Saturday, January 21, 2006

An Apple a Day...

Today’s theme is apples. It happened accidentally. I had planned the main course, Apple Pork Mini-Roast, and decided during the afternoon to make the Apple Crisp Muffins. I flirted briefly with putting apples in the salad, but decided that we had enough apple already.

First up is the Apple Crisp Muffins. While I cooked them according to the recipe below, I think that the next time I make them I’ll dice the apples and mix them in the batter.

Apple Crisp Muffins

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3 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin slices
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t cinnamon
1 c whole wheat flour
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c oats
3 T ground flaxseed
1/2 c Splenda granular
1/4 c Splenda brown sugar blend
1 T baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t allspice
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 c Eggbeaters or 3 eggs
1 1/2 c nonfat or lowfat milk
1/4 c canola oil

Preheat oven to 375˚. Lightly spray muffin tins with cooking spray or use paper cups. Mix together apples, 1/2 t allspice and 1/2 t cinnamon; set aside. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk egg substitute or eggs and oil. Add milk; mix well. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened. Spoon into prepared muffin tins and top each with two slices of apple. Press apple slices lightly into batter. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 18.

Once the muffins were done, I put the main dish in the oven. This is a recipe I made up after I had pork chops with sautéd apples and onions at a restaurant. Costco sells these thick boneless pork chops, and each one is big enough for DH and me. I used to do this recipe with a large boneless pork roast, but thought this time that I’d try a big chop and then slice it after it was cooked. I love the combination of apples and onions with pork.

Apple Pork Mini-Roast

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1 large boneless chop (about 3 inches thick)
1 onion, thinly sliced
3-5 red potatoes (enough for two people)
2 apples, thinly sliced
1 1/2 c apple juice

Place pork chop in roasting pan. Add apples, onions and potatoes to pan. Sprinkle with seasoned salt. Add apple juice. Cover and bake at 350˚ for 1 to 1/2 hours, or until chop is done and potatoes are tender, uncovering the last 15 minutes.

To go with dinner I wanted a green salad with piñon nuts and blue cheese, but wanted to try a dressing that was different from the usual balsamic vinegar-based one. I wanted it to be slightly sweet, to go with the nuts and cheese, and came up with this one:

Poppy Seed Dressing

1 T honey
3 T cider vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 sm. shallot , minced
2 t Dijon mustard
2 t poppy seeds

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I made a salad of baby spring greens, toasted piñon nuts, and blue cheese, and then used the poppy seed dressing. It was quite tasty!

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