Pan Seared Pork with Spiced Butternut Squash Salad
I'd just like to begin this post by reinforcing the fact that I am not a nutritionist, dietician, professional recipe writer, or chef. I l love to cook, and I am a fitness professional -- but no expert. I believe in balance when it comes to diet and exercise, and life in general. When my son has hospital stays, I tend to get off track with diet and exercise. I've just come to accept it. Once things settle, I can get back into my routine. If you can wrap your head around the mentality that fitness and health is a lifelong process, those little road bumps won't get you down. This is a recipe I came up with when I was on my way up after a super (not) fun month of an unexpected ICU stay, a ten day stomach virus, and a (planned) surgery -- number 8 for my tough little toddler. Anywho, this recipe is delicious, comforting, healthy, and pretty easy. I hope you enjoy it.
3 Thick Cut Pork Chops
3 Cups Cubed Butternut Squash
1/8 cup dried cranberries
1/2 Red Onion, Sliced
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Crumbled Goat Cheese (optional)
3 cups Whole Foods Roman Salad Blend
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Cinnamon to taste
Nutmeg to taste
*Let your pork come to room temperature, pat it dry and then season your pork with salt and pepper (or Borsari!) Then get started on your squash, before cooking the pork so they'll be ready to serve at the same time.
Heat Oven to 425 degrees. In a pan add cubed butternut squash, sliced red onion, and cranberries. Season with Salt, Pepper, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. Once the oven is pre heated, pop in the pan and let the squash mixture roast for about 20 minutes, or until browned, turning once. While the squash roasts, prep your salad and start cooking your pork.
Add your Roman Salad Blend, lemon juice, vinegar, and 1tbsp olive oil to a bowl. Toss, coat, and let sit until the squash is ready to add.
I used thick cut pork chops for this, so be sure to keep that in mind when it comes to timing.
For your pork:
Heat your pan on med / high. If you are counting Weight Watchers points, you can use cooking spray for more bang for your buck. Otherwise, you can drizzle olive oil into the pan. Once your pan is hot, sear your pork chops -- meaning place them in the pan and DON'T TOUCH THEM until they are ready to turn. For this thicker cut to come to a medium well temp, 6 minutes or so on each side will do. Sear the sides, too! FYI - they won't take as long.
Set your seared pork chops on a plate to rest for about 5 -8 minutes, to keep them juicy and finish cooking on the inside.
While the pork rests, take your squash mixture out of the oven and toss it into your salad. This will wilt the kale, making it softer without losing it's "bite". I crumbled some goat cheese on top of my salad, just because I felt like it, but you don't have to. It's really good on its own.
Serve, and enjoy!