I like to start with a clean kitchen and pull all the ingredients onto the island in front of me. I prop up the recipe on the easel and pour a glass of wine. If I’m alone and don’t have to compete with a TV or a house full of kids, then I’ll turn on some good tunes and groove a little between the kitchen appliances. I love to cook.
There’s something about the combination of planning, multitasking, use of judgement and efficiency that comes with the cooking experience that is quite appealing to my inner a-type.
It may also be the mama bear in me that enjoys preparing food for others. I take pride in not only the process of cooking, but the presentation of food and setting a nice dinner table with decorative accents to compliment. Now that I have two kids, I don’t have the opportunity to cook and entertain the way I once did, but I am still very experimental with my cooking and like to mix up my family favorites with new recipes.
It’s easy to find new recipes now days with the variety of cooking apps and websites, Pinterest, and buzzfeed videos streaming every 5 or 6 posts on the Facebook news feed. All Recipes has always been a reliable source for me, especially when I know what kind of meal or what ingredients I would like to serve. I’m a little old-school in that I like to keep a recipe binder with my favorite recipes instead of storing them electronically. I might prepare a recipe off a screenshot on my phone or an open webpage but if I like it, I print it and rate it with a 5-star system and then file it in my binder under the appropriate category divider for future use.
One of my favorite savory dishes to prepare is Mustard-Crusted Pork with carrots and Lentils. I find lentils can be a little bland but they are an unexpected alternative on the dinner plate and this recipe has them bursting with flavor. I like that I can adapt the recipe for a tenderloin or a cheaper cut like pork chops as a weekday meal option.
For those of you who are old-school like me, check out this recipe printable.
Mustard Crusted Pork with Lentils Recipe
- Preheat oven to 425 F
- Toss carrots with 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt & pepper in a shallow baking pan and roast while preparing pork.
- Pat pork dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12 inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it simmers, then brown pork all over, about 3 minutes total.
- Put pork on a work surface and brush with 1 tablespoon of mustard. Stir together bread crumbs and 1/2 tablespoon of oil, then press onto mustard coated pork to form a crust.
- Transfer pork to pan with carrots and roast until carrots are brown and tender and thermometer reads 140-145 degrees Fahrenheit, 15-22 minutes. Let pork stand 5 minutes, keep carrots warm or continue roasting if needed.
- While pork roasts, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil with garlic & thyme in a small saucepan until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir lentils, broth, and remaining tablespoon of mustard and cook until heated through. Season with salt & pepper. Serve pork with carrots and lentils.