Week of May 31st

MondaySkirt steak, musrhoom, and kale stir fry served over brown rice. A one pot meal = minimum clean up and more time to watch the Bachelorette! (It’s my guilty pleasure!) 

Tuesday – Grilled Salmon with grilled asparagus and rice. Thank you to everyone who told me where to find cedar planks. We did try them, but I was really disappointed! The salmon did not have the same smokey, grilled flavor like when you lay it directly on the grates. It was so bad, I didn’t even want to take a picture of it or blog about it!  So for tonight’s recipe, we went back to old faithful and laid the salmon right on the grill. I would appreciate any tips from people who use wood planks! 

Wednesday – Panini sandwich with pesto, fresh mozzarella, tomato, and prosciutto. Another easy dinner.  My husband and I worked putting up a fence around our garden tonight, so I knew we needed something easy to make.  Panini sandwich to the rescuse! I used store bought pesto. Hopefully once our garden takess off, I’ll be making homemade pesto! 

 
Ingredients         Recipe is for two sandwiches

  • Your choice of panini bread
  • 2 tablespoons of pesto
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Tomato, sliced
  • 4-6 slices of prosciutto
  1. Cut panini bread into two sandwiches
  2. Spread pesto on bottom piece of both sandwiches
  3. Lay prosciutto, mozzarella, and tomato
  4. Place on panini press or George Foreman grill. Grill until cheese is melted.

Thursday – Cheeseburgers with grilled squash and zucchni and baked beans. There’s just something about grilled veggies during summer! Can’t wait until I can use vegetables from my own garden! I season with just olive oil, salt, and pepper and use a grill basket to hold them. 

Friday Seared scallops with brussel sprouts and prosciutto. Scallops were on sale for $6.99/lb, so I decided to treat my husband and myself! I used the rest of the left over prosciutto from Wednesday night’s panini sandwich to add to the dish. It sounds like an elegant dish, but it’s very easy and quick to make!    

  
Next week I start my CSA box and I’m so excited!! CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. To learn more about a CSA box click here to read about the farm I’m getting mine from. It’s a great idea because you are supporting a local farm and you get healthy and fresh produce!  Everybody wins!

Pork tenderloin- two ways

For the week of May of 24th, I used a pork tenderloin for two recipes.  I bought an unseasoned pork tenderloin (two come in the package). The first piece I made rosemary pork tenderloin in the oven and for the second piece, I cut it in half, put one half in the freezer to save for a future dinner and cooked the other half at the same time with the seasoned strip  to make a pork stir fry with edamame and broccoli later in the week.  For other multi-use ingredient dinner ideas for this week, please click here to see what I made with kale. 

 
Dinner Idea 1: Rosemory Pork Tenderloin with Mashed Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts 

Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

  

  • 1 pork tenderloin strip
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced thin
  • Dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 6-8 slits in pork and stuff with garlic slices and rosemary. Season pork with salt and pepper and drizzle olive oil over pork, rub in.
  2. Bake on roasting pan for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes before slicing

NOTE- I cooked both the full strip and half strip together. I seasoned the half strip with salt and pepper and then set aside to use later in the week.

 

Mashed Potatoes

  • 3 potatoes washed, peeled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place potatoes in sauce pan and cover with water. Boil for about 25-30 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork
  2. Mash with potato masher or fork
  3. Add 1/2 cup milk and salt and pepper

NOTE- Whenever I make mashed potatoes, I don’t usually follow the same recipe twice. I use whatever I have in my fridge.  Sometimes milk or sour cream, or both, or sometimes butter, but not often. Gotta keep it healthy!

 

Brussel Sprouts 

 I usually roast them in the oven, but since the pork was cooking in there and left me with no extra space, I cooked these on the stove top.

  • Brussel Sprouts- as many as you want to eat. I made just enough for a serving for my husband and myself
  • Garlic, minced
  • 1 table spoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried cranberries
  1. Wash brussel sprouts, cut off ends, cut in half
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan over medium heat
  3. Add brussel sprouts and cook about 15 minutes, tossing frequently, until browned.
  4. Add cranberries and cook for 1 minute

 

Dinner Idea 2: Pork Stir Fry with Edamame and Broccoli Served Over Noodles 

  

Ingredients 

  • Use the other half of pork tenderloin cooked earlier in the week, slice into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1/4 cup sliced onion
  • 2 cups broccoli 
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tablespooon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 package of thin noodles 
  1. Cook noodles as per packaged directions
  2. Saute pork tenderloin strips (I cooked mine first for about 5 minutes because they were a little pink inside)
  3. Add edamame, onion, and broccoli and cook until tender
  4. Add sesame oil and soy sauce, stir together
  5. Add cooked noodles and stir to mix all the flavors together, add more soy sauce if you desire

