Herb marinated pork with maple mashed sweet potatoes.

It was such an incredibly beautiful day again here in PA and I really was in the mood to fire up the grill & that’s just what I did.  I had some pork in the freezer (and in my sad attempt to clean the freezer out before I purchase more food for it) I thawed it out and created a super delicious marinade.  You have to try it!

Ingredients (Pork):

4-6 pork chops (I used w/o the bone but you can certainly use a bone-in)
Salt and pepper
4 tbl of olive oil
3 tbl of freshly chopped parsley
1 tbl of dried oregano (if you have fresh, use 2 tbl)
1 tsp of garlic powder
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbl of lime juice, fresh
1 tsp of hot sauce (I used Sriracha)

Directions:

Rinse under cold water and pat dry each piece of pork.  Season with salt and pepper and place in a platter with sides (or you can use tupperware) and then set aside.

In my large measuring cup (or a small mixing bowl) add the olive oil, parsley, oregano, garlic powder, garlic, lime juice and hot sauce.  Whisk to combine and then pour over the pork.  Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.  Longer is better :)

When you’re ready to cook, preheat your grill to 375 or so.  Add the pork and grill until it’s no longer pink inside and has an internal temperature greater than 145 degrees.  Then place in a clean platter and tent with foil for 5-7 minutes.

Ingredients (Maple mashed sweet potatoes):
6-7 small to medium yams/sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tbl butter or substitute
3 tbl finer grade maple syrup
2 tbl ground cinnamon
4 tbl almond milk (vanilla flavored but regular milk would be sufficient)

Directions:

Cook your sweet potatoes in a large pot of boiling/salted water.  Once fork-tender, drain with colander.  I then add the potatoes to my stand mixer bowl, with the paddle attachment on, then add the remaining ingredients.  Start out mixing slowly and then increase the speed.  Blend until creamy or until you have the desired texture you wish.

I top with additional cinnamon before serving.

 

— Knead to Cook

Apple sage stuffed pork over Chobani apple cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes.


Apples & pork are truly one of my favorite food combinations.  I paired the pork up with mashed sweet potatoes (that I purchased from the farmer’s market on Tuesday).  And thanks to Chobani sending me a ton of wonderful yogurt today, I thought I would try adding  the apple cinnamon to the mashed potatoes and so glad I did.  It added another layer of that wonderful apple flavor to the dish.

Pork:

5 boneless pork filets (you can use 4-6 for this recipe), created a pocket with my filet knife being careful not to go all the way through the meat to the other side.
1/4 c of chopped onion
2 tsp of butter or substitute butter product (I used I can’t believe it’s not butter)
1 c of chopped apples
1/2 c of Panko bread crumbs (or regular if that’s all you have in your pantry)
1 tsp of dried sage

Over a medium flame, heat your butter till melted. Add the onion and cook until translucent.  Then add the Panko.  Mix until the butter and onion is absorbed and toasted.  It should look like this:

Then sprinkle with sage.  Once cooled down a bit, stuff your pork (pocket you created with your filet knife) and then close and seal with a toothpick or two.  Repeat until done.  Set aside.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  In a skillet over medium flame, drizzle some olive oil or a pat of butter.  Once hot, add the pork and brown on each side.  This should take 1-2 minutes.  Then remove and place on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until no longer pink.

Sweet Potatoes:

6 medium sized yams, washed and cut into larger size pieces
1 6 oz cup of Chobani Apple Cinnamon yogurt
2 tbl of Cinnamon butter spread (you can use regular butter)
1 tbl of light brown sugar

Directions:
Bring a large Dutch oven with about 4 qts of water to a boil.  Add the potatoes and cook until fork tender.  Before draining, remove about 1 c of the water that the potatoes were cooked in and set aside.  Then drain the potatoes and add them to your stand mixer with the paddle attachment on.  Then add the butter and brown sugar.  Mix until creamy.  Add the Chobani yogurt and continue to blend.  Taste test and adjust the seasonings as needed.  Spoon into a serving bowl and cover until ready to serve.

For plating…
Add the sweet mashed potatoes as a bed and the pork on top.  Sprinkle with parsley and freshly ground pepper.  Enjoy!

 

— Knead to Cook

Quinoa veggie aduki bean salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette.

Okay that title is a mouthful!  My quinoa salad is my own creation but the cilantro lime vinaigrette is from my dear foodie friend, Lauren Kelly, Certified Nutritionist.  I’ll post the recipe here and along with providing you with her link to her blog.

http://laurenkellynutrition.com/2012/02/20/quinoa-avocado-tomato-corn-and-black-bean-salad-with-cilantro-lime-vinaigrette-its-meatless-monday/

So our Meatless Monday dinner consisted of yummy spicy black bean burgers that hubby purchased from Costco.  I’ve been meaning to get to them and I’ve decided that I’m cleaning out my freezers this week and using up what is stored in them.  We grilled the burgers and they were delightful.  Easy and quite filling.

