Moroccan Spiced Pork Chops & Green Beans

Moroccan Spiced Pork Chops (8) WM Moroccan Spiced Pork Chops (1) WM

I love the spices that Moroccan food uses.  For the most part the spices are minimal, but each pack a punch of savory, unique flavors.

Serves 4

time: about 45 minutes

Ingredients:

4 pork chops

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 salt

1 bell pepper (red or orange) sliced into large strips

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup sliced almonds

2 garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

coconut oil, for pan

fresh green beans, stems removed

 

Directions:

  1. Combine coriander, cumin, salt, half of the fresh bell pepper, olive oil, almonds and garlic cloves to a food processor; process until smooth.
  2. Place the ground mixture into a zip lock bag or large container with a lid.
  3. Coat the pork chops with the sauce mixture.
  4. After your skillet is hot, add a bit of coconut oil (or any high-heat oil).  Reduce the heat to medium-high and then add each pork chop.  Sear each side in the hot pan, then reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to cook until the pork chops are cooked through (flip occasionally).
  5. Add the fresh green beans and the other half of bell peppers to the sauce mixture left in the bag, coating evenly.  Cook in a skillet for about 5 minutes until they are soft but still crunchy.
  6. Serve hot!

 

Moroccan Spiced Pork Chops (3) WM Moroccan Spiced Pork Chops (6) WM

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (22) wm

Quinoa is an ancient grain from the Andean region of South American, including Peru.  While my husband and I were in Peru last month we actually didn’t eat any quinoa – our guide for the Choquequirao trek said that most of the quinoa is exported out of the country and what remains is expensive.  While at home in Colorado we eat a lot of quinoa, mainly in salads because it’s not so great on its own.  This is a quick and easy salad, perfect for those warm nights.

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (3) wm

Serves 4-6

time: roughly 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked per package directions

cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1/2  orange bell pepper, sliced in bite-size pieces

1/2 red bell pepper, sliced in bite-size pieces

green onion, sliced thinly

cucumber, peeled and sliced in bite-size pieces

kalamata olives, sliced in half

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

black pepper

kosher salt

feta cheese

pine nuts

 

Directions:

1) Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions – remove from heat and let cool.

2) After washing the vegetables cut them and set aside on the cutting board.   Slice the kalamata olives in half.

3) In a serving bowl combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and salt.  Stir, and add additional olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper or salt if needed.

4) Toast the pine nuts to a golden brown.

5) Add the quinoa and vegetables to the olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture and stir well to combine.

6) Top with the toasted pine nuts and feta cheese (if you won’t be eating all of the quinoa salad just add the pine nuts and feta cheese to each plate).

 

 

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (40) wm

Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts  (6) wm

German Potato Salad

 

 

German potato salad (24) WM

After spending two weeks in Peru, we are back in Colorado.  Our trip to Peru took us on a 4 day trek to the Incan ruins of Choquequirao high in the Ande mountains, to South America’s largest zip line in Santa Theresa, to amazing hot springs over looking the river in Santa Theresa, to the not so tourist town of Quillabamba, the gorgeous city of Cusco, to the very tourist city of Aguas Calientes and Machu Pichu, to the hot, humid and noisy city of Lima, and to other small towns in between.

We left Colorado with several weeks of 5″ of snow and cold weather – and now we are back to sunshine and warm weather!  It will be nice and sunny until this weekend where we’ll dip 20-30 degrees and have snow…so is the life in Colorado.

I actually made this recipe last summer but didn’t get the chance to post it.  My husband and I made it again last night, and as before it was delicious!  If you are looking for a potato salad that does not have mayonnaise, look no further.  This recipe uses red potatoes, bacon, white vinegar, sugar and whole mustard seed mustard.  It is sweet and tangy.  Read below for the directions.

German potato salad (2) WM

Serves 6-8

time: 1 hour, roughly

Ingredients:

15 small to medium red potatoes, washed and poked with a fork

6 slices bacon

1 small red onion, diced

1 cup white vinegar

6 tablespoons water

9 tablespoons white sugar

3 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

6 tablespoons whole mustard seed mustard

2-4 hard boiled eggs

1 bunch dill, washed and chopped finely

 

Directions:

1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil, once boiling place the red potatoes in the water and boil for about 20 minutes / until soft when poked with a fork.  Drain and set aside to cool.  Once cool slice into bite sized cubes.

2) Boil the eggs for about 20 minutes, drain the water, cool the eggs then slice them into bite sized pieces.

