Monday, May 30, 2011

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Baked Yam Wheels

This is going to be my Monday nite dinner:

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
Baked Yam Wheels on Baby Greens
Honey-lime drizzle

The prep is quite quick, and both the Tenderloin and the
Yam Wheels take the same amount of time to cook.

You use the juice of 1 lime in total: half for the pork, and
half for the drizzle.

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin


1 smallish pork tenderloin
juice of 1/2 lime

Spice Rub:

¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp olive oil

Place the tenderloin in a lightly oiled oven dish
just large enough to hold the meat.

Mix the spice rub ingredients together and rub all over the top
& sides of the tenderloin. 

Bake at 400 for 45 minutes.  After 20 minutes, baste with half 
of the lime juice, then baste with the rest after 15 more minutes.

Baked Yam Wheels

Crunchy outside, tender inside, these are fun to eat
with the accompanying honey-lime drizzle.


1 medium yam
½ cup breadcrumbs (I use half fine crumbs & half Panko)
¼ tsp curry powder
a pinch of salt
¼ cup flour
1 egg

Peel the yam, slice into ½-inch-thick rounds, and pat dry with
either paper towel or a clean tea-towel.

Combine the breadcrumbs with the curry powder and salt.

Dust the yam wheels with flour, then dip first in the egg,
then in the breadcrumb mixture, coating all sides.

Put into a pre-heated, lightly oiled baking pan or sheet
and bake at 400 for 45 minutes, turning over after 20 minutes.

Serve on a bed of Baby Greens with the Honey-Lime Drizzle.

Honey-lime Drizzle:


Juice of ½ lime
1 tsp honey
1/3 cup lite sour cream or greek yogurt
1/8 tsp salt

Warm the lime juice in a small pan; pour over the honey
and stir to combine.

Let cool, then add the sour cream (or yogurt) & salt
Allow the flavours to mix for at least ½ hour.

The meal was great served with a side of succotash that I had 
tucked away in the freezer, as well as steamed broccoli.

The tenderloin does double-duty: It provides tonight's dinner, with 
enough pork remaining for either a next-day pita-wich lunch (which
would be absolutely yummy with the leftover honey-lime drizzle and some
baby spinach), or what I actually ended up having: a bruschetta-style
open-faced sandwich on lightly-toasted sourdough bread, assembled
thusly:  first mayonnaise, then baby greens, then the pork and finely-sliced
crisp organic red delicious apple, and finally the all-important honey-lime drizzle. 

Foodie Word Search Puzzle: Spices

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lite Dijon Ranch Dressing

Lite Dijon Ranch Dressings:

Dressing #1:
(More savoury)

1 tbsp lite sour cream
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
shake of black pepper
shake of salt

Combine all ingredients, let stand for 1/2 hour, and serve.

Dressing #2:
(Tangier and a bit sweeter)

1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp lite sour cream
1 1/2 tbsp yogurt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
shake of black pepper
shake of salt
pinch shake of sugar or 1/8 tsp honey

Combine all ingredients, let stand for 1/2 hour, and serve.

Fido's Feast: Dinner for You to Share With Your Dog

Special thanks to my dear friend Berni for suggesting this
new category - a yummy dinner for you to share with your
canine companion(s).

All the ingredients are dog-friendly, and low in both fat & salt.
The tanginess of the dijon in the chicken bakes off, leaving the meat
moist & delicious.  The roasting of the yams & apples gives them a lot of
flavour without having to season them up.

My very-fussy dog, Misty, who also has a very sensitive stomach,
loves the yam/apple combo as much as the chicken, and gives this
meal 5 wags!

Dinner’s ready in 45 minutes!

Baked Chicken Fingers with Roasted Yams & Apples

2 boneless skinless chicken half-breasts
1/2 cup flour
¾ cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp Dijon mustard (not hot)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp Olive oil

1 large yam
2 apples
2 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp salt

Beat the egg with the mustard. Season the breadcrumbs
with the salt.

Cut the chicken into 4-5 fingers per half-breast.
Dust the chicken fingers with flour, then into the egg,
then into the breadcrumbs. (it helps to shake them in
a plastic bag with the flour, then roll them in the breadcrumbs
on a plate).

Peel the yam, slice into chunks, and pat dry.
Peel the apple, pat dry, and toss in the olive oil
along with the yam chunks.  Season with salt.

Put the chicken fingers and the yam/apple combination into
separate preheated lightly oiled pans and bake everything
at 400 for 35-40 minutes, turning once after 20 minutes.