The quinoa salad I prepared earlier in the afternoon and let refrigerate this afternoon.  Pulled it out and served it at room temperature.  Easy peasy!

2 c of quinoa, cook according to package directions
1 handful of green beans, trimmed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 c of Aduki beans, drained and rinsed (you can use black beans as well)
5 new potatoes, cooked whole, drained and cut in half

First, I cook the new potatoes in salted water until fork tender.  Drain and let cool. Cut in quarters and add to the serving bowl.

Second, I boil about 4 cups of water and add the green beans.  Cook for 3 minutes, remove and then submerge in a bowl of ice water to blanch.  This will keep them nice and crispy and bright green for the salad.  Add them to the salad bowl.

Third,  add the peppers and quinoa to the bowl with the potatoes and beans.  Give a good stir.  Set aside.

To make the dressing:

1 clove garlic
1/4 c grape seed oil (I used olive oil)
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/4 c fresh lime juice
Zest of one lime
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt to taste
1/4 c fresh packed cilantro leaves

I added all of the ingredients to my immersion hand blender container (like a big plastic cup) and blended until creamy.  Poured over my quinoa salad and gave it a good stir.  Refrigerated for 2 hours.  I then let it come up to room temperature for about an hour prior to serving.

Sooooo yummy!

— Knead to Cook

Cheddar mashed potatoes.

My mashed potato recipe is hard to convey because I just add things as it needs it not really paying attention to exact amounts.  You may need to adjust more water or more cheddar depending on your taste.  This is a good baseline to start with so let’s roll…

Ingredients:

10 smaller golden potatoes, washed and cubed
3 tbl of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of dried parsley
1/4 tsp of ground pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 c of shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese
1/2 c of Chobani plain, non fat yogurt

Directions:

Get a large stock pot of salted water boiling.  Place the cubed potatoes in the pot and let cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.  Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and set aside.  Drain the potatoes in a colander. Then I place them in my stand mixer, with the paddle attachment.  I add all of the other ingredients and mix.  The paddle will break the potatoes down nicely.  Add the cooking water as needed to moisten the potatoes up.   I add additional cheese, salt etc. as needed per my taste.  Enjoy!

— Knead to Cook

Peppercorn encrusted filet mignon topped with gorgonzola with a side of asparagus zucchini risotto*.

Okay so not every meal I eat has to be over-the-top healthy! ;)  My filet was thinly sliced & oh so good.  We had leftover filet mignon from the holidays that we wanted to cook.  So we encrusted the filet with peppercorns (on one side) and grilled it over a gas flame.  Once it was almost cooked to our preference, we topped it with a tablespoon of gorgonzola crumbles and covered the grill.  Once melted, remove promptly, place on a platter & tent with foil for about 5-6 minutes for the juices to return back into the meat.

Risotto is one of the fabulously decadent foods that I love but despise making because you need to babysit it the entire time.  I’m a bit of a multi-tasker in the kitchen so I prefer not to sit and watch a pot but I made the sacrifice.  The recipe is as follows:

2 tbl of olive oil
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 c of Arborio rice
1/3 c of white wine, preferably dry
4 c of chicken broth
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced

First, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Place the asparagus in the pot & cover. Cook for 4 minutes.  While that’s cooking, get a large bowl of ice water prepared for blanching.  Once 4 minutes is up, drain & place the asparagus in the ice bath to stop the cooking process.  Remove once the stalks are cold and bright green.  Slice in half and keep off to the side.

In your large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion & garlic.  Stirring constantly.  After 3 minutes, add the rice and constantly stir.  This will toast the rice up nicely.  After about 4-5 minutes of toasting, add the white wine.  Stirring, constantly.  This should evaporate in 1-2 minutes.  Once that has, add 1.5c of the chicken stock to the rice.  Keep stirring until the rice absorbs all of the liquid.  This takes a few minutes.  Then repeat with another 1.5c of chicken stock.  Stir until absorbed.  Finally, add the final cup of chicken stock.  Stirring for about 2-3 minutes.  Then you will add the zucchini disks to cook.  At this point I added a splash more of the stock and covered the pot for about 2 minutes.  (Add more broth or water if necessary).  Uncover an stir again.  Then add your asparagus to heat through.  Serve immediately.  *Can be served alone for a vegetarian dish as well!

— Knead to Cook