Monday, December 9, 2013

Cranberry Pomegranate Relish

Dietitian Pick of the Month: CranberriesRecipe:
Cranberry Pomegranate Relish
Makes 16 servings, ¼ cup each
Ingredients 1 ½ cups pomegranate seeds (about 2 medium pomegranates)
1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
2 gala apples, chopped
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
Wash the pomegranates with water, then cut ½” off the tops and bottoms by the stems. Score the pomegranates and immerse in a bowl of cool water. Break the pomegranates at the scored edges under water. Allow the seeds to fall to the bottom of the bowl. When all seeds are removed, discard the white floating pieces of pomegranate and drain the water out. Place the pomegranate seeds in a container and set aside in the refrigerator.
Rinse the cranberries and add remaining ingredients to a pot over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes, or until most cranberries have burst. You may use a spoon to mash cranberries to the consistency you prefer. Place in a serving bowl and cover, refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Add the pomegranate seeds just before serving to add extra crunch and flavor!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cherry Pork Tenderloin Medallions

This recipe really was a joy to make, it's simplicity made it a great week-night meal and the flavor was absolutely superb. The meal can be made corn-free by using potato starch in place of the cornstarch.

Recipe by Megan Vasquez, adapted from Linda Larsen

Time: about 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Side dish suggestions: stir-fried and steamed green beans, baked potato

- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- salt
- pepper
- 1/4 c. flour of your choice (I used gluten free)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
- 3/4 c. sweet red wine (or apple or cherry juice)
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar or honey
- 1/4 c. applesauce
- 1 Tbsp. brown mustard (Dijon works fine)
- 1 c. cherries, pitted and halved

Begin heating the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Cut the pork crosswise into 1" slices. Place between two sheets of wax paper and pound with a meat mallet or heavy rolling pin until 1/2" thick. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and flour on both sides. Add the tenderloin slices to the skillet and cook for about 10 minutes, turning once, or until pork is slightly pink in the center and internal temperature registers 155 degrees F. Remove pork from skillet and place on serving platter; cover with foil.

Add wine and mustard to the skillet; cook and stir over medium high heat until sauce thickens and bubbles. Sprinkle cornstarch over the mixture while stirring. Add cherries and applesauce; cook and stir for 2 minutes longer. Return the pork to the skillet for one minute to heat through; then serve. Spoon sauce over the pork and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tom Ka Gai - Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

I adapted this recipe from It is a quick and easy recipe if you have all the ingredients on hand. The big adaptation is that I use Gourmet Garden’s Thai seasoning in place of all the spices because it has lemongrass and I can’t get that where I live. It comes in a tube and is found in the produce section where you would normall find fresh herbs.

(Serves 6)

3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken meat
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk (use light or regular, or a combination)
2 handfuls Shitake mushrooms
1 lb. sweet peppers, sliced in rings (bell peppers may be substituted)
1 80 g tube Gourmet Garden’s Thai Seasoning (I used the whole thing, you be the judge of your own taste buds)
2 tsp. salt (plus more to taste)
fresh lime juice, to taste
cayenne pepper, optional, to taste
1 bunch thinly sliced green onion
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups cooked Rice, optional

1.      Cut chicken into thin strips and sauté in oil for to 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken turns white. To use fewer dishes, sauté the chicken in your soup pot. Set aside.

2.      Saute the mushrooms and peppers in oil until softened.

3.      Return the chicken to the pot with mushrooms and peppers and add the coconut milk and 14oz. water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add salt Gourmet Gardens herb paste, and any other seasonings to your taste. Simmer until the chicken is done, 10 to 15 minutes. 

4.      Add fresh lime juice and stir in green onions and fresh cilantro just before serving. Serve over rice, if desired.


Approximately 35 minutes prep and cook time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Awesome Easy Egg Rolls

- 1 package egg roll wrappers
- 1 large chicken breast
- 1 TBSP sesame seeds
- 3 Green Onions
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 head napa cabbage
- 1 large carrot (peeled)
- 2 TBSP or more of ginger paste (or crushed fresh ginger)
- Fresh chopped basil
- Soy Sauce (to taste)
- Hot Sauce (to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- Oil for frying and oil for sauteing

Warm about a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Chop the chicken into thin strips about 1/4" wide and 1-3" long. Add the chicken to the skillet and coat with sesame seeds. Cook until done. Remove chicken from skillet and add to a large bowl.

