It’s not easy to make a nice Valentine’s Day dinner mid-week, when there is work, school, and activities. But I was determined to do it yesterday. I’ve been looking through old recipes lately and I knew exactly what I wanted to try: balsamic roast pork tenderloins. This is a recipe I made often when Drew and I were first married. I’m not sure why it’s been so long since I prepared it, but I’m happy to say it will be back in the meal rotation.
The recipe is simple (SO simple), and my kids all loved it, too. Laura especially loved the bits of roasted garlic that flavor the pork.
Balsamic Roast Pork Tenderloins
2 pounds pork tenderloins (1 package with 2 tenderloins)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, cracked
Kosher salt salt and black pepper
2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Trim silver skin or connective tissue off tenderloins with a very sharp thin knife.
Place tender loins on a nonstick, rimmed cookie sheet. Coat tenderloins in a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, rubbing vinegar into meat. Drizzle tenderloins with extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat. Cut small slits into meat and disperse chunks of cracked garlic cloves into meat. Combine salt and pepper with rosemary and thyme and rub meat with blend. Roast in hot oven 20 minutes.
Let meat rest, transfer to a carving board, slice and serve.
I served this with baked sweet potatoes and lemon-Parmesan roasted broccoli. This dish would be great to prepare for company because you get a fantastic result with very little effort! Enjoy!
With the kids all in school, we are back to a crazy schedule that includes a bunch of activities. We have Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, CCD, afterschool electives… and that’s just for beginners. Add in my part-time job at the library, trying to keep up with my blog, and family commitments and you have a full calendar! But a full schedule is no excuse for not cooking. You just need to plan ahead!
Here are my top 5 ways to save time in the kitchen on weekdays.
Menu plan. I make a home-cooked meal for my family six nights a week, and being organized is key. I’ve been menu planning since our pre-kid days. I look at what I have in my pantry and freezer, check my grocery store’s sale flyer, and go from there.
Be your own sous chef. Prep as much as you can ahead of time. Have an open burner on the stove? Fill a pot with water and cook rice, pasta, or quinoa for the week. Roast a pan of vegetables or boil them so you can reheat or quickly add them to dishes. Earlier this year I read An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler, and this simple tip stuck with me and has made a huge difference in the way I cook.
Cook once, eat twice. Making a meatloaf? Buy enough ingredients to make two and freeze one. I also always try to keep the following pre-cooked items in my freezer: taco meat, browned ground beef, and shredded chicken. Within 20 minutes I can pull together a quick pot of soup or chili.
Save the culinary experiments. We all love trying out new recipes, but save the multi-step gourmet dishes for weekends or days when you have extra time.
Keep a file of quick-fix family favorites. Whether it’s juicy burgers, a fresh pasta dish, or a comforting casserole, it’s a relief knowing that you can throw together a home-cooked meal that everyone will love.
Turkey Divan Casserole is something I’ve been making for over 10 years. I occasionally change up the recipe depending upon what I have in my fridge (oh, that could be #6 – Be flexible). Don’t have rice? Use stuffing or egg noodles. Don’t have turkey? Use chicken. That’s the beauty of a casserole. It lends itself to whatever’s leftover. Country Crock Original Spread is delicious in this recipe. It contains 0 g trans fat per serving, no partially hydrogenated oils, and no cholesterol. Additionaly, it has 70% less fat than butter and 30% fewer calories than butter per serving.
Turkey Divan Casserole
Transform boring leftovers into delicious comfort food with this #QuickFixCasserole.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 2-quart casserole dish, layer the cooked rice, the turkey, and the broccoli.
Melt 3 Tbsp. of Country Crock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, poultry seasoning, and nutmeg. Slowly add the half & half, whisking continuously. Continue to stir until no lumps remain. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over top of casserole.
Melt 1 Tbsp. of Country Crock and stir in the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over top of dish.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with a crisp salad.
This recipe can be prepped ahead of time. Let it come to room temperature before baking.
By Carol Bancroft, www.puresugar.net
Pure Sugar http://puresugar.net/
You know it’s good when the kids just about clean the dish! (And yes, I did finish off the last few bites.) For more #QuickFixCasseroles, be sure to check out Country Crock on Pinterest. (And try not to drool all over your keyboard!)
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
I don’t even know how I came up with this recipe. I guess I was thinking of both my favorite chicken curry recipe, but also Indian-spiced chicken meatballs and somehow this happened. And I’m glad it did because it was easy and delicious. And quick. And perfect for this rainy day. Basically, I just started throwing things into a pot and tasting and at some point I decided “OK, this is actually good!”
Although we really enjoyed this recipe as written here, I feel like it’s missing something. Maybe some spinach? Maybe coconut milk instead of the yogurt? I don’t know… But it’s a starting point and I hope you play around with it. Let me know what adjustments you make and how you improve upon it!
An Indian-spiced take on traditional chili.
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2 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 c. diced onion
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1-2 chile peppers, diced (I used jalapenos because that’s what I had)
1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, shredded on a microplane
1 Tbsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. tumeric
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. ground chicken
1 15-oz. can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1.5 c. tomato sauce
1/2 c. water
1 5 oz. container of plain yogurt
Cilantro (for garnish)
In a stock pot, melt the coconut butter or ghee and add the cumin seeds. When they start sizzling, add the onions, garlic, ginger, and peppers. Cook until soft and then add the coriander, tumeric, cumin, chili powder, curry powder, and salt.
Add ground chicken and cook through. Add chick peas, tomato sauce, and water. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until flavors have all combined.
Remove from heat. Stir in yogurt. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve with rice or naan. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
A side salad of freshly sliced cucumbers and onions with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is an excellent accompaniment to this dish.