This simple and delicious Honey Tarragon Roast Radish Salad recipe will bring a touch of flavor and whimsy to any spring menu! Serve this delightfully colorful salad with lunch, brunch, or your favorite casual supper. Find my recipe on Sofab Food.
This blog post has been compensated by Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. All opinions are mine alone. #LaVaquitaCheese #CollectiveBias #Ad
All hail the mighty casserole. She comes in many forms - often smothered in cheese and packed with flavorful layers. They are made to please a crowd, feed a small army, and reheat with ease. My personal favorites usually involve vegetables while my husband prefers casseroles that focus on pasta.
Vegetable lasagna puts together the best of both worlds, and like casseroles in general, the concept of vegetable lasagna has been reinvented over and over again. For this recipe, I decided to combine savory roasted eggplant and red bell peppers with crumbled queso fresco in a roasted tomato sauce. Replacing traditional ricotta cheese with queso fresco gives this casserole a firm, hearty texture.
I used La VaquitaⓇ Queso Fresco, a local Texas brand in this recipe. La Vaquita® was founded by Maria Castro in 1971. Castro began making the cheese from her Houston home shortly after immigrating from Mexico.
Using a traditional recipe she learned from her grandmother, Castro began making batches of cheese to share with friends and neighbors in Houston. Over 40 years later, La Vaquita® authentic Mexican cheeses and cremas are an important part of Texas' food identity!
Like ricotta or feta cheeses, queso fresco does not melt when heated, but remains firm and crumbly. The mild flavor and delicate crumbly texture of queso fresco is perfect for stuffing casseroles. La Vaquita® Queso Fresco has the classic mellow flavor I expect in a great queso fresco. For a sharper flavor, try using La Vaquita® Queso Fresco Salvadoreno instead.
Included are steps and ingredients for making a fresh tomato sauce using roasted garlic and tomato. To simplify this lasagna recipe, just omit the tomato, onion, and garlic, and skip steps 2 to 4. You are welcome to use a 16-ounce jar of marinara sauce instead.
Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with Queso Fresco
A delicious layered casserole stuffed with crumbled queso fresco, savory roasted vegetables and fresh tomato sauce.
- 1 16-ounce package lasagna noodles,
- 5 pounds roma tomatoes
- 1 medium sized onion
- 1 bulb garlic
- 1 large eggplant
- 4 small red bell peppers
- ½ cup frozen spinach
- 4 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 16 ounces La Vaquita® Queso Fresco crumbling cheese
- 16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- salt and pepper, as needed
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a generous pinch of salt to the water, then cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Do not overcook. Al dente noodles work best in lasagna. When the noodles have finished cooking, drain them quickly and rinse with cold water to cease cooking.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Slice the top ⅓ of the garlic bulb off, exposing bulbs. Brush the exposed bulbs with oil and place in small oven-proof bowl or crock. Set aside.
- Cut tomatoes into quarters and remove seeds. Peel and chop onion. Combine tomato and onion in a large bowl, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss together. Spread mixture onto baking sheet. Roast tomatoes, onions, and garlic bulb for 15 minutes. Remove garlic from oven, then set oven to broiler and broil for 10 minutes. Pop garlic cloves from peel when cool enough to handle.
- When tomato mixture has cooled enough to be handled safely transfer them to a blender. Add peeled garlic cloves, tomato paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt. 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and puree until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons minced basil.
- Set oven back to 450°F. Peel eggplant and cut into ¼ inch slices. Spread slices out on baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush slices with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Line a second baking sheet with parchment. Toss whole peppers with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place on baking sheet. Roast peppers and eggplant for 20 - 30 minutes or until eggplant is tender and peppers have developed brown or black spots.
- Fill a large bowl or pot with water and ice. Drop roasted peppers into ice bath and allow them to cool for several minutes. Use your finger to peel the skin, stems, and seeds from the peppers. Reserve the peeled flesh in a small bowl and discard the rest. Chop the roasted flesh into strips.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the bottom of a 3-quart casserole dish with olive oil, then place 3 lasagna noodles into the dish. Top with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Place the eggplant slices down to create the next layer, followed by about ½ of the La Vaquita® Queso Fresco.
