Stuffed Pork Chops

Let me just put it out there: #sorrynotsorry.

Inside View_Stuffed Pork Chops

(Yes, I just hash tagged my blog. Even in my early 30’s, I’m still hip.)

Let’s face it – pork chops can be boring. And dry. And bland. Not you’d find any of that on this fabulous blog. I don’t tolerate any of those things.

Particularly the boring. 

I mean, who stuffs meat with…meat? Clearly I’m not complaining. And you know why it’s okay? (Other than because it’s March Madness and I feel the need to get a little crazy because I LOVE this time of year!)

This recipe is on my diet. Not a trend diet either. I still eat carbs. And sweets. And dairy. This is totally okay. I mean, if you want to make it not okay, that’s easy. But I use lean cuts of pork. And turkey sausage…which is delicious even when it’s not seasoned, mixed with vegetables and stuffed inside of a pork chop.

But I digress.

I found this beauty in Southern Living (always my “happy mail day!”) – and while I set out to stick to the Cajun roots of the dish with some andouille flavored chicken or turkey sausage, I had some Italian turkey sausage I needed to use and it did the trick!

So this weekend while you binge on basketball, give this recipe a try – it’s the perfect game day food that’s not going to leave you feeling like you lost to a #14 seed in the first round of the tournament… 

Ohhhh. Burn.

Stuffed Pork Chops (Serves 2 / 8 WW points each)

Ingredients

Adapted from original recipe, found here.

2 5 oz. lean pork chops, trimmed of fat

2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. Cajun seasoning

2 tsp. olive oil

Stuffing:

2/3 link sausage, casing removed (I used Honeysuckle White’s “Hot” Italian)

8 fat-free croutons

2 Tbsp. yellow onion, minced

1 Tbsp. celery, minced

1 Tbsp. green bell pepper minced

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. Cajun seasoning

2 Tbsp. fat-free chicken broth

Heat your oven to 350.

In a medium skillet, cook your sausage over medium for about 5 minutes, breaking apart into crumbles. Cook through and add sausage to a medium bowl, reserving drippings in the skillet. Sauté onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic for 5-7 minute until tender.

Add vegetable mixture to sausage and stir with Cajun seasoning, croutons, and chicken broth. 

Stuffing Mixture_Stuffed Pork Chops

Season your pork chops with paprika, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Once the chops have been seasoned, cut a pocket in each one – be careful not to cut through to the other side. Spoon sausage mixture into each pocket. You can over stuff at this point, a little will likely fall out while cooking – so don’t fret!

Season and Stuff_Stuffed Pork Chops

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Add stuffed chops to the skillet and cook 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Saute_Stuffed Pork Chops

Enjoy the madness, I know we did…

Stuffed Pork Chops

Have a great weekend y’all!

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Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

So the first thing I thought of when I woke up today?

This epic scene from Friends. Because we all know I can’t go a day without something relating back to the best show of all time. Could I be any more predictable?

So Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my readers – I love y’all to chocolate-covered pieces!

Obviously, today is a day to let the love flow. I’ve never been a huge fan of a big outing or major to-do on the holiday, but I think any day designated to tell the people you love just that can’t be all that bad.

In addition to a silly card and a bag of the hubby’s favorite candy (anything peanut butter and chocolate) I usually plan a nice meal in for us to celebrate. One year that involved my Mustard Glazed Lamb – and another year that involved us ordering pizza. It is what you make it people.

This year I have a special little treat – which I won’t divulge quite yet since I have a good hubby who reads my blog – but I’ll have to share it with y’all next week. Too fun.

Anyways – obviously I try out a lot of new recipes on my husband. Some good. Some not. Some “meh” – but I always look for an honest response from him on whether or not I should put it in our regular rotation.

Well a few weeks ago, I tried a new recipe from Cooking Light and it was pretty good. The next week I found myself with some ingredients to use up and figured I’d make the same recipe again with some modifications. It must have been better the second time around, because the hubby took a bite and said “Whoa, tell me about this one!”…like he had never had it before. It certainly made me chuckle, but it also made me smile that I didn’t have to coax out an opinion. Clearly, this one was a keeper – just like the Mr. (Awwwww).

Plated Pork Chops

Give it a try and let me know what you think! It’s pretty easy to throw together and the time it spends in the oven gives you time to clean up, assemble sides, etc.

Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops (Serves 2 – 8 WW points/serving)

Original recipe from Cooking Light found here.

Ingredients

2 6 oz. boneless lean pork chops, trimmed

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

2 Tbsp. orange marmalade

1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 red onion cut into chunks

1 Tbsp. dried rosemary (or 4 fresh sprigs)

1/2 tsp. canola oil

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

In a small saucepan, whisk orange juice, marmalade and mustard together. Bring to a boil, reduce slightly and cook about 10 minutes, allowing it to thicken.

While sauce is heating, season your pork chops with salt and pepper on each side. Add oil to an ovenproof skillet and heat to medium. Cook chops 5 minutes. Sprinkle with rosemary turn and add onion wedges. Pour the sauce over the chops into the pan and bake 10-12 minutes until cooked through.

Glazed Chops - Add Sauce

Plate chops and spoon sauce and onions over top. This is great with some roasted veggies and any sort of potatoes or bread.

Orange Mustard Glazed Pork Chops

Hope y’all have a great weekend…and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

French Onion Pork Chops

So we are officially halfway through November. Does that seem ridiculous to anybody else?

I know my last post was more of a “reflective” post – being that it is November and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Well, today, I have 2 more things to add to my thankful list – PLUS a recipe, which I am sure you’re thankful for, right?

Day 14 – I’m thankful for friendships that stand the test of time. The husband and I got together with one of my good friends and her husband the other night – just to catch up. To be honest, sometimes I just suck at making the effort. But you know what? True friendships shouldn’t require a ton of effort (in my humble opinion). We hadn’t seen these friends in months – but after 10 minutes, it was like no time had passed. This has been a friend of mine since 7th grade, and I love that our husbands get along and enjoy when we all spend time together. It’s not just maintenance in my mind, but the growth of a friendship that allows it to stand the test of time.

(Sorry, didn’t know you’d need a shovel for that one – DEEP!)

Day 15 – Honestly? I’m thankful for a weekend with no plans. Tomorrow is the first Saturday in over 2 months we have not had something going on. And I am so pumped about it. I just need a day to relax and restore, catch up on my educational crappy TV shows, flip through my cooking magazines, and maybe get some good ole quality time on Pinterest. How else am I going to know how to make reindeer pancakes for Christmas?!

Now, on to the recipe. This is the time of year when I know we all crave the rich, delicious foods we see on the magazine covers – but perhaps dread the impact on our waistlines. Have no fear – I have a delicious recipe that is easy, full of flavor, and low in WW points.

French Onion Pork Chops (Serves 2 / 7 WW pts. per serving)

Ingredients

2 5 oz. lean pork chops, trimmed

1 egg

1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1 packet onion soup mix (I use Lipton’s)

Butter spray

Onion powder

Black pepper

Heat your oven to 400.

Start by trimming the fat from your pork chops. Then place each chop between two sheets of wax paper and pound to about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness with a meat mallet. I find they cook a little quicker and are less likely to dry out with this method.

Sprinkle both sides with onion powder and pepper.

Whisk egg and pour in a shallow dish. Mix together bread crumbs and onion soup mix and add to a separate shallow dish.

Dip chops in egg. Spray with a little butter, and then press into the crumb mixture.

Step by Step

Add coated chops to a baking dish and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Close up Chop

I served this with some roasted brussel sprouts and a green salad, but I’m sure any vegetable would go well with this dish!

Told you…easy and delicious. If you give this one a try, let me know what you think AND if you make any modifications – I love hearing how people amp up recipes!

French Onion Pork Chops

 

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Crispy Pork Chops with Caramelized Onion Gravy

I feel like 2013 has been one big party so far – especially coming on the tails of the holidays. We rang in the new year with a fun trip and awesome wedding, had a nice long weekend, I celebrated my birthday, and we just enjoyed a fun send-off weekend for the husband before he went back to studying.

So now it’s back to being low-key for a little, which I’m totally okay with. Gives me more time to spend conjuring up recipes – and of course, cooking them!

With Valentine’s Day coming up next week, I figured I’d share a super yummy, easy and healthy recipe that you can share with your special someone. Some people prefer going out to a big fancy romantic dinner for the occasion, but there is nothing better to me than enjoying a nice glass of wine with a delicious homemade dinner in the comfort of your pajamas. I know, I know – I’m such a catch.

This is a great recipe because it’s simple to throw together and pairs great with anything. I paired it with some roasted brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes.

