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, 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.

Dish up this healthy meal for your family tonight!

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

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 2011 is going to be an amazing year….make it happy and healthy!

I am flattered to help bring in the New Year on Iowa Momentum Magazine’s January cover!

These tasty biscuits are an absolute MUST make. They are paired perfectly with chili, tomato or tortellini soup. A nice twist on the traditional cornbread.

Sweet Potato Biscuits
recipe from Bon Appetite
Prep 20 min, total time 1 hour. Make 16-20.
Calories: about 170
1 large sweet potato peeled and pierced with a fork and steamed -preferably organic as potatoes are one of the “dirty dozen”
1 1/3 C whole wheat flour
2/3 C yellow cornmeal
1 T baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 C chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I used real butter for the flavor and the flakiness it gives however if someone tries a lower calorie option such as Land o Lakes, let me know how it turns out)
1/2 C buttermilk
1/4 C real maple syrup
1/2 C pecans, toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 425F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Microwave potato until tender (can use a Ziploc steambag). Let cool. Blend 1 1/3C flour and next three ingredients in processor. Add butter; pulse to coarse meal. Add potato, buttermilk, and syrup; process to blend. Add nuts; pulse to blend. Sprinkle dough with flour. Pat into 8 1/2 inch square. Cut into 16-20 biscuits. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.
Enjoy! I plan to bring to Thansksgiving next year!

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

Sweet Potato Cake

After seeing a yummy looking sweet potato cake on the Today Show the other day, I knew I had to had the recipe to my fall treats.

Sweet Potato Cake
in black you will see the original recipe while in red are the changes I made to “healthify” it a bit
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar, 1 cup honey
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) margarine, 1 stick butter & 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cupped packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon Watkins vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts, plus additional for garnish, optional

Cream Cheese Icing:
16 ounces cream cheese, softened, 16 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, 2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust the position of the rack to the center of the oven. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) pans or 3 (8-inch) pans. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and granulated sugar. Set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, cream margarine and brown sugar on low speed, and then increase speed to medium and beat until well-combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each egg and scraping down the sides of the bowl after the addition of each egg. Add vanilla, sweet potatoes, pineapple, raisins, and walnuts and blend on low speed until thoroughly mixed.
Pour batter into pans and smooth the surface with a metal spatula. Bake for 30-45 minutes (be sure to check every 20 minutes or so), or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; when you touch the center of the cake, it should spring back. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, and then invert onto a rack and cool completely.

For icing: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth. Add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Gradually add sugar and beat on low speed until smooth.

Icing the cake: Place 1 cake layer, top-side down, on a cake platter. Using a metal spatula, spread a layer of cream cheese frosting evenly over the top of the cake. Take the next layer and place it on top, rounded-side up. Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. The cake should be refrigerated for about 1 hour to make sure the layers are set. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of cake, if desired.

I caught J out on the deck trying to steal a bite

I had to rescue the my prized cake

YUM! This recipe is now part of my favorite fall treats

love cream cheese frosting!

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

Sea Scallops with Watermelon & Spinach Salad…Cabin Food

As Mom, Dad, Matt, J, and I drove to the cabin we decided that each would take a night to prepare a tasty meal.
We stopped at a neighboring town on our way to the wilderness to gather supplies. We all raided the grocery store searching for the perfect ingredients. Mom was trying to dish out coupons while Matt, J, and I examined the seafood counter.
In total we spent about 200 dollars for 4 days or food…that’s 12 meals serving 4 people….I think we did pretty good!

Mom and Dad’s Meal

on the menu:

  • champagne toast to J!
  • grilled, natural beef hamburgers with pepperjack or mozzarella cheese
  • roasted asparagus with lemon and sea salt
  • roasted sweet potato fries with chili seasoning and salt
  • dessert was grilled bananas with Haagen Daz 5 ice cream

Park Cafe
a sweet treat after a day of hiking
located in St. Mary’s, just outside the park

look at all the pie flavors (middle chalkboard)
boysenberry, cherry, lemon, rhubarb strawberry, peach, huckleberry, raspberry, apple…..

Matt and I split a giant huckleberry milkshake

Matt’s Meal
the menu:

  • Camembert cheese with strawberry glaze
  • steamed salmon on the grill with lemon and sea salt
  • tuna sashimi
  • mixed green salad with olive oil dressing
  • steamed artichokes
  • dessert was lemon and passionfruit Haagen Dazs 5 ice cream…Matt’s favorite

Breakfast one morning was a big avocado mixed greens salad

J and I’s Meal
the menu:
Sea Scallops with Watermelon & Spinach Salad
this was a nice, light, refreshing meal for a hot summer day

Ingredients: (I doubled everything to serve 4 hungry people)
1 lb medium sea scallops OR you can use about 16 small scallops (about 2 large or 4 small scallops per person)

1 T olive oil

sea salt

1 1/2 cups spinach (be generous) I used 4-6 cups for 4 persons

2 cups watermelon (be generous)


3 T mandarin orange olive oil (I picked up at Pilgrim’s Market… you can also use normal olive oil or lemon olive oil)

1 T chopped fresh mint

2 T scallions or red onion

1 T lime juice

1 T black or white sesame seeds

sea salt

1 small hot pepper (serrano, Thai, jalapeno, or bird), chopped

1 T grated lime zest

Rinse scallops and pat dry with paper towel. Toss in a small bowl with olive oil and salt. Heat grill or saute pan to about medium high heat.

Prepare dressing while pan heats up: whisk together olive oil, mint, scallions, lime juice, zest, sesame seeds, pepper, salt and pepper to taste.
Brush grill or add small amount of olive oil to pan. Cook scallops for about 4 minutes of one side and about 1 minute on the other. They should be white the entire way through and slightly springy to the touch. Set aside to cool.
In large bowl mix dressing onto spinach. Fold in watermelon and scallops. Garnish with extra lime zest or mint.

needless to say, we ate gourmet while out in the forest

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

Fish Tacos and Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes (amazing!!!)

I grew up Catholic so every Friday during Lent was fish night. It’s that time of year…so last Friday I wanted to spice it up a bit and made Tilapia Fish Tacos!

Tilapia Fish Tacos

corn tortillas
shredded lettuce
fresh or frozen tilapia fillets
sour cream or to keep it clean try Greek yogurt or plain yogurt
hot sauce such as Cholula
taco spice (chili powder, paprika, minced onion, cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, ground oregano)
avocado, sliced
Season thawed fish with Cookies or taco seasonings. Bake tilapia at about 425F for 6-10ish minutes. Fish will flake apart easily when done. Test a piece if it does… flake away. Mix taco seasonings into yogurt or sour cream.
Warm tortillas in the microwave for about 23 seconds. Dress each up with your fixins and enjoy!
Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes(which are amazing)
the other night at Mike and Kelli’s, Mike served up some wonderful sauteed brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes. They were absolutely delish so I decided to try my hand at them.

Preheat oven to 425F. Peel and slice sweet potatoes. Heat olive oil in sauce pan over med-high heat. Place potatoes in pan and cook on each side until slightly browned (like the picture) and have a nice crust on them.
Remove from heat, sprinkle with Cookies, and place in oiled pan. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes or until a fork can be speared through easily.

BRUSSEL SPROUTS!!!!!! Yes, we are adults now and are allowed to like these 🙂
Clean, trim bottoms and slice in half. Place in pan, Sprinkle with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.
Back about the same time as the potatoes (15ish minutes) or until a fork can easily spear through one.

J and I’s lovely spread!
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good