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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pinneaple-Jalapeño Salsa

I am back again with more easy recipes for you! This is a tasty and easy to make pork tenderloin that can be served as a main course or as a taco. The pineapple-jalapeño salsa is grilled with the pork and makes the perfect match. Jalapeños will not be hot if you remove the seeds; I like to use disposable gloves to seed and chop jalapeños since the seeds transfer the heat to your skin and you will feel it when you touch your eyes, nose, etc...

Now that spring is finally here (at least in Chicago) you may consider grilling outside!


Serves 4

1 large pork tenderloin
1/2 pineapple (chopped)
3 jalapeños (seeds removed and chopped)
3 spring onions (cut in half)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

If making tacos add:
Corn tortillas
Cotija cheese

Place pork tenderloin in a deep pan and cover with pineapple, jalapeños and spring onions. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (may refrigerate overnight).

Remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature (45 minutes-1 hour). Coat pork well with the olive oil.

Heat a large grill pan over high heat. Add the pork tenderloin and the pineapple-jalapeño salsa on the sides of the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes on each side stirring the salsa occasionally and adding more olive oil to the pork if needed. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes before cutting. Serve as a main course or in tacos with warm corn tortillas, avocado, cotija cheese, cilantro and lime wedges.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Warm Salad of Spring Vegetables with Buckwheat

Spring is here! I decided to shop for spring veggies to make a salad and this is what I found: snap peas, spring onions, sweet petite peppers and white asparagus. I wanted to add more consistency to the salad with the buckwheat. Because all of these ingredients are sweet I added some Greek feta cheese to provide contrast with its tangy flavor. I added some salt flakes, freshly ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a splash of cream of balsamic and here you have a healthy, colorful and delicious seasonal salad.

For those of you with dieting restrictions this salad is gluten-free and grain-free. As I explained in another post buckwheat is not related to wheat, nor it is a cereal grain. It is a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel, making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. The advantage of buckwheat is that it cooks in just 10 minutes!

Buckwheat before cooking

Snap peas are edible-pod peas, they are sweet and really tender. For this recipe I stir-fried them in a wok together with the spring onions. The white asparagus where boiled in salted water and added to the salad. The sweet peppers where roasted in the oven.

Now let's go with the recipe which is simple and healthy as usual! It will also make a great vegan salad by substituting the cheese for tofu.


Serves 4

1 cup buckwheat
3 spring onions (quartered)
1 lb snap peas
1 lb sweet petite pepper medley
1 bunch white asparagus
6 oz. feta cheese
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
cream of balsamic
salt and pepper

Sweet peppers: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Drizzle peppers with one tablespoon of olive oil and place in an oven safe sheet. Bake until tender and slightly browned (about 30 minutes).

Buckwheat: Put buckwheat and two cups of water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse over cold water.

Snap peas and spring onions: Heat a skillet or wok over high heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil, snap peas and spring onions. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

White asparagus: Peel the bottom two-thirds of each spear. Boil asparagus in salted water until tender (about 8-10 minutes)

Assemble buckwheat, veggies and feta cheese on a plate or bowl and drizzle with remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and cream of balsamic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm or room temperature.


Crab, Mango and Avocado Salad with Blood Orange Dressing

Here is a super easy to make salad, all you have to do is gather the ingredients, chop and shake your vinaigrette. This salad is colorful and very fresh; the vinaigrette is light and bright. I used curly endive because its bitter taste pairs really well with the sweet flavors of mango and avocado and the tangy vinaigrette.

It is very important to use a good quality crab for this salad: jumbo lump crabmeat will do very well. I know it is expensive but really worth it when crab is the absolute star of the salad. 

Blood oranges are in season from December to May so you still have time to make this great vinaigrette! There are plenty of inexpensive Mexican mangoes in grocery stores right now, they are super sweet when ripe. And avocados have become a year-round staple!


Serves 4

1 head of curly endive (washed and chopped)
1 avocado (peeled and cubed)
1 mango (peeled and cubed)
3-4 hearts of palm (sliced)
8 oz. jumbo lump crabmeat

For the vinaigrette:
juice of 2 blood oranges
juice of 1/2 lime
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Place curly endive in the bottom of a bowl. Add avocado, mango, hearts of palm and crab. 

In a medium bowl whisk together juices, mustard, honey, vinegar; slowly whisk in olive oil in a steady stream until combined; add salt and pepper to taste. If you prefer you can put all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with lid and shake it vigorously.

Pour vinaigrette over salad and serve right away.