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Beef & Brussels Sprouts Stir Fry.

Garlicy Beef & Brussels Sprouts Stir Fry.

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Have I mentioned that I love Brussels sprouts?! They are my favorite. This stir fry has a rich garlic flavor with a subtle tang from the vinegar. It’s an extremely simple recipe, but it is so very scrumptious! It’s so fast to make, so it is great for a busy weeknight meal.

Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and diced
  • 1 lb. lean beef strips or cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt/black pepper

Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat and stir in the minced garlic for about 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add in the beef, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the meat is browned and fully cooked.

While the beef is cooking, roast or steam the Brussels sprouts until they are tender. I roasted mine on 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, but you could also steam them for about 5-7 minutes. Once they are tender, add them into the pan with the beef to brown them and cook for additional 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the red wine vinegar (the vinegar will add a tangy flavor but also help deglaze the pan) and season with a generous dash of salt and black pepper.

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Coconut & Basil Pork Tenderloin With Avocado Mango Salsa.

Roasted Coconut & Basil Pork Tenderloin With Grilled Avocado Mango Salsa.

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This recipe was inspired by a Bobby Flay recipe that I saw him making on TV over the summer. His recipe is more complex, while mine is a bit simpler with fewer ingredients, but the basic flavors are the same. The coconut milk gives the pork a subtle coconut flavor that is brightened up with the flavor of the basil, avocado and mango. I made this for a group of friends over the summer and served it with some coconut milk infused brown rice (similar recipe here) and it really helped bring out the overall coconut flavor of the dish.

Serves 4-5.

Ingredients:

(Note: I made this for a large group so I have scaled the recipe down for this post)

  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 1 14-oz can coconut milk
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 large handful basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 avocados, halved and pitted
  • 2 large mangos, diced
  • salt/black pepper

Begin by marinating the pork tenderloin. Mix the coconut milk, lime juice from 2 limes, half of your chopped basil and garlic in a shallow dish and then place the tenderloin in the mixture, coating both sides. Season with a dash of salt and black pepper and place it in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. Flip the tenderloin once an hour so the tenderloin marinates evenly.

After marinated, remove the pork from the liquid and place in a roasting pan. Cook in a 450 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches ~145 degrees.

While the pork is in the oven, heat your grill and spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Place the halved avocados on the grill for about 5 minutes. Remove from the grill and once they are cooled, dice the avocado and mix with the mango, the other half of your chopped basil, the juice from 1 lime and some salt and black pepper.

When the pork comes out of the oven, allow it to rest for about 10 minutes or so before slicing. Top the sliced tenderloin with a heaping spoonful of the avocado mango salsa.

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Smoked Kielbasa & Cannellini Bean Soup.

Smoked Turkey Kielbasa & Cannellini Bean Soup With Collard Greens & Veggies.

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Now that it’s started to get a bit cooler outside, it’s perfect soup weather. Soup is great because you can make a big pot of it and eat it all week long with no fuss. This soup is low-fat, nutritious, filling and ever so tasty. It has a bold, smokey flavor from the smoked turkey kielbasa that goes perfectly with the cannellini beans and collard greens.

~Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 qt fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can cannellini beans
  • 1 12-oz pre-cooked smoked turkey kielbasa, diced (I used Trader Joe’s brand which is gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • ~4 large handfuls of chopped collard greens
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt/black pepper

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot on medium-high heat and add in the minced garlic. Stir the garlic around until it’s lightly browned and then add in the celery, onion, carrots and kielbasa. Cook the mixture, stirring around often, for about 5 minutes on high heat. Pour in the diced tomatoes and chicken broth allow the liquid to come to a low boil. Add in the collard greens and cannellini beans and season with a dash of salt and black pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for about an hour.

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Sweet Corn & Pancetta Quinoa.

Creamy Baked Quinoa With Sweet Corn & Pancetta.

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I’ve been experimenting quite a bit lately with quinoa and this is one of my recent concoctions.  This warm and hearty baked quinoa has a great creamy texture with the unexpected crunch of the sweet corn. The pancetta adds a rich, salty flavor that is balanced out by the sweetness of the corn.

Serves ~5.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 4 ears of fresh sweet corn, kernels cut off the cob
  • 4 oz. diced pancetta
  • 1 cup 2% or skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella (plus a bit extra for topping)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus a bit extra for topping)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt/black pepper

Begin by cooking your quinoa as directed on the package. As the quinoa cooks, you can prepare the sauce.

In a pot on medium-low heat, add in the milk and sour cream. Keep the heat pretty low – the mixture should not boil, just heat and simmer. Once that has heated through, stir in the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and stir well so it melts into the mixture. Season with the garlic powder and a dash of salt and black pepper. Keep the heat on low/simmer.

Cook the pancetta on medium-high heat (do not add any oil) and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the pancetta is crispy and red. Once cooked, drain the pancetta on paper towel to remove the excess fat and oil. After it’s drained, put the pancetta back into the pan add in the corn. Cook on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until the corn is lightly browned.

Once the quinoa is cooked, add it into a large mixing bowl along with the corn and pancetta. Stir in the sauce in and mix well to combine. Pour this mixture into a baking dish and top with a pinch of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until it’s lightly browned and bubbly.

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Kale With Artichoke & Caper Marinara.

Roasted Kale With Creamy Artichoke & Caper Marinara.

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I absolutely love kale and finding new ways to cook and eat it! This kale recipe has become a new favorite in our household in recent weeks. It’s light and healthy, but still tastes rich, creamy and flavorful. We eat it as a main course for dinner but it would also make a good side dish as well. You could also top it with some grilled chicken if you wanted to add some extra protein.

Serves ~4.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head of kale, chopped (I use a 10 oz. bag of chopped organic Tuscan kale from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 3 tbsp reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 14-oz can or artichokes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 2-3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese for topping
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt/black pepper

Spray a large pan with a light layer of non-stick baking spray and then add in the kale. Season lightly with salt and black pepper and cook in the oven on 375 degrees for about 12-15 minutes. As you cook it, the kale should be slightly crunchy and wilted, but not overly browned and crispy.

While the kale is in the oven, heat the diced tomatoes and marinara in a sauce pan on medium-high heat. Once the sauce is hot, add in the artichokes, capers and stir in the cream cheese. Season with the garlic powder and a dash of salt/black pepper.

When the kale comes out of the oven, plate it and then pour a heaping spoonful of the sauce over top and sprinkle on a small spoonful of Parmesan cheese.

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Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprouts.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprouts With Goat Cheese, Pancetta & Dried Cranberries.

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This is a great dish for Fall. It’s filled with healthy and hearty veggies and has a mouth-watering combination of sweet and salty flavors. It works well as a side dish but is also filling enough to eat for a light meal. I’m definitely making this for Thanksgiving dinner this year!

Serves 4-5.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced butternut squash
  • 3 cups trimmed & halved Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 oz diced pancetta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt/black pepper

Begin by cooking the pancetta. I prefer to cook this beforehand in order to eliminate a lot of the fat. In a small non-stick pan, cook the pancetta on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until pink and crispy. Place the cooked pancetta on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

Spray a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Put the Brussels sprouts on the bottom layer of the baking dish, then put the butternut squash on top. Sprinkle on the cooked pancetta and goat cheese and then season with a dash of salt/black pepper. Lastly, pour the olive oil evenly over top. Cook in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from the oven to put the dried cranberries on top. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.

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