Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Vegetables

Memorial Day is over; summer is “officially” begun for most of the country. Here, it’s been rainy and cold for days (like every Memorial Day weekend we had rain, hail and snow on the Peak), but finally the sun is peeking through today with a high of 68. With a sweatshirt, we should be able to eat al fresco on the front deck tonight. I’m in the mood for pork tenderloin and think you will be too after you read this easy to make and remember recipe that comes together in an hour including prep.

Not cheap moneywise, pork tenderloin is cheap with your time and generous in its no-bone, great left-over for sandwiches goodness. Take your lunch tomorrow! A lovely value is what it is. Better than lunchmeat for snacking. It can also take the place of expensive fresh ahi tuna in some recipes. How about pork fajitas the next day? Why not make a double amount of meat and have plenty for whatever you decide?

Wine: My first choice would be Pinot Noir (but this is true most any time) followed by Côtes du Rhône. Some tasty, inexpensive French wines in the shops right now. Buy a case (often 10% off) and have some on-hand.

Could also serve with: Some oil-drizzled asparagus could be added onto the vegetable roasting pan half-way through the cooking time. Apple salad would be a

great foil for the meat.

Alyce’s Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Veg

Serves 4

2 medium Idaho potatoes, cut into 1” dice
2 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1” dice
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced ½” thick

2 -3 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced 1/2″ thick
1 large onion, cut into eighths
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
½  teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 large cloves garlic, slivered
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper or to taste
4 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced (plus an extra sprig for garnish)
2 pork tenderloins

Preheat oven to 350 F.

  1. On a half-sheet pan, mix vegetables (potatoes through onions) with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and rosemary. Set aside.

2. In a small roasting pan, place both tenderloins. Using a basting brush, paint pork tenderloins with Dijon mustard. Using a small, thin sharp knife, make ½” deep slits into the meat, about 2 per inch. Insert slivered garlic into slits. Sprinkle meat with salt, pepper and rosemary. Roast for about 25 minutes.

3. Place sheet pan of vegetables in the oven and continue to roast both meat and vegetables for another 20 minutes til meat is 160 degrees F. (Update 2017: FDA temp for pork is now 145 degrees F, let sit for 3 minutes)  Remove meat from the oven and allow to sit 5-10 minutes covered with foil while vegetables continue to cook until tender and crispy at edges.

4. Take vegetables out and place in a circle at the edge of a large platter. Meantime, slice pork thinly. (Pork should be barely pink and still juicy.) Place sliced pork at center of the platter and garnish with fresh rosemary. Serve hot.

{printable recipe}

Sing a new spring song,



Helen and Alyce’s Fish Tacos in Five Minutes

What a fun thing this blog has turned into. My kitchen is full of notes for current and future recipes, as well as ideas from other people for meals they’d like simplified so that they, too, can spend more time at the table together. Looking at life OUT of the fast lane.

I have been a little amazed by how many people have said, “Oh, I bought the stuff to make ________ and I’ll make it this weekend.” This is for a meal that takes 20-30 minutes to fix. It makes me realize that folks who work full-time often don’t cook at all during the week. Maybe sandwiches or leftovers, certainly take-out and I’d guess a couple of restaurant meals. So, try this fish taco meal. My sister Helen made a version of this once while visiting and we’ve been making it ever since. This dish is faster than going and picking something up at the local pizza shop. The fish is done in FIVE MINUTES. You can make other things to go with it and it will take longer, but you can make a fairly balanced meal in nearly the time it takes the fish to cook.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like fish tacos. They’re on menus as main courses with beans and rice; they’re also listed as a starter some places. They may come with tartar sauce and lettuce and tomatoes or with coleslaw and jalapenos. However you like them, I am sure you’ll make this super-easy and incredibly fast version one day soon—maybe today. This is one of those meals for which you would want to shop the day you’re cooking or, at very most, the day before.

Could serve with: A can (or homemade) of black or pinto beans mixed with sautéed bits of onion and green or red peppers. A side of Southwestern rice if you’ve got time. Homemade pico de gallo–why not? If you have a Cuisinart, you have pico in 30 seconds.  Easiest: some finely shredded lettuce with minced tomatoes on top. Continue reading

Snap-Sautéed Salmon on a Bed of Chard…

showered with summer squash, onions and tomatoes….

Well, it’s quite a long recipe title, but it’ll make sense once you make it. See…below for recipe. ( Oh, you thought “Blond(i)es Have More Fun” was next and it was. It’s still coming, just not today. Needs some more testing and maybe some eating. My youngest daughter graduates from college this weekend–very proud mother– and I’ll need her home to taste-test those cookies. Stay blogged; it’ll come soon!)

Meantime, enjoy my beautiful cherry tree in full bloom up against my deck.Yep, in Colorado, cherry trees bloom a bit later than in D. C. My cherries are ripe and ready to pick (by me or the birds) around the fourth of July. Our temps were in the 60’s today and we had some wind and dark clouds around supper-time. I’m afraid quite a few blossoms are now on the ground.

Between now and the fourth of July, you’ll have plenty of time to fix this done in a snap (well, almost) meal. This dish came about the way such things often do… it’s what I had in the frig that needed to be used today. This cooks so fast you’ll have to set the table, pour the drinks, light the candles and start something on the stereo long before you begin cooking. THIS is fast food, my friends.

Wine: If God is really good to you today, you’ll have an Oregon Pinot Noir with this. Otherwise, an Aussie Shiraz would be another good choice.
Dessert: Fresh Strawberries…with…nope, with nothing. All by themselves.

