Pork Tenderloin with Mustard BBQ sauce

If you’re all for a different kind of barbecue sauce, I suggest this one! It is a bit spicy, so if you don’t normally eat a lot of spicy foods your head might sweat! This BBQ sauce is made with mustard and a delicious combination of spices. Try it out!

mustard BBQ pork

Ingredients: (serves 2)

For the pork-

  • 1 Lb pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 TSP each of dried: Rosemary, garlic powder, thyme and onion powder
  • 1/4 TSP chili flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 TBSP EVOO

For the sauce- (This makes about 2 cups so there will be left overs.)

  • 1/3C Ketchup
  • 1/2C Mustard
  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP worchesterchire sauce
  • 3 TBSP Franks red hot sauce
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/2 TSP each of dried: onion powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. In a small bowl, mix together  your spice rub ingredients – rosemary, garlic powder, thyme, onion powder, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Rub the spice mixture all over your pork tenderloin.
  2. In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add your EVOO. Once the oil is nice and hot, add your tenderloin to the skillet. Brown it on all sides to get a nice crust.
  3. Once the tenderloin is browned, move it right to the 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until its internal temperature reads 145F.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk all of your sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  5. Once the pork is done cooking, remove it from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Let it rest 5 to 10 minutes. Once the tenderloin is rested, slice it into medallions and serve with the mustard BBQ sauce.
  6. Serve this with mashed potatoes and a broccoli cole slaw! Yummy!

10 Spice Beer Can Chicken

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It was 29 degrees today. WOW. What an ABSOLUTELY beautiful day!!! But on super hot days like today, I don’t really feel like heating up my house any more than it already is – so I decided to BBQ outside! Tonights dinner is a super simple, yet delicious (moist) beer can chicken!!!! If you have never tried something like this, I suggest you do. Serve it up with some BBQ’D sweet potatoes, and BBQ’D whole carrots, and a home made Caesar salad.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 3-4LB whole chicken
  • 1/3c EVOO
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP garlic powder
  • 2 TBSP smoked paprika
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP coriander
  • 1 TBSP onion powder
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 TBSP pepper
  • 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 can of your favourite beer

Directions:

  1. Wash your bird thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together your brown sugar, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, onion powder, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and your evoo.
  3. Place your chicken in a LARGE bowl. Rub your seasoning paste all over the bird.
  4. Heat your outdoor grill to LOW on one side, and MEDIUM on the other side.
  5. Make sure to use some kind of drip tray safe for a BBQ to place your chicken on. Put the beer can in the chickens cavity, place standing up on the drip tray and put it on the LOW heat side of the BBQ. Close the lid. If the brown sugar on your chicken is getting black within the first 10-20 minutes of being on the grill, turn the heat down a little lower.
  6. Set a kitchen timer for 1 hour. This can take up to 90 minutes depending on the efficiency of your grill. My 4lb chicken only took about 1 hour.
  7. Once the thickest part of the chicken reads 165F, it is ready to come off the grill.
  8. Place chicken on a cutting board, let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Once the chicken is well rested, carve and serve!

Spinach salad with a creamy brie poppy seed dressing

A few weeks ago, I got a call from my doctor about my most recent routine bloodwork and how my hemoglobin level dropped pretty significantly. (Thanks baby #2!) I was advised to take extra iron supplements, which is obviously a pretty standard thing to do. Iron pills make me so bloody sick that I can’t even function properly, so I stopped taking them… Instead, I just started incorporating more iron rich foods in to my diet and I seem to be much better now! One of those iron rich foods I added in to my diet was SPINACH. I usually do eat spinach, but I swear by now we’re eating it 3-6 times a week depending on how much I have on hand!!

ANYWAYS. I made my Apple+pear+brie stuffed pork tenderloin for dinner again tonight, and I had to revise the recipe. Instead of using 1 full apple AND one full pear to stuff such a tiny tenderloin, I used only half. I also had brie left over from this that I know I am not going to use any time soon. SO, I decided to make a salad consisting of the left over apples, pears and brie. It was an interesting approach and I did not think this would work. Low and behold, it was DELICIOUS. You must give this salad a try!!!

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

For the salad:

  • 3-4 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 of a pear, diced
  • 1/2 of an apple, diced
  • 1/2c walnuts (pecans will work also. Or mix together.)

For the dressing:

  • 4 TBSP spreadable brie cheese
  • 1/4c white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4c + 1 TBSP Evoo
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • A pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 TBSP poppy seeds

Directions:

  1. Toss all your dressing ingredients in a measuring cup or little bowl and whisk until everything is nicely incorporated.
  2. In a separate salad bowl, toss in your spinach, apples, pears, and walnuts.
  3. Dress your salad and eat up!

Spring Gnocchi with fresh herbs

Dinner tonight is super fresh and super simple! There’s a little bit of chopping, and we cheated by buying our gnocchi instead of making it today. Oops! No time for that today! This was quite the refreshing dish. I love all the green in it! Give it a try!

