Cranberry Mustard Pork Tenderloin

The health benefits of cranberries make Cranberry Mustard Pork Tenderloin a festive dish that you can feel good about eating all year-’round!

Cranberry Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Cranberry Mustard Pork Tenderloin

Course Main Course
Servings 4
Calories 279 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard, divided
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt, divided
  • 1⅓ tsp dried rosemary, divided
  • 1⅓ tsp dried sage, divided
  • tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup ruby port
  • tsp butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450℉. 
  • Pat pork dry and spread 1 tbsp mustard over the entire loin.
  • Combine ⅛ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper, 1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp sage and thyme.  Sprinkle over pork, pressing to adhere.  
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pork and brown on all sides.
  • Transfer to a baking pan.  Roast in the oven until reaches an internal temperature of 145℉, 14-18 minutes.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • While the loin is roasting, return the skillet to medium heat.  Add remaining 1 tbsp oil and cranberries to the pork drippings.  Cook until cranberries start to soften, about 2 minutes.  Stir in shallot, remaining 1 tbsp mustard and one 1 tsp each of rosemary and sage.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Stir in broth and port.  Cook until thickened and reduced by half, 4-6 minutes.  Stir in butter and ⅛ tsp each of the remaining pepper and salt.  Spoon sauce over the top of sliced pork loin and serve.
  • Hack:  Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.  To freeze, slice pork and cover in sauce.  Package in serving-sized portions and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Hack:  Fresh cranberries are only between October and December, which is why they’re such a holiday favorite!  Take advantage of that time window to buy a few extra bags for your freezer.  Did you miss your chance?  Check the freezer section of the supermarket where you're likely to find some in with the berry section.
Keyword cranberry pork, cranberry sauce, holiday roast, low calorie, mustard pork, oven roasted pork, Pork tenderloin, port wine recipe, ruby port

Did you know? People call cranberries a superfood for good reason: They have all kinds of health-boosting benefits.

Suggestion:  Pair this with savory roasted acorn squash for a hearty meal with a holiday feel… any time of year!

 

Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles

Sesame peanut butter noodles are a spicy, nutritious and vegetarian meal. It’s a super quick and easy choice for a busy weeknight dinner!

Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles

Sesame Peanut Butter Noodles

Course Main Course
Servings 2
Calories 291 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 oz rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ginger root, grated
  • ¾ tsp sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp chopped peanuts
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Instructions
 

  • Cover rice noodles in hot water and allow to soak for 30 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
  • In a small microwave bowl, mix peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, sesame oil, ginger and sriracha.  Heat in microwave until heated.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet or wok.  Add rice noodles and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Toss with peanut sauce.
  • Place in bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds, chopped peanuts and green onion. Serve immediately.
  • Hack:  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  For best results, store noodles and peanut sauce separately, combining just before serving.
Keyword Asian cuisine, Asian food, Homemade Asian food, homemade Thai cuisine, homemade Thai food, peanut butter, peanut noodles, Thai cuisine, Thai food, vegetarian

Did you know?  While many are worried about the fat and calories in peanut butter, it can be part of a healthy diet!

If you like this noodle dish, try my recipe for lemon poppy seed chicken noodles!

Fresh Cucumber Sandwich Spread

Take lunch to a whole new level with this fresh cucumber sandwich spread. It’s delicious served on simple white bread for a sandwich or with crackers as a dip.

Cucumber Sandwich Spread

Cucumber Sandwich Spread

Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 140 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened (8 oz block)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Peel the cucumber and slice lengthwise.  Remove the seeds. Shred the cucumber using the largest holes of a grater or mince it with a knife.
  • Use a piece of cheesecloth or linen towel to squeeze excess liquid from the cucumber and place shreds in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder and pepper to the bowl and combine using the paddle attachment.
  • Cover mixture tightly and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to meld.
  • Serve on simple white bread for a sandwich or with crackers as a dip.
Keyword brunch, cucumber, cucumber sandwich, cucumber sandwich spread, lunch, sandwiches, vegetarian

Did you know?  Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin K and are high in water content to promote hydration and make you feel full longer!  Check out the facts here!

Easy Parmesan Crusted Scallops

Parmesan crusted scallops are fast and easy to make. They fit nicely into a vegetarian, low-calorie, keto and/or gluten-free lifestyle. Round off this healthy meal with Asparagus with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes!

