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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’


This is yet another Everyday Food recipe that has been a go-to for a quick meal for many years now — the entire meal comes together in well under 30 minutes. This is a recipe even my husband has perfected!  I have slightly modified the original recipe to suit my family’s tastes.  We like this best when served with a green veggie, like steamed broccoli. When cooking broccoli, don’t toss the stalks! Slice them thinly and toss them in with the florets to steam until everything is bright green and fork-tender.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for baking sheet
  • 2 slices bread *
  • 4 thick cut boneless pork chops
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 TBSP apricot jam

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and brush lightly with oil. Place pork chops on pan.
  2. Tear bread into large pieces; place in food processor. Pulse until large crumbs form. Drizzle with oil; pulse once or twice, just until crumbs are moistened (you should have about 1 1/2 cups crumbs).
  3. Season pork chops generously with salt and pepper; spread one side of each chop with 1 TBSP jam. Dividing evenly, sprinkle breadcrumbs over jam, and pat them on gently.
  4. Bake until crust is golden and pork is opaque throughout, 14 to 16 minutes. Serve immediately.

*I use whatever bread we have on hand — it’s a great use for slightly dry or stale bread as well as the heels of the loaf.

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This recipe is the perfect quick weeknight meal: it goes together in a snap and uses a lot of storage-friendly items like canned goods and tortillas. It is also versatile enough that you can easily change things around or make substitutions when needed. I’ve also managed to pack 6 different veggies into this dish: tomato, avocado, corn, black beans, green chiles, and onion, so eat up! This recipe is as healthy as it is delicious!

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 of an onion, diced
  • 1 can green chiles
  • 1 can black beans, drain off 1/2  of the liquid
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, diced into 1/4″ pieces (optional)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce*
  • 8 corn or flour tortillas
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Lightly oil a 9×11 glass casserole dish with a little olive oil. Heat the remainder in a heavy pot, over medium-high heat. Toss in the onion and saute 1-2 minutes. Stir in the green chiles and cook until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add beans, corn, cumin, & garlic and stir to combine. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then stir in diced chicken. Remove from heat.

Pour 1/3 of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of the casserole dish. Fill each tortilla with bean filling and roll up. Place in casserole dish seam side down. If you have any leftover topping, sprinkle it over the top of the enchiladas. Pour the remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling.

*If you don’t have a can of enchilada sauce, use a can of tomato sauce and season to taste with cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. If you would like to add a little more heat to the dish, you could add cayenne pepper to the bean mixture or substitute a can of jalapeno peppers for the green chiles.

Serve the enchiladas on a bed of Mexican-style rice and top with shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, and diced avocados.

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This meal is quick to throw together and tastes best if you make it early in the day and then re-heat it when it’s time to eat. This will allow the flavors to blend together nicely. It is great served hot on a cold day and just as good at room temperature. The only necessary accompaniment is steamed Basmati rice. Bonus: all my kids scarfed this up last night, but maybe they are just weird kids. This recipe is modified from the book A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg.

  • scant 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into quarters and sliced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 ground ginger
  • 1 tsp garam masala*
  • 3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed under the side of a knife
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • water
  • 2 14-0z cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP coarsely chopped cilantro or dried cilantro
  • pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • lemon wedges & fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (optional)

Pour the olive oil into a heavy pot or dutch oven and warm it over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is deeply caramelized. Be patient.

Reduce the heat to low; add garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, cardamom pods, and salt and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant and toasty, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water and stir to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until all the water is absorbed. Pour in the tomatoes, and stir well.

Raise the heat to medium, and bring the pot to a gentle boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, add the cilantro and cayenne, and continue to cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces and thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, stirring well, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add about 2 TBSP water and cook for another 5 minutes, until water is absorbed. Add another 2 TBSP of water and cook a few minutes more. This process of adding and cooking off water helps to concentrate the sauce’s flavor and makes the chickpeas more tender and toothsome. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary.

This chana masala can be served in two different styles: with some yogurt stirred in to smooth and soften the flavors, OR served with a squeeze of lemon. Either way, serve over Basmati rice and garnish with some freshly chopped cilantro.

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This is a quick and delicious weeknight meal that’s perfect in the Fall & Winter. It’s also a great “pantry meal” which features simple ingredients that are easy to have on hand. It has been a reliable go-to dish that is substantial, nutritious, and a kid-pleaser all at once, which is saying a lot, really. In fact, a fight sometimes breaks out over the apples & onions, so you may want to double the quantity I’ve listed here, if you find that to be an issue at your house. If you do double the amounts, this meal will easily provide 3 fruit and veggie servings (about a half-cup) per portion, and that’s nothing short of a miracle.

