Linda Gassenheimer’s Favorite Kitchen Gift Gadgets for the Holidays

Dec 3, 2015

12/03/15 - 130 - Syndicated food columnist Linda Gassenheimer, Special wine correspondent Fred Tasker and WLRN hosts Joseph Cooper and Bonnie Berman this week talk about Linda’s favorite kitchen gift gadgets. A few favorites: Angry Mama Microwave cleaner.  Fill it with vinegar and water and let it work for you. Another cleaner that works – Grillbots.  It’s a robot that cleans your outdoor grill – no more scrubbing a hot grill grate.  George Forman has a new evolve indoor grill that is larger than previous ones, has waffle plates and other attachments to make it an all-in-one cooking unit.  It’s great for small kitchens or condo grilling.   

  ~~Dinner in Minutes~~

Balsamic Pork Scaloppini and Zucchini Sweet Potatoes

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

Using the microwave oven, helps speed the cooking of 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.

From Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table by Linda Gassenheimer, published by the American Diabetes Association.


Balsamic Pork Scaloppini

3/4 pound pork tenderloin

Olive oil spray

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup fresh diced onion

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons pine nuts

2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

Remove visible fat from tenderloin and cut into 2-inch slices.  Flatten the slices with a meat bat or the bottom of a heavy skillet to about 1/4-inch.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Spray with olive oil spray. Add pork and onions to the skillet.  Saute pork 2 minutes, turn and sauté 2 minutes.  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 1 minute. Divide pork between two dinner plates and spoon the sauce and pine nuts on top. Sprinkle parsley on top, if using.  2 servings

Garlic Sweet Potatoes and Sugar Snap Peas

1 3/4-cups sugar snap peas, trimmed (1/4 pound)

1/2 pound sweet potatoes, (about 2 cups potato strips)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel potatoes and cut into strips about the same size as the sugar snap peas (about 2-inches by 1/2-inch).

Microwave method:

Place potatoes, sugar snap peas and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave 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 garlic. Boil 2 more minutes. Drain.

Add olive oil and salt and pepper.  Toss well.

2 servings

 Nutrition InformationPer serving: Balsamic Pork Scaloppini: Calories 338, Calories from Fat 86, Total Fat 9.6 g. Saturated Fat 2.1 g, Monounsaturated fat 4.0 g, Cholesterol 108 mg, Sodium 113 mg, Carbohydrate 20.2 g, Dietary Fiber 1.9 g, Sugars 13.0 g, Protein 39.0 g Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 carbohydrate, 5 lean meat, 1/2 fat Per serving Garlic Sweet Potatoes and Sugar Snap Peas: Calories 165 Calories from Fat 42, Total Fat 4.7 g, Saturated Fat 0.7 g, Monounsaturated fat 3.3 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 66 mg, Carbohydrate 28.2 g, Dietary Fiber 5.0 g, Sugars 7.1 g, Protein 3.6 g Exchanges: 1 1/2-starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fatShopping List

To buy: 3/4 pound pork tenderloin, 1 bottle balsamic vinegar, 1 package pine nuts, 1 container fresh diced onion, 1 bunch parsley (optional), 1/4 pound sugar snap peas, 1/2 pound sweet potatoes

Staples: Olive oil spray, Olive oil, Minced garlic, Salt, 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.
  • Fresh diced onions are available in the produce section of the supermarket.
  • Minced garlic can be found in the produce section or condiment section of the supermarket.


  • Microwave potatoes and sugar snap peas and set aside.
  • Make pork dish.

Copyright © Linda Gassenheimer

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