Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Peanut Butter Basil Sauce

pork3Sweet and spicy roasted pork tenderloin with a fiery peanut butter basil sauce. I have been on a personal mission to include peanut butter in all of my meals and snacks so you can imagine my excitement with this recipe.

After drooling over seeing Peanut Butter & Co ‘The Heat is On’ peanut butter around the blog0sphere for the past few months, I FINALLY found it at Target. Way to step up your A-game, Target! I squealed when I found it and jumped in the air while simultaneously slam dunking it into my basket. It had no other destiny. It was made for this meal.

If you can’t find it at a local grocery store, you can purchase it off the Peanut Butter & Co website.

pork2Let me just take a moment to emphasis the spicy in the title of this recipe. It will definitely wake up your taste buds…. or slightly numb them. But don’t worry, it’s only temporary and all-so worth it. To make the sauce a little more mild, just use half ‘The Heat is On’ peanut butter and half plain, creamy peanut butter.

The sauce recipe makes a very generous amount. I thought about cutting it in half, but then what would I slather my chicken/turkey burgers/fish with the next few nights? It’s that good. The perfect amount of flavor, sweetness and heat. Really reels me in.

porkPork tenderloins serve as the perfect blank canvas for all sorts of fun sauces, spice rubs and marinades. They are simple enough to make during the week for a family dinner, yet can easily be jazzed up for a fancy dinner party with friends. Pork tenderloin is the leanest cut of pork - almost as lean as chicken breasts. What’s not to love?

Flava bomb! Read More →

Maple Balsamic Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

acornsquash2Red quinoa mixed with dried cranberries and crushed hazelnuts in a sweet maple balsamic sauce nestled in a roasted acorn squash topped off with honey goat cheese. Perfect to enjoy as a side or main dish.

Mmmm sweet, nutty acorn squash. Also called pepper squash or winter squash, which really showcases the irony of me making it in the heart of summer. The whole dish is actually the epitome of autumn. Which we’re closer to than winter. So let’s go with that. Regardless, this dish is too tasty to not be enjoyed year round.

acornsquash3It’s sweet but not overly so and has a hint of savory from the balsamic and tangy goat cheese. I am all about the squash and cheese combo. If goat cheese isn’t your jam, a creamy fontina would also be delicious. The marriage of squash, cheese and pillowy quinoa just makes for one heck of a treat.

It’s also pretty fun to eat. Think soup served in a bread bowl… it’s kind of fun to scrape the sides and scoop the filling, right? Or do I just thoroughly enjoy my meals too much..?

acornsquashRoasting acorn squash is so easy, it’s essentially fool-proof. No need to be even slightly intimidated by cooking this veggie. Simply slice, season and roast. I think it’s safe to say i’m in a slight squash infatuation at the moment. On a weekly basis I have been dicing it up and tossing it in salads or slathering it with almond butter and cinnamon for all-star snackage. Though my favorite way to eat squash is drizzled with a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and roasted to caramelized perfection. So simple. So yum. The perfect accomplice to any meat or vegetarian dish. 

Acorn squash is very nutrient-dense, containing high amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Stuffing it with protein-rich quinoa, nuts and dried fruit adds to it’s nutrient profile and makes this a very well-balanced meal or snack. Just don’t hold back on the stuffing…. Overflow is the goal! Read More →

Mediterranean Lamb Sliders with Feta Yogurt Spread

sliders4Lamb sliders with roasted red peppers, thinly sliced cucumber and spiced feta yogurt spread. Helllo,  delicious.

I don’t cook lamb often – at all. Though lately i’ve been having the most killer lamb burgers at local restaurants so I decided to finally give it a go in my own kitchen. Plus, I figured it was a about time to expand my burger/slider repertoire by doing something a little different.

sliders3Lamb tends to have less marbling than beef which makes it a little more lean. I always recommend using 100% grass-fed, if available, as this meat will have a higher omega-3 content and contain no traces of hormones or antibiotics that were potentially added to the animal’s feed.

If lamb doesn’t appeal to you, you can switch it out for ground beef , turkey or chicken. sliders2Harissa is also a new-to-me seasoning blend that I’ve been trying to incorporate in more dishes. Harissa is a vibrant seasoning that is traditionally spiced with hot chilies, garlic, cumin and coriander.

Not only does it add the perfect kick of spice to sauces and spreads, but it can also be used to create a bold, spicy rub for roasted and grilled meats. This spice should definitely be added to your collection for some summer grilling!

