Pork with Roasted Tomato Salsa

Basically, this recipe from Steamy Kitchen.

Differences, based on what I had handy:

2 butterflied boneless pork pieces (loin? chop? I forget) and spicy brown mustard instead of Dijon. One Roma and 3 Campari tomatoes (which are smaller than Romas). Added 1/2 cup of corn to the salsa.

Differences, because I was too lazy to go look at the recipe*:

My salsa was tomatoes, corn, 2 green onions (white parts and small bit of green) basil, salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne. I cooked the tomatoes in a saute pan with a bit of olive oil and garlic then took the tomatoes out and added the corn (which was cooked on the cob then cut off earlier in the week) to get a little garlic infusion.

We ate this with whole wheat rolls and some fingerling potatoes (not pictured/ leftovers). It was quite tasty, even if I missed half the ingredients in the salsa.

*This, if anything, would justify having an iPad. Why? Because my laptop is a 17 inch wide-screen monster. With an iPad, I could just slip it behind a plastic cookbook cover (for protection) and conserve counter space but actually follow the recipe.

Summer Lovin’ Salad


It’s not summer yet, I know. In fact, I started this post while procrastinating on a trip to the backyard a certain someone in the house jumped the gun a bit and planted already in direct opposition to tonight’s frost advisory. I think most of what’s out there can handle the chill in the air but there are still some unplanted tomater plants that should be brought in for the night (where they are locked in the bathroom we have a plant muncher cat) 

It would be easy to forget about April lows in the 30s with the sunshine this afternoon and the beautiful colors of these tomatoes (from Canada!!) and bright green mint plus even some parsley from my own burgeoning herb garden. 

This recipe is from a special ‘magazine’ Meals Made Easy from Real Simple magazine, on newstands now1 now. I was able to locate the original recipe, here along with a ton of other chickpea recipes that share similarities. 

I had to make some slight modifications so this is my version. Also, I didn’t actually measure anything so consider the numbers approximations: 

Lemony Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes & Mint


1 15 ounce can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
3 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut in to wedges
1/3 to 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
5-6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, rough chopped (or more, if you can)
3/4 package fresh organic mint, leaves only, rough chopped
3 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2 pinches cumin


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine and let sit for 20-30 minutes to let flavors meld. Adjust salt & pepper if necessary. Or maybe add a bit more vinegar if yours is really lemony like mine. 


To go with, I also ‘roasted’ some carrots and parsnip with red onion based on a different recipe in the maga-book. 

2 carrots, some red onion (the rest of the half I didn’t use above) and 1 parsnip. Parsnip and carrot cut in to long thin “fries”, seasoned with maple garlic pepper salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil until smoke-hot, add onions, cook a few minutes then toss in parsnips and carrots. Allow parsnip to get some color, reduce heat to medium and place lid on pan and cook 15 minutes. Remove lid and cook until softened to your liking (this will also vary depending on how thick your slices of root are. 



1 I bought this magazine during a “quick” trip to Walgreens that turned in to spending $40. Clearly there is something about that store which induces such behavior- I only needed some inexpensive facial moisturizera and a thermometer yet I somehow spent almost fifty dollars! After going to the car, I realized that this ‘magazine’ was priced more like a cheap cookbook. I considering going right back in to return it but did not. And I’ve used it 4 times already, 3 successes and one quasi-success. 

Bonus Picture: Look, its me, the theoretically anonymous author! What, you don’t see me? That’s my face, right there in the spoon!

a Walgreens (and likely others) have gotten very crafty with their product placement. The fancy-schmancy $20 and up facial treatments are all in the middle section. The normal, no botox-in-a-bottle varieties are either on the top shelf or the bottom, forcing you crane your neck, stoop down and look all over for some low-price SPF 30 lotion for your face.

Meat and potatoes

Spring has sprung. And with spring comes after-work time spent lounging in the yard and grilling. Yesterday, I stayed in the yard listening to the loudest frogs ever, in our pond, until the mosquitoes came out. Overcast today so less time lounging but we still grilled.

Chris was in charge of that- he grilled a hunk o’ meat from Whole Foods (technically speaking it was a NY strip) which had been seasoned with salt, pepper and the ubiquitous maple sugar garlic pepper.

I was in charge of sides.

1. Fingerling potatoes with caramelized onions

2. Steamed asparagus with lemon and mustard sauce

Potatoes & Asparagus with mustardy-mayo


4-5 medium fingerlings, sliced in rounds
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
maple sugar garlic pepper

asparagus, trimmed of thick ends
lemon juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 pinches of onion powder


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil with 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat in a large pan. Add onions, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook until onions begin to brown and crisp up on the sides.

While onions are browning, put potatoes in boiling water. Cook until just tender. Remove from water, drain. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter to saute pan. Add potatoes, laying rounds flat so they can get crispy.

Meanwhile, add asparagus in a steamer insert to the pot of boiling water. Cook until greened up and cooked through- about 5 minutes for the thick stems we had tonight.

