Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Heirloom Squash and Tomatoes

Pork Adapted from Skinnytaste
Vegetables Courtesy of Plated Perfection

Crock pots are amazing and tonight I decided to try a new pork recipe. The pork was based very heavily off of the Skinnytaste blog, which I love! I just swapped out one a couple of the seasonings and the cut of pork. This was a great dish with lots of flavor, and even better when I topped it with some Carolina BBQ sauce I bought in North Carolina! It had plenty of flavor on its own, but I wanted to spice it up a little. Definitely give this a try - it would also be great on sandwiches.

2 pounds pork tenderloin (could also use pork shoulder)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar + dash for the vegetables
1 tb Worcestershire
1 tb agave nectar
2 squash/zucchini, cut into bite-size chunks
1/2 pint heirloom tomatoes, cut into small chunks
1 clove garlic, diced
2 tb olive oil

Season the pork tenderloin with salt, garlic powder, and cayenne powder and place it in the crock pot. Cook on either low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 6 hours. About 30 minutes before the pork is ready, heat a saute pan over medium-high heat with 2 tb olive oil. Toss in the squash and season with salt and pepper. After a couple of minutes, add the garlic and stir over medium heat. After another minute, add in the tomatoes. Splash with a dash of balsamic vinegar and cook for another couple of minutes until tender. When the pork is ready, take out of the crock pot and pull apart with a fork. Top with the juice from the crock pot, and place back in the crock pot if necessary to keep warm with a bit of the sauce. Serve with the vegetables.

Asian Halibut with Purple Carrots in Parchment Paper

Courtesy of Plated Perfection

Once again, I'm using my Farmer's Market goodies for dinner tonight! I was intrigued by the purple carrots I saw and so I just felt like I had to have them, and then the halibut was fresh at the grocery store, so I figured I'd give that combination a try! The fish turned out great. The only note that I'll remember for next time is to make sure I slice the carrots thin so that they cook in time. Enjoy!

2-4 fresh halibut filets, depending on the size of the fish (I cooked 2)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (or pureed in the bottle)
3 tb low sodium soy sauce
1 tb rice wine vinegar, seasoned
zest of a small lime
half of a lime, juiced
toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
~4 carrots, peeled (you can leave these unpeeled if desired)
parchment paper
nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime zest and juice in a bowl. Set aside. Slice the carrots on a diagonal in thin slices. Cut two squares of parchment paper to be large enough to hold the fish and carrots and fold over. In each square, spray some nonstick cooking spray, lay down equal servings of carrots, drizzle with the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Top with the fish and drizzle the fish with additional sauce. Fold the packets to where there are no openings and bake on a flat pan for approximately 15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Eggplant Ravioli with Heirloom Squash & Tomato Sauce

Courtesy of Plated Perfection

This is a bit of a delayed post, as I made this a couple of weeks ago, but it was delicious. Better late than never! I have been trying to hit up one of our many farmer's markets each weekend to buy fresh vegetables. This go around I bought a couple of heirloom squash and some tomatoes - so much color, which I love! I decided to cook them all together and make a pasta sauce. I thought the squash would balance out the acidity of the tomatoes a little, and it was very tasty! Definitely give this a try. I served it over fresh eggplant ravioli which I also picked up from the farmer's market.

2 heirloom squash/zucchini, cut into chunks - I used pattypan squash and a mexican zucchini
1 pint of heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tb tomato paste
2 tb olive oil
1 tb fresh parsley
dash of Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz fresh pasta of your choice (I used eggplant ravioli)
parmesan cheese (optional)

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and cook the garlic for approximately 2 minutes. Add the squash/zucchini and cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the tomatoes. Stir in the tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and let the vegetables cool for a few minutes. Add the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth, but a little chunky (or your desired consistency). Toss in the fresh parsley and serve over the pasta with a dash of cheese.
NOTE: Cook the fresh pasta as instructed and drain.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Baked Chicken Tenders with Asparagus and Bok Choy Saute

Courtesy of Plated Perfection

Since I was working from home today, I decided to make a healthy lunch with the chicken tenders I had bought earlier in the week. I also had asparagus and bok choy to use up, so I threw them into a saute. This was a super simple meal to whip up! The chicken tenders were full of flavor, but much more healthy since they were oven baked instead of fried. Enjoy!

Ingredients - Chicken Tenders
1 pound chicken tenders
~2 cups Italian flavored breadcrumbs
~1/2 cup shredded (or grated) parmesan cheese
~1 cup olive oil
nonstick cooking spray, to grease the pan

Ingredients - Asparagus & Bok Choy Saute
3 heads of bok choy, bottoms cut off and then the bok choy cut in halves
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1-2 tb soy sauce (your preference)
salt and pepper, to taste
dash of olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
splash of rice wine vinegar (seasoned)

Preheat oven to 425. Place the olive oil in a shallow dish, and the breadcrumbs & parmesan cheese mixture is another shallow dish. Coat the chicken tenders in the olive oil and then the breadcrumbs mixture until covered. Place in a greased baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the chicken tenders over, and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

While the chicken is cooking, heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Toss in the asparagus and bok choy. Stir and cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce, lemon juice, and rice wine vinegar and cook on lower heat for another 3-5 minutes.

