Need an elegant but easy meal idea? Try these two which are favorites on my table.... and in our tummies. They are easy, quick to prepare, and healthy for all diet lifestyles.
Root Beer-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes
Make an impression with an easy dinner that's as healthy as it is delicious. With only 21 grams of carb and 6 grams of fat per serving, you can enjoy this fantastic meal totally guilt-free.
1 pound pork tenderloin
1 cup diet root beer
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
1 pound peeled, cubed sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon canola oil
Nonstick cooking spray
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl combine root beer, vinegar, soy sauce, and crushed pepper, if desired. Place the pork in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour half of the root beer mixture over the pork. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Refrigerate remaining root beer mixture until needed.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet, drizzle with the oil and toss to coat well. Arrange potatoes in a single layer, pushing potatoes to the sides slightly to make room for the pork tenderloin.
Remove the pork from the marinade, discarding marinade. Pat pork dry with paper towels. Lightly coat a very large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook pork over medium-high heat 3 minutes, turn and cook 3 minutes or until browned. Place pork in center of potatoes on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender and pork is slightly pink in center (155 degrees F), stirring sweet potatoes once halfway through roasting time.
Meanwhile, add the remaining root beer mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to release any browned bits. Boil 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced to 2 tablespoons liquid, stirring frequently. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
Place the pork on a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the potatoes and toss to combine. Cover with foil to keep warm while pork stands. Drizzle the sauce evenly over the pork slices. Makes 4 (3-ounces pork and 1/2 cup sweet potatoes)
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 249 cal., 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 74 mg chol., 589 mg sodium, 21 g carb. (2 g fiber, 7 g sugars), 26 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Starch (d.e): 1.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 3
Tarragon Scallops on Asparagus Spears
The next time you're in the mood for seafood, don't break your back or the bank making a complicated meal. Try this easy recipe that comes together in just 30 minutes. Plus, most of the ingredients can be found in your pantry! I have also made this with shrimp, and once with a swordfish steak which I cut up into scallop sized cubes before cooking; it was delicious! So, use your imagination with this simple and elegant meal treat.
1 1/4 pounds fresh or frozen sea scallops
1 cup water
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed
2 medium lemons
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil spread
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Thaw scallops, if frozen; set aside. Bring water to boil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add the asparagus, return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until tender crisp. Drain well, place on a serving platter, cover lightly to keep warm.
Cut one of the lemons in wedges. Finely shred 1 teaspoon peel from the remaining lemon. Squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from the lemon.
Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle scallops with black pepper and salt.
Wipe the skillet dry. Heat oil over medium heat. Working in two batches, cook the scallops 3 minutes, turn and cook 2 minutes more or until golden brown and just opaque in center. Place the cooked scallops atop the asparagus and keep warm.
Add the vegetable oil spread, lemon peel, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, and the tarragon to the skillet. Cook 1 minute to thicken slightly. Add remaining lemon juice, if desired. Drizzle over scallops. Serve with lemon wedges. Makes 4 (about 5 scallops and 7 asparagus spears each).
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 253 cal., 12 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 47 mg chol., 436 mg sodium, 14 g carb. (5 g fiber, 3 g sugars), 27 g pro. Diabetic Exchang: Other Carb (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 3.5; Vegetables (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 1.5