Recipes

Freezer Peaches and Grandma Pat’s Pork Tenderloin with Peach BBQ Sauce Recipe

DSC02856I’m a peach girl.  I was actually born a Georgia Peach, although we moved to Ohio when I was two, so if it came down to any sort of loyalty battle, I’d claim Ohio as “my” state.  Regardless, my favorite pie is peach, and nothing smells as wonderful to me as a fresh peach!  Except maybe a baby’s head.  Or pizza.  Or french fries.  Ok, fine, lots of things smell wonderful to me.

Anyway, my Dad scored me some free end-of-harvest peaches at the local farmer’s market.  Out of three 5-gallon mostly-rotten peaches, I rescued about 4 tiny pints worth of delicious, very ripe peach chunks.  While I could have canned them, I have five little kids needing my attention today and I just wanted to be done with them.  So I packed them into freezer containers.  (Side note… I’m not all that impressed with Ball’s freezer jars – even their newest model.  They are just not easy to use because the lids on both models are so finicky!  And I can’t trust myself to freeze the glass canning jars anymore because I’ve managed to break three or four already, either over-filling them or putting them in the freezer while the contents were still hot.  What can I say? I learn the hard way.)  Instead of using syrup, which would have taken additional time to prepare, I just packed them with filtered water and stuck them in the freezer.  Done.

What to do with these in the future?  My Grandmother-in-law has a FANTASTIC recipe for a barbecue peach sauce that is served with pork tenderloin.  It’s a little involved, but it’s so totally worth it.  I would have just made the peaches into this sauce but I don’t have all the ingredients on hand.  And it would have taken more time.  And I wanted to be done.

This is an excellent meal for company, parties, or Tuesday night dinner!  🙂  There’s two options:  one that prepares the meal to be served out of a crockpot (ideal for the party scene), and another one that uses the grill and make a more impressive centerpiece (ideal for company).  I’ve tried it both ways and found them equally delicious!

Grandma Pat’s Pork Tenderloin with BBQ Peach Sauce

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 4 oz bacon, chopped
  • 1 dried Chile de Arbol (halved)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tbs peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 small peaches, diced
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (or more) lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce

Pork

  • 3lbs pork tenderloin
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 tsp pepper
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp garlic salt

Directions

For sauce: Saute bacon and chili in large saucepan over medium heat until bacon is crisp.  Add onion and garlic, saute 5 minutes.  Add Worcestershire sauce and peppercorns, stir 1 minute.  Add peaches, saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add orange juice, ketchup, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce.  Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon thickly, stirring often, about 30 minutes.

For pork: Brush tenderloin(s) with oil to coat.  Arrange park on rimmed baking sheet.  Mix pepper, salt, and garlic salt in small bowl to blend.  Sprinkle over pork. Bake pork at 350* for 30 mins.  Slice pork into 1/2 inch slices.  Transfer to slow cooker, add sauce, cook on low for 1 hr.

OR Grill tenderloin(s) until brown and meat thermometer inserted into center registers 140*, turning occasionally with tongs, about 18 minutes.  Brush pork all over with some of the sauce, about 3 minutes longer.  Transfer pork to work surface, let rest 10 minutes.  Rewarm sauce in pan.  Cut pork crosswise on slight diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.  Arrange pork slices on platter.  Drizzle with sauce, serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

Note: Chile de Arbol is a long, thin red chile that you’ll find in the fruit/veggie section of some grocery stores.  (I probably found mine at Kroger or Giant Eagle)

Next time I make this I’ll try to remember to take a picture of the finished result!

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Categories: Freezing, Fruit, Pork, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Miracle” Rice with Spinach and Parmesan – Just In Time For A Groupon Deal!

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Have you seen this stuff?  They’re called “Miracle Noodles”, and I’m inclined to agree that yes, they are some kind of miracle.  NO calories, NO artificial crap, NOT disgusting.  Wait… actually, they could be disgusting if you don’t prepare them correctly.

The first time I made them I was not desperate for a pasta substitute, and was only trying them because I was bending to the persuasion of my mother.  Brow-beaten people never read directions, so they turned out disgusting.

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But then I did this crazy strict diet thingy and for awhile couldn’t have any starches…and I was desperate for pasta.  Desperate people DO read directions!

I was determined to make these noodles taste good, and it turns out it’s not that hard to do!  As long as you follow the directions, of course!

You can buy these on Amazon.com.  I haven’t seen it in any stores near me, but there is another brand that I found at Meijer called NO Oodle.  They didn’t have the “rice” option in the store, but it’s a good way to try these noodles out without having to buy in bulk.

I have only tried the Angel Hair and Rice varieties so far, but there are a few others.  The Angel Hair is a very good, almost perfect, substitute for spaghetti noodles.  I think the Rice is closer to orzo than actual rice, though.  I haven’t tried using the Rice in rice recipes yet though, I’ll let you know how that turns out when I do!

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I did, however, use it to make an orzo-ish side dish a few months ago.  It simply consisted of things that sounded good to me, and what I had on hand, and it was delicious!

