Pickled “Fried” Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce + Weekly Menu

Pickled Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce 1

Yesterday was the first day I was able to get in the lake and actually enjoy the water. As in, it was above 64 degrees for the first time this summer, or so it seemed. We’ve had very few 80-something degree days, perhaps none in the 90′s, and have been *lucky* to get weather in the 70′s. With temps dropping below 60 most every night, everything is just…confused.

Except Lily. Fortunately or unfortunately, Lily hasn’t been confused – if it’s a weekend day, she throws a temper tantrum until we head to the beach. The girl just knows that when it’s a summer weekend day and the sun is out…she wants to be bummin’ on the beach. And she makes her wishes very well-known. Brat.

Pickled Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce 2

My hydrangea are MIA this year. Was it the brutal winter or the unusually mild summer? Not sure.

Why is Mr. Prevention STILL talking about getting a jet ski? I’ll never know.

Tomato plants? Totally confused.

Despite not having a backyard, we have two decent-sized side yards, one of which gets some good sun most of the day. While I had proposed a raised bed garden in years past, it wasn’t a good idea until this year when I felt as round as the Goodyear blimp and Mr. Prevention wanted to tackle the project. He has a green thumb, of sorts, but his tomato plants have turned into one giant heap of tomato madness. He didn’t exactly allow space enough for them to actually grow.

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The tomato plants have gotten so far as to produce a MASSIVE amount of green tomatoes, but the temps and sun haven’t warranted them actually turning red yet. And before he reads this (unlikely, but possible) and corrects me, a *few* have turned red. But there’s about 421 green tomatoes in my side yard that are making little to no progress in their ripening. It may be October before we’re getting actual yield from the garden.

But the good news is: green tomatoes are delicious, too. Not as versatile, but certainly delicious.

Fried green tomatoes or “fried” green tomatoes have become somewhat trendy. Not quite bacon status, but lusted after amongst foodies. I mean, what’s not to love about a “Fried” Green Tomato BLT? Or these Pickled “Fried” Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce? Yes, please! I guess it’s alright by me if summer stays confused. Or the tomatoes, anyway.

Pickled Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce 4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pickled "Fried" Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Herb Sauce
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
Pickling:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 16 (1/4-inch-thick) slices green tomato (about 4 tomatoes)
Tomatoes:
  • 7 Tbsp lowfat buttermilk, divided
  • 3 Tbsp light olive oil-based mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp fresh dill, minced
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1¼ cup panko
  • ⅓ cup masa harina
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Instructions
  1. Combine pickling ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain tomatoes; pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile, combine 5 tablespoons buttermilk and next 4 ingredients (through garlic), stirring with a whisk. Stir in ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add panko to pan; cook 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in masa harina, ¼ teaspoon salt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place panko mixture in a shallow dish. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk, egg, and egg white, stirring with a whisk in a second shallow dish. Place flour in a third shallow dish.
  4. Dredge tomato slices in flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko mixture, turning to coat.
  5. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of tomatoes; cook 4 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until browned. Repeat with remaining oil and tomatoes. Serve with sauce.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tomato slices with sauce Calories: 155 Fat: 8.1 Carbohydrates: 17.9 Sugar: 5.0 Sodium: 226 Fiber: 1.4 Protein: 4.4 Cholesterol: 24

Weekly Menu: August 3rd – August 7th

 Only TWO entries are still up for grabs in this year’s chili contest! Be sure to check out the details at the end of this post!

Mi familia is coming up for a beach day and cookout :-D

Be well,

 sig4

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins 1

One of the more carefree, fun, and creative parts of my job includes making the weekly menu in our hospital cafeteria. The sky is the limit — we make anything and everything in our hospital cafeteria and not to boast too much, but people do love our food!

We make Crab-Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Ratatouille, Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas, Chicken Gyros, Crispy Tilapia Fish Tacos, and Black Bean and Rice-Stuffed Bell Peppers.

It’s…fun :) But serving 100+ is a bit different than serving the 2 mouths I have to feed at home.

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In my little hospital kitchen we have one cook and one assistant cook…and neither were there yesterday due to illness.

My morning started with a conversation with the head cook over the phone. “Teresa, what ratio do I use for biscuits?”

Her help? “Oh, I just go based on consistency.” Ha. I’m glad I trained once upon a time with the cook because one of the few things I remember is the consistency of biscuit batter. So, I made biscuits. Good biscuits, too. ;)

Of course it was the day that we had made-to-order egg scrambles on the menu and lunch was packed. Breakfast for lunch is always a hit, but the made-to-order option when you’re short staffed is…stressful.

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We made it through. I was running around the kitchen with my hair in a knot on top of my head, periodically cooling off in the freezer (thank goodness for walk-in freezers!), and cursing myself for wearing heels. At least I wasn’t wearing white?

Silver lining.

It’s good that people go ga-ga for breakfast, similar to myself. It is, by far, my favorite meal of the day, no matter what time of day its eaten. I love the sweet and savory options, as well as all the baked goods. And as much as I’d love to throw together made-to-order egg scrambles every day, a grab-and-go muffin is much more practical. Besides, doesn’t everyone love a good muffin?

