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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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!

Chinese Twice Cooked Pork Belly (huí guō ròu)

This colorful dish, Chinese Twice Cooked Pork Belly, is common in Southwest China and involves two distinct cooking methods: simmering followed by stir-frying with vegetables.

Chinese Twice Cooked Pork Belly

Chinese Twice Cooked Pork Belly (huí guō ròu)

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 6
Calories 470 kcal


  • lbs pork belly without skin
  • 1” knob ginger, chopped
  • 2 green onions
  • A few peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp cooking wine
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leek, trimmed (white part only)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 fresh chili peppers
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp sweet bean sauce
  • 1 tbsp jarred crushed pepper
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce


  • Put the pork belly in a pan and cover with cold water.  Add ginger.  Cut the white ends from the green onions and add those as well, followed by the cooking wine and peppercorns.  
  • Bring the water to a boil for 20 minutes.  Immediately transfer pork to cold water and soak for 10 minutes.
  • Cut green onions, leek, carrot and pepper into 1” slices.  Slice garlic and chili peppers.
  • Thinly slice pork belly. 
  • Heat vegetable oil in a heavy skillet or wok.  Add pork belly and cook until all the fat has been rendered.  Add bean sauce, crushed pepper, sugar and soy sauce.  Cook and stir until well incorporated.
  • Put carrots in the pan and saute them for a minute or two.  Add leek, garlic and bell pepper and chili peppers. Saute until the vegetables are cooked to your preference, adding green onions in the last few minutes.
  • Serve with rice or noodles, if desired.
  • Hack:  You can replace the carrot and pepper with whatever vegetables you prefer or have on hand.
  • Hack:  You can substitute sweet bean paste or hoisin sauce for the sweet bean sauce. 
  • Hack:  Leftovers can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen in serving-sized portions for up to 3 months
  • Hack:  Check the produce department for loose, single carrots.  If you don’t see them, ask a clerk if they’re available.   
Keyword asian cooking video, Asian cuisine, Asian food, Chinese cooking video, Chinese cuisine, Chinese food, Chinese Twice Cooked Pork Belly, cooking video, Homemade Asian food, Homemade Chinese food, huí guō ròu, pork belly recipe

For more instructional videos for making traditional Chinese cuisine at home, visit Yuhong’s Country Kitchen on YouTube! Don’t forget to like, subscribe and press that notification button so you won’t miss any new videos!

Homemade Easy Zucchini Bread Bites

We had lots of zucchini so Grandma and Lily teamed up to make some easy zucchini bread bites! Vegetables make this a healthier choice over other quick breads!

Easy Zucchini Bread Bites

Course Snack
Servings 26 cakes
Calories 95 kcal


  • 1 cup raisins
  • cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ¼ cup applesauce, room temperature
  • ½ cup  brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini 


  • Preheat oven to 350℉.  Spray wells of Pampered Chef Brownie Bite Pan with cooking spray.   
  • Measure raisins into a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water.  Allow to soak for one hour.
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  
  • In a separate bowl, mix together oil, egg, applesauce, brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla until well blended.  Fold in raisins and zucchini.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
  • Transfer batter to Pampered Chef Batter Dispenser.  Pipe batter into the wells of the brownie bite pan and bake for 8 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove bites from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm or cold.
  • Hack:  Wrap zucchini bread tightly and store it at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to a week.  It can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Keyword cooking video, kids recipe, Lily Rose Kindergarten Cook, quick bread, snack, zucchini, zucchini bread

Click here to check out the Pampered Chef products shown in this video!

 To see more videos from Lily-Rose and her friends, check out our YouTube channel!  Don’t forget to like, subscribe and press that notification button so you won’t miss any new videos!

This post contains affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here.

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


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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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!

How Long Does It Take To Change A Habit?

We all want to be healthier. Making better food choices is a big part of that but changing the way we eat is hard. How long does it take to change a habit?

How Long Does It Take To Change A Habit?
How Long Does It Take To Change A Habit?

So you’ve started on a journey to change your ways.  You’ve decided to be healthier, eat better, ditch the take out and cook your own healthy meals at home.  It doesn’t take long to realize that it’s harder than you thought it would be.

It takes longer than you thought to research meal plans, find what you want in the grocery store, to prep and put together your meals every day.  And, unfortunately, you’re still craving your favorite frozen pizza.  It’s enough to send any (previously) sane person, screaming, to the nearest drive-thru.

Now, I know you’ve heard this before but it takes time to feel comfortable after making changes to your life, especially big ones.  But how long do we have to wait for this to get easier?  How long does it take to change a habit?

First, let’s break down some of the specific reasons we’re having problems.

How to Create a Healthy Meal Plan

Create a Healthy Meal Plan
Create a Healthy Meal Plan

Creating a meal plan seems like a chore at first, especially for those of us who are used to flying by the seat of our pants in regard to mealtime.  Who has time to find recipes, write out a menu and set up a shopping list for the next couple of weeks??  How would you even know what you’ll want to eat all those days in advance???

