Friday, October 31, 2014

Baked Parmesan Mushrooms

I recently started a new board on Pinterest called Sunday Dinner Ideas where my friends and family can add different things they would like to try for a coming meal.  Recenlty my sister-in-law added this recipe so of course we tried it the very next Sunday and it was a delicious, simple way to add flavorful goodness to these lovely fungi!

Baked Parmesan Mushrooms
1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
Place mushrooms in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Gently toss to combine.
Place into oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until browned and tender, tossing occasionally.
Serve immediately.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad

My idea of the perfect side includes potatoes, cheese, and possibly some heavy cream.  My idea of the perfect body size for me is a size 6.  These two ideas are completely and utterly mutually exclusive...they do not lilve in the same universe and if someone tried to tell me that if I exercise more then I would be able to do both I will throw a pie in their face!

With all of that being said, I have tried to train myself to go in a different direction when it comes to a tasty side...try doing something with the other veggies I like...well when I compare broccoli, which I thoroughly enjoy, to my deep and sincere love of the potato it is like saying would I like platinum or silver.  Both lovely options but one is clearly more desired than the other.

This recipe did seem to sate my need for something delicious along side the rest of our Sunday dinner menu so alas, I was happy.  Not full on a scrumptious, cheese plate of scalloped potatoes, but happy nonetheless!

Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad
8 cups fresh broccoli, cut into very small flowerets and stems chopped into small pieces
1/2 small red onion, cut into slices and then 1/4 inch dice
6 slices bacon (or less), cooked very crisp, fat blotted off, and then crumbled
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used Four Cheese Blend from Costco, which is a blend of lower fat cheeses. I think this would be quite good without the cheese too, if you wanted less fat.)

Dressing Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup light mayo (not fat-free, which usually had added sugar)
3 T rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar, Splenda, Granulated Stevia, or Agave nectar
2 tsp.Spike Seasoning (optional, but it does add a nice flavor here)
salt/pepper to taste

Cook the bacon until it's very crisp, then blot on both sides with paper towels to remove as much fat as possible. (I use pre-cooked bacon and then crisp it in the microwave, which removes a lot of the fat.) Combine dressing ingredients in processor or in bowl with a wire whisk.

Wash and dry broccoli if needed and then chop broccoli flowerets and stems into very small pieces. Chop onion into small pieces and crumble the bacon. Coarsely chop pecans. 

Combine broccoli, onion, bacon, and pecans in large salad bowl. Mix desired amount of dressing into salad (you may not want all the dressing depending on how wet you prefer your salad.) Gently fold in cheese. Salad can be refrigerated for a few hours before serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but you may want to add a tablespoon or two of extra dressing after it's been refrigerated.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Grilled Maple Ginger Pork Tenderloin

I don't know about you but when I try to cook something in the oven during the summer months I swear the temperature in my entire house raises by about 10 degrees and suddenly all of my dinner guests are either sweating inside or swatting away the skeeters out on the back deck!

As I love to entertain I knew I just had to come up with a solution....Solution #1: use the grill instead of the oven.  Solution #2: huge fan and bug spray outside to keep the bugs away!

Success accomplished!

What happened on the grill that night was also true magic.  This original recipe called for the tenderloins to be cooked in the oven but due to my aforementioned dilemma I knew we would have to adapt this to the grill.  Luck for me my family is stocked full of excellent grillers, with the one exception....ME!

I can marinade like a champ but I have to toss the baton when it comes to the actual grill.  With all of that being said there was not a piece of tenderloin left at the end of dinner as everyone had gone back for seconds....including my 3 year old nephew!

Grilled Maple Ginger Pork Tenderloin
¼ cup organic maple syrup
¼ cup gluten-free tamari (we substituted soy sauce)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 inches fresh ginger root
1 pound pork tenderloin

In a small food processor, puree the maple syrup, tamari, garlic, and ginger until smooth. Alternatively, you can mind the ginger and garlic by hand and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Transfer the marinade to a resealable plastic bag. Add the pork and swish around until coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

Heat grill to approximately 350 degrees or medium high heat.  Remove the pork from the marinade and set on a foil-lined baking sheet.Grill for approximately 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the pork is nicely browned on top. Allow to rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, transfer the remaining marinade to a small saucepan. 
Cook on medium heat until reduced by half.
Slice the pork on the bias, and if you have roasted it in the oven you can drizzle with the reduced sauce, and serve immediately.
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