On Mondays, Kristen Swensson of Cheap, Healthy, Good swings by these parts to share a healthy, delicious, and budget-conscious recipe with us. Today, the classic combo of pork and apples.
All too often, when it comes to lean cooking, pork (glorious pork!) is passed over in favor of the omnipresent chicken breast. Maybe it's because healthy eaters associate pig with bacon, ribs, and all things Paula Deen. Maybe chicken just has better PR. Either way, moderate servings of pork can be incorporated in any nutritious diet, and provide valuable variety after weeks, months, and years of (more freakin') poultry.
This week, boneless center-cut pork loin was on sale at my local supermarket. Trimmed of visible fat, it's a decent substitution for expensive pork tenderloin, especially in dishes where it's not featured as the main event. Curried Pork With Apples, pulled from Casual Kitchen (one of my all-time favorite cooking blogs), is a good example of that principle. A neat twist on pork chops and applesauce, the fruit-spice combination makes it more interesting than the average weekday meal, while the meat provides substance and chew for ardent carnivores.
Even better, curried pork can be altered and embellished all kinds of ways. My boyfriend's mom suggested adding raisins for a full-on fall experience, and Casual Kitchen's Daniel believes toasted walnuts sprinkled over the finished product would be a worthy addition. For vegetarians, chickpeas might make a suitable pork substitution, and for pork-phobic dieters (*sigh*), chicken breast could be an option. Ultimately, the variations are endless, so don't be afraid to experiment.
Oh, and next time you're searching for a lean meat, consider the all-powerful pig. There's more to it than meets the bacon. (I don't know what that means, either. But it sounds good.)
- Yield:2 to 4
- 1 pound lean pork, cut into 1-2 inch cubes (can use ground pork)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Brown the diced pork on all sides in oil, on high heat, in a large non-stick pan, 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn heat down to medium-high. Add apples and chopped onions to the pork. Sauté 4 to 5 minutes, until starting to brown lightly. Add flour and dry spices, stir well and continue to sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes. Remove cover, and simmer for 5 minutes more, or until sauce reaches desired consistency. Serve with brown rice.