for shaved steak and cheese recently and I love this recipe, but was looking for something a little more exciting and I wanted a vessel to cook my steak and cheese in and to allow the cheese to brown and melt.

I was scrolling through Chowstalker and found a recipe for steak and cheese stuffed peppers, which is perfect.  Most stuffed pepper recipes have rice, or some other starchy carb in them, but this one is just filled with meat, veggies, and cheese.

Steak and Cheese Stuffed Peppers
from: Peace, Love, and Low Carb

  • 4 large green peppers
  • 1-1.5 pounds of shaved steak
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 8oz button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 12 pieces of provolone
  • 1 tbs salted butter
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil.
  2. Cut green peppers in half, top to bottom.  Take all of the seeds out and line them up on the cookie sheet.  Put 1/2 of a piece of cheese in the bottom of each pepper.
  3. Heat up butter on medium heat in a frying pan.  Saute mushrooms and onions until soft.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. Cook shaved steak in the frying pan until no longer pink.  Season with salt and pepper.  Mix the cooked steak with the mushrooms and onions.
  5. Fill each pepper with the vegetable and steak mixture.  You may have a little extra for snacking on later.
  6. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until peppers are soft.  Turn the oven off.  Place a piece of cheese on top of each pepper and place back in oven until cheese is melted.  This should only take a few minutes.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Zucchini Boats

I'm getting excited about all of the veggies that are coming into season right now!  Everything is so colorful and tastes so much better than it did a few months ago.

It is during this time of the year that I love zucchini and summer squash, but I get bored with the same old steaming or grilling, so I searched Pinterest for some squash inspiration.  I found a beautiful picture of zucchini boats that were roasted in the oven with little grape tomatoes, perfect!  Bonus, these tasted wonderful and even got approval from the kids of a coworker!

I forgot to take a picture, so you'll have to make a mental picture :)

Zucchini Boats
adapted from: Proud Italian Cook

  • 4 medium, straight zucchinis
  • 16 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • a pinch of pepper
  • a pinch of salt
  • 8 thin slices of mozzarella
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (the real stuff is better!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with tinfoil.
  2. Slice the zucchinis lengthwise and scoop the seeds out of the middle.  Line them up on the cookie sheet.
  3. Place the grape tomatoes in the zucchini boats, 4 to a zucchini.  
  4. Drizzle zucchini with olive oil and sprinkle on the garlic powder, pepper, and salt.
  5. Bake for about twenty minutes, or until zucchini is starting to get soft.
  6. Remove the zucchini from the oven.  Turn the temperature up to 400 degrees.  
  7. Put the mozzarella on the zucchini and sprinkle the Parmesan on top.  
  8. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until cheese starts to brown.  Watch it closely to make sure it doesn't burn!  Enjoy!