Sunday, July 31, 2011

Year Round Barbecued Pork Tenderloin

Lean pork tenderloin is a lovely, tender, versatile meat that is so quick cooking it can easily be made up for a weeknight dinner, or become the star of your weekend barbecue with family and friends.

I have been using this recipe since November 11th, 2007.  I tore it from a Canadian Living Magazine - the July 2006 issue.  I have made it many many times and it is wonderful.  It is the first recipe I think of whenever I want to barbecue pork tenderloin.  The marinade ingredients are common pantry items that you likely already have on hand.

The excess marinade can be set aside and made into a sauce to be poured over the sliced meat, or on potatoes or rice.  Just put it into a saucepan with 3/4 cup of water.  Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer it to reduce, for about 10 minutes.  Then stir in 2 tsp of cornstarch that has been whisked with 1 Tbs of water.  Simmer the mixture till thickened and glossy, about 1 minute.  Lovely!  Serve it in a bowl with a spoon or a gravy boat.

The original marinade recipe calls for tomato paste and grainy mustard.  If I don't have either on hand I just use ketchup and regular mustard... it turns out very well.

And I like to make up the marinade and then pour it over the tenderloins in a large zipper lock plastic bag.  Easy cleanup that way.

Any pork leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, then thinly sliced when cooled.  It is so handy in salads, particularly Asian noodle salads, and makes lovely sandwich fillings, too.

Here is the original as printed in the magazine.

Southwestern Barbecued Pork Tenderloin
Makes 6 servings
  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 12 ounces each 
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs grainy mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1.  In a bowl, whisk together orange juice, tomato paste, mustard, garlic, chili powder, sugar, cumin, coriander, Worcestershire sauce and salt.
  2. Add pork; turn to coat
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 or up to 24 hours.
  4. Remove pork from marinade, letting excess drip back into bowl. If you are going to make a sauce, pour marinade into a small saucepan and set aside, otherwise, discard it.
  5. Place pork on greased grill over medium heat; close lid and grill, turning 3 times, until browned and just a hint of pink remains inside, about 20 minutes.
  6. Transfer pork to cutting board and tent with foil; let stand for 10 minutes before slicing across the grain. 
  7. Meanhile, if using, make up the sauce and serve it on the side.
Per serving, meat and sauce.
Weight Watchers P+ = 4.
Calories 186; Protein 29g; Carbohydrate 8g; Fat 4g; Fibre 1g.

Marinade mixed and ready for tenderloins.
Thinly sliced, after resting for a few minutes.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wrap it up in Ribbons!

I first saw this idea on Gimme Some Oven, and fell in love with the look of it right away.  I do really like yellow zucchini but for some reason, I rarely purchase it.  The original recipe has a small bunch of aspargus in it, but I knew that wouldn't fly with The Captain, so I left it out.  And I have reduced the amount of oil in the dressing as well.

If you don't have any parmesan cheese, just serve without it.

Do give this a try;  it is pretty and very tasty.  Company-worth for sure!  Here is how I prepared it.

Summer Vegetable Ribbon Salad
Makes 4 servings
  • 1 green zucchini, ends cut off
  • 1 yellow zucchini, ends cut off
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and ends cut off
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz shaved lite Parmesan, for garnish
  1. Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, shave the zucchini and carrots into long thin strips (“ribbons”).
  2. Toss the the zucchini and carrot ribbons in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and drizzle over the vegetables. Toss to coat. Garnish with the parmesan shavings.
Make sure that your vegetables are nice and dry before trying to shave them. Otherwise, you could accidentally slip and cut your hand with the vegetable peeler! Feel free to also hold them in one hand with a towel, while peeling with your other hand.

Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 3.
Calories 111; Protein 6g; Carbohydrate 6g; Fat 8g; Fibre 2g.

Sliding the peeler along the length of the zucchini creates the ribbons.

Plated and ready to enjoy.

