Easy Brunch – Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Hash and Eggs

This meal would have been a perfect idea for an Easter brunch, had I had my act together and actually posted it before Easter. Sadly I did not; and so instead I am recommending this as an easy and elegant meal for an indulgent weekend brunch – which, coincidentally, is exactly what the Husband and I did this past weekend!

pork chops with sweet potato hash | eatwriterunrepeat.com

As much as I love my three square meals a day, on the weekends we never seem to get going early enough to manage breakfast and lunch, and so we usually end up eating a larger brunch time meal somewhere around 1100. This is the perfect combination to keep you satisfied all the way through dinnertime: you have tons of protein from the pork chop and the eggs combined with the carbs in the sweet potatoes, and of course I had to throw in a little bit of green in the form of spinach, just for some color!

I have to be honest, I’m not sure I could make this meal come together without the help of a second pair of hands. My husband cooked the pork chops in a cast iron skillet while I handled the sweet potatoes, and once the chops were done and resting he fried up the eggs. It can be done by one person – if that one person has a good grasp of the timing while cooking. Sadly, that’s a talent that I do not possess.

And if you’re not rushing off to work after this? I highly recommend serving with champagne.

pork chops with sweet potato hash | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Hash and Eggs

serves two

Ingredients:

for the pork:

two boneless pork chops

coconut oil

your favorite seasoning (we used an herbs de provence blend)

for the sweet potato hash

2 sweet potatoes, diced

1/2 white onion, diced

1/2 cup diced bell pepper (any color)

1 handful spinach

1 small handful chopped pecans

3 strips bacon, diced (optional)

for the eggs

eggs (1 or 2 per person)

salt and pepper

olive or coconut oil

Instructions

Season your pork chops and melt your coconut oil (approx 1tbsp) in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides and cook until pork is cooked through, about 4 minutes each side. Set aside to rest.

Meanwhile, in another skillet, cook the bacon (if using) until partially done. Add the sweet potatoes, onion, and pepper and combine. Add about one tablespoon of water to the pan and cover to speed up the cooking process. Stir occasionally and cook until sweet potatoes are soft – about ten minutes, depending on how small your potatoes are diced. Add the spinach and pecans and cook until spinach is wilted.

While the potatoes are cooking (wait until they are just about finished), fry the eggs in some olive or coconut oil to taste. To serve, place a bed of sweet potato hash on a plate, add  the pork chop, and top with an egg. Done!

pork chops with sweet potato hash | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Advertisements

Whole30 Day 2 and Fiesta Plantain Nachos

I woke up on Day 2 feeling better than expected, considering I didn’t sleep well at all. According to the timeline I referenced briefly yesterday, today should be the hangover phase. Fortunately for me, since I don’t eat too terribly bad even when I’m off the wagon, my “hangover” phase isn’t as bad as it could be. I can only imagine what it would feel like to a chronic soda drinker or something similar!

I had off of work yesterday, so after my 0330 wake-up with Kevin I spent the morning writing, researching, and cleaning the house. I actually mopped our kitchen floor by hand and to that I have only one word to say: “Gross.” I also began taking down our Christmas decorations, but it got a little too sentimental so I stopped and left our living room a mess of garland and ornaments. 🙂 I always hate taking down Christmas decorations…the house looks so festive while they are up and once everything is back to normal it all seems so plain for a while. But, I digress.

whole30 salad

Don’t worry, I’m still not going to start posting pictures of everything I eat, but the salad I had for lunch yesterday looked so pretty that I couldn’t resist! Plus, I find that I prefer when long blog posts include pictures, even just a few, to break up all that dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, reading is my favorite activity EVER, but who doesn’t love a picture or two?

My Day Two Eats

Breakfast, 0600: Same schedule as yesterday, up at 0330 and breakfast at 0600. I scrambled two eggs with some sauteed veggies, sliced up a pre-cooked chicken breast from our emergency protein stash, and added half of an avocado. I prepared the chicken by following this recipe by Melissa Joulwan of The Clothes Make The Girl and she does not disappoint – it is fantastic. True that it’s more work than I’d usually put into chicken with the brining and all, but it was so worth it. The best part? We have a week’s worth of deliciously cooked chicken breasts for this week! Win!

Lunch, 1215: I probably would have eaten lunch earlier but I’m not going to lie – I took a much needed nap at 1100 instead. Once I woke up I whipped up a salad (pictured above) with a mix of romaine and butter lettuce, carrots, celery, bell pepper, cucumber, cherry tomato, zucchini slices, and sunflower seeds, topped with aged balsamic vinegar. I also ate the leftover italian meatballs from Day One’s dinner for my protein.

