Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Winner, Winner Pork & Plum Dinner

Okay, so you know when you make something and your taste buds explode with flavour and happiness? That was me, tonight.

First off, after work I went for walk that ended up being an interval run. Go me. Totally didn't feel like going, talked myself into a walk, and ended up running intervals between telephone poles, which I totally recommend. Why? Because it gets your heart rate up, and because anyone can do it. And I mean anyone. You don't have to run for more than 30 seconds at a time, less if you are a faster runner than I, but I was going for stamina today, so it was key not to burn myself out too soon, by exerting, well you know, TOO much effort. Ick.

It's a win/win situation for those of us who loathe running. It all started for me as I walked down May street, which always just seems so endless to me, and I got bored. And so I ran down the length of May, and reverted to intervals for the rest of the time...which was probably about 2.5 km total....cut short due to clients deciding to pick that exact time to start calling me. Still, I burned 310 cals, which would have been far less had I walked the 35 mins with a heart rate of 112. 160 is the cardio zone, yo!

I got home, attended to some business, and then got down to the business of making dinner. My favorite time of day! This is when I turned on something on Netflix that doesn't require me to pay too much attention (Stephen Fry In America, in case you wondered), and I get to cookin! I love having a meal on the go when James comes home - the house smelling great, him appreciative of a meal on a table after a stressful day at the office. This is why I love the flexibility of my work - I can work full time and still have the time to do the things I love for my little family.

On the roster today? A quinoa salad recipe I had seen circulating on Facebook for a few days, and pork tenderloin with plums. BANG. I'm going to share these with you, saving you the effort of searching, but I will not take credit. Because I can't. The Internet gets all the credit. But these two recipes are keepers, and they were EASY! My favorite.

Crunch Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad from The Ambitious Kitchen. 

Ingredients
¾ cup uncooked quinoa
1-2 cups shredded red cabbage, depending on how much crunch you like
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ red onion, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup diced green onions
½ cup cashew halves or peanuts (honey-roasted is good)
Optional: 1 cup edamame or chickpeas
Fresh lime, for a bit of tang
For the dressing:
¼ cup all natural peanut butter
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
3 tablespoon soy sauce, gluten-free if desired
1 tablespoon honey (use agave if vegan)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
Water to thin, if necessary

Instructions
To cook quinoa: Rinse with cold water in mesh strainer. In a saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Add in quinoa and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa has absorbed all of the water. Remove from heat and fluff quinoa with fork; place in large bowl and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes. You should have a little over 2 cups of quinoa.
To make dressing: Add peanut butter and honey or agave to a medium microwave safe bowl; heat in microwave for 20 seconds. Add in ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and both sesame and olive oil and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner dressing, simply stir in a teaspoon or two of water or olive oil.
Add as much or as little dressing as you’d like to the quinoa. I always start out with a little bit of dressing and usually add more to suit my taste preferences. Alternatively you can save the dressing for later and add when you are ready to eat; however the flavors of the dressing usually soak into the salad so I love adding it to the quinoa first.
Next fold in red pepper, onion, cabbage, carrots, and cilantro into the quinoa. Garnish with cashews and green onions. Serve chilled or at room temperature with lime wedges if desired.

Heather's Notes: I used white wine vinegar instead of red because I mistakenly thought I was out, and I didn't use the olive oil because I felt like it had enough oil what with the sesame oil and the peanut butter. I used a wee bit of water to thin out and the dressing was FABULOUS. I also forgot to buy cilantro and red pepper, so I added shredded carrots, chopped apple, and spinach instead. James, who normally hates quinoa, is ALL OVER THIS. Therefore, it is wife made, husband approved. And you know what I just found out? Quinoa is NOT a grain, it's a seed. So this is allowed on my grain free spree!

Even your HUSBAND will like this. 



Pork & Plums -  from  Martha Stewart

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, pounded thin
  • Coarse salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Unsalted butter
  • 4 plums, cut into wedges
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Slice pork tenderloin, and season with salt. Brown pork in olive oil and butter over medium-high heat, and remove. Saute plums and red onion over medium heat. Add vinegar, and stir until bubbling. Return pork to pan, and toss.

Eat me, I'm crazy good. 

Heather's Notes: I did exactly as followed and this was CRAZY good. I even found my red wine vinegar (which was staring me in the face), and I ADORE that there is only one step. Step 2 is EAT. This literally could not have been easier.

I mean, seriously Tuesday. You have outdone yourself. 


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