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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Braised Pork Chops with Pan Gravy, Jasmine Rice, and Cider Roasted Squash

I don't usually take pictures of my dinner plate. Well, let me rephrase that. Having owned a food business that required I dabble in food photography, I got used to taking pictures before I ate or served a meal or dish. But, I haven't done it since I sold the business. I once spent two hours photographing chocolate raspberry cookies and I'm still not exactly pleased with the outcome.

Good pictures of food require excellent lighting, well placed garnishes, great backdrops, and most importantly, a photographer with a full stomach. I took this shot in the two short seconds after I set it at my place at the table. And I didn't even preview it. Now, I could crop, edit, photoshop, etc, but then I couldn't tell you about this fantastic meal as quickly as I'd like to!

My husband and I are trying to eat a healthier diet. We've both joined Weight Watchers and are working out at least five days a week. It's been difficult at times, but also a welcome new challenge. We both see this as a necessary life change and definitely not a diet. And, to tell you the truth, I've had a lot of fun surfing the internet for new recipes that fit with our healthier lifestyle. If you're interested in a fantastic dessert, scroll down and try the Lemon Souffle. If you're a lemon lover, you'll love this one! And it's only 2 WW points and/or very low cal.

Just a sideline, I remember as a child, watching my mom trying to lose weight. It seemed to involve a great deal of cottage cheese and pineapple. And also Heath bars, which she told me were diet. Believing my mother to be the ultimate truth teller, I didn't try a Heath bar until I was well into my late teens. Imagine my surprise, and laughter, when I realized her hidden Heaths were delicious!

Anyway, I stumbled on this great pork chop recipe when I realized there was nothing, but chops and some venison from last year's hunting season in the freezer. The chops definitely won out over the venison. I was looking for comfort food. Something that would be worth my husband coming home to! I know this new, healthier life is a real challenge for him.

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did! Total WW Points 7.

Braised Pork Chops with Pan Gravy

1/2 tsp Marjoram, dried
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 Bone-In Pork Chops
1/2 cup water
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

Season chops with herbs, sear in pan coated with nonstick spray. Add water and cover. Cook 45 minutes to an hour or until tender. Remove from pan. Stir cornstarch and chicken broth together. Whisk into pan juices. Cook until thickened. Serve over chops and with cooked Jasmine rice.

Cider Roasted Squash

1/3 cup apple cider
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 pound winter squash
1 TB Brummel and Brown


Cut squash in half, remove seeds and cut into eighths. Place into casserole. Pour cider over, sprinkler with cinnamon and dot with margarine. Cover and bake until tender.

Love love love pita bread. This is a great, low cal dinner bread.

Toasted Pita Bread

4 pita rounds
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic
sea salt

Preheat oven to 425. Mix oil and garlic. Place pitas on a baking sheet. Brush with oil mixture. Heat in the oven, watching closely, until puffed and slightly browned. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt.

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