Sep 232013
 

My return to cooking started with a sale on pork chops.  With apples in season, I decided to make Martha Stewart’s Pork Chops with Apples and Onions.  You sear the pork chops first, and then saute a mixture of apples and onions. I stirred in some white wine, and then returned the pork chops to the pan to finish cooking.

Pork chops can dry out so easily, but this recipe helps prevent that.  The dish also offered a nice blend of savory and sweet.  I served the pork with sauteed spinach and whole wheat pasta.  It was a delicious fall meal, and also made great leftovers.  But just one tip: bring a steak knife in your lunch bag!

 

pork chops apples

Print Friendly
Aug 282013
 

My sister went to the Farmer’s Market, picked up a few delicata squash, and gave one to me.   She had no idea what would happen next….

It all began with this recipe from Eating Well, one of my favorite sites.  I started by pouring balsamic vinegar in a saucepan, to make the balsamic reduction for a garnish.  Meanwhile, my Mom had leftover mashed potatoes in the freezer, so we decided to make our own gnocchi.  It’s pretty simple with just potato, egg, and flour, except the dough required about twice as much flour as usual.  With flour just about everywhere and dough on our hands, we smelled something burning, and realized the balsamic was in fact reduced to a smoking mess on bottom of the saucepan.

Things got a little easier from there.  I took out a big frying pan, and sauteed the sliced delicata squash with onion and garlic.  Then I added vegetable broth and covered the pan until the squash was softened.  I added the gnocchi, spinach, chickpeas, and some sliced tomato, and cooked it until everything was done.  We had a little balsamic left for drizzling, and some Parmesan cheese for the top.  Finally, dinner was served.

Putting all the mess aside, this actually turned out really well!  Things were so hectic that I didn’t do a lot of measuring and timing, but I would still suggest the recipe.  But maybe you should just buy the gnocchi….

 

 

chickpea gnocchi

 

Print Friendly
Jul 222013
 

You may have seen the One-Pot Spaghetti recipe and pictures on Facebook, Pinterest, and various blogs.  I’m not sure of the true origin, although many roads lead to Martha Stewart.  I’ve seen a lot of references, but I chose the Italian Wonderpot recipe from Budget Bytes to guide me.

Most of the ingredients are pantry staples, and you can assemble the pot within just a few minutes.  Some versions include red pepper flakes for a little extra heat.  I kept thing simple with minced garlic and Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle.

Although this doesn’t have the complexity of a gourmet pasta dish, it has a good taste and works well as an easy meal.  There’s plenty leftover for lunches too.  Double win!

 

one pot fettuccine

 

One Pot Fettuccine

2 c. vegetable broth
2 c. water
1 (12 oz.) package whole wheat fettuccine
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 onion, chopped
1 (8 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
1 (16 oz.) package frozen spinach
2 t minced garlic
1 T Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle, or Italian seasoning

Place ingredients in a large pot, in the order written.  Make sure that ingredients are covered by liquid.  Cover pot, and bring to a rapid boil.  Remove cover, and boil for 12-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Print Friendly
Jul 052013
 

Today’s recipe is brought to you by the letter “P”.  We have pork chops, peaches, and sugar snap peas.  And it was all inspired by this recipe from Cooking Light.

It’s fun to use fruit in an otherwise savory dish, especially seasonal summer fruit.  The peaches did get quite soft in this recipe, so I adjusted the cooking times below to keep them a bit firmer.  Pork chops can be a bit boring, but the peaches, onion, and wine come together to create a flavorful sauce.

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July!  I’ll be back next week with some new recipes from the long weekend.

 

pork chops peaches2

 

Pork Chops and Peaches

3-4 boneless pork chops
2 t canola oil
1 large Vidalia onion, sliced thinly
1/2 t dried thyme
2 peaches, sliced thinly
1/2 c. white wine
1/4 water
1/2 t Penzey’s Mural of Flavor

Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper.  In a large frying pan coated with cooking spray, cook pork chops for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove, and set aside.

Add oil to pan.  Add onion and thyme, and saute for 10 minutes.  Add peaches, wine, water, and seasoning.  Simmer for 5 minutes, scraping bottom of pan to remove any browned bits.  Add pork chops back to pan, cover, and simmer until pork is cooked through.

-Adapted from Cooking Light

Print Friendly
Jun 182013
 

Have you taken a good look at the frozen vegetables at your grocery store lately?  Of course, there is nothing like fresh, preferably local, produce.  But frozen is just as nutritious, and sometimes a lot more convenient.

My latest find is frozen grilled zucchini from Price Chopper.  The zucchini is sliced, with grill marks and all, but there are no other ingredients listed on the label.  How do they do that?  I have no idea (but I am working to find out!)

I used the zucchini and tomatoes to make this simple flatbread.  I added hardboiled eggs for just a bit more protein, and enough cheese to add flavor without overwhelming the vegetables.  It was just about perfect!

Moral of the story?  Next time there’s a hot day and the farmer’s market is closed, spend a little time in the freezer aisle.

 

tomatozucchiniflatbread

 

 

Tomato Zucchini Flatbread

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 c. frozen grilled zucchini
1 T olive oil
1 lb. whole wheat dough, such as from Trader Joe’s
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
4 oz. Cabot 50% reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded

Place tomatoes and zucchini in a glass dish, and drizzle olive oil.  Roast at 375F for 30-40 minutes, until tomato skins are cracked.

Spread dough into a rectangle on a cookie sheet, extending as far to the edges as possible.  Spoon vegetable mixture onto dough.  Top with chopped eggs, and sprinkle cheeses.  Bake at 375F for 15-18 minutes.

 

Print Friendly