Easy Eats – Grilled Summer Corn & Tomato Salad

Grilled Summer Corn & Tomato Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • melted butter or butter spray
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 ears corn-on-the-cob husked
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves loosely packed, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Coat corn in butter and grill, turning occasionally, 15 minutes or until corn is golden on all sides; cut kernels from corn.
  2. Combine corn with remaining ingredients in medium bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and ground black pepper.
  3. EasyEats_EmailBlock_4.28 Corn Salad28

Mary’s Memo – April 25th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


Not since the Greatest Generation marched off to war have Americans embraced home food gardening with such enthusiasm. With everyone from apartment dwellers to the First Family growing fresh, wholesome food, Seed to Supper, by John Tullock (Health Communications, Inc., March 29, 2016; paperback/$21.95) provides the perfect introduction to food gardening and cooking with home produce.

John Tullock is a lifelong gardener, self-taught gourmet cook and trained ecologist whose previous books have covered a range of topics including aquariums, hardy orchids, sustainable living and starting a small business. His natural Reef Aquariums sold 75,000 copies and is considered a “classic” in its subject area. Growing Hardy Orchids was named by the American Horticultural Society as one of the five best garden books of 2006. Pay Dirt released in 2010, sold over 10,000 copies during the first six months. The New American Homestead: Sustainable, Self-Sufficient Living in the Country or the City has inspired people all over the country to grow food at home. His most recent works are Idiot’s Guides: Vegetable Gardening and Idiot’s Guides: Straw Bale Gardening, both published by Alpha Books. He writes, cooks and gardens on his suburban homestead in Knoxville, Tennessee.

CREAM OF SPINACH SOUP


• 1 pound spinach leaves
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/4 cup finely minced onions
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 4 cups milk
• 1/4 teaspoon paprika
• Fresh nutmeg
• Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or hard-cooked egg yolks for garnish
Wash spinach leaves and then dump them in boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, cook for 1 minute. Drain. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking; drain thoroughly. Squeeze the spinach by handfuls to express some additional liquid. Place the spinach in a blender jar and reserve. Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté the onions until they are softened. Stir in flour until well combined. Add the milk slowly in a stream, stirring constantly. Continue to cook until the soup thickens slightly. Pour into blender jar with spinach; allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Puree the soup, return it to the pan and add the paprika along with a few gratings of fresh nutmeg. Heat soup until it is hot (do not allow to boil). Adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or minced hard-cooked egg yolk. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Source: Seed to Supper, Growing & Cooking Delicious Foods No Matter Where You Live by John Tullock (HCI, March 29, 2016; paperback/$21.95).

SHOULD VEGETABLE OIL BE REFRIGERATED?


It usually isn’t necessary. Natural antioxidants in vegetable oils help fight spoilage but all oils will eventually turn rancid, developing an off smell and taste, especially is exposed to air. While some oils have a shelf life of one or more years under normal conditions, natural or unrefined oils last only about four to six months. Refrigerated oils last longer. To keep oil fresh, store it away from heat, light and air and seal it tightly. Buy only what you will use within a few months; if you buy a larger size, you might want to refrigerate it. Flaxseed, walnut and sesame oils have a short shelf life so you’ll probably want to refrigerate them. If your oil smells or tastes rancid, it may not make you sick, but if consumed regularly, oxidized fats could have undesirable cardiovascular effects. It won’t be good anyway.
Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, April 2016.

HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO YOU NEED?


The numbers can be confusing. The Institute of Medicine advises getting 0.36 grams per pound of body weight (54 grams for a 150 pound person, for example). But the RDA for protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men, and the daily percentage used on nutrition labels is based on 50 grams. Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, April 2016.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK


Do make this entree when boneless pork loin chops are on sale. I have also made it with lean pork shoulder steak. This was a favorite when we were a family of 6.

PORK CHOPS WITH CORN DRESSING


• 6 boneless pork loin chops, cut I-inch thick and trimmed of as much fat as possible
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 medium onion, chopped fine
• 6 cups bread cubes
• 1 15-ounce can cream-style corn
• 1 teaspoon powdered sage
• 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

In large skillet brown chops on both sides in hot canola oil. Remove from pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add onion to pan drippings and cook until transparent. Add bread cubes, cream style corn, sage and salt. Spoon the stuffing mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Arrange pork chops on top of stuffing, cover tightly with foil and bake in preheated 3250 oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until chops are done. Recipe makes 6 servings.

