(6) Triple Red Pork Stew (Ragout Pebronata)

This recipe is a Sunday afternoon kind of recipe. It was quite labor intensive and oh my word, LOTS of dirty dishes. The serving was very hearty and the pork melts in your mouth!vThe flavor was great, but I’m not sure it’s one I’d repeat just because of the time it took. I served it with pasta as suggested, but I think it would be better over polenta, mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Triple Red Pork Stew (Ragout Pebronata)

CL Comments: Red wine, red peppers, and tomatoes join in this glorious Mediterranean mélange. Pasta or polenta would be welcome accompaniments. Prepare this stew up to three days ahead, refrigerate, and reheat to serve. You can also freeze it for up to a month.

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, January/February 2009
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup pasta and about 3/4 cup pork mixture)


3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed and cut into (2-inch) cubes
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups shiraz or other hearty red wine, divided
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut in strips (about 4 1/2 cups)
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 red bell peppers, cut in thin strips
4 cups hot cooked rigatoni pasta


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; sprinkle evenly over pork. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add half of pork to pan; sauté 4 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove pork from pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil and pork. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour to pan; sauté 1 minute or until flour browns, stirring constantly. Add 2 cups wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return pork to pan. Stir in broth; bring to a boil.

3. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until pork crushes easily between your finger and thumb, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. Remove pork from broth mixture using a slotted spoon. Bring broth mixture to a boil over high heat; cook until reduced to 1 1/2 cups (about 15 minutes). Return pork to broth mixture, and cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

4. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until starting to brown, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, tomatoes, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf; bring to a simmer. Cook 30 minutes or until the mixture is thick, stirring occasionally.

5. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bell peppers to pan; sauté 10 minutes or until wilted, stirring frequently. Increase heat to high. Add remaining 1 cup wine, and bring to a boil. Cook until reduced by half (about 7 minutes). Add tomato mixture to bell pepper mixture. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Discard parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir sauce into pork mixture, and simmer an additional 10 minutes so flavors blend. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Serve over pasta.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 543, Fat: 21.9g (sat 4.8g,mono 12g,poly 3.4g), Protein: 39.1g, Carbohydrate: 48.3g, Fiber: 5.9g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Iron: 4.7mg, Sodium: 567mg, Calcium: 65mg

(4) Dijon Vegetable Roast

Simple dinner tonight – roasted chicken and this vegetable roast. I was excited to get the chance to use some of the mustard we bought in Paris!! Different way to make roasted veggies, but very tasty. I skipped the breadcrumb step because I had the food processor tied up making baby food. I honestly don’t think the breadcrumbs were necessary.

Dijon Vegetable Roast

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Source: Cooking Light Magazine, March 2008

CL Comments: Dijon mustard and olives bring bold flavor to this side. Serve with lightly seasoned roast chicken, beef tenderloin, salmon, or tuna steaks

1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
5 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
5 teaspoons country-style Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges (about 8 ounces)
Cooking spray
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
12 pitted ripe olives, drained and halved (about 1/3 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Spread crumbs on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until golden.
3. Increase oven temperature to 450°.
4. Combine 4 teaspoons oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and rind in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.
5. Combine potatoes, onion, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Place potato mixture on a foil-lined jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and olives to pan. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add potato mixture to mustard mixture; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

CALORIES 175 (28% from fat); FAT 5.4g (sat 0.8g,mono 3.8g,poly 0.7g); IRON 1.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 22mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.9g; SODIUM 319mg; PROTEIN 3.7g; FIBER 2.6g

(3) Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins

Looking for a simple, but somewhat different side recipe, I ran across this one. It’s not rocket science, but it was a nice twist on the traditional garlicky sauteed spinach. The golden raisins gave a nice sweet bite in with the stronger flavors. I’ll definitely repeat this one!

Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins

Source: Cooking Light Magazine, August 2006
Yield: 4 servings (1/2 cup each)

CL Comments: This Spanish-inspired side dish is a sweet-savory combination of garlicky wilted spinach, buttery pine nuts, and golden raisins. One serving is a tasty way to pack in 114 milligrams of magnesium–about 25 percent of your daily needs.


1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 (9-oz) bags baby spinach
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 tsp pine nuts, toasted


1) Combine 1/2 cup boiling water and raisins; let stand 15 minutes or until raisins are plump. Drain.

2) Combine spinach and 2 Tablespoons water in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook 3 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring frequently. Remove from pan. Wipe pan with a paper towel.

3) Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add spinach, raisins, salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Stir in pine nuts.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 121 (23% from fat), Fat: 3.1g (sat 0.3g, mono 1.4, poly 1.1g), Protein: 3.9g, Carbohydrate 24.1g, Fiber: 6.7g, Cholesterol 0.0mg, Iron 4.5mg, Sodium 352mg, Calcium 100mg

(1) Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili

Well, we’re starting the new year off with a bang! Before Christmas, I had intentions to make this recipe but I just ran out of time. So instead of let the meat go to waste, I made the sausage and then put it in the freezer. That step was very handy when I decided to make this today!!

This soup had quite a kick!! If you don’t love spicy spicy stuff, cut the chipotles down to 2 instead of 3. The recipe says that it makes 6 servings at 1 3/4 cup each. I ended up with 8 servings at 2 cups each! Score! That cuts the nutritional information down to 296 cal, 8g fat, 26g protein, 30 carb, 10.5g fiber, 22mg chol, and 749mg of sodium! Much more manageable!

I served the soup with cornbread. Will definitely make this recipe again!

Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili

Yield: 6 servings (1 3/4 cup each) — I got 8 servings @ 2 cups each
Source: Cooking Light Magazine – January 2006


1 1/2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons dry red wine
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of kosher salt
3/4 pound lean ground pork
3/4 pound ground turkey breast

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced onion (about 2 medium)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced
4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
3 cups water
2 (14.5-ounce) cans no salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup very finely chopped cilantro, divided
Low-fat sour cream (optional)
Sliced green onions (optional)


1) To prepare sausage, combine first 12 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2) To prepare chili, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage mixture; cook 7 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add onion, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon garlic, 2 teaspoons oregano, and chiles; cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender.

3) Place 1 1/2 cups black beans and 1 cup broth in a food processor; process until smooth. Add puréed beans, remaining beans, remaining 2 cups broth, water, and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil.

4) Reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 45 minutes or until slightly thick. Stir in juice and cilantro. Ladle about 1 3/4 cups chili into each of 6 bowls. Garnish each serving with sour cream and sliced green onions, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories:395 (27% from fat), Fat: 11g (sat 2.9g,mono 6g,poly 2.1g), Protein: 35.3g, Carbohydrate: 40.4g, Fiber: 13.7g, Cholesterol: 78mg, Iron: 6mg, Sodium: 989mg, Calcium: 128mg

Broccoli w/Caramelized Shallots

The chopping and saute time was worth it for this side dish. It tastes rich, but it’s light! I will repeat this recipe!

Broccoli with Caramelized Shallots

Source: Eating Well Magazine January/February 1994
Yield: 4 servings

Despite the scorn of former presidents and children, broccoli is America’s second most popular green vegetable. Not only does it belong to the cancer-fighting cruciferous family, it is an excellent source of vitamins.

2 tablespoons walnut pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced shallots, thinly sliced (4-5 large shallots)
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bunch broccoli (1 1/2 lbs), cut into florets (5 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Place walnuts in a pie plate and toast in the oven 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. (Add a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture gets too dry.) Season with salt and pepper.
4. Meanwhile, cook broccoli in boiling salted water until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli and add to the shallots in the skillet; toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts.

Per serving: 117 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 16 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 5 g fiber; 123 mg sodium; 703 mg potassium.

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