Aren’t the holidays wonderful? Delicious food, festive gatherings, beautiful décor, the inevitable weight gain… Okay not that last one. And yes, I gained 4 pounds over the holidays—ouch! While I firmly believe that decadence has Its place, I think I took it too far! So to celebrate my upcoming turnaround I am making Pork & Mushroom Ragout with Carrots and hosting a giveaway for a copy of the Two-Step Diabetes Cookbook by Nancy S Hughes.
Now in the spirit of full disclosure, I am not diabetic, though my blood pressure (another weight sensitive health concern) has been hovering on the edge. But a great healthy recipe is a great healthy recipe, even if you are in perfect shape!
When I picked up this cookbook, I realized how nice it was to have recipes where the work of going healthy is already done. You see, when I find a new recipe, I am always asking myself how to improve it. Can I swap in some whole grain? Reduce the fat or sugar? Add some vegetables? Good in concept but please don’t ask how many times I spend two weeks changing & testing a recipe 47 times until this finally works.
The recipes in this cookbook run the range from breakfast to dinner, appetizer to dessert and use mostly natural ingredients. This means that the sloppy joe recipe has natural seasoning instead of a packaged mix. The author also relies on efficient cooking techniques (hence the “two-step” description in the title) and what I would call “normal” ingredients. Yes, I am happy to run around town on occasion looking for dragon fruit or the like, but it was a joy to go through here and realize I could make a lot out of my (admittedly extensive) cupboard/freezer.
So far we have tried two recipes from the cookbook, the Sweet Spiced Chili Bowls which was my husband’s favorite (I think I’ve created a smoked paprika monster) and the Pork & Mushroom Ragout, which was mine. By definition, a ragout is a slow-cooked, stew-like dish of meat and/or vegetables–and since old habits die hard, I did add carrots (insert sheepish grin). Served with mashed potatoes, the ragout had the warmth and body of winter comfort food with a touch of class. Like happy peasant food.
Are you ready to try some healthier cooking for 2016? Then consider this giveaway for one copy of the Two-Step Diabetes Cookbook. It is open to residents of the U.S. and closes on Jan 24 at midnight CST. To enter, leave a comment below telling me something you would like to do to live healthier in 2016. For a second entry, like Art of Natural Living on Facebook and leave a second comment below letting me know you are a follower. The winner will be picked randomly, contacted by email and have 24 hours to get back to me with mailing information or a new winner will be chosen.
- 1 pound boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 4 ounces fennel bulb or onion, thinly sliced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup no salt added tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups of carrot chunks (my add)
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (my add)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Coat both sides of the pork chops in flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the pork 3 minutes on each side.
- Top with the remaining ingredients, except parsley. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until very tender. Top with parsley. Serve over brown rice, no-yolk egg noodles, or mashed potatoes.