Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sesame Garlic Pork Tenderloin

Pork is a rare treat for us and when we have it we choose a nice lean pork tenderloin.  We like to buy the 4 pack at Costco and freeze them, just defrost overnight in the fridge.  This delicious marinade  infuses great flavor, which is a must when you are cooking lean proteins like tenderloin or chicken breast.  The combination of sweet agave, salty tamari and smokey sesame oil is amazing.  Give yourself some time as you'll want to marinate your pork for about 4 hours before grilling.  Our organic broccolini mushroom saute and fresh grilled corn on the cob made for the perfect summer dinner tonight.  Enjoy!

1 pork tenderloin
1/2 Tablespoon agave nectar
1 Tablespoon tamari
1/3 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup water

For the dipping sauce:
3 Tablespoons agave nectar 
1.5 Tablespoons tamari
3 drops of toasted sesame oil

1. Slice pork tenderloin into about 4-5 thick medallions.  Combine agave, tamari, salt, ginger, garlic powder, sesame oil and water in a bowl.  Add pork medallions to marinade, turn to coat, cover and and let marinate in the fridge for 4 hrs.
2. When you are ready to cook your meat, pull it out of the fridge and let it rest for 20 minutes on the counter.
3. Place meat on a hot grill and cook about 10-15 minutes until slightly golden, juices run clear and internal temperature of 150'F.  Remove pork to plate, tent with foil and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.  Slice large medallion cuts into 1/2" thick slices, serve hot with dipping sauce on the side. here for the recipe!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Roasted Zucchini "Steaks"

Our vegetable garden is going nuts and we love it!  The plants that are producing the most right now are the cucumbers and zucchinis.  Now cucumbers are a cinch for us to eat up.  We eat them sliced, diced, on sandwiches, dipped in hummas or in salads to name a few.  Zucchinis require a tad more creativity.  Tonight I tried just slicing it into "steaks" to roast in the oven.  Can you say, "fast"?  They turned out great with a wonderful smokey, roasted flavor.  We served them up along side our Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken...delicious. Enjoy!
Recipe: (a baking sheet full feeds 4-6)
zucchini or summer squash, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
                *my zucchini was HUGE, about the size of my arm, so I had fewer steaks
fresh cracked black pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated
olive oil (or cooking spray)

1. Place squash rounds onto a baking sheet.  Drizzle or spray lightly with oil.
2. Sprinkle each "steak" with black pepper and cheese
3. Bake in a 375'F oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through and slightly golden. here for the recipe!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Quinoa Salad {Gluten Free}

I made this for our son's 5th birthday party picnic and it was a hit! I have had several people ask for the here ya go. It's really pretty simple and great for a light summer meal. You can definitely mix it up with different veggies or beans, garbanzo beans would be yummy too. Get creative with your quinoa. The "dressing" is light, lemony and versatile and the salad will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, in fact I think it's better the next day after it's had a chance to marinate a bit. Enjoy!

Recipe: (serves 6-8)

For the salad:
1 cup raw quinoa (prepare with 2 cups water or per package instructions)
1 can(15oz.) corn, rinsed & drained
1 can(15oz.) black beans, rinsed & drained
1 small zucchini, cubed
1/2 English cucumber, cubed
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

for the dressing:
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (~1 lemon)
1/4 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Prepare the quinoa: over medium-high heat; 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes until water is absorbed, fluff with a fork and set aside.
2. In a large salad bowl combine corn, beans, zucchini, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatoes and cilantro.
3. In a liquid measuring cup whisk together lemon juice, oil, cumin, salt and pepper.
4. Once quinoa is cooled, add it to the veggies and stir to combine, then dress the salad with dressing and stir to coat. Give it a taste. Add additional salt, pepper or dressing* if needed. Store in the fridge covered 3-4 days.
*Note: I made this for 25 people so I tried to scale the quantities back for you. It may be that you need more dressing, just make alittle more (equal parts lemon juice and oil with a pinch of cumin, S & P) and add it until you're happy with the flavor. Keep in mind the flavor will develop more each day. here for the recipe!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Asian Chicken Salad {Gluten Free}

It's been really hot here and a cold, crisp salad makes the best dinner.  This one is hearty with grilled chicken but still light enough for a hot summer evening.  Add whatever vegetables you have on hand and enjoy!

Recipe: (serve 4-6)

For the salad:
1 head Napa cabbage, finely chopped
2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
2 large carrots, grated
 8oz fresh bean sprouts
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas, roughly chopped into bite sized pieces
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cubed
fresh orange segments for garnish
sesame seeds and toasted nuts for garnish (toast nuts on a baking sheet in a 350'F oven for 2-5 minutes until golden and fragrant)

For the dressing:
1/3 cup grape seed oil
3 tablespoons Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
salt & pepper

1. Lightly season chicken breast with salt and pepper and grill until cooked through to an internal temperature of 165'F, set aside to let the meat rest. Once chicken has rested for 5-10 minutes, cut it into cubes.
2. Combine cubed chicken, cabbage, lettuce, bell pepper, cucumber, shredded carrot, bean sprouts, snap peas and any other veggies you have on hand in a large bowl, chop everything about the same size into bite sized pieces.
3. Combine all dressing ingredients in a salad dressing maker or in a liquid measuring cup and whisk together well. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can dress the whole salad or I prefer to dress each salad portion separately so leftover salad stays crisp. Top each salad with sesame seeds, oranges and toasted nuts such as slivered almonds. Store remaining dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. here for the recipe!

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