- Place 3 more noodles down, and another layer of sauce followed by about ½ the shredded mozzarella, and ¾ roasted peppers.
- Place 3 more noodles down, and another layer of sauce followed by the second ½ of the La Vaquita® Queso Fresco and the frozen spinach.
- Place 3 more noodles down, and add one last layer of sauce followed by the remaining mozzarella cheese and red peppers. Sprinkle remaining basil over the top.
- Bake finished casserole for 45 minutes. Switch oven to broiler and broil for 5 minutes to brown cheese. Let lasagna stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
I shopped for this recipe at my local Fiesta. Fiesta carries a great selection of La Vaquita® products including quesos and cremas. You can check them out on Facebook as well. Make sure to look for Ibotta offers for a good deal.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for Mighty Nest and Amazon. Shopping through these links helps support Mary Makes Good at no cost to you. Thanks!
Making small changes to the products you use in your home is one way to make a daily impact on the environment and often your budget. Of course, not every re-usable product works as well as it's mass produced disposable counterpart. We've tried out a whole lot of gear over the years, and at this point we don't use a whole lot of dispoable products in our everyday lives. There are still some things we have not been able to replace effectively, like garbage bags or freezer food storage bags, but on the whole I feel like we do a pretty good job of keeping things sustainable around here.
I'm fairly thrifty by nature, so when we decide to purchase re-usable products for our home I need to know that I'm making a sound investment. I know that a lot of you feel the same way, and that blindly buying trendy products isn't the best way to save resources in the long run. After all, what good is a re-usable water bottle if it ends up in the land fill?
My number one piece of advice for buying re-usable products is to invest in products that are either extremely simple or extremely durable. That doesn't always mean going for the most expensive product. For example, mason jars are fairly cheap, built to last, and can serve a huge variety of purposes around the house.
A few months ago I signed up for Mighty Fix, a monthly subscription service from Mighty Nest that delivers a new re-usable product for you to try every month. The subscription is super affordable at just $10 a month, and often delivers a product that retails for well over the price of the subscription. I've found this to be a pretty awesome deal. For example, last week I received Bee's Wrap. I have been curious about the product, but too nervous to spend the money on trying it out. The month before I received three wool dryer balls - one of my favorite home products and definitely worth more than 10 bucks.
Deal Alert: If you'd like to give Mighty Fix a try, use one of the following links to to get a discount on your first month's subscription and the chance to choose the first product you'll receive:
- Try the MightyFix for only $3 with promo code DRYERFIX2016 and get 3 Dryer Balls as your first mont
- Try the MightyFix for only $3 and get 2 sheets of Bee's Wrap for your first month with promo code BEESFIX2016
- Try the MightyFix for only $5 and get an exclusive Lifefactory Water bottle as your first month with promo code BOTTLEFIX2016
When it comes to stocking my house with eco-friendly and re-usable products, there are a few key factors that I always keep in mind.
Now that we've covered my expectations for a great re-usable product, let's get down to business. The following gadgets, gizmos, and gear are my very favorite things to use in place of disposable products.
Stuff for the Home
Dryer Balls - These little balls of felted wool are pure magic. They replace the need for fabric softener or dryer sheets, and are completely natural. You can even scent them with a drop or two of essential oil before starting the dryer to give your laundry a happy, healthy aroma.
Microfiber Dust Cloths - Paper towels are stupid expensive, and they don't even work all that well. Do yourself a favor and buy a set of 2 - 4 microfiber cleaning cloths the next time you run out of paper towel. They work even better than paper and are as good as new after a quick trip through the laundry.
Dish Towels - Same deal. Get yourself a big old pile of inexpensive dish towels and use them to dry spills on the floor, clean up messy counter tops, even dry dishes now and then. You really, really don't need paper towels (or at least not so many). I promise.
Newspaper Seedling Potter - If you like to garden, this little gadget is a great buy. It helps you fold old newspaper (and junk mail flyers) into seedling pots! The paper dissolves shortly after being planted so you don't even have to worry about popping the little cuties out of their shell when it's time to put them in the ground.