We love to this dish with something green — wilted spinach with nutmeg, green beans, broccoli, peas, or brussels sprouts. One more quick note, you can use boneless thick-cut pork chops or the standard bone-in variety, it makes no difference. Also, if you line your baking pan with heavy duty foil, there will be no clean-up, and that makes us all happy.  My version of the recipe is below — it has been modified from an Everyday Food recipe. (Which is actually where I get most of my recipes! Check out the site or the magazine if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it.)

  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 large yellow or sweet Vidalia onion, halved and sliced into  1/4″ thick wedges
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ slices
  • 1/2 cup white wine or apple juice
  • 4 pork chops
  • kosher salt and ground pepper

Melt butter in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Saute onions in butter until they begin to soften and brown slightly around the edges — about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, move the oven rack to the highest position and heat the broiler. Place pork chops on a rimmed baking sheet and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Cover the pan of onions* and continue cooking until soft, about 5 minutes more.

Add the apples and wine to the pan, cover, and cook until the apples begin to soften — again, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until apples are cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated.

While apples are cooking, place the pork chops under the broiler and cook  about 3-5 minutes on each side. Broil until cooked through and until just starting to slightly brown on top. Top pork chops with the apple mixture.

*If you don’t have a pan large enough to cover your skillet, you can improvise like I do — simply cover a spatter-shield with heavy-duty foil.

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Today’s recipe is Salmon with Bulgar Wheat Pilaf, which I adapted from a recipe from Everyday Foods. Instead of couscous, I used the bulgur wheat from Near East’s Tabouli Wheat Salad Mix, which you can find near the couscous or in the ethnic section of your local grocery store. Enclosed in the salad packaging is a seasoning packet, of which I used about half. It contains parsley, mint, and garlic as well as some other seasonings. Feel free to use couscous or plain bulgur instead. I also used a large piece of salmon that still had the skin intact, which I cut into smaller pieces. The skin can be easily removed once the fish is cooked. What I love about this meal is that it is healthy, (especially if you use the bulgur, which is high in protein and fiber), simple, and uses only one dish! If you wanted to make an accompaniment, a simple green salad would be perfect. Did I mention that my kids loved it? That’s always a plus!

 

 

  • 1 cup uncooked couscous or bulgar wheat
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or apricots (if using apricots, dice first)
  • 1/2 spice packet OR parsley and mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 5 large carrots, quartered lengthwise then sliced into 1/8″ pieces
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets, 6-8 oz each
  • 2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 450 F. In a 9×12 casserole dish, blend together all ingredients EXCEPT for salmon and lemons. Lay salmon fillets on top and season generously with salt and pepper. Slice one lemon into thin rounds and lay them on top of the salmon pieces. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30-45 minutes, checking after 30 minutes to see if fish is flaky and carrots are tender. Remove from oven and discard lemons.  Fluff Bulgar or couscous with a fork sand serve with lemon wedges to squeeze on top, if desired.

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As the Christmas season approaches, I’ve had a lot more on my daily “To Do” list and my blogging has suffered as a result. In an effort to keep the posts coming and help simplify the season for others, I’m starting a new series of posts here on Sweet Pomegranate! In the Simple Meals series of posts, I will feature a simple meal that is quick and easy as well as family friendly. Consider it my Christmas Gift to you. Merry Christmas!

Today’s recipe is Chicken Tomato Bisque — I stumbled upon it in a Ladies Home Journal magazine left behind on an airplane. I have made a few slight modifications from the original recipe. This soup is the tomato soup for non-tomato soup lovers, like myself. The carrots, onions, and garlic add a new dimension to this old staple. It’s a family favorite and can be prepared from start to finish in under 40  minutes. We nearly always serve it accompanied by grilled cheese sandwiches. The chicken really makes it more substantial and delicious. You can also use leftover shredded turkey breast.

photo & recipe courtesy of Ladies Home Journal (www.lhj.com)

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2-3 carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 28 oz canned tomatoes, whole or diced
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried oregano, basil, or marjoram
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • pepper to taste

In a heavy pot, over medium-high heat, combine olive oil, carrot, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion is soft, 6-8 minutes. Stir in flour to coat vegetables, then add tomatoes. Add broth and 1 tsp herb of your choice. Stir, breaking up tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook 8-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree soup with an immersion blender (or work in small batches and puree in a blender or food processor and then transfer back to the pot). Stir in cream, salt, pepper, and chicken and heat through.

