Quick Meals- Grilled Pork Chop Dinner

So I have been “dieting” for a little over three weeks now. I lost a little over 40 lbs 3 years ago. And slowly but surely the pounds have started to creep back on so before it gets out of hand I figured I better do something about it.

Dieting for me = 1200 calories a day. I know counting calories does not work for everyone, but I love food nutrition and food science so it works well for me. I have also tried several food diaries over the years. My favorite is myfitnesspal.com. One of the reasons that I love it is because you can track exercise and water intake, too. MyFitnessPal also has records of most restaurant food nutrition which makes eating out much easier (and less stressful if you are dieting).

If only there was a magic skinny pill….I digress. My sister-in-law, Holly, likes to refer to my diet food as gerbil food. So after eating gerbil food for three weeks, I was in need of a real dinner last night. I dreamed up this little meal while driving home from work; swung into Publix to pick up what I needed. And after 30 min of arriving home, dinner was ready. Bam! I love quick cooking.

Here is what I dreamed up on my way home from work:

Grilled Boneless Pork Chops (4 servings)

4 chops, 1/2 in to 3/4 in thick

Turn the grill on to high for fifteen minutes or so to get it nice and hot. While you wait on the grill to heat up, rinse the chops and pat dry. Then cover both sides of the chops with the dry rub (recipe below).

With the heat still on high, place the chops on the grill for  8 – 10 minutes (depending on how thick the chops are), flipping the chops halfway through the grilling time to get a nice grill marks on each side. When the chops are finished, place on a platter(I used a warmed platter). Let them rest 5-8 minutes before for serving.

Dry Rub

2 tsp Cumin

2 tsp Curry Powder

2 tsp Paprika

1/2 tsp Cayenne (optional)

2 tbsp Brown sugar

Combine in a small bowl. Make sure to mix the spices thoroughly.

Grilled Asparagus (4 servings)

Chop the hard ends off about 1 lb of fresh asparagus, approximately the last inch or so of the end of the stalk. Toss in the dressing (recipe below) and then place on a hot grill for about 4-5 minutes. Serve warm.

Asparagus Dressing

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tsp Lemon juice

1 tsp honey (or a little brown sugar would work)

Salt and pepper

Grilled Pineapple (if you have never grilled pineapple, you have not really lived:) (4 servings)

Cut up one pineapple in whatever size slices you prefer. Make sure the slices are sturdy enough for the grill. (I just bought the pre-sliced pineapple at Trader Joe’s.)

Typically, I toss a little balsamic vinegar and ground cinnamon on the slices before I place them on the grill. Place the slices directly on a hot grill for 4-5 minutes. Turning the slices halfway through the grilling time.

Whole Wheat Couscous (not pictured)(4 servings)

1 1/4 cup chicken or beef stock

1 tsp olive oil

1 clove of Garlic

1 cup Whole wheat couscous(or regular couscous)

1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese (or parmesan)

1 tbsp parsley

Bring the stock to a boil in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat and add olive oil, garlic, whole wheat couscous. Cover with a lid and let it steam for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff. Gently fold the in gorgonzola cheese and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

On a large platter, I piled the chops, asparagus and pineapple on top of a bed of couscous. It was beautiful, as well as tasty! According to my simple calculations, my whole dinner was under 500 calories which is pretty great for a hearty dinner. And my grand total for the “restaurant style” dinner was under $9.00 for two people which made me happy too!

PS. As I served this and my boyfriend dug in, he looked up at me and said, “Am I going to see my dinner on the internet tomorrow?” I could not help but laugh.

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