Friday, January 27, 2012

Pork Loin with Broccoli and Carrots

My new favorite recipe from guess who... Marcella! Can she do no wrong? You have a little pork loin? You like carrots and broccoli, because who doesn't? You can make this!! Just chop up a few vegetables, then cover the pot and go for a jog for 20 minutes. Voila.

But first, the news.

Salt is an amazing seasoning. It enhances food flavors, and we are born to love it. Which is precisely why food manufacturers put it in EVERYTHING. Do you ever feel like going to the grocery store is a game of who can outwit who? The customer or the food marketers? A good example of marketing influence can be found in this very interesting podcast about lard.

My point is, a lot of salt can lead to high blood pressure. And high blood pressure, WILL lead to heart disease, and kidney failure. Many people whose kidneys no longer function have to sit through dialysis three times a week for three hours at a time while their blood is filtered through a machine. Sound like science fiction? The hardest part is, they have an impossibly restrictive diet, which cuts out practically whole food groups. All because of high blood pressure.

So I implore you, gentle reader, to continue reading. Here are a few Salt tips:
1. Your taste buds can be trained to prefer less salt on your food. Try really taking time to taste your food before you sprinkle.
2. Avoid canned vegetables and canned soups, unless they are low sodium.
3. Try adding salt at the table instead of during cooking.
4. Avoid a lot of processed meats: bacon, ham, salami, sausage, hot dogs.
5. Watch your snacks: get unsalted versions of snacks like nuts, crackers, popcorn, pretzels, cookies.
6. Check every food label!

How to check the label:
The Calories and the Sodium should be the same, or the sodium should be less. So if the Calories are 100, the sodium should be around 100 or less. My favorite example is Cup of Noodles: the calories are 296 and the sodium is 1434. That is a whole day's worth of sodium.

Fun Fact: Did you know that bread has more sodium(salt) than potato chips? Since the salt is on the outside of the chip, whereas it is baked into the bread, you can taste the salt more.

Pork Loin with Carrots and Broccoli
Adapted from Marcella Cucina
1 pound of pork loin, cut into strips similar in length to the vegetables
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup of white flour
3 bunches broccoli, trimmed of any woody skin on the stem, and cut into strips
2-3 large carrots, cut into strips
1/2 cup dry white wine

Toss the pork in the flour.

Heat up the olive oil over medium to high heat in a pot, deep enough to fit all the ingredients. Toss in the garlic and cook for a minute. Add in the pork and brown on both sides. Add in chopped vegetables. (You can add the stem of the broccoli and the bushy tops or just the stem. Both ways are good.) Stir the contents of the pot. Add the white wine, let cook for a few seconds, then cover, turn down to low and set the timer for 20 minutes. 

After 20 minutes, add a few grindings of black pepper. I don't think this needs any salt, but you may want to add a sprinkle at the table. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wake Up Little Bloggy (N'ice Cream)

I don't like giving up much. I am also a terrible procrastinator. Which is why my little bloggy here is still alive. It has just been dormant- much like my fig tree out back. In fact my fig tree looks dead, but I am looking forward to fig jam and fig newtons this summer, and I am looking forward to sharing all my new experiences. Ever since my last post, I have been working in the cardiac unit, and honestly it's hard to hunch over medical charts for 8 hours, then come home and hunch over the computer. But why am I going to go to the effort of baking my own bran flakes, and rolling out my own wonton wrappers if not to record it. It will make it so much easier for that lucky journalist to write up my biography one day.

The recipe I am posting today has a terrible picture. But that is only because I couldn't stop eating it long enough to get a good one. And that is testament enough. Sean actually made this one up, and I am very proud of him. It is a good use for those frozen bananas you keep in the freezer to make banana bread for the church bake sale, and its a whole lot healthier.

N'ice Cream (It's not ice cream--or is it?)

1 frozen banana
1 handful frozen blueberries
Nonfat milk, or any other milk substitute

Get out your stick(immersion) blender and blend away. And if you don't have one(its a good investment) you can use your blender, but it won't be so nice and thick because you will have to add more milk.