Tag Archives: pork

Greek Meatball Pitas with Mint Yogurt Sauce

I was reading an article the other day that said “Studies show that kids who eat the same meals as their parents are healthier”. It makes sense. Generally, when we prepare typical “kid-friendly” foods we sacrifice nutrition (chicken strips, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese), unless you’re making everything from scratch, which can be really time-consuming. I’m lucky in that my oldest child has always been a very open minded eater. He’ll try almost anything at least once, although he has a very specific list of three things he doesn’t like; tomatoes (unless in sauce or pizza), avocado and raisins. This is really unfortunate for his younger sister, who happens to be a wee bit pickier. Because my son is such a great eater, I’ve never really gotten in the habit of making “kid-friendly” meals. If I am making something that I feel might be a tough sell to the kids, I usually just make them the “broken down” version. A great example is Thai chicken curry. It’s super easy to set aside some cooked chicken, red peppers and rice for the kids without any effort. There are exceptions to this, of course. If we’re having friends or family over, I’ll make something super easy that all the kids will enjoy. After all, when it comes to food we all have a guilty pleasure or two (Or too many to count, in my case).

One of the more “kid-friendly” meals we do have fairly often is stuffed pitas (or wraps). I set out several different bowls of stuffing ideas and let them pick what they like. The only rule is that they have to choose at least three veggies.  We usually have chicken or chickpeas for some protein and I’ll make tzatziki (super easy). I think the kids like that they get to be in control a bit, it makes it sort of like Subway and my kids love Subway. This week, I decided that I wanted to try something a bit different, Greek meatballs. It worked out really well, except for my daughter, the youngest. With a bit of convincing, though (I stuck a toothpick in her meatballs and told her they were just like lollipops) I was able to get her to try a bite. She ultimately (with some bribery, I’m only human) ate two full meatballs. I’m calling it a great success!

Greek Meatballs

 

Meatballs:

1 Lbs ground beef

1 Lbs ground pork

1 egg

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp oregano

2 tsp cinnamon

1 lemon, zest only, juice reserved

salt and pepper to season

 

Sauce:

1 Cup plain greek yogurt

1 tbsp lemon juice (from above)

1/3 C mint leaves, chopped finely

 

Extras:

Pita bread

assorted veggies; I used lettuce, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, bell peppers

feta cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

First make the sauce. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice and mint. Mix well and set in the fridge until ready to serve.

In a small bowl, mix together the oregano, cinnamon, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Lightly beat the egg until the yolk and white are combined. In a large mixing bowl combine the beef, pork, egg, garlic and oregano mixture. Using your hands, mix it all together until well combined. Roll the mixture  into 1″ balls. Bake for 20 minutes.

Once the meatballs are cooked fill or top your pita with veggies, a few meatballs, sauce and some feta. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Pistachio Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Usually when I make Pork Tenderloin, I don’t really do a lot to it. I marinate it for a few hours in a mixture that includes orange juice and soy sauce and then roast it for about 45 minutes. I decided to change it up a bit last week and sneak in my new favourite spice, Cardamom (as well as a few other “C” spices). I think cardamom has such a distinct and delicious flavour. Not only that, but it has many health benefits as well. Being from the same family as ginger and turmeric, it has some anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to help with digestive issues. I’ve  also read that it can be used to help with coughs and colds, which I thought was interesting. In this recipe, I just added it to the sauce, but I think it really completes the dish.

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1 Lbs Pork Tenderloin

2/3 Cups Pistachios, shelled

1 Tbsp Coriander

2 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Caraway

 

Sauce:

2 Oranges, juice only

2 Tbsp Orange marmalade

1/2 tsp Ground Cardamom

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Finely chop pistachios. Mix together with cumin, coriander and caraway. Roll tenderloin in pistachio mixture until well coated. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until done. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

While the tenderloin is baking, whisk together orange juice, marmalade and cardamom in a small sauce pan. Over low heat simmer about 10 minutes until thickened. Serve over tenderloin.

Gyoza

Saturday night at our house is usually appetizer night. I love appetizers. I like that I can try a few different things instead of having to choose only one thing for dinner. This weekend I chose to make some gyoza and Szechuan beans. The kids chose peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, because kids are crazy like that. Here is the recipe for the gyoza. Traditionally, the edges are pleated or crimped, but that seemed like a lot of unnecessary work, so to save time I just folded the top of the wonton wrapper over the filling and then folded the corners in. That seemed to do the trick.  Once they’re pan fried, any extra can be frozen. This recipe will make about 50 gyoza.

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1/2 Lbs Ground Pork

100 g cooked shrimp, chopped

1 Tbsp Ginger, grated

2 Cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 Cup Carrot, grated

1/2 Cup cabbage, chopped

2 Green onions, sliced

2 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar

2 Tbsp Tamari

1 Pkg Wonton wrappers

1 Egg

In a medium mixing bowl, combine first 9 ingredients. Mix well. Cover and let the mixture rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

In a small bowl beat the egg with 2 Tbsp of water.

For each gyoza, place about 1 Tbsp of the mixture in the middle of the wonton wrapper. Brush the outer edges lightly with the egg wash. Fold the top of the wrapper down over the mixture and pinch the edges to seal.

Once the gyoza have all been formed, heat oil in a large pan. Place the gyoza in the pan being careful not to overcrowd them. Cook for about 8 minutes, flipping half way through, until the meat has been cooked through. Makes about 50.

Tourtiere

With the opening of the Olympics last week, I decided to host an opening ceremonies party. It only seemed natural that the food would celebrate several of the countries from around the world.  Also, naturally, the idea to have a party only came to me the day before. I will admit a few of the dishes were store bought. However, this little gem was created and devoured in my own kitchen. This recipe will make two tourtieres.

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp. cinnamon

2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp thyme

1/2 lbs ground pork

1/2 lbs ground beef

1 C carrots, diced

2 C potatoes, diced

1 1/2 C beef stock

Salt and pepper to taste

4 pie shells (store-bought)

1/2 C Maple Syrup

Pre bake 2 pie shells at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes until starting to sweat. Stir in Cinnamon, cloves and thyme. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes more. Add in the beef, pork, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Toss in the potatoes, carrots and beef stock. Stir and cover. Simmer for 10 -15 minutes until the veggies are tender-crisp. Remove from heat.

Remove the 2 unbaked pie shells from the tray and roll them out. These will be used as the top crust on the tourtiere.

Spoon meat mixture evenly between the pre-baked shells. Lay the rolled out pastry on top and crimp the edges. Brush the top with Maple Syrup. Place the pies back in the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or so, until the top is golden brown.

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