Satisfy a Healthy Appetite in 2012

Submitted by Darcy Maulsby,
Darcy Maulsby & Co.

Achieving your New Year’s resolutions to boost health and have more energy is as easy as eating more. Yes, that’s right. Instead of worrying about what not to eat, focus on adding more nutrition powerhouses (like lean protein, fruits and vegetables) to your meals.

Even better, you’ll never feel deprived, if you do it right. This is an insight I’ve learned from the talented home cooks, chefs and dietitians whom I’ve interviewed through my work as an ag journalist and marketing specialist.

These health professionals and culinary experts have taught me that satisfying, nutritious, home-cooked meals don’t have to be time-consuming to prepare. (Check out my easy recipes for Pork Milanese and Orange and Cashew Lettuce Salad below).

At my house, “fast food” often starts with pork. Did you know that pork tenderloin is as lean as skinless chicken breast? The dietitians at the National Pork Board also note that today’s most popular cuts of pork have 16 percent less total fat and 27 percent less saturated fat than they did 20 years ago.

The key to a great pork meal is not to overcook this lean protein. New guidelines from U.S. Department of Agriculture show that pork can be consumed safely when cooked to a lower internal temperature of 145° Fahrenheit, followed by a three-minute rest time.

These are just some of the many handy cooking tips I’ve gleaned by writing about food and farming. I love spreading the word to help others make the farm-to-fork connection. After all, if you eat, you are a part of agriculture.

Pork Milanese


  • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ pounds of pork loin, sliced (pound each slice to a thickness of 1/3 inch)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper, or lemon pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Combine panko and Parmesan cheese and place in a large shallow bowl or pie plate. Lightly beat the eggs in another large shallow bowl or pie plate. Sprinkle pork slices with salt and pepper or lemon pepper. Dip the pork, one piece at a time, in the egg. Then dredge the pork in the panko/Parmesan mixture. Coat completely. Place the pork on a small baking sheet.
  2. Heat oil (approximately ¼ cup) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to the hot oil and cook until golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer pork slices to paper towels and drain. Then transfer pork slices to a clean baking sheet and keep them warm in a 200-degree oven. Add more oil, as needed, to the skillet and finish cooking the remaining pork slices.

Darcy Maulsby is based in Lake City, Iowa, where she runs her own marketing/communications company. She assists clients in agriculture and other industries with magazine articles, sales materials, newsletters, website articles, photography and more. Darcy, who is also an avid home cook, invites you to follow her food and ag updates on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Check out Darcy in “Eat, Pray, Farm : Women in Ag”

Orange and Cashew Lettuce Salad


Lettuce Ingredients:

  • head lettuce (or one bag of lettuce)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 whole green onions (optional)
  • 1 11-ounce can of mandarin oranges

Dressing Ingredients:

  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Candied nuts:

  • ½ cup cashews (or almonds, if you prefer)
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar


Prepare the nuts:

  1. In a small skillet, heat the sugar over medium heat until it begins to melt.
  2. Add the nuts to the pan and toss rapidly until the sugar coats all of the nuts and the nuts are lightly browned.
  3. Pour mixture onto a glass dish and separate the nuts with a fork.
  4. Cool until hardened.

Preparing the Salad:

  1. Combine lettuce, celery and green onions.
  2. Mix salad dressing ingredients.
  3. Just before serving, add oranges, candied nuts and dressing.