Archive | March, 2013

Spinach Strawberry Salad

19 Mar

A few months ago, boyfriend and I went to dinner with his parents and his mom ordered this salad and I have been craving it since. It looked delicious. I decided I needed to eat my own version. It is officially the first day of spring and this salad is a perfect way to start the new season!It is light, crisp, and good for you. Perfect.

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Ingredient List:
– Spinach
– Strawberries, sliced
– Walnuts, toasted & candied
– Red onion, sliced thinly
– Shredded chicken
– Gorgonzola cheese

Dressing:
– Olive oil
– Balsamic vinegar
– Honey
– Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. I actually used leftover shredded chicken I had from a different recipe for this. However, normally when I am just using chicken in a dish, I will boil it with salt, onion, and garlic. Once it is cooked, shred and you’re good to go. Easiest way to cook chicken ever.

2. Rinse your spinach well and distribute in your salad bowls.

3. Thinly slice strawberries and red onion. Top your spinach with strawberries, red onion, and gorgonzola cheese.

4. Toast your walnuts in a small pan on medium heat and toss in some sugar until the walnuts are caramelized. Add the walnuts to your salad.

5. Mix your dressing — olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper to taste. Dress your salad and eat up!

Easy as can be and the perfect combination of greens and sweetness with the strawberries and honey.

The Boyfriend Rates It:4
This is a really good salad. The the flavors of the red onion and the sweet strawberries go nicely together. Great summertime salad.

Also…still hoping for some pan recommendations, please?

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Butternut Squash Mash

18 Mar

Butternut squash has been my favorite vegetable as of late. At the local grocery store, it is abundant and cheap. I have made a butternut squash soup out of it, simply roasted it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, butternut squash risotto, au gratin, and this – butternut squash mash. Butternut squash mash is a great replacement for its high carbohydrate buddy, potatoes. It also lends this great nutty, sweet flavor that tastes amazing with pork chops.

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The best part of this side dish? It’s ridiculously easy.

Ingredients:
– Butternut squash
– Brown sugar
– Walnuts, toasted
– Butter
– Salt & pepper

Directions:
1. The easiest way to prepare the butternut squash is to first peel the squash. Then, remove the seeds and quarter the squash into large pieces. Then, in a boiling pot of water, add a pinch of salt and boil the squash until fork tender.

2. Once the squash is mash-able, transfer it to a large bowl. Using a potato masher, treat the butternut squash like mashed potatoes. Once it is the consistency you like, add some butter, salt, pepper, and a touch of brown sugar to bring out the sweetness.

3. Finally, in a pan, quickly toast some walnuts and serve over the butternut squash.

I enjoyed this butternut squash with some crock pot pork loin, half an avocado, and steamed broccoli. Perfect dinner!

The Boyfriend Rates It:3.5
There’s nothing wrong with this dish except that its a side dish. Though its not as good as buttery regular potatoes, its a great healthy version.

And also a question if anyone sees this….
I need new pans. Preferably one large pan to make just about everything anyone small pan for eggs. I live in a very small space so I need multiple-use, practical pans. Any suggestions?

Pork Loin Breakfast Tacos

11 Mar

So…I love leftovers. I know some crazy people refuse to eat anything the second day, but every night when I make dinner, I make four servings – two for dinner that night and two for lunch for the boyfriend and I the next day. Yet, the other day, I made shredded pork loin in the crock pot and we had leftovers for days…I can’t eat it that often (plus, I had plans for meals already for the rest of the week). So that’s when I decided to make an awesome decision — make shredded pork loin breakfast tacos!

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They were a hit at breakfast time with the boyfriend! This made us each 2 tacos

Ingredients:
– Leftover shredded pork loin
– 2 eggs, scrambled
– Tomato, chopped
– Avocado, sliced
– Cilantro
– Goat cheese (this is just what I had in the fridge but any cheese you like would work here)
– 4 small corn tortillas

Directions:

1. If you don’t have left over pork loin from this recipe, you need to save this recipe for tomorrow morning and make the pork loin tonight!

2. Scramble two eggs with salt, pepper, and a dash of milk.

3. Divide up all your ingredients into four portions and then make your tacos! Add the eggs, shredded pork loin, diced tomato, avocado slices, cilantro, and goat cheese. A great addition to this would be any salsa you have in your fridge or some Tapatio.

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The Boyfriend Rates It:4

These tacos are pretty good. The pork rested overnight in it’s own juices, making it super moist by the time we had them for breakfast. The addition of the egg made it filling and the fresh veggies added freshness and great flavor.

Crockpot Pork Loin

10 Mar

I know it has been quite some time since I made a post but my iphone was stolen and I had no phone (which means no camera) for the past month plus the boyfriend and I are taking this online class that has been great, but time consuming…But, I still have been eating dinner and this crockpot pork loin is one of those meals that I am definitely making again!

Pork loin is a big hunk of meat. Like, you’re best off buying it at Costco (it is much cheaper here than if you buy a small loin at the regular grocery store). So the other day, boyfriend and I had a friend take us to Costco and we bought ridiculous amounts of food that will last forever in our freezer – talipa fillets, a huge hunk of pork loin, Clamato (for all those micheladas – this one doesn’t go in the freezer though), and a ton of frozen fruit for the breakfast smoothies we have in the mornings. Boyfriend butchered this pork loin into a 2 good chunks of pork loin and many, many pork chops.

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This pork loin made me love my crockpot. Especially because about two weeks prior, I had tried to make the same recipe but didn’t fully click the crockpot on so came home to cold, raw pork in the crockpot. I was very disheartened at the waste of the meat and the lack of dinner that night so it took me a few weeks before I could re-attempt this recipe. But goodness. It’s almost to re-up on pork at Costco because I want to make this again!

Ingredients:
– Pork loin (probably 2-3 pounds…because the boyfriend butchered it, it is hard to know exactly how big it was)
– Half an onion (not chopped – just leave it)
– 3 garlic cloves, whole
– Salt and pepper
– Garlic powder
– Onion powder
– Parsley
– Oregano
– Cayenne pepper
– Chicken broth (enough to fill your crock pot – for me, this was 4 cups)

Directions:
1. Mix together all your spices to become a dry rub for your pork loin – salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Then, rub this all over your pork loin.

2. In a heavy bottomed pan (I used my dutch oven), heat up the oil of your choice. On high heat, sear all sides and edges of the pork loin until the dry rub creates a nice crust on the meat.

3. Then, add the onion, garlic, and pork loin to your crock pot. Fill with chicken broth and set your crock pot on low.

4. I left this in the crock pot for about 12 hours. I made it at 6am before I went to work, came home and checked on it, shredded it, and then left it in the crock pot until dinnertime around 6pm. After about 8 hours, the pork should just pull apart with a fork — it is that tender. You could probably eat it at that point, but I thought I had boyfriend shred it and then kept it in the crock pot so that literally each bite of pork loin was juicy and flavorful. Sooooo good!

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I served ours with the delectable butternut squash mash, half an avocado, and oven roasted brussel sprouts. I am starving now that I have wrote about this….

The best part? It makes enough for dinner, for lunch the next day, for lunch the day after that, and breakfast tacos that I will write about soon!

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The Boyfriend Rates It:4

This pork loin was delicious and juicy. Having 12hrs to cook it really made it fall of your fork tender and shredding it for the last 3-4 hrs really lets the broth soak into each piece.