A colorful and pretty presentation.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Curried Chicken Salad

I created this salad to satisfy a craving for curry and for something sweet to accompany it.  I used spinach and chopped cucumber for the base, and some fresh strawberries for garnish.  It is a nice light lunch on a hot summer day.

Curried Chicken Salad
Makes 2 servings
  • 5 ounces chicken breast, cooked and cut into small chunks
  • 2 Tbs fat free mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp slivered almonds
  • greens of your choice
  1. Mix chicken with mayonnaie and curry powder. 
  2. Add green onions and half of dried cranberries to chicken mixture and stir well to combine.
  3. To serve, place the greens on two plates, and spoon half of chicken mixture on top of each.
  4. Sprinkle half of remaining cranberries and 1 Tbs almonds on top of each mound of chicken.
Per serving, not including greens.
Weight Watchers P+ = 5.
Calories 198; Protein 18g; Carbohydrate 18g; Fat 5g; Fibre 2g.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Scrumptious Salmon Patties

Recently we were the lucky recipients of a couple of jars of home-canned wild Pacific Sockeye salmon.  This is my all-time favorite fish. It is truly delicious and I created these patties to take advantage of the lovely red color and wonderful taste that Sockeye affords.

It is a simple recipe.  The only seasonings are salt and pepper, along with some lemon juice and zest to enhance the natural flavor of this very special fish.

You could certainly use any canned or leftover cooked salmon you have.

Salmon Patties
Makes 2 servings
  • 6 ounces canned salmon
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • zest and juice from one fresh lemon
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 Tbs raw oats
  • dashes of salt and pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Divide into 2 patties and saute in non-stick pan that has been lightly sprayed with olive or canola oil, 4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
  3. Remove from pan and serve hot.

Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 4.
Calories 158; Protein 23g; Carbohydrate 7g; Fat 4g; Fibre 2g.

Fabulous wild Pacific Sockey salmon, canned in water.

Patties in the pan.

And plated, ready to eat.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stewed Strawberries with Yogurt and Couscous

I wanted to have strawberries for breakfast today, and made up this dish to take advantage of the color and flavor of the lovely berries we are enjoying this summer.  And couscous is a nice change from oats.

The ingredients are simple so you can easily alter the proportions to make any number of servings you like.

I think this would also be nice with fresh peaches, or blueberries, rhubarb, cranberries or even apples... and vanilla yogurt would be delicous!

Stewed Strawberries with Yogurt and Couscous
Makes 4 servings
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups strawberries, washed and cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Splenda
  • 1 cup plain fat free yogurt
  1. If you have time you can make up the couscous using the Dashboard Method, or by putting 1 cup water into a small saucepan and heating it to the boiling point.  Stir in the couscous, cover the pan with a lid and then remove the pan from the heat and set it aside for 5 minutes.  The couscous will absorb the water.
  2. Put the strawberries into a small saucepan with 1/4 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer and bubble for about 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cinnamon and Splenda.
  3. To serve, divide the plumped couscous among 4 cereal bowls.  Place 1/4 cup yogurt on top of the couscous in each bowl.  Then top with one quarter of the strawberry compote... approximately 1/2 cup.
  4. Serve while still warm.
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 3.
Calories 122; Protein 6g; Carbohydrate 24g; Fat 1g; Fibre 3g.

Cut the strawberries into chunks.

Cook until soft in a bit of water.

Put prepared couscous into bowls.

Put yogurt on the top.

And then top with stewed berries.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Albacore Tuna Takes the Plate!

Normally I keep a few different varieties of canned tuna on hand.  I always buy tuna canned in water.  And, I usually select chunk light tuna for sandwiches and sometimes use it in cooked casseroles or salads that have a lot of ingredients.

But, where the tuna is more important in a dish, where it will be highlighted, I like to use white or albacore. It is a nicer, meatier texture.  I think it tastes better, too.  I have been saving a can of albacore tuna for something special, and today I came up with this salad.

