Editor's Note: Tired of reading why it's important to eat healthy and what your diet should consist of? If you're a STACK reader, you know by now that certain foods are better than others; but how do you actually apply that knowledge to your daily eating habits?
We are pleased to announce a solution. Each month STACK Expert and sports dietitian Kait Fortunato provides a recipe to STACK athletes right out of her own kitchen! Each recipe is accompanied by a catalog of its benefits to athletes and Fortunato's advice about the best time to consume it. All of the recipes are healthy, quick and easy to prepare and, best of all, great-tasting.
Apple Pork Chops
This is the perfect winter meal, highlighting seasonal produce for a satisfying dish that's full of flavor. At my local grocery store meat counter, center cut pork chops on sale brought back memories of how my Mom always paired pork chops with applesauce. I decided to improve on this childhood favorite by picking up two red delicious apples and a yellow onion to make this savory dish.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 4 lean pork chops
- 2 apples
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon sage
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Dice apples and onions into bite-sized pieces; set aside.
- Mix flour, sage, thyme and paprika; sprinkle evenly over both sides of the pork chops.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium high heat.
- Brown pork chops in hot skillet, about two to three minutes per side, then remove them from pan.
- Add apples and onions to the pan and heat until browned.
- Add water and brown sugar and stir through.
- Add pork chops back to the pan, turn heat to medium, cover and simmer until proper internal temperature is achieved.
- Calories: 239
- Protein: 23 grams
- Carbohydrates: 18 grams
- Fat: 8 grams (good fats from olive oil)
- Sodium: 41 mg
- Fiber: 3 grams
Pork products often get a poor reputation in terms of health. Although that can be true of certain cuts (like bacon or ham, which are high in sodium and fat), center cut, white meat pork chops are often called "the other white meat," because they compare favorably with chicken or turkey. They're a great alternative for your weeknight dinner rotation. Besides providing a good source of protein, pork also has a high amount of zinc, phosphorus, selenium and various B vitamins.
The addition of apples to this recipe not only provides great flavor, but also delivers various health benefits to athletes. The skin provides polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, helping to decrease oxidation to support a healthy cardiovascular system. The skin of the apple also provides fiber, which helps support blood sugar stabilization while providing a healthy form of carbohydrates for energy.
Catch up on Kait's Meals of the Month
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock