Treat Yourself Tuesday- Rosemary Garlic Pork Loin

img_3077Hi Everyone! I know I haven’t been posting much, if you read my previous entry this week, you’ll know I’m struggling with the energy to keep this going on top of work and my recovery. But I’m just going to work on it as I can. I made this awhile ago and I’m excited to share. My parents loved it… although they would probably say they loved dirt if I made dinner haha. So here we go.

Note pork loin and pork tenderloin are actually different cuts of meat. A pork loin is much thicker and comes from the back of the pig. It also comes as different names like top loin roast or center-cut. The tenderloin is Is taken from the muscle situated alongside the backbone of the pig. It’s much smaller. You can also make this recipe with a tenderloin, you’re cooking time will just be different- much less.. but the process of coating it is the same. I’ve made it with both kinds of cute and found the tenderloin dried out quicker, even though both are very lean cuts

What you’ll need:

*note you may need more based on the size of your loin/how many people you’re feeding. The loin I made was 2lbs and would feed at least 4 people.

  • 2 lb pork loin (The butcher will ask you how much. Honestly Just eyeball it.)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsps of rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If your pork loin came with a large layer of fat, remove it img_3075and just leave the nice lean meat. Rub the loin with olive oil.

On a plate combine the rest of the ingredients on a plate and roll the pork loin in the bread crumb mixture until it’s completely coated. Place on a baking sheet (throw a sheet of aluminum foil on there for easy clean up!) and place in the oven. Cook for 25 minutes. Pork temperature can vary now. Anywhere from 145 degrees to 165 degrees. I prefer mine closer to well done, and I think this recipe still kept a lot of the moisture in. But if you like yours a little medium, the lower temperature is just fine.

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Let the loin rest for a few minutes before cutting and serve! If you’re looking for a few sides try my recipe for Green Bean Fries or Thyme & Honey Glazed Carrots

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Treat Yourself Tuesdays- Homemade Crispy Thin Crust Pizza

IMG_2737IMG_2739Mmmmm pizza. Really what else can you say about it? It’s also this week’s Treat Yourself Tuesday. This week’s post was recommended by a great friend of mine! So if you ever have any ideas for a post let me know!

The nice thing about making pizza is you can top it with whatever you’d like. This gives you the opportunity to throw in some veggies and get a little extra nutrition. Treat yourself this week, and enjoy this pizza one night.

My sauce recipe is also perfect for any pasta dish you may want to cook up.

What You’ll Need:

For the pizza dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 packet dry yeast (1 tsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup warm water (between 105 and 110 degrees)

(If you have a bread machine, throw all the ingredients in and put it on the dough setting. The wet ingredients should be on the bottom, and the dry on top. The yeast should be the last thing you put in. If you don’t have a bread maker, read on.)

Add the sugar and water in a large bowl until dissolved. Add in the yeast and let sit for a few minutes. The liquid should be foamy. Stir while adding the olive oil.

In a separate bowl, add together the flour and salt. Add the wet and try ingredients together. Knead together until dough forms. (I would suggest dusting your hands in flour). When you get a smooth ball, put it in a oiled bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a clean towel and leave to rise for an hour.

For the sauce:

  • 2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoesIMG_2735
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 very small white onion chopped.
  • olive oil.

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add the chopped tomato, stirring occasionally until somewhat caramelized. Add the rest of the ingredients. When it starts to bubble, turn down to a simmer. Leave on the stove for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep tasting and add anything you think it needs.

What you need for toppings:

  • 1 oz package of fresh mozzarella
  • fresh basil leaves
  • *any other toppings you desire.

IMG_2734Preheat the over to 450 degrees. When the dough is done rising, roll out into one large pizza, or two small ones. Because this is a thin crust pizza, the dough doesn’t behave as well. Stretch out, or use a rolling pin to roll out the dough extremely thin. Place on a baking sheet. Slice the fresh mozzarella and put it on the pizza. Add whatever other toppings you decide to use. I used sliced peppers. Put in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Take out when the cheese is melted and the edges of the crust begin to brown. Take out of the oven and top with fresh basil leaves. Enjoy your fresh crispy thin crust pizza!

