Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin

honey-butter-pork-tenderloin

In searching for easy recipes, I have decided I am a hoarder, a cookbook hoarder that is! I wish I would have counted the cookbooks I have in this house, but I have already taken a load to Goodwill.

I have always been a sucker for a cookbook. I tend to pick them up on trips, at flea markets, at Goodwill, and from anyone selling them for a cause. I should never be at a loss for what to cook!

Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin is a treasure that I found while cleaning out! This recipe has an excellent flavor and requires very few ingredients, very little preparation, and very little clean-up. With just five ingredients and one pan, you will have dinner on the table in no time flat!

A package of pork tenderloin typically comes with two small tenderloin strips, not to be confused with a pork loin.  I always pick up a few packages for the freezer when I find them on sale.  They are versatile and you can find several pork tenderloin recipes on NJSD.  I cook tenderloins to around 145°F to 150°F and they come out fork-tender every time.

Honey Butter Pork Tenderloin
 
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Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1.5-lb. pour tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. In an ovenproof skillet, heat the butter and honey over medium heat until melted. Dry the tenderloin with paper towels and sprinkle all sides with Cajun seasoning and black pepper. Brown each side of the tenderloin in the honey butter. Remove from the eye and lower the heat before returning the pan to the heat if the honey begins to burn.
  2. Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat reaches between 145°F and 150°F with a meat thermometer.
  3. Remove from the oven and cover with foil for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Slice tenderloin on a diagonal and serve.

 

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Low-Carb Clam Chowder

 

low-carb-clam-chowder

I enjoy chowders during the cold months. The only problem is that most chowders have flour and potatoes which are not allowed on a low-carb diet. If you have not tried it, you may not believe that cauliflower is an excellent substitution for the potatoes in this chowder.

I use cauliflower quite a lot these days. I never had it until I was an adult. Even then, it was always raw and on vegetable (or curdité) platters. It wasn’t until several years ago that I discovered what a versatile vegetable it actually is. It’s a great rice substitute, potato substitute, and I even have a recipe for paleo grits made with cauliflower on my blog.

For this recipe, I substituted cauliflower for the potatoes. I needed some extra thickness to the chowder so once I cooked the cauliflower I used my immersion blender to puree it, leaving a few bite-size chunks. It was incredible and my family never even noticed that it was cauliflower!

If you are not interested in a low-carb New-England Clam Chowder, visit www.notjustsundaydinner.com for a full carb version.

 

Low-Carb Clam Chowder
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 4 (6.5-oz.) cans minced clams, juices reserved
  • 2 to 3 c. bottled clam juice
  • 2 thick-cut bacon slices, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, diced fine
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 8-oz. cream cheese
  • 6 tbsp. dry sherry
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • hot sauce, optional, to taste
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Drain the clam juice from the minced clams and combine with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups of liquid.
  2. Clean cauliflower and core. Place in a Dutch oven with a small amount of water. Cover and cook until tender. Remove from heat and drain well, and blend with an immersion blender, leaving a few bite-size pieces.
  3. Cook the bacon over medium heat in the Dutch oven until lightly crisp.
  4. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, and stirring cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Whisk in 2 cups clam juice, 2 c. of heavy cream, the prepared cauliflower, and cream cheese. Bring to a simmer, whisking until the cream cheese is completely melted.
  6. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and simmer about 15 minutes.
  7. Add the clams, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and sherry. If too thick add additional clam juice. Simmer until warmed through.
  8. Serve warm.

 

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata

 

spinach-and-goat-cheese-frittata
 Happy New Year!  I am hoping that each of you had a wonderful holiday season and that you are ready for a fresh start in 2017!
As always, we throw caution to the wind during the holidays as far as our meals go.  I always make homemade candy and cookies and although we give much of it away, we still eat too much!
For the past several years we have tried to eat lower carb.  It seems that Greg is much better at this than me.  Occasionally, low-carb cooking can become a little boring for me.  Also, I’ve always had a sweet tooth and sometimes I just need to satisfy the craving.  However, my mission is to find new diet-friendly dessert recipes in 2017.
We try to eat low-carb in our house for reasons other than shedding a few pounds.  Due to Greg’s ulcerative colitis, he has found that eating a low-carb diet is beneficial.  That alone is an excellent reason for us to make the change.  Studies have shown significate health benefits of a low-carb diet.  Not only is it an effective way to lose weight, but it can also improve PMS, lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and triglycerides.
This Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata is a delicious and healthy way to start your day!  Served with a side of sliced tomatoes, this will keep you full throughout the morning.  My daughter makes individual frittatas in muffin cups.  She then freezes them to pop in the microwave for a fast and easy breakfast before class.
Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 (10-oz.) boxes frozen spinach
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 to 2 lg. garlic clove, minced
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ to ⅓ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3-oz. goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat the frozen spinach in a saucepan, with about 1-inch of water until the spinach is no longer frozen. Drain well and squeeze the spinach out using a clean dish towel, set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy 10-inch nonstick skillet. Add the onions and cook until tender. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the spinach, breaking it apart with your hands, stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl beat the eggs and milk. Add salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and whisk to combine. Add the spinach mixture to the eggs and stir to combine.
  5. Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet. When hot, pour the egg mixture into the skillet, scraping with a rubber spatula. Swirl the pan to distribute the eggs and filling evenly over the surface. Once the bottom layer of the frittata has cooked pinch off pieces of the goat cheese and sprinkle over the top.
  6. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when checking the center of the frittata.
  7. Serve warm.
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Huevos Rancheros for One

