Monthly Archives: March 2016

Pork Loin and Mango salsa

Whole Foods (a.k.a Whole Paycheck) just opened a new store in Irvine near our recently acquired home. It’s a 40,000 square foot extravaganza of all manner of produce, meat, prepared foods, and many other assorted goodies. If you shop carefully (By “carefully” I mean not purchasing pre-peeled oranges in plastic containers. Really? We can’t even take the time to peel an orange anymore?), you CAN walk out of there without having to take a second mortgage out on your home. 

While browsing the plethora of fruit and veg, I spied some petite, yellow mangoes (they’re technically called Atualfo mangoes) and immediately thought: pork! Because I had two college boys home for spring break, and they love the “other white meat,” the deal was sealed.

You want your mangoes to be ripe, like avocados. If they’re too hard, you will not be able to cut through them (only your fingers). Don’t be shy. Give them the old Charmin squeeze before you make your final decision.


Mango Salsa

1 large lime, zested and juiced

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

2 jalapenos, de-seeded and diced small

3 small mangos (Ataulfo), peeled and diced small

1 tbsp. EVOO

Pinch of kosher salt


Mix all of these items together and let sit for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Longer if possible

Pork Loin Rub

3-4 lb. pork loin

1 ½ tsp. kosher salt

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. ancho chili powder

3 tbsp. smoked paprika

4 tbsp. brown sugar

Mix all of the spices together.

Liberally rub the mix all over the pork loin and let sit for 4-5 hours. It’s even better if you can let is sit overnight.

Roast the meat in a 400-degree oven until the pork reaches 140-degrees. The meat will come up another 5-degrees and reach the optimal temperature of 145 – degrees. Each oven is different, but it should take 45-60 minutes. Remove the meat from the oven and let it rest before you slice into it.

Eat well!


“Don’t expect mangoes when you plant papayas” – Mimfa A. Gibson





Mac + Cheese with Twist

This recipe is a different take on an old classic. I saw somewhere, ages ago, a recipe for mac and cheese that called for avocado. Genius. Since I have no memory of where I spotted this brilliant addition, I improvised and created my own version.

In addition to the avocado, I added roasted tomatoes with a bit of basil. The tomatoes add some acid, the basil a bit of herbaceousness, both of which help balance the richness of all of that delicious cheese. Divine. Much like the bewitching powers the dynamic duo of grilled cheese and tomato soup have on people. Hard to beat.

Here’s what you’ll need to feed 5-6


½ cup whole milk

8 oz. grated gruyere cheese

6 oz. grated fontina

8 oz. mascarpone cheese

1 avocado, cubed

2 packages of Manini’s gluten-free rigatoni (or 1lb of regular pasta)

1 package of strawberry tomatoes

1 tbsp. EVOO

2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. piment d’espelette (or cayenne)

A handful of basil, julienned

In a 400-degree oven, roast the tomatoes in the EVOO until about bursting.  

Boil the pasta in salty water until al-dente. Drain and retain ¼ cup of the starchy pasta water.

Put the pasta back in the pan with the hot pasta water.

Add the cheeses, milk, garlic, salt, and piment d’espelette to the pasta.

Mix well over low heat.

Once the cheese is nice and melt-y, toss in the cubed avocado and mix again.

Add salt and pepper to taste, top with a few of the roasted, and hot, tomatoes, some basil, and chow down!

Eat well!


“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

J.R.R. Tolkien