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Delicious Summer Recipes!

I’ve been lazy about positing. Mostly because I’m at the beach, and unfortunately I’ve still had quite a bit of work to do here. But here’s something I wanted to share for awhile! I know for many summer might be winding down, but lets face it, it’s still going to be hot for awhile. So if you’re still looking for a great treat here’s some delicious summer recipes for your next BBQ, or just to keep cool.

Summer Berry Sorbet with Homemade Whipped CreamIMG_2506

This is the perfect treat to cool down, and you don’t even need an ice cream maker. (Although admittedly it’s just so much easier. Wish list for Kara: ice cream maker to go with my KitchenAid blender.) It’s only a few ingredients, so prep only takes a few minutes. The whipped cream makes for a really delicious addition, especially when the sorbet begins to melt.

 

basil watermelon slushWatermelon & Basil Summer Slush

A great drink to cool down with! If you’re planning on having people over on a hot August day, this is the perfect thing to cool them down. (If you really want to have a party just add a shot of vodka 😉 haha.) It’s extremely flavorful and the flavors are perfect for summer. The recipe makes one drink so make sure to multiply if you’re having company!

 

IMG_1482Seared Tuna with a Chili Soy Blood Orange Glaze

I love this recipe. I’m also a sucker for seared tuna. This works well for summer because it’s still somewhat cold. The edges are seared but its not a heavy or hot meal. Technically blood oranges are a winter fruit, so you may have some trouble finding them. If you can’t, you can always use regular oranges. Crush a few raspberries into the marinade and that will be closer to the flavor of a blood

orange.

salmon with border

Grilled Salmon with Ginger Soy Glaze

Fire up the grill. This is another great fish dish for summer. This glaze is incredible and really infuses a lot of flavor into the fish. Add some grilled veggies as a side and you’ve got an entire meal. It’s also much a quick and easy meal to make during the week. This is also a great option for those who want another option for the grill besides meat.

IMG_2510Savory Sweet Potato Burrito

I love sweet potato burritos. It sounds funny, but it’s amazingly good. I first had one at this great place in West Philadelphia. I then tried to replicate the recipe to the best of my abilities. I never thought about a sweet potato burrito before, but really it’s pretty incredible. This is another delicious summer recipe. If you haven’t had sweet potato in Mexican food before, definitely give this a shot.

 

 

Image-1-1Grilled Chilies Rellenos

Another great Mexican-inspired dish.  love the added tastiness of the grill, however you can of course do this in the oven. But who doesn’t love the taste of the grill? The mix of the poblano pepper, cotija cheese and chicken thighs is awesome. I think chicken thighs are really underutilized sometimes. This is something a little different than just the typical burgers and fries to throw on the grill.

 

zuchhini pasta w/ borderZucchini Pasta w/ Old Bay Ship, Heirloom Tomatoes & Fresh Corn

Zucchini pasta is such a great option for summer! It won’t weigh you down in the same way normal pasta will. Plus who doesn’t love Old Bay on shrimp? This is a great light summer dish that’s perfect for dinner. Zucchini pasta is extremely easy to make. You don’t even need one of those veggie pasta makers. I just use my cheese grater! Use all the great summer vegetables in this dish.

bruschetta with borderSummer Bruschetta

I really am not a fan of raw tomatoes. But I love this bruschetta recipe. Fresh tomatoes, corn and goat cheese makes for a delicious summer recipe! This is also such an easy and great option for entertaining. Check out the recipe!

 

FullSizeRender(3)Egg White Lemon Crepes w/ Berry Filling

A light crepe filled with summer berries! The light lemon flavor really comes through nicely in the crepe. These are really easy and quick to make. Top with some tasty whipped cream and serve it up for breakfast. Great for yourself or the entire family. You can really put any berries in the filling, but take advantage of all the in season berries. They’re so good right now!

