Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Great Pork Stock up

In honor of the awesome sale on whole pork loin roasts at the new HEB, I am posting some of my favorite tried and true pork recipes. So stock up and fill those freezers for those crazy weeknights when the temptation to eat out strikes. The holidays are coming and I need a fat wallet not a fat butt from eating out all the time!

This first dish is a great one to have a busy weeknight. I serve this Slow Cooker Green Chili Pork with corn tortillas and topped with some pico de gallo. Add some black brand and corn salad and you have a great, healthy and super easy meal.

Slow Cooker Green Chili

3 pound boneless pork loin
8 oz jar of salsa Verde
3 tablespoons of lime juice

Place all ingredients in a large freezer bag and freeze.

Thaw completely and place contents of bag in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Serve with corn tortillas and salsa of your choice.

This one has been a favorite of friends and customers. The roasted pork looks amazing on its own, but once you add the tart cherry sauce it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Doesn't it look awesome!!!!

Roasted Loin of Pork with Tart Cherry Sauce (Diabetic)

1 boneless pork loin roast (about 4 pounds), fat trimmed
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons chopped shallots or onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water
1 pound fresh or frozen cherries
1/4 to 1/3 cup Equal Spoonful or Splenda

1. Lightly sprinkle roast with salt and pepper and place in a gallon freezer bag.

2. Combine wine, orange juice, shallots, garlic, ginger root, allspice and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a quart size bag and seal. Place in the bag with the roast. And tape to the bag of frozen cherries – Freeze.

3. Thaw completely

4. Place roast on rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer so tip is in center of meat. Roast at 325°F (160°C) until thermometer registers 170°F (80°C), about 2 hours

5. Heat the contents of the wine bag to boiling in medium saucepan; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.

6. Heat to boiling once more. Mix cornstarch and cold water; stir into boiling mixture. Boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in cherries; cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in Equal® Spoonful™ Slice pork and arrange on platter; serve with Cherry Sauce.

Makes 12 servings.

Note: Tart Cherry Sauce is also excellent served with venison or other game.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Serving Size: 1/12 recipe (approximately 4 ounces of meat) Calories: 315, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Protein: 33 g, Cholesterol: 90 mg, Carbohydrates: 9 g, Fiber: <1 g, Total Fat: 16 g, Sodium: 99 mg

The next one is Pork Roast with Apples and Mushrooms. This  is a wonderful fall dish. The only problem is that you have to remember to go back to the store to get mushrooms and apples for cooking day.

Pork Roast with Apples and Mushrooms

Serves 12

1 tablespoon dried thyme
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
3-4 pound boneless pork loin

½ cups apple juice
¾ cup chicken broth
¼ cup dry sherry

For serving day:
4 small cooking apples – peeled cored and cut into wedges
2 cups mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter

Combine thyme, salt and pepper. Package in a sandwich bag Combine the sauce ingredients and package in a one quart freezer bag. Place the pork loin in a gallon freezer bag, tuck in the pieces and sauce bag- seal and freeze.

To serve-thaw the roast and rub with the thyme mixture- Place on a rack and roast at 325 for 2 hours or until thermometer registers 160.

Meanwhile in a large skillet melt butter and add the sauce packet then add the apple wedges. Cook and stir until golden. Remove the apple wedges and add the mushrooms until tender.

Serves slices of pork with the apples and mushroom sauce.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Challenge: Vegetarian Freezer meals Part 1

As you might have noticed from my last post, I am have been put on a crazy diet from hell. It has something to do with fat clogging my heart and blah blah blah. Whatever.  Ok seriously, I have a family history of really high cholesterol and my father has recently had a stroke and a stent put in his heart, so I am paying attention to what the nutritionist said and taking my meds to get things under control.  Part of getting used to the diet is realizing that I am really going to have to go vegetarian for at least one meal a day. I mean, I could eat just the reduced fat and fat free varieties of everything and probably be fine, but then I feel like I would be eating more garbage than I was to begin with.  The plan is to try to keep the food as real as possible, but with some tweaking to keep things under control.

Last week a new grocery store opened up in my neighborhood. One of its great opening week deals was an awesome price on rib eye steaks. Rib eyes are super tasty, but also have about 5 grams of saturated fat per steak. In order to have a yummy steak for dinner, I needed to have a really low fat lunch that was still yummy and filling to keep me from snacking all afternoon and blowing my calorie allowance.  Curried Lentil Soup really fit the bill!

I know, your thinking lentils ???? what the heck??? But seriously, this soup was GOOD. I had been looking to find a really tasty soup that could be frozen and heated quickly for lunch and this was perfect.  With a mix of veggies, lentils and coucous it is perfect for freezing.

Doesn't it look yummy?

And look at all my little orange rimmed containers in the freezer!! Ignore the corn dgos leftover from my daughters birthday party. I am pretty sure I would drop dead immediately from eating one.

So here is the recipe - enjoy it!!!

