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Friday, February 17, 2017

Chili Dijon Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 pkg. Pork Tenderloin, trimmed (comes with 2 pieces)
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, unpeeled, halved lengthwise
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Pork Brine
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes
Spice Rub
  • 1 tablespoon EACH chili powder, garlic powder, brown sugar,
  • 1 teaspoon EACH salt, cumin, ancho chili powder, onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH smoked paprika, dried parsley, dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Chili Dijon Glaze
  • 1/2 cup Asian sweet red chili sauce 
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon reserved Chili Rub (in directions)

  1. BRINE: In a gallon-size freezer bag, mix salt with warm water. Add the remaining Brine ingredients, followed by pork. Brine for exactly 20 minutes then remove pork from brine and pat dry. The pork becomes mealy if left in the brine any longer.
  2. CHILI RUB AND GLAZE: Meanwhile, whisk together all of the Chili Rub ingredients in a medium bowl. Remove 1 teaspoon Rub to a separate medium bowl and whisk in the Chili Dijon Glaze ingredients. Set aside.
  3. VEGETABLES: Add green beans to one half of a large rimmed baking sheet and the potatoes to the other. Toss green beans with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon Chili Rub, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon Chili Rub, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Arrange green beans down the center of the baking sheet as pictured; some will overlap. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on both sides of green beans.
  5. PORK: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk together remaining Chili Rub spices with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Rub patted dry pork all over with Rub.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When oil is very hot and smoking, add pork tenderloins. Sear each side until browned, approximately 1 minute per side. Place tenderloins lengthwise on top of green beans without touching each other. Separate out 1/4 cup Chili Dijon Glaze and brush it evenly over pork.
  7. ROAST: Bake until pork registers 145 and 150 degrees F (63 and 65 degrees C) at the thickest part of the tenderloin, 25-30 minutes. This means the pork will be juicy and slightly pink in the middle. When pork is done, let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Your vegetables should be done at the same time as the pork, but if not, then remove pork to cutting board, tent with foil, and continue roasting vegetables an additional 5-10 minutes or until tender.
  8. SERVE (optional): Transfer vegetables to platter and pour over any accumulated juices. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Cut pork into thin slices and place over vegetables. Serve with remaining Chili Dijon Sauce if desired.


Easy! One Skillet Creamy Cilantro Lime Chicken


4 boneless skinless chicken cutlets (or chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness or not if already thin)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
ground cumin
chili powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled and minced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
zest from 1 medium lime, plus
the lime juice or about 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
kosher salt, to taste


Heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, season both sides of the chicken cutlets with pinches of kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. I just eyeball the measurements.
Once the pan is hot, add in the oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, work in batches (if needed) cooking the chicken for 4 minutes on both sides. Transfer to a large plate or platter and set off to the side.
Reduce the heat under the pan to medium-low, add in the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the chicken broth, brown sugar, Dijon, lime zest, and juice. Use a wooden spoon to stir and scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
Once combined, pour in the heavy cream and add in the cilantro and stir. Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the pan, spoon the creamy sauce over top and cook until the chicken is no longer pink and is fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
If desired, serve with extra cilantro sprinkled over top.  (I served mine with cilantro lime rice and roasted broccoli.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Copycat Whole Foods Tabbouleh Salad

So I've been in love with this salad at Whole Foods for quite some time; it's in the prepared foods section, so luckily the list of ingredients is stated above it on a card.  The challenge was to guess the actual amounts of ingredients, but luckily, screwing up a salad is pretty difficult.  You can even add additional veggies to it; cucumbers, peppers, carrots...the crunch would be amazing! Enjoy!

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup dried quinoa
1/4 cup dried bulgur 
1 3/4 cup water or chicken broth (I used broth.)
1 cup kale, chopped finely  (I put one huge handful into the food processor and chopped finely.)
1 roma tomato, diced
1/8 cup red onion, diced small
2 green onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
Italian, flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional) (I didn't bother using.)

To make vinaigrette, whisk vinegar, mustard, oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.  Slowly stream olive oil into the vinegar mixture and whisk briskly.  Beat lemon juice into the mixture.  Set aside.

To make salad, cook quinoa and bulgur according to package directions.  Mine says to cook 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup liquid, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes and let rest for 5.  For the bulgur, mine says to cook 1/4 cup bulgur with 3/4 cup liquid, bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes and let rest for 5.  *Allowing it to rest is important.  You want all the liquid to have been absorbed before combining it with the rest of the ingredients.

While grains are cooking, chop (food process) kale, onions (red and green), and tomato (and parsley if using).  Combine all salad ingredients into a large bowl and mix.  (And I actually didn't even wait for grains to cool.  Adding them to the fresh ingredients nicely perfumed the onions and brightened/softened the kale a bit.)     

I did not serve all of the salad in one sitting, so if you plan to do the same, I wouldn't dress the entire thing with the lemon vinaigrette; I would dress it as you eat it (or allow people to dress their own, rather).  So in my refrigerator, I have the dry salad and the dressing stored separately.  When ready to eat, ever so slowly, drizzle the lemon vinaigrette onto the salad.  DO NOT USE IT ALL!!  Continuously stop to mix to check how much you've moistened the salad, as you don't want the salad to be submerged in the vinaigrette.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate when you need to stop yourself from eating the entire bowl.

