One Dish Two Spoons: Boys’ Choice

18 Feb

One Dish Two Spoons: Boys Choice

Rather than fret over what to do for this edition of One Dish Two Spoons, we put the pressure onto Dustin and John to select a dish for each of us to make.

Jess’ Take

Since Dustin was once again making the trek up to Montreal from Toronto for the weekend, I figured the least I could do is make a nice healthy dinner for him when he arrived.  When I asked what sort of dish he’d like me to make, telling him it was the theme for this week’s 1D2S segment, he immediately began to think of all kinds of dishes I could make. He then presented me with two options: Tex Mex Salad or Pesto Pasta.

At first, I was drawn to the idea of the Tex Mex salad (anything involving guacamole is immediately in my good books).  That was until I spotted the delicious and fragrant basil in my grocery store, I then quickly switched over to pesto. Dustin didn’t seem to mind either.

The key to pesto is to keep it simple and keep it fresh.  You don’t want to mess with a good thing by adding in too much stuff and drowning out the basil.  We served ours with some sautéed cremini mushrooms and sundried tomatoes served over a bed of whole wheat spaghettini pasta.  Perfection, alongside a glass of red wine, of course. 😉

Pretty Pesto with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Mushrooms

30-40 fresh basil leaves

¼ c. extra virgin olive oil

100g grated asiago cheese

1 clove of garlic

¼ tsp sea salt

2-3 cremini mushrooms, sliced

½ c. sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

2 handful sized bunches of spaghettini pasta


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add in pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile combine basil, olive oil, asiago, garlic and seat salt into a food processor and process until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high-heat and add in mushrooms, cook until softened and moisture has been released ~2-3 minutes.  Add in your sun-dried tomatoes, 2/3 c. pesto and stir well to combine, cook until heated through.  Serve over pasta with grated asiago cheese.

Serves 2


Tess’ Take

“What would you like for dinner on Saturday, hun?” “Pork” “Why?” “We haven’t eaten it in a while”.  Seems like a good enough reason to me.

Having a very wide array of options for dishes that include pork, I went straight to my tried and true cooking bible to help narrow my search: Clean Eating Magazine.  You know what I love about this magazine?  The index!  They list all of the dishes by theme “appetizer, poultry, dessert, salad” at the back and list all the recipes and corresponding pages for easy navigation.  Organization…. I need more of that in my life.

Pork Chops with Peppers, Onions, & Olives


-4 boneless pork loin chops


-1 tbs olive oil

-1/2 each green, red, and yellow bell pepper, and red onion.  All cut into 1/4 inch slices

-1 tbs *tomato paste

-8-12 Kalamata olive, pitted

-1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

*I forgot to buy tomato paste, so instead I used ketchup.  A good substitute would have been a thick, plain pasta sauce, but we didn’t have any on-hand.  Ketchup seemed to work fine though.


1.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium.  Season both sides of pork and add chops to pan, cooking 5 minutes per side until cooked through.  Meanwhile, cut up your veggies.

2.  Transfer chops to serving plates and cover with tin foil to keep warm.

3.  Add the peppers to the same skillet and cook for 2 minutes.  Add onion and cook 3 minutes until both peppers and onion are tender.  Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

4. Add olives and broth and cook about 2 minutes until broth is reduced to a thin glaze.

5.  To serve, top pork with vegetables and glaze.  I also served this dish with a side of wild rice.

Serves: 2-4 (depending on how many pork chops you want!)

Calories: 204, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 6g, Protein: 31g (according to the magazine)

John’s verdict: “really good”.  Gotta love males’ simplicity, eh?  In a more elaborate recap, I really liked the flavor of the glaze.  For those of you who aren’t keen on olives, you’ll be happy to know that they weren’t overpowering at all, though they really did make the dish so don’t skip them!  You could also change up the pork by using chicken or a white fish (such as halibut) instead.  The glaze is flavorful enough that you’ll want a mild meat so as not to compete with it.


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