Herb-Crusted Chops & Apples with Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

It seems like the cooler it gets the more comfort food I crave.  These savory pork chops crusted with herbs and topped with sweet sauteed apples and paired up with creamy garlic mashed potatoes is perfect for when family comes for a visit or just for a night at home.

Pork Chops
4-6 center cut pork chops (one per person)
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
 1/4 cup lemon juice

Season pork chops on one side with salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and sage (just sprinkle until it looks good to you).  Heat olive oil and chicken broth in large skillet.  Lay chops, seasoned side down into skillet.  Only 3-4 at a time so they don't get over crowded.  Squeeze some lemon juice on top of the chops in the skillet and sprinkle more salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary and sage on.  Cook on both sides until no longer pink inside (cook time will depend on thickness of chops.)  Repeat for remaining pork chops.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
3-5 lbs. small red potatoes (adjust for how many hungry people you've got. * Cream sauce amount is for 3 lbs.)
1/4 cup fat free cream cheese
1 1/2 - 2 cups skim or 1% milk
1 tsp thyme
1 clove garlic, grated
1 green onion, chopped.  Reserve green tops. (I forgot the tops for the picture...oops!)

Boil potatoes in salted water.  Just leave the skins on, but remove any eyes or blemishes before. (Eww, that just sounded like I was describing a head.  It's just potatoes peoples!).   While potatoes boil combine in a small sauce pan cream cheese, milk, garlic, thyme and white ends of the green onion.  Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until cream cheese is melted and steamy.  Dump water off potatoes once they are easily pierced with a fork.  Pour garlic cream sauce over top and, using a hand mixer or potato masher, mash potatoes and incorporate cream sauce. Top with chopped green onion tops.

Sauteed Apples
4-6 apples, sliced (about one per pork chop)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Smart Balance butter
2 tbsp apple juice
2 tbsp oat flour (place about a 1/4 cup of plain instant oatmeal in food processor until about the consistency of flour)
1 tbsp agave nectar or 1-2 tsp stevia powder

Cut up apples and squeeze lemon juice over top.  Melt butter in small skillet, add oat flour and whisk together until it makes a paste.  Pour in apple juice, sliced apples and agave or stevia.  Saute until apples are a tender crisp.

Put it all together 
So everything gets done about the same time, here's probably the best order to do things.  First slice up your apples, pour lemon juice over top, cover and set aside. Put oats into food processor and pulse until as close to a flour consistency as you can get.  Rinse pork chops and pat dry.  Rinse potatoes (you can half or quarter if they're big) .  Start by boiling potatoes while you prepare chops.  While first shift of chops are cooking prep another skillet for apples. While second shift of chops are cooking make garlic cream sauce for mashed potatoes.  Cover chops when done and set aside. Mash potatoes and blend with garlic cream sauce.  Cover and set aside. Cook apple in skillet.
Now stack it up.  A mound of mashed potatoes, a pork chop on that, and topped with a scoop of apples.  Savory food l'more!

 * By just making a few simple adjustments I made this savory and potentially very fattening dish a little less fattening, but still just as savory. 1: Instead of using a ton of oil to fry the pork chops I just used a little oil and replaced the rest with chicken broth and lemon juice. 2: By using fat free cream cheese and skim or 1% milk I cut out a bunch of fat and calories.  3:  Instead of using regular butter I used Smart Balance butter with Omega-6, ground up oats instead of using bleached white flour, and if you replace sugar with agave or stevia  you're cutting out calories and adding nutrients to your savory and HEALTHY meal.


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Melissa Moore has spent years researching and implementing nutritionally-based approaches to health and wellness. Her lifelong love of food and health evolved from a hobby to a passion when her daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease.

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