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What's for Dinner: Pork is back with three economical dishes

By Beverly Glaze

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If you've ever gnawed on a dried-out, overcooked pork chop, you might have taken pork off your shopping list. Give it a try again this week with three creative recipes, featuring the Southwestern flavors of Chalupas, tangy Honey Mustard Pork Chops and citrusy Orange Pork Chops.

Baked Fish and Vegetables goes from the freezer to oven to table in about 15 minutes with no messy cleanup as the frozen fish and mixed vegetables cook in individual foil packets. Black Bean Chili rounds out the week with a meatless meal.

Chalupa

Makes 6 servings. Source: University of Wyoming Extension Service.

     1     pound dry pinto beans

     1     pound pork roast or 2 to 3 pork steaks

     7    cups water

     1/2  cup onion, chopped

     2     cloves garlic, minced

     1     teaspoon salt

     2     tablespoons chili powder

     1     tablespoon cumin

     1     teaspoon oregano

     1    4-ounce can green chilies, chopped

PLACE all ingredients in a Dutch oven, slow-cooker or heavy pot. Cover and simmer about 5 hours, or until roast falls apart and beans are soft. Uncover and cook about 30 minutes until the mixture reaches the desired thickness.

SERVE with whole-wheat tortillas and the following toppings, if desired: chopped tomato, chopped avocado, chopped onion, shredded lettuce, grated cheese, taco sauce or other hot sauce.

Nutrition information: 260 calories, 9 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 740 milligrams sodium, 16 grams total carbohydrates, dietary fiber 6 g, 0 grams sugar, 26 grams protein.

Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Makes 4 servings. Source: Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program.

     4    top loin pork chops

     1/3  cup orange juice

     1     tablespoon soy sauce

     2     tablespoons honey mustard

PLACE pork chops in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-high heat to brown one side of the pork chops. Turn the chops over. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Cover the pan and lower the heat. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes until the chops are done.

SERVE with brown rice, cooked according to package directions, and steamed broccoli.

Nutrition information: 230 calories, 11 grams total fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 360 milligrams sodium, 6 grams total carbohydrate, 0 grams dietary fiber, 6 grams sugars, 24 grams protein.

Orange Pork Chops

Makes 4 servings. Source: Utah State University Cooperative Extension.

     4    pork chops

     2     sweet potatoes (peeled)

     1     orange (peeled and sliced)

     1    dash cinnamon

     1    dash salt

     1    dash black pepper

HEAT oven to 350°.

BROWN the pork chops in a medium skillet in a small amount of oil. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch slices. Place meat and sweet potato slices in a baking dish and top with orange slices; sprinkle with seasonings.

COVER and bake for 1 hour until meat is tender and internal temperature is 170°.

SERVE with a tossed green salad and whole-wheat dinner rolls.

Nutrition information: 270 calories, 11 grams total fat, 4 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 85 milligrams sodium, 17 grams total carbohydrate, 3 grams dietary fiber, 6 grams sugars, 25 grams protein.

Baked Fish and Vegetables

Makes 4 servings. Source: University of Minnesota Cooperative Extension Service.

     4     frozen white fish fillets, 16 to 20 ounces total weight

     16     ounces mixed vegetables, frozen

     1     small onion, diced

     1     teaspoon lemon juice

     1     tablespoon dried parsley flakes

     4     squares of aluminum foil, 10 by 12 inches each

HEAT oven to 450°.

SEPARATE and place fish fillets in center of each foil square. Combine frozen vegetables and diced onion in bowl and mix. Spoon vegetables around fillets. Sprinkle with lemon juice and add parsley on top. Fold ends of foil together to form a leak-proof seal.

BAKE for 10 minutes and serve.

SERVE with baked potatoes and a tossed salad.

Nutrition information: 350 calories, 12 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 120 milligrams cholesterol, 260 milligrams sodium, 17 grams total carbohydrate, 5 grams dietary fiber, 6 grams sugars, 41 grams protein.

Black Bean Chili

Makes 6 servings. Source: University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.

     2    cups onion, chopped

     2     garlic cloves, minced or pressed

     1/2  cup water

     1     tablespoon ground cumin

     1    cup salsa

     1    red or green pepper, chopped

     3    cups cooked black beans

     3    cups canned whole tomatoes with juice

     2    cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

     Salt to taste

     2     additional cups water

COOK onions and garlic in 1/2 cup water in a soup pot on high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cumin, continue cooking for one minute. Stir in salsa and pepper.

REDUCE heat, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans and tomatoes; simmer for 10 minutes. Add corn and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add additional water until desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste.

SERVE with whole-wheat tortillas.

Nutrition information: 230 calories, 3 grams total fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 grams cholesterol, 1,030 milligrams sodium, 42 grams total carbohydrate, 11 grams dietary fiber, 11 grams sugars, 12 grams protein.

Shopping list

Onions

Garlic cloves

Red or green pepper

Sweet potatoes

Orange

Lemon juice

Dry pinto beans

Black beans

Canned whole tomatoes

Can of green chilies

Salsa

1 pound pork roast or steaks

Pork chops

Frozen white fish fillets

Frozen mixed vegetables

Fresh or frozen corn kernels

Orange juice

Staples: chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, cinnamon, parsley flakes, soy sauce, honey mustard, aluminum foil

Beverly Glaze has a master's degree in human nutrition and food science and is a WVU Extension specialist in the FNP adult program. Reach her at Beverly.Glaze@mail.wvu.edu or 304-634-8449.

Programs and activities offered by the West Virginia University Extension Service are available to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin, and marital or family status. This material was funded, in part, by the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with limited income. To find out more, contact your local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.


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