Spring calls for lighter meals

When spring finally arrives, the yard is calling my name.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I look for food that isn’t too heavy or time consuming.
The crusted pork tenderloin is a nice weekend dish to make. Pork tenderloin is one of the leanest meats, and crusting it will keep it from drying out. It also makes great sandwiches the next day if there’s any left.
The cabbage apple salad will keep for several days and goes well with the pork, as do the sweet potato patties. The extra patties can be frozen and kept on hand for another meal.
The flourless chocolate cake is delicious, extremely rich and low in calories. Now isn’t that wonderful? People will fight over this cake, so be careful who you invite for dinner when you serve it.
Thank you to my readers for your thoughtful comments and feedback on the recipes.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Cherry Sauce
1/2 c. shelled pistachios
cooking spray
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar divided
1/4 c. water
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1/4 t. sea salt
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. almond extract
4 large egg whites

Cherry Sauce Ingredients:
2/3 c. granulated sugar
½ cup port wine
1 lb frozen dark, pitted cherries

For the Cake: Spray a 9 inch spring-form pan amply with cooking spray, then cut a perfectly fitted circle out of parchment paper to line the bottom (I trace around my pan and then cut the paper). Spray the parchment as well, now that it’s on the pan.
Put the pistachios in a food processor and process until they’re very fine. Gently press your pistachios into the bottom of the pan, on top of the parchment.
To make the batter, in a medium saucepan combine 1 c. of the sugar, and the water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat; stir in bittersweet chocolate and salt. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Add cocoa, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add the three whole eggs, individually, whisking in between each egg addition. Stir in extracts.
Beat egg whites until until peaks begin to form,gradually adding the 1/4 c. of sugar one tablespoon at a time until peaks are stiff.
Gently fold 1/4 of the eggwhite mixture into the chocolate mixture and repeat until all of the egg whites are incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out nearly clean. Cool to room temperature; run a kinfe around the outside edge and remove from the pan, gently upside down onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper and invert again onto a serving plate so it is now right side up.
While the cake is cooling, make the sauce. Combine the sugar and wine in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add the cherries and bring to a boil, reducing the heat once it boils and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the mixture reduces to about two cups. The sauce can be used to ladle over each slice of cake upon serving.

Spicy Sweet Potato Patties
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 eggs
5 cups grated sweet potato
1 cup grated onion
3/4 cup fresh cilantro
3 teaspoons fresh red chili or 1 teaspoon ground
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

In a small frying pan, toast the cumin seeds until just brown.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip the eggs, then mix in remaining ingredients, including the toasted cumin seeds.
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and oil lightly. Drop batter by spoonsful into the pan and cook slowly on each side until cakes are very golden, about 25 minutes. Keep warm until serving.

Crusted Pork Tenderloin
1 lb pork tenderloin
1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of Pamesan cheese
1 t of dried parsley
1 t of dried basil
2 T of olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees in cover a baking pan with aluminum foil.
Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan, and dried herbs. Cover tenderloin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roll seasoned tenderloin in breadcrumb mixture. Place on pan.
Bake the tenderloin for about 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Let the pork rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting.

Apple Cabbage Salad
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon spicy or Creole mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups coarsely shredded red cabbage
2 cups coarsely shredded green cabbage
2 medium unpeeled Gala, Red Delicious, or Fuji apples, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced crosswise (unpeeled is prettier but if the peeling is a problem, by all means peel)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk both vinegars and mustard in small bowl. Gradually whisk in the honey and olive oil.
Toss apples with lemon juice, shredded cabbage, and dried cranberries. Add dressing and toss.
Add salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in pecans, if using. Refrigerate the salad and toss again before serving.