Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Orange Basil Pork Over Couscous

Adapted from TasteBook.

There is something about the tanginess of orange juice that we are starting to love in our dishes. Grilled vegetables are a great side for the orange basil pork. We chose zucchini and squash. If you would rather have the pork and couscous serve as your complete meal, simply double the amount of couscous.


  • 1/3 cup couscous
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

  • 1/2 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 6 ounces pork tenderloin

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 1 tsp dried parsley


Prepare couscous according to package directions.

For sauce, combine orange juice, water, cornstarch, bouillon granules, basil, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir and set aside.

Cut pork into 6 equal slices. Place each slice of pork between two sheets of plastic wrap. Lightly pound the slices with the flat side of the meat mallet to about 1/2-inch thickness. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and turn to medium heat. Add pork slices to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes. Turn slices over and cook about 2 minutes more or until just slightly pink. Remove the pork from the skillet; keep warm.

Stir sauce, then add to the skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Stir parsley into couscous.

Arrange couscous and pork on a serving platter.

Yield: 2 servings

Monday, October 25, 2010

Grilled Veggies with Goat Cheese and Balsamic on Ciabatta

A few weeks ago my "Aunt" Mitzi had me over for dinner. This meal is inspired by her healthy and delicious vegetarian dinner. This is a great dish for vegetarians, but also a nice change from typical meat centered meals.

  • 4 slices of ciabatta bread 1 in. thick
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 tomato, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, cut into thick strips
  • 4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar


Cook veggies on grill (we used a George Forman) for 10 minutes or until veggies are soft and tender. While veggies are cooking, spread goat cheese on the ciabatta bread. Once veggies are cooked layer them on the bread and pour 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar on top of each piece.

We also prepared a spinach salad with pear, blueberries, and slivered almonds to go along with theAdd Image meal and used another 2 tbsp. of the balsamic vinegar as dressing.

Yield: 2 servings

Here's a wonderful blessing we were able to enjoy while cooking dinner!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chicken Quesadillas

Adapted from The Skinny Taste.

We both joked around tonight about how our idea of quesadillas in college consisted of popping flour tortillas with a gob of cheese into the microwave and calling it dinner. With spices, veggies, and tangy salsa, these flavorful quesadillas are more like fajitas - far from the nuked quesadillas we made in college.


  • 1 chicken breast
  • Cumin
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 onion, cut into strips
  • ½ bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup 2% shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mango peach salsa
  • 4 (6") whole-wheat flour tortillas


Slice chicken breast into 4 long slices. Season chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder.

Lightly spray a medium skillet. Cook chicken on both sides on medium heat. Once cooked through, remove from heat and set aside.

Add oil, onions, and peppers to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. After about 2 minutes, add garlic and continue cooking until veggies are soft. When cooked, set aside.

Lightly coat skillet with cooking spray and add tortilla on medium heat. Top with half of the cheese, chicken, onions, peppers, and salsa. Place the other tortilla on top. Once cheese is melted and the bottom of the tortilla is slightly crispy, put a plate on top of the quesadilla and flip it over onto the plate. Then slide the other side onto the skillet. Cook another minute and remove using a spatula. Repeat for the second quesadilla. Cut into wedges and serve.

If you prefer other fillings for your quesadillas, black beans, corn, mushrooms, or even tilapia or beef in place of chicken could be great alternatives. Any flavor of salsa works, our favorite right now just happens to be Chachies Mango & Peach.

Yield: 2 servings

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blueberry Pork

Adapted from The Kitchn.

In search of a recipe that compared to Acqua al Due’s Filetto al Mirtillo (Blueberry Steak), an incredible dish served in Florence, Italy, we came across a similar recipe for pork chops with a savory blueberry sauce. We modified it so we could use pork tenderloin and replaced half of the butter with olive oil. New potatoes made a great side. Enjoy this unique dish!

  • 6 ounces pork tenderloin
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ lemon (for zest and juice)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Dried or fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Cut pork into medallion-size slices. Salt and pepper both sides of each slice. Coat skillet with cooking spray. Brown pork on medium-high heat, about 1-2 minutes on each side. Coat a small baking dish with cooking spray. Cook the pork in the oven until it is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. When the pork is done, remove the pan from the oven and let it rest while finishing the sauce.

While the pork is cooking, prepare the blueberry sauce. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the shallots until soft and golden. Pour in the wine and water; let boil down for 1-2 minutes. Add the blueberries. When the skins begin to burst, add the lemon zest and juice. Let the sauce continue to boil and thicken until the pork is ready.

Turn the heat off under the saucepan and stir in the butter until it is completely melted. Top the pork medallions with the blueberry sauce and garnish with parsley.

Yield: 2 servings

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shrimp ‘N Grits for Two

Tonight we did a little experimenting, adding a few of our favorite things to cook up this traditional southern meal. Needless to say, we were pleased with the outcome!


  • 30 medium cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup grits
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup 2% shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (for less garlicky grits reduce to ½ tsp)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • ¼ cup large bell pepper, approximately ½ cup minced
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • ½ lemon for fresh lemon juice


Coat small frying pan with cooking spray. Heat shrimp on medium heat, be sure to cook if using raw shrimp! Once warm, squeeze lemon juice over shrimp and heat for an additional minute.

Sauté peppers, garlic, and scallion in a small pan until the peppers are tender, approximately 3 minutes.

Bring 1 ½ cups water to boil in a small saucepan. Slowly pour grits into water. Stir in garlic powder, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until grits have thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, then cheese. Finally, add peppers and scallions to the grits.

When ready to serve, mix shrimp into the grits.

Garnish with leftover lemon wedges.

Feel free to add more cheese or less garlic, depending on desired taste.

Yield: 2 servings

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chili Night

Friday night our friend Erin Womble had our graduate class over to her house for a chili dinner. This was my first time making my mom's famous chili, and I must have the touch because it was a hit! This is an easy chili recipe, right in time for Fall weather!

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 12 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1 15.5 oz. can kidney beans (drained)


Cook the beef in a skillet, then add onion and green pepper until onion and pepper are tender. Drain the fat by pouring into a colander. Then put ingredients into a big pot adding diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, cayenne red pepper, and paprika. Heat on high for 5 minutes then reduce heat to low. Cover and let the chili cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The chili will look thick but will become juicy while cooking for 2 hours. Then add drained kidney beans and let cook for another 30 minutes. Ready to serve!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Zesty Tilapia

Adapted from foodnetwork.com.

This meal is great due to its quick preparation, plus the hour or so of marinating allows you to make it ahead of time and cook just before you're ready to eat. Perfect for us today since we had just a small window of time to cook dinner between classes and meetings.

2 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice (we used Simply Orange with mango)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper

Place the fish in a nonmetal dish. Whisk together the olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, ginger, salt, and pepper, to taste; pour over the fish. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes.

When the tilapia has finished marinating, remove from the fridge. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and turn stove to medium-high heat. Cook until fish begins to flake, about 5 minutes per side.

After grating the orange for its zest, we sliced it up and ate it alongside our fish. Serve with your choice of veggies.

Yield: 2 servings