The capers add a nice salty bite, and they go very well with the red wine vinegar.  It is a filling and pretty summer dinner meal.  Of course you can easily adjust the ingredients to make more servings.

Pasta/Tuna Salad on Spinach
Makes 2 dinner servings

  • 4 ounces (dry weight) fusili or rotini pasta
  • 4 ounces (net weight) canned albacore tuna, drained
  • 1 Tbs capers, drained
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and torn into pieces
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • dashes of salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbs freshly shredded light parmesan cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, mix tuna with capers, olive oil, vinegar, green onions, salt and pepper.  
  3. Toss pasta into mixure in bowl, and refrigerate till chilled.
  4. To serve, spread 1 cup of spinach leaves on a plate.  Cover with half of the salad mixture and then sprinkle 1 Tbs parmesan cheese over the top.
  5. Repeat with rest of spinach, salad, and cheese.

Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 9.
Calories 328; Protein 25g; Carbohydrate 46g; Fat 7g; Fibre 7g.

Draining the cooked pasta.

Mixing salad ingredients.

Plated on the spinach, topped with parmesan and ready to enjoy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Easy and Delicious Ribs

I love ribs.  I am always thrilled to have them when someone else is cooking them.  I have never made them myself and was pleasantly surprised, when visiting my Sister recently, that she offered to make some for dinner one night.  She baked them in the oven, and shared her method and sauce recipe with me.

She put about 1-1/2 pounds of pork rib ends in a roasting dish, and roasted them for 2 hours at 325°F.  Then she poured off the juice that had formed in the pan, and smothered the ribs with her Barbecue Sauce.  Then she put the ribs back into the oven for another hour to finish cooking.

Mmmm...  you really have to try this.  So easy and so delicious.

Barbecue Sauce
Makes about 1-1/2 cups
  • 2 Tbs instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granular Splenda
  1. Dissolve instant coffee in the warm water, then mix with the other ingredients.
Per 1/4 cup serving, sauce only.
Weight Watchers P+ =1 .
Calories 28; Protein 0g; Carbohydrate 7g; Fat 0g; Fibre 0g.

This sauce can also be used if you prefer to grill your ribs. Just paint it on the top of the ribs when placing them on the grill rack, and again after you flip them over.

It can be made up ahead of time and stored in the fridge to be used when you need it.... It is very versatile and great with beef, pork or even poultry.

If you use a non-stick spray in the pan, the cleanup is extremely easy... the lower oven temperature prevents the sauce from burning.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Apple of My Eye!

This is a wonderful sweet apple treat that my Sister introduced me to a few weeks ago.

And it is ready in just a couple of minutes.

You can enjoy it whenever the need for something sweet strikes. without any guilt!

Just take any apple of your choosing, wash, core, and slice it into a serving dish.  Add a few dashes of cinnamon, and a spoonful of granular SplendaMix and enjoy!

You can eat it with your fingers (and then lick them!), or use a fork if you prefer.

This makes a perfect afternoon snack, or a light dessert.  Be sure to share it with all your friends...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Warm Quinoa and Strawberries Breakfast Bowl

I knew I wanted to have hot cereal for breakfast this morning - and decided to chop up some fresh strawberries to add to it... quinoa is always a nice change from oatmeal.  It has lots of protein, and the added fat from the almonds helps this breakfast stick to your ribs till lunchtime.

If you like, you could use maple syrup in place of the honey, or even Splenda, to lower the P+ count by one.

Warm Quinoa and Strawberries Breakfast Bowl
Makes 2 servings
  • 1/2 cups raw quinoa
  • 2/3 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
  • ½ cup Almond Breeze, original unsweetened
  • ½ cups water
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbs slivered almonds 
  1. Place quinoa, milk, and water in a small  saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in strawberries, cinnamon, and honey.
  4. Remove pan from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Divide the mixture into 2 cereal bowls.
  6. Sprinkle 1 Tbs slivered almonds on top of each bowl,  and serve. 
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 6.
Calories 252; Protein 7g; Carbohydrates 38g; Fat 8g; Fibre 5g.

