Roasted Pork Tenderloin Salad with Braised Fennel and Radicchio

I’ve been making the most delicious fennel-rubbed pork tenderloin thanks to Ian Knauer for several years now. I usually serve it over a lemony orzo risotto, but this time I decided to adapt the recipe into a salad when I had a little radicchio on hand from an impulse buy at the grocery store. 

Okay, so it wasn’t really an impulse buy. While I didn’t know exactly what I would do with the radicchio when I bought it, I knew something would come to me.  And that it did! Amazingly, our annual fennel plant we planted last year rebounded, and produced several more delicious bulbs this year. We also had some pomegranates sitting in the fridge from a friend’s tree. It made perfect sense that these sweet flavors would make a delicious pairing with the bitter radicchio, and could also be a good lesson in food history for all of you.

Believe it or not, I actually love radicchio for its bitter flavors. Full disclosure: I had my DNA analyzed a couple years ago and my genes did give me away as a person who likes bitter foods, which explains why I like black coffee and IPA! But you know what? People who like bitter foods tend to be healthier overall. This is because there are more phytonutrients in bitter produce than mild produce, which is due to the fact that modern agriculture bred these phytonutrients out in favor of sweeter produce with even less fiber. 

So what does this mean for us in the modern era? It means that it’s beneficial to test our palate, and even if we don’t like the flavors the first or second time, we can become accustomed to them, or even pair them with other ingredients to balance the flavors. So the next time you bite into a bitter vegetable, like radicchio or arugula, instead of turning up your nose, maybe think how you can make it yummy! Pro tip: Look for vegetables rich in deep colors like purple, green, red, orange, and blue. These pigments are full of antioxidants that can fight cancer and prevent heart disease. For more reading on this, check out this interesting article in the New York Times.

Below is the recipe. I hope you make it and enjoy it! It’s not too bitter in the end. I promise.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin Salad with Braised Fennel and Radicchio

Adapted from Ian Knauer
Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 4


Pork Tenderloin
1 tsp fennel seeds
Kosher Salt
1 lb pork tenderloin
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch wedges (reserve 1/4 cup fronds)
2 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicen broth
2 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
1 tbsp lemon juice

Radicchio Salad
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
2 tsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 small head radicchio, trimmed, leaves torn
1 small bunch chives, cut into 2-inch lengths
Seeds from 1 small pomegranate
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350F with rack in the middle.

In a small skillet, toast fennel seeds over medium heat, bout 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Let cool. Roughly grind seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

Pat pork dry, then sprinkle with crushed fennel seeds and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. 

Heat oil in a 12-inch oven-proof heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown pork on all sides, about 6 minutes total, then transfer to a plate. Sauté garlic and fennel wedges in skillet until fennel is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add wine, stirring and scraping up brown bits, then stir in broth and butter. Nestle pork top of fennel and transfer skillet to oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145 to 150°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, transfer skillet to stovetop (handle will be hot) and boil, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated. Stir in lemon juice and reserved fennel fronds. Remove from heat.

In a large serving bowl, prepare dressing by whisking olive oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard, and seasoning with salt and pepper. Add 2 tbsp of the braising liquid from the skillet and torn radicchio. Toss to combine and let sit 5 minutes to soften. Add braised fennel wedges, chives, pomegranate seeds, and toss again to combine. 

Thinly slice pork and serve over radicchio salad. Garnish with parmesan cheese and enjoy!



Clam Linguine With Herb Broth and Clams


Clam linguine anyone? Because I’m pretty sure I can hear you saying “yes please!” Clams, like other shellfish, are made up of high quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Equally important, in my opinion, they’re also made up of B12! I like to include B12 often in my diet because it helps to keep my body energized, my nervous system healthy, and my metabolism in check. Plus, this pasta is just so simple and delicious, and can be prepared easily on a weeknight. I like serving it up with a small glass of white wine too!


Clam Linguine With Herb Broth and Clams

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 4

3 pounds Manila clams or small littleneck clams
4 tbsp butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
3 medium roma tomatoes, cored, chopped
3 cups dry white wine, such as Pino Grigio
1 cup clam juice
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano, or 2 tbsp dried
2 pinches of dried crushed red pepper
12 ounces linguine

Place clams in a colander and scrub under running water. Place in a bowl of cold water and set aside for 20 minutes.