Paper Shopping Bags - We keep a stash of paper shopping bags handy for collecting recyclables in our home. When collection day comes we can empty the bags into our bin and toss them along with the rest if they've become slimy or stinky. They also make great scrap paper for craft projects, food photos, and even baking paper in a pinch.
Stuff for the Kitchen
Bee's Wrap - I just started using this stuff and am in love! I tried making my own once upon a time and was less than impressed with the result. These folks have somehow cracked the code though, and developed a great alternative to plastic wrap for everyday use.
Deal Alert: Try the MightyFix for only $3 and get 2 sheets of Bee's Wrap for your first month with promo code BEESFIX2016
Silicone Bowl Covers - Another awesome alternative to plastic wrap, these silicone covers suction down to fit a variety of bowl sizes. It doesn't help much if you are trying to cover a square casserole, but if you have an abundance of round serving and prep bowls these are pretty cool. They do feel a bit spendy - but you may find that you don't need all that many in your stash to replace occasional plastic wrap usage.
Glass Food Storage Containers - Hands down, the best investment I have made in my kitchen. For some reason, even the nicest plastic food storage containers I buy eventually crack apart or disappear. I'm pretty sure there is a special spot in the Bermuda Triangle just for Gladware. I purchased two sets of Pyrex food storage containers two years ago and am yet to lose a single piece. (Knock on wood.) That was definitely money well spent.
Grocery Bags - Here in Austin we have a ban on plastic shopping bags so re-usable totes are pretty essential. Even before that law passed we had a good-sized stash going. I feel like I'm showered with re-usable totes pretty regularly, but there are only a handful that I actually cherish. My sturdy canvas totes are the cream of my grocery bag crop and are never-ever lent out or left behind like their shoddy polyester brethren. I also keep a tiny folded shopping bag in my purse on the regular. That helps save me in those dippy times that I inevitably forget to bring one of my million totes to the store.
Snack Bags - While I don't use these little bags as much as I expected to, they do come in handy whenever I need to collect goldfish crackers or stash a sandwich in something more portable (and less breakable)
Snack / Lunch Containers - While I definitely prefer glass to plastic when it comes to food storage, I am not quite ready to trust my toddler with a glass lunch box. Stainless steel boxes have caught my eye, but I am yet to come to terms with spending that much on a lunch box. For now, my little C packs his PB&J in small Sistema containers.
Silicone Baking Mats - Another superhero in my kitchen, my Silpat mats have been put through their paces. While my Mom guards her Silpats from savory endeavors (hers are just used for baking sweets) I use mine for just about everything. After about six years of vigorous use they are a little grimy, and they have a slice here and there, but overall are going strong. These will replace aluminum foil over your pans while cooking savory foods and can also replace parchment paper for most baked goods. And if you buy a good brand, they will last a very very long time.
Cloth Napkins - Not only will you be saving trees from becoming tissue paper, you will get to feel fancy at every meal! Cloth napkins are a simple addition that will make any kitchen feel just a bit more cozy and environmentally conscious. If the price of cloth napkins seems ridiculous or intimidating, try building your stash at thrift stores or even making your own!
Mason Jars, Lids, and Adapters - Mason jars are an essential (even if hopelessly trendy) part of a sustainable kitchen. They can be used as food storage, drink cups, vessels for homemade bath and body products, and of course, pickling and preserving. Their versatility is increased with the help of re-usable plastic lids, drink adapters, and some helpful DIY mason jar hacks.
Cloth Diapers - Cloth Diapering is probably the biggest opportunity for new parents to save money. Investing in a high quality set of cloth diapers may feel expensive while making the initial purchase, but it can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in the long run. Plus, you'll be keeping a small mountain of plastic from ending up in the landfill. Thanks to the COHI Cloth Network you can do even more for greater good while investing in cloth diapers. COHI helps mamas and babies in some of the most dangerous places on Earth. Read their story here - and have some tissues handy.