Combine 1 tablespoon mayo with 1 tablespoon smooth dijon mustard and the 2 teaspoons onion powder. Divide in to two cute serving cups (or dollop on the plate).

Garnish asparagus with freshly ground pepper and lemon juice. Serve with potatoes and onions and the grilled hunk o’ meat of your choice.

A Complete Meal

The frogs are so loud, we have the TV volume at least 3 ticks higher.

Artsy shot

Chicken Satay

I have been looking forward to making this since it was first posted at Runs with Spatula on the 15th. Trying to figure out the right night to have time to set the marinade up and let it do its job meant I had to put it off until today.  Totally worth the wait.

Daring Cooks: Pork Chicken Satay


  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, grated
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1 pound of chicken breasts, cut into thin strips

In a food processor or blender, dump in everything except the chicken and blend until smooth.
Cover chicken with marinade. You can place the pork into a bowl, cover/seal and chill, or place the whole lot of it into a ziplock bag, seal and chill.  If using wooden or bamboo skewers, soak your skewers in warm water for at least 20 minutes before preparing skewers.

Gently and slowly slide meat strips onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade.

Broil or grill a 3 – 4 minutes per side on a hot grill or grill pan or until the edges just start to char. Flip and cook another 3 – 4 minutes.

Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic-chili paste, or to taste (highly recommend at least this much)

Mix the brown sugar, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes and garlic-chili paste in a small bowl. Add soy sauce and lemon, mix well.  Over low heat, combine coconut milk, peanut butter and soy-lemon seasoning mix. Mix well, stir often.  All you’re doing is melting the peanut butter, so make your peanut sauce after you’ve made everything else in your meal, or make ahead of time and reheat.  Adjust seasoning as needed at this point.

I used chicken instead of the pork that Amy originally used. When I think satay, I think chicken. Plus, we had pork for dinner last night.

Chris’s verdict: home run, make this again*

Because I am incredibly lazy and because during the marinating time, I ran to the pharmacy which took too long and I got home after the MSU game started, I skipped skewering and just laid my strips out on to the foil for going under the broiler.

My other major change: I added more peanut butter after tasting. We use Simply Jif, a low salt/low sugar peanut butter. After melting, the sauce felt too thin and also not very peanutty. I think this might be due to the reduced salt along with the competition from the other strong flavors.

Served with shiitake mushrooms and bell pepper stir-fry (soy sauce, sesame oil and a dash of fish sauce) and rice seasoned with cardamom.

I imagine this sauce would go well with any protein. The vegetarians will just want to skip the fish sauce. I can’t offer any substitutes but I can say to not add more soy sauce. You may need to adjust your salt as fish sauce has a fair amount. I use low sodium soy sauce and didn’t any salt to any part of the dish.

*Lucky for Chris
, I had a whole extra chicken breast that I tossed in the marinade after dinner. He’ll have a nice treat tomorrow.

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Maple-Mustard Dressing

Tomorrow is my work holiday luncheon. Rather than pay $8, I signed up to bring a dish. I’ve been wanting to do a roasted vegetable dish since before Thanksgiving so I decided to make a salad.  Garnering inspiration from Eating Well and 101 Cookbooks, I came up with this salad.

1 1/2 lbs red skin potatoes, quartered
2 medium parsnips, cut in to equal sized chunks
1/2 bag baby carrots, halved
3 shallots, quartered
3 golden beets, scrubbed but kept whole
goat cheese crumbles
walnut oil (or canola, keep it mild)
maple syrup
3 tablespoons spicy mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper (optional: use cayenne pepper or combination)
2-3 tsp balsalmic vinegar or more as desired


Wash and cut vegetables so all are the same approximate size. I prepped each veggie separately and placed them in sections on 2 shallow pans. Toss vegetables with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast vegetables in 375 degree oven for 30 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. By keeping the vegetables separated on the pans, I was able to remove them as the finished. In my oven, the shallots and carrots finished first, then the parsnips, followed by the potatoes and beets.

As vegetables finish, add to a bowl. For the beets, you will need to remove the skins then cut in to quarters or eighths. Golden beets don’t bleed as much as regular ones so you could peel and slice first. When all vegetables are done, mix well and let cool to room temperature or refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make dressing, mix oil, mustard, vinegars, maple syrup, salt and pepper in a container and whisk or shake well to combine. Alternatively, you could mix all ingredients except oil in the bowl of a blender. Blend at medium speed and slowly drizzle oil in to create a creamy emulsion.
When ready to serve, toss vegetables with 1/4 cup dressing and top with goat cheese crumbles. Best served at room temperature or slightly warmed. I also think that this could be served warm/hot by heating the maple syrup, vinegar, seasonings and mustard over medium heat then combining with the oil right before serving, like a glaze-vinaigrette combination.

You will have leftover dressing- imagine the possibilities! I suspect that some of our leftovers will be reduced in to a lovely glaze for roasted pork loin. Store in the fridge until you decide.

I’ll try to add a picture here later, after its all ready to be presented at lunch. What I can tell you right now, is that my house smells good- maple syrup and roasted shallot smells are wonderful!