IMG_2432Green Bean Fries

This is a great side dish for the summer. If you’re firing up the grill for burgers and want a side of fries, here’s a summer veggie option instead. They aren’t the same as normal fries obviously, but they’re crispy and delicious. A quick breading and they’re off in the oven. So easy to make! Think of this side the next time you’re making dinner or want a healthy snack.

 

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Fresh Corn & Quinoa Congee

I am sorry to all the people out there who have grown up with congee. This won’t be nearly as wonderful as anything your family used to make. But man this is still a delicious recipe. Quinoa is an awesome substitute for rice, and the fresh corn screams summer. It’s a great breakfast or lunch option. Honestly, I could eat it all day long.

 

IMG_1791Green Pea and Avocado Soup

This soup is great for summer, not only because of the fresh peas and avocado, but because this can be served hot or cold. I’m not the biggest fan of cold soups, but this is really flavorful and perfect when you don’t feel like eating something hot in the summer heat! Serve alone or with any protein you want. I chose fish. YUM.

 

So this is the 2016 list. Let me know whether or not there’s anything you like to see, or if you like the recipes or not!

Savory Sweet Potato Burrito

Philadelphia residents are familiar with the iconic burrito IMG_2510joint “Honest Tom’s.” Now I’ve talked before about my love of a certain breakfast burrito in DC. Now I’ve found another burrito love, and it’s the sweet potato burrito at “Honest Tom’s.” It sounded weird to me at first, but this burrito is so soft, tender and flavorful. So I wanted to try and replicate it. Now I know I’ll never even come close to achieving the perfection that is “Honest Tom’s” burrito, but I still wanted to make my own version. So that’s the recipe I’m posting today. This will make a couple of burritos, so it’s perfect for a small group or for leftovers.

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 package cotija cheese
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 package large tortilla shells (the largest you can find
  • Mexican Rice (You can find my recipe here.)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Adobo seasoning
  • olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Take a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil or give a generous spray with non-stick cooking spray. (I like to cover my pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up.)

IMG_2509Peel the sweet potatoes, and cut them into large strips. They should be about an inch wide. Place them on the baking sheet, and flip over so they’re coated. Season with salt, pepper and the adobo seasoning. Put the sweet potatoes in the oven for about 20 minutes or until soft. I put the broiler on for the last few minutes to kind of get a crust and add some texture into the sweet potato.

Chop up the poblano pepper, put it on the stove with some olive oil until the peppers soften a little. Then add the black beans and a little salt to heat them up.

Put to tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds to get them soft and warm. This is easier for folding the burrito.

Put the cheese, black bean mixture, sweet potatoes, Mexican rice, avocado strips and tomato in the tortilla and fold into a burrito. (I’m still working on perfecting that.)

If you like it spicy, like i do, eat with your favorite hot sauce! Enjoy!

Fresh Corn & Quinoa Congee

IMG_2445This is the first time I’ve ever attempted to make congee, and honestly it turned out pretty well. It’s a kind of porridge dish traditionally made by cooking rice in water or broth. It can then be flavored in many ways. For the people who grew up with their families making the dish, I know this won’t quite be the same. This variation uses fresh corn and quinoa instead of rice. I had a similar dish at a restaurant in Philadelphia and tried to recreate it. It didn’t pack the same punch, but it still turned out pretty great. It’s a great dish for any time of the day. This makes a lot so it’ll feed you all week.

 

What you’ll need:

  • 3 ears of corn
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 5 1/2 cups chicken broth (preferably sodium free)
  • salt (at least 1/4 cup)
  • sugar (at least 1/4 cup)
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • red bell pepper
  • jalapeno

Cut the kernels off all the corn cobs. set aside 1/3 cup of the kernels. Put the rest in a blender or food processor until pureed. There should be enough liquid in the kernels to puree the corn without additional liquid. If you need to add a tablespoon of water.

