The Lazy Cook Eats: Easy One Dish Meals - Yams, Green Beans & Pork

I know, I know you are thinking "Yikes! Pork! Fat-a-rama!" Really though, the other white meat has come a long way on the road to leanness and if you choose the right cuts and do not overcook it (something I'm guilty of on multiple counts), it can be part of a healthy meal.

Last night's dinner was a colorful mix of yams, green (and yellow) beans, red onion and boneless pork chops  that I copped at Costco. The chops are usually nine to a package and I repackage them - 2 each in freezer zip locked bags for quick meals.

This all started when at 6:30 pm I realized I was starving and as per usual, did not want to cook. Desperate, I found a lone large sweet potato, some fresh frozen green beans, half a red onion and the last packet of chops.

It was all assembled in an oval 2 quart casserole dish, covered with foil and baked for approximately sixty minutes. Seasonings included fresh garlic, ginger, five spice powder (magnificent on the yams) and peppers: cayenne and black.

My new 'go-to' omega rich oil is Avocado Oil, which of course, I score at the mighty, mighty Costco. It can cook at a way higher temperature than virgin olive oil and doesn't add odd flavors to the taste of the dish. You've got to try it. I sprinkled about 2 tablespoons across the top of the collection.

I quickly covered it in foil and shoved it all into a 400 degree oven for one hour and by eight o'clock I was full with only one dish to clean. Yea!

Grocery List to serve two:

1 large Sweet potato(or yam)
1/4 - 1/2 lb Green beans,
1/2 large, red onion
2, 4 to 5 ounce Boneless pork chops
1 clove of garlic
1 1/2 Avocado Oil
1/4 teaspoon Five Spice Powder
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
Black and cayenne pepper to taste

I also gave a little sprinkle of my favorite Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joe's (just love that grinder), since I don't add salt to most dishes unless it's in a medley of sorts.

Optional sauce added after cooking
This turned out great and was way too easy not to try again. If you are feeling
indulgent and can stand the extra sugar grams that day, add 2 tablespoons of Robert Rothschild Farm Hot Pepper Raspberry Chipotle Sauce to the chops. Outstanding.



Yes. I'm am an unrepentant Costco junky. Everything is not always in packs of 2000, you know. When you are eating green, or a bit lazy like myself, you will want larger packages of veggies. Don't hate, just know that I spend a lot less on healthy food than you. ;-)
My Costco list from this meal was: 

  • Boneless pork chops
  • Avocado Oil
  • Robert Rothschild Farm Hot Pepper Rasberry Chipotle Sauce



A Classy, Simple Dinner

Last week I was at a birthday celebration at my sister-in-law's home and I was extremely happy with the menu. It was simple and delicious. The big bonus was there was no birthday cake or obligatory sweets to sway my head and raise my glucose levels.

The kids were snacking on raisins and sunflower seeds and ate everything we ate.

The menu:

Trout
Fillet of Sole
Brown rice
Broccoli
Bisquits

The seasonings:
Salt
Pepper
A little lemon
Dill
Olive oil

I loved the fact that she baked everything - even the broccoli, and it was fantastic. I'm going to do that more often.

She bought the sole for the children so they could avoid the bones, but being the big baby that I am about fish bones, I was eating right alongside the little ones. Except of course, when we finished off with a nice red wine.

Simple is always best . . .
Especially when you cook it.

Plated.com Chicken Chili - What's Inside

This was my first meal sent from the Plated folks.
Lots of fresh ingredients, premeasured and with a full color guide. It occurs to me that using #plated would also be a great gift for those who wish to learn to cook.


The Lazy Cook Eats . . . Risotto from a Crockpot

Sure. Besides being a world class food grubber of the 'over at your house' variety, I'm also a very accomplished lazy cook. I love to eat, but the time it takes puts me into grasshopper mode (see the fable 'The Ant and the Grasshopper'). Spoiler alert: Industrious ant wins, carefree, hedonistic grasshopper starves.

Never fear, girlie will never starve as long as she has her garage full of appliances and cookware. The most useful being the pressure cooker my old friend Pamela Richard gave me back in the eighties and my crockpot. Yes, I still use that pressure cooker especially when I tire of stir-frying collards or kale or get an extremely unusual hankering to can something (usually peppers or hot sauce). For princess lazypants there has never been a more appreciated gift, but that's a different story.

