Monthly Archives: May 2008

Pork and Beans..Modified

Lucky you…I have a whole meal for you today!

Jason and I were trying to figure out what to do with the pork we bought on sale this week (we usually always buy whatever meat is on sale and then base our meals off of it) and we were inspired by a meal his parents made for us when we came home a few weekends ago; they grilled pork chops with a honey glaze and had an apple and raisin chutney. Something about apples, maple syrup, and pork just always works.

This dish has a variety of nutrients. Jason’s only critique is that it could use a little more diversity in the color, which I agree with. This dish has tons of protein, fiber, iron, vitamin A, and B vitamins. Enjoy!

If you make this recipe, be sure to start the barley right away, since it takes about 45 minutes total.


We bought fresh pork ribs from the store and grilled them on a charcoal grill. Prior to grilling, we glazed them with a maple honey mustard glaze (see recipe below). Jason also basted them with this while they were grilling. Be careful; the glaze can cause the outside to burn, to limit the number of times you have to flip the pork if you are going to baste them each time you flip them. We used a meat thermometer to make sure the pork didn’t dry out (make sure to cook it to 160F).

Maple Honey Mustard Glaze


  • 1 TBSP mayo (I like to use to the real stuff, because it has less additives and a little can go a long way)
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup (again, I like to use the real, pure maple syrup; it is a little more expensive, but we use maple syrup so rarely that the cost difference is not a big deal for how much better the flavor is)
  • 2 TBSP honey Dijon mustard


  • Whisk mayo and mustard together until well blended. Whisk in the maple syrup until a uniform sauce is created. Add more or less of any ingredient, as needed.

Fruited Sweet Potato Topping


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 small Fuji apples
  • 1/8 cup pecans, broken
  • 1/8 cup cranberries
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • Wash the sweet potatoes and apples, but leave the skins on.
  • Slice sweet potatoes into circles, starting at the small end and working towards the middle. I also like to turn it around about 1/3 of the way and start at the other end, working towards the middle. This seems to help with cutting when it gets lopsided.
  • Heat the oil on medium heat in a large skillet; then add the sweet potatoes and cover. By covering the pan, the steam can help cook the sweet potatoes.
  • Stir and flip frequently to prevent the sweet potatoes from burning.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooking, slice and core the apples. I cut the apple in to 4, take out the core and then cut each fourth into 3 more slices. I then cut each slice (you can do more than one at a time) into 3 chunks.
  • Once the sweet potatoes have browned slightly and are getting soft, add the apples. Continue to stir periodically.
  • Once the apples are golden and soft, all the cranberries, pecans, and spices. Cover the pan. Turn down the heat to simmer or off completely.

Eat as a side or as a topping for the pork or barley.

I used pearl barley, which takes 35 – 45 minutes to cook. Add 1 part barley to 3 parts water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and cover to cook for 35-45 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed and the barley is tender. If the water is not absorbed but the barley is tender, you can empty into a strainer.

Eat plain or top with the sweet potato mixture, maple honey mustard sauce, or plain old butter, salt, and pepper.

Sweet and Spicy Bean Salad (aka Cal’s Bean Salad)
This is my grandpa’s (Cal Bellmore) bean recipe.


  • 1 can of red beans
  • 1 can of black-eyed peas
  • 1 can of great pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (you can cook before adding to make milder)
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper


  1. Stir beans, cranberries and onion together in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, stir the remaining ingredients together. Pour over the bean blend and mix well.
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Posted by on May 17, 2008 in Beans, Pork


Mega Omega

There is so much buzz about Omega 3, I figured I would post something on it. I learned a lot about this in my undergrad, so I do not have a specific source to cite; however, if you would like a source that backs up what I am writing, let me know and I will find one for you ASAP!

The form of Omega 3 that has shown to be the most beneficial, the long chain version (EPA and DHA), is only found in fish. While the plant form (found in flax seed) is beneficial, it is only the short chain version and it is difficult for our bodies to convert it to this long chain version. Because of this, there have been increased recommendations for fish consumption; fatty fish in particular. If you want to learn more about DHA, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) has published a fact sheet on it that can be found at this web address:

Jason loves fish and I am learning to like it as well, so I have been experimenting with different dishes. One of Jason’s favorite classic dishes is Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole. While I have tried to like tuna, I am not there yet, so I personally did not try this dish. However, Jason ate the entire casserole in 4 sittings, so I am pretty sure it was a hit! While this dish is a little higher in calories, pairing a resonable portion size with a side salad will provide adequate nutrients without overdoing the calories (I would reccomend getting 6-8 servings from this casserole dish).

