Have you ever heard about the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon? Perhaps not, but now that you’ve read about it you might just see it pop up all over the place, over and over again. It’s a phenomenon where you happen upon some obscure piece of information – a word or a phrase- and then shortly afterward you come across it again and again.
Half your plate is the phrase I’m referencing in this case. I was in to see my naturopath before xmas, during which time she took a few moments to impress upon me that I need to strive to fill half my plate with veg at lunch and dinner; for the record I’ll have you know that my eating habits are pretty damn good already! Then a week later I was flipping through a Costco magazine when I found a two page article on halfyourplate.ca, including info on the initiative and some recipes. A few days later half your plate popped up on my Twitter feed. That was it! I headed over to the website to peruse their recipes and have since been making a conscious effort to fill half my plate.
This recipe not only fills half your plate, but it’s also one of those awesome dinners where everything is tossed onto one pan and shoved into the oven; no fuss, no muss. It comes together quickly, is very easy to make, has minimal clean up, and is perfect for a chilly winter evening when you’re craving something warm and hearty. It took about 35 minutes and generously served two. I will definitely be making this recipe again soon!
Provolone Stuffed Pork Chops with Brussels sprouts and a cherry tomato sauce
2 pork loin chops
4 slices provolone cheese
2 big handfuls brussels sprouts
1 big handful fingerling potatoes
3 small-medium parsnips
1 large handful cherry tomatoes
1 sprig fresh tarragon
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 450F.
Roughly chop the tarragon. Halve the potatoes lengthwise. Halve the brussels sprouts (trim ends if needed). Peel and cut the parsnips into 1 inch pieces.
In a medium bowl add the parsnips, potatoes, brussels sprouts, garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes, 1 ½ Tbsp of the white balsamic vinegar and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and toss to combine. On a parchment lined baking sheet, spread the vegetables in an even layer.
Dry the pork loins with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper. Lay the pork on a cutting board and make a 2 to 3 inch widthwise slit in each chop – butterflying it! This works best when you keep on hand on top of the chop, applying some pressure, while you slice the pork chop nearly in half, leaving the back edge connected. Stuff the pork chops with the cheese and half of the tarragon. Lightly press down to close.
Add the stuffed pork chops to the baking sheet with the vegetables and move to the oven. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the vegetables are tender (or the pork reaches 160F). Remove from the oven. Slice the pork before serving.
Using a spoon, mash the baked garlic cloves into a paste. In the bowl used for the vegetables, add the baked garlic and cherry tomatoes, remaining tarragon, white balsamic vinegar, and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Press the tomatoes down with a spoon to crush slightly. Mix to combine.
Plate the pork chop with the cherry tomato sauce over top. Serve the vegetables alongside. Enjoy!