Try some new recipes this spring

Spring traditionally brings with it a sense of renewal.

This can mean trying a new recipe, learning something new and, of course, opening up the windows and letting the fresh air in.

The winter decor can be packed away and the pastel pillows and throws are on the sofa and beds, while the dining table centrepiece is fresh-cut yellow tulips. Speaking of yellow, it is the time of year that lemons start to flavour our menus. When life gives you lemons, why not try cookies.

Instant Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderlion

I am learning about using my new Instant Pot. I have tried a few entrees and love the flavour and the speed of cooking.

I can start a traditional slow-roasted meal at 5 p.m. and have it on the table at 6 p.m. I grew up with the stovetop pressure cooker clicking away in the kitchen. At times it seemed like the steam was going to take the lid right off. The new version of the pressure cooker seems safe; just remember to read the instructions carefully. Once you get on to it, there are many exceptional recipes to try. Start with this glazed pork tenderloin.

  • 1-2 pork tenderloins, completely thawed (one large or two small-medium pork tenderloins) (1 -1 1/2 lb./ 500 to 750 mL each)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil 30 mL
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder or 1 large finely minced garlic clove 5 mL
  • 2 tsp. dried Italian herb blend or Italian spice mix of your choice (I did not have an Italian mix but used a combination of oregano, thyme and basil) 10 mL
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce 60 mL
  • 1 c. brown sugar 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar 125 mL
  • 1 c. water 250 mL
  • 2 tbsp. (30 mL) corn starch, plus 4 tbsp. (60 mL)cold water

Plug in the pressure cooker and set to sauté. Coat the tenderloins with oil. Then season with salt and pepper to taste, Italian mix and garlic powder, making sure to cover all sides.

Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and water. Set aside.

Place the tenderloins in the heated pot to sear, turning over every one to two minutes until browned on all sides. The lid stays off when in sauté mode.

Once the meat is browned, add the prepared sauce mix to the pot. Put the lid on in the locked position with the steam valve closed. Set to pressure cook or manual for 13 minutes.

When the cooking time is up, allow to stand for five minutes, then turn the steam valve to the venting position and remove lid once float valve drops down or all the steam is released. Once opened, place the pork loin on to a cutting board and set aside. Tent until slicing.

In a measuring cup, combine the cornstarch and water until dissolved. Switch the pressure cooker to soup setting (lid will stay off). Once the remaining cooking juices are boiling, stir in the corn starch/water mix until thickened to a glaze. Turn off the pressure cooker.

Slice tenderloins, then serve with balsamic glaze drizzled over the top. There will be a generous amount of glaze. Extra glaze can be stored in a jar in the fridge.

Notes:
An alternative way of roasting would be to place the oiled and seasoned meat into an oven at 375 F (190 C) for 35-40 minutes. If roasting in the oven you will prepare the glaze in a saucepan on the stove while the meat is roasting. The water amount will have to be adjusted to two-thirds cup( 150 mL) instead of one cup (250 mL) added to the vinegar.

Serve with stovetop rice, which can be prepared while the Instant Pot is cooking the pork dish.

You can substitute thawed large chicken breasts for the pork tenderloin. Equivalent would be about four large or six medium to small chicken pieces. Source: adapted from www.lecremedelacrumb.com

Sautéed cabbage and carrots

I learned to stir this up from my Ukrainian mother-in-law, who was an exceptional cook, and never followed a recipe exactly, but rather relied on her taste buds. It is delicious served with the above pork recipe and rice. Quick and nutritious.

  • 3 tbsp. butter 45 mL
  • 2 c. sliced cabbage 500 mL
  • 2 c. sliced purplecabbage 500 mL
  • 1/2 of a medium-sized red onion, sliced 1/2
  • 1 c. grated carrot 250 mL
  • Dash of sugar and a dash of salt to taste

Heat a skillet on the stovetop. Add the butter to melt. Once melted, add the vegetables, sugar and salt. Sauté until soft and tender, over medium heat (too hot will brown the vegetables). This takes eight to 10 minutes.

Best simple tossed green salad

Serve this salad instead of a warm vegetable or as an accompaniment.

  • 5 c. loosely packed mixed greens or any favourite lettuce such as romaine 1.25 L
  • 2 tbsp. shelledsunflower seeds 30 mL
  • 1/4 c. crumbled bacon orbacon bits 60 mL
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced 1/4
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced 1

Dressing:

  • 1/4 c. dijon mustard 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. honey 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. apple cidervinegar 60 mL
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper 1 mL
  • 1/4 c. extra virginolive oil 60 mL

Place all of the dressing ingredients in a jar. Seal tightly and shake to combine.

In a large serving bowl, combine mixed greens, sunflower seeds, bacon, red onions, cucumbers. Just before serving add the prepared dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately. Serves four to six. Source: www.lecremedelacrumb.com

Lemon crinkle cookies

These cookies will satisfy anybody’s sweet cravings. Serve as a snack with coffee or tea, or as a dessert with a fruit bowl or some creamy high protein yogurt.

  • 1/2 c. butter softened 125 mL
  • 1 c. sugar 250 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 2 mL
  • 1 whole egg 1
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest 5 mL
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 15 mL
  • 1 1/2 c. flour(spoon the flour into the measuring cup and then level with a knife, no packing) 375 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 1 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1 mL
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda .5 mL
  • 1/2 c. icing sugar 125 mL

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Grease baking sheets or cover with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice until well combined.

In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Gradually stir the dry ingredient mix into the creamed mix until just combined. If your dough is sticky, chill for about 30 minutes to make rolling easier.

Once the dough is ready, cover a large plate with the icing sugar. Roll a heaping spoonful of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for nine to 11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies do not have a shine to the top. Remove from oven and cool. Makes about two dozen cookies.

Note: If you bake with a non-stick dark baking sheet, reduce baking time by about two minutes. Source: www.laurenslatest.com

Jodie Mirosovsky is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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