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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms
Adapted from Skinny Taste
2 LB lean boneless pork sirloin roast (AKA pork center rib roast, pork center loin roast)
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Non-Stick oil spray
1 Cup low-sodium fat free chicken broth
1/2 Cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 Cup balsamic vinegar
3 TBS honey
1 TSP hot sesame oil
1 TSP Chinese five spice powder
3 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 TBS fresh ginger, grated
8 OZ sliced mushrooms (half shiitake, half white)
1/4 Cup chopped scallions for serving

While I love coming home from work and cooking a nice meal, there are some nights I'm just way too tired to even lift my knife.  That's why I'm so excited to use my new slow cooker.  Now, I can come home to a delicious-smelling apartment with a healthy meal all ready to go!  

I don't eat a lot of pork, but I will definitely be making this again.  The meat comes out incredibly tender and flavorful.  The key to creating great flavor is to sear the meat before adding to the slow cooker, so do not skip this step!  

This will last an entire week, so you can get really creative with the leftovers.  I served over rice noodles the first night, then stir-fried with vegetables and served over rice the next.  

Season pork on all sides with salt and pepper.  Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, spray with oil and brown pork on all sides for about 7-8 minutes. 

In the crock pot, combine the broth, soy sauce, balsamic, honey, sesame oil, five spice, garlic and ginger; add the pork and set the slow cooker to 8 hours on low heat (I prepared the sauce the night before and seared-off the meat in the morning before work).

30 minutes before the timer goes off, remove the pork and set aside to rest.  Add the mushrooms and continue cooking on low for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, shred the pork.

When the mushrooms are tender, reserve 1 cup of the broth.  Add the shredded pork back into the crock pot.

Serve over noodles with some of the reserved broth and scallions. 


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Turkey Meatballs Over Greens

Turkey Meatballs Over Greens
Adapted from The Kitchn
1.3 LBS ground turkey
1/2 Small onion, grated (about 1/4 cup grated onion)
1 Egg
1/3 Cup breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 TSP salt
1/2 TSP pepper
2 TBS chopped, fresh parsley
2 TBS olive oil
2 Cups tomato sauce (see recipe below)
2 LBS greens (broccoli rabe, kale, mustard greens, or a mixture), washed, de-veined, and roughly chopped

Basic Tomato Sauce 
Adapted from The Kitchn
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 Medium onion, diced
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 OZ) can whole or chopped tomatoes, with juices
1/4 TSP dried red pepper flakes
1 TBS grated lemon peel (about 1/2 lemon)
1/4 Cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
Salt and fresh group pepper to taste

If you think you always need to serve pasta with meatballs, this recipe will totally change your mind.  These meatballs can stand on their own with this zingy sauce, so you won't even miss those extra carbs!  I never would have thought to add lemon zest to tomato sauce before, but it really adds a nice brightness that works well with ground turkey and bitter greens. 
For the sauce, heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil.  Stir in the crushed red pepper and zest, let simmer for 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and stir in parsley.  This will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week in a tightly-sealed container.

Combine the turkey, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until combined. divide into 1 1/4-inch balls.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt generously.

Heat olive oil on moderately high heat in a large skillet. Place the meatballs in the skillet and allow to sit until browned on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Brown the meatballs on all sides, then continue cooking for about 12 minutes total, rotating them carefully every few minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomato sauce, and cover the pan. Simmer the meatballs and sauce for another 10 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.

While the meatballs are simmering, boil the greens in the salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain well. Put greens on the plate and top with meatballs and sauce.  Top with a little fresh grated parmesan cheese.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.