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Easy Eats – Bottom Round Roast with Onion Gravy

Easy Eats - Bottom Round Roast with Onion Gravy

Adapted from AllRecipes.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 onions slice
  • 1 4 lb bottom round roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place sliced onions in the bottom of a Dutch oven or stock pot. Season the roast with salt and pepper, and place on top of the onions. Add the vinegar and bay leaf to the pan, and heat over high heat to get it simmering. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 3 to 4 hours. Try not to take the lid off while cooking.
  2. When the roast is done, remove it from the pan to a serving platter. Mix the flour into the water, and pour into the drippings from the roast. Simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened. Carve roast, and serve with the pan gravy.
EasyEats_EmailBlock_4.21 Roast

Mary’s Memo – April 18th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


The spotlight this week is on Eating Appalachia by Darrin Nordahl (Chicago Review Press, 2015; hardback/$19.95). In Eating Appalachia, author Nordahl looks at the unique foods that are native to the region, including paw paws, ramps, hickory nuts, American persimmons and elk and offers delicious and award winning recipes for each ingredient.Nordahl shares twenty-three recipes and also examines some of the business, governmental and ecological issues that keep the wild and arguably tastier foods from reaching our tables. Eating Appalachia profiles local chefs, hunters and locavores who champion these native ingredients and describe food festivals like the Paw Paw Festival in Albany Ohio, the Feast of the Ransome in Richwood, Virginia and Elk Night at Jenny Wiley State Park in Kentucky. Darrin Nordahl is the author of Public Produce and Cultivating Our Parks, Plazas and Streets for Healthier Cities. He blogs daily about food at 365wholefoods.com and has written for CNN, the Huffington Post and Grist.org. He lives in Oakland, California.

YOU ASKED


What is crème fraiche?
This matured, thickened cream has a slightly nutty flavor and a velvety texture. The thickness of crème fraiche can range from that of commercial sour cream to as solid as room temperature margarine. In France, where crème is a specialty, the cream is unpasteurized and therefore contains the bacteria necessary to thicken it naturally. In America, where all commercial milk is pasteurized, the fermenting agents necessary for crème fraiche can be obtained by adding buttermilk or sour cream. A very expensive American facsimile is sold in some gourmet markets but it is so easy to make at home. To do so, combine 1 cup of whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 700F) from 8 to 24 hours or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days. Crème fraiche is an ideal addition to sauces or soups because it can be boiled without curdling. Spoon it over fresh fruit or other desserts such as warm cobblers or pudding. Source: The New Food Lover’s Companion, 4th Edition, by
Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst (Barron’s Education Series, Inc.).

What is the difference between a dark raisin and a golden one?
About half of the world’s raisin supply comes from California.Both dark and golden raisins can be made from Thompson seedless grapes. The difference is that dark raisins are sundried for several weeks, thereby producing their shriveled appearance and dark color. Golden raisins have been treated with sulfur dioxide to prevent their color from darkening.

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE FOODS


Observant Mary’s Memo readers know that my mayonnaise of choice is Hellmann’s Light. Our Family also makes a light mayonnaise so I decided to put it to the test. Our Family Light has a good flavor but Hellmann’s flavor is a tad more intense. Table of contents is almost identical with 1 tablespoon of each having 35 calories including 30 from fat. Hellmann’s more intense flavor may be due to 120 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon while a tablespoon of Our Family’s has 110 milligrams. Our Family is much cheaper of the two. It’s your choice. Although I’ll still buy Hellmann’s Light, there won’t be a problem using the Our Family brand.

Folger’s is still my favorite coffee so I take advantage of sales on Folger’s Medium Roast in Keurig cups although this winter when I was on an antibiotic I drank Folger’s Gourmet Lively Columbian Decaffeinated and found it had a robust flavor. Eight O’Clock Columbian Peaks also has an excellent taste. For a low calorie, low sodium popcorn, try a bag of Skinny Pop, available at Chief.