Dinner, 1715: After breakfast I pulled a package of slow-cooker pork carnitas out of the freezer to thaw, without a real plan as to what I was going to do with them for dinner. As I was staring somewhat dumbly at the counter I saw the two plantains I spontaneously purchased at the grocery store and BAM! The idea for plantain nachos just sort of hit me. I sliced the plantains and fried them in coconut oil, topped them with the pork carnitas, a healthy dab of homemade guacamole, and served them with fresh salsa, diced onion, and garlic tabasco sauce. Holy moly. Now according to the Whole30 Meal Planning Template we should have had more vegetables on the side and we probably could have gotten away with only using one plantain between the two of us, but the meal was enough to satisfy us both and it tasted fabulous. Plus now I have another Whole30 recipe in my arsenal! It’s not much of a “recipe” per se, but I’ve included the basic instructions below the picture.

eatwriterunrepeat.com | Whole30 fiesta plantain nachos

Fiesta Plantain Nachos

serves two

Ingredients:

two servings slow cooker pork carnitas

two yellow plantains (medium ripe)

coconut oil

sea salt and chili powder to taste

Toppings:

homemade guacamole

fresh salsa

diced onions

fresh cilantro

garlic tabasco or your favorite Whole30 approved hot sauce

Instructions:

Peel and slice your plantains. (To see how to slice a plantain, click here) In a skillet over medium high heat (we used cast iron), heat enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Place the plantain slices in the hot oil, season with chili powder, and cook on either side until brown and crispy but not burnt – about 2 minutes per side. Remove the plantains from the oil and set on a paper town to dry. Sprinkle fried plantains with sea salt. If you used thawed out carnitas like I did, heat the carnitas in the same pan and cook until the ends are crispy and delicious. If your carnitas is coming straight from the crock pot, no need to do anything. To serve, arrange the plantains on the plate, top with a scoop of carnitas, and add your garnishes – guacamole, salsa, onion, cilantro, etc. Enjoy!

eatwriterunrepeat.com | fried plantains

Day Two Overall: Still feeling pretty good, although I’m only two days in. Based on my past experiences I’ll probably be OK for about a week before I start to get cranky, and it’s usually about the halfway point when I’m ready to just quit. My meals yesterday were good and I didn’t feel the need to snack in between, which is a bonus, and I didn’t suffer any cravings to speak of. Two days down, twenty-eight to go!

Apple Onion Balsamic Pork Chops

It appears that I have somewhat of an apple-onion theme going on.

apple onion balsamic pork chops | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Well, maybe. Does two recipes in a week count as a theme? Really I guess not, especially when you add the fact that I don’t have any more apple onion recipes up my sleeve. At least, not yet.

This recipe actually started as somewhat of an accident. (I feel like I say that a lot – is it just me?) I kind of wanted to make pork chops with apples and onions and so I threw a bunch of stuff in a pot, Kevin added a bunch of stuff to the pot, and it turned out to be pretty delicious! Except that the next time we tried to make it we couldn’t remember what we used and so we had to start over from scratch. Whoops.

apple onion balsamic pork chops | eatwriterunrepeat.com

Admittedly it’s not the most appealing dish I’ve ever made, but trust me when I say that it’s 100% delicious. The apple + onion + pork combination is a total win, and when you add a couple tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar and a shake or two of red pepper flakes it’s the perfect symphony of sweet, tangy, and a kick in the mouth.

Pork happens to go really well with sweet, tangy, and a kick in the mouth, don’t you think?

apple onion balsamic pork chops | eatwriterunrepeat.com

As good as this tasted for dinner (we served it with roasted kabocha squash and sweet potatoes, delicious), I took leftovers in to work the next day and it was even better. Particularly when I paired it with – are you ready for this? – sauerkraut. Holy Yum.

(For those of you who haven’t experienced the beautiful culinary marriage that is pork and sauerkraut, you need to remedy that. Stat.)

And speaking of work – I had to take Kevin’s truck to work last week – guess who totally ROCKED backing that beast into a teeny parking spot in the garage??

awesome park job | eatwriterunrepeat.com

THIS GIRL!! Yes, I took a picture.

But I totally ducked every time I drove under one of those clearance signs because I was certain the truck wasn’t going to make it.

Sigh.

APPLE ONION BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS

serves four

INGREDIENTS

4 bone-in pork chops

2 onions, sliced

2 apples, cored and sliced

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/8 cup aged balsamic vinegar (eyeball it)

1/4 cup white wine

2 tsp cinnamon

red pepper flakes (optional)

salt and pepper

coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat 1-2 tbsps coconut oil in a heavy pan. Add pork chops and apple cider vinegar and brown on both sides. Remove from pan.

In the same pan, add apples, onions, cinnamon, and red pepper (if using) and cook until brown, about 5 minutes. (Don’t cook them until they are soft just yet – only until they start to brown up!) Remove from pan.

Deglaze the pan with a healthy glug of white wine, scraping all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the pork and apple-onion mixture back to the pan. Add the balsamic, lower heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 45 minutes or until pork is cooked through.

apple onion balsamic pork chops | eatwriterunrepeat.com