Photo Updated January 2013
It’s 3 recipes today!! This meal was actually made back in December, but I am just now getting around to posting about it – so much to post, so little time…
One of my favorite things that they do in the Cooking Light magazine sometimes is layout a full meal plan. They give you the main dish, plus a side or two, and give you the timing – or a “Game Plan.” Why do I love this so much? Well, if you have been reading my blog, you know that I have a hard time coming up with side dishes, so this takes the guessing game away for that. Plus, I am horrible at meal timing. I’m sure I could make dinner faster and more efficient most days, but I’m bad about knowing when to start one thing, or what I should be doing while another thing cooks. This game plan lays it all out for you, and you end up with a quick and effortless meal!!
I was especially excited to try this meal because I had never had grits before. Growing up, I was never a fan of hot cereal for breakfast. I could do without oatmeal or Cream of Wheat. Even today I’m not a big fan. So needless to say, I had never made grits with dinner. Well, my husband was on a grits kick for breakfast, so we had some at home, and when I saw this meal plan, I decided to give it them a try!
The pork chops don’t get much easier. The recipe calls for bone-in chops, but I think I had some boneless chops in my freezer, so I used those and they worked just fine. A rub is made from spices I already have in my spice cabinet, and the the chops are grilled. Since it was December, I just used my grill pan, but I bet these would be great on the bbq grill.
Not only were the grits easy to prepare, but I couldn’t believe how much I really liked them!! Maybe it was the cheese, because if you put enough cheese on something, I’m sure I’ll like it, but I really fell in love with the whole dish! I’m thinking that I need to re-visit the idea of grits for breakfast now…
On the menu, it lists a cucumber-red onion salad, but a recipe is not given. I couldn’t see us eating just cucumbers and red onions mixed together, so I did a quick online search and came up with this salad. I was a little unsure about it at first, but it was very refreshing and delicious!! In fact, my husband liked it so much that there was nothing left! Update January 2013 – you can find the recipe for this Cucumber Red Onion Salad on the Cafe Zupas blog!
Overall, this was a delicious and satisfying meal. I can’t wait to try it again this summer when we have the grill out and I can use fresh cucumbers from the garden!
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper
- 4 boneless pork chops (about ½ inch thick)
- Cooking Spray
- 2 cups fat-free milk
- 1¼ cups water
- ¾ cup quick cooking grits
- 1 cup reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, dry mustard, allspice and red pepper. Rub over both sides of the pork.
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Cook the pork for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook the pork until done, turning occasionally. Remove from pan and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
- Combine the milk and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the grits. Cover and reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until thick. Remove from the heat and add in the cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Stir until the cheese melts.
- slightly adapted from Cooking Light April 2007