Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Orange-Ginger Glazed Pork Medallions

Tenderloin of pork is such a wonderful meat. Lean, nutritious, and yet so...tender. Aptly named, I guess! This recipe is based on one I clipped from a food magazine many moons was about healthy takes on comfort foods. I am not sure I'd consider this a comfort food, or even all that healthy of a recipe; the healthiness can really be attributed to the type of meat itself rather than working any healthy magic. It's really yummy though, and overall a good choice for dinner. Really quick too!

Orange-Ginger Glazed Pork Medallions
adapted from Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet Cookbook Issue April 2008

400g pork tenderloin (about one medium-sized tenderloin)
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp orange marmalade
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp siratcha or other hot sauce

Cut pork into medallions about 1.5" thick and season both sides of each one with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and and coat with olive oil cooking spray. Place pork medallions in, leaving room between each one, they don't like to be crowded. Brown on both sides. By the time they are well-browned they should also be cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. While they are cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl. Remove the pork from the pan and put on a plate to rest. Dump the bowl of marmalade mixture into the still-hot pan, this will deglaze it and let the sauce simmer down until it's thickened, maybe 3 minutes. Put the pork and any juices on the plate into the pan with the sauce; toss the medallions around to coat. Done and done!

I like to serve this with a quinoa pilaf, ideally with extra sauce to drizzle over the pilaf...but that's optional! Serves two hungry people.

Nutritional values: For half the recipe: 316 calories, 8.9g fat, 12.2g protein, 16g carbs, 0 fibre, 200mg sodium.

And because I thought it was funny, here is a picture of my actual non-styled dinner including the massive pile of greens that dwarf the medallions:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Enchiladas! Olé!

Please excuse the photo. It's mine lol. This is what happens when you take food out of the oven 10 minutes before it's done to take pictures. I promise to fully cook it next time and replace this sad picture with one that shows bubbling, melty cheese and browned tortilla edges.

Mexican food is one of my favourite cuisines, certainly in the top 5. And Taco Bell does not count as real Mexican food, in my books....loses something in the translation. When I first had authentic Mexican food, it was a revelation. Unusual, complex, warm flavours and real comfort food. Over the years my own style has evolved a bit towards more authentic south-of-the-border flavours, but is still definitely on the side of a North-Americanized version...though I do like it spicy!

These enchiladas are lower fat, higher protein and just plain fun. You can mix and match the fillings; I have four presented here, but DO NOT be intimidated by the long list of ingredients and instructions!! You can pick and choose one or a couple or do all of them at once. They freeze well, so are great for making up individual lunches, and make delicious next-day leftovers as well. It's an awesome way to use up leftover roasted chicken, too.

As cool as these are, the real star in my opinion is the guacamole. Once again my favourite Biobest yogurt steps up to the plate to make a truly special addition to a great meal. The guacamole is made lower in fat and $$ by stretching out the avocado with the yogurt. Yes, avocados are good fat, and should be a part of a healthy diet, but eating a whole avocado at a time is about 260 calories. You can have a lot more for a lot less with the yogurt added in, and trust me, the flavour does not fact it's improved and has a lighter feel to it.

Enchiladas with Chicken, Peppers, Beans, and Creamy Cheese Fillings

Makes 12 enchiladas, which is 4-6 servings
These enchiladas have chicken, beans, sautéed peppers, and a creamy cheese inside. You can mix and match two or three of these, or use all of them at once, it’s up to you!

1 leftover roasted chicken with about ½ the meat left, OR three or four pieces of roasted chicken, dark and/or white meat
1 C grated cheddar cheese
12 corn tortillas

For the pepper mixture:
2 large or 3 medium bell peppers
1 large onion
2 jalapeno peppers, 2 cerrano peppers, or any hot peppers of your choosing
½ tsp each of cumin, chilli powder
¼ tsp each of salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper

For the bean mixture (OR use a can of refried beans with chillies):
1 can of mixed beans
2 cloves garlic
½ tsp each of cumin and chilli powder

For the cheese mixture:
½ small tub light cream cheese
¾ C plain yogurt, drained to ½ C, OR ½ C light sour cream
¼ C of pepper mixture

For the sauce:
1 small can of crushed tomatoes
Hot sauce to taste

1.Prepare pepper mixture: Chop onions and peppers into a small dice. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and sauté the vegetables on medium heat until they are soft and lightly browned. Remove from heat and put into a bowl, set aside.

2.Prepare bean mixture: Spray same frying pan with cooking spray and add garlic. Once it is sizzling, add beans and mash with a fork or potato masher while stirring, until coarsely mashed. Cook for two minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

3.Pull chicken meat apart into shreds, set aside.

4.Grate cheddar cheese into a bowl and set aside.

5.Prepare cheese mixture: Put cream cheese in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the yogurt and ¼ C of the pepper mixture and stir to combine.

6.Prepare the sauce: In a bowl, mix together half of remaining pepper mixture and the can of crushed tomatoes. Blend with an immersion blender (or in a blender). Add hot sauce to taste.

7.Assemble: Pour 1/3 of the sauce into a large baking dish (like a lasagne pan) and spread to cover the bottom. On a plate or cutting board, lay out four tortillas and spoon a portion of each chicken, bean mixture, pepper mixture, and cheese mixture. Roll up and set in pan seam side down. Continue with remaining tortillas, laying them all in rows in the pan, preferably in a single layer. Cover with remaining sauce and the grated cheddar cheese.

8.Bake at 400F for about 20 minutes, just until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted and lightly browned.

9.Optional items to serve with: sour cream or plain yogurt, chopped green onions, salsa, chopped tomatoes or shredded lettuce. And, of course, guacamole!

Nutritional values: for a serving of two fully loaded enchiladas: 346 calories, 7g fat, 24g protein, 44g carbs, 3g fibre, 580mg sodium.

Sherylyn's Famous Light Guacamole:

1 ripe avocado
equal amount of Biobest yogurt (about 1/3C but will depend on size of avocado)
juice of 1/2 lime
pinch of salt
two grinds of black pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed - optional (I actually prefer it without)

Remove the avocado flesh from the skin and stone, and roughly chop. Put into a flat-bottomed bowl and mash with a fork until mostly smooth but with some texture. Add yogurt, lime juice, salt, pepper, and garlic if using, and combine with the fork. Done! So simple and lightly, deliciously fresh-tasting.