Curried Lentil Soup

Makes about 2 1/2 quarts (10 1-cup servings)

1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 cups water or Vegetable Broth
1/2 cup dry couscous
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Combine lentils, onion, celery, garlic, cumin, and water or broth in a large pot. Bring to a simmer, then cover loosely and cook until lentils are tender, about 50 minutes.

Stir in couscous, tomatoes, curry powder, and black pepper. Continue cooking until couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Per 1-cup serving

■Calories: 107
■Fat: 0.4 g
■Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
■Calories from Fat: 3.5%
■Cholesterol: 0 mg
■Protein: 6.4 g
■Carbohydrates: 20.2 g
■Sugar: 1.6 g
■Fiber: 4.2 g
■Sodium: 280 mg
■Calcium: 34 mg
■Iron: 2.4 mg
■Vitamin C: 4.3 mg
■Beta Carotene: 48 mcg
■Vitamin E: 0.4 mg

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Challenge: Less than 10

I have been given a new challenge: Consume less than 10 grams of saturated fat a day. Well technically this is supposed to be less than grams of saturated fat and trans fats combined, but I rarely eat prepackaged foods so giving up trans fats is really easy. Saturated fat is harder because its in cheese. I LOVE cheese. Even reduced fat cheeses have around 3 grams of saturated fat in one ounce. ONE OUNCE!!! That is nothing! So you can see my challenge.

The first day I realized that my morning omelet had almost all 10 of those grams so it needed some tweeking. I switched to egg beaters from whole eggs, a nonstick pan with cooking spray from a pan with olive oil, a mix of reduced fat and fat free cheese for whole milk cheese. this brought the saturated fat down to one gram and only 104 calories. Honestly it doesn't taste the same, but everything is an adjustment.

The good thing about this diet is that it has helped me find some new and interesting recipes that I never would have tried before. The other night we had Pan- seared Portobello Mushrooms with Grilled Polenta. It was SO tasty and only a whopping 160 calories!!! I actually went overboard and ate another half of a mushroom and a couple extra polenta squares and still didn't go over 300 calories for the entire meal. That left me with plenty of calories and fat left for the rest of the evening. Sadly, my favorite reduced fat ice cream bar still has 7 grams of saturated fat but I am working on finding a flavorful alternative. ANY suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Since I know you are all dying to find out more about those healthy recipes I tried out, I will post the recipes and pics. You are really gonna love them. Even my daughter who normally hates mushrooms loved the meaty portobello.

The first thing I made was the Grilled Polenta. The name is kind of misleading because it is actually broiled not grilled, but it was still really tasty.  I doubled the recipe and we had a bit left over for my family of 5.

First you cook the polenta on the stovetop until it is thick.

Then you spread it on a baking sheet and place it in the fridge for a bout an hour.

Once it is set, cut it into squares and broil until crispy.

Grilled Polenta

Makes about 8 slices
1/2 cup dry polenta
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 vegetable oil spray

Combine polenta, water, salt, and rosemary in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring often, until polenta is very thick. Spread on a baking sheet in a 1/4-inch layer and refrigerate until completely cold, about 1 hour.

Preheat broiler. Cut chilled polenta into slices (about 2"×3") and arrange on a vegetable oil sprayed baking sheet. Place under broiler and cook until crusty, about 10 minutes. Turn and cook other side 10 minutes.

Per slice
■Calories: 32
■Fat: 0.2 g
■Saturated Fat: 0 g
■Calories from Fat: 4.3%
■Cholesterol: 0 mg
■Protein: 0.7 g
■Carbohydrates: 6.7 g
■Sugar: 0.1 g
■Fiber: 0.4 g
■Sodium: 149 mg
■Calcium: 3 mg
■Iron: 0.4 mg
■Vitamin C: 0 mg
■Beta Carotene: 10 mcg
■Vitamin E: 0 mg

Source: Healthy Eating for Life for Women by Kristine Kieswer; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

For the mushrooms you place them top side down in a saute pan with soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and red wine.

After 3 minutes flip them over and continue cooking. They were really good and had a great meaty flavor.

Pan-Seared Portobello Mushrooms

Makes 4 servings

4 large portobello mushrooms
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine or water
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Clean mushrooms, trimming stems flush with bottom of caps.

Mix oil, wine or water, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and oregano in a large skillet. Heat until mixture begins to bubble, then add mushrooms, top side down. Reduce to medium heat, cover and cook 3 minutes. If the pan becomes dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water. Turn mushrooms and cook second side until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Per mushroom

■Calories: 58
■Fat: 2.8 g
■Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
■Calories from Fat: 43.6%
■Cholesterol: 0 mg
■Protein: 3.3 g
■Carbohydrates: 4.9 g
■Sugar: 0.2 g
■Fiber: 1.8 g
■Sodium: 273 mg
■Calcium: 10 mg
■Iron: 0.7 mg
■Vitamin C: 0.5 mg
■Beta Carotene: 5 mcg
■Vitamin E: 0.4 mg
Source: Healthy Eating for Life for Women by Kristine Kieswer; recipe by Jennifer Raymond, M.S., R.D.

I served it with some beans for added protein and a couple veggies. It was really a fantastic vegetarian lowfat meal.