Melt butter with olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add white wine and clam juice and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors.

Bring broth to boil. Add clams, cover, and cook until clams open, 3 to 5 minutes (discard any clams that do not open). Transfer clams to large bowl; tent with foil to keep warm.

Stir basil, parsley, oregano, and crushed red pepper into broth in pot. Add linguine. Boil until pasta is almost tender but still very firm to bite, stirring often and adding clam juice by tablespoonfuls if too dry. Return clams with any accumulated juices to pot. Cover and simmer until clams are heated through and pasta is tender but still firm to bite, about 3 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer linguine and clam mixture to large shallow platter and serve.

Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Kale, Mushrooms, Guanciale, & Fried Egg

It’s World Egg Day, so I was inspired to share one of my favorite eggy recipes with you! While eggs used to be a super big nutritional no-no due to their cholesterol content, research has found that they don’t raise your cholesterol one darn bit! I’m so excited to live in a time when eggs are no longer a guilty pleasure, but a delicious healthy pleasure instead! So what are you waiting for? Dive into this scrumptious recipe for World Egg Day and fill up on some high quality-protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep you healthy and satisfied.


Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Kale, Mushrooms, Guanciale, & Fried Egg

Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Serves 4

1 large spaghetti squash, about 2 lbs, halved and seeded
1/4 pound guanciale or bacon, chopped
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small serrano pepper, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small bunch kale, chopped
1.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 fried eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Season squash with salt and pepper. Set squash flesh-side down in a shallow baking pan and add about 1/4 inch of water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover squash with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until squash is fork tender. Shred squash with a fork. Keep warm and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the guanciale until crisp and brown. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels, leaving about 2 tbsp of fat in the pan. Add the shallots, garlic, serrano, and mushrooms and simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the mushrooms have browned. Add kale and broth. Simmer on medium heat for about 12-15 minutes, until most of the broth is absorbed and the kale is tender.

Return the bacon to the pan. Add white wine and cook until the liquid has completely evaporated. Add reserved shredded squash and stir, rewarming if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired and serve on plates topped with a fried egg!

A Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala + Indian-Spiced Kale with Chickpeas


Indian food is so delicious, but you might not deem it healthy and only save it for a cheat day. But I beg you to think differently! If you cook curry in your own kitchen (it’s not daunting at all), you can see exactly what’s going into it, and it can not only be diet friendly, but extremely healthy to boot. My recipe below uses little in the way of saturated fat, and only utilizes a few tablespoons of peanut oil and a little bit of yogurt. The results? Exceptional.

I hear the word “clean eats” being thrown around a lot, but I think it’s a term that is not well-defined and can be misleading. Some might think that “clean eats” is only eating raw, or only eating really basic foods, liked steamed chicken breast and broccoli.

I am here to tell you that this chicken tikka masala meets MY definition of clean eats. This is because the dish is well-balanced with protein, carbs, and fat, and has several spices and herbs that are super good for you. While turmeric and garlic are anti-inflammatory, cumin and cayenne may promote weight loss, fenugreek is rich in minerals, and garam masala is a wonderful mix of several extremely healthful spices. Studies have shown many spices used in Indian cuisine also serve as antioxidants and may play a role in cancer prevention.

So here is my recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. I’ve also paired it with a recipe from EatingWell that is a great way to use up any kale you have growing in your garden! Plus the garbanzos add just a little extra fiber to really round out this dish.


Chicken Tikka Masala

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

1.5 lbs chicken thighs, poked with a fork, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 tbsp Tandoori Paste
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
Peanut Oil
1 large onion, sliced
2-3 serrano chilis, deseeded, chopped
1″ piece of ginger, peeled, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 lb roma tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
5 cashews (optional)
4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Steamed basmati rice + mint chutney, to serve

Preheat oven to 400F.

Add chicken, tandoori paste, and Greek yogurt to a medium bowl and mix thoroughly. Transfer to refrigerator and let marinate for at least 20-30 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and browned.

Meanwhile, heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in a pan. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 4-6 minutes. Add serrano chilis, ginger, garlic, and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Then add turmeric, cayenne, garam masala, and sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, fenugreek, and cook for a few more minutes.