YOU CAN’T BEAT THIS SALAD


My daughter-in-law, Kelly, brought a beet salad to our Easter dinner. I love red beets, either fresh or canned, and eat them a couple times a week. Kelly made it with goat cheese although original recipe called for feta because she preferred it. Feel free to use either.

BEETROOT AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD


For salad:
• 4 medium beetroots
• 1/3 cup cubed goat cheese (or feta)
• 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
• Lemon vinaigrette

For lemon vinaigrette:
• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Boil the beetroots on medium heat for 45 minutes or until they can be easily pierced through with a knife. The skin will peel off easily. After removing the skin of the beetroots, chop into cubes and do the same with goat cheese. Roughly chop cilantro. Combine with vinaigrette and serve. For lemon vinaigrette, mix all ingredients together and whisk slightly. Recipe makes 6 servings. Source Adapted from internet Scrambled Chefs recipe

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Easy Eats – Skinny Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup brown rice cooked
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 1 cup onions diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsps Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tbsps ketchup
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp pickle relish
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsps water
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 4 red bell peppers large

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook rice and set aside. Cut off the top of 4 bell peppers about 1-inch down from top. Clean out seeds and membranes. Throw away the tops.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a large nonstick pan, brown ground beef and onions. Season beef with a little salt and pepper. Be sure to break up ground beef into small pieces as it cooks.
  4. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, tomato sauce and 3 tablespoons water. Mix well. Stir in ¾ cup shredded cheese and cooked rice. Mix well and continue to cook until heated through. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of water, if getting a little dry. Remove from heat.
  5. Stuff each bell pepper with ground beef mixture, top each stuffed pepper with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Place each in a 9-inch baking dish. Pour 1 cup water in bottom of baking dish. Cover dish with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes. If peppers are not soft enough, cook about 5 minutes more.

EasyEats_EmailBlock_4.14 Peppers

Mary’s Memo – April 11th

A CONVERSATION WITH BETTY CROCKER


You’ve been encouraged before to call food company tollfree numbers. Cleaning out a kitchen cupboard, I had several boxes of cake mix and not knowing which ones to keep I called the Betty Crocker toll-free number. Of the 4 boxes I had only one was still usable. But that wasn’t all that I learned from talking to a General Mills spokesperson. She advised me to check the expiration date on the package because they will not be the same and pick the box with the latest expiration date.

NO ASSOCIATION BETWEEN CAFFEINE AND EXTRA HEART BEATS


An accompanying editorial by cardiologists from the Atlanta VA Medical Center and Emory University focused on coffee, the major source of caffeine in the US Diet: Recently published studies, including prospective cohorts, clinical investigations and meta-analysis, generally show coffee consumption is safe for the heart. Concerning cardiovascular risk factors, there is little evidence that chronic coffee intake raises blood pressure. “Boiled coffee brewing (e.g. French press) may raise atherogenic lipid levels and other brewing method do not appear to have this effect,” Peter W.F. Wilson, and Heather L. Bloom, MD, continued. “Finally, there is little risk for atrial or ventricular arrhythmia at most of the levels of caffeine consumption in our society.” Dr. Marcus noted that some evidence even suggests caffeine might be associated with lower risk of atrial fibrillation. None of this means you should start consuming caffeine if you don’t already or that you shouldn’t avoid it if it makes you jittery or keeps you from sleeping. But if a little caffeine from coffee or tea helps you get going in the morning or picks you up in mid-afternoon or you just plain enjoy the flavor, you can go ahead without worrying it will make your heart skip a beat. Source: Tufts Diet & Nutrition News Letter, April 2016.

