Food Hussy Recipe: Roasted Pork Loin & Veggies with IKEA Whole Grain Mix

This post is sponsored by IKEA. All opinions are my own.

I'm mildly obsessed with the new IKEA PS Collection - basically it's how I would like to live. It's clean lines with bright colors all over the place! You have to go check it out! In addition to the cute home furnishings - they've added to their food selection with this collection.  

First up are the IKEA Mix of Grains packets ($3.49). There are two flavors available - the first which I tried is a whole grain with dried porcini mushrooms and spices and the second is a mix of garlic, lemon, jalapeno and lingonberry.

These whole grain mixes are super easy to use - just a cup of water plus the grains and you're done. You bring the liquid to a boil and then leave it set for 10 minutes. As I was cooking it - I wanted to add a little more moisture so I added probably another 1/2 cup of chicken broth. That's a great tip too - if you're cooking rice/grains and think they're too bland - use chicken broth instead of water - it adds just a bit of extra flavor for you.

This is a great healthy side dish alternative to rice, pasta or potatoes - there's so much nutrition it's ridiculous! Also what I love is there's no chemicals or anything you can't pronounce - simple good ingredients.

To go along with my whole grains - I cooked up a small pork loin. The easiest thing to do with a pork loin is grab your favorite seasoning mix (this one is Colonel De's Garlic Goodness) and rub it all over the pork loin. I let that rest for a bit while I prepped my veggies.

A simple way to cook veggies is to roast them - you just throw them on sheet pan - making sure they're all about the same size or consistency - and sprinkle them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them at 425 for 20 minutes - maybe a little less for soft veggies like these and a little more for things like potatoes. Roasting at a high heat really locks in all that veggie flavor and yet adds a nice crispy texture to them. So delicious!

With my pork loin - I used a pan that can go from stove top to oven. So I seared the pork on all four sides first and then popped it in the oven.

I checked on it after a bit - always check your temp on pork and chicken - with pork you want a touch of pink on the inside and that comes at 155 degrees. So this wasn't quite done - it just needed a few more minutes. The nice thing was - it was in the oven with the veggies - so it was easy to get it all done at the same time.

And there you have a well-balanced meal packed with nutrition and the IKEA PS Whole Grain Mix was the start of it!

The pork was juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside - that's because I seared it before I put it in the oven - that is the key! Then I topped the whole grains with the roasted veggies and it really was a wonderful combo. The whole grain mix had porcini mushrooms so just adding a few more mushrooms in was a great addition.

The PS Collection also has these new drink mixes ($4.99) with three flavors and something they call Bacillus coagulans. There are 1 BILLION of these per serving of the drink mix. Now - what is it? Well - short explanation: it's a probiotic that is good for you. Long explanation - go here.

They also have these cute cups in their PS Collection that I just loved! They come in hot pink or navy and are $5.99 each. It's got a silicone sleeve and lid so it can be used for hot or cold drinks.

I love that IKEA gives you insight as to why they designed things - here are the designer thoughts that created this glass cup:

”I wanted to make a simple cup, the kind that you really want to take everywhere so I drew inspiration from regular paper cups and used the benefits to create a cup that’s kinder to our environment. The result became IKEA PS 2017 cup with lid. It’s made from durable glass, with a sleeve that keeps you from burning your fingers. This is a cup to keep by your side, whether you’re at home or at the office, on the go or taking it easy.” - Designer Iina Vuorivirta

 These drink mixes are really good - my favorite is the raspberry but they're all good.The other thing I like is that they're not overly sweet - you really feel like you're drinking something with some bang for the buck and not just a Kool-aid for grown ups.

I hope you've enjoyed your peek into the new IKEA PS Collection and be sure to stop out and check it out - I'm seriously obsessed. I already got this cool lamp and I have a feeling these hot pink candlesticks are next!

Roasted Pork & Veggies with IKEA Whole Grain Mix

- pork loin
- favorite seasoning mix
- broccoli & mushrooms, sliced
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- IKEA Whole Grain Mix
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

- Preheat oven to 425
- Rinse off your pork loin and pat dry with a paper towel
- Rub the seasoning mix all over the pork loin and let rest
- Spread your broccoli & mushrooms on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper
- Heat oven-proof skillet with olive oil and sear pork loin on all sides
- Once pork loin is seared, pop the skillet into the oven along with your sheet of vegetables
- Roast for 20-25 minutes (might want to take the veggies out a bit before your pork)
- While pork & veggies are roasting, heat chicken broth on stove in a small pan and add the IKEA Whole Grain Mix
- Once liquid is boiling, turn off burner and put the lid on
- Check the temp on the pork to be sure it's 155 degrees (no more! don't dry it out!)