Parmesan Crusted Scallops

Parmesan Crusted Scallops

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ lb sea scallops (about 18 medium)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp dry white wine
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½  tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp dried parsley
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Dash paprika

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Rinse scallops and pat them dry.  Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and lay scallops out in a single layer.
  • In a small bowl, mix together butter, wine, lemon juice, 2 tbsp parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley and cayenne pepper.  Set aside until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes.
  • Divide the butter mixture evenly over the top of the scallops. 
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake until scallops are opaque and have an internal temperature of 115℉.  This should take between 20 and 30 minutes depending on the size of the scallops.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and take off the aluminum foil.  Sprinkle scallops with remaining parmesan and paprika.
  • Turn the oven to broil and move the oven rack to the broiler position.  Place the baking pan back into the oven and broil until the cheese is browned, 2-3 minutes.
  • Hack:  Reheat leftovers in the oven for 5-15 minutes, depending on size.  Microwave reheating is not recommended.  
  • Hack: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 3 months. 
Keyword baked seafood, gluten-free, keto, low calorie, parmesan cheese, scallops, seafood, vegetarian

Did you know?  Scallops are considered to be one of the healthiest kinds of seafood!

Meatballs and Cabbage

Meatballs and cabbage is a quick and easy one-skillet meal that sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Make it gluten-free by using rolled oats when making the meatballs.

Meatballs and Cabbage
Meatballs and Cabbage

Meatballs and Cabbage

 

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)

1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp beef bouillon powder

Salt and pepper to taste

8 Best Italian Meatballs*

6 cups coarsely chopped green cabbage (1¼ lb)

Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

 

Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet.  Add onions and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent (5-7 minutes).  Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Mix together tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar and beef bouillon powder.  Pour into the skillet and add the meatballs.

Cover with cabbage and cook for 30-40 minutes until cabbage is tender and meatballs are cooked to an internal temperature of 160℉.  Turn cabbage and meatballs gently and occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve immediately.

 

*To make this recipe gluten-free, use the gluten-free version option of the meatball recipe.

 

2 servings, 480 calories per serving

 

Hack:  Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days or freeze in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months.

Hack:  Check the produce department for loose celery stalks.  If you don’t see them, ask a clerk if they’re available.

Hack:  Shop the salad bar if you just need a small amount of an item that you don’t think you’ll use again before it “goes over”.

Hack:  Ask the produce clerk to cut a head of cabbage into wedges so you’ll only have to buy what you need.  They’ll wrap the leftover pieces and put it back on the shelf for sale.

Hack: Use leftover green cabbage to make Andouille Sausage With Fried CabbageHomemade Chinese Dumplings or Simple Healthy Coleslaw!

Pan Fried Rice Noodles

Pan Fried Rice Noodles
Pan Fried Rice Noodles

Pan Fried Rice Noodles

 

2 oz rice noodles

1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

2 green onions

1 cup Best Classic Meatloaf Recipe (4 oz)

1 dried Thai chili pepper (optional)

2 tsp soy sauce

½ tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp sugar

½ tbsp Chinese black vinegar

¼ tsp black pepper

 

Place the rice spaghetti container that allows it to lay flat.  Cover with cool water and allow to soak for 1 hour.  Drain and return to the container.   Massage a small amount of oil over the strands and set them aside.

Thinly slice green onion and crumble meatloaf.  Set aside.

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, vinegar and black pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat oil and Thai pepper in a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

Add spaghetti, green onion and meatloaf to wok.  Cook until spaghetti is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Use tongs to toss frequently for even browning and to prevent spaghetti from sticking together Pour in soy sauce mixture and stir to deglaze the pan.

Remove from wok immediately, garnish with additional green onions and serve.

1 serving,  635 calories per serving

Hack:  I’ve used leftover meatloaf in this recipe but you can use any leftover meat that you have on hand!

Hack:  For more variety, add some sauteed fresh or leftover veggies of your choice.

Hack:  Chop leftover green onions and freeze in a sealable freezer bag or container for future use. While they won’t retain the crispness that would make them suitable for salads or garnish, they will be fine for cooking.

Summer Squash Sausage Skillet

This summer squash sausage skillet combines caramelized onions and summer squash with Italian sausage for an easy one-pan meal that’s low in carbs and calories!

Summer Squash Sausage Skillet
Summer Squash Sausage Skillet

Summer Squash Sausage Skillet

 

water

2 Italian sausage links (6 oz)

1 medium summer squash (12 oz)

½ Vidalia or sweet onion

4 tbsp butter

½ tsp dried thyme

½ tsp dried rosemary

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

 

Pour water into a skillet until it measures ½“ and put on the stove over medium-high heat.  Add Italian sausage links and simmer, turning occasionally, until sausage reaches an internal temperature of 160℉, 12-15 minutes.

While the sausage is cooking, cut summer squash into ¼“ rounds and thinly slice the onion.

Remove sausage from skillet and turn heat to medium-low.  Put butter, thyme, rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper in the skillet.  Allow butter to melt and add squash and onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and squash are soft and caramelized, about 45 minutes.  Add more butter, if necessary, to keep the food from sticking.

While the vegetables are cooking, slice sausage into rounds. Add the pan when vegetables are done and heat through.

Serve immediately.

 

3 servings, 405 calories per serving

Hack:  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in airtight containers for up to 12 months.

Buffalo Pork Chops

These spicy buffalo pork chops are easy to put together and cook up quickly. Have dinner on the table in less than 15 minutes!

Buffalo Pork Chops
Buffalo Pork Chops

Buffalo Pork Chops

 

¼ cup blue cheese dressing

2 tbsp hot sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

2 boneless pork chops, about 6 oz each

¼ cup finely chopped celery

2 slices swiss cheese

 

Mix together blue cheese dressing and hot sauce.  Set aside.

Allow pork chops to rest a room temperature for 30 minutes prior to cooking.  Dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add pork chops and cook for 3 minutes and flip.  Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145℉.  Remove from the pan.

Add celery to the pan and saute for 3 minutes.  Move celery to the side and return chops.  Cover each chop with equal amounts of celery.  Divide blue cheese dressing mixture evenly over pork chops.  Cover each chop with one slice of swiss cheese.

Cover pan with a lid, remove from heat and allow to rest for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.

Recommended side dish:  Easy Vegetable Rice

 

2 servings, 550 calories per serving

Hack:  Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Hack:  Dehydrated vegetables can be used in this recipe.

 

Chicken Guacamole Wrap

This chicken guacamole wrap sandwich is a cool and refreshing treat that’s low in calories. It’s also a great way to use leftover chicken and guacamole!

Chicken Guacamole Wrap
Chicken Guacamole Wrap

Chicken Guacamole Wrap

 

1-2 boneless skinless chicken breast (¾ lb total)

4 cups water (or enough to cover)

1 sprig fresh rosemary (½ tsp dried)

½ tsp salt

½ black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)

2 slices fresh onion

1 tbsp lemon juice

Easy Guacamole Dip

1 large fresh tomato, sliced

1 cup baby spinach

4 large whole wheat wraps

 

Place chicken breast(s) in a saucepan and cover with water.  Add rosemary, salt, pepper, bay leaf, garlic, onion and lemon juice.

Cover the saucepan with a lid and put it on the stovetop over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and lower heat to medium-low.  Simmer until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160℉, about 6-10 minutes, depending on the size of the breast(s).

Remove chicken from water and allow it to cool.*  Cut it into thin slices.

Lay out a wrap on a flat surface.  Line ¼ of chicken slices across the wrap, slightly off circle to allow room for rolling.  Top with ¼ cup guacamole, several tomato slices and ¼ cup baby spinach leaves.

Roll the wrap to form the sandwich (see hack below) and serve immediately.  Store any leftovers in the fridge and assemble wraps as needed.

*At this point, the chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 4 months.

4 servings, 380 calories per serving

Hack:  Wondering how to roll a wrap sandwich so it doesn’t fall apart?  Check out these easy instructions!

Hack:  You can use leftover chicken in this recipe!

Hack:  Although I have listed particular spices in this recipe, you may adjust this according to your individual taste.

Hack:  Ever wonder how to tell if an avocado is ripe?  How long it will be good after you buy it?  Check out these tips to find out!

Hack: Check out the salad bar for small amounts of this ingredient list

Hack: Place waxed paper or parchment paper between wraps, seal in a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

 

Stewed Beef with Egg Noodles

Stewed Beef with Egg Noodles is an easy, nutritious and satisfying meal. Serve it with hearty bread, over egg noodles, potatoes or rice!

Stewed Beef with Egg Noodles
Stewed Beef with Egg Noodles

Stewed Beef with Egg Noodles

 

6 oz beef, cut into 1” cubes

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp olive oil

½ cup red wine (non-alcoholic or regular)

1½  cups beef broth

1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)

1 cup chopped onion

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

¾ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced (5 oz)

1 tbsp cornstarch

¼ cup water

2 cups uncooked egg noodles

 

Sprinkle flour over beef cubes and toss to coat.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add beef and stir gently until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add wine and beef broth.

Add garlic, onion, pepper, carrot, celery, and mushrooms.  Bring to boil.

Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 2½ hours.

Dissolve cornstarch in water and stir into pan.  Simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Cook egg noodles according to package directions and serve covered with stewed beef.

 

3 servings, 505 calories per serving

 

Hack:  Store leftover stewed beef and egg noodles separately to avoid soggy egg noodles.

Hack:  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Hack: Although egg noodles can be frozen, they are better cooked fresh.  If possible, only cook what you’ll be using within 5 days.

Hack:  Frozen or dehydrated vegetables will work well in this recipe