Vanilla yogurt makes a great, tasty topping.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Warm Peanut & Sesame Noodles

I found this recipe in the September 2010 issue of Health Magazine and have been wanting to make it for some time... I had toyed with the idea of reducing the amount of oil used, in order to lower the P+ value of the dish, but decided to leave it alone and make it up as written the first time I made it.

It is delicious!  Served with some stir-fried veggies, it makes a lovely evening meal.  Add a few chopped peanuts to the top, if you like.  I am sure it would also be very good cold... as the basis for a salad.  And, next time, I will reduce the amount of oil by half - you will never miss it - so I am giving nutritional information for that change, too.

Warm Peanut & Sesame Noodles
Makes 4 servings
  • 2 Tbs canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 6 ounces dry whole wheat spaghettini or vermicelli
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Cook pasta according to your package directions, drain and set aside, keeping warm.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on medium low heat and then add the minced garlic.  Saute till the garlic is fragrant, but do not let it brown.
  3. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, peanut butter and boiling water to the garlic, and stir well.  Cook, stirring continually until the mixture is smooth and thick and hot.
  4. Remove from heat.  Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce.
  5. Divide and serve on 4 plates.
  6. Top with the green onions and crushed red pepper.
  7. Serve immediately.
Per serving, approximately 2/3 cup each.
Weight Watchers P+ = 8.
Calories 316; Protein 10g; Carbohydrate 39g; Fat 14g, Fibre 6g.

Per serving, approximately 2/3 cup each, using half oil called for.
Weight Watchers P+ = 7.
Calories 286; Protein 10g; Carbohydrate 39g; Fat 11g, Fibre 6g.

Tossing the sauce with the cooked pasta.

Plated and ready to enjoy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fruity Nut Butter Oatmeal

This is a fun and tasty twist to morning oats.  The possibilities are really endless. 

I used dried cranberries, but you could substitute any dried fruit you like.... raisins, cherries, blueberries, or even a combination of several.

You can use non-dairy milks if you prefer.  And although I chose almond butter, you could try cashew butter or peanut butter.

If you want to lighten it up, use Splenda in place of the brown sugar, and a reduced calorie peanut butter.

It is both delicious and very filling.  Of course the recipe can be halved or even quartered, very easily.

Fruity Nut Butter Oatmeal
Makes 4 servings
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup nut butter
  1. Boil the water in a medium saucepan.  Add oats and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Reduce the heat and stir in the milk and dried fruit.  Continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the brown sugar and nut butter. 
  4. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir and divide into 4 bowls to serve.

Per serving, using brown sugar.
Weight Watchers P+ = 8.
Calories 288; Protein 7g; Carbohydrate 45g; Fat 10g; Fibre 5g.

Per serving, using Splenda.
Weight Watchers P+ = 6.
Calories 219; Protein 7g; Carbohydrate28g; Fat 10g; Fibre 5g.

 Stirring in the nut butter...

results in caramel colored oats.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Pumpkin Butter to the Rescue!

Pumpkin butter is something that I like to make in the Fall, but lately I have had a real sweet tooth and thought that this might appease it... it did, and rather nicely!

It is a lovely color and very tasty.  If you want to reduce the calorie count even more, use Splenda or Stevia in place of the honey.  The taste will be slightly different, but still delicious. You could also used mashed orange sweet potatoes in place of the pumpkin.  You know... the Louisiana kind we Canadians like to call yams.

Pumpkin butter makes a great spread on crackers or toast.  It can be swirled into softened cream cheese for a nice party dip, or even used as a topping on yogurt or ice cream.  Mmm.  You can even make soup with it if you mix it with cream or milk.