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins 4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Healthy Banana Oat Muffins
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Mildly sweet, nutty, and with the perfect crumble!
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups white wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (from about 3 small bananas)
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (or flavor of choice)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a muffin tin with liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and oats; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas against the side of the bowl using a fork. Measure out 1 cup and discard any excess banana. Whisk into the banana the egg, brown sugar, yogurt, almond milk, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until well-combined. Fold in walnuts. Distribute batter amongst muffin wells, filling about ¾ths full.
  5. Bake at 400 F for 5 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350 F; bake an additional 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 167 Fat: 3.5 Carbohydrates: 31.3 Sugar: 6.3 Sodium: 240 Fiber: 3.1 Protein: 4.1 Cholesterol: 12

 It feels like Friday…why isn’t it Friday yet? ;)

Be well,

sig4

Rocky Road Baked Donuts + Weekly Menu

Rocky Road Baked Donuts 1

So I have a new injury to add to my list of ailments — tennis elbow!

This is a classic case of which came first, the chicken or the egg? The pregnancy or the irritation from starting my tennis career at the spry age of 28 and pregnant this past January? We’ll never know.

It was a surprise to me when the occupational therapist not only identified my pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel due to lots of excess fluid in my (of course) right (and dominant) hand, but the tennis elbow was a huge surprise. Playing 1-2 hours a week certainly doesn’t have me gearing up for Wimbledon. Of course I go on to learn that most cases of tennis elbow are not actually due to tennis playing. Who knew? But since I actually do play tennis, who the heck knows if tennis or the pregnancy is to blame.

Rocky Road Baked Donuts 2

I now have every brace and band imaginable for this right arm of mine. I have the carpal tunnel brace to wear at night. Not fun, but I’m used to it. I have a wrist brace for when I do play tennis. Not a fan as it makes it even more difficult to grip the racket. I also have a “Band-It” to wear on my upper forearm for when I’m doing “repetitive motions” or “palm up lifting”. In other words, I am to wear it when doing most things, including cooking…and my new favorite hobby – putting together way too much furniture for the nursery that I’ve ordered online. In the words of Mr. Prevention, “there’s no where for Baby Shea to go”. Lies. The nursery looks great and it’s just the finishing touches from here on out…after I put together a humongo bookcase all by myself yesterday and acquired the nickname of “Bob the Builder”.

My tennis elbow is officially flared up.

Rocky Road Baked Donuts 3

I’ll quit the building but tennis and cooking, however? I think I’ll trudge through the pain.

As I sarcastically asked Mr. P this weekend, “What would it BE LIKE to wake-up to the dish washer unloaded and reloaded, a hot pot of coffee brewing, and homemade Rocky Road Donuts prepared for me as I rolled out of bed on the weekend?”

Oh, that’s right. I’ll never, ever ever ever ever ever know.

So, I’m bracing up that arm and wrist and surging ahead. Things like Rocky Road Donuts are worth the sacrifice.

Rocky Road Baked Donuts 4

Rocky Road Baked Donuts
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
Donuts:
  • For the Doughnuts:
  • 1¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup lowfat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Topping:
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup marshmallow crème
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp nonfat milk
  • ⅔ cup almond meal
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Mist a donut pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, gently whisk the the egg. Add the buttermilk, applesauce, and vanilla; whisk well.
  4. Using a spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing until dry ingredients are incorporated. Spoon the better into donut wells, filling ¾ths full. Bake 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for several moments before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.
  5. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat together the butter, marshmallow creme, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk using an electric hand mixer. Place the almond meal in a shallow bowl. One by one, dip the donut into the frosting (or frost using a small knife) and then the almond meal. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Steph's Bite By Bite and the frosting adapted from Kraft by Steph's Bite By Bite
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 frosted donut Calories: 198 Fat: 6.6 Carbohydrates: 31.8 Sugar: 18.3 Sodium: 189 Fiber: 2.8 Protein: 3.8 Cholesterol: 26

 Weekly Menu: June 28th – July 4th

 Cherry picking and hopefully the beach today!

Be well,

sig4

Greek Pork Tenderloin + Weekly Menu

Greek Pork Tenderloin 1

As you can see below, my weekly menu includes a few roll-over meals from last week. I have not been in the mood to cook. I’ve been in the mood for cereal and soft serve and anything that requires absolutely no effort. In short, being pregnant has caused me to be a carbaholic lazy person…and it makes me sad.

When I think back to 6 months ago, I spent MOST of my weekends in the kitchen. I was whipping up 5+ new recipes every weekend for my gluten-free cookbook and now, my poor kitchen goes days without any love. Mr. Prevention and I have even been having stand-offs to see who caves and unloads the dishwasher first, as the dirty dishes start to pile up on the counter and in the sink.

(P.S. I usually cave and unload the darn dish washer…the man is worthless in this way.)