3) Heat a skillet to high and cook the bacon, being sure to not burn the pieces (turn the heat down if needed).  Once the bacon has cooked place on a paper towel lined plate and press out the extra grease.  Break into little pieces and set aside.

4) Drain most of the bacon grease.  Add the diced red onion and cook for about 5 minutes until slightly brown.

6) Place the cooked & cut up potatoes pieces into the pan with the cooked onions and cook for a little over 5 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so.

6) In a small bowl mix together the white vinegar, water, sugar, salt, pepper, and mustard.  Stir into the potato and red onion mixture in the skillet.  Remove from the heat.

7)  Scoop the potato mixture into a serving bowl.  Stir in the chopped eggs, bacon pieces and chopped dill.  Stir to combine.  Serve immediately (this potato salad can be served cold, but it’s better warm).

 

German potato salad (10) WM

 

German potato salad (15) WM

 

 

Orzo & Wild Rice Pilaf

Orzo & Wild Rice Pilaf (11) WM

What a thought to mix orzo and wild rice!  It’s a pretty good combo.  Add sun dried tomato pesto, kalamata olives, feta cheese and toasted pine nuts and it’s amazing!

  • 1 cup wild rice & water (or chicken broth) per package instructions
  •  1/2 cup orzo pasta & water per package instructions
  • coconut oil (or other high-heat oil)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives
  • Sun dried tomato pesto
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Bulgarian feta (if you can find it, if not regular feta)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts

1) Cook the wild rice according to the package directions.  It usually takes close to an hour to make in my rice cooker, so plan accordingly.

2) After the wild rice has started to cook, boil about 1.5 cups of water for the orzo.  Add the orzo once the water has boiled and cook on medium heat until cooked through (it’s pasta, so it should be al dente).

3) When the wild rice and orzo have finished cooking combine and fluff in a large bowl.

4) Heat up a small skillet and toast the pine nuts – be sure not to burn them.

5) Use the skillet from toasting the pine nuts and add a bit of oil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add the crushed garlic.  Saute for a minute until it is golden brown, be sure to not burn it.

6) Stir the sauteed garlic into the wild rice and orzo mixture; scoop out about 2-3 tablespoons of the sun dried tomato pesto and stir until combined.

7) Add a bit of salt and pepper (to taste) and kalamata olives to the wild rice, orzo, garlic and olive oil salad.  Stir to combine.

8) Scoop out the wild rice and orzo pilaf onto individual plates and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts and feta cheese over the tops.

 

Orzo & Wild Rice Pilaf (16) WM

Orzo & Wild Rice Pilaf (6) WM

Kale with Tahini Sauce

Kale with Tahini Sauce (28) WM

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale

½ white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

coconut oil (or other high heat oil)

salt

pepper

4 tablespoons tahini sauce (I found that the Whole Foods brand is the best)

2-3 tablespoons water

1/2 lemon, juiced

 

 

 

Kale with Tahini Sauce (24) WM

Directions:

1) Wash the kale, then chop it up to slightly larger than bite sized pieces. Chop up the onions to about the size of your pinky nail – small, but not too small.  Mince the garlic.

2) Heat up your skillet to medium-high and add a little bit of oil, let it get warm for about a minute then all the chopped kale, onion & garlic. Season with salt & pepper and stir to coat evening. Reduce to medium-low, cover and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

3) In a small bowl thoroughly combine the tahini sauce, water and lemon juice.

4) Once the kale has softened and browned a little bit, stir in the tahini sauce / water / lemon juice mixture and stir to coat. Continue to cook on low for about 3 minutes, serve warm.

 

Kale with Tahini Sauce (11) WM

 

Kale with Tahini Sauce (1) WM

Millet Salad

Millet Salad (4) WM

Millet is a grass, it has a sort-of corn taste.  I found that it required a tad bit more water than stated in the cooking directions, which I account for here.  1 cup dry, raw millet yields about 3 ½ cups cooked millet.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup dry millet

2 1/4 cups water

salt

pepper

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

can black beans, drained and rinsed

avacado

tomato

bell pepper

feta or goat cheese

 

Directions:

1) Boil the water, add a pinch of salt & millet – cover and cook on low for about 20 minutes without opening the lid.

2) When the millet is cooked it will be soft; remove the cooked millet from the stove, leave covered and let stand for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes take the lid off and let cool completely.

3) While the millet is cooking, drain/rinse the black beans and chop the avocado, tomato and bell pepper.

