Tag Archives: Vitamix

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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Filed under Healthful Eating, pressure cooking, Instant Pot

SOUTHWESTERN BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Butternut squash has vitamin A, vitamin C and beta-carotene . It is a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. I realize butternut squash is healthful, but it was a hard sell to my family. I finally developed a recipe even they will eat. I know by putting a southwest spin on a dish, my family will eat almost anything. Including my newest recipe, Southwestern Butternut Squash Soup. Enjoy!

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RECIPE

Ingredients:
• 1½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into equal size chunks
• 1 Tbsp. safflower oil (or spray generously with Pam®)
• ½ cup onion, sliced
• ¼ cup sweet pepper, chopped (I used an orange pepper to preserve that lovely orange color)
• 1 tsp. Kosher salt or pink Himalayan salt
• 1 Tbsp. Chili seasoning mix (I use Bloemer’s brand)
• 1 quart vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
• 1 Tbsp. lime or lemon juice
• (optional) Cilantro for garnish
• (optional) sour cream for garnish

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Directions:
1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a 4 quart pot.
2. Add onions and peppers. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat.
3. Add squash to the pot. Salt.100_1090
4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and steam until squash is fork-tender* (approximately 30 minutes)
5. Remove from heat. Stir in half of the stock and deglaze the pan with a wooden spoon or spatula.
6. Ladle the squash into a Vitamix (or food processor). Puree until smooth. Don’t overfill container. If necessary, process in batches.100_1091
7. Return squash puree to the pot, add the chili seasoning mix1, and stir.
8. Return the pot to medium heat and add the remaining stock. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally to combine. For a thicker soup, simmer until soup reduces.
9. Remove pot from heat. Stir in the lime juice and serve with a sour cream and cilantro garnish with tortilla chips on the side.

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Yum!
Variations:
Kick up the heat level by adding a seeded and thinly sliced jalapeño pepper garnish.
1Vitamix users: During the pureeing of the squash, add the chili seasoning. Then to rinse the container, Add the rest of the stock to the container, run just enough to remove the stuck on squash, then pour into the pot.
*If your cookware isn’t waterless, add one cup of the vegetable stock to steam the squash.

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Filed under Chili and Stew, Cilantro, cooking, Healthful Eating, Mexican, Recipes, Soups & Stews

Salsa Time!

I’ve posted in the past about making salsa in my Vitamix. Today I have a special guest who offers a flavorful twist to salsa. As soon as I pick up a fresh bunch of cilantro, I’m making this recipe. I grow my own jalapeño peppers and herbs but fail miserably at keeping cilantro alive. 😦

Today’s recipe is a guest post by Kristin, a writer for PAM and other ConAgra brands. She resides in Chicago, IL and enjoys trying new recipes on the weekends. Her favorite dishes include poached eggs in the morning, throw-whatever-is-in-the-fridge salads for lunch, and vegetable-heavy stir fries for dinner. She’s always on the hunt for unexpected yet delicious food combinations.  Please welcome food blogger Kristin Kruk:

salsaAugust
August is the Sunday of summer. Friends and family are making the most out of their last few weeks of sunshine and blue skies before fall kicks in. When you get an invitation to that last minute summer barbeque, come prepared with a zesty appetizer to surprise everyone’s taste buds. Bring a bowl of grilled tomato salsa with a bag of your favorite tortilla chips as an appetizer to the party.

On a time crunch? Don’t worry about grilling outside. A cast iron pan will do the trick because it gets hot and retains heat.

How to grill inside:

  1. Evenly spray PAM Grilling Spray on the cast iron pan.
  2. Place pan on stove top on medium-high.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low once the pan gets hot.

Now you’re on your way to a quick grilled tomato salsa!

Ingredients:

  • PAM Grilling Spray
  • 1½-2 pounds of tomatoes (try an assortment), sliced in half
  • 1 jalapeño , sliced in half
  • 5 green (or red) onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Optional ingredients: ½ can of black beans or corn kernels 

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix cumin, garlic salt, onions and cilantro. If optional ingredients were used, combine as well. Set aside.
  2. See “How to grill inside” instructions above.
  3. Once the burner is set to medium-low, grill tomato and jalapeño slices.
  4. Rotate so each side is grilled for 3 minutes. When each side is slightly blackened, remove from grill.
  5. Chop tomato and jalapeño slices into cubes. Dump into the medium bowl (Step 1).
  6. Refrigerate until ready for use.

This quick and simple appetizer complements any picnic or outdoor outing at the end of summer. Enjoy!

(Cheryl note: I do all my indoor grilling on a Lodge cast iron grill pan (sprayed with PAM). It’s affordable, retains heat, and leaves nice grill marks on food–just like an outdoor grill but without the mess!)

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Filed under Appetizers, Cilantro, condiments, Healthful Eating, Mexican, Recipes, salsa, tomatoes, Vegetables

Hasty Tasty Mayo

I make my own mayonnaise because I can control its ingredients. It’s easy. Give it a try.
MAYO

RECIPE

Mayonnaise
Ingredients:

¾ cup egg substitute
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 cups safflower or canola oil

Directions:

Add first four ingredients to the Vitamix container. Secure lid but remove plug.
Turn Vitamix to Variable Speed 1, gradually increasing to 10 then high.
Pour the oil in a steady stream through the opening in the lid.
Run Vitamix just until mixture thickens.
Turn off Vitamix, pour the mayonnaise into a quart jar, and put a tight-fitting lid (or canning ring and lid) on the jar. Refrigerate. Keeps up to 4 weeks.

