As it turns out I am not so good at the “food” blogging side of our adventure. I disclose this little fact because people always ask me for my recipes. Another confession…I don’t have any recipes and am horrible at it. I love, love, love to read recipes. Seriously, I could sit on Pinterest for hours and read away. I buy cookbooks to read recipes, even better is borrowing someone else’s cookbooks! I always give them back, I just like reading recipes. I can count on one hand the number of recipes I’ve followed. I mostly learned how to cook from a wonderful lady named Libby and she was a southern gal and just threw stuff together – it was always wonderful. I guess I get it from her and being a science person the ratios are in my head.
About two months ago I was diagnosed with celiac disease, while incredibly thankful for an answer to my health issues it meant a change in life. I have been a huge “whole food” advocate for many years, simply took out processed food from our diets. But there are many gluten laden items I loved. I guess in a way it was a good thing I was so sick because it made cutting out gluten a bit easier. I am so thankful my husband has decided to gluten free with me, at least at home, it makes it a lot easier! The research on celiac and gluten intolerance is staggering, not something to ignore.
So, last week I made Pan Seared Pork Chops – one of my husband’s favorite things. He asked me to make the “ones we had a couple weeks ago” sure honey…what were they?? I don’t remember. He doesn’t remember. At 10:30pm I think “oh, it must be the balsamic vinegar ones.” I get busy making the marinade while he sleeps. In the morning, he tells me it was pork chops with white wine and shallots…ah, okay how do you now remember that? He shows me the Facebook post – now why didn’t I think to check there. Well, too bad, tonight you get balsamic vinegar pork chops because they are already marinading. This is how it goes in my little world.
Here is HOW I made dinner…I am doing my best with amounts. Seriously, you are not going to mess anything up in either recipe by “eyeballing” if you think it needs more or less of something. Really, it will be okay!
Pan Seared Pork Chops with Balsamic Reduction
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup tamari (soy sauce if you can have gluten)
1/4 cup (gluten free) Worcestershire sauce
2-3 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp chopped garlic
dash of red pepper
handful of basil leave torn up
Put 3 or 4 pork chops (we like the thicker chops) in a a ziplock bag with the marinade. I usually put it in the night before but as long as it has a few hours it should be fine. Turn it a couple times while it is in the fridge.
Take pork chops out of the fridge at least an hour before you are ready to cook them (leave in the bag).
Heat a couple tablespoons of oil (I usually use avocado and olive oil) in a good quality skillet (I use a cast iron). Make sure the oil is HOT and then put the pork chops in and discard the marinade. Sear about 3-4 minutes on each side. Your goal is a nice seared look – don’t check it a lot just let it go for a the four minutes. Remove the pork chops and tent on a plate with foil or another plate. Leaving the pan on medium heat add about 1/4 cup of white wine and 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and scrape all those little bits off the pan. Let it simmer down till it is reduced by half. I added some mushrooms because they needed to be used up. Place the pork chops back in the pan on low heat just to bring it all to the same temperature. Enjoy!!
Sweet Potato Pasta with Cashew Sauce
If you don’t have a spiralizer what on earth are you waiting for???? I love mine and use it all the time. I hear you can use a peeler to do it but that sounds like a lot of work to me. They aren’t that expensive and if you buy it at Bed, Bath, & Beyond you can use a coupon 🙂
3-4 sweet potatoes spiralized ( I used the medium thickness this time but you could use any of the settings)
1 bag of spinach, cleaned
3/4 – 1 cup of cashews (best to use plain, not salted)
1/2 – 3/4 cup of water
2-4 cloves of roasted garlic
dash of white pepper and salt
Soak the cashews in water – water needs to cover it. Soak at least a couple of hours, longer yields creamier. Rinse and drain cashews. In a good blender, combine cashews, water (start with 1/2 cup), garlic (if you want to use raw garlic start with 1 clove!), salt and pepper. Blend well, taste and see. If you use the roasted garlic it should have a nice garlic flavor, if you used raw and it is too bitter add a tsp of sugar. If it is too thick add more water, I like it on the thicker side.
In a large pan heat a tbsp or two of oil (good time to use coconut oil but any will do). Add sweet potatoes and toss in pan for few minutes being sure all get to the bottom of the pan. Depending on how much you have it may take 6-8 minutes. Add spinach, it should wilt quickly. Remove from heat and toss in the cashew sauce. Enjoy!
If you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask…like I said I just cook, not so good with the whole recipe thing. Anyone want to write recipes for me????