Main Dishes, Pork, Recipes

Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year’s? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress… and it tastes even better! 

Disclaimer: This recipe was created for the Cape Cod Select Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge. Please follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I was sent free cranberries for recipe development purposes, but was in any other way compensated for my time, ingredients, etc. 

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

While I am not much of a “meat and potatoes” sort of girl, the one special cut of meat that I do appreciate is the pork tenderloin. Large hunks of meat tend to scare me a little bit. In college, my roomie and I always said that we would be “real adults” when we bought our own meat. We were joking around, but it’s sort of true… and then I married a man who loves his meat–so I had to get out of my comfort zone! Thankfully pork tenderloin, at least in my experience, is ridiculously simple and hard to mess up. Plus it tastes amazing! Pork tenderloin is incredibly versatile, and my recipe today combines lots of great winter flavors that the whole family is sure to love.

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

Normally, I make my pork tenderloin with some sort of marinade or sauce. And that’s true here…but I ALSO stuffed it, hassleback style, with cranberries and pears and goat cheese. MMMM! The cranberries and pears get all roasted and yummy–the perfect combination of tart and sweet–and when you add in the melty goat cheese, it’s just like a party on your plate! There’s nothing better! 🙂 For this recipe, I used Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries. These cranberries are utterly wonderful–and a great way to enjoy cranberries every season of the year. This was the first time I had used Cape Cod Select products and I was really impressed with their freshness and quality. Check ’em out at a store near you!

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

After the pork is done cooking, all the excess cranberries, pears, and juices from the meat aren’t going to go to waste–you can make a quick, savory cranberry sauce by pulsing everything together with an immersion blender or food processor. Spoon the savory sauce with the pork to keep it moist with every bite or use it as a dipping sauce. It’s in this sauce that the flavors of the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, rosemary, and cinnamon that was poured over the pork before cooking really comes through! The double dose of cranberry goodness is sure to spice up your pork and your dinner!

one year ago: No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
two years ago: Orange Spritz
three years ago: Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies
four years ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
five years ago: Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
six years ago: Cranberry Scones

Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese

  • Servings: 4-6
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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sea salt
  • 2 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 large pear, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until soft. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Evenly scatter half of the onions in the bottom of a roasting pan or other oven-safe dish. Place rest of the onions in a medium bowl.

Slice pork tenderloin by cutting 3/4 of the way through, approximately 1/2-1 inch apart. Place in pan.

Stuff each opening with 1 slice of pear and 5-6 cranberries. Place remaining pear slices and cranberries around the pork tenderloin.

Pour maple syrup over the onions in the bowl, then add Dijon mustard, rosemary, and cinnamon. Stir together, then season with pepper and salt to taste. Pour mixture over pork, then sprinkle with goat cheese.

Cook for 35-50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F and pork is no longer pink in the center [unless you prefer it rarer]. Pork takes about 15-20 minutes per pound to cook through, and I found it needed a little longer probably due to the pears and cranberries.

Transfer cooked pork to a serving platter and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Pour drippings from pan, including excess fruit/onions, to a medium bowl. Use an immersion blender to puree everything together into a chunky, savory cranberry sauce. Add a little water to thin if desired. You can also use a regular food processor. Serve savory cranberry sauce on the side and enjoy!

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Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads

Awesome Kale Salad

This kale salad is truly awesome. I mean, adding fried eggs and fried potatoes to kale makes it awesome, even if it sounds a little weird at first. You need to try this!

This kale salad is truly awesome. I mean, adding fried eggs and fried potatoes to kale makes it awesome, even if it sounds a little weird at first. You need to try this!

I’ve been making this kale salad pretty much non-stop since last July. Well, non-stop if you count the break from September to March. See, I found out in September that I was pregnant with Baby Volde and so I decided to nix fried eggs until the baby was born. I didn’t obsess over dietary stuff during pregnancy but uncooked eggs [not in cookie dough, mind you] kinda freak me out. But they’re delicious so I push through it for the joy, haha. And when springtime started coming and mama needed a good salad, I decided to live on the wild side and hope fried eggs didn’t make me sick. They didn’t, whew! But I’m not a doctor so if you’re pregnant or otherwise immunocompromised, proceed at your own risk. #disclosureover

Anyway, I love this salad for three reasons: 1) kale; 2) eggs; 3) potatoes. And also for two more: healthy and fried. Total opposites, I know… but kale is healthy… so are eggs and potatoes too. But they’re a little more unhealthy if you fry them… but the kale part takes away the guilt! That, and the potatoes are just pan-fried so that is mucho better than deep frying, right? Soooo, this salad is the BEST combination of healthy and fried, guilt free and delicious. Does that make sense to you? It makes sense in my head so I hope so!