Kale- two ways

This post is tied to Pork Tenderloin- two ways. All recipes can be found under the week of May 24th

 I used kale to make two dinners this week, but actually used it for breakfast and lunch too! I made a green smoothie in my Nutribullet consisting of kale, banana, apple, blueberries, and ground flax seed twice for breakfast and had a kale salad seasoned with lemon-garlic dressing for lunch. And I still had left over kale, so we’ll use it again for another dinner for next week! 

 The first kale dinner I made was a kale, shrimp, and sweet potato salad. I know, it sounds a little strange! My husband was very skeptical of the combination and I’ll admit I was a little too! But it all ended up blending so well together!  I have recently tried a lot of kale and sweet potato combinations. Click here for my super salad recipe with kale, sweet potato, quinoa, black beans, and avocado. I’m loving this combo! The second dinner I made this week with spaghetti with kale, lemon, and garlic

 Kale, Sweet Potato, and Shrimp Salad 

  
 This salad served two people; you can make it larger if you have more mouths to feed, or make a smaller version for a delicious lunch! I followed this recipe, but didn’t add the kale in the skillet at the end. I don’t like it wilted. Instead, I sprinkled it with salt, drizzled olive oil over it and seasoned the shrimp, because unless it’s shrimp cocktail, who wants plain, boring shrimp! 

 
Ingredients

  • 2  cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • Kale leaves, rinsed and chopped into bite size pieces
  • Olive oil for drizzle
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 10-12 pieces of uncooked shrimp
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Season shrimp with lime juice, fresh cilantro, and salt and pepper, set aside 
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat
  3. Add onions and red pepper flakes, cook until soft
  4. Add garlic, cook 30 seconds
  5. Add sweet potato, cook 10-15 minutes
  6. Add shrimp, cook until pink
  7. Season kale with salt and olive oil, massaging kale in hands 
  8. Serve skillet mixture over kale

 

Spaghetti with Kale, Lemon, and Garlic

For the second dinner with kale, I made a pasta dish, inspired by this recipe.  It was light and refreshing and had a little kick to it! 

  

Ingredients    Servings- 2

  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 box spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups kale, finely chopped
  • Pinch red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to package
  2. Meanwhile, chop garlic and kale
  3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat and add kale, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook 5 minutes,stirring
  4. Drain pasta and add to skillet
  5. Turn heat to low and add lemon juice and parmesan cheese, stir until all blended

 

 

Week of May 24th 

This week I’m featuring two main ingredients that will be used in different ways to make up the dinner ideas. This week pork and kale will be the stars of the show!  I will write a separate blog post about the two ingredients and the meals I chose for each of them. 

 

 
Monday– Happy Memorial Day Everyone! Enjoy celebrating, but remember our troops and everything they do for our country! 

  

TuesdayPork tenderloin with mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts.  This is the first of a two-part dinner special featured this week on the blog.

 WednesdayKale and Shrimp Skillet. This is the first of two-part special with kale! 

  

ThursdayPork stir fry with edamame and broccoli. I cooked the pork for this meal at the same time I cooked the tenderloin for Tuesday night’s dinner.  It saved me time in the kitchen; who doesn’t love that!? 

  

FridaySpaghetti with kale, lemon, and garlic. A very light and refreshing dinner with a little kick from the red pepper flakes! Goes great with a glass (or two!) of white wine!

  

Chicken sausage quinoa stuffed peppers

This is one of my “go-to” recipes, like I mentioned in my meal planning tips.  It’s also a great recipe to add whatever you have in your fridge. I’ve used rice instead of quinoa before. You can also add any kind of dried fruit, cheese, or vegetables too!  This recipe is enough for two peppers and it gives you a little extra for lunch the next day! PERFECT! That’s two meals with one pot!

 

 

 

Chop your apple and hollow out the peppers. Bake peppers at 350 degeres for 30 minutes

 

 

You only need to use 1 sausage link for two peppers. Freeze the rest for a future dinner!

