Balsamic Pork Chops
with roasted carrots and fennel and quinoa
Sweet and tart balsamic is the perfect flavoring for both pork chops and roasted carrots and fennel. Feel free to use these flavorings on all types of protein and veggies. Our vegetarian option features a roasted carrots, fennel, apricot, and chickpea bowl sprinkled with pistachios for a Middle-Eastern feel.
Balsamic Pork Chops:
- Green onions, white parts - 3 stalks , chopped
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 tsp
- Balsamic vinegar - 2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 2 tsp
- Pork chops, boneless - 1 1/4 lbs ((Substitute halved chicken breasts if you don't eat pork. Just cook to 165 degrees))
- Cooking oil - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Corn starch - 2 tsp
- Chicken stock - 1 cup
Balsamic Roasted Carrots and Fennel:
- Carrots - 1 1/2 lb , sliced into sticks
- Fennel - 1 bulb , sliced
- Balsamic vinegar - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 1 1/2 tsp
- Cooking oil - 2 Tbsp
Quinoa (or Paleo Mashed Cauliflower):
- Quinoa - 2/3 cups , uncooked ((Sub 2 cups cooked))
- Marinate pork chops - Chop green onions. Combine white parts of green onions with soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar in a container that can fit pork chops. Coat pork chops in marinade and tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 30 minutes if you can, overnight if possible. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Quinoa - Double if making Tuesday’s dinner. Combine quinoa with 2x the amount of water (or stock if you prefer) in a saucepan. Add in some salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Carrots / Fennel - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Preheat oven to 425F (218C) degrees.
- Make vinaigrette by whisking together balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and cooking oil. Toss carrots and fennel in half the vinaigrette and spread out onto a sheet pan. Cover tightly with foil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove foil and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until golden and crispy on the outside. Toss finished veggies with remainder of the vinaigrette fresh out of the oven. Salt and pepper to taste.
- While veggies are roasting, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then pork chops to heated oil (save marinade for a quick pan sauce later). Sear on each side for 3 minutes until golden.
- Once pork chops have a nice sear, lower heat and cover loosely with foil. Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until pork has reached 145F (63C) degrees. While pork chops cook, combine corn starch and chicken stock.
- Remove cooked pork chops from pan and set aside.
- Turn heat back up to medium, and pour saved marinade and chicken stock into pan. Deglaze (meaning scrape up any yummy bits that may have formed on the pan with the liquid) the pan. Cook sauce until it simmers and thickens (that’s what the corn starch does).
- Enjoy sauce over pork chops with roasted veggies and quinoa.