This kale salad is truly awesome. I mean, adding fried eggs and fried potatoes to kale makes it awesome, even if it sounds a little weird at first. You need to try this!

You have to experience this salad to understand its greatness. At first Ben was skeptical. I mean, fried eggs on a salad? Bizarre. And, the runny egg part of the fried egg serves as the salad dressing. Another notch on the weird scale, but it works. Plus, the egg gives a little more staying power to the salad. Usually I have to have meat on a salad to make it filling, but not here. Though you could add bacon for some extra deliciousness. 🙂 Anyway you make it, you’re sure to love it!

Oh and before I go, I have to mention my silverware. Isn’t it so cool? I received a fork and spoon handstamped from Tattooed Silver, a great small business located in Ohio. Tattooed Silver is the business of a fellow Wittenberg University alum, and I’m excited that we started a lil partnership. You can find them on Instagram, Facebook, and Etsy. Her products are all so unique and fun, and would make great gifts too. 🙂

Enjoy!

one year ago: Cheesy Veggie Pasta
two years ago: Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes
three years ago: Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
four years ago: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
five years ago: Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
six years ago: Potato Soup

Awesome Kale Salad

  • Servings: 4
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Inspired by the best parts of these salads from Jenna’s Everything Blog and We Are Not Martha, with my own additions too 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey, if desired
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain dijon mustard, if desired
  • 4 medium potatoes – 1 per person
  • chili powder
  • dried oregano
  • garlic powder
  • 8 eggs – 2 per person
  • optional additions: diced avocado, crumbled feta, chopped bacon, etc.

Directions:

Wash and dry kale, then cut into thin strips taking care to remove the middle stems. Place in a large bowl and massage with several glugs of olive oil and the lemon juice until kale softens, then season with salt and pepper. If desired, drizzle honey and dijon mustard on top and toss/massage that in as well.

Meanwhile, dice potatoes into bite size pieces [1 per person]. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add some olive oil to the pan. When hot, reduce heat to medium and add potatoes. Season with a little salt, a lot of pepper, and some chili powder, garlic powder, and oregano. Saute, stirring frequently, for about 10-12 minutes until potatoes are crispy and cooked through.

When potatoes are finished, remove to another dish and cover with foil to retain heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and fry eggs as desired [2 per person].

Serve kale in a big bowl or plate. Top with potatoes and fried eggs, along with other desired additions. Enjoy!

Pasta, Recipes, Sides

SRC: Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad

This orzo pasta salad is filled with all of my favorite flavors… dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, basil, and garlic. Simple and sophisticated, this dish can fill all your summer party needs!

Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad | thepajamachef.com | #summer #tomatoes #salad #secretrecipeclub #healthy

Ben and I moved to a new house this spring. Though we’re still in Nashville, we are on the other side of town, and as such, have had to get used to new everything. New grocery stores, new commutes, new running paths(!!!), new neighbors… and a new farmer’s market. Our local market is only a couple years old, and as such, is still pretty small. BUT size does not equal quality. Quality > quantity, ya know? Last weekend at the market, I couldn’t resist ALL the lovely tomatoes that have started to pop up. They’re juicy and sweet and oh-s0-pretty. And what better dish to celebrate summer tomatoes than a pasta salad?

Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad | thepajamachef.com | #summer #tomatoes #salad #secretrecipeclub #healthy

This orzo and tomato pasta salad comes together, as its name implies, with a fantastic dijon-balsamic dressing. It’s funny, I found this recipe on Heather’s blog, Join Us, Pull Up a Chair. She’s my Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month of July… and her family didn’t care for the salad very much due to the tanginess of the dressing. But I made it anyway. HA! I read the recipe before the blog post so that explains it. And the dressing was tangy, for sure. I adjusted the proportions a little but the balsamic and dijon flavors are pretty prominent and strong. If the dressing is too tangy for your taste, add more extra virgin olive oil, or add some honey. Ben and I thought it was perfect, a great pairing with the sweet tomatoes and fresh basil. MMM!

Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad | thepajamachef.com | #summer #tomatoes #salad #secretrecipeclub #healthy

One of the reasons I love participating in the SRC is getting to check out the blogs of other foodies. There’s always SO many good recipes to choose from. Heather started her blog several years ago as way to organize all her recipes because they were taking over her office. I can relate to that! Some of the other recipes I found on her blog that I can’t wait to try include snickerdoodle biscotti, Kung Pao chickpeas, cranberry hootiecreeks [what an awesome name for a cookie!], and cranberry vanilla shortbread cookies. If any of those recipes sound up your alley, be sure to check out Heather’s blog! I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do. And don’t forget to make this dijon balsamic orzo salad, stat! Enjoy!

one year ago: Spicy Peanut Noodles with Kale and Edamame
two years ago: Ginger Banana Waffles
three years ago: Minty Asian Slaw
four years ago: Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Dijon Balsamic Orzo Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

slightly adapted from Join Us, Pull Up a Chair

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces orzo pasta [another small shape would work too]
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 – 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced [if you really like garlic… if not, use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder]
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade

Directions:

Cook orzo according to package directions. While orzo is cooking, toss tomatoes and chickpeas together in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, oregano, and garlic. When pasta is cooked, drain and then place in bowl with the tomatoes. Stir together, then pour dressing and toss to coat. Season with pepper to taste, then stir in basil or use as a garnish.