Note: This soup could easily be made vegetarian by omitting the chicken and substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

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Product Love: Pomegranates

I know it’s really produce rather than a product, but you had to have seen this one coming. Pomegranates are my favorite winter fruit, a preference I happen to share with both of my sisters. November through February, you will find them in our kitchens without fail. I do cook with them on occasion, but mostly, I just put all the arils in a bowl and eat them decadently with a spoon. Pomegranates are high in vitamins C & B5, as well as potassium, and are a great source of anti-oxidants. If you don’t know the easiest way to open a pomegranate, or are looking for some great recipes, check out the information on the POM website. Pomegranates can last for up to a month on your countertop or up to two months in the refrigerator, so they are a great item to stock up on and have on-hand for the holidays. Just remember when choosing pomegranates, go for weight over color. The heavier the fruit is, the jucier and fresher it will be.

Recipe Love: Share the Love Italian Bread


This recipe is perfect for sharing because it makes 2 large loaves and is quick and simple! It’s the perfect accompaniment for a hearty soup or even a main-course salad. The leftovers also make a great sandwich bread.

Lightly coat a large bowl and a rimmed baking sheet with oil of your choice and set aside.

  • 2 TBSP yeast
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 heaping TBSP sugar
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups very warm water
  • 1 TBSP butter, melted

In your mixer bowl, combine yeast, salt, sugar, and 2 cups of flour and stir to combine. Add water and mix with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add 2 more cups of flour and mix again to incorporate flour. At this point, change to the dough hook (dough will be sticky). Gradually add remaining 1-2 cups of flour, one half cup at a time, kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Shape dough into a slightly flattened ball and transfer to oiled bowl. Make a small indentation on top and pour on melted butter, drizzling a little over the sides of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about one hour or until dough is doubled in size. (I like to cover it with a clean dish cloth and set near a sunny window.)

Flour a work surface and dump out dough, punching down immediately. Knead dough by hand 2-3 times to incorporate melted butter and absorb some of the flour. Cut dough in half. Roll out each half to a rectangle* that measures roughly 6×13. Starting on long side of rectangle, roll dough up into a loaf. Gently pinch ends of roll together and tuck under. Place both loaves side by side on the oiled baking sheet.

Place in a cold oven for 30 minutes, then turn the oven on to 400 degrees and bake 30 minutes more.

*The original recipe says that you can scatter fresh finely chopped herbs on the dough before rolling up, though I have never tried. It sounds delicious, but the final product would not be as versatile and I’m not sure my kids would go for it.

Yoga Love: Open Your Heart

In the spirit of the season (both Thanksgiving and Christmas), I thought it apropos to focus today’s micro-yoga session on heart-opening poses with an emphasis on restorative poses, specifically. When you open up your heart, you are making room for metta or lovingkindness in your life. Making room for more patience, love, joy, and thanksgiving. Keep this in mind as you go through this simple, yet relaxing series of poses. (You will need a bath towel and a pillow as props for the final pose.)

Cow & Cat Poses: Kneel on all fours taking care to position your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. As you inhale, lengthen your spine by reaching the crown of your head forward and your tail bone back. Envision creating space between each vertebra. What you want to avoid with this pose is “sway back” — in other words, keep the spine straight and strong rather than arching your back. Remember to roll your shoulders back as your gently lift your chin and open your heart. As you exhale, root down through your knees and heels of your hands, draw the chin to the chest, and round the back by arching it up like a Halloween cat. Repeat 5 times.

Fish Pose (Matsyasana) :

photo courtesy of http://www.yogajournal.com

Lying on your back, roll slightly to the right side and slide your left arm underneath your back, with the palm of your hand down. Roll slightly to the left and position your right arm in the same manner. Extend your legs and point your toes toward the floor. Imagine a string is attached to your sternum above your heart, and that it is being gently pulled upward. Arch your back and raise yourself up onto your elbows and forearms. Press down into the floor with your arms and draw the elbows together behind your back. Let your head fall gently back, chin lifted, so that the crown of your head rests lightly on the floor. Inhale and exhale deeply. Close your eyes if you like, or, since this pose is a mild inversion, keep them open and literally see things from a new perspective. Remain here breathing deeply for 5 or more breaths. When you would like to come out of the pose, lift the crown of your head about an inch from the floor and gently slide it back down into a neutral position. Gently release the arms one at a time.

Savasansa Variation: Take a regular sized bath towel and roll it up from the short end. Place the roll on the floor and position yourself so that you are sitting at one end of the roll and it extends lengthwise behind you. Lie back onto the rolled towel, so that it runs the length of your spine, but so your head and neck are resting flat on the floor or are supported comfortably by a pillow. Let your feet fall naturally open and bring your hands to a resting position at your sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, letting gravity draw your shoulders earthward on either side of the rolled towel. Let your chest soften and broaden as your heart center opens. Let your breath slowly return to a subconscious breathing and lie in quiet relaxation for about 5 minutes. When you are ready to get up, slowly roll to one side into a fetal position, and then gently press yourself up into a seated position.

Have a beautiful weekend, and remember to keep an open heart!

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