Rosemary Porkchops over Swiss Chard with Roasted Grapes

There is a lot to celebrate today!  First off, it is the start of our Easter weekend.  I have the next three days off, and don’t plan on doing much other than relaxing.  We started the stretch off right with an amazing dinner.  I really out-did myself tonight, if ya ask me.  I have; however, been going through a bit of a phase.  I know that it will end soon…but I have found myself in some what of a rut.  There are times where I start to feel really overwhelmed, and rather than handling it in a constructive way I tend to shut down.  I really feel like taking it easy this next week and not making any elaborate dishes — I’m going to keep it super simple, with the exception of Easter dinner of course.  Got a handful of exciting things going on though!  Let’s see…Jason and I have made plans to visit San Diego towards the end of May!  We took a trip to San Diego, CA about four years ago and loved it.  We spent an entire week there and made it to all the typical vacation spots, but we’re ready to go back!  This trip will be especially exciting because we are traveling with my sister-in-law to see Morrissey live in concert once again, this time for their shared birthday!  Very cool.  We could definitely use the time away from home for a while as well.

I have still been seeing improvements in my workouts and at least that part of my lifestyle has not faded.  I am super proud of my friend Anna who has been looking to me for workout advice/training.  She was able to up her weights on Thursday and she’s showing some real improvements as well.  I admit that I get a lot of pleasure out of seeing people attempting to change their lives with diet and exercise.  I know that not everyone can live a lifestyle like Jason and I have chosen, but I like to know that I do all that I can to put the word out there.  Speaking of which, I have been doing some research on my options.  It turns out that with my degree in Education — following a path in Nutrition might not be as easy of a transition as I had hoped for.  I think that is what has been creating this so-called “rut” that I am in…a tad bit of discouragement.  What I want to do is help people; I want people to be healthy, and I want people to care about their bodies the way I do.  You only have one body, just a single one…and it’s your’s!  As it turns out, transitioning into a Nutrition pathway would require me going back to school for a whole separate undergraduate degree.  I initially looked into certification programs that would allow me to move forward without going to school all over again, but that plan was a big fail.  Even the programs that are available; that I would love to be in, are only for those who have already completed an undergraduate degree in Nutrition.  If only I had listened to my gut years and years ago.  At one time in school I desired a Nutrition major, and decided to switch it!  If only I had stayed…things might be different today.  But you can’t change the past…  I will have to find something that makes me happy…some other way.  For now, I will have to just enjoy educating others the only way that I can — by word of mouth and via this blog…for anyone that may read it.

Here is a dinner that I actually made for the first time when I was in Dallas visiting Jason’s sister.  Being as strict as we are with our food choices we decided to visit Whole Foods instead of going to a restaurant!  I picked up some beautiful heirloom tomatoes that night — gosh they were amazing for my Fried Green Tomatoes!…sorry, lost my train of thought!  For dinner that particular night I came across some pastured pork chops and decided to top them with some roasted grapes and onions.  I never did blog about that meal because I was away from my computer and didn’t get any pictures or anything.  Well, the meal is back!  Except, this time it’s even better.  Decided to add some more flavor combinations, mainly by serving the pork over a bed of sauteed swiss chard.  Meal to die for!

Ingredients

  • 4 pastured pork chops (tonight I had center-cut loin chops)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 medium sized red onion, sliced
  • 2 c. red & seedless grapes

Process

  1. Season your pork chops with salt and pepper to your liking on both sides.  Sprinkle each side with fresh rosemary and minced garlic.  Drizzle some olive oil over chops and massage the rosemary and garlic in.  Let them sit at room temperature for a while before cooking.
  2. Grill your chops over medium-high for about 5-6 minutes a side, depending on their thickness.  Tent with foil and let sit at least 10 minutes.
  3. While pork chops are on the grill preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Toss grapes and onions with melted coconut oil on a foil-lined sheet pan.  Place in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes, or until your grapes begin to burst!
  5. While chops are sitting and grapes are roasting — work on your swiss chard.

Ingredients for Swiss Chard

  • One large bunch of swiss chard
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 fresh sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

Process

  1. Rinse your swiss chard well, and remove thicker part of stems.  The stem that is left cut away from the leaf, and slice.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and let cook just until fragrant.
  4. Transfer sliced ribs (stem) to the skillet and saute until just about tender, give them about a 5 minute head start.
  5. While stems are cooking – Lay leaves flat, one on top of another.  Leaves should lay up and down vertically from you.  Roll them up – working away from your body – and slice into long ribbons.
  6. Add to the skillet, along with the stems.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and give ’em a good stir.  Let them cook down – this will take another 5-6 minutes or until they are wilted to your liking.
  7. Once they are cooked, top with fresh rosemary and combine.

rosemary pork with red grapes

To plate this dish start with a pile of your sauteed swiss chard.  Place a pork chop over the greens, and top the pork chop with a generous amount of roasted grapes and onions.  This plate is so many great things coming together!  Despite the multitude of grill, oven, and stove lol it’s really fairly simple to make.  The seasonings are simple and it goes by quickly.  If you don’t feel like messing with the grill you can always throw these chops under the broiler — that would be a great substitution.  This meal is sweet, but savory; it’s fancy, elegant, but simple and easy enough for just a weeknight!  Definitely give it a try sometime.  Sweet things like roasted grapes go great with pork, but don’t be afraid to try this same method with some lamb or even veal cutlets.

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