Transfer the sauce to a food processor with cashews and blend until very smooth.

Return sauce to the same pan and add 1 tbsp peanut oil. Add chicken and its juices to the pan to reheat. Stir in yogurt and 1/2 cup cilantro. Serve with mint chutney over rice.

Indian-Spiced Kale & Chickpeas

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1 1/2 pounds kale, ribs removed, coarsely chopped (see Tip)
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garam masala, (see Ingredient note)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale and cook, tossing with two large spoons, until bright green, about 1 minute. Add broth, coriander, cumin, garam masala and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in chickpeas; cover and cook until the chickpeas are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Poached Black Cod with Butter Beans and Brussels Sprouts


For those of us who love to cook, weekday meals are usually a bit quicker than those on the weekend. Because of that, we sometimes miss out on delicious flavors that take time to develop. Not so with this meal!

Whether you’ve had a hum-drum Monday at work or stayed late on a Thursday to finish up your busy day, you will have time to make this healthy omega-3 packed recipe. The fish broth that develops in ten minutes from poaching the fish is so delicate that you’ll feel as if you’re eating like royalty at a high-end restaurant, when in fact, you’ve saved a few dollars, and you’re sitting comfortably at your dinner table, which is no doubt one of the best places you can be!


Poached Black Cod with Butter Beans and Brussels Sprouts

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

1 tbsp lemon zest
4 cloves garlic
3 tbsp minced chives
4 6-oz black cod fillets
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
30 Brussels sprouts, quartered and cored
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can butter beans

In a small bowl, make a gremolata by stirring together lemon zest, garlic, and chives.

Pat the fillets dry and season with salt and pepper and half of the gremolata.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and saute for 1 minute. Add the Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and sautee until brussels sprouts turn bright green, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Carefully ladle fillets into broth. Cover the skillet and cook until fish is cooked through and the sprouts are tender, about 10 minutes.

While fish poaches, heat beans in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute. Lightly mash beans with the back of a fork and divide between deep plates or bowls. Serve fish over beans in a deep plate or bowl, and ladle in broth. Garnish with gremolata and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Mahi Mahi With Avocado-Chile Salsa & Tropical Rice


Healthy Mahi Mahi with Tropical Rice is surely a taste of paradise  Like my rhyme? Lol, regardless, here is a really, really good recipe that might take your taste buds on a trip to your favorite vacation spot for a little while.

Time: 45-60 Minutes
Serves 4

Mahi Mahi
4 Mahi Mahi fillets (about 1.5 pounds)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 ripe avocado, diced into ¼-inch chunks
2 plum tomatoes, diced into ¼-inch chunks
3/4 cup red onion, minced
1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1/2 cup cilantro, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Tropical Rice
1.5 cups Whole Grain Brown Rice
1 cup Light Coconut Milk
2 cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
8 ounces, Canned Pineapple
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
Toasted Coconut, for Garnish
Green Onions, chopped, for Garnish

Line an oven safe dish with foil. Add fish and marinade ingredients and let sit for 20-30 minutes before broiling. Preheat broiler.

While fish marinates, prepare salsa ingredients and add to a large mixing bowl. Mix and set aside.

Prepare tropical rice. You have two options here: First option: combine the first three ingredients in a rice cooker and cook until rice is tender. Second option: Combine rice, coconut milk, and broth in a medium pot or dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook covered for 30 minutes. Test the rice for doneness and add more liquid if not soft (note that brown rice tends to be a little al dente). Fluff rice with fork and add remaining ingredient, topping with toasted coconut and green onions.

While rice cooks, broil mahi mahi for 6-8 minutes per side.

Serve the fish with the salsa on top and tropical rice on the side.

Kale Mojito Smoothie


Per The Weather Channel, it’s quite temperate outside, but it sure isn’t at our house! We’re south-facing and the sun really hits hard for most of the day. That’s great for our garden, but not for my own hydration, so I really needed this refreshing smoothie to perk me up for my gym session in a couple hours.

To make it, I looked no further than my garden to grab the bulk of the ingredients: kale and mint. Then I added some local honey, citrus from the pantry, and finished it off with a little coconut water and ice. Yum! While just about everyone knows that kale is essentially a superfood, I’m not sure everyone knows how tasty and easy it is to blend up with just a few ingredients!


