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Weekday dinner inspiration: Apricot Pork Tenderloin and more

Mon | Good start

Hearty Whole-Wheat Fusilli With Swiss Chard, Garbanzo Beans and Bacon is a fine way to start the week. While the pasta is cooking, fry two pieces of chopped bacon in a large skillet. Remove bacon, leaving the rendered fat, and add 1 bunch of cleaned, chopped Swiss chard, 2 minced garlic cloves, a shake of red pepper flakes and 1 can of drained garbanzo beans. When chard has cooked to crisp-tender, add drained pasta plus 1 cup of the pasta water. Season with salt and pepper and stir in bacon bits.

Tues | Pop goes the jalapeno

I've been on this pepper popper kick lately, so this Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich is really appealing to me. To make it, mix softened cream cheese with a little mayonnaise and spread it on a ciabatta roll. Add a layer of pickled jalapeno and some shredded cheddar. Butter the outside of the roll and grill until lightly brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with ice-cold veggies and a ranch dressing dip. Lots of ice-cold liquid to quell the fire.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Carve the bird and serve it with a Green Goddess Tomato and Cucumber Salad. Buy a bottle or make the dressing yourself by blending half an avocado, 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon, 1 chopped scallion, and salt and pepper to taste. Need more fresh flavor on the table? Cook some California asparagus.

Thurs | Sweet and meat

When pork tenderloins are on sale, buy two, freeze one and use the other to make Apricot Pork Tenderloin (recipe below). Serve with rice mixed with sliced almonds and chopped parsley.

Fri | TGI-Pizza

Use a prebaked pizza shell to make Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza. To prepare, saute garlic in a bit of olive oil and add a box of thawed chopped spinach. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the spinach before adding. Season with salt and pepper. Top shell with spinach mixture and then scatter with shredded mozzarella and generous knobs of soft goat cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and a bit brown.

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Apricot Pork Tenderloin

1 pound pork tenderloin

½ teaspoon each salt, cracked pepper

¼ cup apricot preserves

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, pressed

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup water

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Pat tenderloin dry; rub with salt and pepper. Combine preserves, vinegar, garlic and mustard in a small bowl. Brush some of the mixture over tenderloin; reserve extra mixture.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown tenderloin on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add water, chopped fruit and any remaining apricot mixture to skillet. Cover; reduce heat to medium. Cook until thickest part of meat is pink, 10-15 minutes. Remove cover; raise heat slightly. Cook until pan juices reduce slightly, about 5 minutes. Thinly slice pork; top with fruit mixture.

Serves 4.

Nutrition information per serving: 307 calories, 12 gm fat, 3 gm saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 26 gm carbohydrates, 25 gm protein, 377 mg sodium, 1 gm fiber.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Weekday dinner inspiration: Apricot Pork Tenderloin and more 04/26/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 4:30am]
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