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Lemon Mint Pork Loin Chops with asparagus quinoa salad

Active Time: 40 minutes / Cook Time: 20 minutes / Total Time: 60 plus 1-2 hours marinating time for pork

Makes 2 servings, plus 2 servings leftover asparagus quinoa salad

 Photo shared by one of our members

Photo shared by one of our members

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup white wine or vegetable/chicken broth
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 pork loin chops (6-8 oz. each)
  • ¾ cup quinoa, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  • ½ pound (1/2 bunch or 10-15 medium spears) asparagus, ends trimmed
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 4 small radishes, sliced
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 4 dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, drained and pitted
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Water, to thin if needed

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl or small, deep baking pan, mix wine or broth, olive oil, garlic, dry oregano, salt and pepper. Add pork chops and coat thoroughly. Let marinate for 1-2 hours.
  2. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Add green peas and cook until bright green, 3 minutes. Strain and set aside.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler, slice the asparagus lengthwise into long, thin strips.
  4. Combine quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until liquid has absorbed, 10-15 minutes.
  5. Toast the pine nuts by heating them in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool. Reserve ¼ cup of the pine nuts at room temperature for dinner tomorrow.
  6. Make the dressing by adding lemon zest, lemon juice, mint, dates, and salt to a food processor. Begin processing and add olive oil in a steady stream. If needed, add a small amount of water until the dressing is thin enough to pour.
  7. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and sear in a large pan over medium heat. Cook for 5- 6 minutes on each side or until they are cooked to your liking.
  8. While the pork chops are cooking, assemble the salad by tossing together quinoa, peas, asparagus, 2 tablespoons pine nuts, and radish. Add enough dressing to lightly coat everything, and store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. This can be used on vegetables or salads.
  9. To serve, plate each pork chop, with ¼ of the quinoa salad on the side.
  10. Store leftover salad in separate containers in the fridge, to have as a snack tomorrow.