Pork Chops & Peaches

Using fresh, seasonal produce always brings out the best flavor!  This recipe can also be prepared with pears in the winter. 
Sweet Pork & Peaches

w/ goat cheese on quinoa
loosely adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

2 C chicken broth
1 C quinoa
olive oil cooking spray
4 4 oz boneless pork loin chops, trimmed of visible fat
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 ripe peaches, cored and chopped
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
2 T roasted silvered almonds
2 T crumbled goat cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley
In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with fork.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet on medium-high and mist with cooking spray.  Season both sides of pork with tarragon, salt, and pepper.  Add to skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add peaches, vinegar and honey and stir to combine.  Cover skillet loosely with foil, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until peaches begin to break down and pork is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. 
Divide quinoa among serving plates and top with pork, peach mixture, goat cheese, almonds, and parsley. 

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Peach-Mustard Pork Chops & Fourth Festivities

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Fourth of July! J, Trey, and I had a fabulous holiday weekend with lots of friends, family, fun and food. Here are the highlights and a delish recipe.
Kelli and Mike invited my parents and us over for a first-class BBQ…

Mom made these adorable flag cupcakes for dessert and Mike was the master chef for the rest

Italian Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Mini Reubens

Iowa Sweet Corn

Italian Grilled Veggies

Look at this spread! The pork chops would have knocked my socks off had I been wearing any.

Peach-Mustard Pork Chops
Adapted from Food Network Get Grilling


4 pork chop (1 1/2 inch thick)

Safflower oil for brushing

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper
For Sauce:
3 T unsalted butter (you could use Land O’Lakes whipped)

2 T minced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T cider vinegar
1/4 C Dijon mustard
1/2 C whole-grain mustard
3/4 C peach jam or preserves

1 T bourbon

1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions for chops:
Prepare grill to high heat. Position a drip pan under the grate on the cooler side of the grill. Brush the chops on both sides with salt and pepper and oil. Set aside for 15 minutes. Grill chops over heat until brown on both sides about 4 minutes per side. Move them to the cooler side and brush with sauce. Cook the chops, covered, turning and basting with sauce every 5 minutes, until thermometer inserted into chop reads 140F. Let rest 10 minutes.

Instructions for sauce:

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and boil until almost completely reduced and the mixture looks like wet sand, about 4 minutes. Whisk in both mustards and jam. Simmer, whisking, until jam melts, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bourbon and salt.
Jordan Creek Dueling Pianos and Fireworks

we met some of our good pals, Jack, Rachel, and their daughter Ella (6 months)

seriously Mom, the ladies love me

my boys 🙂
Lake Panora

Our new neighbors invited us up to their lakehouse Monday….thanks Chris and Tracy! What a perfect setting for the Fourth of July!
We did all the summer appropriate activities

watermelon eating in the lawn

our sweet neighbor girls…Stella, Jordan, and Chloe

We enjoyed lots of water activities…

tubing….and crashing

skiing and jet skiing

and of course, fireworks!

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Trey (3 1/2 months) is my little helper

Here is an easy and nutritious meal for you this Wednesday evening….

Store bought and marinaded pork tenderloin (see health info below) grilled according to packaged directions….yes, convenience rules sometimes.
Grilled sweet potato rings” simply slice thin, spray with olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt, and set on grill till tender. I use a grill cooking pan with hole.
Drizzle lemon infused olive oil (can buy at HyVee) over cleaned asparagus and set on grill in pan or saute on stove top over medium heat. Lemon olive oil is a great salad dressing as well!

Pork Tenderloin

One of the leanest cuts of pork.

According to USDA.gov, a 3-oz. serving of pork tenderloin contains 14.99 g of protein.
Pork tenderloin is a good source of B vitamins.
Pork tenderloin contains phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc.

Pork tenderloin is a very lean meat choice. According to The Other White Meat, USDA studies show that pork is leaner than skinless chicken breast per serving. A 3-oz. serving of pork has 2.98 g of fat, while chicken breast has 3.03 g of fat. This allows pork tenderloin to add variety and nutrition to a diet without adding fat.
from livestrong.com

Dish up this healthy meal for your family tonight!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Birthday Dinner!

Yesterday was my 26th Birthday! J helped make it a very special day.
We headed downtown Iowa City for B-Day dinner.
Of course a local restaurant, serving local food was a must…Linn Street Cafe!

a perfect night to sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine (of course water for me 🙂

Cheese platter (3 cheeses paired with apples, pears, and strawberries)
Pistachio & Coconut Encrusted Salmon

Iowa Pork Chop stuffed with apple, rosemary and bacon over sweet corn salad

Sweet Corn Ice Cream…yes you heard me right. It had a mild corn flavor infused with vanilla beans.

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! Looking forward to another exciting year!