If the dressing is too tangy for your taste, add more extra virgin olive oil, or add some honey.

Salad tastes great warm, at room temperature, or cold. Also, it doubles easily! Add other veggies or some cheese if desired.

Click below for more recipes from this month’s edition of the Secret Recipe Club!

Main Dishes, Recipes, Reviews, Salads, Sides, Vegetables

#TripleSBites: Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas

This caesar salad, made with tender spring mix and hearty kale, is full of flavor and spice! A perfect starter to any meal.

Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas | thepajamachef.com #TripleSBItes

Welcome to #TripleSBites! For the next week, I’ll be sharing some fun, romantic recipes. Now, my definition of romantic might be a little nontraditional, but my husband LOVED every recipe I’m sharing so that works for me. 🙂 For more details about this week, and to enter the giveaway, go here now!

#TripleSBites | thepajamachef.com

To start things off, I thought I’d share a salad. Salads have a reputation of being a boring way to eat veggies, especially if they are just a side salad. They don’t have to be boring though! I think it’s all in the toppings and dressing! To set the stage for this caesar salad, I made a fresh dressing that is just out of this world… just lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil, and some seasoning. Simple and fresh, just how I like it. [The recipe is from Melissa D’Arabian’s new cookbook so you know it has to be good!!] After tossing the dressing with my greens of choice [this time, spring mix and kale], I added the star of the show: fried chickpeas. [And gigantic shreds of parmesan cheese. Ben was in charge of that, haha. :)]

Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas | thepajamachef.com #TripleSBItes

Now, for these fried chickpeas I used one of our sponsor products: Acala Farms Chili Cumin Oil. This oil is awesome! It’s an infused cottonseed oil and is slightly spicy, so it gives a great flavor to those chickpeas as you fry them up in a skillet. I also seasoned them with dried parsley so they’d look a little prettier and to cut that spice a bit. Acala Farms also sent me a Cilantro Oil to try and I can’t wait to play around with that!  If you don’t have time to fry up some chickpeas as a salad topper, did you know that you can buy crispy chickpeas that are kinda sorta the same thing?!? Another #TripleSBites sponsor is 2 Armadillos [what a fun name, btw!] and they make all sorts of flavored crispy chickpeas: rosemary, spicy cayenne, tomato basil, and cinnamon toast. So far, rosemary is my fave but I haven’t tried cinnamon toast yet so we will see! They’re perfect for a snack or to put on salad. I’m wondering about trying to bake with them too… as a crust or in granola or something?! Hmmmm… Since the package arrived the other night I just want to snack on them all. the. time! Who would’ve guessed chickpeas would be so tasty?! I truly loved the oil and the chickpeas, and don’t want my blog to read like an ad but simply must say… you need to try these products! I love buying from small businesses and really appreciate how the internet has made purchasing from smaller companies SO much easier. Hope you check them out! 2 Armadillos is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Acala Farms can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks to these great sponsors! 

Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas | thepajamachef.com #TripleSBItes

Well, that’s all I have today but be sure to come back later this week for more #TripleSBites recipes, and check out the linkup below for more recipes from other #TripleSBites gals! Happy Monday!

one year ago: Chili Relleno Casserole
two years ago: Baked Jalapeno Popper Ranch Dip
three years ago: Fried Eggs on Pesto-Parmesan Toast
four years ago: Mini Meatloaf

Caesar Salad with Fried Chickpeas

  • Servings: 2
  • Print

dressing recipe from Supermarket Healthy by Melissa D’Arabian

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Acala Farms Chili Cumin Oil
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained and patted dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 4 cups lettuce, kale, or spinach [I used half spring mix and half kale]
  • shaved parmesan

for dressing

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add chickpeas [make sure they are dry!]. Season with parsley and fry for 10-12 minutes, tossing occasionally and allowing all sides to get browned.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing. Whisk together lemon juice, dijon, and garlic. While whisking, pour in 1 tablespoon oil. Season with red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Add extra oil and/or water to thin as necessary.

Toss dressing with lettuce. Serve with shaved parmesan and fried chickpeas.

