Hearty and Healthy Winter Meal with Pecans | Food / Recipes

(Family Features) Seeking the comfort of the cold in the form of a healthy meal is a perfect way to cap off a day with loved ones. During the winter months, when the high temperatures chill you to the bone, warming up with hearty meals at the family table can bring everyone together.

* Full of seasonal flavors with a premier taste, Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin offers a delicious main course that you don’t have to feel guilty about. This elegant and easy dish puts a unique spin on a dinner time basis thanks to a crispy crust. Pecan

* With cheddar and ricotta cheeses, sour cream and cavatappi noodles, this mac and cheese with pecan crumbs is an extra creamy and creative take on the kid-friendly classic. Pair this family favorite with pork tenderloin for an easy weekday combination that the little ones can help out in the kitchen by stirring together the goodness of the cheese.

This family-friendly dinner is made possible with tasty pecans, which are among the lowest in carbohydrates and highest in fiber compared to other nuts, helping you stay full for longer. As a nutrient-dense powerhouse, they contain 3 grams of plant protein and 3 grams of fiber per 1 ounce serving with 12 grams of “good” monounsaturated fat and just 2 grams of saturated fat. Essential nutrients like thiamine, zinc, copper, and manganese – an essential mineral for metabolism and bone health – mean you can feel good about serving pecan infused dishes to loved ones.

Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly grease a large baking dish. Season the pork tenderloin with S&P to taste; put aside.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and chopped garlic. Spread the mixture over the pork.

Press the pecan pieces into the brown sugar mixture over the pork. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the remaining brown sugar, remaining soy sauce, pineapple juice and Dijon mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce to simmer for 3-5 minutes then remove from heat.

Slice the pork, pour the sauce on top and serve.

Mac and Cheese with pecan breadcrumbs

Mac and Cheese with pecan breadcrumbs

Mac and Cheese with pecan breadcrumbs

  • 8 ounces of cavatappi pasta
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 block (8 ounces) of cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 15 ounces of partially skimmed ricotta cheese
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

In boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and stir in the butter.

Using a grater, grate the cheddar.

Using a food processor, process 1/4 grated cheese from pecans to coarse breadcrumb consistency.

Add remaining cheddar cheese, ricotta, sour cream, salt and pepper to hot pasta. Stir until well mixed. Add the egg; stir. Add the reserved cooking water to the mixture loosen; stir until smooth.

Pour into buttered square or 9-inch round casserole dish and garnish evenly with the pecan filling.

Source: American Pecan Council

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