Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pork Chops with Fennel and Caper Sauce

After a crazy weekend with lots of driving (Nashville for Melissa Howell's bachelorette party, then on to Birmingham for Caroline's baby shower), it would be an understatement to say I was "tired" this past Sunday night when I arrived at my parents house. The last thing on my mind was cooking or even thinking about what to eat for dinner. Lucky for me - my mother took very good care of me. She and my dad saw the following recipe being created by Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network Channel. After the inspiration - my mom logged into http://www.foodnetwork.com  and downloaded the recipe.

It was phenomenal! I could have eaten the sauce alone. Fresh, healthy and delish. You could substitute chicken or even fish with this sauce - make it your own, but make it often. Highly recommend! I served alongside thin french beans and homemade pinto beans. Enjoy!



  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 boneless (2-inch-thick) pork chops (about 2 pounds total)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning meat
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning meat
  • 2 fennel bulbs with fronds, thinly sliced (about 8 ounces or 2 cups)
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons capers


In a large, heavy skillet heat the olive oil over high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork to the pan and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes each side. Remove the pork from the pan, cover loosely with foil, and set aside.
Add the fennel, shallots, and 1/3 cup parsley to the pan and cook over medium heat until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the wine. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and stir. Add the pork back into the pan, nestling the chops between the fennel and tomatoes so they are mostly submerged in the pan juices. Cook until the fennel is tender and the pork is done, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Place the pork on a serving dish. To finish the sauce, add the lemon zest, remaining 1/3 cup parsley,capers, and 3/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Spoon over the pork chops and serve immediately.

TIPS - Add chicken stock to create more "broth."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Best Foods for Your Heart

We all know what foods are bad for us and our hearts - but instead of finding foods to avoid, have you ever stopped to find foods that are actually good for your heart? This link provides a variety of foods that keep your ticker going, and going well. Consider these options next time you plan a meal or have to decide on an afternoon snack. With choices like avocado, salmon, olive oil and even berries - heart healthy foods are no longer difficult to find.

Best Foods For Your Heart

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shelly's Mexican Chicken Soup


3 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, diced and de-seeded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste (6 oz)
1-2 tbsp Mexican chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can original Rotel
1 box chicken broth/stock
Cooked Chicken, shredded or diced (3 breasts or the meat from one small rotisserie)
1-2 cups cooked rice (Spanish)

Over medium heat, saute onion and peppers in olive oil for 3-4 minutes or until translucent.
Add garlic, saute 1 minute.
Add tomato paste and mix into vegetables.
Add spices, continuing to mix for 5 minutes on low-medium heat.
Add Rotel and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and add cooked chicken & rice. Let cook for 30 minutes.

Serve hot topped with diced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, etc. Enjoy :)

TIPS - I've also used one can of chicken stock and 1 beer in place of the whole box of chicken stock. If you want more heat - leave the jalapeno seeds (just be careful)! Also, if you cook your chicken creasts, you can cook in a pot of water with one pack of taco seasoning for flavor, and use the broth in place of canned chicken stock.

Refreshing Quinoa Salad

I modeled this healthy side dish after a delightful little salad I had at one of my favorite local, organic spots, Souper Jenny. This place is AMAZING. They receive local organic ingredients from near-by farms around 4am each morning. Then they get to work planning their menu for the day and emailing subscribers. I can't tell you how much I love getting this email every day. With dishes like the salad below, tomato-basil goat cheese soup, and even lobster salad sandwiches - you cannot go wrong! Of course, my salad was not as delicious as Jenny's, but I was pretty impressed with the taste.



1 cup dried Quinoa
1 cup water
Dash salt
1/2 diced English cucumber
1-2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 avocado diced
Juice from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lime
Drizzle of EVOO

Bring 1 cup water and 1 cup Quinoa to a boil in small saucepan. Once boiling, add a dash of salt and reduce heat to low and let cook, covered for 10 minutes. Transfer Quinoa to bowl and let cool in fridge overnight. Once Quinoa is chilled, add diced cucumber, red onion, avocado, lemon & lime juice and drizzle with EVOO. Mix all ingredients together. Serve cold and enjoy!

TIP - add you favorite veggies like tomato and yellow squash for an extra boost of color and nutrients!