Serve your yam/apple combo on a bed of baby greens with
the chicken fingers on the side. A lite dijon ranch dressing (see next post)
is a good accompaniment.

Your dog will appreciate these treats being mostly hand-fed so that they can be
savoured rather than gulped!  Half of this serving lasted my 80-lb dog
for 2 days. I cut up a bit to add to her kibble, then gave the rest by hand.

Baked Long Macaroni

I was delighted to find long macaroni
noodles in Vancouver’s Little Italy district.

Crusty on the outside and saucy on the inside,
this slightly different take on mac’n cheese is
definitely more-ish! - So much so that I have now
used up all my long macaroni and must make
a return trip asap to replenish my supply of noodles!

Baked Long Macaroni
(makes 2 servings – excellent the second day)

30 long macaroni noodles

¼ cup pasta water
½ cup half-and-half cream
¼ cup milk
½ cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp grated onion
1/8 tsp salt
A dash of pepepr
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

¼ cup orange cheddar cheese, grated
5 crushed Ritz-type crackers

Boil noodles in water for 10 minutes. 
Drain, reserving ¼ cup pasta water.

In a small saucepan, combine the half-and-half,
reserved pasta water, milk, mustard, onion and seasonings.
Bring almost to a boil then reduce heat & thicken with
the cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly until it
bubbles.  Remove from the heat & add the white cheddar
and parmesan.  Whisk till smooth.

Combine the cooked noodles with the sauce then pile
into a lightly oiled baking dish. 

Combine the orange cheddar cheese with the crushed crackers
and sprinkle over the entire top of the casserole.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes and enjoy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Quick-Fix: Salsa Chicken

There are many versions of this dish out there. 
Some are called “Salsa Chicken”, others “Nacho Chicken”. 
This is my version, and serves 1 person.  It assembles in less
than the time it takes to drip a pot of coffee!

Salsa Chicken
1 chicken half-breast, boneless & skinless
2 tbsp sour cream (lite works well)
2 tbsp salsa

2 tbsp grated orange cheddar cheese
15 blue corn tortilla chips, crumbled (I use the baked chips)

Place the chicken in a lightly oiled individual baking dish
(oval shape works well, or a tiny loaf pan).

Top the chicken with the sour cream, spreading to coat.

Top with the salsa, lightly spreading to cover the sour cream.

For topping, mix the crumbled tortilla chips with the grated cheese
and cover the top of the chicken.

Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 30-40 minutes.

That's it!  So delicious and so easy - makes a great dinner
to fall back on!  Goes well with a salad and rice pilaf.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Friday Treat - Plumapple Crumble

Plums & apples may not yet be in season,
but it’s always time for this treat, which is
assembled mostly from cupboard ingredients.

This little crumble has a lovely combination of flavours
and textures somewhat akin to stewed rhubarb.
If you have a can of plums just waiting to be used up,
then this is the recipe for you!

Plumapple Crumble (makes 1-2 servings)


1 – 14oz can of *plums, drained & pitted
1 medium apple, peeled & grated
4 oz sweetened applesauce
(or add 2 tbsp sugar or honey to unsweetened applesauce)
¼ tsp cinnamon

*or 3/4 cup lightly stewed fresh plums


1 one-serving packet of instant oatmeal
(I used organic apple-cinnamon oatmeal)
1 tsp flour
1 tsp butter
¼ tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly grease a 1 ½ cup baking dish with butter.
Roughly chop plums in a mixing bowl and grate
the apple directly into the plums.  Fold in the

Stir in the cinnamon and pile all into the baking dish.

Assemble topping: Combine oatmeal & flour, add cinnamon,
and rub in the butter until the mixture has a crumb-like

Cover the fruit mixture with the topping.
Bake in 375° oven on top of either a baking sheet
or a sheet of tinfoil to catch any drips, for 45-50 minutes,
or until bubbling around the edges.

Let cool for at least 30 minutes before eating.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Souper Skillet Supper: Acorn Squash Soup

This soup is fun to make and tastes utterly delicious.
Made in a skillet, it utilizes the second half of an
acorn squash with accompanying roasted garlic,
reserved after cooking Baked Acorn Squash with Apple.

Preparation: 10 minutes.  Cooking time: 1 hr.

Acorn Squash Soup (makes 2 bowls)

1/2 baked *acorn squash
2 medium cloves roasted *garlic
1 apple, peeled & sliced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
olive oil for sauteeing
1 medium-small potato, peeled & diced
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 bouillon cube
1 tsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp curry powder
fresh parsley, coriander or dill, snipped, for garnish (optional)

If your *squash half and garlic are frozen, allow
to stand at room temperature for 1 hour, or defrost
in a microwave for 2 - 3 minutes at half-power.

