Wish Upon A Dish

October 24, 2016

GOOGLE link felon update........

For those of you who are also having problems with illegal links vs. GOOGLE, there is good news.
If you take the time to "no follow" your links, Google will retest your site for compliance if you ask them (nicely). Just explain what you did to rectify the problem, in a few days you can also get a clean bill of health.

I am no longer a felon and can blog in the sun again!!!

Just thought  I should finish what I started and let you know.

Have a GREAT day!!

October 21, 2016

Marco Polo Chinese Wedding Bowl ♥ Plant Protein Power Bowls #thereciperedux October challenge

When I worked for Xerox in 1975, I was sent to their technical training facility in Virginia for 6 weeks.
It was one of the most modern facilities of it's time and it offered everything. Room and board included a full buffet all day and night up to 10pm.

Even though the facility was state of the art, the food, while better than that at a state college, was still cafeteria-style and it was there that I became a Vegetarian. Eventually I added fish but for 4 years I survived on vegetables. That was after the hippy health food era but way before Vegan.

In my quest for eating healthier, I knew my goal was a reduction from 25% to 10% dairy and an increase from 33% to 50% vegetarian. I probably will never visit 100% Vegetarian again, I have been trying to gradually introduce more Vegan options into our meals.

The perfect opportunity to finally "play" with tofu came this month when #TheRecipeRedux October challenge was to create a plant protein power bowl and not use one already posted.
I got the idea to take a favorite soup recipe (Italian Wedding Soup) and repurpose those ingredients for this challenge.

In place of the pasta I cooked Korean sweet potato noodles (also plant-based). No chicken broth here. I used a vegetarian broth to thin out two packages of miso broth with kombu and mushrooms.

Keeping in the spirit of the Italian version, the meatballs are made using firm tofu. I subbed out the with watercress (a more POWER green) and switched to mung beans for the white beans.
I was apprehensive makes tofu meatballs but except for making them way too large, they tasted meaty and something I know The Nudge will even like.


The only thing in this bowl that isn't vegetarian is the egg. Not your thing, just omit and in doing so takes nothing away from the dish.

I was not a fan of the mung beans. By the time they were tender they split and shed their skins. I think next time I will simply open a can of beans and go back to using the mung beans to bulk up my rice.

All in all I was happy with the result but I made the meatballs with garlic and onion salts thinking they might be too bland and after poaching them in the miso broth, they absorbed too much salt. A easy adjustment to make.
That being said let's get cooking......

While baking the meatballs, I put the stock and miso broth to a simmer.
I poached, in this order.....
1. the tofu meatballs
2. the mung beans
3. the sweet potato noodles
4. the carrots and watercress
5. the poached egg

Tofu Meatballs
makes 11-12 1" meatballs
* 1/2 pound firm tofu, drained, blotted and mashed
* 1/4 cup oat or chickpea flour
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
* 1 tablespoon Bragg's liquid amino's or 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon onion salt
* 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
* 1 garlic clove
* 1/2 small shallot
* 1 big handful watercress

Roll 1" balls and bake on parchment paper at 425° for 25 minutes. Cool.

Protein Bowl
makes 2 dinner-sized bowls

* 2 packets of miso soup with kombu and mushrooms
* 1 box vegetable broth
* 1 cup julienned carrots
* 1/2 cup dried mung beans
* 1 salad package watercress
* 2 ounces Korean sweet potato, glass or soba noodles 
* remaining watercress
* sesame seeds for garnish
* 2 eggs, poached (optional)

Place half the noodles, the beans, the carrots & watercress and the tofu meatballs in a large soup bowl. Ladle enough broth to come up to but not over, the vegetables in the bowl.
Place the egg in the middle and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

October 17, 2016

Jamaican Pork Tenderloin ♥ A much needed update

This is one of my most posted recipes over the years starting in 2010, when I was a virgin to blogging.

Back then, like most, newbies started their blog for the same reason we all did. To have a digital recipe book of our favorites. Only difference was I was updating and posting on foods that I needed to eat in order to live. You see, I was on the teeter-totter to full blown Diabetes.
I refused to take medication, food was what I knew and what was killing me could also be my savior.

I have come a long way since then. The diabetes disappeared, my sugar is under 90 and am off all those requisite meds you take when you are obese. Cholesterol, blood pressure and asthma.

One thing I do know is there is no cure for diabetes, and although I am healthy now, I can not continue the eating habits I had before I got normal.

Medical science has come a long way. Now the world knows about Celiac's disease, the benefits of eating vegan (not just because of political & personal preferences), the Glycemic Index, what sodium levels should be, the definition of additional sugars and everyone can just about understand nutrition labels.

It's a good time to be in control of our health.

What does all that have to do with this dish? Well, besides the fact that it's delicious, doable in 30 minutes, it also remains a good dish for gluten intolerance, pre-diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and it's lean and low in calories.

It sorely needed an update.
I don't know about you but if you have never cooked a pork tenderloin, you need to make this your first attempt. It's so fool-proof, I made my first tenderloin for a dinner party and it has remained my go-to for years. Got so, I can make this without reference to a written recipe.
Have I ever tried this recipe with poultry or seafood? Not yet. I am afraid that without the benefit of a pork product to flavor the sauce, it wouldn't be as user friendly.

The title is a little bit misleading. Not a typical Jamaican dish like Jerk, it does have the warm spices associated with that iconic dish except they are mixed into a marinara sauce.
Trust me, it is totally people friendly. Kids will ask for seconds.
It reheats well so a good take-in lunch for work and if you make the two tenderloins in a package, the second one freezes beautifully.

I always serve mine with long grain & wild rice (for the sauce) but roasted potatoes would work well and even mashies would do.

Let's get cooking.....

Jamaican Pork Tenderloin
makes 4 servings
* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/2 pounds
* salt & pepper
* 1 cup basic marinara sauce, homemade or favorite jarred
* 2 tablespoons lite brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon each cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, thyme, cumin and coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 2 small bay leaves
* 1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
* 2 pats of unsalted butter
* Salt & pepper to taste

Heat an oven-proof skillet and your oven to 375°.
When the skillet is hot all the oil, season the pork with salt & pepper and brown the meat on all four sides, about 3 minutes each side.
Mix the brown sugar, all the spices and the pepper with the marinara sauce. Add the bay leaves.
When the pork is browned, pour the sauce over, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
After 35 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, place the pork on a platter and cover with foil.
Turn the heat back under the skillet, add the vermouth to the sauce, and simmer for three minutes. Remove the bay leaves and swirl in the butter. Taste for salt & pepper.

To serve: Slice the pork and pour the sauce over the slices.

If you try this with other proteins, drop me a line and let me know how it went.