Monday, October 31, 2011

Grilled Autumn Pork Chops

In case you accidentally ate more Halloween candy than you passed out or you have been using Fall fashion as an excuse to cover up the few pounds you've let sneak back on... here is a delicious reason to fall back into the Gundry lifestyle and recommit to a healthy way of eating.
Max has been absolutely loving this shake n' bake style pork chop recipe that I started making a few months back (read: he sings "it's pork chop night" every time I make it), so when I saw this idea in the October issue of Sunset magazine, I just had to try it.  The recipe calls for plums, but when I went to Whole Foods, they didn't have any.  I opted for a fuyu persimmon - an absolutely delicious fall fruit.
Do remind yourself of Gundry's rules on fruits (pages 67 - 70) - they should only be eaten after the first two weeks of Phase I and can slow weight loss.  Gundry doesn't comment specifically on persimmons, but I bought a ripe one and hoped that it was more like a "friendly fruit" than a "killer fruit".  Max and I ate less than half a persimmon each for this recipe.

Here's the recipe from Sunset.  If you'd like, you can modify like I did and use a fuyu persimmon.  Max and I shared one large pork chop.
4 bone-in pork chops (about 3/4"-thick)
1/2 tsp. each kosher salt and pepper
1 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 Tbsp. each minced fresh ginger and cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar *substitue with a few dashes of stevia
1 lb. firm-rip plums, halved and pitted
1/2 sweet onion, cut crosswise into 1/4" thick slices

Heat grill to high (450 to 550 degrees).  Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper.  Cook coriander and mustard seeds in a medium saucepan in 1 tsp. oil over high heat until mustard sees begin to pop, 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in ginger, vinegar, and brown sugar (*substitute with a few dashes of stevia); set aside.
Grill pork chops, turning once, until cooked medium, about 10 minutes total.  Brush plums and onion with remaining 2 tsp. oil.  Grill onion, turning once, until softened and lightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes.  Grill plums, turning once, until grill marks appear, 3 minutes.
Transfer onion and plums to a cutting board and cut pieces in half.  Toss in pan with reserved spice mixture and serve over pork chops.
If you can't tell from the pictures, I didn't read this recipe well, in two areas... I cut my onion into quarters instead of into 1/4"-thick slices and promptly lost about 80% of the onion between the slats on my grill AND, I didn't read that the coriander seeds needed to be crushed.  I left them whole.  It was still very delicious, mistakes and all. Which reminds me... I need to put a mortar and pestle on my Christmas wish list!
By the way, Max also LOVED this dish.  At the end of the meal he said, "next time you ask me what I'd like for dinner and I can't think of anything... this is what I want."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Salad of Brussels Sprouts, Green Beans & Queso Fresco

I came up with this recipe out of happenstance.  I was ready for lunch and planned to make a simple salad, and when I went to the frige, I realized I was out of lettuce.  But, I had extra Brussels and thought - "that's just as good as lettuce."  So I put together a salad of sauteed, shaved Brussels, green beans and queso fresco.  Queso fresco is a crumbly, slighlty tangy and creamy Mexican, fresh cheese.
Gundry doesn't specifically address queso fresco in his book, but does list several fresh cheeses that can stand in as proteins.  Serving sizes listed for these fresh cheeses vary from 1/2 cup (feta, mozzarella) to 1 cup (ricotta, cottage, farmer).  So, with this recipe, I erred on the safe side and used only a half cup of queso fresco.
The whole idea of shaved Brussels sprouts comes from one of Dr. Gundry's recipes - Brussel Sprouts You'll Eat on page 257 of his book.  You can check out my blog post on this recipe here or another favorite Brussels recipe here.

2-1/2 cups Brussels sprouts, shaved*
3/4 cups green beans, chopped into 1" to 2" pieces
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
These are the proportions I used when I prepared lunch for myself.  You can obviously vary the proportions based on your preferences or if you're preparing the dish for more than one person.  This recipe would also work well as a side dish.
*Get the perfect shaved Brussels sprouts by sending them through a food processor fitted with the slicing blade.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add shaved Brussels sprouts.  Sprinkle with salt.  Saute, approximately 7 minutes, until browned.
I used already cooked, leftover green beans for my lunch, so I threw them in near the end, just to heat through.
If using raw green beans, add to the skillet at the same time as the Brussels sprouts.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and add cheese.  Stir to combine.
Enjoy this simple and delicious combination!

Dr. Gundry notes that in Phase 3, you can try his Brussels recipe raw.  So, if you prefer, you can forego sauteing the veggies or saute as little or as much as you'd like.