Twenty Minutes, Nothing to Eat – Strawberry Green Apple Salad

The Dilemma…

Every once and awhile, my stomach starts to grumble and I realize the time vanished. Not only am I hungry, but I’ve only got 30 minutes before I need to leave to go lift.

Instead of panicking or driving through a fast food restaurant on my way to lifting (the idea is so appalling, I can’t even describe it to you), I did what any healthy eater does in these situations. I went and stood in front of my open fridge – letting all the cold air out. (I can hear somebody’s Grandma yelling at me right now…)

Let’s get one thing straight – I had food. In fact, my fridge was FULL of food…

Despite this important fact, I remember thinking to myself, “Aw crap. I have nothing to eat.”

Deciding What to Eat

How many of you have been in this exact same scenario? Of course I had things to eat, I just didn’t know how I was going to put them together. Sometimes, that’s the hard part about cooking. I’ve said it before – but it’s true – if you didn’t remember to plan ahead, you have to be okay experimenting.

Experimenting in the kitchen is taking a risk. Two things could happen:

  1. There’s a possibility that it could flop and you’ll have to eat it anyway.
  2. There’s also a possibility that it will be amazing.

You just never know.

My Experiment

I realized I had some fruit, some lettuce, and a package of breakfast pork chops that were about to go bad (Sell by date: today). I also had half of a small onion, randomly in a zip lock.

If it sound’s like I have a lot of scraps in my fridge, you’d be right. That’s because I cook for one.

Cooking for One Tip: Never throw away half of ANYTHING. That’s the perfect size to keep and use for another recipe.

Back to my delima, though… Ahem. What to eat?

I thought about the pork chops first. It was obvious they should be my priority. How should I cook them? A vision popped into my head of this dish I usually make in the fall with pork chops, onions,apples, pumpkin pie spice, and pepper. It’s more of a warm dish, but I decided I had everything to try and convert that idea into a summer salad.

I took a chance, and boooooy am I glad. It was delicious.

Image

Recipe: Strawberry Green Apple Salad

Ingredients:

  • Romaine Lettuce, washed and chopped
  • Breakfast Pork Chop
  • 1/2 Granny Smith Apple, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 5 Strawberries, sliced
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Raspberry Blush Vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp Olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle Pork Chops with salt, pepper, and pumpkin pie spice. (Don’t be afraid to be generous with pumpkin pie spice and pepper – the more the merrier, in my opinion.)
  3. Add the Pork Chop to the small skillet.
  4. Chop up the apple and onion. While the Pork Chop is still cooking, add them to the skillet as well. Sprinkle generously with more pumpkin pie spice and pepper. Stir sparingly.
  5. When you start to see white climbing up the sides of the pork chop, flip it over and cook the other side for another couple of minutes.
  6. Take the pork chop out and continue cooking the onions and apples until they are browning on the edges. In the last couple of minutes, add some sliced strawberries. Do not stir. Let them cook 1-2 minutes longer and pull out.
  7. Meanwhile, chop up your lettuce and arrange on your plate.
  8. Cut the pork chop into strips and top the lettuce with pork, onions and apples. Enjoy!

Side Note about Breakfast Pork Chops
These are like a regular pork chop except for two things:

  • Thinner: Because of how thin they are, they cook faster. In fact, sometimes I’ll have these with a fried egg in the morning and they cook in approximately the same amount of time.
  • Cheaper: I can get 4 breakfast pork chops for $2.48. That’s pretty cheap for lean protein.
  • Smaller: At about the size of a deck of cards, these would actually be more along the lines of an appropriate portion of meat for most adults.

Best Part about the Whole Thing:
The entire process was less than twenty minutes and all I had to clean up afterward was a small skillet, a knife, and a plate. That’s nothin folks. That is what we call – healthy cooking in a hurry.

A Note to the Diabetics:
Total carbohydrates for the salad – 1/2 lg apple (15g) + 5 strawberries (10g) = 25 grams carbohydrates.

I typically get 60 grams per meal. In order to meet my carb budget, I added a double fiber english muffin (22g) + almond butter (0g) + topped with half a banana (15g) = 62 grams.

*If I were trying to follow a 45 gram carbohydrate budget, I would have just eat the same salad, half of an english muffin, almond butter, and a fourth of a banana. Problem Solved. :)

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