 

 

First saute sausage, then add apples and cranberries

 

 

Add cooked quinoa

 

 

Add sausage mixture to peppers

  Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth 
  • 2 large bell peppers, red, yellow, or orange
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 chicken apple sausage, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup chopped red apple
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  1. Prepare quinoa as directed, substituting chicken broth for water. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cut top of peppers off, remove seeds and veins, and rub peppers with olive oil. Place in baking pan and cook for 30 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in skillet over medium heat and saute sausage until lightly browned
  4. Add apple and cranberries; cook and stir until fruit is softened, about 5 minutes
  5. Stir in cooked quinoa and heat through
  6. Fill peppers with sausage mixture

Kale, quinoa, black bean, sweet potato and avocado salad

Super foods unite! This salad is unbelievable!  The flavors all blend well together and the avocado sauce has the perfect amount of kick!  I really enjoyed making this because it has a lot of my favorite foods to cook and eat! It was the perfect size for two people; my husband and I polished if off!

 

Spiralize sweet potato, season with olive oil and salt and bake in oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes

 

 

Add avocado , cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, and salt to food processor, blend well

 

 

Season kale with salt and massage well

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 table spoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 avocado, sliced and pitted
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds and stem reomoved. You can use more if you like it really spicy!
  • Handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed.

Steps

  1. Prepare the quinoa as per packed directions. Set aside to cool.
  2. Spiralize sweet potato onto baking sheet.  Season with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
  3. Place kale in serving bowl and season with salt. Then massage kale with hands for 1 minute in order to really blend the salt.  Wisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil, juice from 1/2 lime, lime zest, and salt. Drizzle over kale. Set aside.
  4. Add avocado, 1/2 jalapeno pepper, cilantro leaves, juice from 1/2 a lime, lime zest, and salt to a food processor and blend well.
  5. Add cooled quinoa to kale, stir to combine. Distribute the kale to plates and top with sweet potato, black beans, and avocado sauce.

 

Top with roasted sweet potato, black beans, and avocado sauce

 

Week of May 17th 

Monday– Ground turkey and black bean quesadilla.  I used the left over ground turkey from the turkey tacos last week. This is another great, quick dinner idea!  Cover half the wrap with the ground turkey and black beans, layer with your choice of shredded cheese. Cook in a skillet over medium high heat, until brown and cheese is melted. Flip once.

 

Tuesday– Smoked brisket. Dinner at my parents’ house tonight.  My dad used his smoker and made some mean smoked brisket with a sauce.  He smoked an 8 lb brisket! Seasoned with mustard and a rub! Here’s the recipe!

The rub

  • ½ cup Sugar in the Raw 
  • ½ cup kosher salt 
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder 
  • 3 tablespoons paprika 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon ground coffee 
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Steps

Combine all the rub ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

1. Prepare the brisket by trimming away any sliver skin.  

2. Rub the brisket with a mustard of your choce, yellow or spiced.

3. Season the brisket liberally with the rub. Pat it in. Wrap the brisket in saran wrap or allow it to sit in a container until ready to smoke. Over night is best.

 Cooking:

1. Take your brisket out of the refrigerator to warm to room temp.

2. Prepare your smoker. I used Jack Daniels Hickory chips and apple wood. Soak the chips for thirty minutes at least before adding to your fire.

3.  Adjust the temperature of the smoker to 225 degrees.

4.  Add the brisket fat side up.

5. Cook until the internal temp is 160 degrees.

6. Take the brisket off and double wrap it in aluminum foil. Add beef stock and apple cider to the foil, about 1 cup total, and return to the smoker.

7. Cook until 185 degrees. Take off and wrap in a towel and place in a cooler to rest.

8.  Slice against the grain any where from 1 to 3 hours later.

 

Wednesday– Chicken apple sausage and quinoa stuff peppers. This recipe is fairly quick, about 30 minutes.  This will make enough for two peppers, plus leave you with enough left over for lunch the next day! Score – dinner and lunch made in one meal! 

 
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth – you can omit this and use water, but it gives the quinoa more flavor
  • 2 large bell peppers, red, yellow, or orange
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 chicken apple sausage, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup chopped red apple
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  1. Prepare quinoa as directioned, substituting chicken broth for water. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cut top of peppers off, remove seeds, and veins, rub peppers with olive oil. Place in baking pan and cook for 30 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in skillet over medium heat and saute sausage until lightly browned
  4. Add apple and cranberries; cook and stir until fruit is softened, about 5 minutes
  5. Stir in cooked rice and heat through
  6. Fill peppers with sausage mixture

Thursday– Grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomato panini. This is another easy dinner. Love those!  All you need to do is grill the chicken, toast the panani, then build your sandwich.  I like to add balasmic vinegar to mine.

 
Friday– Cheeseburgers with sweet potato fries and roasted broccoli.  Happy Friday!