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Feta & Mint Couscous Salad

couscousPearl Couscous tossed with fresh veggies, refreshing mint, tangy feta and a splash of citrus. An exotic accompaniment to grilled meat or fish, or a delicious, light lunch eaten on it’s own. This salad is light and nutritious with full-bodied flavor.

couscous2A quick browse through the recipe section of Dishing Out Health makes it quite evident that I am fanatical over quinoa. I was *this* close to making this salad with quinoa as well until I saw how adorable this pearl couscous is (also known as Israeli couscous). As if I wasn’t sold on this grain based on the name alone (pearls > diamonds any day), it only takes a measly 10 minutes to cook. Pearl couscous is actually small balls of toasted semolina flour and it serves as an extremely versatile alternative to pasta or rice… or my beloved quinoa.

It’s evidently already summer here in Florida and BBQ-mode is in full-swing. I love serving a unique array of salads at cook-outs to appeal to all kinds of taste buds. It’s always nice to offer something a little lighter than the typical mayo-based pasta salad and this couscous is the perfect alternative.

It’s also very low maintenance in regards to prep work. You can whip it up the night before or hours before serving and it’s ready to when you are. It tastes awesome cold or room temp, as long as it has a few hours to sit in the refrigerator to let the flavors marry.

Make a big batch, stick it in the fridge, bring it to your next cook-out or pack it up for lunch during the work week.

couscous3It’s just pretty. Pretty little pearls. Pretty food always wins ;) Read More →

Fish Tacos with Melon Mint Salsa and Avocado Crema

fishtacos2

Light, refreshing and bursting with summer flavors. These fish tacos will be my healthy summer jam.

There is nothing more sure about a Tuesday than tacos. I have been eating fish tacos like there is no tomorrow. I just love how they serve as a black canvas to let your culinary creativity bloom. By using a mild, white fish such as cod or tilapia, the topping options are endless. Switch up the slaw, salsa, toppings and/or the tortillas and you’ve got yourself a new, creative dinner.

And then Tuesday doesn’t seem half bad.

fishtacosIt’s nearly impossible for me to make a taco or eat a tortilla chip if it’s not covered in a pile of toppings. I probably use more toppings in one taco than the average human would for three. Leave no topping behind!

Another thing I cannot get enough of right now is FRUIT SALSA. I’ve been making different variations every week and topping anything and everything with my new little creations.

I do not discriminate when it comes to specific fruit in my salsa, however I set out to make one with cantaloupe this week. I don’t know what it is about cantaloupes this season but I cannot get enough. Just give me half a cantaloupe, a spoon and some Food Network and you won’t hear a beep out of me for 30 minutes.

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BBQ Rubbed Salmon with Caramelized Pineapple Salsa & Quinoa

bbqsalmonTangy BBQ-spiced salmon over a bed of quinoa topped with a sweet, refreshing, summery salsa.

Say hello to my favorite new salsa.  I’m just going to start making it in batches and topping everything with it. All summer long. Burgers, sandwiches, salads and tacos are all about to get salsa-fied.

bbqsalmonI’ve really just been loving fruit salsas lately. Mango salsa, strawberry-mint salsa, watermelon-basil salsa and now pineapple-jalapeno-cilantro salsa – SO GOOD! It’s easy to make fruit salsas a little too sweet, however between the heat from the jalapeno and tartness of the lime juice, this baby balanced out just right.

This meal should definitely be making an appearance during your memorial day weekend. I’m partial to broiling my salmon fillets for 6-8 minutes to create that crispy crust on the outside and flaky goodness on the inside. However, if you intend on firing up the grill this weekend, this salmon would undoubtedly taste awesome grilled.

A light meal packed with a ton of flavor – what’s not to love? You deserve this. With a margarita or mojito on the side. Cheers! Read More →

Thai Basil Zucchini Meatballs

zucchinimeatballsBite-sized meatballs made with lean ground beef and shredded zucchini tossed in a flavorful Thai-inspired sauce. The perfect appetizer, side-dish or topper for rice, pasta or salad.

zucchinimeatballs5I really have a thing for meatballs. Meatballs and mini things. Mini things are cuter. Mini things are fun to make and even more fun to eat. Mini things fit in cute little jars and adorable little bowls. They just always win over my foodie heart.

I’ve been experimenting with different ways to hide veggies into things you normally would not expect veggies to be in. Beets in smoothies, carrots in smoothies, more beets in ketchup and now zucchini in meatballs. The more I talk to new moms trying to incorporate more veggies into their little ones’ diets, the more off-the-wall interesting ideas I come up with. Stay tuned…….. ;)

zucchinimeatballs3Using a cheese grater, I shredded the zucchini extra fine so the blind eye would never guess veggies were hidden inside these meatballs. Whenever i’m cooking with beef, I prefer to use grass-fed lean ground beef (personal preference), however you could sub for turkey, chicken, lamb – whatever.