Cloth Baby Wipes - Another big money saver and something that is really not very inconvenient if you are already cloth diapering. You can make your own cloth baby wipes very easily, or buy them in bundles to use again and again.
Milk Freezer Trays - Plastic pouches can be a big saver for freezing expressed breastmilk, but they are not always a necessity. Re-usable ice cube trays allow you to freeze the milk and then save the cubes in any container you like. This method may not, however, be preferable if you are donating to a milk bank or trying to keep track of a high volume of milk, keep your frozen milk separated by pump, etc. There are definitely times when the little disposable baggies can be the better choice.
Re-usable Food Pouches - I don't know if it is all little children, or just mine, but kids love food in pouches. I love being able to hand him something he can enjoy without a lot of mess, but I really don't love the idea of throwing away pouch after pouch. The waste factor really bugs me. Luckily, there are tons of options for reusable pouches. I have tried a few different kinds, and while I would prefer to love the pouches made from silicone, they don't go over as well with my son (or with my patience) as the plastic types.
I shared a tasty recipe for slow cooked apple butter on Sofab Foods. This super simple recipe infuses classic apple pie spices into one of my very favorite homemade preserves. Visit Sofab Food for the recipe!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #thetalkofthetable #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.
There is a time and a place for excess. Having someone special over for dinner or celebrating holidays with family and friends. These are not the times for quinoa or superfoods. These are the times for cream, parmesan and pasta. These are the evenings when you set aside the spring water and crack open a bottle of wine instead.
The recipes I reach for on special occasions are meant to delight and indulge the people I love. I don't just want to feed the crowd around my table. I want to hear them say "mmmmm". I want them to clean their plates and dream about that amazing meal for weeks to come. There is nothing more rewarding to someone who loves to cook and to feed people than being asked for a repeat on the next holiday.
This recipe is one of those meals that brings my loved ones back again and again. At home, we simply refer to this dish as Lemon Spaghetti. It's something I tend to whip up when I want to dote on people. You can top it with almost any kind of meat or seafood, but my favorite thing to use, by far, is a big fat pile of gulf shrimp.
I've never tried using lobster or scallops, but I have a strong suspicion that either of those things would be out of this world. Grilled chicken is also delicious on this pasta, and is a great option for more casual dinners or for a crowd that isn't as fond of seafood. If you are feeding vegetarians, just top the dish with any kind of hearty roasted vegetable. Peppers, eggplants, or zucchini would all be perfect.
Creamy pasta and seafood go very well with a chilled glass of chardonnay. Clos du Bois Chardonnay is a favorite at our house, so I was delighted to pair it with this dish. This bright and refreshing white wine has a low-medium oak flavor with a mildly sweet and fruit-forward flavor. It's oak flavor is well balanced and not at all overwhelming. The flavor and value of Clos du Bois Chardonnay makes it a super approachable wine that you can enjoy at special occasions or as an everyday house wine.
When it comes to making pasta-focused dishes it stands to figure that your choice in brands of pasta is an important one. Barilla, who I have partnered with for this post, happens to be the #1 choice for packaged pasta in Italy! If it's good enough for Italy, it's good enough for us. Barilla is a brand I reach for often. Simple ingredients, consistent quality, and a reasonable price point are all big wins when it comes to pasta. Barilla is a good fit for all three.
Lemon Scampi with Gulf Shrimp and Roasted BroccoliA quick and easy breakfast bowl made with sweet potato, spinach, avocado, and egg.
- 3 cups fresh broccoli florets,
- 1 pound fresh gulf shrimp
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt, as needed
- black pepper, as needed
- 1 pound Barilla Angel Hair Pasta
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ white onion, minced
- 1 cup heavy cream, divided
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cream cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
- 4 lemon wedges
- Preheat oven to 450F. Toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon black or crushed red pepper. Roast on baking sheet for 20 minutes.
- Add a hefty pinch of salt to a large pot of water. Heat on stovetop over high heat, covered, until it comes to a rolling boil. Add pasta. Stir. Boil for 5 minutes before draining and rinsing with cold water. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, peel and devein shrimp. (Instructions here.) Toss with ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
- Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the pan is sizzling hot, place shrimp in pan. Cook shrimp 2 minutes, flip over, cook 2 more minutes. Remove shrimp to dish and set aside.
