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Shrimp Chowder – Round 5

This is the last of the Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower. The carrots and cauliflower is what I will be using today.

Because I used my All-purpose Seasoning on the vegetables I have a little more versatility for this next dish. You will never know this was first made to go with something that had a Smokey Southwestern flavor profile. The vegetables are completely transformed into a sating Shrimp Chowder.

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  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Remaining cauliflower and carrots (roasted in round 1), chopped
  • 2 Apples (honey crisp, fuji) peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1-inch ginger, fresh, minced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 c chicken broth
  • 1 can of coconut cream
  • 2 limes, 1 tested and juiced, 1 for garnish
  • 12 oz. shrimp, peeled, deveined

Over medium heat add avocado oil, onion, celery, apples, garlic and ginger to a large dutch oven. Season with sea salt. Cook until veggies or translucent and softened. Add cauliflower and carrots. Stir until well combined.

Add lime zest and juice; stir. Add chicken broth to deglaze the pan, scraping all the bits on the bottom of the pan. Add coconut cream, stirring until well combined.

Meanwhile, as the chowder is cooking chop shrimp in halves or thirds. By doing this you will have shrimp in every bite.

Over medium heat add shrimp to an avocado oiled cast iron skillet. Make sure the skillet is hot before adding shrimp. Cooking the shrimp will only 2-3 minutes. You do not want to over cook the shrimp. They will finish in the chowder.

Add cooked shrimp to chowder. Stir until well combined. Garnish with a lime wedge to squeeze into chowder. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin Quesadillas – Round 4

So far I have made four distinctively different meals out of two pork tenderloins and roasted cauliflower and carrots. Also, I had made enough of the Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin Soup (Round 3) leftover to freeze for a quick emergency meal.

Emergency meals are wonderful. They are basically all made with the exception of reheating, which is so much better than ordering out or going a drive through. Not only is it more healthy for you, but it is more cost effective.

Now I am using what is left of the tenderloins and making quesadillas. This is great for lunch or an after school snack for the kids. Serve with some of your favorite salsa and some fruit or veggies and you have a complete meal.

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Over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet heat avocado oil. While skillet is heating, in a large bowl combine the pork tenderloin and the cheese. By mixing these two ingredients you get a well balanced bite.

Place one tortilla in the heated skillet; layer meat and cheese mixture and top with second tortilla. Cook each side of the quesadilla until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Remove from skillet and place on cutting board to cut quesadilla with a pizza cutter. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin Soup – Round 3

Today is Round 3 of the Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Carrots and Cauliflower. I transformed this Round 1 meal into a soup. Not only did I have enough for our lunch, but I was able to freeze what is leftover for a quick meal another time.

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This soup is veggie packed, which is always good. Since most of the ingredients were already cooked, this soup is a chop, into the pot, simmer to heat through and eat. You can either make this in a large dutch oven on the stove top or you can throw everything in a slow cooker and come home from work with a delicious meal ready. Whatever is the best for you and your family. I made mine on the stove top.

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • Smokey Southwestern Seasoning
  • 1/2 of the remaining carrots from Round 1, diced
  • 1/2  of one pork tenderloin ( I made two in Round 1), chopped
  • 2 limes, 1 zested and juiced, 1 cut into wedges for garnish
  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa
  • 4 c vegetable broth

In a large dutch oven heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic and the red pepper. Sprinkle veggies with Smokey Southwestern Seasoning. Cook until softened. Add carrots, pork tenderloin and salsa. Stir well, and cook for a couple of minutes to meld the flavors. Add lime zest, lime juice, vegetable broth and simmer about 30 – 45 minutes to let flavors combine thoroughly. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin Sandwich with Balsamic Aioli – Round 2

For round 2 I made a grilled Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin and Provolone Sandwich with a Balsamic Syrup Aioli. This was a quick put together with lots of flavor.

To make Balsamic Aioli: mix together homemade mayonnaise and balsamic syrup, until well combined.

Drizzle a cast iron skillet with avocado oil. Brush oil in skillet to evenly distribute in skillet. Heat skillet over medium heat while assembling sandwiches.

To assemble sandwich for grilling : layer a slice of gluten-free bread, sliced pork tenderloin; slather balsamic aioli over pork tenderloin. Layer provolone and top with a slice of gluten-free bread.

Cook in skillet until each side is golden and cheese is melted. Serve with some sliced veggies or fruit.

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Balsamic Syrup – Round I

This week I want to share with you how to transform one main meal into other meals for the future. There are some people who do not like leftovers, and there are others who like to just warm up the leftovers as is. I am in both groups depending on the mood. However, I do like a culinary challenge. This week my challenge is to see how I can transform one evening meal into one and maybe two others meals for later in the week.

My thought is to start with a Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin (This recipe is on my website) as my protein. I think a large sheet pan of veggies will go well with the tenderloin and give me many options for future meals.

I added a balsamic syrup drizzle to complement the Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin. The balsamic syrup is very easy to make and it adds so much flavor. I have drizzled it on flatbreads, and I have another use for it in Round 2.

Balsamic Syrup

  • 1 c balsamic  vinegar

Reduce balsamic vinegar over medium heat until it is about half in volume. Reduce it down until it becomes a syrup consistency.

I put mine into a squeeze bottle and keep it handy for many of my dishes. the vinegar reduces down to a sweet and tangy condiment.

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Traveling and Food

Do you find it hard to eat healthy when you travel? Now this may sound weird but, I think I actually eat better when I travel. Why? Because, I do not want to feel sick when I am not at home in my comfort zone. To be honest, I think we use traveling as an excuse to cut loose a little and eat the way we use to before we decided to eat healthfully.

Think about it. How many times have you said, “After my vacation I will get back on track.” I am not saying a little indulgence once in a while is bad, but come on how many once in a whiles are you having?