4) After the millet has cooled add olive oil & balsamic vinegar – roughly 2 tablespoon of olive oil to 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar – add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.

5) Add the chopped black beans, avocado, tomato, and bell pepper  – stir to combine.  Crumble the feta or goat cheese on top of the mixed salad.

6) Serve chilled.

 

Millet Salad (1) WM

 

millet salad x (3) WM

Tahini Cauliflower

tahini cauliflower (8) WM

This year was the first time that I had tahini.  I was sold. Wikipedia says that tahini is a paste made from ground hulled sesame seeds and is used in North African, Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine.

I wanted to add a little extra something to plain old cauliflower.  I added a bit of tahini and lemon juice to sauteed cauliflower – the result was fantastic!!

 

tahini cauliflower (4) WM

Serves: 2-3

time: about 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

head of cauliflower

6 tablespoons tahini sauce

salt & pepper if desired

coconut oil

black sesame seeds

 

Directions:

1) Wash the head of cauliflower and cut into bite sized pieces.

2) Heat up a skillet with a small scoop of coconut oil; let the oil get warm and then put the cauliflower in.  Cook on medium-high heat until the cauliflower is soft, but not mushy, and golden brown.

3) Put the from the skillet into a serving bowl.  Add the tahini sauce and stir, add more if you’d like (or less).  Sprinkle a little salt and pepper into the tahini cauliflower and mix if you want.

4) Serve hot with a little black sesame seeds sprinkled over each serving.

 

tahini cauliflower (10) WM

Kale Salad with Peaches and Balsamic Vinegar Mustard Dressing

Kale Salad with Peaches (3) WM

ok, ok.  I know that it’s snowing in Colorado and is cold pretty much every where in the country, but I wanted to post this recipe that I made in the summer.  You can still get kale, so that’s good.  Maybe add fall fruit like an apple?

Serves 2

time: 10 minutes or so

 

Salad Ingredients:

handful of kale per person, washed and torn into small pieces

2 peaches, pitted and sliced into bite sized pieces

goat cheese (or feta), sprinkle for each person

 

Dressing Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic binegar

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

1 tablespoon honey

salt & pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1) Wash / tear the kale.  Wash / cut the peaches.

2) Make the salad dressing in a small bowl stirring vigorously to combine all of the ingredients.

3) Add the kale & peaches to the salad dressing, mix to coat the produce.

4) Place salad on each plate and sprinkle the crumbled goat or feta cheese on top.

 

Kale Salad with Peaches (11) WM

Sauteed Zucchini

Sauteed Zucchini  (36) WM

Zucchini is pretty dang good.  I love sauteing the veggie, and this recipe added a little extra something to my normal olive oil, salt & pepper “recipe”.  My husband thought there were too many capers, I thought the amount was perfect – so I would use a little to start and then add some more if needed.

 

ServesSauteed Zucchini  (12) WM

Sauteed Zucchini  (16) WM

serves 4

time: about 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

3 zucchini, cut into thick-ish round slices

olive oil

3 garlic gloves, smashed

small handful of mint leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon capers, chopped

pine nuts, lightly toasted

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

feta or goat cheese

 

Directions:

1) Slice the zucchini into thick-ish rounds.

2) Heat a skillet on medium-high heat; drizzle in some olive oil. When the pan/oil is hot place the zucchini in the pan in one layer.  Continue cooking the zucchini until both sides are brown and the zucchini is soft.

3) Meanwhile, chop the rest of the ingredients and brown the pine nuts lightly.

4) Remove the cooked zucchini from the skillet, add in the chopped veggies & browned pine nuts, drizzle in a bit of balsamic vinegar, add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir to coat the  zucchini. Sprinkle the feta or goat cheese on top.  Serve immediately.

 

Sauteed Zucchini  (20) WM

 

Sauteed Zucchini  (28) WM

 

Asian Style Green beans

Spicy Plum Pork Chops (20) WM

These green beans are quite simple & tasty – remember not to over cook them, you want them to still be crunchy.

 

Ingredients:

fresh green beans, a handful for each person

coconut oil

garlic

salt

pepper

peanut oil

toasted sesame seeds

 

Directions

1) Wash the green beans and snap off each end.

2) Heat a skillet with a bit of coconut oil.

3) Once the oil is hot throw in the green beans and crush a few garlic cloves.  Sprinkle in salt & pepper.

4) Saute for a few minutes until the green beans are tender but still crisp.

5) Remove from the heat and sprinkle a little bit of peanut oil on the green beans; stir to coat.  Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top of the green beans.  Serve hot.