Pear & Kale Salad

One of my favorite lunches are salads, they are good for a light meal and can be filling depending on what all goes in it, such as nuts, croutons, meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables. They are fresh and packed full of nutrients and antioxidants.

Until recently, I always made salads with lettuce whether it be romaine, bibb, red leaf, etc. The only living creature in my house that ate kale was our rabbit, Opie, who was an 18 lb. French Lop who thought he was one of the dogs.

I start off with freshly washed kale leaves that I separate from the stem by holding the stem firmly in one hand and grab the leaves like a claw on each side of the stem with the other hand then pull down. I chop the leaves into bite size pieces then toss them with a French vinaigrette.  Yes, I seem to have lots of recipes with French vinaigrette, it is so versatile, easy to make and works well with so many different salads and makes a good marinade. I try to make a practice of tossing greens with the dressing before adding other ingredients so you use less dressing.

I top the salad with bleu cheese crumbles, walnuts and a sliced pear.  This salad has it all, tons of texture, pungent bleu cheese, sweet pear and tart vinaigrette.  It is great for a light meal and also a great side salad as well. While the nutritional data provided seems high, the fats in this salad are good fats coming from walnuts and olive oil, saturated fat is low (<9).  This salad contains more than 100% of your recommended allowance of Omega-6 oil and nearly 200% of Omega-3 oil.  Also over 100% for vitamin A and copper and packs nearly 300% of vitamin K. 

Pear & Kale Salad
Serves 1
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups kale, chopped
  2. 1 ripe pear, sliced
  3. 1 oz. bleu cheese crumbles
  4. 1 oz. walnuts, chopped
For the Dressing
  1. 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 tsp. whole grain mustard
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Instructions
  1. Start off my combining all the ingredients for the dressing, mix well.
  2. Place kale in bowl or plate, toss with dressing.
  3. Sprinkle top of salad with bleu cheese and walnuts.
  4. Arrange pear slices on top and serve.
Calories
556 cal
Fat
41 g
Protein
13 g
Carbs
37 g
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Healthy Southern Cooking http://healthysoutherncooking.com/

Savory Cornbread Stuffed Pork Roast with Apple Bourbon Sauce

I had gotten a great deal on pork loin roasts at one of those bulk stores, not the kind with membership. In order to get such an amazing price, you had to buy the entire roast, about 3 feet long.  So when I got home from the store, I cut it into 1 lb. roasts, bagged them and tossed them in the freezer.  

So here I am, I had thawed one of the pork roasts for dinner and had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with it. Anything I thought of I didn’t have something else I would need like spinach, mushrooms, dried fruit, and so on.  Finally the light bulb goes off, at 4 o’clock, much later than I usually start especially when taking notes and photographs.

I decided to double butterfly cut the pork so I could form a stuffed log of pork that would cut into pinwheels, which always look great for presentation.  The double butterfly cut turns any cylindrical piece of meat into a flat square or rectangle, while it may seem intimidating it really isn’t that hard to do but you will need a good quality sharp knife. To double butterfly you basically cut the roast lengthwise in the middle but don’t cut all the way through. Then you take the top portion and cut it from the opposite side, again not going all the way through and repeat for the bottom portion. The best way to visualize it is to think of a “W”, that first cut being the middle ^ of the letter and the top and bottom cuts being the V part of letter.  That’s the easiest way for me to remember the direction without ending up with some thin cut pork scraps. After the cuts and the meat is laid flat, I cover with a piece of plastic wrap and use a pounder just to flatten out any uneven parts, usually the joints.

The filling for my pork, I decided on my southern cornbread dressing that I always make at Thanksgiving. It starts with healthy cornbread that is cooled and crumbled.  To that I add a dozen woven wheat crackers, they do sell them in a variety of flavors, I used plain but if you feel adventurous, go for it!  Then I add sea salt, cracked pepper, rubbed sage and dried thyme.  Diced onion and chopped walnuts get added to the mixture then an egg for a binding agent and some chicken stock to moisten.  It all gets mixed until all well combined.

On the work surface, place some kitchen twine, about an inch apart and for this particular roast I only needed three, you want to lay these strings under the flattened pork, make sure you cut them long enough to wrap around once the pork is filled.  I usually go overboard by about a foot because I’ve cut them too short before and they are easier to tie with longer ends and you can trim them.  Add the cornbread mixture on top, about an inch thick and using your hands, press down to the edges evenly.  To roll, you will start at at the short end and roll it onto itself and keep rolling to the end.  Pull the strings taught and tie into a knot, trimming any excess twine.                                                                                                                                                                                                
Place the roast, seam side down, in a roasting pan big enough to fit that has been treated with nonstick cooking spray.  I know that this picture looks as if I have a lot of oil in it but actually I had rinsed it with water first and didn’t dry it then added the spray. I had a hungry son that was pestering me, “How long before dinner?”