I have tried to make it a rule when I travel to make sure the indulgence is worth the bite. Is the indulgence really worth the second bite? I will give you examples from my day.

Breakfast: I ordered a veggie omelet with hash browns on the side and gluten free toast. The omelet was a rather large portion so I only ate half. The hash browns were okay, but not worth more than a couple of bites. The toast was good. It is hard to get gluten-free bread when you eat out. This was my little indulgence. I only ate one, instead of both showing some restraint. Besides I was full, and it was not worth going into the bonus round level.

Lunch: I tried out a restaurant I had never been to. The chef was a James Beard award winner (That is a big deal in the foodie world). Their theme was innovative small plates. I liked the idea of something light, but would not leave me starving in two hours. I tried a fixed menu of salad, main course and a dessert. The salad was an unique seafood salad. Consisting mostly of matchstick veggies and a variety of different seafood. The plate was artfully displayed. The bites matched the beauty of the plate. This salad was worth the bites. The main course was just as beautifully plated ( a stuffed chicken breast with ricotta and spinach on top of mashed potatoes with a mushroom demi-glace sauce). It actually sounded better than it tasted. The main dish was a little over cooked and dry. Needless to say, it was not worth all the bites it would require to finish the dish. I left some on the plate. Finally, the dessert was a chocolate torte cake with some kind of gelato and a raspberry sauce. Once again the plate was beautiful. However, there was no flavor. I expected to taste chocolate in the cake. I did not. It made me somewhat sad because I really like chocolate cake. I had literally two bites. It was not worth eating. The gelato was velvety but had no flavor. I tried two bites, still no flavor. The raspberry sauce was divine. That was worth every bite. I wish there was more of the raspberry sauce.

Dinner: Tried a new to me restaurant that pays homage to the origin of food, with farm-fresh ingredients and naturally raised products. We started our meal with a cheese board. What is nice about an appetizer like this is that there is variety. Since there is a variety of items, if there is one you do not like you can try something else and save some bites. My main course was Diver Scallops and Spring Vegetables. This was a healthful and worth every bite dish. When the meal was completed I was satiated and felt good.

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It all comes down to choices. Are you choosing to take bites out of things that are only mediocre or are you going to take the bites out of something amazing? Are you going to take a bite of something that will not make you feel good or that you will regret later on? Which bite will you take?

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No Throw-aways

DSC_0001 49There are three recipes that I like to use when I want to clean out the refrigerator and not let anything go to waste. These recipes are the best way to use the spoonful of leftovers you might have. The first one that I have told you about is frittatas/egg bakes. My Sweet Potato and Zucchini Egg Bake is one of the most viewed posts to date. I have to admit it is very pretty, colorful and loaded with nutrients.

My second favorite way to use leftover veggies is making pasta. For instance, I almost always have an extra chicken breast cooked, spinach greens, peppers (red, yellow and orange are my favorites). Throw in some diced onion, minced garlic, zested/juiced lemon and chicken broth and you have dinner.

I always have gluten-free pasta in my pantry. This works in a pinch if I do not have time to make homemade pasta, which is still my favorite. What is nice about using up those bits of leftovers is that your dish is never exactly the same anytime. It is a culinary adventure.

The third thing I like to make with whatever is in my refrigerator is soup. Throw in some protein, veggies, onions, garlic, herbs and broth and you have a beginning of a meal. Pair your soup with a side salad and some Focaccia bread and you are ready to eat.

All three of these ideas can take 30 minutes or less. There is no reason you can not make a nutritious meal morning, noon or night. Plus, no more science experiments growing in the refrigerator.

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Cucumber and Tomato Herb Salad

What I like about this salad is that it is fresh tasting, colorful and has a crunch. Down here in Florida we are in the height of our growing season. So while those up north are planning and preparing their gardens, we are enjoying ours now. It is wonderful. This is the easiest salad I think I’ve ever made. I served this with a pan seared chicken breast. Delicious.

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  • 1 cucumber, quartered, diced
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 large basil leaves, cut into strips
  • 1/2 c creamy herb dressing/sauce

Combine all ingredients and stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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No Bean Chicken Chili

This is a veggie packed chicken chili. Anytime I can pack in a load of veggies into a dish I’m a happy girl. This is a fairly quick meal. Double the recipe and you could freeze some for a just in case meal.

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  • 2 tsp avocado oil
  • 16 oz. ground chicken
  • 1 orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp smokey southwestern seasoning (see website)
  • 25.46 diced tomatoes (Pomi)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 kombu, thumb size
  • 1 c roasted butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour

In a large dutch oven over medium heat sauce orange pepper, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf and seasoning. Sautee until veggies start to become tender. Add ground chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through.

Add tomatoes, kombu and butternut squash. Stir all ingredients occasionally. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Add tapioca flour; stir well. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

Note: You could add some jalapeño if you desire a little heat. You could also garnish with some cheese, greek yogurt, or sour cream.

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Smokey Southwestern Pork Tenderloin

This is one of the easiest dishes you will ever make. It is flavorful and extremely tender. I served this with roasted butternut squash and steamed spinach for some color on the plate. Delicious.

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Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, pat dry tenderloin with paper towel. Generously season tenderloin with seasoning.

Brown all sides of tenderloin until a crust forms on the tenderloin. This will do most of the cooking. When all sides are browned turn heat down a little and cover. Cook for about another 5-10 minutes. Remove from skillet and let rest. Slice tenderloin on the bias.

Pour beef broth in skillet and scrape all the bits of goodness loose. Reduce liquid to half the volume.  Ladle over tenderloin.(This is when I would add he spinach. It is virtually in, stir and out of the skillet. It cooks that fast.) Serve. Eat. Enjoy.