Put the corn puree, the extra corn kernels, the chicken broth and the quinoa in a large pot with lid on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook on the stove, stirring occasionally, for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, or until the congee thickens into a consistency you’re happy with. It should be the consistency of a loose oatmeal or porridge.

Now it’s time to season. Note: if you used a broth with sodium, you will not need as much- or any- additional salt. It’s important to keep tasting until you’re happy. I used a homemade broth without any salt, and had to add at least 1/4 cup to make it taste good. Also add about 1/4 cup of sugar. Once again keep tasting. Add a few dashes of garlic powder and a few generous dashes of pepper. Once you’re happy with the taste, you’re done! Dice some red bell peppers and jalapenos (without the seeds or stems) and add on top. The peppers add some great fresh flavor and an awesome crunch.

Enjoy this fresh summer treat!

Healthy Bison Fajitas

bison fajita 3I’m one of those people who gets big red meat cravings. I try not to overdo it…. and while sometimes nothing can beat a big, fatty, juicy burger…. I turn to bison when I’m trying to eat healthier. Bison is lower in calories and fat than beef. Top the fajita with some veggies and my favorite low-calorie tortillas, and you’ve got an extremely flavorful, healthy dish. Bison steak is sometimes hard to find… but go to your local butcher and they should have it. (Whole foods also has bison most of the time.)

The tacos makes enough for roughly 1 person.

 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 8oz sirloin bison steak
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Tortilla shells (try “La Tortilla Factory” low-calorie tortillas)
  • Romaine or red leaf lettuce
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Adobo seasoning
  • olive oil

bison fajita 2Put the sirloin steak in a ziploc bag. Mince the two cloves of garlic, and put it in the bag. Take the lemon and lime and squeeze the juice into the bag. Season the steak with salt, pepper, adobo seasoning… and one tablespoon of olive oil. Mix the marinade together. Make sure the steak is well seasoned and put the meat in the refrigerator for about an hour. (The longer you keep the steak in the fridge… the more flavor will be infused into it. However, an hour does the trick if you’re short on time.)

Slice the peppers, onion and avocado. Cut the lettuce into strips. Dice the tomato.

Heat a pan with olive oil. Put the peppers and onions in the pan and heat until they’re soft.

Heat another pan with oil. Drop the marinated steak in the pan, and cook to your desired doneness. (I prefer medium rare) Remove from heat, and let the steak rest for a few minutes. Then Slice into half inch slices.

bison fajita tacoHeat your tortillas in the oven, microwave or stove (just put the tortillas right in an ungreased pan). They will be a little crispier in the oven or on the stove… and softer if you use the microwave.

Build the fajita with the peppers and onions, bison steak, avocado, lettuce, tomato. If you like your food spicy, add your favorite hot sauce!! Great summer option for lunch or dinner.

 

Slow Cooker Mushroom Barley Risotto

mushroom barley risottoI can’t take a lot of credit for this one. I found the recipe on foodnetwork.com and adapted it a little (although i guess most ideas are repurposed anyway) I love slow cooker recipes.. you could definitely make it on the stove… but why gradually stir in liquid for an hour when you can stick it in a crock pot and forget about it.

The best part is that this ENTIRE recipe is 550 calories. Yes, the entire slow cooker. It’s vegetarian…remove the cheese and it’s vegan AND only 375 calories. (Honestly the cheese adds some richness… but it still tastes AMAZING without it). It makes about 4-6 servings… depending on how much you eat… and it’s EXTREMELY filling.