Food Hussy: Sunday Meal Plan #2

So last week's meal plan went really well! I stuck to it almost to a tee! And those snack boxes are really working for me. I did not go out to eat for lunch at all last week!!! That's damn near a miracle! 

From last week's meal plan - the Frisch's cornbread was a #fail - so I subbed out and made a pasta salad which turned out delicious! Other than that - the only variation from the plan was Friday we swapped out King Crab for LaRosa's because I was too beat to cook. 

For this week - I have a busy busy week - so there's only a few days I'll be cooking - but I have everything decided: 

Photo courtesy of Olive Garden

Sunday - One of my favorite recipes is this copy cat version of the Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli. It is truly the only recipe that nails this soup to a tee and I've been making it for years. The best part is - it makes enough so I have leftovers for a few lunches! My tummy is growling just thinking about it! 

Monday - I'm headed up to Crooked Handle Brewing in Springboro to do some video for my friends at Historic BBQ and learn a bit about Smoked Meats and Beer! 

Tuesday - I've had this lemon dill sauce in my cupboard for a bit from IKEA and it seems like such an easy dinner - that I have to make it. I picked up some salmon so I'm ready to go with it! I'll probably have their delish veggie cakes as a side - I'm kind of obsessed with them. 

Wednesday - I'm hosting an event for my friends at Gold Star Chili. They're introducing a brand new vegetarian chili and I cannot wait to try it! 

Thursday - Stouffer's sent me all the flavors of their new Sauce Duos so I think we'll try the Teriyaki one with some chicken and broccoli. 

Friday - I'll be working! Hooray! There's a new brand that I'm doing some work with for my day job called ClearVia. It's a pretty cool product - it's a probiotic that you take after you've been drinking and it metabolizes the alcohol into vinegar so you don't feel like dookie the next morning! I don't really drink much but the folks in our office that do say this thing really works! So I'll be at the Cincinnati International Wine Festival sharing samples of this fun new product! 

So that's my weekly meal plan - I hope it goes off as well as last weeks! 

Food Hussy Recipe: Creamy Lime Shrimp Salad

This post is sponsored by Frisch's. All opinions are my own. 

I love pasta salad - it's just an easy dish that you can basically throw together with whatever is in the fridge and yet - it always tastes good. I decided to make one tonight for dinner! 

Here's the thing though - don't you hate when you want something but then you're missing one ingredient?! I looked in the fridge - no sour cream, no plain yogurt and no mayo - what's a girl to do??? Well - as you can see in the boomerang - I must have figured something out!

That's right - I had tartar sauce in the fridge! So - off I went! I sauteed some shrimp for last night's dinner and had some leftover - so that was a start - there was celery - I cooked up a little macaroni that was left in a salad is on its way!

Now - to turn that delightful Frisch's Tartar Sauce into a salad dressing! It's not actually that hard - it's basically mayo + relish (along with some Frisch's magic). The nice thing is mayo is just eggs + oil - so you've got the oil - now you need some acidity and some seasoning. For the acidity I had a little bottle of red wine vinegar left from a Blue Apron meal - so I used a little of that. Then some zing - garlic (of course) and then I had these little tiny limes - so I grabbed one of them. But don't just use the juice - zest a little in - so much flavor and aroma!!!

Whisk all that together and you've got a delicious creamy lime vinaigrette dressing! That's the nice thing once you know a little about how to put things together - you can switch it up, use what you have or customize things much easier! Plus - homemade dressing is ALWAYS tastier than the store bought kind!

So now that the dressing is together - I need the salad portion. I tossed together sauteed shrimp, cooked macaroni, diced celery and chopped spinach.

Then I added the dressing and boomio - we've got a yummy creamy lime shrimp salad! The dressing has so much flavor - that it sticks to all your bigger ingredients and just makes your mouth jump up and down!

Doesn't it look good?! You won't believe how refreshing and zingy it is! 

Creamy Lime Shrimp Salad 

- 1/4 cup Frisch's Tartar Sauce
- 1/2 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- Zest of 1 tiny lime
- Juice of 1 tiny lime
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- dash coarse salt
- 1 cup cooked macaroni
- 7 sauteed shrimp
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 cup spinach, chopped

In a bowl - whisk together the tartar sauce, vinegar, lime zest, lime juice, garlic and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together macaroni, shrimp, celery and spinach.

When you're ready to eat - toss the salad with the dressing!

* Makes enough for 1 large dinner salad or 2 side salads

Food Hussy Review: Fifty West Brewing Co - Plainville, OH

Craft Breweries are like McDonalds right now - there seems to be one on every corner! One of the OG's in Cincinnati is 50 West Brewing Co. And while I've drank there a few times I had never had dinner!

So we had to rectify that situation! To do so I grabbed my Kelly, her fiance and my hubs and off we went!

The beer list is quite extensive as you would imagine and there were plenty of IPAs for the other three but there wasn't one cider. Come on guys!

Kelly + boy got the Wings ($10) which are slow roasted, fried and then tossed in a spicy peanut sauce. The wings are very large and they liked them very much.

We went for the standard in the Johnson house - pretzels and cheese ($8) but these were on steroids. The pretzels were the big puffy Bavarian salted style but they were served with a beer infused spinach artichoke dip that was divine! Loved this pairing and so much better than so many of the places that serve some wonky yellow orange globby concoction.

I tried a beer - it was ok - I tolerated it - but didn't really like. Blech.

Larry was feeling vegetables and ended up with the Harvest Salad with Chicken (Half $5 + Chicken $4). He liked it and the chicken was really juicy.

Kell got the Ribeye Sandwich ($14) - slow roasted and thinly sliced ribeye with tomato, red onion, arugula and bleu cheese aioli on salted rye.  Unfortunately she didn't care for it - the steak was a little too rare for her and it was cold. We both agreed that we assumed the steak would be warm and that cold sandwiches aren't bueno (unless it's a chicken salad, etc).

I decided to try something totally different - the Shrimp & Crab Burger ($14) - pan fried topped with lettuce, red onion, pickles and sambal tartar sauce on sesame seed bun. I was #TeamKelly on this with my disappointment. The burger was mainly shrimp - very very little crab. The bun was overpowering with such a light "burger". It was also very bland. :-(

They do have some fun chalkboard beer art - do people go to school for this? Do you use stencils? Someone tell me!!!

Why Should You Go? If you like IPAs - then go. The food was hit and miss - so I guess go with something you really know you like and hope for the best. I do applaud the menu selection - there's a wide variety and it all sounds great - it just didn't follow through for me.

Fifty West Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Food Hussy: EZ Snack Boxes & Weekly Meal Plan

So I decided I'm going to try planning my weekly meals on Sundays. I've loosely done this before but money is tight so I need to make sure to stick to home-cooked meals instead of going out to eat or grabbing take out.

I also - have a plan for lunch/snacks that I have to share with you!

I found the idea last week on Clean Food Crush and loved it! You can use these packs for lunch itself or I used them as a breakfast/snack combo throughout the day. 

I customized it a little for myself and what I like and am making them again this week. I put together four of these for last week and will do that again this week. And someone asked me on Facebook if everything stayed crisp and fresh and YES the cucumbers were as crisp on Friday as they were Monday. Also - the hard boiled eggs didn't stink up anything else. :-) Here's what I'm putting together today:

* Grapes
* Grape Tomatoes
* Strawberries (might dip a few in chocolate) 
* Cucumber slices
* Celery sticks
* Jif-to-go peanut butter cups
* String cheese/Co-Jack cheese slices
* Hard Boiled Egg (1-2)

I love that you can swap out things too - rather have ranch instead of peanut butter? Go for it! Cheddar cheese? Yes! Green/Orange peppers? Sure! Apple slices? Done! You could also plus these up by adding deli meat and/or crackers. (Actually I might do that today!) 

I chose these items because they'd be good in the fridge for the week. Also - since I bought the Jif-to-go cups - it literally took me TEN MINUTES to put these together. I bought refills for the tomatoes, grapes, cucumber, cheese and strawberries this week. I have leftover celery and will boil the eggs today. 

Now for the meal plan! 
- Pork loin
- Mushrooms & Broccoli 
- Ikea Whole Grains: I'm obsessed with their new PS collection - and they also have some new seasoned whole grain mixes and I'm trying the porcini mushroom one tonight. This will turn into a blog post about the new PS collection - so keep your eyes out for that!   

- Crock pot beans & sausage - I saw this a while back and drooled. 
- Frisch's Cornbread - Frisch's has challenged me to create a recipe with their Famous Tartar Sauce! Gladly! When you think about tartar sauce - it's pretty much mayo and relish - so I decided to use it in a cornbread recipe. The mayo will take the place of the eggs/oil. So let's see how that turns out! That post will be up later this week. (Unless it's horrible - then you'll see a whole different recipe this week!) 

- I'm having a special video bonding session with my friends at Empanadas Aqui. I've been doing chef videos and am sharing them every few days on Facebook - so be sure to "like" my page and check them out. This week I'm sharing videos with Bite Restaurant in Milford - yum! 
- Take out shrimp for tomorrow

- Creamy garlic butter tuscan shrimp - I saw a Facebook video of this and knew I had to make it!  
- pasta 
- Take out chicken for tomorrow

- Stouffers Seasonings Wrap on Chicken - Stouffer's sent me samples of their new seasoning wraps for chicken and fish as well as sauce duos. I'm going to put these to the test this week. I'll share a pic of this on Instagram - so be sure to follow me there too!  
- salad
- biscuits

- Crab legs - We LOVE King Crab and it's always a good price at Kroger. So we'll steam crab and have a delightful dinner! It's super easy and only takes a few minutes once the water is boiling. Definitely worth a try. 
- Ikea veggie discs

- Izzy's - I have a gift certificate burning a hole in my purse and need to try some of Izzy's Lenten specials for an upcoming blog post. That post (+ giveaway) will be up next week! 

So wish me luck this week on the meal plan. Do you meal plan? What are you having for dinners this week? 

Road Trip: Highland County Day Trip - Noodles, Donuts and Burgers!

I've started a travel series where I'm going to check out some day trips and then meet up with chefs and friends along the way and share my favorite things with you! 

First up - Highland County! Highland County is northeast of the 275 loop - which was great for me since I live in Milford. Everything was only about 30 minutes away. 

On my roster to visit today was:

First up - we headed to Greenfield OH and met with Doug at Three Spoons Diner. Doug was sharing his recipe for homemade egg noodles as well as homemade beef & noodles.

Doug won us over in about 3.7 seconds. He's super natural and just a comfortable guy to be around. He's been in the world of restaurants since he was a kid and has owned Three Spoons for a few years now.

After my noodle lesson - (egg yolks, flour, salt) - we sat down to have some breakfast.

Doug's biscuits and gravy was equally amazing - I'm a picky one when it comes to B&G and let me say these biscuits were the best I've had! They were light and fluffy - and didn't weigh you down like a lead pipe.

We loved Three Spoons Diner and will definitely be back to visit Doug and his crew again.

Three Spoons Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Next door to Three Spoons we came across Marples Tattered and Torn Primitives

Marples is a combination of a unique shop and an antique store and I loved it!

I really don't even know some of this stuff is - but it's super pretty and I was taking pictures left and right with my new iPhone!

I mean - so pretty - right?! 

Then they told us about this sign in the front of the store. This is a very rare sign and she's been offered something like $1500 for the sign and won't sell it! I watch enough American Pickers to know something cool when I see it. Here's a much smaller one for $500 on ebay - just for a comparison.

After a little shopping - we headed west to Leesburg, OH and Batter Up Bakery.


Batter Up Bakery does cakes, cupcakes, donuts and everything else in that realm you can think of. It's a family owned business - Casey runs the shop, her mom makes the doughnuts and her dad fries them up. I loved every minute I spent with them and I learned a lot!

Including how to make donut holes with this gadget - I was giddy! But you have to watch the video to see how it all happens. 

And the donuts - I can't even tell you how amazing they are. To get them right after they've been fried and glazed - it was the tastiest morsel I've ever eaten! And let me tell you - I wanted to put my face under the wall of glaze - but I resisted.

There is also Saucy Sisters Pizza next door - which I think will be on my next visit!

Next up was a trek to Hillsboro and we had to take a detour along the way to see the World's Largest Horseshoe Crab!

This crab has been in a few different places and was even in one of the Twilight movies! Most recently it was in the back yard of a church when Ben Sexton rescued it from it's likely demise. He bought the crab and had it moved and re-built in his yard. It actually comes apart into 16 pieces and is definitely a roadside attraction.

Ben and his wife also run Old Days Vintage Campers which is a unique vacation rental on Rocky Fork Lake in Hillsboro. They have a couple of campers on the property by the lake and are renovating additional campers for future rentals. I buddied up with Ben in hopes of staying in this vintage diamond later this spring!

Then we stopped by Rocky Fork Lake - there's one side with a restaurant and campgrounds, etc. but we were on the quiet side. There's still a beach and a beautiful view for sure!

Finally our day ended back in Hillsboro at Cowaburger.

Cowaburger was a blast - they are a small place but they crank out some food and I have to say - the comments on Facebook rave about it! Some of the favorites are the Mushroom & Swiss Burger, the all beef hot dogs and the chili - which they neglected to tell me was so famous! So I guess I have to go back for some chili!

After checking out the kitchen - we grabbed some food - there's the Triple Burger, the loaded bacon & cheese fries with some amazing homemade ranch and a BLT dog - which was really great! They use really really great hot dogs.

CowaBurger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Our day in Highland County was really fun! I loved hanging out with local business owners and seeing the sights so close to home. And knowing that they're all just 30 minutes away means that we'll definitely be back!

I want to thank Destiny from the Visitor's Bureau for setting this all up and showing me around!

If you have a business you'd like me to visit - let me know! You can email me at foodhussy @