Category Archives: recipes

recipe review: dijon pork chops

A girlfriend of mine introduced me to Gina’s recipe website: Skinny Taste. I just love this recipe website for a few reasons. First, Gina follows Weight Watchers and provides all of the Point values for her recipes. And second, the food is real, family friendly and delicious. They aren’t about making low fat versions of junk food and many are old favorites just lightened up.

I’ve made a few of her recipes with great results so tonight I tried her Pork Chops with Dijon Herb Sauce.

Like most recipes, I took some of my own liberties with the ingredients. I used boneless pork loin chops and added some wine white in the sauce along with the chicken broth. It was a wonderful and quick weeknight meal. We had it with roasted acorn squash for perfect winter night dinner.

Pork Chops with Dijon Herb Sauce
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1 chop • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 166.5 • Fat: 9.2 g • Carb: 2.6 g • Fiber: 0.2 g • Protein: 16.4 g

* 1 tsp butter
* 4 pork chops (22 oz with bone, fat removed), 1 inch thick, trim all visible fat
* 1/2 tsp salt
* fresh ground pepper
* 3 tbsp chopped onion
* 3/4 cup fat free chicken stock
* 1 tbsp dijon mustard
* 2 tbsp chopped, fresh herbs like parsley, chives, tarragon

In a large frying pan heat the butter over moderately low heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium and add the chops to the pan and sauté for 7 minutes. Turn and cook until chops are browned and done to medium, about 7-8 minutes longer. Remove the chops and put in a warm spot.
Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and boil until it reduces to 1/2 cup, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mustard, herbs, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Put the chops on a platter and pour the sauce over the meat.

Food and Wines says it is ok if the pork chops are pink in the center. Trichinosis is killed at the relatively low temperature of 150°. I use a thermometer to check the center and usually leave it until it hits 160°. Don’t overcook or they will become dry.

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eggplant puttanesca

Mr. Librarian comes from an Italian family who make and jar their own homemade sauce every year.  No Prego, Ragu or Bertolli can even come close.  To say he is picky about his sauce is an understatement.  So instead of competing, I try to make different sauces for us to enjoy.

Puttanesca sauce traditionally does not have eggplant but I am always looking for new ways to get vegetables in our diet.  We made this together and it turned out great.

Eggplant Puttanesca

Serves 4. Weight Watchers Points+ value= 11

1 medium eggplant, large dice
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400.  Toss eggplant, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Roast on a sheet pan until lightly browned, about 20 mins.

For the sauce:

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 t red chili flakes
4 anchovies
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1/2 c chopped olives
2 tbsp capers
32 oz can crushed tomatoes

10 oz whole wheat pasta

In a large pot, saute onions, garlic and anchovies over medium heat until cooked, about 5-7 mins.  Add red chili flakes, olives, capers and tomatoes.  Simmer over low heat for about 15 mins.  Stir in eggplant when cooked.  Season with salt and pepper if necessary, but I found the olives and anchovies had plenty.

Add pasta to sauce and toss.  If sauce is too thick, thin with pasta water.

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