Linda’s Favorite Kitchen Gift Gadgets 2014

Dec 11, 2014

12/11/14 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman discuss Linda’s favorite kitchen gift gadgets. Pressure cooking is back in style  - a microwave pressure cooker that is easy and fast cooking in a microwave oven.  Or fry ingredients with only 1 tablespoon oil using the T-Fal Actifry, – and much more.

~~Dinner in Minutes~~

Balsamic Pork Scaloppini and Zucchini Sweet Potatoes

Balsamic Pork Scaloppini

Sweet and tart balsamic vinegar dresses up pork scaloppini.  Sweet potato sticks and sugar snap peas add a colorful side dish.

There are many different qualities of balsamic vinegar.  The best ones are made only from grapes; lesser ones add brown sugar or caramel.  Some high quality producers produce a less expensive but good quality vinegar.  Read the label. It should say balsamic vinegar and not have any other added ingredients such as sugar.

From Fast and Flavorful Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table by Linda Gassenheimer, published by the American Diabetic Association.  To order this book call 1-800-232-6733 or order online at

Using the microwave oven, helps speed the potatoes and snap peas.  It also means the dish they’re cooked in can be used as a serving dish and then cleaned in the dishwasher.  I have also given a stove-top method.



3/4 pound pork tenderloin

Olive oil spray

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup diced onion

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

Remove fat from tenderloin and cut into 2-inch slices.  Flatten the slices with a meat bat or the bottom of a heavy skillet.  Heat a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.  Spray with olive oil spray. Sauté onion 3 minutes.  Move to sides of skillet. Add pork to the skillet and saute 2 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate; add salt and pepper to taste.  Raise heat to high, add vinegar. Reduce liquid by half, about 1 minute.  Add pine nuts and warm through, about 30 seconds. Divide pork between two dinner plates and spoon the sauce and pine nuts on top. Sprinkle parsley on top.  Makes 2 servings.


1/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed

1/2 pound sweet potatoes

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 medium garlic cloves, crushed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash potatoes, do not peel.  Cut potatoes into strips about the same size as the sugar snap peas (about 2-inches by 1/2-inch).

Microwave method:

Place in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes.

Stove top method:

Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil and add the potatoes.  Boil 3 minutes, add sugar snap peas and boil 2 more minutes. Drain.

When the pork is cooked and removed from skillet, add the oil and garlic to the same skillet used for the pork. Add the potatoes and snow peas. Toss for 2 to 3 minutes or until potatoes are crisp and cooked through.  Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition InformationBalsamic Pork Scalooppini:Per serving: 309 calories (34 percent from fat), 11.8 g fat (2.9 g saturated, 4.3 g monounsaturated), 108 mg cholesterol, 38.6 g protein, 13.1 g carbohydrates, 1.6 g fiber, 88 mg sodium. Garlic Sweet Potatoes and Sugar Snap Peas: Per serving: 181 calories (23 percent from fat), 4.7 g fat (0.6 g saturated,3.3 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 3.6 g protein, 31.8 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber, 14 mg sodium.Shopping List

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 3/4 pound pork tenderloin, olive oil spray,

1 small bunch parsley, 1/2 pound sweet potatoes,

1/4 pound sugar snap peas and 1 small package pine nuts.

Staples: Onion, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and black peppercorns.

Helpful Hints

  • Thin cut boneless pork chops can be used instead of pork tenderloin.
  • Green beans or snow peas can be substituted for sugar snap peas.  The cooking time and method are the same.
  • Countdown:
    • Microwave potatoes and sugar snap peas and set aside.
    • Make pork.
    • Remove pork from skillet and saute potatoes and sugar snap peas in the same skillet.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 20 books including her newest, The Flavors of the Florida Keys and Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table.  Follow Linda on Twitter: @LGassenheimer, Facebook: Linda Gassenheimer