First in a separate pot, put on the broth along with
bouillon cube and the potato.  Bring to boil, reduce,
and simmer while preparing the rest of the soup.

In a stainless steel skillet (not cast-iron), heat up
1 tsp olive oil and add the onion. Saute gently on
medium-low heat, alternately covering & uncovering
the pan, until the onion is softening (5-8 minutes)

Add the apple and continue cooking.  When the mixture
becomes golden (5-8 minutes), add 1 tsp butter to the pan
along with the salt & sugar.  Continue to stir & cook down
for 5-8 more minutes.

Peel & chop up the squash (the peel slides right off);
squeeze out the roasted garlic from the skins.  Add to
pan, chopping all up with a spatula (2 minutes). 

Add the broth with potato, and add 1/4 tsp curry powder.
Return to the boil, then reduce heat, cover & simmer for
another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Mash down the
ingredients and cook 10 more minutes.

Either put the soup through a sieve right over the pan, pushing
the solids through with a wooden spoon, or puree everything
in a food processor, depending on how smooth you want it.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream & a sprinkling of freshly-
snipped parsley, coriander or dill, if desired.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Monday Quick-Fix: Baked Acorn Squash with Apple

This lovely dish can either be an entree or a side dish,
depending on your appetite.  If you cook the second 
half of the squash at the same time, you can reap the
benefits of a succulent squash soup at a later date (which will
be the subject of my next post).

Baked Acorn Squash with Apple
1 Acorn Squash, halved and seeds removed
4 oz applesauce
1 apple, peeled& grated
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tsp butter
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
2 medium sized cloves of garlic, skin left on

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly oil 1 or 2 pans
(whatever fits your squash), then wipe most of the 
oil off.  

In a bowl, combine the applesauce with the grated 
apple & cinnamon.

Invert each squash half onto the baking pan(s),
and bake for 20 minutes.  Turn them over, and fill
one squash half with the applesauce mixture; place
the garlic cloves into the other half.

Combine the breadcrumbs, butter & cinnamon & top 
the applesauce-filled squash half with the crumbs.  

Bake both squash halves for another 10-15 minutes, 
or until fork-tender.

The Baked Acorn Squash is delicious served 
with one or more of the following sides: steamed chard,
kale, callaloo, asparagus or broccoli, as well as succotash, 
corn on or off the cob, or a salad of baby spinach and fresh 
apple.  I like to have it with a couple of side dishes.  

It's also an excellent accompaniment to baked ham, 
pork chop or pork tenderloin.

Allow the squash half with the garlic to completely
cool, then either refrigerate or freeze.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Friday! Tiramisu for 1 - 2

This scaled-down version of a much-loved Italian treat 
makes 2 servings - so you can either have it for dessert 
2 days in a row, or share it with a lucky someone.

Prepare today - enjoy tomorrow!

Tiramisu for 1-2:

9 ladyfingers
2 tbsp brandy*
1 tbsp ground coffee*
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup marscapone cheese or lite creamcheese

2 egg yolks, whisked till smooth throughout
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed to a slurry with 2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cocoa powder 

Whipped cream (optional)

Pour the *brandy over the ground coffee; add sugar.
Stir, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

Dissolve sugar in milk and heat in top of double boiler
until steaming but not boiling.  Add cornstarch slurry
while whisking to prevent lumps forming; continue to 
whisk till thickened.

Add half the milk mixture to the beaten egg, whisking
with one hand while pouring in a stream with the other.

When this is all thoroughly smooth, stir back into the 
remaining mixture in the double boiler, and whisk 
gently for 5 minutes, or until the custard is quite thick.

Remove the custard, ladle into a bowl, stir in the vanilla,
and let cool for 1/2 hour.  Add the marscapone or lite
creamcheese and again whisk till smooth.

Pour the *brandy-infused coffee through a coffee-filter-lined
sieve into a small cup or bowl, getting as much of the liquid
out of the grounds as possible.  Add the brewed coffee.
Discard the coffee grounds.

Layer 3 ladyfingers in the bottom of your chosen dish(es).
(I use a 4"x5" dish that is 4" deep). Ladle 1/2 the brandied coffee
over the ladyfingers, then cover with 1/3 of the custard cream.
Repeat the layers once, then top with 3 more ladyfingers 
and dust with cocoa.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Good topped with whipped cream just before serving.

