Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ultra Healthy Turkey Meatloaf

You'll need:
1 package of ground turkey
1 red bell pepper
1 medium onion (yellow)
1 medium onion (red)
Worcestershire (~2 tbsp)
Ketchup (or tomato paste- whatever you have)
Dry mustard (if you have it)
1 Egg
Quinoa (1/4 - 1/2 c)
Chiles in Adobo Sauce (if you like it spicy)
Splenda Brown Sugar

This was a week where I had no energy for deciding on specific meals for every night of the week, so I decided to go to the grocery and grab staples... Chicken, ground meat, ground turkey, and thinly sliced pork chops. This particular weeknight, I decided to treat Mike to meatloaf, but didn't have enough bread in the house to make homemade bread crumbs for my normal recipe. So I turned to this one, which substituted quinoa.
I got several, very large, red bell peppers on sale, so I decided to add some extra veggies to the recipe.
I started by sauteing chopped onion in a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Then I added a chopped bell pepper, and some chopped garlic (you decide how much you want to use)...
Once the vegetables were soft, I let them cool for a bit, then mixed them with the ground turkey, egg, S&P, Worcestershire, ketchup, cooked quinoa, and Tabasco.
I decided to add a couple of chiles in adobo sauce (chopped from the food processor) because I had them left over in the fridge.
After mixing all the ingredients together (I've learned not to mess with it too much or it will fall apart... trust me), I sauteed a red onion that I'd chopped into rings. Just heat up some olive oil, let it saute for a few minutes, then add about 1/4 c of water, and let it heat away.

I formed the loaf on a baking sheet covered in foil, and then mixed up a little ketchup, brown sugar, and dry mustard to make a coating.
Once the red onion slices were cooled, I layered them on top of the meatloaf.

I cooked it at 350 degrees for around 5o minutes, then let it sit for about 15 minutes. It turned out with just the right amount of spice! I served it with fingerling potatoes and some sauteed kale, and it was a great treat of comfort food for an otherwise drab Monday.

**One blunder I have to share was the time that I decided to add Flax Seed to my meatloaf... I figured it was a great idea to add some extra nutritious value to our meal, so I just poured it in... However, for anyone who has ever consumed flax seed, you know it sort of expands in your stomach. We were able to eat about 3 bites a piece, and that was it. So if you're going to add it, make sure you measure!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sauteed Pork with Granny Smith Apples

We were having a couple of friends over for dinner, so I decided (again) to make a dish that wouldn't keep me from my company. Lo and behold, the easiest dish to serve! I chose Real Simple's recipe for Pork with Sauteed Granny Smith Apples because it always turns out delicious, and it's not labor intensive.

You'll need:
Flour (I used wheat) 2 tbsp
Ground Cumin (1 tsp)
Pork Cutlets (however many you're serving, I usually do around 2/person)
Canola oil
Butter (1 tbsp)
Granny Smith Apples
Low-sodium Chicken Broth (1/2 - 3/4 c)
White Wine Vinegar
White Wine
Shallots ???
Cornstarch (~1-2 tbsp)

I started by rubbing the pork cutlets with S&P, flour and cumin on both sides.

Next, I heated the canola oil (however much you want to use) in the pan, sliced the apples in half, sprinkled them with S&P,and put them face down for around 3-5 minutes.

Once the apples were browned, I took them out and put them on my display plate. Then I added the pork, with a little more Canola Oil, and browned it on both sides (around 4 minutes each side).

I removed the pork, put it in a casserole dish with tented foil, and stuck it into the oven at a low 200, just to keep it warm.
Next, I added the white wine to deglaze the pan; then, white wine vinegar, some shallots (because I had them), and cornstarch to thicken up the sauce. I let that simmer for around 5 minutes, then poured it into a serving dish to put onto the table!

I served the pork with the apples, a side of asparagus, and some mashed sweet potatoes. It was a great dish, requiring very little effort from me, and a lot of payoff!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Spicy Shredded Pork

If you haven't yet discovered The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, you should, and soon. She is a city girl, turned ranch-wife who comes up with amazing comfort food recipes, and outlines how to make them so that anyone can follow the steps.
This particular week, I decided to make her Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork, but with some slightly healthier twists.
You'll need:
1 onion chopped into wedges
1 Pork Shoulder (it's called "Boston Butt" at the store... very appetizing, but I promise it's worth it) - I used a 3.5 lb one
S&P/Garlic Salt
1 Can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
1 bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper
Splenda Brown Sugar
Minced Garlic

Literally, this dish took me 5 minutes to prepare before I could let it sit in the oven all day. It also made my house smell amazing.
I started by preheating the oven to a low 300 degrees, then rubbed S&P and some garlic salt on the pork, and sliced some slots in the meat to stuff some of the minced garlic.

Next, I cut the onion into wedges and placed it at the bottom of my Dutch Oven.
I put the seasoned pork on top, and poured about 3/4 of the Diet Dr. Pepper over it, and added the entire can (with sauce) of the Chipotle pepppers. They are VERY spicy, so be cautious if that's not your preference. You could probably substitute Green Chiles instead.

Next, I placed my covered Dutch Oven in the oven at 300 and let it go for about 2 hours. I flipped it, let it cook another 2 hours, flipped, and another 2 hours (that's 6 hours total for you Math whizzes).

You know it's done when you can pull out the bone with no resistance. Unfortunately, Marley is allergic to meat protein, so she couldn't enjoy the actual rawhide that came out of this cooking venture :(
I took the meat out of the sauce, and used 2 forks to "pull the pork", also able at this time to separate out the fatty pieces.

Inspired by Vizard's Pork and Beans dish, I added a can of rinsed/drained Pinto beans to the sauce only; then I refrigerated both separately until the next day. When I took out the sauce in the morning, I was able to scrape the fat off the top since it had hardened.
When I was ready to serve it that night, I put the meat and sauce into a casserole dish, covered it, and baked at 350 for about 25 minutes.
I served this with some leftover sweet potatoes, and had a very happy husband!