Relationships, Restaurants and the BEST Pork Chops
Relationships are hard. But not actually hard, more like its easy to let your relationship slip and just coast. Do you know what I mean? Let me explain. My husband and I have been together for practically TEN years. We met when we were 18, I tell me students this all the time, as many of them are 18 or older and they freak out. We met on basically the first day of frosh week. I don't know if frosh week is a thing everywhere, but its the first week of university where there are tons of parties and its supposed to be a time to meet lots of different people. Its not typically the time where you meet your future husband or wife. In fact that is pretty much the opposite of what most people do during frosh week.
Since that day we have been together. We have been together through me living in Turkey, Mexico and Toronto. We have been together through my husband going through certification to become an accountant. I have had 700 different hairstyles and colours. We graduated. We got jobs. We got married. We got a dog. We bought the smallest house ever. We got busy. I did not realize how good life was in university. So much free time! Now we both come home after work tired and we both usually work more every evening. Sometimes he has hockey or work events, sometimes I go to yoga. Then it is so easy to turn on some netflix or grab a book and kind of skip talking for the rest of the evening. On the weekends we both have plans with separate friend groups and we go to different gyms. I am sure this is not just us.
So to combat this we are trying to plan date nights! We had our first real one last night. We went to a small plates restaurant and shared a ton of different things. We had charcuterie, local cheeses, beet salad, tuno crudo and pork tenderloin with apple sauce. Each plate was a few bites each. He also had a nutella chocolate bomb and I had a deconstructed lemon meringue. Which was extraordinary. We have committed to try and have one date night a month. Which I know is not very much. But its a start! I think its important, despite the fact that we live together, to actually carve out time that we spend together. We are also going to try and workout together 1 or 2 times a week. It is so much easier to just coast - but I don't want that! Hopefully we can get better at this date night thing, it was lots of fun.
On a different note, as you can tell I don't eat fully paleo when I go out. It is possible to do that. But it comes down to knowing what your body does well with. I do okay with dairy, especially goat and sheep, which is what we had. I just try not to overdo the dairy. I also clearly had some sugar, which will give me a headache of some kind if I have to much. I can tell when its a food headache because its in my right temple and eyeball. Lastly I did not bother to ask about the oils. Mainly because we hardly ever go out for dinner. I did not feel like asking more questions. I did tell the restaurant I was gluten free, and sometimes I will call ahead and tell them I am gluten and grain free and ask if they can cook my food in butter or olive oil. But not always. Instead what I try and do is choose a good quality restaurant that uses local meat and produce as much as possible, locally focused restaurants tend to use things that are of a better quality. Then I stick with gluten free. Gluten just destroys me. I have never had a celiac test, because you have to eat gluten to do that....but I had some gluten this past summer and my face swelled up, I had a terrible headache and some GI distress. Not worth it. Not at all. I can't believe I used to eat it on a regular basis. No wonder I felt horrible!!
In honour of our date night, and the amazing food we had, I wanted to play with the pork and apples concept and make my own version of what we had while out. My husband was thrilled to get a whole pork chop instead of just one bite of a tenderloin. He asked why we even bother to go out - sweet. So if you have a special someone, or you want to spoil yourself, whip up this pork chop with caramelized onions, apples and cauli puree. This might just be one of the best things I have ever made.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tblsp coconut milk
- 2 pork chops
- 1 tblsp butter
- 1/2 tsp: granulated garlic, granulated onions, salt and pepper
- 2 onions
- 1 large apple
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup beef bone broth
- 1 tsp coconut aminos
- Micro herbs (optional)
- Chop the cauliflower and steam until soft
- While the cauli is steaming, melt 1 tblsp butter in a cast iron pan
- When melted, and bubbling, place the chops in the pan, sprinkle the side facing up with the spices (garlic, onion, salt and pepper)
- Brown the first side, then flip and brown the 2nd side; about 4 mins/ side
- While the chops are browning slice the onions (cut them in half and then slice) and the apples (but keep the separate)
- Remove the chops, set aside, put the onions in the pan and sautee, stir often until they are browned (5-7 mins)
- Add the sliced apple and sprinkle with cinnamon. Sautee for another 5 mins
- Move the apple and onion mixture to the side of the pan and add the pork chops back, then smother the chops with the apples and onions
- Pour in the bone broth and coconut aminos
- Cover and let simmer for 10 mins
- Remove the lid, flip the chops, smother again with the onions and apples and let simmer for another 10 mins
- While the chops are cooking put the steamed cauli, butter and coconut milk into a food processor, or blender and blend until smooth
- To plate: put the cauli puree down first, place the chop beside it, smother in onions and apples and pour over the liquid from in the pan, garnish with micro herbs
Then wait for the compliments :)