Saturday, November 17, 2012

Real Food: Quinoa Crusted Pork

Since becoming a mom, the time I have each day seems much more precious. I work part-time, watch my sister's daughter while she works part-time and oh yeah, one more thing...taking care of a baby is a time-suck!

Our usual evening routine on my working days is: get home around 6:45, feed Lucia, get Lucia ready for bed, put her to bed, make dinner for us. As you can see, dinner comes last (and late). I grew up eating dinner later so I really don't mind that (and Matt has taken a liking to it) but I am always looking for recipes that don't take much time or effort.  I love making dinner and I think it's an important part of our family life but because it comes at the end of my busy day, I have had to sacrifice some of my more time consuming recipes to the all powerful parenting gods. Real food please!

In general, I am a person that needs a plan. Matt likes to tease me for my inability to answer open questions. What's your favorite movie? My mind goes blank. Not only can I not think of my favorite movie, but I cannot think of a single movie or only the dumbest ones. The same thing happens when I go to the grocery store without a plan or list. I just go blank. No ideas, or just bad ones. I need ideas! And what better ideas than my own? The other day I hunkered down and wrote down like one million 'real food' ideas and I want to keep those ideas alive. I am going to attempt to jot down the ones that work (electronically, in the form of this blog) so that I can check back for ideas when I draw a blank.

I am not professing that these recipes are the fanciest but ones that work for our family in this phase we find ourselves in. The criteria for my 'real food': real good, real ingredients, real quick and real-istic.

So I'll start with the quinoa-crusted pork I made the other night...

The Recipe:
  • 3-4 boneless pork loins
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • a few dashes soy sauce
  • a few dashes siracha chile sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • Olive oil 

The Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season both sides of pork with salt and pepper. Make marinade: mix together barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, soy sauce and chile sauce. Cover pork in mixture and marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes (flipping pork half-way through).
  3. In the meantime, mix quinoa and breadcrumbs together. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Let pork come to room temp. for about 10 minutes.
  5. Heat some olive oil in a shallow, oven-proof saute pan.
  6. Shake the excess marinade off each piece of pork, cover all sides in quinoa mixture. Sear on med-high until browned, about 4 minutes. Sear other side for a few minutes.
  7. Finish cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until meat registers at 150 degrees.

(The marinade could be varied in many ways. I just made this one up from the stuff we had around. You could also add shredded Parmesan to the quinoa mixture. I served this with simple roasted potatoes and salad.)

It's not long now til we are in the next phase when Lucia will be eating dinner with us too and trying all the foods that we love!

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