Ginger Pork Tenderloin with Asian Vegetables

This meal was inspired by a recipe posted on WHF for Asian Sauteed Cauliflower.  I say “inspired by” because, of course, it grew into something very different.  The stand-out element here is the dressing that you make for the vegetables.  It’s a little salty and a little sweet, and it’s made almost buttery, if you will, with the addition of cilantro at the end.  I used many of the same ingredients to dress the pork with.

Ingredients:

Pork:

1 pork tenderloin

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon tamari

salt & pepper

Vegetables:

1/2 of a medium head cauliflower, trimmed & florets cut into bite-sized pieces

1 decently-sized carrot, sliced into rounds

1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into half-rounds

½ of a large onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
5 Tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 medium cloves garlic, diced small
2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoon tamari
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Season the pork with salt & pepper
  • Heat a cast iron fry pan on the stove top at a medium-high heat, add the oil, then begin searing the pork tenderloin
  • While the pork sears, mix the ginger, vinegar, honey & tamari, then pour it over the seared pork
  • Pop the frying pan, with pork & dressing, into the oven for 23 minutes (adjust up or down depending on size)
  • While the pork finishes in the oven heat the chicken broth in a large skillet at a medium to medium-high heat and when it begins to steam add the cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, onion & ½ of the garlic, cover and allow to steam for 5 minutes
  • While the veggies steam, mix together the ginger, remaining garlic, vinegar, honey, tamari, olive oil, salt & pepper
  • After the veggies have cooked for 5 minutes, uncover them and add the dressing
  • Turn the heat off under the pan, and stir the veggies every couple of minutes to distribute the dressing
  • Serve the veggies topped with cilantro

This meal was very tasty 😉

J

Chicken cauliflower curry

Alas, this dish has no cute story to go with it.  Just a fantastic flavor profile, and lots of textures.  It’ll make your home smell wonderful and you’ll be wanting to sample straight from the pan all the while it cooks.  And that’s not a bad idea either.  This way you can track the progress of the flavor meld of the ingredients.  It’s great to witness that happening.

I call for the chicken to be added back in nearer to the end of the cooking time because if it sits in the pan throughout then it will get tough and chewy.  That would be a horrible thing to do to a perfectly good chicken breast 😉

Ingredients:

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

5 small red potatoes, cubed, with the skins on

½ head of cauliflower, trimmed into bite-sized pieces

3-4 Tbsp hot curry paste

1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes

1 cup water

1 cup cooked lentils

Directions:

  • Sauté the chicken breast, then remove it from the pan and set aside
  • Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes
  • Add the potatoes and cauliflower and sauté for another 5 minutes
  • Stir in the curry paste and cook for a minute
  • Add tomatoes and water and simmer for half an hour
  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add that and the cooked lentils to the mixture and let simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered
  • Season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Serve in large bowls.  Naan makes a great accompaniment

J

Cod with Fennel and Cauliflower

What this dish lacks in color it certainly makes up for in flavor and aroma.  A little salty chicken broth, sweet  lemon & carrot, aromatic fennel, pungent garlic.  And the texture of the poached fish is very different than baked or fried fish.  It holds together well and is very moist.

Ingredients:

2 cod fillets

1 TBS fresh lemon juice

1TBS + 1 cup chicken broth

1 medium sized onion, cut in half and sliced thickly

1 large carrot, cut into 1½ inch pieces and quartered

½ head cauliflower, florets separated

1 medium-sized fennel bulb, sliced thin

5 medium cloves garlic, pressed

salt and pepper to taste

chopped fennel greens for garnish

Directions:

  • Slice onion and chop garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes
  • Rub cod with lemon juice and season with a little salt and pepper. Set aside
  • Heat 1 TBS broth in a skillet and sauté onion in broth over medium heat for 5 minutes,stirring often
  • Add the rest of the broth and the carrots. Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes, covered

  • Add the cauliflower, fennel, and garlic. Place cod steaks on top and continue to cook, covered, for about 11-12 more minutes
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Serve  sprinkled with chopped fennel greens

Cod served on a bed of quinoa

And with the left-over fennel bits I created a cocktail- 1/4 lemonade : 3/4 seltzer : fennel stalk

Fennelade bubbly

The recipe was inspired by this post on World’s Healthiest Foods.

J

Cauliflower with peas and potatoes (Gobhi Aaloo Mutter Ki Subzi)

One night I was trying out a vegetarian main dish and wasn’t quite sure how it would come out so I needed a stand-by, hearty side dish to fall back on in the event that it was a failure.  Turns out the vegetarian loaf which included such ingredients as red onion, spinach, red bell pepper, boxed falafel mix, and goat cheese wasn’t all that bad.  But this side was excellent.  It’s got some heat to it, with the fresh ginger and chili, but you could certainly scale back on those a bit.  It’s got lots of textures, sizes and shapes.  I think that mushrooms would be a nice addition to this as well.

falafel loaf with cauliflower, potatoes & peas

Ingredients:

1 head of fresh cauliflower florets

2 large or 3 medium-sized potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tbsps olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 large onion, chopped fine

2 tsps minced garlic

1 tsp minced ginger

2 tsps coriander

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chili powder

2 large tomatoes, chopped finely

1 green chili, chopped

1 cup petite frozen peas

Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Put potatoes & cauliflower florets in a steamer and par-cook for about 10 minutes

steamed cauliflower & potatoes

  • Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute
  • Add the onion and fry until soft, stirring often
  • Add the ginger and garlic and cook for a minute
  • Add all of the spices and cook for 1 minute

onion, ginger & garlic coated in spices

  • Next add the chopped tomatoes and green chili, stirring well, and cook until tomatoes start to get soft (about 2-3 minutes)

fresh tomato & green chili

  • Now add the cauliflower florets, potatoes and peas. Stir well. Add salt to taste. Cover the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat

the completed dish

J

Recipe adapted from a post on About.com

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Being in the dead of winter makes me want to make soups and stews like nobody’s business, but that can get old after a while (in my opinion).  This particular soup stuck out because it wasn’t another way to use a winter squash, and it wasn’t insert poultry here noodle, and it had an interesting twist with the curry.  It also happens to be vegetarian, can be vegan, and is super-healthy.

This soup comes out flavorful and thick.  The garnish would make for a great anytime snack too.  Toasted curried sunflower seeds- how can you go wrong?

Ingredients

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

3 1/2 cups milk, divided (soy or unsweetened almond milk can be substituted)

3 teaspoons mild curry powder, divided

1 cup chopped yellow onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

5 cups (about 1 pound) cauliflower florets (or 1 head)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, toss sunflower kernels with 1 teaspoon milk and 1 teaspoon curry powder. Spread out on a small parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake until toasted and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup of milk in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, remaining 2 teaspoons curry powder and remaining milk, cover and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 40 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with more curry powder if you like. Working in batches, carefully purée in a blender until smooth. Transfer to bowls, garnish with sunflower seeds and serve.

We enjoyed this with roasted vegetable couscous dressed with balsamic vinegar and green salads for sides.  It was tasty and incredibly filling.

J