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Miracle “Rice” with Spinach and Parmesan

What you will need:

  • One 7-oz bag of Miracle Rice
  • Fresh Parmesan, grated (probably around 1/2 cup, more to taste)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (you could also use frozen)
  • 1 tsp chicken base (I used Better Than Bouillon)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the Miracle Rice using the directions printed on the package.  (Rinse, then boil for one minute, then rinse again).  They smell terrible!  Just hold your nose, I promise you will not taste that smell!
  2. Saute the spinach in a little butter until wilted.
  3. Add butter, chicken base, sauteed spinach, pepper and Parmesan to the rice, stir and serve!  Sprinkle a little extra fresh Parmesan on top for a nice touch.

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Coincidentally, there is a deal on Groupon right now for these!  $39.99 for 24 7-oz bags.  This makes each pack about $1.60; typically, they are around $2.50 or even $3.00 on Amazon, especially if you buy them one at a time.

DSC00841I forgot to take a final picture, of course.  But you get the idea, right?  It was good.  We ate it.  I’ll make it again someday!

Categories: Grain-free, Recipes, Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

They’re Pancakes! They’re Shortcake! They’re Practically Paleo!

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Don’t shut down on me yet.  I know I said the “P” word!  And while paleo and gluten-free are certainly hot topics and very trendy today, I’m betting most of you are like me and when you hear those words (along with vegan or vegetarian) you think, “Uuuughh, groan, whine”.  I’m of the mindset that food is good, and I like to eat it.  I like to eat it ALL.

…Unless of course you *can’t* have something.  I had to give up dairy proteins in all forms for a few months for each of my girls when they were newborns because I was breastfeeding and they had colic so bad.  THEN I was grateful for all the dairy-free recipes I was able to dig up.  And one time I got a bug in me to purchase a vegetarian cookbook because I was convicted that my family was centering ALL our meals around animal proteins.  (That book proved to be more helpful in the SIDE DISH department than with the main course.  We are just too carnivore-ish ;))

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There’s plenty of solid reasons for trying new lifestyle changes, though.  I have one friend who discovered, once she went completely vegetarian for a month, that her body does not handle animal proteins well.  Now she serves meat, poultry and fish as a treat instead of daily rations.  I have another friend who co-wrote with her husband a really great post on going mostly paleo/primal.  I highly recommend reading Daniel’s notes on WHY they went that route and how it has benefited them.

I actually enjoy a dietary challenge from time to time.  I think it opens the doors of culinary creativity, and almost always introduces me to new foods that I would not have thought to try – or new ways to use foods that I wouldn’t have tried on my own.

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Right now my husband and I are nearly done with a detox/diet that we started at the end of March.  We’re at the end of a 3-week phase where we can’t have starches or sugar.  It has not been nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, largely due to several recipes I’ve tinkered with.   I’ve also enjoyed several of the recipes I’ve discovered so much that they are now a member of my recipe book.  I don’t think I’d want to make this a permanent lifestyle, but I can say that I’m going to continue to find and add grain-free foods to our regular menus.

This particular recipe is a keeper.  Now, honestly, nothing beats good old-fashioned buttermilk pancakes slathered with butter and maple syrup.  But these grain-free pancakes are delightfully versatile as a breakfast food, a mid-day snack, or dessert!!  I haven’t tried them with syrup yet since we can’t have sugar for another 4 days (but who’s counting?) but that’s no matter.  They are really good with strawberry puree and whipped cream!  (My daughter tried them with syrup and liked them.)  I say these are “practically” paleo because I do use dairy, which is not part of the traditional paleo diet.  You can sub out the yogurt for applesauce and the milk for almond or coconut milk like the original recipe calls for, if you are trying to stick with true paleo.  And omit the whipped cream, of course.  (The first time I made these I used applesauce, and I will say they are sweeter, but much more prone to crumbling.)

One more note:  I think they are actually better the next day.  The last batch I made, I made on Saturday night so we could eat them Sunday morning.  Just re-heat them for 30 seconds or so in the microwave or in the oven for a few minutes.

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Grain-free Pancakes/Strawberry Shortcake

(The original credit for this recipe)

Pancakes (makes about 8-10 small cakes):

  • 1 1/2 cups Almond Flour (almond flour is simply almonds pureed in the food processor!)
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani 2%, but fat-free would work, too)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 cup Milk (I used raw whole milk.  Skim, low-fat, or almond/coconut milk would also be good!)
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut (optional, but delicious!)
  • Coconut Oil for greasing the griddle

Topping:

  • 1 cup Strawberries and/or other fruits (pureed in blender or food processor)
  • Whipped Cream

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, except coconut oil.  Batter should be slightly runny.  If it’s still thick, add more milk until it resembles typical pancake batter.  Grease griddle or pan with oil.  Spoon batter onto hot griddle into 2-3″ rounds.  When sides begin to brown, flip pancakes.  Brown the other side, then serve warm!  Add pureed strawberries and whipped cream.  If strawberries aren’t super sweet, you may want to add a packet of stevia or a teaspoon of sugar while pureeing.  Typically they won’t need it, though.  Especially if they are in season!  Leftovers should keep in the fridge at least a week.

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Tell me if you try these!  I have a few more starch and sugar-free recipes that I will post here if anyone is interested.   I’ll be back to eating those things next week, but it never hurts to try new recipes, right?

Categories: Fruit, Grain-free, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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