- Add 2 more tablespoons butter to pan along with garlic and onion. Cover, and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until onions clear.
- Remove cover. Add heavy cream and bring to simmer over medium heat. Whisk in cream cheese, then add remaining ½ cup heavy cream. Bring back to simmer and slowly whisk in grated parmesan. Whisk until cheese melts completely (about 2 minutes).
- Turn off heat. Whisk in lemon juice. Toss pasta into sauce.
- Divide pasta between 4 dishes. Top with broccoli, shrimp, and wedge of lemon. Lemon should be squeezed over pasta right before eating.
What are your favorite recipes to feed friends and family? Do you have a special dish that keeps them coming back for more? I'd love to hear what you are cooking up.
Need some inspiration for your next big meal? Visit The Talk of the Table to discover even more delicious ways to pair Barilla Pasta and Clos du Bois wines. For even more ideas, check out Barilla and Clos du Bois on Pinterest!
If you're looking to kick sugary or gluten-heavy breakfasts to the curb I encourage you to consider the sweet potato bowl. Slightly starchy root veggies provide a deeply satisfying base for a morning meal that is both hearty and delicious - especially with the help of few flavorful accoutrements.
For me, breakfast has long been a challenging meal. I grew up reaching for bagels or bowls of cereal, and even after spending my adulthood surrounded by brilliant food people I still struggle with finding ways to get away from that morning carb habit. It wasn't until I started leaning on sweet potatoes that I really got into a healthier breakfast groove.
It isn't always easy to set aside the time to make (or even eat!) a hot breakfast, but I almost always feel better when I do. I've managed to streamline the process a bit by cheating with frozen veggies, but you can make this even better by throwing some fresh kale into the steamer or roasting your own sweet potatoes ahead of time. Try swapping out kale for any other green vegetable. Chard, spinach, or asparagus would be great.
The sweet potatoes could also be replaced with another root veggie. Beets, turnips, or red potatoes would all be delicious ways to mix this recipe up. If frying an egg in the morning turns out to be too big a hassle, try using hard-boiled eggs instead or swapping the egg for a quicker pre-cooked protein like tofu, black beans, or grilled chicken.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl
Makes one big serving
- 1 cup sweet potato, peeled, diced, and roasted (recipe here)
- 1/2 cup spinach, steamed
- 1/2 cup avocado, diced
- 1 egg, fried
- Optional garnish: lime juice, sriracha sauce, soy sauce, or Japanese mayo
- Prepare the sweet potato and spinach ahead of time in large batches. You can roast your own sweet potatoes at 350F for about an hour and steam your own spinach over simmering water for about 2 minutes. If available, you can use frozen pre-cooked sweet potato and spinach instead.
- When you are ready to eat, quickly heat the sweet potato and spinach in a microwave or toaster oven.
- Meanwhile, fry up a fresh egg (directions here) and dice up half an avocado.
- Throw it all together in a bowl and top with whatever garnishes you like. My personal favorite combination is lime, soy sauce, and a splash of hot sauce.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #NewWayToSparkle #CollectiveBias
There is something special about kicking up one's heals with a glass full of something sweet and bubbly. For those who choose to forego the typical fizzy libations the holiday season can present somewhat of a challenge. Creative soft drinks, like the recipe I'm sharing today, are a great way to include guests of all ages and all beverage preferences to participate in the revelry of holiday parties, social gatherings, and simple celebrations.
It's a new way to sparkle.
This recipe combines Lime flavored DASANI® Sparkling with a sweet and tart homemade cranberry lime sorbetto. DASANI® Sparkling has a mild natural flavor, plenty of peppy carbonation, and most importantly for this recipe, no added sugar. That gives you the ability to modify the drink to your own taste as far as sweetness goes. Add as much or as little sorbetto as you please to craft a quick custom mocktail that is light, refreshing, and completely party-worthy.
