Category Archives: Healthful Eating

Pork Tenderloin—Hasty and Tasty

My grocer had pork tenderloins on sale this week buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO). Pork tenderloin, not to be confused with pork loin, is a lean and tender cut ideal for a Hasty Tasty Meal. It’s easily over cooked, which is why it’s crucial to distinguish tenderloin from loin. Yet it’s also difficult to pass up a BOGO, so I decided it was time to master pork tenderloin.

Baking or roasting pork tenderloin using a meat thermometer (internal temperature of 145°) is a foolproof cooking technique, yet I wanted to use my pressure cooker. Why? We’re campers and don’t travel with an oven or even a microwave oven. But I do have a 3 quart Instant Pot Duo Mini in my travel trailer. Even when “roughing it,” I like to prepare good meals.

I experimented with steaming the tenderloin on a trivet over the liquid as well as braising in the cooking liquid. I tried chicken broth, water, and apple juice for the cooking liquid. All techniques produced edible meat, but here’s my favorite and most successful recipe.

RECIPE

Hasty Tasty Pork Tenderloin Roast

Serves Four

Ingredients:

  • 1 pork tenderloin, approximately 1.5 pound
  • 2 tsp. Canola oil or your choice vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 apple (gala or Granny Smith works well), sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat multi cooker on sauté mode.
  2. When heated, add oil and brown all sides of the tenderloin.
  3. Remove tenderloin to a plate. Add fennel, apple, and onion to the pot and sauté approximately 5 minutes. Salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
  4. While vegetables sauté, use a sharp paring knife and make slits evenly throughout the meat to insert the garlic pieces.
  5. Pour water slowly into the pot. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the pot of any cooked-on bits.
  6. Return tenderloin to the cooker and place atop the fennel, apple, and onion slices.
  7. Seal cooker and set pressure cooking time for zero minutes (or lowest time setting available).
  8. After cooking time completes, hit cancel. Do not allow cooker to “keep warm.” Allow pressure to drop on its own one minute and then vent.
  9. Open cooker, remove meat to a plate, and pour cooking liquid into a heavy duty blender (I use a Vitamix) to purée.* Return liquid to pot, and hit sauté.
  10. While liquid reduces, allow tenderloin to rest. Tent with foil to keep warm. After the cooking liquid boils down to desired thickness, turn off cooker and add butter. Salt and pepper sauce to taste. Slice the tenderloin and serve drizzled with the sauce.

Browned tenderloins cook quickly.

Whisk in butter right before serving.

Serve with sauce and side dishes of your choice.

*For a chunkier sauce, mash the cooked apple, fennel, and onion mixture with a potato masher.

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Another Pressure Cooker?

Yes, today I got the latest Instant Pot, the Duo Evo Plus. If you’re rolling your eyes and wondering why, read on.

If you own an Instant Pot, there’s no reason to upgrade, so relax. But if you’re in the market for a new one, check out this model because the Instant Pot company listened to all the feedback on what they could improve on their multi cookers and implemented suggestions into this model. Here’s what’s new and what I like:

  • Progress bar. No more guessing when the pot will pressurize.
  • Handles on the inner pot. No more awkward extractions with silicone mitts.
  • More cooking programs, although I still have flexibility to manually set time and pressure.
  • Spare gasket. I had to order spares for my other multi cookers.
  • Better venting. Reduces burn risk from steam during quick depressurization.
  • Flat bottom inner pot. If I want, I can transfer my inner pot to or from my stove.
  • It sterilizes. The sterilize function takes away the guesswork.
  • Everything but the outer housing is dishwasher safe. Everything.

I probably missed some improvement but give me time. It’s still new to me.

As of today, the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus is available only from Kohl’s or Williams and Sonoma, and preorder from Amazon.

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Filed under Healthful Eating, kitchen equipment, pressure cooking, Instant Pot

Product Review: NuWave Bravo XL Smart Oven

I watch cooking infomercials. I’m a sucker for new cooking gadgets. But my latest purchase, the NuWave Bravo XL Smart Oven, is the best of my purchases. (Full disclosure: I got mine through Amazon* because I wasn’t interested in the “free” premiums. But they’re a good deal if you don’t already have a pizza kit and a pressure cooker.)

I made room for the new oven by re-homing my 6 quart Power Air Fryer Oven to a friend. Much as I liked that product, I much prefer this one for five reasons:

  • It carries a one year warranty vs. a 60 day warranty.
  • It’s stainless steel instead of plastic.
  • It’s wider, accommodating much of my regular bake ware.
  • It’s more multi-functional, with 12 presets.
  • It has a built in temperature probe that automatically shuts off the oven when food reaches the desired temperature.

As an air fryer, it’s great. My first effort was frozen breaded shrimp and frozen crinkle fries. I did not spray with oil, as was suggested. After selecting Air Fry on the menu, I cooked the shrimp and fries ten minutes at 400°. We gave the meal a thumbs-up.

Air fryer shrimp and fries.

Next I baked frozen chicken breasts using the temperature probe. (I had to allow about 30 minutes thawing before I managed inserting the probe, so it works better with unfrozen food). It’s tricky cooking white meat poultry to a safe temperature without drying it out, which is why the temperature probe feature attracted me. When the oven shut off, the meat was perfectly cooked.