The stuffed roast, is vented with aluminum foil, to retain moisture, and placed in a preheated oven and baked for 1 hour to 1-1/2 hours, until a thermometer inserted into middle of roast registers 165 degrees. The aluminum foil can be removed the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking to get a crustier outside if you prefer.

Allow the roast to rest 5 to 10 minutes, carefully cut strings and remove them from roast then slice into six equal pinwheels.  

While the pork is roasting I make the sauce. Originally I was going to do a peach bourbon sauce but the bag of frozen peaches I had in the freezer was actually mangos so I went with apples, which work great with sage, pork and thyme.  I core and thinly slice the apples, it is best to use an apple like a Golden Delicious since it is softer and doesn’t require a long cooking time to soften.  I add to it a tablespoon of grass fed cow butter and saute until the apples slightly brown.  I add chicken stock, a little agave nectar for sweetness and bourbon.  If you prefer not to have bourbon, you can just add more chicken stock. The sauce simmers about 15 to 20 minutes until apples are soft.  I increase the heat to boil and add a cornstarch slurry to thicken.

The sliced pinwheels are placed on serving platter or plate and the sauce with apples is spooned over the top and served.

 

 

 

 

Savory Cornbread Stuffed Pork Roast with Apple Bourbon Sauce
Serves 6
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Total Time
2 hr 25 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
1 hr 45 min
Total Time
2 hr 25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. pork loin roast, preferably white meat and trimmed of fat
For the Cornbread in Filling
  1. 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal plus additional for dusting
  2. 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  6. 1 cup lowfat buttermilk
  7. nonstick cooking spray
For the Filling
  1. Prepared cornbread
  2. 12 woven wheat crackers
  3. 1 tsp. rubbed sage
  4. 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  5. 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  6. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  7. 1/2 cup onion, diced
  8. 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  9. 1 egg
  10. 1/2 cup chicken stock
For the Sauce
  1. 2 medium apples, cored and thinly sliced (any apple but Granny Smith)
  2. 1 tablespoon grass fed cow butter
  3. 1 cup chicken stock
  4. 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
  5. 1-1/2 tablespoons agave nectar
  6. 1/4 cup bourbon
  7. 2 tsp. cornstarch
  8. 1 tablespoon water
Additional Ingredients/Items
  1. nonstick cooking spray
  2. cooking twine
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For the Cornbread in Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Spray 8" x 8" baking pan with nonstick spray then dust with cornmeal, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients for the cornbread, whisk in buttermilk and mix well.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan then place in preheated oven.
  5. Cook cornbread for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
For Filling
  1. Crumble cooked and cooled cornbread into large bowl.
  2. Add a dozen woven wheat crackers, such as a Triscuit, crumble into cornbread mixture.
  3. Add sage, sea salt, thyme, pepper, onions and walnuts, mix into crumbled cornbread mixture.
  4. Add egg and chicken broth and mix until well combined and moist.
For Pork Roast
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  2. Place pork loin roast on work surface.
  3. Using a sharp knife cut the roast lengthwise in the middle but don’t cut all the way through, leave a little over an inch in tact.
  4. Keep roast together, don't open it up.
  5. Make another cut, mid way above your first cut but in the opposite direction so that the hinges holding the pork together are at opposite ends.
  6. Now repeat the step above but on the bottom, again opposite of the cut in the middle. This will be in a W pattern so it will unfold and open up.
  7. Open up the cut roast and cover with plastic wrap, use a pounder and flatten out any uneven parts and flatten out the seams (hinges).
  8. Cut cooking twine long enough to wrap around roast, keep in mind it will be larger when stuffed. You will need enough so that you have it tied about every inch.
  9. Place twine on work surface, lay open roast on twine, lengthwise or long side, then set aside.
  10. *If any of the above is confusing, please look above on this recipe post for additional description and photos.
  11. Place cornbread mixture evenly over pork, about an inch thick and spread to all the edges. You may have leftover stuffing which you can put in a ramekin and bake for a dressing on the side or to use for another recipe.
  12. Begin rolling up pork with filling beginning with the short end, this will be a stout roast rather than long and skinny. Keep rolling until you reach the end.
  13. Pull up twine and and tie securely, trimming any excess twine.
  14. Treat roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray and place roast in pan, seam side down.
  15. Vent with aluminum foil and place in oven. Roast for 1 hour to 1-1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted in the middle reads 165 degrees or higher.
  16. Allow roast to rest 5 to 10 minutes then slice into 6 equal pinwheels.
  17. Place on serving platter or serving plates and spoon sauce and apples over top.
For the Sauce
  1. While the pork is roasting you can make the sauce.
  2. Add apple slices and butter to medium skillet over medium heat, cook until apples slightly brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add chicken stock, pepper, agave and bourbon, reduce to simmer and allow to cook 15 minutes or until apples are soft.
  4. Increase heat to high.
  5. In a small bowl combine cornstarch and water.
  6. Once sauce reaches a boil, add the cornstarch and water slurry and whisk rapidly. Continue cooking and whisking until sauce thickens.
  7. Remove from heat.
Notes
  1. Total cooking time does not include sauce, since sauce is being cooked while pork is roasting.
Calories
322 cal
Fat
10 g
Protein
23 g
Carbs
31 g
Print
Healthy Southern Cooking http://healthysoutherncooking.com/

