Adventures of Eating with dReJ: healthy, cheap, delicious

Archive for April, 2012

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Spinach & Feta Pork Tenderloin Roll

Pork Roll Served with Brussels Sprouts & Mashed Potatoes

I’m a huge fan of pork tenderloin. It’s a lean meat  but has tons of flavor. Since the past few weekends have been nice, we’ve been on a “grilling” rampage so a pork tenderloin seemed like a good choice. Instead of just having a meat and potato kind of meal – we wanted to integrate some more vegetables. We belong to a fruits/veggie co-op so we had some fresh spinach to use this week. I’ll share a few pictures here and some general guidelines for putting this together. It was SUPER delicious, and reheated nicely for a bring to lunch meal. We picked two sides – mash potatoes and brussels sprouts – but you could easily trade out for 2 of your favorite sides!

What you need:
Fresh spinach (or thawed/drained frozen would work, too)
Garlic (to taste)
Feta (8oz package – look for the reduced fat kind!)
Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes
Pork Tenderloin – at our grocery store they have pre-packaged pork loin that are seasoned – we like the peppercorn & garlic seasoned one! It’s usually about 18oz

So add the spinach, garlic and a little EVOO to a pan and wilt the spinach, mixing in the seasonings (salt, pepper, oregano and red pepper flakes).

Almost ready!

Slice open the tenderloin so you can add the stuffing!

Put the spinach mixture on the meat and sprinkle the feta cheese on top

Roll the pork loin up carefully (see right). Use skewers to secure it before you grill/cook it!

We grilled ours - you want it to be cooked through to 140 degrees. Be sure to rotate it so it doesn't burn!

Once cooked - slice it up and it's ready to serve!

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Turkey Sausage Pasta Bake (easy, peesy!)

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Quick & Easy Pasta Bake

You are right, this does look delicious.

Lucky for you, it’s easy to make and we’re going to tell you how. We didn’t follow a recipe on this one, it’s straight out of the dReJ Original Recipe book. But it’s really just a healthy version of your standard pasta bake – so feel free to change up the ingredients to reflect your preferences.

What you’ll need:

Turkey or Chicken Sausage (we used hot Italian turkey sausages that they stock fresh in our grocery meat department). They usually come with about 5 links in a package.

1 package spinach (we thawed out a package of frozen spinach because it’s cheaper than fresh!)
1 small container (15 oz) of Fat Free Ricotta Cheese
4 servings of a whole wheat pasta noodle (we went with rotini)
1.5 cups (you can do more or less depending on your preferences ) 2% skim shredded Mozzarella cheese
Seasonings (we went with Salt & Pepper + some Italian ones like oregano, parsley, etc.

3/4 – 1 cup Low Sodium or Low Calorie Marinara Sauce – pick one that is not loaded with sodium, fat and sugar! Check your label!

What to do with all that stuff:

Cook up your sausages – you can do this on the stove or grill them, use your George Foreman, etc. Once they are cooked, slice them into thin bite size pieces.
Cook your pasta and drain, add the marina sauce and stir until coated.

Meanwhile, put the spinach (make sure you’ve drained it so it’s not wet if thawing), ricotta cheese, 1/2 of the shredded cheese and seasonings into a large bowl and mix it up. It will be a little hard to stir, but you want it to be pretty mixed up. Once you have accomplished that, add the sausage (a little at a time) until everything is mixed together.

Pull out a casserole dish (something that is 9×13 will work – but you can work with whatever you have) and spread the pasta/marinara into the casserole dish evenly. Spoon the spinach mixture on top. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top and bake for about 15-20 minutes at 375 or until it’s nice a bubbly.

We used a pretty big casserole dish, so when we cut it up, we actually had 2 thin layers. So when I put in our to-go containers for lunch, it sort of felt like lasagna because I stacked it. If you have a smaller casserole dish – you may end up with just one thick serving and that’s okay, too.

It all goes down the same way, anyway – right?

If you plan to bring this to work and heat up later, I recommend adding a tiny bit of water to the dish prior to microwaving it. It just helps everything stay good texture wise.

This meal was super easy to make, and took maybe a half hour total. You can make this dish healthier by using less cheese and leaner cuts of meat – or you can add on the  calories by doing the opposite. But since this is a healthy, cheap & delicious website, I won’t be encouraging that!

Enjoy!

Lunch @Work: Chicken & Broccoli Rice Bowl

We’re baaaaccckk! Today’s recipe is super simple. Not only is it easy to make, you can quickly change any of the ingredients to something you’d prefer.

Quick and easy for a work day lunch!

This is the recipe that inspired us from Cooking Light: Check it out!

So we didn’t really follow the recipe completely so here’s what we did:

What you’ll need to make 4 servings:

8oz. Chicken (you can buy it fresh and cook it up – we grilled ours) or you can make this SUPA easy and get a “ready to eat” grilled chicken from Tyson or something similar. If you aren’t sure what I mean – check this out. I used to buy these pre-made grilled chicken packages all the time to cut down on time and prep.

1 package of Broccoli – we just bought the bagged broccoli in the veggie section of the store. Ready to go!

1 onion – we went with a yellow onion

4 servings of instant brown rice (Like Uncle Ben’s)

2% shredded cheddar cheese

Then:
Cook up your chicken with your favorite seasonings – stay away from fatty sauces, try some cracked red pepper to spice it up!
Steam the broccoli (fill a deeper pan with some water and put the broccoli in it and turn on the heat to let it steam/cook) – chop it up into smaller bite size pieces
Saute your onions with just LITTLE bit of EVOO – MEASURE, you only need a teaspoon or two!
Cook your rice (instant rice takes about 8 minutes)

Mix everything together, add salt & pepper to taste and any other seasonings you may fancy.

Don’t like chicken? Try this with pork or beef. Don’t like broccoli? Swap out for a veggie you do enjoy.

I love these easy recipes because you can really do anything with them once you get the concept down! Plus, this is super simple to bring to work for a healthy lunch. Just microwave for 1-2 minutes, stir and enjoy.

 

 

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