The common issue among families striving to eating more fresh and wholesome is finding quick recipes to make during the busy week. In my Plano, Texas-based nutrition practice we guide adults and families on the “how to's” of balanced eating. How is balanced eating put into action? That’s the challenge for most people. Time and time again, the request is the need for more recipes. That is why I started Eat with Angela, an online meal planner. Once signed up, you receive 7 dietitian-created meals (entrees with side dishes) that come with a customizable shopping list. You can tailor recipe and meal searches by family likes, dislikes, health conditions and allergies/intolerances. Everything is rated by a health score from 1 to 100. And all the recipes are practical and easy to prepare!
Last week, my little sous chef (daughter, Hannah) and I made one of last week’s meal features on Eat with Angela – and took pictures along the way. We wanted to share this yummy meal with you that is fun to make with one or more of your family members. Give it a try!
First, I want to introduce my super cute cooking partner: Ms. Hannah!
Hannah loves to cook with me. I enjoy giving her age-appropriate things to do and increase her responsibilities as her skills increase.
OK, let's start on the Cajun Pork Pinwheels. For this recipe you need:
2 pounds pork tenderloins (one pound each)
1 medium (approx 2-3/4" long, 2-1/2" dia each) finely chopped red bell pepper
1 large onion finely chopped
1/2 cup celery finely chopped
1 teaspoon, leaves dried thyme, crushed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon, whole fennel seed, crushed
2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning
Using sharp knife, cut lengthwise slit down center of 1 pork tenderloin almost to, but not through, bottom of tenderloin. Open tenderloin so it lies flat; cover with plastic wrap.
Working from the center to edges, lightly pound tenderloin with flat side of meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4 inch thick; remove plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining tenderloin.
Heat oven to 325 F. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add red bell pepper, onion, celery, thyme, garlic salt, cayenne and paprika; cook about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stirring frequently. Spread vegetable mixture evenly over each flattened tenderloin to within 1 inch of edges. Starting with shortest side, roll up; secure edges of each roll with toothpicks or tie each with string. In small bowl combine fennel seed and lemon-pepper; press mixture onto top and sides of each tenderloin roll. Place rolls seam-side down on rack in shallow pan. Roast for about 45 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees F. Let rolls stand 5 minutes. Remove toothpicks or string; slice. Talk about improvising, I only had long skewers on-hand so I broke them in half and used them to keep my pork roll in place. Not pretty, but it worked!
Time Saver! Grab a bag of some pre-cut frozen diced veggies like this Picsweet seasoning blend. Steam them in an inch of boiling water for 7 minutes and spread the mixture over the flattened tenderloin in place of the onion, celery and red bell pepper.
While the pork is cooking, let's start on the veggies. For the potatoes, you will need:
1 1/2 pounds small Red Bliss potatoes
1 1/2 pounds small Purple Peruvian potatoes
1 1/2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons, chopped fresh tarragon
2 1/4 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/8 teaspoon pepper
Heat oven to 500°F. Cut potatoes in half. In large saucepan over medium heat, simmer potatoes in 2 inches water about 15 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Drain well. In flameproof baking dish or large skillet with ovenproof handle, heat oil over medium heat. Add potatoes, herbs, salt and pepper; stir or toss briefly to coat potatoes. Place skillet in oven about 15 minutes or until potatoes are golden.
Time Saver #1! Many times you can find a bag of multi-colored small potatoes instead of having to buy 3 separate bags.
Time Saver #2! Feel free to grab an Italian blend seasoning and sprinkle in place of the parsley, thyme, tarragon and rosemary! If you have some extra rosemary, add a bit more than the rest.
The green beans are easy-peasy. I prefer the fresh green beans, but you could also use frozen. Here's how we do them:
1 1/2 pounds green beans
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3/8 teaspoon pepper
3/8 teaspoon salt
Trim green beans and steam or boil until tender-crisp, about 7 minutes.
Heat butter in a saute pan; add beans, salt and pepper. Saute for a minute or two and serve.
Lower calorie option! Skip the butter and just steam in water.
One all the items are finished, plate them up before bringing to the table or serve it family-style with each item in its own dish in the middel of the table.
With any and all recipes, get creative. Adapt as needed. Don't throw a recipe out just because of one ingredient or one portion of the preparation. Find ways to make it work for your family. I hardly ever make a recipe just like it says! It's so fun to experiment.
We invite you to try the Eat with Angela weekly meal subscription. I feel so strongly that this will help your family, if you will use it, that I will let you try it out for $1 for the next month. Sign-up here today and let us know what you think!
From our home to yours, we hope you take the time to enjoy more mealtimes with your family.