Chop the green onions. Chop bell peppers in thin strips like the chicken. Using a peeler, make strips of carrot. Add a little more oil to the skillet and begin to saute the veggies. While the veggies saute, chop the cabbage into bite-size pieces. Remove the veggies from the skillet and add to the bowl with the chicken. Begin to saute the cabbage with a little soy sauce and hot sauce until tender and add it and the chopped basil to the bowl. Mix well.

Begin to warm your frying oil, about 1/4-1/2" deep in the pan. Use a taller pot to prevent oil splatters. Wrap the egg rolls with about 2 TBSP of filling and fry on each side until golden brown.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Best BBQ Beans for all your summer cook-outs (recipe from last Saturday)

This is my new recipe that I'm obsessed with and I just might start making it by the gallon. In fact I've got the dry beans at the house that have been soaking and I'm going to go turn them on at lunch to start cooking :)

I used cooked bacon instead of ham (delish)
Deli mustard instead of yellow
red/purple onion instead of yellow
Just a regular green bell pepper
no chili powder or oregano

Also, I didn't read the directions of the recipe until the day of my BBQ so I obviously didn't want to let them soak in the fridge overnight. But had there been any left over, I'm sure the flavor would be even better after it soaked overnight. I just put them in a small crockpot and cooked them on slow for about 2 hours. OH SO GOOD. I could have skipped the BBQ chicken and just eaten beans and corn for dinner. My friend Jennifer did such an awesome job on these :) I just found the recipe and ingredients and she did all the work.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yummy Taco Soup

I love that Chef Meg uses smashed beans to thicken soups instead of flour! Its a great gluten-free option. This soup was tasty, I would have added black beans instead of kidney, but I had neither. I figured it had enough protein with the meat and the garbanzos. Enjoy!

Taco Soup (Chef Meg's Makeover)

Nutrition Info
  • Calories: 342.1
  • Fat: 16.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.5g
  • Protein: 20.4g


16 oz lean ground beef
1/2 C yellow onion, chopped
1 recipe taco seasoning
14 oz tomato sauce
14 oz diced tomatoes with green chilies
14 oz kidney beans, dark, drained
1 C water
1 C corn, frozen
4 oz green chilies, chopped
1/2 C garbanzo beans, smashed


Brown ground beef and chopped onion over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Drain mixture and blot away excess grease. Add spices cook for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce and cook additional minute while stirring. Add diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add corn, green chilies, and mashed garbanzo beans, simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Garnish with chopped cilantro, chips, cheese, or sour cream. (Calories not included.)

Number of Servings: 6

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user CHEF_MEG.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Buttermilk cornbread with gluten free option

Instead of using a skillet to melt the butter, I just microwaved it for simplicity's sake. This was the most moist cornbread I have ever tasted! To make it gluten free, I substituted Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour mix and a spoonful of Xanthan gum for the flour. Add the baking soda. It was a quick recipe to throw together and I had it ready ahead of time to go with my Jambalaya. Next time I want to double the recipe! Delicious!

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread
recipe image
Photo By: Jessica
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ready In: 55 Minutes
Servings: 9

"Grandma's recipe for a sweet, moist cornbread likely to become your favorite!"
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
2.Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
3.Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

This soup is one of my favorite that I've ever made! I omitted the ham because I thought it would take away from the flavor of the sausage and shrimp. For 4 people with some leftovers I used 2 bags of frozen shrimp and 2 packages of andouille sausage (the kind with 4-5 brat sized links in it). I used red chili powder instead of cayenne pepper and my homemade green chili hot sauce instead of Tabasco. I also cooked the rice separately because I don't have good experience with getting it cooked all the way in soup dishes. Then each person can add as little or as much rice as they want. The zing of lemon juice at the end is my favorite part. It is a little bit prep-work heavy with all the veggies you add to it, so I like this recipe for the weekend. Enjoy this taste of Louisiana!!!