Check out these other yummy #TripleSBites recipes!

 

Disclosure: I received some infused cottonseed oil from Acala Farms and some chickpea samples from 2 Armadillos as part of my participation in #TripleSBites. I was not compensated in any way–for my time, to create a recipe, or to publish positive comments. I was not required to use these products as part of my recipe. My opinions are my own. 

 

 

Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Sides, Vegetables

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing

Last week was my spring break, and Ben and I took a quick four-day/three-night trip down to Cumberland Gap, TN.

Cumberland Gap Trip | The Pajama Chef

It’s just a short five hour drive from Bloomington, and if you’re not familiar with this area, three states come together in the park–Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky. We had never been before but had a blast. Even though winter is still lingering, hiking up in the woods and trails was just beautiful. The toughest hike was a 7 mile round trip hike up to White Rocks, a site that was a landmark to pioneers making the westward trek demonstrating that the Cumberland Gap pass was just a day’s walk ahead. Up top in the White Rocks area it was frosty, snowy, and terribly cold. I was so glad I chose to wear my vest instead of leaving it in the car!!

Cumberland Gap Trip | The Pajama Chef

Aside from hiking, we had fun just hanging out together… reading, relaxing, and exploring a few of the nearby towns. We stayed at the Olde Mille Inn Bed & Breakfast, which I highly recommend if you’re ever in the area. It is so cute, and even though it was built in the 1800s, everything was very modern and comfortable inside. I never wanted to leave our room! It was so nice, and the breakfast everyday was amazing. Upside down pancakes, sausage gravy & biscuits, french toast, and the best steel cut oats I have ever had! We were the youngest guests by a longshot [at least 30 years] but breakfasts were served together, and it was really fun to chat with the other guests. Can I just say that I love southern accents? 🙂

Cumberland Gap Trip | The Pajama Chef

We ate lunch everyday at this adorable cottage turned coffeshop–Gap Creek Coffee. My favorite drink was their Peanut Butter Cup. PB in coffee sounds a lil weird, but you can bet I’ll be looking for that on coffeshop menus in the future. Our dinners were nothing compared to the other meals of the day, but we did enjoy some good Tennessee BBQ! This area of the country definitely wasn’t gourmet restaurant central, but the area’s natural beauty sure made up for it!! Be sure to visit Cumberland Gap if you can! We’d love to go back someday.

Cumberland Gap Trip | The Pajama Chef

Before we left, I made this wonderful salad as an excuse to use up as much of my produce as I could before going out of town. But seriously, you shouldn’t wait til you need to use things up… adding hot roasted, crisp veggies and chickpeas on cold salad greens is my new favorite thing!

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing | The Pajama Chef

The contrasting temperatures are just perfect! I didn’t really measure the seasonings used to roast the chickpeas, carrots, and radishes but just used a little cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, ginger, and allspice to make a spicy-sweet spice mixture to rub on with EVOO.

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing | The Pajama Chef

The dressing is a very basic lemon-olive oil-dijon mustard mixture, which paired so well with the light greens and crispy toppings. I thought about adding some vinegar to make more of a vinaigrette, but decided against it. You certainly could if you wanted, though–I just liked the tartness of the lemony dressing with the vinegary tang.

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing | The Pajama Chef

This is just a great salad! I meant to add some cheese, nuts, or avocado as my inspiration recipe suggested… but I forgot about the cheese and nuts after the roasted veggies came out of the oven, and my avocado was nasty inside. Sad day. But the good news is that none of those things are needed for this awesome salad. It’s a crunchy, hearty, flavorful salad that I am sure you will just adore!! Enjoy! 🙂

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing | The Pajama Chef

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing [adapted from Baker by Nature]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 3 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 radishes, scrubbed and sliced into thirds
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ginger
  • allspice
  • baby spring mix

for Lemon-Dijon Dressing

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • crushed red pepper

for topping, optional

  • avocado
  • feta or parmesan cheese
  • nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large baking sheet, combine chickpeas, carrots, and radishes. Pour olive oil over top, then season with cumin, garlic, black pepper, ginger, and allspice. I didn’t measure these, but was heavy on the cumin, garlic, and black pepper, and a little lighter on ginger and allspice. Use your hands to mix oil and seasoning on chickpeas, carrots, and radishes. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once or twice.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk lemon juice, oil, mustard, and garlic powder together in a bowl or shake together in a jar. Season to taste with crushed red pepper.

After everything is roasted, combine baby spring mix with roasted chickpeas, carrots, and radishes as desired. Drizzle with Lemon-Dijon Dressing, and top with feta or parmesan cheese, nuts, and avocado if desired. Serve immediately.

Time: 40 minutes [10 minutes active].

Yield: 2 large salads or 4 side salads.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.