Roasted Chipotle Salmon Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

Courtesy of Ina Garten & The Food Network

I've now made this recipe twice. The first time these got devoured before I could even take a picture, hence the late post! This was a delicious recipe and I highly recommend it. It's also great for a group dinner. The leftovers are also good if you have them. The slaw only held up for about 1 day after, but still delish! The salmon alone was really tasty and could be used on its own as well, instead of as tacos.

Roasted Salmon
olive oil, for greasing the pan
1 3/4 pounds center-cut fresh salmon, skin removed
2 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 tsp grated lime zest
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tb freshly squeezed lime juice
12 6-inch tortillas
4 avocados, seeded and peeled
3/4 tsp sriracha sauce

3/4 pound green cabbage, cored and finely shredded (I used Napa cabbage)
1/2 seedless cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup good quality white wine vinegar
3 tb fresh minced dill
salt and pepper, to taste

At least an hour before you plan to serve the tacos, toss the cabbage, cucumber, vinegar, dill, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate, allowing the cabbage to marinate.     

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush a baking dish with olive oil and place the salmon in it. Mix the chile powder, lime zest, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Brush the salmon with 1 tablespoon of the lime juice and sprinkle with the chipotle seasoning mixture. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until the salmon is just cooked through.                   

Wrap the tortillas in 2 foil packets and place them in the oven with the salmon. Roughly mash the avocados with the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice, the Sriracha, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. To serve, lay 2 warm tortillas on each of 6 plates. Place a dollop of the avocado mixture on one side of each tortilla, then some large chunks of salmon, and finally, some of the slaw. Fold the tortillas in half over the filling (they will be messy!) and serve warm.            

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce & Sauteed Vegetables

Crab Cakes adapted from
Vegetables courtesy of Plated Perfection

Last night we were craving crab cakes (because why not?!). I wanted to make a healthier version, so I went to one of my favorite blogs - Her recipes are so tasty and healthy at the same time. I was a little short on the crab meat, so mine turned out a little too "liquidy"...make sure you have enough crab meat! The flavor was great though and so was the sauce! Enjoy!

Crab Cakes
  • 9 ounces lump crab meat, picked free of shells
  • 1/2 cup (about 13) reduced fat Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, beaten
  • 2 finely chopped scallions
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp low fat mayonnaise (I used greek yogurt)
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro (or parsley)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking spray

  • Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce
  • 1 tbsp roasted peppers (jarred)
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise (I used greek yogurt)
  • 1 tsp minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice

  • Sautéed Vegetables
  • ~1/2 cup zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • ~1/2 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ~1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of salt-free Italian blend seasoning
  • 1 tb olive oil

  • Directions:
    For the sauce, in a small blender (or magic bullet) puree greek yogurt/mayonnaise, lime juice, roasted pepper and chipotle pepper. Set aside.

    In a large bowl, combine crushed crackers, eggs, scallions, pepper, mayo, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well, then fold in crab meat, careful not to over mix so the crab remains in large chunks. Gently shape into patties using a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1/2 hour before baking.

    In a skillet, heat 1 tb olive oil and toss in the garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the vegetables and seasonings and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Bake about 8-10 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Drizzle red pepper chipotle lime sauce over crab cakes and serve with the vegetables.

    Lemony Salsa Verde Scallops with Mashed Cauliflower

    Lemony Salsa Verde courtesy of Epicurious
    Mashed Cauliflower courtesy of Plated Perfection

    This recipe was perfect for a healthy weeknight meal, and the sauce was very bright and refreshing. It would also be great on a mild, white fish!

    Lemony Salsa Verde
    1/2 lemon (with peel), seeded, chopped (I didn't include the peel)
    1 finely chopped small shallot
    1 finely chopped garlic clove
    Salt and pepper
    1 cup olive oil (I adjusted this to about 3/4 cup olive oil)
    3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
    1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
    1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
    Lemon juice
    1 pound fresh sea scallops
    1 tb olive oil

    Mashed Cauliflower
    1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
    1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
    1 tb butter
    salt and pepper to taste
    splash of skim milk

    Combine 1/2 lemon (with peel), seeded, chopped, 1 finely chopped small shallot, and 1 finely chopped garlic clove; season with salt and pepper. Let sit 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup olive oil, 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if desired.

    In a pot, bring a pot of water to boil. Add the cauliflower and boil approximately 10-15 minutes or until somewhat tender. Drain and add to a large bowl. Using a masher, begin to mash the cauliflower and add the sour cream, butter and salt and pepper. Mash until smooth.

    In the meantime, heat the 1 tb olive oil (or butter) in a skillet over medium-high heat. Pat dry and season the scallops with a dash of salt and pepper. Sear on each side for approximately 3 minutes until browned on each side. Serve scallops with the salsa verde on top, alongside the cauliflower.