I debated whether I wanted to toss these meatballs in an Italian-style tomato-based sauce or something a little more…. exotic? I can’t tell you what my fascination is with Thai-like flavors, other than that sauce experiments always seem to work and they just appeal to my taste buds.

However, I have no doubt a tomato-based sauce would pair just as nicely. Since these meatballs have already worked their way into permanent rotation in my house, Italian-style meatballs are next. I owe it to my heritage. As well as my taste buds.

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Whole Grain Apple Pie Pancakes with Vanilla Maple Syrup

applepie2Moist, fluffy pancakes made with freshly grated apples and whole-grain goodness. These were love at first bite.

applepie4If I’m committing to apple pie for dessert, it is never without a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. They’re just an undeniable match made in dessert-heaven. I contemplated throwing a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of these for good measure, but vanilla maple syrup seemed a tad more appropriate.

Other delicious toppings I experimented with included Justin’s Maple Almond Butter, honey, apple butter and Greek yogurt whisked with a little Stevia and vanilla extract. All of which were awesome, however I am a pancake-and-syrup devotee and preferred the vanilla maple syrup combo.

applepie1The best part about these pancakes (besides the taste) is the fact that you would never know they are made with whole grain oat flour.  They are light, moist and fluffy, as opposed to the dense, grainy texture that whole grain flours can sometimes produce.

The shredded apple adds an additional kick of fiber and by using Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, the sugar content stays relatively low. The ideal breakfast to fill you up without weighing you down.

applepie3Not only are these appealing to the appetite, but who doesn’t love the smell of apple pie? It just smells like home. And comfort. Maybe even a little romance? It’s all things magical and now I want to start my every day with these. Read More →

Mediterranean Salmon Tacos with White Bean Hummus & Olive Tapenade

salmontacosmainLet’s make Taco Tuesday an every day thing. These are SO worth it! Grilled salmon with white bean hummus and black olive tapenade on corn tortillas finished off with herb goat cheese and a drizzle of balsamic. Hello, soul-mate.

salmontacosAnyone else in a Reese egg coma and desperately craving a fresh, nutritious dinner? Story of my week.

Thankfully, tacos are one of the easiest dishes to “healthify”. The possibilities of veggie, legume and lean meat combinations are truly endless. They’re easy to make gluten-free by using corn tortillas, and just as easy to make vegetarian by using a variety of beans or tofu.

I typically make fish tacos with a mild white fish such as Mahi. However, this particular taco holds some pretty bold flavors, so it only seemed right to toss in a bolder fish. Let me tell you, quasi-Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines just united and fell. in. love.

salmontacos2I probably make salmon at least twice a week. My favorite way to prepare it is simply broiling until the outside is crispy and the inside is soft and buttery. It practically melts in your mouth and I totally loved it tucked inside these corn tortillas.

The olive tapenade is super simple to prepare in a food processor and keeps for ~1 week. In addition to the tacos, I spread it on toasted crostini’s with a feta dip and it served as a great appetizer.

The white bean hummus is just as easy to whip up, though store-bought hummus would also work fine. I would stick with traditional hummus as opposed to the fancy flavors. Trust me, flavor is the last thing these tacos are lacking!

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No-Bake Almond Joy Protein Truffles

proteintrufflesI think it’s safe to say that I am obsessed with these. And that may be putting it lightly. You really can’t have a bad day when you eat a ball of chocolate.

But how about a ball of fudgy, chocolately, chewy, rich, –>enter other foodie lingo<– decadence for less than 2 grams of sugar?

SIGN. ME. UP.

proteintruffles3I wish I could personally deliver these to all of your doorsteps because they are truly that good..!

This is what gets me excited (clearly) about eating healthy. It is never boring or unsatisfying as long as you get a little creative. I love experimenting with clean protein powders to make pancakes, shakes and other desserts that taste super decadent, yet are nutrient-rich with a low glycemic index.

If coconut isn’t your thing, these are just as delicious without it. You could also swap the almond butter for peanut butter and make yourself chocolate peanut butter truffles. You deserve them. Plus, is there any better combination in existence?

proteintruffles2I’ve been carrying these around in my purse all week and eating one after almost every meal. Mind you, I eat between 5-6 small meals a day. Every day I’m trufflin’.

The one warming I will give you – portion control proves to be very challenging with these balls o’ joy. Proceed with caution.

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