Cooking frozen chicken breast

I tried a frozen pizza (it fit!), toast, hash brown patties, burgers, and a dinner plate reheat (worked just like restaurants). I’ve barely scratched the surface of what this appliance can do. I’ve used my Pampered Chef stoneware, my stainless, and my NordicWare pans. If a pan is safe for a regular oven and fits, it can be used in the NuWave Bravo XL.

The capacity is one cubic feet, making it a bit larger than its closest competitor (and the competition carries only a 90 day warranty). Suffice it to say, I am sold on this oven and recommend it without reservation.

*NUWAVE BRAVO XL 1800-watt Air Fry Convection Oven with Flavor Infusion (FIT) Technology with Integrated Temperature Probe for Perfect Results; 12 Pre-Programmed Presets; 3 Fan Speeds; 5-Quartz Heating Elements

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IXBMS6M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_fpUwDbZ9C945P

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Turkey Salad

From previous posts you know my husband is a turkey junkie. I roasted us a turkey for the Fourth of July! Most people do burgers and hotdogs, but not us. One of my favorite meals for using up leftover turkey is turkey salad.

RECIPE

Turkey Salad

(4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded turkey meat
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 chopped hard-boiled egg
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Pepper and dried dill to taste
  • (Optional) 1/4 cup pickle relish

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour for flavors to blend. Serve on a bed of lettuce with a slice of tomato or on bread as a sandwich.

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Zesty Pinto Beans

We often eat beans. We like them, they’re good for us, and they are inexpensive. Today’s pintos (made in my Instant Pot) are made zesty with the addition of hot Hatch Chilies.

We discovered Hatch Chilies in Texas one summer. Although next to impossible to find fresh in my area, Hatch Chilies in cans are usually found in my pantry.

Here’s my recipe:

Zesty Pintos

RECIPE

Zesty Pinto Beans

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup Dried Pinto Beans
  2. 1 cup Chopped Onion
  3. 1/2 cup Diced Sweet Pepper
  4. 1/2 cup Hatch Chilies (we like hot, but choose your heat level)
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. Water or Broth
  7. Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions:

  1. Soak beans overnight or do a 1-hour Quick Soak in a Pressure Cooker.*
  2. Rinse beans and set aside. Wipe the pressure cooker dry and preheat (Sauté Mode).
  3. When pot is hot, add 1 Tbsp. oil. Allow oil to heat.
  4. Sauté chopped onions for 2 minutes before adding peppers.
  5. Sauté peppers 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat (or hit Cancel).
  6. Stir in garlic.
  7. Add presoaked beans. Add liquid just to cover beans. Set cooker for 30 minutes.
  8. Seal and bring to pressure. After cooking, allow pressure to drop on its own.
  9. Open cooker, stir, and serve.

*For the 1-hour Quick Presoak, place beans in a pressure cooker. Add water to completely cover the beans. Add 1 Tbsp salt. Pressure cook for one minute, cancel, and then allow beans to soak undisturbed for one hour. Rinse and drain before cooking.

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Corn on the Cob? I’m all ears! | HASTY TASTY MEALS KITCHEN

via Corn on the Cob? I’m all ears! | HASTY TASTY MEALS KITCHEN

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May 10, 2019 · 4:02 pm

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

For years, a recipe for making a healthier pizza crust from cauliflower has made the rounds. Although interested, I couldn’t find the enthusiasm to try making it. Like Tres Leche Cake, it was too labor-intensive to fit my criteria for a Hasty Tasty Meal. Thanks to Green Giant, that’s no longer the case.

Cauliflower pizza crust is pricey ($4.99 at my local grocery store), but is worth the investment if you’re craving pizza and can’t sacrifice nutrition. Yes, nutritional pizza is no longer an oxymoron.

I baked mine in my Power Air Fryer Oven 400°F but it works better in a conventional oven at 450°

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Here’s how I made a sausage and mushroom pizza:

RECIPE

Reasonably Healthy Cauliflower Crust Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Makes 2 2-slice servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen cauliflower pizza crust
  • 1 8 oz. can low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 patty fully cooked turkey sausage
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasonings
  • 1 can mushrooms, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses (2/3 cup mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmesan)
  • cooking spray
  • optional salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Remove cauliflower crust from its packaging. Prebake crust directly on the rack for 12-15 minutes.
  3. While crust bakes, combine sauce, seasonings (including garlic), and turkey sausage patty in a blender or food processor. Don’t overprocess. Stir in mushrooms. Also, grate cheeses if needed.
  4. Carefully remove crust from the oven using a pizza peel or large spatula. 
  5. Spread the sauce over the crust and sprinkle the chopped onion and pepper.
  6. Cover with shredded cheese and return pizza to the oven, again placing it directly on the oven rack.
  7. Bake just until browned and bubbly (approximately 6 minutes). Carefully remove the pizza and allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Slice into 4 pieces and serve.

Each slice is only 140 calories (280 calories per 2-slice servings), or 8 WW points per serving.*

*Unofficial points calculated using the WW app recipe builder.

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