EIGHT POWER FOODS FOR THE BRAIN


People who followed the MIND diet only some of the time still had a 35% lower risk of disease. Chances are, you purposely ate something today that you knew was heart healthy, but you probably didn’t give thought to feeding your brain. Only recently have researchers begun to study the link between diet and cognitive function, and the findings are promising. “You can’t control your genes, which are mostly responsible for any decline in brain function as we age, but with diet, there’s the potential to do something.” says Lon S Schneider, M.D. a professor of psychiatry, neurology and gerontology at the University of Southern California. But it takes more than eating familiar “brain” foods such as fish and blueberries once in a while. ”It is what we eat as a whole, says Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D., director of nutrition and nutritional epidemiology at the Rush Medical Center. Research by Morris and her colleagues shows that following a diet that includes the right foods in the right combination can take years off your brain. The MIND diet is a hybrid of the heart-healthy Mediterranean-DASH diets. (MIND stands for Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.) It limits red meat, butter and stick margarine, pastries and sweets, fried fast food and cheese. The Rush team studied the diets of almost 1,000 elderly adults, who were followed for an average of 4 1/2 years. People whose diets were most strongly in line with the MIND diet had brains that functioned as if they were 7 1/2 years younger than those whose diets least resembled this eating style. A follow up study showed that they also cut their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in half, People who followed the plan only some of the time still had a 35 percent lower risk. Working these foods into your diet can help keep your mind sharp and your entire body healthy. Source: Consumer Reports on Health, April 2016.

RECIPE DEVELOPMENT


My brother-in-law, Sam Trentadue, calls what I do to a recipe as “Maryanizing” it. That would be the case with Betty Crocker’s Smothered Chicken Casserole. Instead of regular angel hair pasta, I used Our Family Whole Wheat. I replaced regular Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup with their Healthy Request kind and opted for a can of evaporated milk when the original recipe called for half and half. It proved to be a good idea as pasta needed the extra moisture. I also skipped 3 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon and garnished with chopped parsley.

SMOTHERED CHICKEN CASSEROLE


• 1 TB olive oil
• 4 boneless, skinless thighs
• 1/2 tsp McCormick Garlic Salt from California
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• 6 oz Our Family Whole Wheat angel hair pasta
• 1 can Campbell’s Healthy Request Cream of Chicken
• 1 can evaporated milk
• 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
• 2 cups Green Giant Steamers frozen broccoli florets, cut in smaller pieces

Heat oven to 3500F. Spray a 2½ quart casserole with cooking spray. In 10-inch skillet , heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chicken thighs, sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Cook chicken 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until golden brown and juice of chicken runs clear. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In large bowl, mix soup, evaporated milk and paprika; reserve ¾ cup sauce mixture. Stir in cooked pasta and frozen broccoli. Spoon pasta mixture into casserole; top with thighs. Spoon reserved sauce over chicken thighs. Cover and bake 20 minutes; uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until sauce bubbles. Before serving, garnish with chopped parsley.

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Easy Eats – Roasted Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary

Easy Eats - Roasted Chicken Breasts with Lemon, Garlic & Rosemary

Adapted from thecafesucrefarine.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 bone-in chicken breast halves
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 tsps kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Early in the day (at least 4 hours in advance) mix the rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil together in a small bowl. Rinse the chicken breasts and pat them dry. Press the rosemary mixture into the flesh of the chicken on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-8 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450˚F and put a rack in the middle position. I like to line my sheet pan with foil to make clean-up easy.
  3. Place the chicken breasts on a shallow roasting pan skin side down. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the breasts skin side up. Continue roasting until the breasts reach 160˚F* in the thickest part, another 15-30 minutes. If breasts vary greatly in size you may need to remove the smaller ones 5 minutes before the larger ones. Cover chicken with foil and allow to rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes before serving.
EasyEats_EmailBlock_4.7 Lemon CHX2

Mary’s Memo – April 4th

TO PEEL OR NOT TO PEEL


The skins of fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients. However, peeling off skin does not necessarily mean you are missing out on valuable nutrients, it depends on the food. For example, the red color in tomatoes and red peppers and the orange color in oranges are phytochemicals that act as antioxidants, which helps protect you from cell damage that may lead to cancers. These pigments and antioxidants are available throughout the fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, peeling other produce, like apples and potatoes, does result in some nutrient loss. For instance, the amount of vitamin C in unpeeled and peeled apples is similar, about 8 milligrams (mg) in apples with skin and 6 mg in apples without the skin. However, about 50 percent of the apple’s fiber is lost. When you peel a potato, you are losing fiber as well as potassium, folate, vitamin C and other important vitamins and minerals. When consuming fruits and vegetables, wash them thoroughly and eat the skins for maximum fiber and antioxidant benefits. Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, April 2016.

