Pomegranate Balsamic Pork Roast

Slow Cooker
Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 lbs yukon potatoes, cut into large 1-2″cubes
3 lbs pork loin roast, we used bone in
 salt and pepper
1 red onion, chopped
6 carrots, 2 diced, 4 cut in baby carrot size pieces
4 cloves minced garlic
3 celery ribs, diced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
2 cups pomegranate juice, divided
1 tablespoon fruit marmalade, we used Fig
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 Salt and pepper pork loin to taste, and brown on all sides in a pan with olive oil.

2 Place potatoes and baby size carrots in bottom of crock pot, place pork loin on top.

3 Cook onion, garlic diced carrots, and celery in pan and olive oil, add to crock pot.

4 Deglaze pan with stock and 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, bring to a boil, and add to crock pot.

5 Sprinkle herbs on top of pork loins, cook on low about 6 hours.

6 Remove pork loins and potatoes/ carrots from crock pot, set aside and keep warm.

7 Move 2 cups of cooking liquid from the crock pot to a wide skillet, add remaining pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, and marmalade. Reduce liquid to about 1 cup.

8 Slice pork loin, drizzle with pan sauce, serve with potatoes and carrots. Enjoy!

Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad with Orange and Lemon Dressing

This salad is incredible, we found this in our new cookbook ” Jamie at Home”. It does take some time to cook the carrots, but it is Oh So worth it. Each ingredient adds something special to this dish, the carrots are amazingly flavorful, the roast citrus dressing is perfection, the peppery crisp salad leaves and crunchy ciabatta bread “croutons” with a creamy dollop of plain yogurt… you have to try it to believe it’s awesomeness. We made this a dinner meal so it was 2 very large, and satisfying, servings; but you can make it into however many you want. It will not keep as leftovers, so make sure to plan accordingly ( i.e. divide in half for less):

Ingredients:

1 pound medium mixed colored carrots, with their leafy tops

Sea salt

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 teaspoon thyme

Extra-virgin olive oil

Red or white wine vinegar

1 orange, halved

1 lemon, halved

2 large ripe avocados

4 (1/2-inch thick) slices ciabatta bread

2 handfuls mixed salad leaves and arugula, washed and spun dry

1 bunches watercress

2/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt

4 tablespoons sunflower seeds, toasted

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Parboil the carrots in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, until they are very nearly cooked, then drain and put them into a roasting pan, covered with foil and spray with pam. While the carrots are cooking smash up the cumin, chilles, salt, pepper, garlic and thyme until you have a kind of paste. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to generously cover the paste, and a good swig of vinegar. This will be like a marinade, a rub and a dressing all in one! Stir together, then rub on the carrots in the pan while they are hot, coating them well. Add the orange and lemon halves, cut side down. These will roast along with the carrots, and their juice can be used as the basis of the dressing. Place in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.

While the carrots are roasting, halve and peel the avocados, discarding the pits, then cut them into wedges lengthwise and place in a big bowl. Remove the carrots from the oven and add them to the avocados; then toast or broil your ciabatta slices.  While they toast up, carefully, using some tongs, squeeze the roasted orange and lemon juice into a bowl through a mesh strainer ( to catch the seeds) and add the same amount of extra-virgin olive oil and a little swig of red wine vinegar. Season, and pour this dressing over the carrots and avocados. Mix together, have a taste and correct the seasoning.
Tear the toasted bread into little pieces ( like croutons) and add to the dressed carrot and avocado. Mix together, toss in the salad leaves and cress and transfer to a big platter or divide between individual plates. Spoon over a nice dollop of yogurt, sprinkle over your toasted seeds.