Kale Mojito Smoothie

Serves: 1-2
Time: 5 Minutes

2 medium kale leaves, stemmed
1/4 cup fresh mint, stemmed
Juice of 2-3 limes
1/2 tsp lime zest
2 tbsp honey
2/3 cup coconut water
2-3 cups ice cubes

Combine the first six ingredients in a blender. Then add ice on top. Blend on high until smooth.



The Real Deal Greek Salad


The best Greek Salad is something you can really only eat in Greece (or in my house)! My husband and I should know – that’s where we met studying abroad in 2003, and I think we ate our weight in salad on the island of Paros. The only Greek Salad I knew before visiting was pretty weak – limp lettuce, boring sliced black olives, a few chopped tomatoes, maybe some cucumbers, and crumbled feta cheese. It’s a shame that the salads I see in the US barely meet my standards for an appetizer, let alone a whole meal. But the Greeks know how to do it right. I suppose they’ve been making it a little longer than we have, so there’s that.

Anyway, Leanne Ely’s Saving Dinner has a great recipe for Greek Salad, but we’ve improved on it, and made it a little more authentic. Our salad is a full meal, providing around 500-600 calories depending on how big your block of cheese is. We’ve adapted the recipe below:


The Real Deal Greek Salad

Serves 2

1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 head butter lettuce leaves
3 tomatoes, sliced
12 Kalamata olives
1 English (seedless) cucumber, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 small red onion, sliced into thin rings
1 (100g) block Valbreso feta cheese

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.

Plate lettuce leaves and top with remaining salad ingredients, adding the cheese on top. Drizzle with dressing and serve with with whole grain rolls.



Spring Greens & Lima Bean Soup (The Fast Recipe)


I’ve been making a Spring Greens and Lima Bean Soup recipe from Epicurious for years. There’s nothing quite like it. The flavors and textures in this soup compliment each other so well from the umami of the chicken broth and tomato combination to the texture of the swiss chard and little bites of carrots and celery. When I have time, I prefer to go by the original Epicurious recipe and utilize dried heirloom lima beans. When I’ve forgotten to soak my beans overnight, I’ve made them a little faster with a quick boil and allow them to sit for an hour. But what about when I want this delicious soup in less than 45 minutes with little preparation or planning ahead? Below is my cheat to the original recipe.


Spring Greens and Lima Bean Soup

Serves 8

2 15-oz cans lima beans
2 bunches dandelion greens, Swiss chard, or mustard greens (1 1/2 pounds total), tough bottom stems removed, leaves cut into 2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
8 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add celery, carrots, and onion. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chard and beans and simmer for 5 more minutes to allow flavors to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover and let soup rest 15 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Serve with a side of crusty bread, drizzled on both sides with olive oil and toasted under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.



Wild Greens with Fried Eggs (+ My Cooking Journey)


1 1⁄4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
10 scallions, minced
1 3⁄4 lb. mixed greens, such as nettles, lamb’s-quarter, spinach, Swiss chard, and arugula, washed and minced
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1⁄2 cup chopped fennel fronds
6 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 eggs

Heat ½ cup oil in a 5-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add scallions and cook for 4 minutes. Add greens, parsley, mint, fennel, garlic, and ½ cup water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until greens are tender, 18–20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Heat ¾ cup oil in an 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, crack eggs into skillet; cook, constantly spooning oil over yolks, until yolks are just set, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a plate. Divide greens between plates and top each with a fried egg.

Diet “Assassinista’d” Baby

Wild Greens with Fried Eggs – A Case Study on the Ineptitude of Dieting

A low-fat diet would deter you from consuming this dish due to the fat content of the egg yolk and the use of olive oil. That’s a shame because if you followed this diet, you would be missing out on key nutrients provided by the higher fat ingredients (monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin D) and denying yourself a perfectly healthy brunch. In truth, you wouldn’t be successful with your diet in the long run because a low-fat diet, like most diets, is not successful over time. What’s more, low-fat diets are less effective than higher fat diets to keep off weight. Click HERE for source. What does this mean for my readers who are on diets or have tried and failed? You should stop dieting, pack in nutrient dense foods, and control your portions with mindfulness. Capish?