More Good Eats from Meals Made Simple

photo 1-1I am thoroughly enjoying Danielle Walker’s new cookbook, Meals Made Simple and posted last week about Peruvian-Style Chicken.  I especially love Danielle’s “making it simple” section of the cookbook, and tip #3: stretch it.  Instead of mundane leftovers that are simply reheated (although I am often happy doing just that), she has a bunch of “stretch it” recipes that morph the initial meal into an entirely different one.  Here’s a great example:

A couple of weeks ago I picked up some frozen meat from a local farmer, including pastured pork tenderloin.  Maple-Dijon Pork Tenderloin seemed like the perfect match.

This was super easy and really good.  The recipe called for 2 tenderloins, but it was just me for dinner so I put one tenderloin into the marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight for a quick weekday meal.  The recipe called for grilling the tenderloin but grilling isn’t an option for me at the moment, so I simply seared it on all sides and roasted it at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let it rest for 10 minutes and slice.  I have found that you can substitute cooking methods, especially grilling for roasting and vice versa, with good results.  I roasted some carrots drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper in a separate pan alongside the pork.  It was a delicious combination!

photo 4Even better was using leftover pork tenderloin to make a half recipe of White Pork Chili.  This was another quick meal with dinner on the table in about 30 minutes.  The recipe called for raw cashew butter to thicken the chili which I thought was really clever.  I used Artisana 100% Organic Raw Cashew Butter but you could easily take a 1/2 cup of raw cashews and blend them in a small food processor with a tablespoon of olive oil and process until smooth similar to my Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  Always be careful when buying nut butters to make sure they don’t have added oils or sugar.  Artisana cashew butter has one ingredient:  organic raw cashews.  Doesn’t get simpler than that!

I love when recipes offer options for various ingredients you might not have on hand.  I also do my own substitutions and have found most recipes are pretty flexible.  I couldn’t find white sweet potatoes and substituted regular orange ones which worked fine.  The recipe called for hard cider or dry white wine and I chose wine because I had it in the fridge.  I also used store-bought tomatillo salsa.  I had to check several jars to find one without sugar or other undesired ingredients so make sure to take time to read the labels.  Renfro Salsa, Del Rio from Desert Pepper has only green chile peppers, onions, tomatillos, jalapeno peppers, salt, lime juice, water, distilled vinegar, cilantro, spices and garlic.  You can also substitute leftover roasted chicken for the pork.  Lots of good options!

The chili was so good and I happily reheated it the next day for leftovers.  Check out the cookbook for more stretch it ideas!

I am grateful each day for wellness, happiness and the opportunity to share with you.