Calories: 550 for the entire recipe. (375 for the vegan version) Makes 4-6 servings. ( I did NOT account for oil used in this recipe. Add another 120 for a tablespoon of olive oil)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
  • 1-1 1/2 cup maitake mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 carrots (chopped)
  • 1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
  • ~ 2 tsp (or to taste) Thyme (you can use fresh.. it’s better… but i used dried)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • Garlic to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Green peas (optional)
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (leave out if making vegan version)
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Heat a pan with olive oil. Add the onion, and cook until they begin to caramelize. Then Add in the mushrooms and cook until soft (this happens very quickly). Add in the barley, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, until the barley is golden brown. (about 5 minutes)

Add the barley mixture to the crockpot along with the carrots, water and broth. Let cook on high for about 3 hours. (keep checking… my slow cooker took a little less time) (if you add in peas.. throw them in with about an hour left to go… they don’t take as long to cook) When the barley is soft, and all the liquid is absorbed turn the slow cooker off. (If you’re making the vegan version.. stop here and serve!) Add in the cheese and vinegar, add any more salt and pepper you might want. ( i found it did NOT need any more salt)

Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you tried it!!

Zucchini Pasta w/ Old Bay Shrimp, Heirloom Tomatoes & Fresh Corn

IMG_1904Continuing on with my journey to try and make delicious dishes with amazing summer produce. I packed a ton in this time- zucchini, corn, tomatoes and fresh basil. Mmmmm. I have to say I liked zucchini pasta much more than I anticipated… and it only takes a few seconds to make!

This recipe makes 2 servings.

What you’ll need:

– 1 zucchini

– 1 heirloom tomato

– 1 cob of corn

-1 tablespoon olive oil.

– 2 cloves of garlic

– 1 cup shrimp

– old bay

– salt

– pepper

– fresh basil (use 2 or 3 leaves)

Let’s start with prep. This is what takes the most time, and everything cooks quickly so lets get it out of the way. Mince the garlic. chop the tomato into medium-sized chunks. Take the cob of corn. Run a knife down the edge to remove all the kernels (putting the cob in a bowl or pot while doing this will prevent kernels from going rogue and flying all over the kitchen). Chop or julienne the basil. Set all of this aside.

IMG_1894For the zucchini pasta, all you’ll need is a zucchini and a cheese grater. Chop the top and bottom off the zucchini, but you can leave the skin on. Hold the zucchini vertically and run it along the large side of the grater. This will give you long strands of zucchini about the size of angel air pasta. (If you have a mandolin.. you can also use the julienne attachment… this may make thicker strands if you’d prefer that.)

Take your shrimp and generously coat with old bay.

Heat a pan with the olive oil. add the garlic. cook until it browns slightly. Throw in the corn, basil and tomatoes. Add a little salt and pepper. Reduce heat and stir occasionally until the tomatoes break down a little. Add the shrimp and cook until no longer transparent. Throw in the zucchini. Ass a little salt and pepper again. Mix together well. Cook for about 2 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK. The zucchini will get too mushy.

That’s it! Super simple and tastes like summer! Let me know what you think!

Grilled Salmon w/ Ginger Soy Glaze

salmon finishedIt’s summer so it’s grill time! I’m by no means a grill master but it gives such an amazing taste! And nothing says summer like grilling out. I don’t have a grill so I’ve commandeered my parents’. This recipe is really flavorful. Pair with some grilled veggies and you’ve got yourself a delicious and healthy dinner.

Calories: 210 per serving (about 4oz of salmon)

What you’ll need:

2 tbsps soy sauce

2 tbsps brown sugar

2 garlic cloves

1 lemon

1/4 tsp ginger (powdered or minced)

1 salmon fillet (preferably with the skin still on)

Mince the garlic as fine as possible. Put in a bowl. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce and ginger. Cut the lemon in half and give one good squeeze of the lemon. Mix together. Taste the mixture… if you want a stronger ginger flavor add some more in.

IMG_1732IMG_1734Next coat the salmon with the glaze. Place skin-side down on the grill. It will really cook quickly so make sure you’re watching it. Flip once… GENTLY. You don’t want the fish to break. The skin may come off…. that’s ok. When finished, the fish should be a light pink color. DON’T overcook. Salmon can really dry out. But it’s delicious when it’s moist, and I think the glaze really adds something.

ENJOY!!!!!!