Caramelized Pork with Apples & Onions

by Susan on September 29, 2016

You know fall has truly arrived when I write up my first blog post of the season wearing Uggs. To be fair, we live in an antique house and it’s always colder in here than it is just about anywhere else. I also have freakishly cold feet, always. But baby, it’s definitely starting to get colder outside! Perfect weather for some roasting…

Pork and apples pair so beautifully together, and this one gets an extra hit of flavor thanks to a sweet and spicy rub on the meat. I adapted the recipe from Health magazine, opting to use palm sugar in lieu of brown and coconut oil rather than butter. This made the dish not only dairy-free, but without any added refined sugar.

Your house will smell absolutely amazing while this dish is in the oven! It also doesn’t take hours to cook, so it’s easy enough to whip up on a weeknight.

Caramelized Pork with Apples & Onions 
adapted from Health

2 tbs. packed palm sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
pinch of ground red pepper and black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (2 1/2-pound) boneless pork loin, trimmed
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbs. coconut oil or butter
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into wedges
2 Rome or Macon apples, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl.

Rub garlic over surface of trimmed pork loin. Heat a large greased skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and onion; cook 10 minutes or until browned on all sides, turning occasionally.

Place the pork in a 13- x 9-inch greased baking dish. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over roast. Arrange the onion around pork, and drizzle with vinegar. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes.

Melt coconut oil or butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apples, and sauté 5 minutes or until golden.

Remove the pork from oven, and arrange apples around pork; reduce heat to 350°, and cook an additional 20 minutes or until pork is done.

Pour pan drippings into a medium saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 14 minutes). Drizzle over pork, apples, and onion.

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One Pot “Lasagna” Soup

by Susan on September 27, 2016

Why the quotes? Well, this soup has all of the elements of the classic baked pasta dish, but I made it with rotini. The only place I can regularly find gluten-free lasagna noodles in Whole Foods, and I just didn’t have time to hit it up this past week. Thus, the flavor is right but the noodles are a little off.

Does the pasta shape really matter, though? The key here is the meat, sauce and cheese. I adapted the recipe from the blog Carlsbad Cravings and made the recipe largely as written. While you can use ground beef or Italian sausage I opted for the beef, and topped mine off with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. I know that ricotta is textbook when it comes to classic lasagna, but it’s simply not a huge favorite around these parts.

The beauty of this dish is that it comes together in one pot and doesn’t require a lot of babysitting. It’s a pretty clean recipe, but I do suggest trying to go organic if possible for the tomato products and chicken broth. I also used stevia for sweetness and a more nutritious  jarred sauce than Prego.

I popped the soup under the broiler before serving so that the cheesy top would get nice and golden. Everyone really loved this and it hit the spot on one of the first chilly evenings of fall!

One Pot “Lasagna” Soup
adapted from Carlsbad Cravings

1 pound lean ground beef (or half Italian sausage)
1 yellow onion, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 (24 oz.) jar organic marinara sauce
8 cups organic chicken broth
1 (14 oz.) can organic crushed tomatoes
2 tbs. tomato paste
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated stevia
2 tbs. dried Italian seasoning
1 whole bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups dried gluten-free pasta of choice
1/2 cup organic heavy cream
shredded mozzarella, grated Parmesan and/or ricotta cheese, for topping

Heat large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add beef and onion and cook, stirring occasionally until beef is browned. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds. Drain off any excess fat.

Add Prego Sauce, 6 cups chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar, spices and lasagna noodles. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until lasagna noodles are tender, stirring occasionally (approximately 20-30 minutes).

Discard bay leaf and stir in heavy cream. Add the remaining broth, if a thinner consistency is desired (I didn’t use any more). Garnish individual servings with desired amount of cheeses.

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