Crispy Pork Chops with Caramelized Onion Gravy (serves 2 / 11 WW pts. per serving)

Ingredients

For the Pork Chops:

2 4-5 oz. lean, center-cut pork chops

2/3 cup whole wheat panko crumbs

1 Tbsp. dried parsley

1 tsp. dried rosemary

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 1/2 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour

1 egg white

1 Tbsp. canola oil

For Gravy:

2 1/2 Tbsp. chopped onion

1 tsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup fat-free milk

1 Tbsp. chicken broth

1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. onion salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine bread crumbs, parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper in a shallow dish and mix to combine. In another dish, add flour and in another add your egg white.

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Place pork chops between wax paper (we were out – pardon the foil) and using a meat mallet, pound to about 1/8 inch thickness. Season chops with salt and pepper on both sides and dredge in flour, coating lightly. Then dip chops in egg white, shaking off any excess. Then press chops into bread crumb mixture, ensuring a good coating.

20130121_190308[1]Coating

Heat 1 Tbsp. canola oil in a skillet on medium-low. Add chops and cook 5-7 minutes before flipping and cooking another 5-7 minutes. Once breading is lightly browned, place chops on a lightly greased baking pan and place in the oven for 10 minutes.

SkilletCooked Chops

While the chops are in the oven, it’s time to start your gravy. Begin by sautéing the chopped onion in the olive oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. While the onions are cooking, whisk together flour and milk in a small bowl. Reduce heat on onions to medium-low. Then, add milk mixture to the onions and whisk to combine. This should thicken up pretty quickly. When it does, whisk in chicken broth, pepper and onion salt. 

OnionsPepperGravy

Distribute gravy between two places and top with your pork chop – and voila, a fancy, delicious meal that will please guys and gals alike for a celebratory occasion!
Plated

And who doesn’t like a good reason to celebrate?

Close up

Have a great weekend y’all!

Spinach Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

It’s Friday. That means it’s the weekend! I only have to remind myself of this because I woke up Wednesday and thought it was Saturday…and I can’t even blame NyQuil!

Normally I try to throw some faux bar food your way on Fridays…but this was just so good that I had to share with you so that you could break out your grill and try this while you’re busy making deviled eggs for Easter Sunday!

Speaking of which – what is everybody making for Easter? We are splitting up duties this year…I think we had to talk my mom into letting us help so the entire meal wasn’t all on her! She’ll be doing ham, scalloped potatoes and her amazingly delicious popovers! (As long as my dad doesn’t open up the oven to “see what’s in there” – they always turn out great!). My Biffer is making a delicious green bean and corn casserole and a mandarin orange salad.

I’m in charge of deviled eggs (WW friendly people, it’s all about the fat-free mayo and the right seasoning!). I’ve also volunteered myself for the dessert. That scares me – since, you know, I’m not a huge fan of baking! Any delicious Easter dessert recipe ideas? I’m thinking some sort of strawberry delicacy – I’m sure whatever I make, I’ll share with you (as long as it doesn’t turn out horribly).

Anyways, with the beautiful weather we had this past weekend, grilling was on my mind. Not desserts. But I needed something that didn’t require a lot of marinating time or hovering – I had been shopping all day and was just plain exhausted! =)

Good thing I picked up a pork tenderloin at the store! This recipe is great because you can start it off in the oven and then transfer it to the grill and it really takes no maintenance at all! Just a few ingredients and you have a delicious dish that is sure to impress – especially since it’s WW friendly!

Spinach Stuffed Pork Tenderloin (serves 2-3)

1 pre-packaged Hormel Always Tender Pork Tenderloin, original (about 1 pound)

4 oz. frozen chopped spinach

2 wedges Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb cheese

1 oz. fat-free feta cheese

3-4 Tbsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove tenderloin from package and rinse.

Preheat oven to 350.

Sprinkle with chili powder, rubbing to completely coat the entire tenderloin.

Slice tenderloin about 3/4 of the way through.

Cook spinach in microwave until warm. Add cheese wedges to a small bowl and add hot spinach, stirring to melt cheese and incorporate.

Add your garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then throw in your feta. Mix well.

Spoon spinach mixture into the center of the tenderloin. Secure with a few toothpicks.

Bake for 20 minutes in the oven. In the meantime, heat your grill to medium.

Transfer tenderloin to the grill and cook for another 20 minutes.

I threw some corn on the cob and potato slices on with the tenderloin, did not have to dirty up many dishes for this feast!

Remove from grill, cover and let stand about 5 minutes.

Slice and serve with your sides and an ice-cold beer. It’s a super easy, low-maintenance dish that is pretty much great with anything – just don’t forget to remove the toothpicks!

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter everybody!