This story is about good ol' crockpot and the recipe I found to make a no stir risotto with said utensil. I don't eat a lot of rice or risotto anymore, but when I do, its a fatty, starchy, fungal infused extravaganza; just to make it worth my dietary while. Today I was food-perving the web and ended up over at GalTime to find Camilla Saulsbury's No Stir Crockpot Risotto recipe.

I've changed it only by upping the garlic content, adding mushrooms to the mix and drinking the entire remaining pinot grigio I opened for the recipe. Enjoy. I certainly did.

No-Stir Sundried Tomato Risotto with Mushrooms

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 and 1/4 cups raw Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (try Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
3 and 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup roughly chopped oil-packed sundried tomatoes (blot away the oil)
1/2 cup sliced baby bella  or cremini mushrooms
A pinch of crushed white peppercorn, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Add the rice, garlic and oil to the insert of the crock-pot, stir to coat. 
Stir in the white wine, broth, mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. 
Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours (may take about 2 and 1/2 hours). 
Serve topped with the Parmesan cheese.

4 servings.
Approximate Nutrition per Serving (1/4 of recipe):
Calories 311; Fat 3.4g (poly 0.2g, mono 1.6g, sat 1.4g); Protein 7.7g; Cholesterol 3.1mg; Carbohydrate 67.3g; Fiber 4.1; Sodium 784mg)




Pasta Sundae or Fake Out?


Hold the parm, please.
Supposedly, the run-for-it rage of the summer in NYC was Dolce Gelateria's Spaghettieis sundae treat that suspiciously looks like it's straight from Ronzoni land.

It seems this is actually an old school replay from the 1960's when some intrepid soul (Dario Fontanella of Germany, according to Wikipedia) found that shoving iced cream through a pasta machine was kind of cool.The Germans have been enjoying this for years, but you know . . . it takes a bit of time to jump the old pond.

Whew! I thought I was gonna have to try dark chocolate sprinkles, wet nuts (hey! no snickering), and butterscotch sauce on a heap of steaming semolina. Glad that is not the case. 

Like your sauce red? Try strawberry or raspberry sauce. Gotta have that faux meat feel? A couple of scoops of chocolate will get your meatball lookalike rolling and don't forget a sprinkle of toasted coconut - the grated cheese, of course.

What?! I thought that was vodka sauce.
I've even seen a site that suggests using a potato ricer as a substitute to make your own. Seems like way too much work for me for something I will gobble up as fast as my nerves can conduct the pain of brain freeze. I'd feel much better if YOU do it and invite little, ol' me over to gush compliments about your icy pasta prowess.

If you are feeling industrious there is a recipe on About.com. If not, truck on over to New York, make an inappropriate Anthony Weiner joke, then head to Dolce Gelateria for a creamy pasta-like fix. Personally, I will probably hold out until the German's figure out how to make gelato Spaghettio's.


Dolce Sweetness in Life - 33 Barrow Street, New York, NY 10014
http://www.dolce-sweetness.com/#1

I Love It When José Cooks for Me

That is why I visit José Andrés' restaurants as much as possible. The salad below featuring his line of ingredients, was posted on his facebook page today and puts sardines to a fine, light and luscious use. Not to mention its easy and oh so quick to make, while also fitting into the low carb/Paleo lifestyle. Enjoy!

Clementinas con Sardinas y Aceitunas (Clementines with Sardines and Olives)

September 6, 2013 at 12:03pm
A delicious, light and healthy salad that's easy to make and sure to impress your friends and family!

***

Clementinas con Sardinas y Aceitunas
Clementines with Sardines and Olives
Serves4

For the dressing:

- 1 cup José Andrés Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil
        (http://bit.ly/18qYBUe)
- ¼ cup José Andrés Reserva Sherry Vinegar
        (http://bit.ly/1cPy7jM)
- Zest and juice of 2 clementines
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 12 José Andrés Arbequina Olives, pitted and halved
        (http://bit.ly/155rBDO)
- Sea salt to taste

For the salad:

- 4 clementines, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
- ½ head romaine lettuce
- ½ head Bibb lettuce
- ½ head Lolla Rosa lettuce
- 8 José Andrés Sardines in Olive Oil
        (http://bit.ly/14qvZi0)
- Sea salt to taste

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To make the dressing:
Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, clementine juice, zest, shallots and olives in a medium bowl. Season with salt and set aside.

To make the salad:

Divide the heads of lettuce into individual leaves and distribute them evenly among 4 plates or serving bowls. Place two sardines and ¼ of the clementine slices on each salad. Drizzle each salad with dressing and season sea salt.


www.JoseAndresFoods.com
(c) 2013 José Andrés