Pesto Pork Chops
Lean pork is now on the heart-healthy menu. To keep these pork chops healthy but succulent, top them with homemade pesto. It uses just a tiny bit of oil but seals in all the pork’s juices at the same time.
Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada
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- 180 g wide egg noodles or rice noodles
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 3 garlic cloves peeled
- 1/2 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp whole-wheat breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 lean pork loin chops 1 cm thick, about 120 g each
- Prepare the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and keep hot. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler.
- Place the basil, garlic and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped. Add the breadcrumbs and process for 30 seconds. With the motor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube until puréed. Set aside.
- Coat a large heavy frying pan and the broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set the frying pan over high heat until it is very hot but not smoking. Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with the remaining pepper. Sauté the pork chops until browned, about 1 minute on each side. Remove from the heat. Spread the pork chops on both sides with the pesto and transfer to the broiler pan.
- Broil the chops until the pesto is slightly darker and the juices run clear, about 2 minutes on each side. Divide the noodles evenly among 4 plates, top each with a pesto pork chop and serve.
Per serving: 451 calories, 34 g protein, 17 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 76 mg cholesterol, 41 g total carbohydrate, 1 g sugars, 4 g fibre, 112 mg sodium
How can you tell when a pork chop is done? Near the end of the suggested cooking time, make a slit with a small knife in the centre of the chop. It’s ready to eat when the juices run clear, the meat shows just a hint of pink, and the chop is still juicy and tender. Pork is perfectly safe to eat at this stage.