Friday, April 30, 2010

Spiced Up Pork Loin

I have tried to become a more savvy shopper when it comes to my weekly grocery store adventure. I used to check out recipes, find something that sounded good and make my shopping list based on my taste buds.
There's nothing wrong with that approach per say... but the Mr. and I love to watch our budget whenever and wherever we can. So I have become a huge fan of the store circular! You know, that fabulous ad that arrives in the mailbox mid-week? It showcases all the latest deals and specials happening at a store near you. Now, I check out what's on sale, then search my saved recipes to find a good match!
The Mr. bought me Cooking Light's Best recipes for 2010 and I have had several recipes marked for the past month. Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin sounded fab once I discovered pork loin was the special of the week at Kroger.
This recipe is packed full of flavor, but the cumin definitely dominates, so if you are not big on that spice this may not be the dish for you. Of course, you can always sub in another flavor.
I omitted the sugar (per the Mr.'s request) and instead added a little extra cinnamon. We also quadrupled the recipe and had to cook our loin considerably longer (about 70 minutes total) since I bought an almost 4 pounder. Whoops! More for leftovers...


Spice Rubbed Pork Loin (adapted from Cooking Light best of 2010):
- 1 tsp. sugar (I omited)
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
- 1 (1 lb.) pork tenderloin, trimmed (I used a 3.6 lb. pork loin)
- 2 tsp. EVOO

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Combine first 9 ingredients.Rub mixture over both sides of pork and let stand 20 minutes.
- Heat EVOO in large skillet over medium-high heat and brown pork, about 4 minutes on each side.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, turning pork over after 7 minutes, until thermometer reads 155 degrees.
-Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Quiche with Asparagus

First off, I must apologize for the incredibly poor quality of this picture. It does NOT do this wonderful breakfast justice! My family was just so eager to chow down, I forgot to get a good rendering of the finished masterpiece!
My dad and step mom came to visit recently for a nice weekend visit. The Mr. and I bought my dad a beer brewing session for Christmas and we finally made it into the brewery's appointment book! Obviously, we knew there was a day of drinking ahead of us, so I wanted to get a decent ballast into our stomachs for the long haul.
I had purchased some beautiful asparagus earlier in the week, along with my favorite veggie, portabella mushrooms! I added a red bell pepper, some shallots, and fresh rosemary and decided a quiche was the way to go!
I found this recipe from the food blog Sing For Your Supper. I made a few changes just using what I had on hand. I would say this was a success... considering I had to snatch this one and only picture before my dad and Mr. devoured the last pieces.


Spring Vegetable Quiche (adapted from Sing For Your Supper)
- 1 9 inch pie crust (I was feeling lazy and didn't want to make my own. Pillsbury filled in just fine)
- 4 large eggs
- 6-7 Tbsp. liquid egg whites
- 3/4 C. low-fat milk
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, julienned
- 8 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 3 shallots, sliced
- 1/4 C. fresh rosemary, minced
- 1/2 C. Asiago, shredded
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- pinch of garlic powder

- Preheat over to 400 degrees
-Place pie crust plate on cookie sheet (in case of spills)
- In a medium saute pan, cook shallots, diced pepper and mushrooms until softened. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a glass bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk and spices.
- Spoon vegetable mixture evenly in pie plate.
- Sprinkle cheese evenly over vegetables.
- Pour egg mixture into pie plate, making sure to leave about 1/4 inch of pie crust exposed at top.
- Bake quiche in oven until eggs are set, between 50- 60 minutes (I like my eggs on the firmer side so I increased the cooking time to about 75 minutes).
- Let quiche set for about 5 minutes before serving!

Sour Cream Biscuits with Rosemary and Cheese

I am a huge fan of biscuits. They just seem to embody everything that is good and tasty about comfort food: a succulent, pipping hot, right-from-the-oven biscuit is a perfect compliment to most meals. So when I was home visiting my family in Arizona, I thought I would whip up a batch for our belated Easter celebration.

I found the original recipe for these drop biscuits when I was enjoying a lazy day of browsing through I made a few adaptations to suit our springtime meal of ham and potato salad. I hope these biscuits bring you as much joy in your tummies as they did to my family.


Sour Cream, Rosemary, and Asiago Drop Biscuits (adapted from Cooking Light)
- 2 C. all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat flour the first time I made these and they turned out just fine)
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 3 Tbsp. chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 C. shredded Asiago cheese, or Italian cheese blend (I used a mix of Parm, Asiago and Romano)
- 1/2 C. fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 C. reduced fat milk
- 1/2 C. reduced fat sour cream

-Preheat oven to 450°.
-Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
-Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.
-Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
-Add cheese and onions; toss well.
-Add buttermilk and sour cream; stir just until moist.
-Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
-Bake at 450° for 15 minutes or until edges are brown.
-Remove biscuits from pan; cool on wire racks.

Nutritional Information (1 biscuit)
Calories: 146 (29% from fat)
Fat: 4.7g (sat 2.9g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.2g)
Protein: 5.2g
Carbohydrate: 20.1g
Cholesterol: 14mg
Sodium: 406mg

Ban Boring Chicken with Balsamic!

I lived in a sorority house for 3 years and the most common dinner item on the menu was chicken: baked chicken, chicken strips, chicken with mystery sauce... basically anything boring was fair game. Needless to say, when I graduated and moved out on my own I rarely made chicken for myself. Until now! I understand the nutritional value or chicken as a lean protein, but just because I want to eat healthy doesn't mean I can't have fun, right?

I don't have an exact recipe for this Balsamic Chicken. I found a few guide recipes through the Whats Cooking message board on The Nest. This recipe turned out moist, tender and full of flavor. Enjoy!


-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 C. baby portabella mushrooms, quartered
-1/2 red onion, diced
-2- 3 roma tomatoes, diced
-1 1/2 C. Balsamic Vinegar

The Process:
-Heat 1 Tbsp. EVOO in large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook till fragrant (about 30 seconds) stirring constantly. Set garlic aside.
-Add onion and mushroom to pan and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Set veggies aside, with garlic.
-Add 1/2 C. Balsamic to pan and bring to rolling boil over medium-high heat.
-Add chicken breasts to pan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn chicken over and continue cooking an additional 3-4 minutes.
-Add additional 1 C. Balsamic Vinegar, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, and onion.
-Let chicken simmer with veggie mixture until cooked through. Place chicken on a plate and keep warm.
-Reduce Balsamic and veggie mixture until thickened and equal to 1/2 C. liquid.
-Plate chicken, cover with 3 Tbsp. sauce mixture. We topped our chicken with 2 Tbsp. creamy goat cheese. So delicious!