Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pork Chops with Tangy Italian Sauce

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Tonight I made my first meal from the new eMeals slow-cooker plan.  I went ahead and said that we were a family of 3-6 so that I would have enough for leftovers.  If you don't remember how eMeals works, you sign up for a plan that fits your diet preference (Paleo, gluten-free, low-carb, classic, etc.) and the weekly plan gets sent to you every Wednesday.  There's a meal for everyday, but you can be like me and just use a couple with doubled portions.  We still have the recipes so we can make the other meals later if we want.

The meal below is from the "classic" slow-cooker option.  I chose classic because we don't really follow a specific diet alteration and we like pretty traditional fare.  I realized after two plans that I should have signed up for clean-eating because the recipes include things like condensed soup and dressing mix and other pre-made items that I would prefer to just skip because of all the extra junk in those.  The good news is that with eMeals you can just switch the plan when you want and today I got the new plan on clean-eating.  No problem!

I've done a screen shot of the document that is sent each week so that you can see the format it comes in.  The meals just go down the page in this format and the last page has your shopping list, divided into what you'll probably have on hand and what you'll probably need to pick up.

I went ahead and did the dressing mix for the sake of trying to follow the recipe, but I would prefer to just add the correct spices and sometimes that's what I do.  You just need to be careful because sometimes there are extra things in those mixes that you do need, like cornstarch or some kind of emulsifier and your dish can turn out funny without them.  I also only used "cooking wine" (I know--all the real chefs are cringing) because I already had it and I didn't want to go to the liquor store.

Instead of buying packaged creamed spinach, I decided to make my own with the wilting fresh spinach we had at home that would be thrown away because it wasn't any good for salad anymore.  Since the dinner is not a lot of labor anyway, making the spinach myself was no big deal.  I used this recipe, more or less.  (I don't really use recipes to the full extent intended.)

And here's how it turned out:
Delicious!  The spinach was particularly good :-)  and the pork just fell apart.

You'll notice that sauce looks a little weird.  I don't know what I did wrong, but that cream cheese just did not melt into it the way it was supposed to.  I also didn't have enough liquid in there to really stir it around without beginning to shred the pork chops.  I decided maybe I should have removed all the pork chops and then added the cream cheese and stirred?  Not sure.

But all in all, it was a winner.  Next up is chicken and country biscuits and I'm excited!

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