The remaining 1/3 of the custard is for eating
at once accompanied with fresh fruit of your choice,
a dollop of whipped cream, and more ladyfingers for dipping!

*If preferable you can substitute all coffee for the brandy.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Winging It - Apricot-Glazed Drumettes

These wings are quick to prepare and foolproof.  They can also
be cooked in a toaster oven - perfect for hot summer days!

Apricot-Glazed Wings
(serves 1 plus leftovers for a next-day picnic)

3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
10-12 chicken drumettes


3 tbsp Apricot preserves
2 tsp vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced finely
1/4 tsp Dijon or hot mustard

Warm oven or toaster oven to 375.  Put  1 or 2 lightly oiled
baking dishes into the oven (I use both an 8"x8" pan and a
4"x8" pan, or you could use a 9"x13" pan), and heat up for
5 minutes while preparing the wings. Oiling and preheating the
pan(s) ensures that the wings don't stick*.

Put the first 6 ingredients into a large plastic bag.
Add the drumettes, 3 at a time, and shake till coated.
Put all onto a plate, discarding the remaining flour mixture,
then open the oven.  Pull out the rack and add the drumettes
to the baking pan(s), dusting off excess flour first.

Bake for 20 minutes then turn the wings over.
Cook for another 15 minutes while preparing the
glaze ingredients, then remove and put into the bowl
of glaze mixture.  Toss thoroughly for a few minutes
until they have soaked up most of the glaze. Return the wings
to the baking dishes, and cook at 375 for another 10 minutes,
basting with any remaining glaze, and turning once.
Preparing the Glaze:

In a large bowl, combine all glaze ingredients and whisk
together, breaking up any lumps of fruit to incorporate
into the mixture.

When the wings are done, either remove to a platter
immediately or loosen them in the baking dish,
so they do not harden onto the baking dish as they cool.

All you need to accompany this is a green salad with lots
of colourful veggies added, and/or a bean salad if you're
really famished.

If you boil a couple of potatoes at the same time, you can
have potato salad the next day with your leftover wings -
plus any leftover bean salad and some fresh greens: a perfectly
simple picnic!

*The cleanup isn't so daunting if you soak the pans overnight with
hot water, soap & baking soda - they practically scrub themselves!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Monday Quick-Fix: Cauliflower Cheese

This dish is a fun vegetarian entree. It is equally good
made with either Broccoli, or  half-Broccoli &

The Cheese Sauce doesn't need a roux and comes 
together very quickly. The entire prep time for this dish 
is less than 10 minutes, and baking time is 20 minutes.

Cauliflower Cheese (serves 1-2)

1/3 - 1/2 head cauliflower, separated into a few large groups of florets

Lightened-up Cheese Sauce:

1 cup  milk
2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 4 tbsp water into a slurry
1/4 tsp dijon mustard or 1/8 tsp hot mustard
1/8 tsp salt
a dash of pepper
1/2 cup grated sharp white cheddar or old orange cheddar cheese

1-2 tbsp grated orange cheddar cheese, mixed with
1-2 tbsp breadcrumbs or crumbled cheese crackers,
and seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper & a dash of cayenne.

First put the cauliflower on to steam in a steamer set over a pan 
with 1" water in it. Bring to boil, cover and steam over medium 
heat for 4-5 minutes, or until just fork-tender but not soft.  Remove 
from the  heat and place in a shallow lightly oiled baking dish.

Make the cheese sauce while the cauliflower is steaming.  Have all
the ingredients for the sauce prepared prior to beginning, as it
cooks very quickly:

On medium heat, begin to warm the milk.  Season with the salt, 
pepper and mustard and whisk gently until the mixture is almost 
boiling, 1-2 minutes.  Reduce heat, do not allow to boil, and
immediately add the cornstarch mixture all at once with one hand
while whisking vigorously with the other hand.  Stir until bubbling 
and thickened, which will be almost right away.  Let bubble for 
1 minute, remove from heat, and stir in the cheese, whisking the 
sauce till cheese is melted in. 

Pour the *cheese sauce over the cauliflower, sprinkle with the 
breadcrumb/cheese topping, and bake uncovered at 375 for 20

This is excellent served with a Baby Spinach & Apple Salad on the side, 
or Red Cabbage with Apple & Onion.

*If you have leftover cheese sauce, it can be reheated the next day
by splashing with 1-2 tsp milk then warming up gently, whisking
till smooth. Wonderful served over Poached Egg On Toast with
Broiled Tomatoes on the side.