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole
This dish contains:
-Tuna (great source of omega 3 fatty acids)
-Whole wheat noodles and whole grain bread crumbs (good source of fiber and B vitamins)
-Peas (good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and carotenoids)
-Skim milk and cheese (good source of calcium and vitamin D)
  • 3 cups of medium whole wheat elbow noodles
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups skim milk
  • 12oz can of chunk or albacore tuna, drained
  • 1 cup of part-skim mozzarella or low-fat milk cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs


  • Preheat over to 375F
  • Cook noodles according to the directions on the package; drain noodles and pour into a greased, 1.5 quart casserole dish.
  • For the sauce, you will make a traditional white sauce: melt the butter in the pan and cook onions. Add flour and any desired seasonings (salt, pepper, Italian, etc…). Once the fat and starch are completely Incorporated, remove from heat and slowly add the milk, continuously stirring to preventing lumps from forming. Once incorporated, return to heat and stir to thicken for 1-3 minutes. This is a traditional white sauce (you could use this for Alfredo or any cream sauce you may like to make; just add the necessary seasonings).
  • Turn off heat and add cheese; stir until fully incorporated (now you have a traditional cheese sauce…great for dipping chips in!).
  • Add peas and tuna to the sauce and stir until evenly distributed.
  • Add the sauce to the noodles and mix completely.
  • Top with bread crumbs and any additional seasoning desired.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes, or until bread crumbs are a light golden brown and the center is fully heated. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*original recipe derived from (with multiple alterations).

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Posted by on May 12, 2008 in Casserole, Fish


The Experience of Eating

I am a firm believer that eating should be an enjoyable experience and that all foods can fit in a healthy diet in moderation. In fact, those who restrict themselves actually tend to be more overweight, have higher levels of body dissatisfaction, and are more concerned with their appearance (1). With that said, I am going to start this blog by posting recipes of delicious (according to my husband) meals I have made with the respective recipe. Life has been busy, so I will try to keep up with this as much as possible. I am hoping to post more nutrition facts and information once the semester is over and things simmer down a little.

The first recipe for the blog is from a good friend of mine, Sarah Jadin. It is called Farmer Tomato pie and is a delicous, pizza-like dish. This recipe is great to use in the fall when tomatoes are in season-if you grow your own tomatoes, you often have so many you do not know what to do with them and if you do not grow your own, the tomatoes are often very inexpensive at your local farmer’s market or grocery store. This dinner is loaded with lycopene, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin D, and fiber!

Farmer’s Tomato Pie
  • 1/2 package of pre-made, folded, unbaked pie crust, or your own homemade pie crust (we made a potato-wheat crust because we had potatoes to use up…see recipe below)
  • 1.5 cups of shredded cheese (we used part-skim mozzarella, feta, and Colby-jack)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 TBSP of dried bread crumbs (we didn’t use these, because we forgot!)
  • 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup of halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup of cooked onions (we added this…it wasn’t in the original recipe)


  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Unfold pie crust and roll into a 12″ circle. Place in a 9″ quiche dish or pie pan (we used a cake pan because wanted A LOT of filling).
  3. Line the pastry with a double thickness of foil and bake for 8 minutes; remove the foil and bake for 4-5 more minutes. Remove from the oven.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 375F and sprinkle 1/3 cup of cheese over the pie shell.
  5. Top with 1/3 of the tomatoes, 1/3 of the basil (and other seasonings/onions, if desired) 1/3 of the cheeses.
  6. Sprinkle with 2 tsp of the breadcrumbs and repeat step 5 until the pie is full.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the tomatoes and cheese are starting to brown.
  8. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Potato Pie Crust (original recipe source, see 2 below)


  • 1 cup of mashed potatoes, cooled to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • 2 TBSP of ground flax seed meal
  • 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 TBSP of water (more if needed)
  • optional: 1 TBSP Italian seasoning


  1. Whip potatoes and oil together, using a fork.
  2. Mix the flax, flour, baking powder, and salt and then add to the potato mixture.
  3. Blend the mixture, but do not overwork; if the mixture is dry, sprinkle with water.
  4. Roll the dough out on waxed paper.
  5. Bake as instructed by the recipe it is being used for.

I hope you enjoy this lycopene, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin D, and fiber rich dinner!!


1. Gingras J, Fitzpatrick J, McCargar L. Body image of chronic dieters: Lowered appearance evaluation and body satisfaction. J Amer Diet Assoc. 2004;104:1589-1592.

2.Orignial Recipe found at Recipe Source: Modifications were done to the recipe.