I've included a recipe for handmade sorbetto but store bought sorbetto or sorbet will work nicely too. Try making this recipe your own by using a different flavor of sorbetto or another flavor of DASANI® Sparkling.
Cranberry Lime Sorbetto
Makes about 3 cups
- 1 10-oz (284g) bag frozen whole cranberries
- 4 cups water, divided
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 cup sugar
- Combine cranberries with 3 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove cranberries and cooking liquid from saucepan and set aside to cool.
- Add remaining 1 cup water and sugar to saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, stir, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Let ingredients cool for about 15 minutes. Place cranberries with cooking liquid in blender and puree for 2 minutes, or until smooth.
- Push pureed cranberries through fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and solid portions. Discard solids and combine liquid with water and sugar mixture (simple syrup).
- Chill mixture in refrigerator for at least one hour before pouring into ice cream maker. Churn 45 minutes, or according to machine directions.
- Freeze churned sorbetto for at least 4 hours before using/serving.
Cranberry Lime Sorbetto Fizz
Makes two small servings
- 2-4 scoops cranberry lime sorbetto
- 1 12-ounce can DASANI® Sparkling Lime
- 2 slices lime, for garnish (optional)
- 6 fresh cranberries, for garnish (optional)
- Scoop 1 or 2 scoops cranberry lime sorbetto into highball glasses. 1 scoop will lend mild sweetness. Add 2 for a sweeter drink.
- Pour 6 ounces DASANI® Sparkling Lime into each glass.
- Garnish with lime and cranberries. Serve immediately.
I purchased the ingredients for this recipe at my local Target. You can find plenty of flavors of DASANI® Sparkling in their soft drink section. Dasani recently added a 20-ounce can of DASANI® Sparkling to their line which you'll find over near the checkout. That's the perfect size for grabbing on your way out the door.
C and I spend quite a lot of time at Target these days. Being able to make one stop to pick up groceries, go clothes shopping, or even scope out art supplies is pretty key to our existence right now. It helps that C loves exploring the store too - so it isn't a battle to get him to come with me.
Getting him to leave the toy section? That's another story.
Have fun with your mocktails! I hope this recipe will help make your celebrations a little sweeter! You can find even more fun recipes using DASANI® Sparkling here.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SamsClubMag #CollectiveBias
People, it's really happening. Fall is here!
I am so ready. I've long been a summer person, but this year I spent most of the dog days here in Texas hunkered down inside my house with the air conditioning on. Maybe I was depressed - or just burnt out on sunshine or 100+ degree temperatures. Either way, I feel the fog lifting with every dropping degree and I couldn't be happier. There is nothing like that first cool, crispy breath of autumn. Every year in Texas it seems to look the same - painted with a bright blue sky and enjoyed by rolling down the car windows for the first time in forever.
Speaking of cool crispy things, how about apples? They are pretty much the quintessential autumn food as far as I'm concerned. I've been going a little crazy with them lately and I'm not even close to letting it go. This afternoon I put together a little something savory by pairing sweet apples with earthy mushrooms and savory miso. I don't want to make any promises, but these pork chops might just blow your mind.
They are moist and juicy, dripping with pan sauce, and stuffed with a blend of tasty autumn ingredients that couldn't be more seasonally appropriate.
This is one of those recipes that may sound a little more complicated than it actually is. The marinade, which is made simply by whisking together some key ingredients, doubles as a pan sauce when cooked along with the pork chops. Finishing the pork chops in the oven helps to keep the meat tender and juicy. Try serving this delicious main dish with hearty brown rice and a roasted vegetable like acorn squash or sweet potato.
Apple Miso Pork Chops with Mushroom Stuffing A sweet and savory stuffed pork chop recipe made with fresh apples and mushrooms. Serves 2 Ingredients:
- 2 4-ounce thick cut boneless pork loin chops,
- 2 tablespoons white miso
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mirin (or white wine)
- 1 tablespoon roasted almond oil (or toasted sesame oil)
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1/3 cup sliced shallots
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup sliced apples
- 1/3 cup sliced scallions
- salt & pepper to taste
- cooking oil, as needed
- Whisk together miso paste, onion powder, soy sauce, vinegar, and mirin until smooth. Add the almond oil and whisk until well-blended. Add the apple cider last, and mix once more. This is the marinade.