EAT MORE RASPBERRIES!


Raspberries have a number of heart and brain-health protective essential nutrients, according to a review of scientific literature published in the January 2016 issue of Advances in Nutrition. Components in raspberries contain anthocyanins, which are known to suppress inflammation, while their high polyphenol content may also help prevent platelet buildup and reduce blood pressure. Raspberries have “potential to help reduce factors contributing to metabolic syndrome, which has implications for diabetes development and overall cardiovascular and brain health,” says lead author Britt M. Burton-Freeman, PhD, MS, Institute for Food Safety & Health, Illinois Institute of Technology. Source: Duke Medicine, April 2016.

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?


Regarding Folic Acid and Folate, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that most adults consume 400 micro milligrams (mcg) of folic acid per day, a vitamin you’ll find in dark leafy greens, fruit, beans and eggs. But don’t get more than 1000 mcg of folic acid per day, a form of folate used in dietary supplements and fortified foods. Too much can mask vitamin B 12 deficiency, most likely to be seen among people over 50 and older and vegetarians. “Untreated, that can lead to nerve damage, cognitive trouble and even psychiatric problems,” says Consumer Reports ”medical director, Orly Avtzur, MD. Research suggests that daily folic acid supplements of 300 to 800 mcg per day was associated with cognitive decline. Many manufacturers add folic acid to such products as enriched bread, cereal, flour, pasta and rice.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, April 2016.

ANYTHING LEMON SOUNDS GOOD FOR SPRING!


Betty Crocker’s Luscious Lemon Squares are perfect for a neighborhood coffee or for dessert. Be sure you use fresh lemon juice, not bottled. There’s a lot of difference in flavor!

LUSCIOUS LEMON SQUARES


• 1 cup Gold Medal all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 1/4 cup powdered sugar
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons fresh grated lemon peel (zest)
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 eggs
• Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 3500F. Mix flour, butter and powdered sugar. Press in ungreased 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 inches, building up 1/2 inch edges. Bake crust 20 minutes. Beat granulated sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, baking powder, salt and eggs with electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Pour over hot crust. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched lightly in center. Cool; dust with powdered sugar. Cut into ½ inch squares.
Source: Betty Crocker recipe.

BEST LEMON CURD RECIPE EVER!


Chief Supermarkets carry a quality lemon curd and so does Williams Sonoma but neither compare to one shared by a Bryan lady originally from Wales. Of all the cookies we make at Christmas. Lemon Curd Tarts are the first ones eaten. I make homemade pie crust shells in miniature muffin pans but this year daughter Mary Ann used Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts for her homemade curd.

LEMON CURD (An English Recipe)


• 1/2 cup butter
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 1/4 cups strained fresh lemon juice
• 4 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons lemon zest

Melt butter in top of a stainless steel double boiler over simmering water. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Continue cooking, stirring frequently until thick and smooth, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool, then store in the refrigerator. To serve, fill miniature tart shells, Curd is also good on English muffins.

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Easy Eats – Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Brussels Sprouts

Pork Chops with Roasted Apples and Brussels Sprouts

Adapted from MyRecipes.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsps light brown sugar divided
  • 2 tsps rosemary divided
  • 1 tsp kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper divided
  • 4 pork chops 1 in. thick
  • 3 tbsps + 2 tsps olive oil divided
  • 3 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Gala apple cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 1 lb. Brussels Sprouts trimme and cut in half
  • cooking spray

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together first 5 ingredients, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a small bowl. Rub each pork chop with 1/2 tsp. olive oil; rub both sides of each pork chop with brown sugar mixture (about 2 tsp. on each chop).
  2. Whisk together apple cider vinegar and remaining 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a small bowl; slowly whisk in remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil until blended. Place apples, Brussels sprouts, and 1/4 cup vinegar mixture in a large bowl, and toss to coat.
  3. Place pork chops in center of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined sheet pan; place apple mixture around pork chops.
  4. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes; turn pork chops over, and bake 10 to 14 minutes more or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 140°. Transfer pork chops to a serving platter, and cover with foil to keep warm. Stir apple mixture in sheet pan, and spread into an even layer.
  5. Increase oven temperature to broil, and broil apple mixture 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and slightly charred. Transfer apple mixture to a medium bowl. Toss together apple mixture and remaining vinegar mixture. Season with kosher salt, and serve with pork chops.
EasyEats_EmailBlock_3.31 Chops