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Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 700g fresh potato gnocchi
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 4 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, diced and rinsed to remove dirt
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus, tough ends broken off, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 4 large green onions, whites and greens separated, and sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, sliced (not minced. we want nice big but thin pieces.)
  • 1c Peas
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2c parmigiano reggiano + more for serving
  • few leaves of basil, torn
  • 1/2c parsley, rough chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tbsp EVOO and 2 tbsp butter. Let the butter melt and the oil get nice and hot. Add your gnocchi in and brown on both sides.
  2. Once your gnocchi is browned, add in your leeks, asparagus, whites of the green onions and garlic. Cook until the leeks and asparagus start to get tender. (a few minutes.)
  3. Add in your fresh peas, remaining 2 tbsp butter, greens of the green onions, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add your lemon zest and your lemon juice, 1/2c parmigianno reggiano, parsley and basil. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Sprinkle with more cheese!
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Green Thai Curry Paste

Spring is in the air!! It got up to maybe 13 or 14 degrees today in Edmonton, and let me tell you it was AMAZING. 13 degrees is pretty warm for me after our winters… sadly. Needless to say, I was feeling extra inspired for my meal plan I made this morning! I want to do spring dinners with all the beauty produce that is out and in season! If only I could cook this way the whole year round and not go broke, I would be the happiest girl in the whole entire world!

First meal of this weeks plan is a green curry with chicken and spring veggies, with a home made green curry paste. It is so much better to make your own so you don’t have a store bought container in your fridge with one or two spoonfuls out of it until you end up throwing it out 6 months later. What a waste. Grab your mortar and pestle (or a small blender or food processor) and lets get to it!

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 TSP ground cumin
  • 1/2 TSP ground coriander
  • 1″ piece of lemon grass, OR 1 TSP ground lemon grass
  • 2.5 TBSP fresh grated, and peeled ginger root
  • 2 small kaffir lime leaves (it is okay to use dried leaves.)
  • 1.5 TBSP shallot, minced (About half of a shallot.)
  • 1 TSP fresh grated turmeric
  • 1.5 TBSP grated garlic cloves (about 3 large cloves)
  • 5 large basil leaves, minced
  • 2 red Thai chili’s, minced (Use more if you want spicier.)
  • 1/8 TSP freshly ground sea salt

Directions:

Add all your ingredients to your mortar and pestle or food processor and turn it into a paste. This makes about 3.5 TBSP of green curry paste.

I scaled down the spice of this as my 13 month old eats what we eat for dinner, and he sure does not approve of anything too spicy. That being said, up that chili pepper amount and use green Chile’s with red Chile’s. This is a little less than medium spice.


Lemon Parm Orzo with Peas

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Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 1/4c Orzo
  • 2 1/2c chicken stock (or water)
  • 1 TBSP EVOO
  • salt and pepper
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2c peas
  • 3/4c freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (or any other hard parm like cheese)

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, add EVOO. Let the oil heat up and then add your dried orzo to the pot. Stir every minute or so until your orzo is nice and browned and fragrant. Now add in your chicken stock or water. Let your pot come to a boil, and then reduce your heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Let cook until nice and fluffy. When there is a few minutes left of cooking, add in your peas.
  2. Once your orzo and peas are done cooking, turn your heat down to low. Remove the lid and add in your lemon zest, lemon juice, pecorino romano cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Mix it all up and serve!
  3. It doesn’t hurt to grate a little extra cheese on top!!

Juicy chicken with a dijon sauce

This is a recipe that has been on my blog for about a year now, and it needed some serious TLC. It was good before, but this is a much better version of it. Juicy BBQ’D chicken with a white wine dijon sauce. Make this alcohol free by using low sodium chicken stock in place of wine. Did I mention that this is a super quick cooking meal? It is!

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Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 2 6-8oz chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thick
  • fresh ground sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp parsley, rough chopped (optional.)

For the sauce:

  • 1 TBSP EVOO
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, small dice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1c of your favourite white wine
  • 1 heaping TBSP dijon mustard
  • 1 heaping TBSP grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp corn starch dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven or outdoor grill. (oven to 425.)
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp EVOO. Once the oil is hot, add your onions and brown them. Once your onions are browned, add your garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Once your garlic is fragrant (1-2 min) deglaze your skillet with your white wine, stirring the mixture. Let the liquid reduce a little.
  4. Add in your dijon mustards (both kinds! if you only have one, then thats fine. add 2 tbsp of one kind.) and add in your butter. Once mixed, add in your cornstarch dissolved in water, and turn your heat down to low.
  5.  Season your chicken breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place on your BBQ on a medium heat. Because the chicken is pounded nice and thin, it will take literally only minutes to cook. Cook for a few minutes on one side, and then flip and cook for another 5 minutes or so. I suggest using a meat thermometer and checking the internal temp of the chicken (165.)
  6. if you’re using the oven – season your chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. in a skillet on just over medium heat, add EVOO. Once your oil is hot, add your chicken. Brown it on both sides. Throw it into the 425 oven for 10-15 minutes.
  7. remove chicken from the grill and top with your dijon sauce. Sprinkle some fresh parsley over it if you like!

Peanut butter jelly time!!

