Sweet Pork and Pears

I’ve mentioned before, Pork chops aren’t exactly my favorite piece of meat.  I think I might have one or two pork chop recipes in the entire recipe history of PLFF.

But if I’m being honest?  We might start having pork a bit more regularly with this dish.

This pork was a little bit of everything – juicy, tart, sweet, salty and just seriously delish.  And EASY.  Less than 30 minutes from start to finish.  Perfect for a weeknight dinner.

And now when I see pork chops in the sale ads, I much more likely to pick up a package.

Don’t forget to enter the Yes, Chef giveaway by Friday!

One year ago: Porch Pounder Sangria
Two years ago: Triple Berry Cakes

Sweet Pork and Pears with Goat Cheese on Quinoa
adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
1 cup quinoa
olive oil
4 4oz boneless pork loin chops
1 tsp dried tarragon
salt and pepper
2 ripe Bartlett pears, cored and chopped
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
goat cheese, for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for around 15 minutes, or until tender.  Fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Season both sides of the pork with salt, pepper, and tarragon.  Add to skillet and brown on each sided (around 2 minutes each side).  Add pears, vinegar and honey, stirring to combine.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until pork is cooked through.

Divide quinoa among serving plates and top with pork, pear mixture, and sauce.  Top with goat cheese and serve.

Enjoy!

Veggie Hash and Eggs

 

Is it breakfast?  Is it dinner?

YES.

I’ve always been an advocate of breakfast for dinner.  Whether it’s pancakes, waffles, breakfast burritos, or hash.

Hash – i.e., an excuse to throw any and everything into a saute pan, cover it with an egg, and see what happens.  You really can’t go wrong.

That’s kind of what happened when I first started making this.

I was home alone and left to fend for myself for dinner.  I found some random veggies in the fridge and pantry – a few potatoes, zucchini, squash, a few bell peppers.  My new favorite meal was born.  It’s grown a little each time I’ve made it, and by the third or fourth time I made it, I figured it was time to share it.  I thought it was “too easy” to share and “not really a recipe.”  But we all need ideas to mix things up a little, right?

I can’t wait to take this recipe camping – camp food =/= healthy food like 99% of the time.  This would be great to do over the fire/stove in a cast iron skillet!

One year ago: Bacon Ranch Potato Salad and Watermelon Lemonade
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies and My Favorite Camping Recipes

Veggie Hash and Eggs
a PLFF original recipe
serves 2

3-4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 small sweet potatoes (or regular Idaho potatoes), scrubbed and diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 large jalapeno, minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium yellow squash, diced
2 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
4 eggs

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add potatoes.  Cook 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are almost tender.  Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno (add more olive oil, if necessary).  Saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes.  Add diced squash, season with steak seasoning.  Season to taste with more salt, if necessary.  Saute until squash is almost tender, about 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.

After squash gets added, cook eggs to the style of your choice (over easy is our favorite!).  Divide hash over 2 plates, top with eggs.

Enjoy!

Quinoa Burrito Bowls

*tap tap tap*

Is this thing on?

Is anyone still here?

You are?

All 5 of you?

Whew.

I know, I’ve been totally MIA here lately.  I’ve been swamped with a wedding catering job a few weeks ago and have barely had time to cook anything remotely blog worthy.  And even when I do, I’m usually starving and have no energy to try to take a picture of it.  And if I do manage to take a picture, it just sits on my camera for weeks at a time until I have time to edit pics and actually blog them.

Well, luckily that time finally came this weekend.  I’ve caught up a little on life, edited a few pics, and I might actually start haivng some regular posts again.

If you remember correctly, we’ve been trying really hard here at the PLFF house to cut back on processed foods.  We’ve cut out a ridiculous amoung of carbs from our diet and have been filling up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains.  And in that search for the healthier, I discovered quinoa.

Now some of my favorite blogs have been writing about quinoa for a while now.  Call me jaded, but I was skeptical.  It just sounded… too healthy.  I mean, I like healthy, but I’m not a rabiit food and cardboard for dinner kind of girl.

But quinoa truly is fabulous.  It’s technially a seed, not a grain.  So it’s super nutty, and has a great bite to it, like good al dente brown rice.  Now, will I ever pick quinoa over pasta?  Of course not.  But I certainly like quinoa enough to satisfy my carb craving without blowing my calories for the day.

One year ago: Pasta Primavera with Goat Cheese and Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa
Two years ago: Blackened Chicken over Garlic Lime Pasta and Mega-Berry Crisp

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowls
adapted from the Shiksa in the Kitchen

1 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken/vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
pinch of cayenne
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
toppings such as shredded cheese, Greek yogurt, salsa, diced tomatoes, avocado, etc

Pour quinoa in a medium saucepan with chicken/vegetable stock and 1 cup of water (2 cups liquid total).  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Let simmer for 20 minutes (closer to 25 for high altitude folks).  Stir occasionally.

While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add onions and cook until softened.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add balck beans, half of cilantro, chili powder, cayenne, and 2 tbsp lime juice.  Reduce heat to low.  Season with salt to taste.  Stir occasionally and keep warm until quinoa is ready.

When the quinoa is fully cooked, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.  Stir in remaining cilantro and remaining lime juice.  To assemble bowls, divide quinoa between four bowls.  Top with black beans and your toppings of choice.  Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Chicken and Edamame with Orange Ginger Dressing

So here at the PLFF house we’ve been making a very conscious effort to eat a lot cleaner – we’ve done away with nearly all processed foods in our house.  We still have some ways to go, but we’ve taken leaps and bounds in the past few weeks.

And you know what?

It’s not that hard.

You choose better quality ingredients.

You actually taste your food.

You embrace the whole “less is more.”

And you find that at the end of the meal, you’re still satisfied.

And full.

And after several days without consuming anything processed, you start to notice.

You notice you’re  less tired and bloated.

You notice you have more energy, even though you haven’t had caffeine in days.

Then you wake up one day and realize you’ve drank the metaphorical kool-aid.  And there’s no going back.

And I’m ok with that.

Now don’t worry, that doesn’t mean we won’t still have cupcakes and whatnot around here. But you will be seeing a lot more clean eating recipes.

One year ago: Bug-themed cake and cupcakes
Two years ago: Taco Salad

Chicken and Edamame with Orange Ginger Dressing
courtesy of Confections of a Foodie Bride

1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 1/2 orange)
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
salt to taste
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shelled edamame
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1/2 an avocado, diced
small handful of cilantro, minced

While brown rice in cooking, whisk together orange juice, lime juice, ginger and salt.  Add salt to taste.

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil.  Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.  Add in edamame, bell pepper, and cooked rice.  Remove from heat.  Add dressing and stir to combine.  Spoon into bowls and top with avocado and cilantro.

Enjoy!