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Friday, September 12, 2014

Apples in Savory Dishes: Two Recipes

A great way to reduce carb cravings and enjoy a high protein diet is to include low-glycemic fruits and vegetables in savory dishes. With apple harvest season upon us now is a great time to experiment with a variety of crisp fresh apples in our main course high protein dishes. Here are two of my favorite apple savory dishes. Enjoy!

Apple-Turkey Meatloaf

The delicious flavor of fresh fall apples lends itself perfectly to tender ground turkey in this easy to prepare weeknight supper. If you prefer, make mini-meatloaves for easy left-over packaging. I used granny Smith apples, but any firm tart apple will be delicious in this recipe.

Cooking spray
1/2 cup whole oats
1/2 teaspoon Provence Seasoning (optional)
1/2 cup apple juice

1 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1 medium granny Smith apple, shredded
1 small onion, shredded
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Apple slices, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. In a small bowl mix oats and Savory Provence Seasoning: add apple juice and mix. Soak for 5 minutes until oats absorb apple juice.

In the meantime, in a large bowl combine ground turkey, shredded apple, and shredded onion gently. Blend in beaten egg and soaked oats. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Form mixture into a loaf and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake in heated oven 35-40 minutes or until internal temperature measures 160°F. Remove from oven and rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve garnished with apple slices.

Optional: Core and slice 3 apples and 1 onion. While meatloaf cooks melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir apples and onions in butter until tender and nicely caramelized. Serve with meatloaf slices.

Balsamic Pork Chops & Apples

The bright flavor of balsamic vinegar enhances the sweetness of the onion and apples and lends richness to a rather bland cut of pork. You can build on this recipe adding shredded cabbage and kielbasa-style sausage for an Oktoberfest tradition.

Cooking spray
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) pork tenderloin chops
salt and pepper
4 gala apples, peeled, cored, sliced
1 medium white onion, sliced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup chicken broth, low sodium

Spray a large 12-inch heavy-bottom skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Season pork tenderloin chops with salt and pepper. Cook 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove to plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Add apples and onion to skillet and cook and stir until apples are tender and onions are golden. Scrape bottom to pull-up brown bits which will add flavor to onion and apples. Add balsamic vinegar and broth and continue cooking until liquid is slightly reduced. Return pork to pan and reduce heat. Cover and allow to simmer on low 6-8 minutes. Serve warm: 1 pork tenderloin chop and 1/2 cup apples & onions per serving with a drizzle of sauce.

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