Mediterranean Lentil Salad

When I got this recipe in my inbox last week I decided immediately that I had to try it.  Packed with vitamins K and C, sweetened by roasted red peppers and balsamic vinegar, popping! with fresh garlic and basil, and bittered by arugula, this dish has it all.

lentils about to marinate

I decided to let this salad be the star of our dinner so I served it with simple grilled pork chops.  What a great choice.  The pork was perfectly mild in comparison, and only spiced with a bit of salt and pepper and an herb concoction ( milk thistle, Italian herbs, garlic, pepper, cayenne & hot peppers) from a local herbalist.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup dried green lentils

1 cup water

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

3 oz roasted red peppers, chopped

2 TBS finely minced onion

2 medium cloves garlic, pressed

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

3 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 TBS fresh lemon juice

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil, divided

salt and black pepper to taste

1 bunch arugula

baby aruluga

Directions:

  • Wash lentils, remove any foreign matter, and drain.  This step is serious business as there can be chunks of rock in with them and you can crack a tooth
  • Combine lentils, water and broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook at low temperature for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are cooked but still firm
  • Mince onion and press garlic and set aside
  • Once the lentils are cooked, drain the excess water, and lightly rinse under cold water. Drain again
  • Place the lentils in a bowl and add peppers, onion, garlic, basil, vinegar, and 1 TBS olive oil
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Marinate for at least 1 hour before serving.  This does even better with an overnight in the fridge if you have that kind of time
  • Toss the arugula with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of a lemon, salt and pepper. Serve on a plate topped with the lentils

mediterranean lentil salad with grilled pork chop

J

Recipe adapted from World’s Healthiest Foods

Honey-Soy-Glazed Root Vegetables

If you’ve never eaten a cooked radish then you’re missing out.  If you’ve only ever had them raw and disliked radishes and written them off, again, you’re missing out.  When a peppery & crunchy radish is cooked its flavor and texture transform into something wonderful.  Something buttery.  Something smooth.  Something yummy.  Radishes are roastable, steamable, fryable, but I would start here where they’re incorporated with other flavors so that if, for some reason, you don’t care for them- you still have other tasty vegetables to eat.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound medium turnips, cut into 3/4-inch wedges

1 pound medium radishes, quartered

½ medium sweet potato, quartered & sliced

1 large carrot, sliced

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 pound Swiss chard, bottoms of stems discarded and leaves chopped

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons water

Salt

6 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps quartered

1/2 pound rice crackers, pulverized

Pulverizing rice crackers. Need I say more?

Directions

  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the turnips and radishes, sweet potatoes and carrots and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until lightly browned and crisp-tender, 10 minutes
  • Add the honey and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the vegetables are glazed.
  • Add the soy sauce and cook until syrupy
  • Add the lemon juice and the Swiss chard; cook until the chard is wilted. Raise the heat to high and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated; keep warm.

Chopped Swiss chard & quartered shitake

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the molasses with the water and season with salt. Add the shiitake and toss to coat.
  • Drain the mushrooms, squeezing out most of the excess liquid.
  • In a separate bowl, toss the mushrooms with the rice cracker crumbs to create a crunchy coating

Shitake coated in rice crackers

  • In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over a high heat, until golden and crisp

Crisping the shitake

  • Transfer to paper towels to blot off oil. Top the vegetables with the mushrooms and serve

We had our glazed root vegetables with some Asian pork tenderloin.  They would side well to almost any meat though, or could be eaten alone or over rice as a vegetarian dish.

Glazed root vegetables with pork tenderloin

J

Recipe adapted from an article in Food & Wine, recipe by David Chang

Asian BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Last week Kitchbitch had a guest chef, Neil.  You see, I do the cooking about five nights each week.  We go out to eat once or twice, and Neil cooks too.  He selects his recipe, does the marketing for said dish(es) and prepares (generally on a Friday night since he gets home about an hour later than I do).  This time we actually remembered to keep track of the ingredients and steps and to take pics.

Neil’s personal preferences tend toward sweet with a kick.  He chose this recipe which has a base in apricot preserves (sweet) and a kick of heat (sriracha).  Ginger is also a dominant flavor in this dish and we both love that.

Ingredients

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed

Spice Rub:

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Glaze:

¾ cups apricot preserves

¼ cup barbecue sauce

½  teaspoon grated ginger

2 cloves  garlic, minced

½ teaspoon sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 lime, juiced

Directions

Place chili powder, garlic powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a jar; shake to blend. Rub spice mixture onto pork tenderloin. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

Prior to grilling, melt apricot preserves in saucepan over medium heat. Remove pan from the heat and stir in remaining glaze ingredients. Place half of the glaze in a serving bowl and set aside.

Prepare grill at medium-high heat. Grill pork tenderloin for 15 minutes.

At the end of the cook time, glaze the tenderloin.  Remove pork from the grill and let set for about 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with reserved glaze.

Neil steamed up some snow peas and cooked off some jasmine rice to accompany this wonderful pork.  What a fantastic combination!

J

Pork and white bean chili

As always, this week I was on the lookout for fantastic new recipes to try.  The twist was that they had to be both hearty (since temps this week are in the 20s) and healthy (as I’m training for a race).  This one fit the bill so I gave it a whirl last night.

I was able to make the dish from start to finish in under half an hour and in one skillet.  Bonus!

This chili is loaded with flavor.  The mild heat from the ancho chili pepper is excellent, and the addition of the avocado salsa really rounds it out & adds a sweet note.

Since there was a fantastic looking loaf of rosemary olive oil bread at the market I opted to serve that along with.

olive oil

1 pound boneless pork tenderloin, trimmed up & cut into 1-inch cubes

1 chopped onion

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons Ancho chili pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano leaves

1 teaspoon salt

2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

14 oz. chicken broth

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped

1/2 small red onion, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • Heat some olive oil in large skillet on medium heat. Brown the pork on all sides. Remove from skillet.
  • Stir onions into skillet; cook and stir 4 minutes or until tender. Add seasonings; cook and stir 1 minute or until fragrant. Add pork, beans and broth; mix well. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until pork is tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Mix avocado, red onion, cilantro and lime juice in small bowl. Serve chili topped with avocado mixture.

J