Wednesday, May 23, 2012

go to dinner

just curious what your favorite go to meal is on a night you don't feel like cooking or are busy running kids around or going to mutual or other things like that.

Mine is usually homemade mac and cheese.  It;s not my favorite, but the kids love it and i usually roast lots of veggies or have a tossed salad and some fruit to go with it. 

Disappearing zucchini orzo

I came upon this recipe in this month's facebookclub book, Animal Vegetable Miracle

Disappearing Zucchini Orzo

¾ lb pkg orzo pasta
(multicolored is fun)
Bring 6 cups water or chicken stock to a boil and add pasta. Cook 8 to 12 minutes
1 chopped onion
garlic to taste
3 large zucchini
olive oil for sauté
Use a cheese grater or mandoline to shred zucchini, sauté briefly with chopped onion and garlic until lightly golden.
¼ cup grated parmesan or any hard
yellow cheese
Add spices to zucchini mixture, stir thoroughly, and then remove mixture from heat.
Combine with cheese and cooked orzo, salt to taste, serve cool or at room temperature.

I thought it was a great light pasta.  Super fast too, it might be a new easy go to recipe on busy nights.  The kids liked it too.  I don't worry too much whether we have protein at every meal, but I think this would be really good with chicken in it.  I did add a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil to the salad at the end.  We had ours with strawberries and roasted broccoli (lots of it, because I could eat one batch myself, I always omit the garlic on it).   Shame on me, I didn't grow the zucchini myself, nor did I make my own cheese.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

This is no original/earth shattering recipe, but since they were so good, I thought that by posting it here, you will be inspired and encouraged to try it :). We had these for Reese's birthday dinner.

I bought sweet potatoes thinking we would have them mashed with dinner, but just the thought of my stove/oven being on made me sweat. Since we were grilling everything else, I decided to try grilling these. It's my new favorite way to have sweet taters.

I just searched for a recipe and found one to help me out here. But here's mine because I didn't have all the spices it called for. I baked them instead of boil them to "parboil" them. I'm sure they would be good with just s&p too.

Here's what I did:

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes (or however many you want)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp brown sugar
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 c evoo

Start by slightly cooking sweet potatoes in the oven (ya, ya ... I defeated the purpose of grilling them to avoid using the stove, but it wasn't on for long so it was ok). I cut a "slit" in the middle of each potato to help with even cooking/softening. Place sweet potatoes in 400* oven. Cook until potato is softened, but not cooked the whole way through ... I honestly have no idea how long this took b/c I was busy doing other things. Maybe 15 min??

While potatoes are in the oven, mix the salt, spices, sugar, vinegar, and oil together in a small bowl.

Once the potatoes are softened, remove from oven. Peel potatoes and cut in 1/4 in slices. Brush both sides with spice mixture.

Grill until cooked through and have pretty grill marks.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jimi's Chewy Cinnamon Granola

This is Jimi's recipe he invented after lots of tweaking and trial/error. It is my favorite! I love the consistency - it really is chewy and stays chewy for days (if it lasts that long). It's also a good mix of healthy stuff and stuff that makes it delicious. Ok, it tips the scale toward dessert...but you can tweak it to be more "healthy" if you are a weirdo.

In a large bowl combine:
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 1/2 cups chopped almonds and walnuts (we like a lot, but you can put in how much/little you like)
1/2 cup ground flax seed

In a saucepan on the stove, stir together on medium heat until well mixed and smooth. DON'T BOIL:
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup honey
1 t vanilla
2 T cinnamon (lots!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 t salt

Pour sauce over oatmeal concoction in the large bowl. Mix really well using elbow grease.

Now here is the trick of the century:
Add 2 egg whites to mix. They don't need to be whipped, just ooze them over the large bowl of goodness and mix it all together. They help the granola bind together and adds to the chewy factor (we think).

Prepare a cookie sheet lined with tin foil. Spread the mixture evenly, but don't break up the clusters too much.

Heat oven to 275, cook 20 mins, stir, then cook for another 15 mins.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sweet Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin


2 pound boneless pork loin roast, trimmed of large fat pockets
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, finely minced or crushed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub the spices all over the roast. Sear each side of the roast in a hot dutch oven with oil in it. Place the pork roast in the dutch oven and pour in the 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook at 300 for 2-3 hours. Near the end of the cooking time for the roast, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally, until it thickens.

Remove the pork from the Dutch oven, shred and place on a platter or plate. Drizzle the glaze over the pork and serve.

The original recipe said to stick it in the crock pot for 6hours. You could do that but I think crock pot stuff gets a little sad and mushy. That's why I did it like this. It turned out really good.

Found the original recipe here: