Rustic Mediterranean Pork Chops

A healthy main course that you can make in 15 minutes.

A healthy main course that you can make in 15 minutes.

I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump in the kitchen so it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe! That doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking at home (I actually cook almost every night), just that I’ve been feeling uninspired and resorting to a lot of the same old stuff. None worth sharing. Even though I spend much of my day talking about food with clients, I have times when I wish I could delegate the task of feeding myself to someone else. I’m sure you can relate! Anyhow, this was a really fast and easy main course that I came up with based on random ingredients that I had in the fridge and pantry and it was really good. I can’t say it enough – but keeping your pantry & freezer well stocked means you can make tasty stuff with short notice – even when you wish you had a healthy take out fairy godmother. Moving on . . .

These pan cooked boneless pork chops and rustic tapenade will only take about 15 minutes to make. The topping is like a rustic tapenade (only cooked) of capers, spinach, tomatoes, olives and lemon juice. You could easily sub out some of these ingredients for other staples (roasted red peppers or artichokes would work well). These would also be good on the grill though you’d probably want to marinate them a little beforehand (as lean pork can dry out when grilled).

Pork is one of the hardest foods to find organic or humanely raised. We don’t eat a ton of it but if we can’t find something I’m comfortable eating in the local grocery stores or if there isn’t any available at a local farm, as a backup I order online from US Wellness Meats or Tendergrass Farms.  Yes, avoiding factory farmed meat is very expensive. The way I see it is I can spend money now on high quality food that nourishes my body or I can continue buying meat that came from diseased and tortured animals on the cheap (with questionable country of origins) and pay extra at the doctors office. I prefer to avoid the doctors office if I can. When making a switch to higher quality animal products, it’s helpful to plan to eat less of it. You’ll find that a whole pasture raised chicken may only be 3.5 lbs, whereas you can find grocery store ones that are 6 or 7 lbs. Chickens that aren’t force fed or kept in tiny little cages rarely get huge – you’re not going to find a chicken breast that is 13 oz on one of these chickens, more likely that a chicken breast is going to be 5 or 6 oz. which is a heck of a lot closer to how much we should be eating anyhow. It takes some getting used to, but if you’re getting enough fat and eating lots of vegetable variety, you won’t miss it for long.

Hope you have a great 4th of July!

Rustic Mediterranean Pork Chops

Ingredients
For the pork
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
4 boneless Organic pork chops, fat trimmed and pounded to about 1/2 inch thick
sea salt
black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves minced garlic

For the topping
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
7-9 large green olives, roughly chopped (pit removed if there is one)
2 tsp organic capers
2 – 4 sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions
Heat 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. While it’s heating, sprinkle the pork chops on both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder (if using minced garlic, rub it into the chops). When the pan is piping hot, add the chops and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. When you flip the pork, it should flip easily and have a good sear on it. You may need to cook for less or more time depending on how thick or thin you pounded the chops to. When the pork is cooked through (slightly pink is okay) remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Add the spinach, green olives, capers, tomatoes and onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the lemon juice and scrape up any burnt pork bits while you cook.  When finished cooking, add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to the mixture and then serve on top of the pork. (You won’t need salt for the topping – olives, capers and sun dried tomatoes are usually quite salty!)

Makes 4 servings.
Note:  This would also work great with chicken or fish.

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