*Whole Foods Prepared Foods Section

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Copy Cat Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

1lb. ground chicken 
2 green onions, chopped 
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper 
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro 
2 teaspoons minced garlic 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
1 lime, cut in half 
4 slices pepper jack cheese 
4 buns, toasted

For the guacamole: 
1 avocado 
garlic powder 
salt & pepper

1. Combine chicken, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and juice of half a lime in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined, then form into 4 patties and spray each side generously with non-stick spray. 
2. Heat a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Grill burgers for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked all the way through. Place a slice of cheese on top of each burger, then cover with a large pot lid, and allow to melt for about a minute. 
3. Remove burgers to a plate, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Place each burger on a toasted thin bun, then top with guacamole. 
4. For the guacamole: Mash all ingredients together with a potato masher or fork.


Easy! Chicken Parmesan Casserole


   1.25 to 1.5 pounds thin-sliced breasts or chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
3 cups marinara
2 1/2 cups dry rotini pasta
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
chopped fresh basil

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Toss the chicken with the Italian seasoning and set off to the side.
Into a casserole dish, add the marina, pasta and broth. Stir to combine before adding the chicken in an even layer on top.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Uncover and continue to bake for 10 minutes.
Remove and sprinkle with the Parmesan, mozzarella and then the breadcrumbs. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese has melted, breadcrumbs are golden and sauce is bubbling.
Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes before serving with lots of fresh basil over top.

Easy! Chicken Noodle Skillet


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup chopped carrot
  • ¾ cup diced celery
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3½ cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream (milk can be substituted)
  • 6 ounces wide egg noodles (about 3¾ cups)
  • 1½ cups cooked and shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken works well here)
  • salt and pepper to taste

  • Directions:
    1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the carrot, celery, and onion.  (Season your veggies with salt and pepper while cooking.)  Sautee in the butter until veggies are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30-60 seconds.
    2. Add the flour and cook for about 3 minutes or until mixture is thick. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and cream (or milk) and bring the heat up to medium-high. Add the egg noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes or until noodles are soft.
    3. Add the chicken to the noodles for the last minute or two of cooking to heat the chicken through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

    (Note: If the dish needs "thinning out" (the noodles will continue to absorb the liquid), you can add more milk or broth.)


    Monday, January 30, 2017

    Cajun Pork with Tangy Pineapple Glaze

    seriously. freaking. delicious.
    new fave.

    i halved this for my little family, but i could eat this for a week straight, so next time... 
    guess what?  i'm making this full recipe.

    • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
    Pork Brine
    • 2 (14- to 16-ounce each) pork tenderloins trimmed of excess fat
    • 3 tablespoons salt
    • 3 cups warm water
    • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 cup ice cubes
    Cajun Rub
    • 1 tsp. EACH salt, garlic powder, chili powder, ground cumin, brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp EACH pepper, onion powder, dried thyme, smoked paprika
    Tangy Pineapple Glaze
    • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (not breakfast imitation syrup)
    • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon French/yellow mustard
    • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
    • 1-2 tablespoons cider vinegar (2 for "tangier")
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (I used 2 drops lemon essential oil.)
    • 1 teaspoon reserved Cajun Rub Spices from above
    • Add later:
    • 1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice

    1. In a gallon-size freezer bag, mix salt with warm water. Add the remaining Pork Brine ingredients, including the pork. Brine for exactly 20 minutes then remove pork from brine and pat dry.
    2. The pork becomes mealy if left in the brine any longer.
    3. Meanwhile, whisk together the Cajun Rub spices in a small bowl. Remove 1 teaspoon for the Tangy Pineapple Glaze. Whisk together remaining rub spices with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Rub the loins all over with this Wet Rub. Set aside.
    4. Whisk together all of the Tangy Pineapple Glaze ingredients EXCEPT for crushed pineapple. Remove 1/4 cup Glaze for basting and set aside (“Basting Glaze”).  Add the remaining Glaze to a small saucepan along with crushed pineapple (“Pineapple Glaze”). Set aside.
    5. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
    6. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When oil is very hot, add pork tenderloin. Sear each side until browned, approximately 1-2 minutes per side. Place tenderloin on rack in shallow roasting pan or on a lightly greased rack placed on a baking sheet and baste with half of the Basting Glaze.
    7. Roast at 425F degrees F, for approximately 25 to 30 minutes, basting once with remaining Basting Glaze after 15 minutes. When done, an internal thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin should register between 145 and 150 degrees F (63 and 65 degrees C). This means the pork will be juicy and slightly pink in the middle. Let cooked pork stand 10 minutes before slicing.
    8. Meanwhile, heat Pineapple Glaze in the small saucepan just until warmed.
    9. To serve, slice tenderloin into thin slices and top with Tangy Pineapple Glaze.