Ok, just calm down.  This process is completely malleable.  I’ll tell you right up front that I can’t plan my meals more than a few days ahead of time, either. But what I often do is keep an eye out for recipes online.  When I find something that I’d like to try, I print out the recipe or email it to myself.  This gives me plenty of ideas of what I’d like to try sometime in the future.  If you join the email lists at a few sites, they send the recipes to you!

If the ingredients in a recipe are shelf-stable, freezable or have a relatively long refrigerator life span, I’ll buy them on my next shopping trip so I can have them on hand when I’m ready to make it.  This is a form of meal plan because I already have the recipes and ingredients when I’m ready to cook.

Now for the shopping list.  I have a notes app on my phone (I’m sure you have one as well) so I keep a running shopping list.  If I need something or want to acquire ingredients for a particular meal, I just whip out my phone and add to the list.  When I buy something, I just remove that item from the list.

Sounds easy enough but now you have to face the grocery store.  When I first started on this journey, you can be sure that I knew where they kept the hot dogs and frozen dinners but where the heck are pine nuts?   It’s true that it will take you a little bit longer on your first few trips but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough.  Remember that it’s ok to ask for directions!

For more tips on this subject, check out this article!

Prep. Cook. Repeat.

I love to cook.  I am often at my happiest when I can spend the afternoon creating a complex meal for myself and/or other people.  I understand that not everyone loves (or even likes) to cook and that’s something I can understand on a certain level.

For me, cooking is an undertaking, a project.  I do not enjoy feeling rushed or pressured when I’m cooking and I don’t like to cook when I’m feeling tired after a long day.  And, let’s face it…I usually don’t have an entire afternoon free to make a meal.  So, in that respect, I often don’t like to cook.  But I still gotta eat so what’s a girl to do?

The first thing to do is check your local supermarket.  These businesses recognize the increasing desire of their customers to eat healthy, whole foods while having increasingly less time to spend cooking.

I’m happy to say that they’ve stepped up to the plate by offering a large selection of items that are prepared and/or ready for cooking.  This includes produce that is peeled and cut into various shapes and sizes, both in the produce department and the frozen section.

Check out the meat and frozen food aisles to find proteins that are already deboned, ground or sliced.  Other areas can supply you with sliced or grated cheese, hard-boiled eggs, chopped nuts and many other things to reduce your time in the kitchen.

Another thing I do is take advantage of the opportunities I do have to cook.  Most dishes will last in the fridge for up to 5 days and can also be frozen in serving-sized portions for a minimum of 3 months, sometimes longer.  This means I can make extra portions and eat them throughout the week or freeze them for later.  Here are some additional thoughts on this subject!

But Wait…I Still Want Pizza

I Still Want Pizza
I Still Want Pizza

You’re eating healthy and you should feel better, right?  You should be enjoying the benefits of fresh food and craving some more of that awesome, nutritious stuff that your body needs…except you’re actually dying for a drive-thru sandwich.

You know you shouldn’t.  It’s unhealthy and it’s detrimental to what you’re trying to achieve. It doesn’t even taste that good.  And yet, here you are.  You could be in line right now, waiting for your turn to get one of those nuggets of death and berating yourself for being so weak.

Take it down a notch, ok?  It’s not your fault.

Manufacturers have discovered how to use a precise combination of sugar, salt and fat to virtually ensure our overconsumption of the foods they’re pushing. This concoction lights up the pleasure centers in the brain, creating a euphoria that compels us to want more.

It’s so powerful that it’s been compared to cocaine. Yes, you heard me right. Check out these findings put together by Yale University.

The good news?  The longer you hold out, the weaker that compulsion will be.

How Long Does It Take To Change A Habit?

How Long Does It Take To Change A Habit?
How Long Does It Take To Change A Habit?

This brings us back to the original question.  How long does it take to change a habit?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to that question.  According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes between 18 to 254 days and about 66 days for it to become automatic.

Why the wide margin?  Because habits are diverse and affect our lives in different ways.

When you get in your car, you most likely put on your seatbelt without even giving it a thought.  You probably don’t remember struggling to form that habit, it was just something that became a muscle memory after doing it over and over.  Why?  Because, although you know that it could potentially save your life, the seatbelt doesn’t connect with you emotionally.

How about that time you cut your finger with a knife?  I’ll bet it didn’t take you long to form the habit of keeping your fingers out of the way while you’re cutting potatoes.

Food is a different situation altogether.  Eating food gives us pleasure for many different reasons.

We need food to live and so we’re naturally drawn to it.  We also enjoy the different flavors and mouthfeels of these foods as well as the satisfaction of being full.  And nothing compares to the camaraderie of sitting down with our friends and loved ones for a good meal.  Our attitude toward food is wound tightly with tradition, emotion and physical need.

What we eat is a habit that’s much more difficult to change but it can be done.

Here’s my take on the situation.  This is a journey, not a race. You can’t change your entire diet overnight.  Maybe not in 6 months.  Maybe not even in a year.  All you can do is begin.

Ask yourself what you’re willing to change right now.  Maybe you’ll decide to make a smoothie for breakfast tomorrow.  Or trade the takeout one day this week for a super quick and easy tomato and shrimp salad.  Once you’re comfortable with that, maybe you’d like to change something else.