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But last week, I spent some time formulating some ideas of what could reinvigorate me in the kitchen. Pinterest is always good for such. And you know, since I’ve been forbidden from buying any more baby clothes (I’ve bought FOUR onesies, that’s all!)…and decorating the nursery, well…that’s just gotten expensive. And let’s be honest, there’s very little left to do to prepare for baby. When I’m anxious for something, I’m a big time planner. Big time planner.

I digress…

Today was baked donuts. Today was strawberry picking which lead to fruit crumble making…and spending a solid hour (along with Mr. P’s assistance) washing and dicing strawberries to freeze for…whatever. I mean, we did pick TWENTY pounds.

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I’m also making dinner tonight. A quick dinner…that includes the grill. Because it’s hot and humid and meat on the grill is the only non-carb I crave. Balance, self. Balance.

This recipe makes me think of my mom. In fact, I told her all about this meal the following morning on our daily morning chat as I drive to work. As a lover of pork tenderloin, I knew she’d appreciate both the simplicity and deliciousness of this recipe. Plus, it’s healthy and can pair with other yummy meal components like hummus, pita, and tzatziki. I was in heaven. I need this meal again soon.

Greek Pork Tenderloin 4

Greek Pork Tenderloin
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
The meat had GREAT flavor and we loved combining it with other fun components to make a meal -- tzatziki and hummus, along with a "salad" I threw together of grape tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, Greek olives, and feta.
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 pork tenderloins (1¼ lb each)
Instructions
  1. In a large ziplock bag, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper; zip the top of the bag and gently massage and shake to combine. Add the tenderloins, zip the top of the bag removing any excess air, and roll the tenderloins to coat on all sides. Marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. Preheat the grill to 400 F. Grill meat for about 20-25 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so. Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing into ½-inch thick slices.
  3. Serve with tomato, feta, olive, and artichoke salad and/or hummus, tzatziki, and whole wheat pita bread.
Notes
Recipe from Gather & Dine, originally adapted from Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 oz Calories: 157 Fat: 2.5 Carbohydrates: 9.0 Sugar: 2.8 Sodium: 319 Fiber: 0.1 Protein: 22.6 Cholesterol: 69

Weekly Menu: June 22nd – June 26th

I’m whipped. I feel like I’ve spent all weekend on my feet. Tonight = R&R and reading :)

Be well,

sig4

5 Minute Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt + Weekly Menu

5 Minute Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt 1

As someone who has battled my weight my entire life (quite literally my entire life), seeing the scale go up is…tough. I know a woman’s body goes through so many changes that attribute to weight gain in pregnancy – everything from blood volume to placenta to baby and everything in between. Still, though, it was recommended that I gain around 15 pounds during my pregnancy and that is proving to be a challenge.

With the exception of this past week when I was on my cracker and Sprite diet for 2 days…

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Not only is my body changing, but I’ve been given a lot of restrictions during my pregnancy. As an avid runner and hockey player, it’s been nearly 5 months since I’ve participated in either activity and…I miss it. So much. Instead, I spend my time bouncing from acupuncture to the chiropractor to the gym to be stretched out by a trainer. I always envisioned myself as being a fit individual during my pregnancy and just continuing on with an active life, but that just wasn’t the hand that was dealt. Exercise is not only fun for me, but a stress reliever, a social outlet, and most certainly a means of weight management.

And before this post seems like a long whine about pregnancy, the truth is I am so incredibly thankful and blessed to be carrying a healthy baby girl that really and truly, I am the luckiest woman in the world. I fully know this. Resuming my active lifestyle post-delivery will be a challenge and I say that in good way. I love challenges.

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One recent challenge has been fulfilling my sweet tooth…with health and calorie control in mind. It’s a bonus when dessert can include some fiber (5.5 grams!), vitamins, and minerals, too.

When I stumbled upon this recipe I did pause to consider that it was too good to be true. Too few ingredients, too quick to come together…there had to be a catch. And I guess there is….this recipe requires a food processor. While I don’t use my food processor often, the recipes its used for are worth allocating precious kitchen storage for the honker of an appliance. I just made my second batch of this frozen yogurt today and while I stuck with strawberries, I look forward to trying this recipe with peaches and other berries, too. Mmm…can’t hardly wait!

5 Minute Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt 4

4.0 from 2 reviews
5 Minute Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 (scant 1 cup each)
 
One sinless summer delight and ready in minutes!
Ingredients
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp vodka
  • 6 Tbsp honey
  • 6 cups frozen strawberries
  • ⅔ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade; process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, about 5 minutes.
  2. Serve the frozen yogurt immediately or transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Just A Taste
Nutrition Information
Serving size: scant 1 cup Calories: 171 Fat: 1.0 Carbohydrates: 38.2 Sugar: 30.0 Sodium: 14 Fiber: 5.5 Protein: 4.3 Cholesterol: 0

I haven’t cooked in quite some time with Mr. P’s travel and my stomach bug, so some carry-over this week…

 Weekly Menu: June 1st – June 5th

Woooooop woop for a beautiful weekend and my little weekend glow from a nap in the hammock ;)

Be well,

sig4