I’m going to ask you to do me a favor. Grab $1.99 in change out of that dish on your dresser and pick up a copy of Family Circle Magazine. When you’re back home, grab a cup of coffee and turn to page 79. Healthy Family Dinners. Six days of suppers that are both easy to pull together and healthy.
Yeah, yeah, I know that we’ve not hit that magic day yet so all those resolutions that you’re planning on making don’t need to be thought about or acted upon, but that’s not how I roll. I feel the need to eat healthy the minute I’m done with Christmas day. After so many rich and delicious foods, I want salad, fruits and vegetables.
That’s why I decided to do the week of healthy dinners that Family Circle offered up. The ironic thing is that it wasn’t that segment of the magazine that caught my eye and begged me to buy it. It was the Ravioli Bake on the cover that did that. Layers of cheese ravioli and meat sauce covered in melted, gooey cheese. Not so healthy. That one’s for another day (or week, as the case may be).
I went shopping yesterday and bought everything I needed for this little adventure (how badly do I need a life if I’m calling this an adventure?). It was easy to do because there’s a shopping list already made up on page 81. I like easy.
Yesterday, we had the pork roast.
Since the spaghetti squash needed the most time in the oven, it was prepped first. I cut it in half, scraped the seeds out and brushed it with a mixture of melted butter, cumin, smoked paprika and salt. I baked it on a rimmed baking sheet, cut sides down, with a little water added to the pan.
Since the squash took double the amount of time to cook, I was able to prep the potatoes and pork at my leisure, enjoying time with the family and a glass of wine while I worked. All I had to do for the potatoes was scrub them and put a few holes in them (I use my corn cob holders since they have a handle and nice sharp tines).
The pork’s prep was a simple as tying it up, rubbing the pork all over with the combination of chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and browning it on all sides.
When my squash was about halfway done, I put the pork and potatoes in, set the time and walked away. Every part of the meal was in the oven. I really liked that.
The pork is amazing. All three of us loved it. Even though there’s a tablespoon of chili powder, there isn’t an overwhelming amount of heat. That’s proven by the fact that Dudette didn’t complain about ‘spiciness’ at all. The 2-pound pork roast served the three of us for dinner, leaving enough left for Hubby to take to work for lunch. Four servings were actually four servings.
The spaghetti squash wasn’t as well received by Dudette. She did take one taste and gave it a thumbs-down. We’ve not had much of this kind of squash in the house so it will take a while for a taste for it to develop. That being said, eating it with cumin and smoked paprika may not be the best way to start off. Both Hubby and I thought it was okay, but nothing that would get a repeat performance in our house. It did go well with the pork since it carried over the same flavors.
Overall, we found the meal to be a success though. Pork and potatoes were delicious. Spaghetti squash, for those who like it, would complement well.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
- 1 spaghetti squash (about 3¾ pounds)
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 center-cut boneless pork roast (2 lbs)
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 4 baking potatoes, scrubbed
- Heat oven to 350. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds. In a small bowl, combine butter, cumin, paprika and salt. Brush butter mixture onto cut sides and into cavities of squash. Place squash cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour ¼ cup water into pan. Roast at 350 for 1½ hours or until squash is fork tender.
- Meanwhile, make roast pork. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Place pork on a sheet of wax paper and apply dry rub to meat evenly, patting so rub adheres.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook, browning on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer meat to a roasting pan. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Place pork in oven with potatoes and squash and roast until internal temperature reaches 135, about 40-45 minutes.
- Let pork rest on cutting board under tented foil for 10 minutes; let squash stand on baking pan for 10 minutes. Remove potatoes.
- With a fork, scrape flesh of one squash half into a serving bowl and sprinkle with cilantro. Wrap the other half tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for Thursday.
- Cut roast in half. Slice and serve one half with spaghetti squash and baked potatoes. Wrapt the other half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for Thursday.
The instructions in the magazine said to only serve half of the squash and pork and to wrap the rest for meals later in the week, which is what I did. I also cooked up the quinoa that I’ll use today and on Wednesday, made the marinade for the Lemon-Herb Chicken that we’ll have tonight and created the curry broth that will be a part of dinner on Friday.