Huevos-Rancheros-for-One

Finding a low-carb breakfast, that I enjoy, has been a struggle for me. I tend to crave everything that I’m told I shouldn’t eat…French toast, scones, and muffins. I’ve never been a big fan of eggs, even though I will eat cheese eggs occasionally. Omelets aren’t my thing, and bacon or sausage is just an occasional indulgence for me. What to do, what to do?

I have been on a mission to find a way to eat eggs that I actually enjoy. Even better, it was a bonus if my family liked them too. I have tried recipe after recipe. One recipe that I hit on early was Huevos Rancheros “rancher’s eggs”. After tweaking the recipe, I now make this easy and delicious dish at least twice a week.

Traditionally, these eggs are served over fried corn tortillas with refried beans. Adjust the spices and hot pepper to your taste. I like the look of the small skillet for individual servings. However, if you want to serve a family, and you don’t have several small skillets lying around, use a 10 to 12-inch skillet and increase the ingredients to your need.

 

Huevos Rancheros for One
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. diced onion
  • Chopped serrano or jalapeno pepper, to taste (a tsp. or so)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ c. canned pinto beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cumin
  • ⅛ tsp. smoked paprika
  • ⅛ tsp. ground ancho chili pepper
  • 1 egg
  • Queso Fresco
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Serve with: diced avocado, chopped tomato, chopped cilantro, sliced lime, additional Queso Fresco, sour cream, and hot sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat skillet, add olive oil and heat.
  3. Add onion, pepper, and garlic to hot oil and saute for a minute or so, until tender. Add beans, water, cumin, paprika, and chili pepper. Stir to combine and heat just until the mixture starts to bubble.
  4. Crack the egg in the center, on top of the bean mixture. Place skillet in the preheated oven and bake until the egg is cooked to your liking and the beans and hot and bubbly. Usually about 5 to 7 minutes for a well cooked egg.
  5. Garnish and serve immediately.

 

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Low-Carb Deconstructed Pizza Casserole

 

Deconstructed-Pizza

My family has been keeping me on my toes lately requesting low-carb meals. Low-carb diets can become so boring to me. I enjoy cooking, and I like to keep things exciting. Recently, I made my week’s menu using new low-carb recipes. We had a not so good Mexican dish, some soggy zucchini boats, and a chicken dish that we hope never to see again! However, I feel that it was successful because my family found three recipes that we will make again and again. This low-carb deconstructed pizza from Kayln’s Kitchen was fabulous. It’s a super easy recipe that makes me wonder why I never thought of doing this before.

I suggest that if you prefer to use a slightly larger dish, say a 9 x 13-inch, use a little more cheese than the recipe suggests. This will make your casserole gooey and delicious. Top your casserole any way you like. We had two deconstructed pizzas for my family topped differently and they were both great. Other than using a fork, and not your hands to eat, you will never miss the crust.

 

Low-Carb Deconstructed Pizza Casserole
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Italian Sausage
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 8 to 12-oz. fresh mushrooms, cut into thick slices, optional
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1½ c. grated Mozzarella cheese
  • Topping suggestions: Pepperoni, Green Peppers, Onions, Canadian Bacon, Pineapple, Jalapeno Peppers, Banana Peppers
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray a 8 x 11-inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Pour the diced tomatoes into a colander, rinse with cold water. Let tomatoes drain well, then spread them out on paper towels to dry completely, blotting with another paper towel, if needed.
  3. Using a skillet, brown the sausage in a little extra-virgin olive oil, breaking it apart as it cooks. Drain on paper-towel lined plate.
  4. Add a little more extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet and saute the mushrooms until all the liquid is released and the mushrooms are starting to brown.
  5. Layer the cooked and drained sausage in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the dried tomatoes. Layer the mushrooms over the tomatoes and then sprinkle the ingredients with oregano, salt, and pepper.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese over the entire casserole and add topping of your choice. Bake about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve hot.

 

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