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.)

Greek Pork Tenderloin 3

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.

Greek Pork Tenderloin 2

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

Caprese Avocado Salad

Caprese Avocado Salad 1

This baby has gone from sedentary and sleeping (I thought her and Mr. P had so much in common already ;) ) to a gymnast overnight. I was sure I felt these “flutters” people speak of around 19 weeks. I was sitting in a meeting, just typing away and BAM. I felt flutters. It had to be the baby moving. A week and then two…and then three pass by and I felt no additional movement. Of course my next OB appointment was still nearly a week away yet, and my mind started to run through all the possibilities of what’s going on in there.

None of which are good, naturally.

Caprese Avocado Salad 2

And then this week came along. Week 24 as of today (60% baked!).

This baby girl is sooo active all of a sudden. Or she’s had one huge growth spurt in the past week, who knows. But I’m enjoying it. Except we’ve gone from the “flutters” I once felt weeks ago to a battle ground in my uterus. I laugh sometimes at how hard the little kicks or punches really are. Even the midwife on Wednesday couldn’t believe how hard the jab was when she had the doppler on my belly.

“Whoa,” she said. “You felt that, right?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “It feels like gas or just straight up violence!” She laughed and agreed.

Caprese Avocado Salad 3

I was also given the green light for some light run/walk action this past week. Her only stipulation was that my HR not go over 150 bpm and I stay very well hydrated. As someone who has never consistently worn a heart rate monitor (and now pants after walking up a flight of stairs, especially after no intense exercise for the past 5 1/2 months), I wanted to test out my HR with running ASAP.

Of course, I couldn’t “jog” more than 60 seconds at a 5.0 mph pace without my HR exceeding 150, soooo…I’m stuck with more of a walk, as it ends up. Such a tease…such a tease.

It’s kind of like serving a tomato without mozzarella, or worse yet, a salad with no cheese whatsoever. Cheese lovers understand…cholesterol levels do not. Regardless, caprese is not caprese without fresh mozzarella. And let’s add to that list basil. The balsamic vinegar and avocado (baby brain food!) are just perks. No tease in this salad, it has it all…including the chicken to consider this salad a meal, in the words of Mr. P.

Caprese Avocado Salad 4

Caprese Avocado Salad
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz boneless,skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 small hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 6 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, chiffonade
Instructions
  1. To make the balsamic reduction, whisk together the vinegar and brown sugar in a small sauce pan and set over medium heat until simmering. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until reduced and thickened. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan, cooking 3-4 minutes per side, cooking through. Remove chicken from heat and transfer to a cutting board. Allow chicken to sit for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
  3. To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with chicken, mozzarella, tomatoes, avocado and basil. Pour balsamic reduction on top of the salad and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe from Damn Delicious and originally, Iowa Girl Eats
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅓ recipe Calories: 495 Fat: 27.0 Carbohydrates: 22.3 Sugar: 15.0 Sodium: 332 Fiber: 6.0 Protein: 38.7 Cholesterol: 95

 TGIF!! :-D

Be well,

sig4

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa 1

We knew Michigan was gearing up for a hot, muggy week (warm up, lake…warm up!!). This was confirmed when I peeled off my work clothes just to throw on a muumuu to make dinner, sans all undergarments. It was just too, too hot. The house was registering at 79 degrees, but it felt every bit of 89 as I was standing over the stove making dinner. Had my asparagus not been on its last leg, I would’ve shelved the idea of cooking all together.

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa 2

Before showering up to get clean for the night, Lily and I engaged in our nightly routine of hitting a tennis ball around in the driveway. And with my luck, here comes our neighbor with her kids to chat…me, still in my muumuu, sans anything underneath. I’m not easy to embarrass, but….how embarrassing. I just apologized for my attire and she laughed. Hopefully it was a genuine, “oh, I’ve been there” laugh, not a “who the heck do we live next to” laugh.

Hopefully.

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa 3

Despite turning on the air last night (and as a result, sleeping like a baby after my cool, relaxing shower), muggy weeks should be filled with dinners on the grill (I have a Pinterest board committed to “Grilled Perfection” even!). Healthy dinners on the grill. We throw everything we can on the grill (pizza, meat, veggies, you name it) this time of year.

This meal I referred to as baby brain food. Healthy omega 3 fatty acids from the salmon and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat-packed avocados. This meal is low in carbohydrate and high in good-for-you nutrition. It’s also very filling and ready in 20 minutes or less. In other words, we need to have this meal again pronto. Plus, it just looks good and perfect for summer.

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa 4

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
Grilled Salmon:
  • 4 (6 oz) skin on salmon filets
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp ancho chili powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
Avocado Salsa:
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ small red onion, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2-3 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the grill to 400 F. Brush the flesh side of each salmon filet with olive oil; set aside.
  2. In a small dish, combine the salt, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chili powder, and black pepper together. Sprinkle the seasoning over the salmon and rub to cover the surface.
  3. Grill salmon, skin side down for 10-14 minutes or until flaky and cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, mash the avocado along the inside walls of a small bowl until just slightly chunky. Mix in the onion, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Serve grilled salmon with ¼ of the avocado salsa. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe from The Cookie Rookie
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6 oz salmon with avocado salsa Calories: 355 Fat: 21.5 Carbohydrates: 6.3 Sugar: 0.8 Sodium: 509 Fiber: 3.5 Protein: 34.5 Cholesterol: 90

 Why is this week dragging? :(

Be well,

sig4

Cherry Almond Muffin Waffles + Weekly Menu

Cherry Almond Muffin Waffles 1

My family was visiting again this weekend. My dad was going to come over during the week sometime soon to begin painting baby Shea’s nursery and assembling furniture, but we quickly decided chandelier assembly and such was a two person job. So the next thing I knew, my brother was the chosen one to tag along.

