I’m not a big fan of pork and neither is Mike, but sometimes I get bored with chicken and beef.  I didn’t want to make a special trip to the fish market because I’m lazy and decided to give a tenderloin another try.  I marinated the d%*# thing all day in hopes to tenderize, flavorize and juicify this often dry piece of meat.  I wish I had a vacuum sealer, as the process of sealing opens the pores of the meat and allows marinade to seep inside.

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I thought I’d ask Mike to grill the tenderloin, as grilling imparts more flavor in my opinion.  I butterflied the loin to decrease cooking time on the grill.  Click here for my marinade recipe Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin by Ina Garten.

I had some organic zucchini in my fridge I intended for pizza boats a few days ago and never made them.  I do not like to waste any organic anything because it is always costs a pretty penny, so I needed to come up with something to make with the zucchini that would compliment the pork.  Since I already had Ina on my mind, I decided to see what her favorite zucchini recipe might be and gave the “Cooking for Michael” cookbook a peep.


Related post: Barefoot Contessa

I spotted a recipe for Parmesan Roasted Zucchini.

When I was younger, I only liked a few vegetables, like most kids I guess.  When I began studying to become a dietitian, I knew I needed to discover a way to shift the savorless plants into something I could really enjoy eating.  After many epic fails and endless calls to my mother, I finally discovered that you can put garlic, onions, olive oil and cheese on a dirty diaper, roast it, and it will taste good.

Juuuuuust kidding….I would never put a diaper in the oven.  It would set the smoke alarms off!


For this recipe, gather zucchini, fresh parsley, basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.  Don’t forget the olive oil, salt, pepper and a good, sharp Chef’s knife. Mince 3 cloves garlic, slice 2 Tbsp rolled basil, grate 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, measure 3/4 Panko bread crumbs and slice 6 zucchini lengthwise, after trimming the edges.

I used a melon baller to scoop a channel down the center of the zucchini.  I started with a spoon as recommended by Ina, but it wasn’t looking pretty.


I actually use my melon baller a lot and I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually used it on a melon!

Coat zucchini with olive oil and salt slices.  Roast, cut side down on a baking sheet for 12 minutes.  Once cool enough to handle, flip zucchini halves over.


Combine 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs with 3 cloves minced garlic, 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley, 2 Tbsp julienned fresh basil, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (don’t use the bottle kind you put on your pizza!!!!), 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Add panko with 3 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and mix well.


Spoon panko and herb mixture onto each slice of zucchini.  Bake for another 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy.  Yum!


Parmesan Roasted Zucchini

6 medium zucchini
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp julienned fresh basil leaves
1/2 freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup panic bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425º. Trim ends from zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and scoop small channel of seeds with a teaspoon. Place zucchini in one layer on sheet pan and brush generously all over with olive oil. Turn zucchini cut side down onto pan and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Roast 12-15 minutes, until just tender but still firm.

Meanwhile, make bread crumb mixture by combining garlic, parsley, basil, Parmesan, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper in a medium bowl. Add panko and 3 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and mix well.

Turn the slightly cooled zucchini cut side up and spoon bread crumb mixture evenly onto each zucchini. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes until the panko is crispy. This dish serves well hot, warm or at room temperature.

For a balanced meal*, I need a carb. Mike is a potato salad fan and I happen to have a bag of Yukon gold potatoes in the pantry.  Hmmmm…. what would Ina do?


Ina’s potato salad recipe I found called for 1 cup of mayonnaise.  I decided to make it from scratch.  With no preservatives and the help of my KitchenAid, I’ll absolutely make it again!  If I had to whisk by hand…, not so much.

It made 1 cup which was just the right amount for the potato salad dressing.  Here’s the mayo recipe Homemade Mayonnaise .

When not planning a meal on a whim, I will definitely follow Ina’s recipe in the future and use red potatoes, which yield a much firmer, cooked potato, perfect for potato salad.  I also substituted dried dill instead of fresh which hurts my heart but…. not enough to pack up the toddler to go on a grocery run!!

3 tsp fresh=1 tsp dried dill


To mayonnaise, add 1/4 cup milk (I used skim), 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp whole-grain mustard, 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill or a little less than 1/4 cup dried, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp freshly ground pepper.  Stir gently to combine.


Add diced red onion and celery.  Pretty tasty!  Thanks, Ina!!

New Potato Salad

3 lbs small red potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup good mayonnaise
1/4 buttermilk or skim milk
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red onion

Place potatoes and 2 Tbsp salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1-=15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, milk, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, dill, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Set aside. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into quarters. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. As the salad sits, you may need to add more dressing. Add the celery and red onion, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Toss well, cover and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

*A well-balanced meal:


If you feel overwhelmed by all the nutrition advice, calorie recommendations and diet trends, read these: Fact. Not Fad.Let’s Crunch Numbers!Help Me To Help You!

*this site contains Amazon affiliate links which support this site at no cost to you.

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