Mary’s Memo – March 28th

REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE


Eat a heart-healthy diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains rather than refined grains and lean protein from seafood, skinless poultry and plant foods including beans, nuts and seeds. Limit foods high in saturated fat (full-fat dairy products, red and processed meats) and processed foods that contain a lot of sugar and/or sodium. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least 5 days a week; if 30 minutes at once is too much, break it down into 10 minute increments. At your annual exam, ask what your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose numbers are; if any are outside the normal range, ask what you can do to get them under control.
Source: Weil Cornell Women’s Health Advisor, March 2016.

COFFEE LINKED WITH BETTER LIVER HEALTH


Prior research has indicated that drinking coffee may reduce the incidence of liver disease, and a recent study (Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, January 25, 2016) suggests that a protective effect is more significant than previously believed. Researchers who studied data on nearly half a million men and women found that drinking two extra cups of coffee per day is linked with a 44 percent lower risk of developing liver cirrhosis and a nearly 50 percent lower risk of death from the disease. Cirrhosis of the liver is typically caused by excessive alcohol consumption or viruses such as hepatitis C. An estimated 633,000 Americans are thought to have liver cirrhosis and 69 percent of them are unaware of their condition. Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, April 2016.

RECIPE TESTING


It amazes me that so many internet recipe directions need additional clarification. I found that to be the case with www.mydailymoment.com’s Creole Pork Casserole. Hopefully, my adapted recipe does the trick. That said, it’s a tasty entrée for a family and economical to make.

CREOLE PORK CHOP CASSEROLE


• 3 medium size russet potatoes, thinly sliced
• 1 pound package Birdseye frozen green beans
• 2 medium size sweet onions, thinly sliced
• 6 1/2-inch thick pork chops
• 1 green bell pepper cut into thin slices
• 1 clove minced garlic
• 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
• Salt and pepper to taste between layers

Spray bottom of 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick coating. Evenly arrange potato slices in baking dish and season with a little salt to taste. Spread unthawed green beans over potatoes. Spread half the onions over vegetables and sprinkle with pepper to taste. Spread the pork chops over onions and cover with remaining onions, green bell pepper, garlic, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf parsley and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover tightly with heavy duty foil and bake in preheated 3750F oven for 1½ hours or until chops are tender. Remove bay leaf. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: Recipe adapted from My Daily Moment internet site.

TIPS AND TRICKS


In my continuing effort to keep from throwing things away before the expiration date, the Pioneer Woman on the Food Network, Ree Drummond, suggested moving these cans to the front of the shelf where you are more apt to use them. If you’ve noticed, the Chief produce department stands the stems of fresh asparagus in water. I do the same at home by removing the rubber bands and standing it in a wide mouthed 16-ounce mug, uncovered, in the refrigerator where it keeps much longer than it would in the fruit and vegetable bin.

When a recipe calls for shredded Cheddar cheese, my preference is always reduced fat sharp Cheddar because it lends more flavor than milder cheese.

Last week we shared a recipe for Rice Krispies eaten from a mug. This week it’s Western Omelet in a Mug that serves 1.

WESTERN OMELET IN A MUG


• 2 large eggs
• 1 TB milk
• 1 TB chopped onion
• 2 TB chopped bell pepper
• 2 slices deli ham, chopped
• 1 TB reduced fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
• Salt and pepper to taste

Coat the inside of 16-ounce mug with cooking spray. Crack eggs into the mug and whisk until completely combined. Whisk in milk, onion, bell pepper, ham and season with salt and pepper to taste. Microwave on high for 1minute. Stir the eggs, top with cheese and cook another 30 to 60 seconds on high until eggs are completely set. Remove from the microwave and serve immediately. Cook time will vary slightly from microwave to microwave. Recipe makes 1 serving.
Source: Adapted from The Kitchn, an internet site.

DID YOU KNOW?


The word “dinner” comes from Old French disner, which means breakfast.

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