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

How to Eat Healthy at the Iowa State Fair – As seen on KCCI News

Wahoo! It’s fair time! Many people look forward to the sites, sounds, smells (not sure about the animal barns), and FOOD of the Iowa State Fair.
Growing up my mom did programs at the Homemaker’s Theater. In fact, she claims she just about gave birth to me at the fair on August 16th, 1984. I found that story pretty cool when I was a kid……
ok I still do.

As my sister and I got older, Mom, would bring us along to be her little helpers. Our favorite day was when the Homemaker’s Theater had their cookie decorating contest. Oh man, did we pile our sugar cookies high with frosting and sprinkles…we usually didn’t even care what they looked like, we just wanted lots of sugar on them.
Apparently, when we took it serious we rocked the contest….blue ribbon baby!
Although my mind set hasn’t shifted too much about sweet stuff, it has about finding healthy options at the fair.
Healthy options at the fair!?!?! Yes, you heard me correct.
but first, lets go over some of the worst offenders:
  • Giant Grilled turkey leg 1100 cal, 55g fat
  • Funnel cake 760 calories, 44g fat
  • Deep-fried Twinkies 361 calories, 28g fat
  • Corn dog 250 calories, 15g fat
  • Cotton candy 225calories, 0 g fat
  • Caramel apple (no nuts) 325 calories, 5g fat

It’s a good thing so many foods are portable and come on sticks because you will have to do a lot of walking to burn off some of these:

  • Giant Grilled turkey leg 11 miles
  • Funnel cake 8.5 miles
  • Deep Fried Twinkies 4.25 miles
  • Corn dog 4 miles
  • Cotton candy 1 mile
  • Caramel apple 3 miles

so now the healthier options:

  • Turkey tenderloins or turkey breast sandwiches at the Turkey Federation (west of Anne and Bill Riley Stage)
  • Pork chops on-a-stick at the Iowa Pork Producers Association (main location: east end of Grand Avenue; satellite locations: east of the main stand and on Rock Island Avenue west of the Livestock Pavilion)
  • I can’t believe I am going to say this, but if you really want that fried candy bar, Oreo (1) 80 cals
  • Baked potatoes and corn-on-the-cob at Westmoreland (south of the Anne and Bill Riley Stage)
  • Salad on a Stick at The Salad Bowl (west balcony of the Agriculture Building; Cultural Center) – an iceberg lettuce wedge with carrots and tomato served kabob-style, served with dressing.
  • Salads at various locations: Campbell’s (Elwell Family Food Center), Diamond Jack’s (west of the Livestock Pavilion), The Salad Bowl (west balcony of the Agriculture Building; Cultural Center), The Greek Garden (north of the Varied Industries Building and southeast of the Administration Building), Master Jack’s (west of the Grandstand) and Steer and Stein (east of the Grandstand)
  • Sandwich wraps at The Salad Bowl (west balcony of the Agriculture Building and Cultural Center Courtyard)
  • Mixed fruit cups, melon cups and shish-kabobs at Beattie’s Melon Patch (west of the Giant Slide) and mixed berry cups at Stockman’s Inn (southwest corner of the Cattle Barn)
  • Veggie corn dogs at Veggie Table (north of the Varied Industries Building).

Tips to help you receive the blue ribbon for healthy eating at the fair:

Now, I am not saying you can’t enjoy your favorite annual fair food, say a corn dog. Go for it, enjoy it, and don’t feel guilty about it. However, if you plan to spend multiple days, at the fair and make multiple food purchases you will want to use the following tips on how to stick to a healthy plan:

  • Consider eating a light meal before going to the fair, so your stomach wont be empty.
  • Think about your choices before impulse buying.
  • Pick your favorite(s) and stick to these one or two items of indulging.
  • Split high-calories foods with friends and family.
  • If sizes are an option always ask for a small….you will still satisfy your craving.
  • Stay clear of caloric beverages such as soda. A large soda contains about 400 calories. Bring along a water bottle to help you stay hydrated and full.
  • Choose one of the healthier food options above!

Tune in to KCCI Channel 8 news tomorrow at 5 for the “staying healthy at the fair” segment.

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

First Grill Out of the Season!

Yesterday was the perfect day for J and I’s first grill out of the season!
One the menu: seasoned pork chops and sweet potato fries

first, though we had to dust off the grill by burning out the wasp nest that had formed inside…how do you like your wasp? medium? charred?
and clearing out the birds nest underneath (don’t worry, there were no birdies in it)

I seasoned the pork chops with Chicago Steak seasoning from Penzeys Spices
(see blog labels: spices)

I drizzled olive oil and Cookies seasoning on the sweet potato slices

Lightly spray pan and place sweet potatoes on the grill first as they take a little longer to cook than the chops

J’s Kitchen

mmmmm…..a big side salad with white Northern beans and craisins. dressing: lemon olive oil, red wine vinegar and a sprinkle of Stevia.
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good