Snap-Sautéed Salmon on a Bed of Chard Showered with
Summer Squash, Onion and Tomato

Serves 4

4 (6 oz) salmon fillets
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, ½ t freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary, minced (1 1/2 teaspoons dried, crumbled)ééé
1/8 teaspoon Ground cayenne
2 bunches (about 6 large leaves) Swiss Chard, any color, chopped (greens only)
Freshly ground nutmeg, optional
1 medium onion, minced
2 small summer (yellow) squash, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato, chopped coarsely

1. In large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add salt, pepper, rosemary and ground cayenne. Sauté spices briefly. Add salmon to pan and cook 2-4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily and fish is cooked as done as you like it. (Leave it a tad underdone; it will go back in the pan to warm up in a few minutes.) Remove fish to plate. Set aside.
2. Add other tablespoon of olive oil to pan and heat again to medium heat.  Add minced onion and squash. Sauté briefly 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and stir.
Toss in chard and season with salt, pepper and just a teense of fresh nutmeg if you have it. Cook, stirring together, about five minutes until chard is nearly done, but still retains some crispness.

3. Add chopped tomato and stir briefly. Return salmon to pan as tomato warms.

4. Place vegetables on a serving platter and top with salmon fillets. Serve hot.

{printable recipe}

I won’t be cooking for a few days as I travel to our girl’s graduation.
Meantime, read chocolateandzucchini.com

Sing a new song,

Moroccan Chicken

For months, I’ve been working on a cookbook called SMILE, LAUGH, SING: THE CHURCH CHOIR DIRECTOR’S COOKBOOK and, needless to say, it’s not done yet. When will it be done? I don’t know. Between teaching piano, cooking for friends, walking my golden retrievers (Fiona, 11 and Gabby, 10 months), caring for my husband, starting graduate school at age 55, and getting ready for my youngest child’s college graduation, the time is minimal. I do work on it periodically. It has grown into what may, in the end, be two cookbooks. One for quick, easy delicious meals (Hence my blog TIME TO EAT: SPENDING MORE TIME AT THE TABLE THAN IN THE KITCHEN) and one for the more complicated dishes not everyone has time for. Meantime, my friends (who receive current testing recipes, notes, etc.) have encouraged me to begin blogging the recipes I’ve finished testing and finally make them available to more people. So here goes!


It’s spring–you want to walk, garden, drink porch wine… so: I’ve been working on a Moroccan chicken recipe that comes together in 30 min or under and is bigtime easy to fix with simple ingredients. This is it; it ‘s delicious, healthy, cheap and easy. You could easily double it for company. First, a few ideas and options…
OPTION TO GRILL: If it’s a great day, grill the chicken and do the rest in the skillet. Or, try it all on the grill, minus the canned tomatoes, broth and chickpeas. Add fresh tomatoes,chickpeas and a drizzle of olive oil at the table; skip the broth.
Wine: We had a lovely, inexpensive (white) Spanish albarino that worked like a charm. If you spice or heat up the chicken more, you could use a riesling of the sort you like best.
Dessert: Make the most of rhubarb in a flash. No baking here! Stew some on the stove with water and sugar to taste until tender; add a few sliced strawberries and stir until slightly wilted. Serve over frozen vanilla yogurt. Or layer the stewed fruit, frozen yogurt and chunks of store-bought angelfood cake in large wine glasses. Drizzle lightly with honey.
Leftover couscous: If you have leftover couscous, grill or saute some veggies the next night and put them on top; grace with some feta. Or, since it has raisins and nuts, warm it up and top it with cinnamon, honey and milk for breakfast.
HAPPY SPRING! It’s 50 and sunny on the mesa this morning in Colorado. I could see for ten miles when I walked Gabby and Fiona.
By the way, Gabby’s just recovering from a stint in the ICU over the weekend. She ate tea. Yes, on purpose; golden retrievers don’t know you’re supposed to BREW tea. Black, PG tips. I hated to see it gone! She’s been on a beta blocker to decrease her 200 bpm heart rate and hooked up to ekgs and ivs. A little subdued after the experiment. (This is why people say chocolate is poison to dogs–caffeine.) Dave and I will be skipping vacation this year, but the vet is going to Europe.

Next up in the blog is Ribollita from heaven; start drooling and watch this space!

Here’s the recipe for the chicken:

Alyce’s Moroccan Chicken w/ Couscous
Serve with grilled pita bread

Couscous: Make plain couscous, adding ¼ c raisins and1/4 c toasted walnuts, according to box directions. Cover and hold while you prepare the chicken. Season w/ salt and pepper before serving.

1 – 11/2 # boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash*
1 can chickpeas
1 can salt-free chopped tomatoes
1 can low-sodium chicken broth
¼ t cayenne (or more to taste)
1t cumin
½ t cinnamon
2 lemons, cut into eighths
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ bunch cilantro, chopped

Saute chicken in 1 T olive oil for 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Add onions, garlic and squash. Cook 3 minutes until veggies are wilted. Add chickpeas, tomatoes and chicken broth. Season with cayenne, cumin and cinnamon. Add lemons. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat ; simmer about 10 minutes until chicken and veggies are done and tender. Season with salt and pepper.

To large shallow bowls, spoon couscous to one side and ladle chicken mixture to the other side. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Serve with grilled pita bread.

*Option: Use peeled eggplant, cut into 1” dice.