Herb-Crusted Pork Chops with Roasted Carrots

herb pork chop

Easter dinner with my family has traditionally been a large, heavy meal consisting of a honey ham, mac and cheese, green bean casserole with cream-of-something, and banana pudding full of so much sugar that I’m still surprised my teeth didn’t fall out! Now that my husband and I are focusing on a healthier lifestyle, Easter dinner looks very different this year.

Instead of ham, I am using pork chops since they are so versatile. One of my favorite ways to prepare pork chops is to do a light mustard dressing and herb crust with almond meal and fresh herbs from my garden. It gives the pork a tangy, complex flavor while keeping it simple and healthy. If you are grilling this Easter, also check out my recipe for smoked honey dijon rack of pork!

I went to the farmer’s market this morning and picked up carrots from Johnson’s Backyard Garden and organic spinach as side dishes. Roasted or sautéed veggies with herbs and olive oil are perfect. If you need to dress up (disguise) vegetables for little ones or picky spouses, my Italian roasted brussels sprout recipe works great too.

What is your favorite Easter dinner recipe?

Herb-Crusted Pork Chops with Roasted Carrots

  • Servings: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray
  • 2 pounds of organic boneless pork chops
  • 1/4 cup of dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 2 tablespoons each of fresh thyme and rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 1 pound organic baby carrots
  • 1/8 cup high quality olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme for carrots (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking dish and cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. I use olive oil or coconut oil spray.

Mix dijon mustard, garlic, and honey together. Salt and pepper the pork chops and brush both sides with the mustard mixture.

Mix almond meal/flour, salt and pepper, and fresh thyme and rosemary together. Dip the mustard coated pork chops in the flour mixture and make sure to coat well. Set the pork chops aside for 10-20 minutes to allow the flour to adhere to the meat.

While the pork is resting, wash and trim ends of carrots. Place carrots in baking dish and add olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat.

After the pork has rested, spray and heat a pan on the stovetop. To get a bit of a darker crust, lightly brown the pork chops and then put them in the oven. I find that the almond meal can get a bit soggy if I do not brown them first.

Once the pork chops are browned, place on a cookie sheet and bake them (along with the carrots) for approximately 30-35 minutes until done.

Enjoy and have a lovely Easter weekend!

pork chops with herbs

 

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Happy Earth Day!

Flowers for Earth DayHappy Earth Day from the WineDownAustin garden! I got a few more herbs planted and the backyard garden is now well under way. It is still early in the season so it’s not too late to get your hands dirty this week! Garden for Earth Day

How did you guys spend your Earth Day?

The WellGro Co.

Last weekend I participated in a herb garden fundraiser sponsored by The WellGro Co. at Contigo restaurant. The event raised funds to build a garden at Travis High School. The WellGro Co. is a local non-profit organization run by Ed and Kerri Hughey committed to bringing real food back into schools.  Ed and Kerri were moved into action by the childhood obesity epidemic and wanted to support organizations that drive change and make a positive impact. The WellGro Co. holds several events throughout the year as well as offers products on their website to help raise funds to support those organizations.

food 1

This event in particular spoke to me because I was raised on processed food, often receiving free or reduced lunches at school.  I think that is why I am so obsessed with homemade, fresh, healthy food now. I’m not always perfect, but I’ve learned to balance. Kids on low-income meal plans often do not have a choice as to what they eat.  A hot dog and chips are easier and cheaper than organic chicken and vegetables. How can we expect children to choose to eat healthy if they have never been exposed or have access to real food?

Food 2

The Travis High School garden will provide an organic learning environment for the culinary students. They will have a chance to forge a relationship with their food and also educate others (friends, family, etc) on the importance of eating something other than fast food.

The herb workshop was taught by Sam Thorp of Johnson’s Backyard Garden. He shared his tips and tricks for successful planting and maintenance. I plant herbs every year and use them all through the spring and summer. I definitely learned a few new things! During the workshop we planted herbs in Contigo’s garden which will be used at the restaurant.

Food 4

After the workshop we had a great lunch prepared by the Travis High School culinary students. Can’t beat fresh arugula, sausages, and potato salad! Perfect food on a gorgeous day!  I had a great time and met some inspiring people in the food community.

Food 3

Check out some great photos of the event on Chris Perez’s website: MetropoChris.  For more garden inspiration check out Lorin Baum’s company Texas Roots. And support your local food community!

Food 6

Food 7