Pumpkin Butter
Makes 1-1/2 cups
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave a small opening to vent.
  2. Microwave about 5 minutes, until mixture is thick. Let cool to room temperature and serve.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers.
Per 2 Tbs serving, made with honey.
Weight Watchers P+ = 1.
Calories 22, Protein 0g, Carbohydrate 6g, Fat 0g, Fibre 1g.

It's just as good right from the spoon!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

A Family Favorite - My Sister's Borscht

I have never tasted borscht that is as good as what my Sister makes. Over the past several years, I have tried many recipes... vegetarian, with beef, or with just beef stock... but they just don't cut it.  Hers is simply the best.

On a recent visit, my dear Sister offered to make a batch, so that I could see how she does it.  I really enjoy being in the kitchen with her, and it was a rare treat to chat and chop veggies together... The borscht was as delicious as what I remembered.  And, the secret is the pork, I think. 

Apparently this soup freezes well, and I can attest to the fact that it really tastes even better after sitting in the fridge overnight.  It makes a hearty, homey meal.  Enjoy!

My Sister's Best Borscht
Makes 6 servings
  • 1 pound lean stewing pork, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 6 cups water
  • dashes of salt and pepper
  • 2 small red or white potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 large stalk celery
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 large beets, peeled
  • greens from both beets
  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped quite fine
  1. Saute the chunks of pork in the oil, turning often to make sure they brown evenly.
  2. Add 6 cups of water, along with a dash of salt and pepper.  Bring to boil, and then turn down heat and let simmer for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until meat is tender.
  3. While meat is cooking, cut vegetables into 1 inch pieces, and set aside.
  4. When meat is tender, add cut vegetables to the pot and cook another 2 hours.
  5. To serve, ladle into bowls and top with sour cream.
Per serving, without sour cream.
Weight Watchers P+ = 5.
Calories 197; Protein 19g, Carbohydrate 17g, Fat 6g, Fibre 3g.

Cut the chunks of meat and veggies any size you like.  And, you could puree some after it has cooked, for a smoother texture.

Chopped veggies, set aside

A peek at the simmering goodness!

Dished up and ready to enjoy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Moroccan Couscous

This side dish makes up very quickly and is a nice addition to any week night meal.  You can use any dried fruit that you have on hand such as prunes, dates, apricots, cranberries, or raisins. 

Moroccan Couscous
Makes 2 servings
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 Tbs dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2 Tbs raisins, chopped
  • 2 Tbs sliced almonds
  • dash of cumin
  1. Pour the boiling water over the couscous, in a large bowl.  Let stand 5 minutes till couscous is plump and water has been absorbed.
  2. Add dried fruit and almonds to bowl, and mix. 
  3. Sprinkle cumion over the top and stir in.

Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 4.
Calories 163; Protein 5g; Carbohydrate 29g; Fat 4g; Fibre 3g.

Select your ingredents.

Couscous plumped and waiting for fruit, nuts, and spice.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Chocolate Microwave Muffins

This recipe is almost the same as the Moist Microwave pumpkin Muffin  that I have already featured... one step beyond.... with the addition of cocoa powder.  

It is a perfect way to get a chocolate fix with only a few calories and little fat.  It just cries out for a creamy topping and fresh fruit.

Chocolate Microwave Muffins
Makes 2
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 2 Tbs spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 packets Splenda
  • 2 Tbs cocoa powder 
  1. Spray 2 small microwave-safe bowls with non-stick spray.
  2. Mix ingredients well and divide into 2 bowls.
  3. Cook each one on HIGH for 3 minutes.
  4. Leave cool about 5 minutes in the dish, then turn out and leave another 5 minutes before serving.
  5. Top with fresh fruit and yogurt, or ice cream.
Per serving, without topping.
Weight Watchers P+ = 2.
Calories 85; Protein 6g; Carbohydrate 14g; Fat 1g; Fibre 5g.

You could use applesauce or mashed ripe banana in place of the pumpkin.
You may need to adjust the cooking time for your own microwave oven.