Feta and Sun Dried Tomato Acorn Squash with Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

In search of a light and easy dinner after a long weekend away from home this meal turned in to a surprisingly beautiful plate of food.  The acorn squash tastes really exotic and refreshed with the blend of spices, the tart bite of sundried tomatoes along with the crisp peppery arugula salad and crumbled tangy feta cheese was a really unique combination that works!  To make this more of a meal we added roasted prosciutto wrapped asparagus with a drizzle of fig preserves…. This recipe is proven to be made quickly and painlessly ( we were exhausted!), just allow the 45-60 minutes for the squash to cook.  Prep the asparagus after the squash are in the oven, then when you take them out, crank the oven to 400 degrees and put in the asparagus to cook for 8 minutes. 

Serves 4
Ingredients:
3 pounds acorn squash
2 ounces feta cheese
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon oregano, ground
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, ground
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 cups arugula
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

To prepare the acorn squash, pull off the hard stem so it can sit on a flat surface. Then you will cut the end off horizontilly so it has a lid (this will need to be about 2″ down from the opposite end of the stem removal) Scrape out all the seeds, discard. Place the squash in a pan lined with foil.

Next rub the inside walls with about 1-2 teaspoons olive oil. Combine all the spices together, and equally distribute between the squash. rubbing most into the walls. Then sprinkle in the chopped sundried tomatoes, give it a stir to combine the spices with them. Place the lids on each squash and place in the oven. Backe at 350 degrees for about 45-60 minutes untill the squash is soft.

Remove from the oven and prepare arugula. Toss the leaves with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Plate each of the squash, lid to the side, sprinkle in the feta and top with arugula. Serve warm

•Low in cholesterol•High in calcium•High in dietary fiber•High in manganese
•High in magnesium•High in potassium•High in thiamin
•Very high in vitamin A•High in vitamin B6•Very high in vitamin C

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus:

1 lb asparagus, washed and trimmed
6 slices Prosciutto
1-2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze of lemon
2 tablespoons Fig jam or preserves, heated to drizzle consistancy

Slice the Prosciutto into thin strips.  Wrap a small strip around each of the stems of asparagus.  Drizzle oil and lemon, season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.  Serve with a drizzle of hot fig jam on top.

Sunday Morning Breakfast Sandwich

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and to be honest, it is our favorite meal of the day! This was certainly a hearty, easy and healthy way to start our day. Using left over chopped basil, green onion and red pepper from homemade pizza night we made an egg scramble, topped with leftover mozzarella and bacon on fresh Ciabatta bread from Trader Joe’s. Serves 2 very hungry people….Here’s how we made this
Beat together:
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon fat free milk
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Bring a 10″ omelet pan ( sprayed with Pam), over medium high heat. Pour in the eggs, cook pulling the edges in towards the middle of the pan to distribute the un-cooked eggs across the pan ( like you were making an omelet) when it is half way set, toss in chopped veggies… we did about:
2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup each of:
Green Onion
Basil
Red Pepper
Tuck veggies into eggs and flip the omelet over. Take off the flame and top with 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese ( sliced thin), cover with a plate to allow cheese to melt ( about 2 minutes).
Cut Ciabbata bread into 2 and then slice horizontally for your sandwiches. Drizzle each open face with olive oil and place face down into a heated pan on the stove top. Press them down to get a nice golden brown toast.
TO build:
Place half of the cooked eggs on toasted Ciabatta bread bottom, layer on some cooked bacon and then top with the Ciabatta bread top; repeat for other sandwich and enjoy!

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Bananas

Craving moist chocolate cake without all the guilt and mess in your sink?  Well this recipe from Eating Well is your ticket,
12 servings
Ingredients
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient Note)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk, (see Tip)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot strong black coffee
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preparation
1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with a circle of wax paper.
2.Whisk flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, egg, oil and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add hot coffee and beat to blend. (The batter will be quite thin.) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
3.Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes; remove from the pan, peel off the wax paper and let cool completely. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before slicing.
Tips & Notes
Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour, lower in protein than regular whole-wheat flour, has less gluten-forming potential, making it a better choice for tender baked goods. You can find it in the natural-foods section of large super markets and natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.
Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.
Nutrition Per serving: 139 calories; 3 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 18 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 212 mg sodium; 60 mg potassium.