Today we are introducing a tasty new blog feature called A Spoonful of Luxe. Each week, Diana Kostigen, a local food blogger and Smart Shopper reader, will be bringing us a new recipe including ingredients that are on sale that week!
Diana has been cooking professionally for many years and she has already shared multiple recipes here on the blog in the What's for Dinner posts. Her website, A Spoonful of Luxe, includes many more recipes. My thanks to Diana for her willingness to share her gift. My family will most certainly benefit from her creative, healthy and fun approach to cooking!
I'll let Diana introduce herself to all of you through her bio below followed by her recipe for Honey Lime Pork and Sweet Potato Tacos with Kiwi Apple Slaw. Don't they look amazing?!
That's the approximate number of quiches I made during the 10 years I ran B&B's. And yes, real men do eat quiche! Well, at least mine does.
I started cooking very early on, and never had the good sense to stop… despite the hard work and the dishes. Yes, cooking can be a labor of love. And love it, I have. And no matter where life has brought me, I've always come back to my true passion... cooking.
I started working in B&B's when I was 15, cleaning rooms and quickly worked my way up to Innkeeper. From there, I ran the best B&B's in Santa Barbara- all which helped mold my cooking skills and me as a person. You see, cooking is from the heart. And like they say in B&B's, "An Innkeeper is worth her weight in muffins."
From there I took jobs that helped hone my business skills- Office Manager, Marketing director, owning an Ad Agency. And proudly, I graduated with honors and distinction from UNCA with a degree in Mass Communication, having gone back at age 30 to finish my studies.
But cooking is in my blood. And while I was doing the 8-5 grind, I dabbled in bakery work (my pumpkin bread is still famous) and even entered and won cooking competitions- including first place in a cook-off judged by all the top local chefs. And cooking runs in the family. My Grandmother came to the US from Sweden in her early 20's and couldn't speak a bit of English. She got a job as a cook with the Wrigleys on Catalina Island (reminds me of Mrs. Patmore on Downton Abbey- best show ever!)
I remember trying to decipher her recipes later in life. A pinch of this, and a cup of that. No science. No structure. Just love, and a feeling. And I bring this philosophy into my recipes to this day.
So, I thank you for letting me bring my food and passion into your own homes. My goal is to bring you tasty dishes that are full of flavor, simple to prepare, healthy, and most importantly… thrifty!
Honey Lime Pork and Sweet Potato Tacos with Kiwi Apple Slaw
Amidst all of the soups, stews and stick-to-your-bones meals that have surely graced your table these last few weeks, I was excited to do some grilling… even if it was at my kitchen cooktop.
Now, in our family, we have no fear when it comes to outdoor grilling. Come rain, sleet, or even that snow storm where you wonder if you’ll even get the thing lit, while yelling towards the house to recruit more bodies to create and even bigger wind-shield. Brrr… it’s cold out there.
But, then came the grill pan. And it was good.
So this week, I was excited to see so many fruits shining brightly like little jewels amongst the winter squash and leafy greens. There were mangoes, blueberries, and even blackberries. But I decided to go with the kiwi… since they are such an underutilized fruit, especially when it comes to savory dishes. Plus, it would be fun to pair them with pork tenderloin. The other white meat, that when it’s marked at full price, I practically cringe at the thought of it. But half off? Can I just say… “Yes?”
And yes, it is.
A little sweet, a lot of tang, just the right amount of crunch... and a touch of heat. These tacos have all the elements of a comfort meal, coming together quickly, and seeming to disappear even quicker; well at least at our table, they did. Healthy, fun, and delicious. Enjoy!
8 Corn tortillas
1 pork tenderloin, cut into ½” circles, and then halved again into half-moon shapes
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small apple, cut into thin matchsticks
1 kiwi, cut into thin matchsticks
2 Tblsp. red onion, diced
2 Tblsp. cilantro, chopped
Zest of ½ lime
½ lime, juiced
4 Tblsp. olive oil (divided)
2 tsp. cider vinegar (divided)
1 Tblsp. honey
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
For the marinade, combine juice from ½ a lime, 3 Tblsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. cider vinegar, 1 Tblsp. honey, red pepper flakes (I just used a small shake, but it you like it hot, add more), salt and pepper. Add in the cut up pork tenderloin and marinate 10-15 minutes.
In the meantime, place the cut up sweet potatoes on a greased rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle on the zest of half of a lime on the potatoes, and drizzle with olive oil. Then season with salt and pepper, as desired. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until soft on the inside and lightly browned on the outside. Set aside.
Next, place the pieces of pork on 5-6 skewers so they are not crowded. Heat up a grill pan (you can also broil or use an outside grill) that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. And once hot, add in the skewers. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, making sure not to overcook, as they will continue to cook a bit while they are resting.
Then make the slaw. In a small bowl mix together the red onion, cilantro, apple, kiwi, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Finally, combine all the elements in the corn tortillas, (you can warm the tortillas in foil in the oven for a few minutes to help make them more pliable) adding in the pork, then the sweet potatoes, and topping with the kiwi apple slaw.
*Other options- if you don’t like pork, you can use chicken (adjust cooking time). Also, for more flavor, you can fry the tortillas in a small pan with a few inches of oil to create shells. Or, if you want a healthier version, substitute lettuce leaves for the corn tortillas.
Serves: 4 (2 tacos each)
Cost per Serving: $1.56
*Note: all costs are approximate due to regional sale prices, amounts needed just for this specific recipe, and ingredients on hand. This recipe was created to utilize sale ingredients listed for the current week in Raleigh, NC stores.
To read where to find the best prices for these ingredients click the Just the Basics link in the box above.