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

Copyright 2010, Amelia Durand, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
6 to 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sausage, such as kielbasa or andouille, sliced
  • 1 pound smoked ham, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 cup seeded and diced tomato
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced OR 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons diced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon diced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 3 cups long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 to 8 dashes hot sauce, optional (recommended: Tabasco)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, deveined (20 to 24 count)


Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or black iron pot over medium heat, add the kielbasa and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned. Remove the kielbasa to a bowl, and set aside. Add the ham to the same pot and cook 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove to the bowl with the kielbasa, and set aside. Add the butter, onion, celery and peppers to the same pot and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato, garlic, jalapeno or cayenne, oregano, thyme, and tomato paste and cook until all the vegetables and herbs are blended well. Add the stock and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the rice, and add the sausage, ham, bay leaves, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the scallions, 1/4 cup of the parsley, the lemon juice and the shrimp, and stir well. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat and allow the jambalaya steam, for 15 minutes, before serving.
Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup scallions and 1/2 cup parsley, and a dash of hot sauce, if desired.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I have a feeling this month is going to be Asian themed. I got 4 heads of a cabbage like vegetable in my Bountiful Basket including Napa Cabbage, regular cabbage and Bok Choy. Yum! I've looked up a couple of fried rice recipes, hot and sour soup, and spring rolls. We'll see what I turn out.

Recipe slightly adapted from:

[my changes in brackets and italicized]

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken


  • 1 pound of boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 10-ounce can pineapple chunks (reserve juice) [I used fresh pineapple and orange juice]
  • 1/4 cup juice from the canned pineapple
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar [I used rice vinegar]
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon table salt)
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • [I added about 1 1/2 cups of fresh snow peas toward the end, they don't need to cook long]
  • [also added about 1/2 cup chopped green onions in with the bell peppers]
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger [I used 2 tablespoons]
  • [I served my sweet and sour over steamed white jasmine rice]


1 In a bowl, combine the chicken with the egg white, salt and cornstarch. Stir to coat the chicken evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

2 In the meantime, whisk together the pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, salt, and brown sugar [and about a 1/4 cup of soy sauce].

3 Heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates. Pour in the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. It's important that the pan is very hot. Add the chicken and spread the chicken out in one layer. Let the chicken fry, untouched for 1 minute, until the bottoms are browned. Flip and fry the other side the same for 1 minute. The chicken should still be pinkish in the middle. Dish out the chicken onto a clean plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

4 Turn the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. Let the oil heat up and then add the bell pepper chunks and ginger. Fry for 1 minute. Add the pineapple chunks [and snow peas] and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn the heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Timing depends on how thick you've cut your chicken. The best way to tell if the chicken is done is to take a piece out and cut into it. If it's pink, add another minute to the cooking. [at this point I added some extra corn starch mixed with cold water (shake it in a jar!) to thicken the sauce a little more]
Taste the sauce and add more brown sugar if you’d like.
Serves 4.
Simply Recipes

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kidney Bean Kalmata Olive Hummus

This recipe was sparked by the fact that I had everything to make hummus except garbanzo beans and I was craving it. I had kidney and black beans on hand, and I figured the kidney beans would match the nice purple of the kalamata olives and I went with it.

1/2 can Kidney Beans (use garbanzo or any other beans if you wish)
1 TBSP Tahini (Ground sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives (or more if desired)
1 TBSP Lemon Juice
Garlic (to taste), fresh is best, powder will also work

If you use all of the juice from the can of kidney beans, you come up with a rather runny, however smooth hummus. I think Garbanzos are a little bit drier and so you can use all the juice. If you want to play with the texture a little bit, drain and reserve the liquid and add as much or as little as you need. Another option is to use juice from the olives for more flavor. The reason I used 1/2 a can of beans is I wanted to try some different flavors of hummus to keep my palate guessing :)

Dump all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add Garlic to taste and blend again. Dip with tortilla chips, pitas, or fresh veggies and enjoy!

Makes: approximately 1 1/2 cups of dip.