This is akin to a stir-fry but with whole pork chops instead of strips. Buy quick-cooking skinny chops, no thicker than a 1/2 inch. For best flavour use fresh ginger instead of bottled—it’s worth the extra minute or so to grate it.
4 organic pork loin, double loin centre chops *
1 Tbsp (15 mL) five-spice powder **
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 plums, pitted and cut into wedges
1 tsp (5 mL) fresh grated ginger
1/3 cup (75 mL) dry sherry
1 bunch Swiss chard, coarsely chopped
Rub chops with five-spice. Coat frying pan with oil and set over medium-high heat. Pan-fry chops until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side, then remove to plate.
Add plums and ginger to pan. Stir-fry until plums start to break down, 1 minute. Remove chops from pan. Pour in sherry. Scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom.
Return chops to pan and add chard. Cover and simmer, occasionally turning chops over and stirring chard as best you can, until pork is cooked through and chard wilts, 3 to 5 minutes.
* Organic option
Buy certified organic pork—it’s free of growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and other chemicals. As an added bonus, the animals are raised humanely.
You can easily substitute your choice of non-farmed white fish for the pork chops. Season fish steaks or fillets with five-spice and pan fry on each side for approximately 2 to 3 minutes until opaque colour turns white.
** Fantastic five-spice
Five-spice powder is a mixture of five spices: star anise, fennel, cloves, cinnamon, and Szechwan pepper, usually in equal proportions. But the number reference goes deeper than that. Chinese medicine has long used five-spice to restore the balance of the five basic elements: earth, fire, water, air, and metal—in the chi, our bodily life force.
Similarly, the five spices play to the perfect balance of our palate—sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and spicy. To make your own blend, start with equal amounts of whole spices mentioned above and lightly toast, then blend in a coffee grinder.
Each serving contains: 375 calories; 37 g protein; 17 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 7 g carbohydrates; 2 g fibre; 275 mg sodium
source: "Ready, Set...Cook Healthy!", alive #324, October 2009
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
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A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.