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Quick, Healthy And Delicious

Preparing a healthy meal for your family after a long day at the office isn't easy and in fact can be an overwhelming task!

That's why cookbook author Art Smith has compiled recipes in a cookbook for America's busy parents.

"Kitchen Life" features fast, but delicious recipes that everyone in your family will love.

On The Saturday Early Show, Smith takes the Chef On A Shoestring challenge and creates a fast, healthy three-course meal for a family of four with a $40 budget.

Since the spring of 1997, Smith has been the personal chef to Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham.


BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD WITH ASIAN PEARS
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large head Boston lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
6 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Asian pear or Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Whisk the vinegar and sugar in a large bowl, then gradually whisk in the oil. Add the lettuce, scallions, cilantro, and Asian pear, and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Serve on 4 dinner plates.

ROAST PORK TENDERLOIN WITH ASIAN GLAZE
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons dark Asian sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed through a press
1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat and any thin silver skin
1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced for garnish

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small roasting pan with aluminum foil and lightly oil the foil. This is important because the glaze has a high sugar content and will scorch during roasting.
2. Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, sesame oil, garlic, and red pepper in a self-sealing plastic bag and mix to dissolve the sugar. Add the pork tenderloin and close the bag. Toss the meat in the bag to coat it with the marinade. Let stand at room temperature while the oven heats.
3. Remove the pork tenderloin from the marinade and place in the roasting pan. Drizzle about half of the marinade over the pork. Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and add 2 tablespoons water; set aside.
4. Roast for 15 minutes. Baste the pork with the marinade in the roasting pan. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat reads 150-155 degrees F, about 25 minutes more. The marinade will eventually thicken and scorch, but the foil will protect the pan, so don't worry. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes.
5. While the pork is resting, bring the reserved marinade in the saucepan to a boil over high heat. Cut the roast pork crosswise on a slight diagonal into thin slices and arrange the overlapping slices on a platter. Drizzle the hot marinade over the pork, sprinkle with the scallion, and serve immediately.

GINGERSNAPS
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
11/2 cups sugar, divided
1 cup unsulfured molasses
3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

1. Sift the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves (if using), baking soda, and salt together. Mix the butter and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed (a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a paddle blade works best) until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the molasses. Reduce the speed to low and gradually mix in the flour and then the crystallized ginger. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until slightly chilled and easier to handle, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

2. Position oven racks in the top third and in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Place the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Using a level tablespoon for each one, roll the dough into balls. Roll each ball into the sugar to coat. Place the balls about 1 1/2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

4. Bake until the edges of the cookies are crisp (the centers will be soft), about 12 minutes. Switch the positions of the baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely. (The cookies will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.)

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

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