Pork Tenderloin Satay

pork tenderloin satay

Labor Day weekend is upon us and since we’re nearing the unofficial end of summer, you may have had enough of traditional barbecue foods by now! If so, here’s a new dish you can add to your Labor Day menu that everyone will love. You’re still using the grill, but hamburgers and hot dogs this is not!

If you’d like, you can make the sauce in advance and refrigerate it. You can also prep the pork and thread it onto skewers the night before your party. Taking these steps keep things nice and simple on the day you’re entertaining – just throw the meat on the grill and heat up the sauce!

 

Pork Tenderloin Satay

serves 4

Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons. peanut butter
4 teaspoons canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1.25 pounds boneless pork tenderloin, silverskin removed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Bring first 8 ingredients (through ginger) to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 10-12 minutes. Set aside 1/2 cup of mixture to be used for dipping.

2. Cut trimmed tenderloin in half crosswise and then slice each half into thin strips. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

3. Preheat grill. Thread pork strips onto metal skewers and grill 3-4 minutes on each side until center reaches 145 degrees. Baste with remaining sauce and serve with additional sauce for dipping.

 

The Back To School Shuffle

firstdayschool2014

If your house is anything like mine,  you are dancing the back to school shuffle (and probably doing it backwards and in high heels!) No matter how much advance planning we do, these first weeks of new routines are always C-R-A-Z-Y.

As in:

  • I’ve forgotten to pack a snack for my first grader. TWICE. Seriously. I blog about this stuff and yet I have not managed to remember to shove so much as a granola bar in that backpack pocket on two of the four days we’ve had school. I remembered today, though, so don’t worry Mom, because we’re back on track around here!
  • I am filling up calendar pages left and right with soccer practices, games, tournaments, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Dance Lessons, and Tumbling and whatever comes next. On Friday my 4th grader was fired up about the trombone. Um…..not right now, sweetie.
  • I have made old-school brown paper book covers (because the stretchy ones don’t stretch quiiiiiiiite far enough and believe me, I tried).
  • I have started a password log for the countless URL’s, Logins, and Passwords I am going to be required to keep track of this year because no one has yet built one site that will fit the needs of every teacher and every subject.
  • I still cannot get onto our school’s Volunteer Signup website even though I swear I DID pass my background check and have been fingerprinted! (Note: this may be a blessing in disguise.)

Honestly, I’m still smiling, and so are my kids, but it feels like we stepped on the gas and haven’t quite caught our breath. I ask myself every day if I’m somehow adding to the degree of difficulty – if there is a way to do this more simply. Perhaps there is. Or perhaps this is just how transitions work. They’re tricky because we’re finding our footing and establishing new routines.

Soon enough, we’ll have it figured out again, and the most important companions on our journey from here to there just may be a sense of humor and a healthy dose of perspective.

Here’s a little bit of each that crossed my path;  I thought I’d share both with you today…

First, check out this hilarious essay (and make sure you get to the points about 2014 in the second half)!

And then, listen to the awesome Kid President, who has a few words we need to hear, mamas.

PS – I want to see you dancing in the supermarket aisles!

White Bean Dip

white bean dip

How are we doing with those healthy school lunches, everyone?? Do you have a fresh batch of ideas ready to go? Or are you facing another year of “sandwiches and sides”?

One trick to keeping lunch interesting is to mix things up by slipping some less traditional items into that lunchbox. As an example, this bean dip is packed with protein and fiber, and when you serve it with pita or naan and raw veggies, you have everything you need for a balanced lunch.

Plus, dipping! Hooray!

 

White Bean Dip

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

4 Whole Wheat Pita Breads (or try Naan bread!)
1 can (19 oz.) cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Chili powder for sprinkling
Variety of cut vegetables for dipping

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Cut pita bread into wedges and place on baking sheet.  Toast until lightly browned and crisp.  10-15 minutes, turning once halfway through.  Transfer to a plate to cool.
2.  In a food processor, combine beans, oil, and lemon juice;  season with salt and pepper.  Puree until smooth.
3.  Place puree into a serving bowl, and lightly sprinkle with chili powder.  Serve dip with toasted pita triangles (or naan, which I prefer soft) and tons of fresh veggies!