- Place the pork chops flat on a cutting board and slice them parralel to the board to butterfly the meat. Cut into the meat all the way to the far edge, stopping just before cutting through. This will make a sort of pocket in the pork chop. Repeat with the second chop, then pound both pork chops with a mallet to tenderize them.
- Coat each pork chop in marinade, then pack them into a close-fitting container or plastic bag along with the remaining marinade. Let the chops sit, refrigerated, for at least one hour.
- Prep the stuffing by slicing your ingredients as thinly as possible, and setting each aside in its own separate bowl. When you pork chop has finished marinating, preheat the oven to 350F, and set a large skillet over the stove. Turn the burner on to medium-high heat. When the pan is sizzling hot, add a few teaspoons of cooking oil to coat the pan.
- Fry the shallots first, cooking them for 3-5 minutes, or until the soften and clear just a little. Remove them from the pan, add a little more oil, if needed, and begin frying the mushrooms. It's important not to crowd the mushrooms during this step, so if you are working with a smaller pan, try frying just half of the mushrooms at a time. Cook the mushrooms for about 2-3 minutes, just long enough to brown them a little.
- When all of the mushrooms are cooked, add them back to the pan along with the shallots and the apples. Cook everything for about 1 minute, just long enough to warm the apples. Turn the heat off, then add the scallions and season with a dash of salt and pepper. Toss everything together, then transfer to a bowl and wipe out the skillet.
- Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator. Pull them from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, and reserve the remainder of marinade for later. Stuff each pork chop with prepared stuffing as full as possible. You may have more stuffing than you need. the remainder can be served as a side. Just be careful not to cross-contaminate the stuffing while filling the raw chops. That means don't use any utensil to touch the stuffing that you also use to fill the pork chops. In other words, no double dipping!
- Turn the skillet back on to medium heat. When hot, add a few more teaspoons of oil to coat the skillet, then carefully place the stuffed chops into the pan. Cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes, then pour the remaining marinade over the top of the chops, flooding the pan with sauce.
- Turn off the stove burner and cover the skillet with a lid or with aluminum foil. Place the covered skillet into the oven and roast for 8 - 10 minutes, or until a thermometer shows the internal temperature of the stuffed chops as 165F.
- Transfer the pork chops to plates and spoon the cooked marinade from the bottom of the pan over the top of each pork chop. Serve immediately.
I shopped for the main ingredients for my recipe at Sam's Club. The shelves were bursting with fresh ingredients like crispy salad fixings and seasonal fruits and veggies. I was especially impressed with their prices on apples and pumpkins. I may have to make another trip soon to work on more autumn goodies.
Sam's Club can be a wonderful resource for whole ingredients and natural cooking. The food selection includes a great range of produce, meats, and even seafood. Buying main ingredients like these in bulk is actually a really practical way to make cooking at home easier.
I like to stock my freezer with bulk ingredients so that I always have the basics I need to throw together an easy dinner. Not having to run to the store for ingredients before every meal can help save you time, money, and precious mental energy.
Sam's Club has its own online lifestyle magazine called Healthy Living Made Simple. The magazine offers insight on everyday health questions, fitness tips, and recipes for healthy seasonal eating. This month's featured seasonal ingredient is the mushroom! You can find out what makes these delicious earthy little nuggets a health hero in Healthy Living Made Simple's latest Superfood Spotlight.
Sam's Club also offers in-club health screenings for members on the second Saturday of EVERY month. The next screening will take place on October 8. (Check with your local Sam's Club for more details on this program.) Sam's Club offers hearing and vision services, a pharmacy, over the counter medications, and a great selection of basic ingredients for healthy cooking - all great resources for your healthy lifestyle.
Do you shop in bulk for fresh foods or natural pantry ingredients? Do you have any tricks to share for using up fresh produce quickly or keeping large purchases fresh longer? Shower us with your wisdom in the comments below.