The Best Time Is Now

The Best Time Is Now
The Best Time Is Now

The most important thing to remember is to always be kind to yourself.  There will be hiccups and backslides.  I’ve been at this now for over 4 years and I still have a relapse from time to time. But I’m miles ahead of where I began.  That’s what matters.

So go ahead and get started.  The best time is now.

What’s the first change you plan to make?  Let me know in the comments below!

All my best,


Chinese Steamed Egg (Hibiscus Egg)

Chinese Steamed Egg (Hibiscus Egg) is a popular Chinese dish is commonly made for children, although it is also served to the elderly or ill.


Chinese Steamed Egg (Hibiscus Egg)

2 eggs

1 cup water

Pinch of salt


Crack eggs into a heatproof bowl and beat them while slowly adding water.  Add a pinch of salt

Place the bowl in a large pan and add enough water to reach the brim of the bowl. Cover the pan with a lid.

Turn heat on high and bring water to a bowl.  Boil water for 6 minutes and check to see if eggs are set.

Remove the bowl from the pan.  Garnish with soy sauce and/or green onions, if desired, and serve immediately.


1 serving, 130 calories

Hack:  For more instructional videos for making traditional Chinese cuisine at home, visit Yuhong’s Country Kitchen on YouTube!Don’t forget to like, subscribe and press that notification button so you won’t miss any new videos!


Cheesy Corn Dog Muffins

Cheesy corn dog muffins are an easy and portable snack that’s sure to satisfy kids of all ages. You can eat them hot or cold!

Cheesy Corn Dog Muffins
Cheesy Corn Dog Muffins

Cheesy Corn Dog Muffins


½ cup sliced celery (1-2 stalks)

½ cup chopped onion

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread batter, unbaked

4 bacon-wrapped cheese hot dogs

Preheat oven to 350℉.  Coat a 12-ct muffin tin with cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add celery and onion and saute until tender, 5-7 minutes.  Turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Mix cheddar jalapeno cornbread batter according to directions.  Stir in cooled vegetable mixture just until blended.  Put 2 tbsp batter into each muffin cup.

Slice each hot dog into 4 pieces.  Gently press one slice into each muffin cup.  Top with one additional tbsp of batter.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a rack for 5 minutes and remove muffins from the tin.

Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce if desired.

16 muffins, 190 calories per muffin

Hack:  For a smoother, less granular texture, mix cornmeal and milk.  Cover and allow to soak in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Hack:  After baking 12 muffins, I baked the rest of the ingredients in 5” cast iron skillets.  Divide and spread the remaining batter into 2 skillets.  Slice the last hot dog into 12 slices. Lay 6 on top of each skillet, pressing them into the batter.  Spread pushed up batter over hot dog slices.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

Hack: ½ cup of chopped frozen onions can be substituted for fresh onion in this recipe.

Hack:  Reconstituted dehydrated vegetables can be used in this recipe.

Hack: Check the produce department of your local grocery store for loose celery stalks to avoid having to buy an entire package.  If they aren’t on display, ask the produce clerk if they are 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”.

This post contains affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read the full privacy policy here. 

Dehydrated Fruit Snacks

Lily and Grandma make healthy and tasty dehydrated fruit snacks in the latest episode of Lily-Rose: Kindergarten Cook! Kids love to make these (and eat them!)

Dehydrated Fruit Snacks


8 ripe bananas

3 apples

4 small seedless oranges or clementines


Peel bananas and slice into ¼” slices.  Lay slices in a single layer on a food dehydrator tray.

Thoroughly wash and dry apples.  Cut in half and remove seeds, stem and stamen.  Using a mandoline, slice the apple into ⅛“ slices and lay slices in a single layer on a food dehydrator tray.

Thoroughly wash and dry oranges.  Using a sharp knife, cut into ¼ “ slices. Lay slices in a single layer on a food dehydrator tray.

Place trays into food dehydrator and set the heat at 130℉.  Allow to dry until they have reached the desired level of dryness, either chewy or crunchy, 6-12 hours.


10 servings, 130 calories per serving

Hack: Drying time varies depending on the water content of the fruit, thickness of the slices and the efficiency of the dehydrator itself but, in general, the time required will be between 6 and 12 hours.

Hack: Store dried fruit in an airtight plastic or glass container.  Dried fruit should not be stored in or come into contact with metal.  If a condensation forms inside the storage container, it indicates that the fruit is not dry enough and should be returned to the dehydrator for further processing.

Hack:  Most dried fruit can be stored for up to a year but temperatures above 60℉ or a higher level of retained water will deteriorate that time frame. They can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to protect it from higher temperatures.  Any fruit that begins to darken after a period of storage, develops an unpleasant odor or loses its flavor should be discarded.

Hack:  Many fruits (such as apples and bananas) tend to brown when they’re dehydrated.  This doesn’t affect the taste, nutrition or food safety of them but if you prefer your snacks to remain closer to their natural color (or perhaps another color altogether!) click here to learn different methods to achieve this.


Hack:  To see more videos from Lily-Rose and her friends, check out our YouTube channel!  Don’t forget to like, subscribe and press that notification button so you won’t miss any new videos!