My mom was debating on whether or not to join along, but we can’t have family fun without mom, so she came too.

We started the weekend off with dinner at my dad’s “favorite” restaurant – Big Boy. We live close to one and my dad rarely gets to enjoy his most favorite burger, “the Brawny Lad”, a burger coated in butter and onion on a rye bun. Mmmm…noooot.

Cherry Almond Muffin Waffles 2

But, Big Boy was lots of good laughs and not-so-great food. As usual. But on Father’s Day weekend, we humor him. When we must.

Saturday was filled with hard work in the baby’s room (by the boys), and followed up with a dog event at a local winery. Dogs, live music, and wine and beer for everyone other than me…it was great. Lily made some friends and enjoyed the change of scenery. Last night, we took my family to dinner at a restaurant with a patio overlooking Lake Michigan. The weather was absolutely, positively perfect and the company wasn’t so bad either. The food, as well. ;) It was pure Michigan goodness.

We indulged in soft serve afterwards — my recent favorite :-D

Cherry Almond Muffin Waffles 3

I think my brother and my dad were mighty impressed when for breakfast I produced several waffles from the freezer. When they asked what kind of waffles and I reported Cherry Almond Muffin Waffles, they were sold. In fact, I think they felt like they were fine dining. I need not tell them that these waffles are actually very simple and can thank the almond extract and my extensive you-picking for the cherries, creating the breakfast masterpiece that is Cherry Almond Muffin Waffles.

Now I just need to pick more fruit. That’s on the agenda for next weekend :-D

Cherry Almond Muffin Waffles 4

Cherry Almond Muffin Waffles
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1½ cups lowfat buttermilk
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups frozen cherries, halved
Instructions
  1. Preheat a waffle iron.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the canola oil, egg, and sugar. Whisk in the buttermilk and almond extract.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and combine with a rubber spatula. Fold in the cherries.
  5. Scoop about ⅔ cup batter into the waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer's directions. Serve warm with desired toppings.
Notes
Slightly adapted from Eats Well with Others and originally, Taste and Tell
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 waffle Calories: 463 Fat: 18.9 Carbohydrates: 66.7 Sugar: 26.0 Sodium: 657 Fiber: 7.7 Protein: 9.0 Cholesterol: 55

 Weekly Menu: June 15th – June 19th

 The weekend went too fast…as always. :(

Be well,

sig4

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos 1

One of my staff loves to hit up garage sales…and this time of year, they’re everywhere. She enjoys the challenge of finding specific items and so I asked her to pick up any cute, cheap baby clothes for baby Shea…if she happens to run across any. When I walked into work yesterday morning, she had a shopping bag full of clothes sitting in front of my office door. I didn’t even have my purse off my shoulder before she was pulling clothes out of the bag and holding them up to show me her finds.

It wasn’t baby clothes, however – it was maternity clothes!

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos 2

 For $6 she was able to get 5 dresses, 3 tops, and 2 pairs of pants. All in my maternity size. SIX dollars! And I loved them all!

I handed her six bucks, thanked her for thinking of me, and I had a stupid excited grin on my face all morning. Cute maternity clothes are not only hard to find, but they’re SO expensive.

I got home from work and quickly washed them, anxious to try them on. I’ve got my outfits planned for the rest of the week, too. :-D

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos 3

Just like I love people picking out clothes for me, my brother does, too. It seems like most of his closet was purchased by either my mom or I. He also loves when people cook for him. He lives just a few blocks from my parents but he eats over there most days of the week, if only for lunch.

He’s spoiled. Especially since my mom makes some of his favorite foods fairly often…one of which is chorizo. My meat-loving brother LOVES chorizo. Hard to blame him. It’s delicious.

My mom made breakfast burritos similar to these the last time I was in Chicago visiting and they were so good. I had to remake them. These were almost as good as my mom’s….almost ;)

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos 3

Chorizo and Bell Pepper Breakfast Burritos
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 6 oz chorizo
  • 8 eggs
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¼ tsp salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup (2 oz) 2% shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 high-fiber, burrito-sized tortillas
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the diced green pepper and saute 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the chorizo and cook 5-7 minutes, breaking up the meat using a wooden spoon. Once meat is cooked through; transfer to a fine mesh strainer and drain off any excess oil.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk to combine the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  3. Carefully wipe the hot skillet used to cook the chorizo of any excess grease and return to a medium flame. Once hot, add the eggs and scramble for 3-4 minutes or until no longer runny. Fold in cheese, as well as the chorizo and pepper mixture. Fold to combine.
  4. Spoon ¼ of the egg mixture into each of 4 burrito-sized tortillas. Fold one side over the top (away from your body), fold in both sides (right/left) and roll the burrito, firmly packing in the contents. Cut burrito in half and serve immediately.
Notes
The burrito-sized tortillas I used were Smart & Delicious from La Tortilla Factory - they were 100 calories each.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 burrito Calories: 412 Fat: 25.0 Carbohydrates: 21.0 Sugar: 2.3 Sodium: 874 Fiber: 12.3 Protein: 33.3 Cholesterol: 399

 Busy day ahead!

Be well,

sig4