 

 

 

 

Apple Pie

What’s more American than apple pie?  Well, with that being said, apple pie is actually from Western Europe but given that many of the settlers that came to the United States were from there, it makes perfect sense. Do you remember when your mama or gammy would bake apple pie, that aroma would fill the air and it seemed like forever until it was time for dessert after you smelled that sweet cinnamon all day long. Imagine the settlers, they came to America and all we had were tiny, tart crabapple trees so they had to plant apples and wait for the trees to mature and produce fruit, kind of dwarfs the few hours you had to endure to get your slice. Continue reading “Apple Pie”

Southern Butterbeans

So what’s a butterbean, you may ask.  It refers to the larger, flatter, paler lima bean which when cooked has a buttery taste and texture to it. The other variety of lima bean is a baby lima which is small, firmer and greener.  To try to simplify this, a pot of lima beans that are large, beige or pale yellow, served alone as a side dish are butterbeans.  Succotash, which is another Southern favorite, consists of sweet corn and small, green, firm lima beans.

Lima beans have been cultivated since 2000 AD, mainly in Central and South America.  They originated in Peru and when they were introduced to Europe and America, the crates were labeled from Lima, and that is how both varieties of these beans got their names. Continue reading “Southern Butterbeans”

Sweet & Sour Meatloaf

Meatloaf is known as a comfort food, it is satisfying, inexpensive and easy to make and the possibilities are endless.

Meatloaf can be cooked in a loaf pan, as the name suggests or can be formed into a loaf and cooked on a baking sheet.  Alternatively, meatloaf can be cooked in muffin tins, which is handy when you are short on time as it cuts the cook time in half.  You can also form it into meatballs and serve them as an appetizer or a main dish served on top of pasta, vegetables or rice.  Another option is to form it into patties, like hamburgers, and serve it on a bun or in a salad. Leftover meatloaf slices are often served warm or cold as a sandwich.  

I came up with this recipe because I had some leftover bell pepper and canned pineapple from use in other recipes and it instantly screamed to me, sweet and sour. Continue reading “Sweet & Sour Meatloaf”

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Ahhh pancakes!  Makes me think of weekend breakfast when I was growing up.  My mama would make up a big batch of pancakes and she had sausage or bacon to go with it.  Although pancakes come in all sorts of flavors, as do the syrups, I’ve always been partial of simple buttermilk pancakes and maple syrup.  

Pancakes go by a variety of names in America; griddlecakes, flapjacks, hotcakes and their counterparts in other countries such as crepes, blintzes and Dutch baby.  They come in all shapes and sizes, some are stacked, filled, rolled and are found throughout the world.  Some are sweet while others savory and can be served for any type of meal. Continue reading “Whole Wheat Pancakes”

Lemon & Thyme Roasted Asparagus

Growing up I was never forced to eat vegetables, in fact, for the most part they were never cooked.  My mama on occasion would cook herself green beans, cauliflower and cabbage.  Always when my papa was not around, either on a business trip or at work.  I wouldn’t try it, papa said they were nasty and the smell was nasty too. It turns out that my papa’s mama would force him to sit at the table and eat a pile of vegetables he hated which with his stubbornness usually ended in a stand off that lasted hours.  The only vegetables he would eat was succotash, green peas, corn, potatoes and green salad.  It wasn’t until I was around 30 did I try broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus.  Cooked the right way, I loved them all.

Asparagus, by far, is my favorite vegetable.  I love when spring hits and the grocery stores are full of fresh asparagus, the small pencil like size.  Although I have bought the larger ones and surprisingly, some turned out tender as the narrower ones.  When in season, asparagus is really cheap, grocery stores and farmer’s markets run some really good deals on them. Continue reading “Lemon & Thyme Roasted Asparagus”

Turkey Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers are a mild chili pepper which originated in the state of Puebla, Mexico. While they are considered mild, some of these peppers possess a little bit of heat, usually near the stem area. Many associate these peppers with the popular Mexican dish, chili rellenos.

When you hear the words stuffed peppers, most will instantly think of bell peppers stuffed with ground meat with a mixture of spices, breadcrumbs or rice.  It is basically a meatloaf shoved into a bell pepper that leaches an intense pepper flavor into the meat when cooked.

While I like stuffed bell peppers, I wanted to try something a little different.

It starts off with a homemade salsa in the bottom of the casserole dish, you can certainly substitute a large bottle of store bought salsa to save time. The filling consists of ground turkey rather than ground beef, you can use whichever you prefer even ground pork or ground chicken.  Aromatics and cooked rice, corn and beans are added to the ground meat and then pressed into the halves of the peppers then baked and then garnished with some shredded cheese. Continue reading “Turkey Stuffed Poblano Peppers”