Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eating Down the Fridge: Day 2

This is embarrassing at this point. Why do I always think it's such a big deal to defrost meat ahead of time? What's my problem? Maybe ground meats take less time or something.

We ate all meals at home today. Dinner was (finally) the pacific rim pork recipe, which, although my oldest asked for thirds last time, tonight, it might as well have been worms. I also added the mystery fruit from Trader Joe's on the side for my husband and myself. I am trying hard to get my 5 fruits and vegetables a day and a new fruit seemed like a fun thing to try. It was a melogold, a pommelo derivative, described as tasting "like a grapefruit with the sugar already on." I wouldn't go that far but it was good. I peeled and ate mine; next time I will cut in half and eat with a spoon because the pulp separates from the pith super-easily. Definitely sweeter than a grapefruit, and a little less flavorful, too. At least this one was.

The recipe below was something I cut out of the Inquirer's Rush Hour Gourmet column last year. It's been a hit before and I keep meaning to check out the source cookbook. Maybe next work hiatus. Tonight, I used two of the sweet potatoes that were still (!) hanging around from the last CSA delivery and steamed them. Miracle: my younger one ate two of the dice and didn't gag on them. That was a bonus. We also served over white rice, since both boys suddenly regard brown rice as poison.

Rush Hour Gourmet by Bonnie S. Benwick of the Washington Post (of course)
Think of this lightly sauced pork-and-spinach mixture as the basis for several different meals The original recipe calls for it to be rolled inside thin "crepes" made from an egg substitute (1/2 cup to make 4 crepes). Provided the weeknight cook is up for it, however, the mixture could be served over steamed, diced sweet potato or brown rice; alongside stir-fried baby bok choy or snow peas and garlic; or wrapped inside warm flour tortillas or cool lettuce leaves.

Pacific Rim Pork
4 servings
3 large cloves garlic
1 1/4 lbs ground pork, preferably from the tenderloin (I used 1 lb and it was fine)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (thinking the kids would be eating it, I used less)
4 - 5 handfuls baby spinach leaves, washed (3 to 4 cups, packed)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 to 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon light brown sugar (optional) (I don't taste too much difference either way)

1. Finely chop the garlic; lightly grease a large skillet with nonstick cooking oil spray and place over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic, ground pork and red pepper flakes. Cook for 5 minutes, until no pink remains, stirring to break up clumps and distribute the seasoning. Transfer the pork to a plate while you wipe out the skillet.

2. Return the cooked pork to the skillet over meduim heat and add the spinach; cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the greens have just wilted.

3. Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch, water, and soy sauce in a small cup. Add to the pork-spinach mixture and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture has thickened slightly. Taste and add the brown sugar, if usign, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat; add to whichever plate preparation you've chosen and serve hot or warm.

-Adapted from The New Family Cookbook for People with Diabetes (Simon and Schuster, 2007)
Per serving: 410 calories, 35 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 27 grams fat, 123 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, no dietary fiber.

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