Tag Archives: pork chops

Mediterranean Pork Chops {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

Standard

I made two blog-post worthy meals out of last week’s

Food & Fitness Linkup!

I’ll be showcasing one today.

Mediterranean Pork ChopsMy plan for Tuesday was to make some sort of pork chops with pesto green beans or zucchini and onions with herbes de Provence.

I decided on the zucchini and onions because I had three zucchini in the fridge that needed to be used and also found some fresh mozzarella which I no longer had tomatoes {gasp!} to make a Caprese salad.

So I improvised.

Yes. Me. Little Miss Follow-the-Recipe played the thing by ear. This always makes me nervous because I’m not sure what I’ll do if Rob doesn’t like what I make. We already go out to eat too much and I fear that if I don’t make something fabulous, he’ll want to eat out more. {I’m trying to push it in the other direction for both our health and pocketbook’s sake!}

In any case, I knew that Melissa d’Arabian’s Sweet Vegetable Saute side is always a hit with Rob, so I wasn’t too worried there. However, the last time I made pork chops with a Tuscan herb rub, I over-seasoned the meat, which made them nearly inedible. We had to scrape off much of the seasoning. It was also an herb rub I hadn’t used before, so I wasn’t very familiar with it.

Tip: When trying out new spices, use a little less than you think. You can always add more later.

This time, I decided to use my absolute favorite herb blend ever – the Rosemary Herb Seasoning Mix by Pampered Chef. Unfortunately, this blend has been discontinued. I don’t know what I’ll do when I’m out. It’s what I like to use when I make popcorn my favorite way. If anyone has the exact blend for this seasoning, please send it my way. I’ve tried to look it up online and there are so many different variations or guesses. But I don’t want any other Italian Seasoning mix, I want THAT blend!

In any case, for these Mediterranean Pork Chops, you can use any of your favorite Italian Seasoning Blends, Herbes de Provence or fresh herbs of your choice. You are just gong to have to play around to find the right mix for you.

Mediterranean Pork Chops with Sautéed Zucchini and Onions

  • olive oil (I used garlic infused olive oil.)
  • onion
  • zucchini
  • Italian, Tuscan or Herbes de Provence seasoning (to taste)
  • 4 pork chops (approximately 1 lb)
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella (sliced)

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Start chopping and cooking the Sautéed Zucchini and Onions by following this recipe. If you don’t like onions, you can skip or use yellow squash or bell peppers. It doesn’t matter how much you use of each veggie, just season with Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper to taste. The dish can hang out and sauté on low for as long as you making the rest of this dish.
  • I like to pound the pork chops thin if they aren’t already. Then, brush one side of the pork chops with olive oil and rub with Italian seasoning mix to taste. Since my first over-seasoning debacle, I tend to under-season now because I know I can add more later. Don’t forget to add salt if your seasoning mix does not contain any.
  • Lightly spray a pan (I used a grill pan) with cooking spray or olive oil and heat to medium-high.
  • Once hot, put the chops in the pan, seasoned-side down.
  • Brush the remaining side with the olive oil and rub with more Italian seasoning.
  • Sear the chops for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer the chops to a baking sheet or pan.
  • Top with slices of fresh mozzarella.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cooked through and mozzarella has melted.
  • Drizzle with a little good quality extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a little kosher or sea salt to finish.

Enjoy!

So what’s up this week?

planningWe have a lot coming up this weekend, so I’m not planning my days out exactly. Instead, I know that we will be eating at home four of the days and will just cook one of the following on any given day.

Food:

  • Dinners:
  • Breakfasts – Peanut Butter Toast, Granola with Milk
  • Lunches – Leftovers and Snack Lunches (This week, Poorman’s Caprese, cantaloupe, a piece of dove dark chocolate, Chobani yogurt, and a Tbsp of cashews.)

Fitness:

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I stopped running because my back was starting to hurt again. I switched to walking. Last week, the plan was to increase my walking mileage by 10% of the previous week. So my goal last week was to walk just a total of 8 miles.

But I didn’t do it.

By the end of the week, I realized that I need a better plan. I need some more structure. A goal. Then I remembered that what I wanted to do is finish the LOST Virtual Races. Joe has added four more races to reflect the last Stations of the LOST Dharma Initiative. Originally, I wanted to do the Couch to 5k, get back to running those and then run the last 7k, 8.15k, 9k and 10k stations.

If I can’t run right now, it’s time to get back to fitness walking. So my plan is to finish these stations by walking them, but not at a leisurely pace. I need to push myself!

So on Sunday, I completed the LOST 7k – Staff Station!

LOST Station 7 – Staff 7K

Complete!

What is your favorite way to eat pork chops?

Cheers~
Carrie

Advertisements

Make Your Own Blackened Seasoning

Standard

I had fully intended to write a post about making your own seasoning blends. Then Tiffany over at Cute Dogs & Hugs wrote a terrific post on how to make your own Homemade Taco Seasoning. It was then that I realized that I didn’t need to do one post on 10 different seasoning blends at once! Plus, there are so many different Taco Seasoning Blends out there that I still hadn’t found THE ONE to endorse. You know that the next one I try will be hers… 😉

You may be thinking that it’s so much easier to just buy a Taco Seasoning packet. But you may have never stopped to look at the ingredients. The first time I learned about this was through Wildtree, an party-plan company that offers “herbs, spices and culinary blends that are free of preservatives, additives, fillers and promote a healthier lifestyle.”

Wildtree makes their own Taco Seasoning and they compare the ingredients and cost with with a nationally known brand:

Nationally Known Brand of Taco Seasoning
Maltodextrin, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, monosodium glutamate, corn starch, garlic powder, spice. Contains less than 2% of the following: partially hydrogenated soybean oil, silicon dioxide, natural flavor, ethoxyquin
$2.03—serves 6—34¢ per serving

Do you know what silicon dioxide is? It’s that stuff that they put in packets and you find in shoeboxes and purses before you buy them that state “DO NOT EAT.” Hmmm… And with salt the second ingredient on the list, no wonder my friend Ceci always says that she hates using store-bought taco seasoning when cooking for her kids because it’s filled with so much sodium just makes you feel you bloated.

Wildtree Taco Seasoning
Masa Corn Flour, Chili Powder, Cumin, Sea Salt, Onion Powder, Oregano, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper
$7.00—serves 18—34¢ per serving

It’s an excellent blend. But you can also make taco seasoning yourself – with spices you most likely already have in your pantry! Just check out Tiffany’s post for her Taco Seasoning Blend. So easy!

~

The seasoning blend I’d like to share with you today can also be made with spices already in your pantry!

This past weekend, while dining out, I has some incredibly flavorful blackened chicken. I forgot how much I loooooovvveeee Blackened Seasoning! It got me to thinking… my poor, poor husband can never enjoy blackened chicken like I do! Though he’s said that he’s had and enjoyed the Blackened Steak Burger at McGuire’s Irish Pub in Pensacola, Florida. S0, I decided to make some Red Beans & Rice still in my pantry from my Zatarain’s Big Game Cravebox and top it with a Blackened Pork Chop.

I searched the web far and wide for a blackened seasoning mixture and just like taco seasoning, there are countless combinations of spices! But I finally settled on a pretty standard one and it made our taste buds sing… and zing!

Blackened Seasoning

(makes enough to cover 1 lb of meat)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne

Mix spices together so that they are evening distributed. {If you’d like, you can even pulse the thyme, basil and oregano in a spice or coffee grinder to be more like a powder. I don’t mind them as is, though!} We like spice, so my 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne was heaping! I also used a “Garlic Salt with Parsley” blend instead of garlic powder, but you most likely won’t find that readily in your pantry. And of course, you can omit the salt completely if you want a salt-free option and still have flavorful results!

I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe to have on hand to sprinkle on potatoes, eggs, popcorn or whatever you wish. Just store the seasoning in an empty spice bottle or seal-tight jar.

Blackened Pork Chops

  • 4 pork chops (approximately 1 lb)
  • Blackened Seasoning (1 recipe above)
  • Olive Oil (I used garlic infused olive oil.)

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Brush one side of the pork chops with olive oil and rub with 1/2 of the seasoning mix.
  • Lightly spray a pan (I used a grill pan!) with cooking spray or olive oil and heat to medium-high.
  • Once hot, put the chops in the pan, seasoned-side down.
  • Brush the remaining side with the olive oil and rub with the remaining blackened seasoning.
  • Sear the chops for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer the chops to a baking sheet or pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

We were so hungry, that I forgot to take pictures, but here is one of our leftovers!

Blackened Pork Chop over Red Beans & Rice

Blackened Pork Chop over Red Beans & Rice

Rob said, “YES” to me making this again. Win!

What’s your favorite way to use blackened seasoning?

Cheers~
Carrie