I am almost 36 weeks pregnant now, so I can justify having around 10,000 calories for breakfast. I have been on a protein smoothie kick lately to help use up fruits that my lovely son does not want to eat anymore! I never eat fruit…. but I will drink it. Strange? I agree. This smoothie is delicious. I found a few versions of peanut butter and jelly on the internet, but I never follow a recipe like I am supposed to, so here is what I did! 

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Ingredients:

  • 5 large strawberries, halved
  • 1 banana, frozen, cut into 3 chunks
  • 1 heaping TBSP of peanut butter
  • 1 scoop Vega vanilla protein powder
  • 1.5c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 4 ice cubes

Directions:

Throw everything in a blender and BLEND.

MMMM. Breakfast.


Take-Out Mongolian Beef

This Mongolian beef stir fry is a delicious weeknight dinner and it’s decently quick to whip up. (minus marinating your steak. but you can really just omit that step if you wanted to.) You’ve got to give this a try!!

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Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Marinade/Sauce:

  • 1 large flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain. As THIN as you can get.
  • 1C China Lily soy sauce
  • 1/3C water or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce (more if you want it spicier.)
  • 2 tbsp Rice wine vinegar (Or a sherry vinegar.)
  • 1/4c Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar (You can omit this and use honey instead.)
  • 1″ ginger, finely grated (or minced. I freeze peeled ginger and grate it as I need. WAY easier.)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced. I would use 5 if they’re smaller.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste. (I suggest tasting the sauce before adding salt. depends on your soy sauce and how salty it already is. This is why I use china lily, it is DELISH and not crazy salty like most soy sauces.)

For the rest:

  • 1.5C dry rice + 3 cups water (Or you can use noodles. whatever makes you happy!)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips
  • 1 small Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced into strips
  • 1/2 + 1.5 Tbsp corn starch, separated
  • small handful of Cilantro (or flat leaf parsley if you hate cilantro.)

Directions:

  1. In a freezer zip lock bag or bowl, add ALL marinade/sauce ingredients, including your thinly sliced steak. Marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
  2. Start cooking your rice according to package directions.
  3. Remove sliced steak from the marinade to a piece of paper towel. (KEEP THE MARINADE. we are USING this and not wasting it.) Dry it as much as you can. In a bowl, add 1/2 c cornstarch and add your beef to it. Toss the beef to coat.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with about 1.4c EVOO, vegetable or cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, add your beef. Let it sit and cook and get crispy, then stir it up to crisp up the rest. When you’ve stirred the beef to crisp the other side, add your peppers and onions. Let them cook together for a couple minutes.
  5. Add 1.5 tbsp corn starch to your marinade. Mix it together, and then add it to the skillet with the beef and veggies. Let the sauce come to a boil for a minute or two. Turn the heat down to low-medium and let it thicken up and cook your peppers and onions a little bit more.
  6. Once the peppers and onions are cooked to your liking and your sauce has thickened up a bit, remove the skillet from the heat. Spoon on top of your steaming hot rice or noodles and throw some parsley or cilantro on it. AND EAT UP!!

Mexican Beef Taco’s with chimichurri

I made this one night for about 12 people, so I had to double what I am putting down here. it was a huge hit. Serve these bad boys with grilled street corn and spanish rice. They are sure to be a hit!!!!

tacos

 

Ingredients:

-12 corn tortillas

-1 large flank steak

Steak Rub:

-1/2 tbsp each of smoked paprika, chilli powder, oregano, thyme

-1 tsp each salt and pepper (taste the blend and add more if needed.)

-2 tsp corainder

Chimichurri sauce:

-1 bunch of cilantro (stems included. lots of flavour in those.)

-1 bunch parsley (stems also included.)

-zest and juice of 1 large lime, or 2 smaller limes.

-2 jalapeño peppers. for less heat, remove the seeds and ribs with a spoon.

-5 cloves garlic (i put garlic in everything. feel free to scale down this number.)

-1/2 of a small onion, rough chopped

-salt and pepper to taste. Add this in small amounts, taste the sauce and add more if needed.

-1/3-2/3c EVOO, or more if needed

 

Directions:

-Combine all steak rub ingredients in a small bowl and rub ALL over that steak. Make 1/4″ slits with a knife AGAINST the grain of the steak, throw in a baggie and marinate for about 2 hours. (You can skip the marinating. But I wouldn’t.)

-Heat your grill to medium heat. Once hot, throw your steak on the grill. Do NOT touch it until you can easily flip it without the meat sticking to the grill. If it sticks to the grill, that side is not done. I cook mine about 7 mins per side to get a nice medium-rare to medium.

Flip the steak and cook on the other side.

-In a blender or food processor, add all chimichurri ingredients except for the EVOO. Process until finely chopped. Start adding in your oil 1/3c at a time. Blend and add until your desired consistency.

-Take your steak off the grill. Place on a cutting board, cover with foil and let it rest for about 7-10 minutes. While your steak is resting, throw your corn tortillas on the grill and warm them through.

-Cut your steak nice and thin against the grain, and on a hard angle. This will help ensure the steak is not chewy.

-Build your taco’s! Add your steak, chimichurri, guacamole if you want, some pico de gallo..anything! Delish!