Tag Archives: spinach

Pork Chops with Spinach and Feta

spinach and feta pork chops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the last recipe I posted that called for pomegranates? Do you also remember how I said I was originally saving that pomegranate to use with pork but since I don’t often eat meat, I figured I’d better use it up in something else I’d be more likely to eat? Well…

guess who suddenly had a hankerin’ for pork this week?! Yeah, this girl right here. This girl that used to say firmly, “I will NEVER give up meat. I will NEVER live off of mostly fish, fruit and vegetables!” Well, I didn’t give them up but I did cut back on them significantly. So much so that when I do eat meat, I have to be conscious of how much of it I eat (portion control) or my body will let me know later that it wasn’t happy with my choice (per lots of swollen limbs and a rolling tummy). Knowing all of this about my body, but still wanting to satisfy my pork craving (everything in moderation, remember), I decided to make this delicious-sounding stuffed pork. To help my body, I served mine with steamed garlic green beans and roasted carrots (beans and sweet potatoes for the rest), and I also cut my serving of pork in half so I didn’t feel “obligated” to eat the whole stuffed chop when I knew my body wouldn’t appreciate it. I also drank 2 tall glasses of ice water with my meal instead of milk, tea, soda or wine. Clearly (haha, get it? water…clear. oh, sorry. here, have a glass of dry wine to go with my sense of humor!), water is the better choice.

I love spinach and feta, but if you don’t, feel free to swap out a different kind of cheese (mozzarella, romano, muenster, etc.) or greens (swiss chard, kale, etc.).

Ingredients

cooking spray1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
5 sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil, diced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add half the garlic; cook about 1 minute. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, tomatoes, and spinach; cook until moisture evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in cheeses and rind.
  3. Cut a horizontal slit through each pork chop to form a pocket. Stuff about 1/4 cup spinach mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper over pork. Arrange pork on the rack of a broiler or roasting pan coated with cooking spray; place rack in pan. Combine remaining garlic, juice, mustard, and oregano in a bowl; stir well. Brush half of mustard mixture over pork. Broil 6 minutes; turn pork. Brush remaining mixture over pork; broil 2 minutes or until done.
Amount per serving (serves 4, not including sides)
Calories: 232
Calories from fat: 33%
Fat: 8.6g
Saturated fat: 3.4g
Protein: 32.1g
Carbohydrate: 7.2g
Fiber: 2.8g
Cholesterol: 73mg
Sodium: 640mg

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Filed under Red Meat

Pumpkin Penne Pasta

I love that this dish uses pumpkin and pureed cottage cheese to make the creamy sauce that brings everything together. The sage and nutmeg are also a delicious touch that stands out well against the pumpkin. Feel free to use whatever chicken or turkey sausage you can find or have on hand. You could also opt to leave it out to make it a bit lighter or if you’re not a meat eater. Plus, this dish packs a whopping 8 grams of fiber and 36 grams of protein per serving!

Image

Ingredients

8 oz penne pasta *see note
2 tsp olive oil (or grapeseed oil)
1 medium-large onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. dried sage
3 links cooked chicken sausage **see note
1 cup low fat cottage cheese (1% milk fat)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup nonfat milk
pinch of nutmeg
10 oz torn spinach (or kale), thick stems removed
grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, optional

Directions

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook gently for about 10-15minutes, until softened and beginning to caramelize. Add garlic, sage, and chicken sausage; continue to saute.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

In a blender, combine combine pumpkin, cottage cheese, and milk. Blend until no lumps are present. Add to sausage mixture in skillet and continue to cook over low heat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.

Drain pasta and return to pot over low heat. Add sausage mixture and baby spinach, and toss together. Cover for a few minutes to let the spinach wilt. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

*Barilla PLUS is a good pasta choice as it has added protein in it. You could also use gluten-free if needed or I’ve even thought about trying it with some cooked spaghetti squash, though I haven’t done it yet.

** any type of chicken sausage that you like or can find should work sufficiently. I’ve used different kinds that I’ve bought from Trader Joe’s, CostCo and WalMart. Some brands are Al Fresco, Bistro Sensations and Johnsonville. I, personally, like to use the Sweet Apple ones but I’ve pretty much used them all and loved how they all tasted.

Nutritional Information

per serving, makes 4 servings

Calories 496.5
  Total Fat 12.4 g
  Saturated Fat 3.2 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 2.3 g
  Cholesterol 53.7 mg
  Sodium 767.5 mg
  Potassium 687.3 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 61.3 g
  Dietary Fiber 8.1 g
  Sugars 14.2 g
  Protein 36.3 g

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Filed under Poultry

Spanish Tortilla

Ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons grapeseed oil (or extra-virgin olive oil), divided
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup precooked diced red potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add potatoes, thyme and paprika and cook for 2 minutes more.
  2. Lightly whisk eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Stir the potato mixture into the eggs along with cheese, spinach, salt and pepper until combined. Wipe the pan clean; add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and heat over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture, cover and cook until the edges are set and the bottom is browned, 4 to 5 minutes (it will still be moist in the center).
  3. To flip the tortilla, run a spatula gently around the edges to loosen them. Invert a large plate over the pan and turn out the tortilla onto it. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and continue cooking until completely set in the middle, 3 to 6 minutes. Serve warm with a nice side salad or vegetable.

Serves 6

Nutrition

Per serving: 178 calories; 9 g fat ( 3 g sat , 4 g mono ); 217 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 12 g protein; 2 g fiber; 433 mg sodium; 210 mg potassium

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Filed under Vegetables and Vegetarian Dishes