 

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Filed under condiments, eggs, Healthful Eating

HASTY TASTY HAZELNUT CHOCOLATE SPREAD

I love Nutella®, but it has refined sugar, a no-no for me.  So I searched both books and online sources for a homemade version of chocolate hazelnut spread. None suited me, but one came close: Skinny Ms. “Skinny Nutella Spread – The Healthier Version.” I experimented with that recipe but soon went my own way.

This is my version of Hazelnut Chocolate Spread. My recipe uses the Vitamix. If you don’t have a Vitamix, you will need both a blender and a food processor. Read all the directions before you try making it. It looks complicated, but it really isn’t. Complicated recipes don’t qualify as “Hasty Tasty” meals. 😉  

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Ingredients

RECIPE

Hasty Tasty Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

Makes 2 cups

©2014 Cheryl Norman

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound hazelnuts, roasted and skinned*
  • ½ cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder (I used Special Dark because I prefer bittersweet chocolate)
  • ¼ cup raw honey (select a light, mild tasting honey)
  • 1 packet pure Stevia extract
  • ¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk will work)
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher or other pure salt

Directions:

  1. *Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet (Hint: I roast one pound then freeze half for later) and place in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 minutes.
  2. While hazelnuts roast, combine cocoa, honey, almond milk, salt, and stevia in the container of the Vitamix (or your blender). Blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour cocoa mixture into a microwave safe bowl or pitcher and cover with a wet paper towel.
  3. Microwave the cocoa mixture in one minute increments, stirring after each minute, until mixture is hot (This takes about two minutes in a 1000 watt oven).100_1059
  4. *Remove roasted hazelnuts from the oven and allow to cool. Place them on a clean kitchen towel, fold it over onto the hazelnuts, and rub to remove the skins. They should slip off easily.
  5. Take one cup (1/2 pound) of the cooled hazelnuts and place in the container of your Vitamix (or food processor). Turn it on Variable Speed 1, gradually increasing to 10 then High Speed. Process for thirty seconds to one minute or until the nuts become butter (You may need to stop once and use a spatula to scrape the nut mixture from the sides). Note: This step takes about 5 minutes in a food processor.
  6. Carefully pour the heated cocoa mixture into the Vitamix container with the hazelnut butter. Process on Variable Speed 5 for about five seconds or until well blended.
  7. Pour into glass jars

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To be on the safe side, store your spread in the refrigerator. My recipe contains no additives to make it shelf-stable. Once you make this, you can add your own touches. If it’s not sweet enough, try adding additional stevia extract or sweeteners of your choice.

One final word: Don’t make  hazelnut chocolate spread to save money. Homemade is better, but quality ingredients carry a higher price tag. I ordered organic hazelnuts and shopped for local honey. I doubt I saved a penny over Nutella® from the supermarket, but I love having total control over my ingredients. Enjoy!

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Filed under condiments, Healthful Eating, snacks

Drink to Your Health

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It’s no secret I’m a fan of the Vitamix and believe it’s worth every penny of its price tag. I’ve been using one for twenty years now, and I’ve made many combinations of drinks with it (whole juice, not extracted juice, is much better for you). One recipe is my go-to morning drink, and this is it.

RECIPE


Pineapple Orange Juice

Ingredients 1 cup fresh pineapple (include core)
1 organic orange, peeled and quartered
1 dried prune (For sweetness. You won’t taste it, I promise!)
½ cup water
1 cup ice cubes
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Place all ingredients in the Vitamix container (ice goes in last). Process on Variable Speed 1, stepping up to 10. Then High Speed until blended, approximately one minute. Makes 2 8-oz glasses or 4 4-oz glasses.

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It’s a great way to start your day with vitamins and fiber. Good morning!

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Filed under fruit, Healthful Eating, Recipes

Hasty Tasty Cranberry Sauce

It’s Thanksgiving week. Here by request is a repeat of my cranberry sauce recipe. It’s easy and so much better than canned, so give it a try. Happy Thanksgiving!

The tart cranberry is delicious and healthful. Unfortunately, the cranberry is overlooked except during the holidays yet is good any time of the year. But don’t open up a can of jellied cranberry sauce–make your own! In less than 30 minutes, you can have homemade cranberry sauce. You can store it in the refrigerator in a mold or in the serving bowl–your choice. Molds are impressive but not necessary. Here’s my Hasty Tasty version:

Ingredients

Ingredients

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir occasionally.

Stir occasionally.

Process until smooth.

Process until smooth.

Serve or store in the refrigerator.

Serve or store in the refrigerator.

RECIPE

Hasty Tasty Cranberry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • dash salt
  • one orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

Directions:

  1. Combine brown sugar and juice of an orange (reserve zest) in a 2-quart sauce pan. Add cranberries.
  2. Gently heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for fifteen minutes or until berries burst.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in zest of orange and grated ginger.
  4. Carefully tranfer contents to the Vitamix or a food processor. Cover.*
  5. Beginning with the lowest speed (Vitamix variable speed 1), process cranberries to desired consistency. Just pulse a few times for a chunkier sauce.*
  6. Carefully pour sauce into a mold or a serving dish, cover, and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour. Overnight is better.

*Processing the sauce is optional. Cranberries taste great either whole sauce or pureed.

Yield: 1 pint cranberry sauce

Variations: add your choice of seasonings in place of the grated ginger, such as cloves, cinnamon, or even jalapeño pepper!

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Filed under condiments, cooking, fruit, Healthful Eating, Recipes