The family as a whole has gotten a little tired of Crock Pot cooking, so once again I find myself struggling to come up with an easy way to make dinner. My brain automatically shuts down at 5PM, not surprising since I usually get up at 5AM. So I’m always on the look out for cook books with easy recipes that are healthy and don’t suck in the taste department.
Rather than throw beau-coup bucks at a new cookbook, I decided to check my local library to see what they had. I found Taste of Home: Everyday Light Meals and decided to give it a try. Most of the recipes involve a short list of ingredients, and all recipes have the estimated cook and prep time listed at the top. They also have icons to indicate which meals are low fat, low sodium, low carb and meatless. All of these features are a plus in my book.
The big bonus for me though was that first six chapters are meal-oriented, meaning they list recipes for a whole meal as opposed to just listing recipes for a single dish. These chapters are labeled “Chicken Meals,” and “Pork Meals,” etc. Each meal consists of an entree and a side dish recipe, with suggestions for simple, additional sides (many of which have recipes listed in the book). There’s also a photo for each meal , showing what it looks like. The meal-oriented chapters are a huge benefit for someone like me who, as I’ve said, tends to shut down mentally by the time dinner rolls around.
For this week, I went with one of the pork meals, Honey-Lime Pork Chops with Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes. We had plenty of left-over sauteed Italian squash and mixed berries from the weekend, so I opted not to make the steamed baby carrots and Emerald Fruit Salad recommended as additional sides. The pork chops and potatoes turned out great! Hubster and I devoured our meals, and Princess mostly cleaned her plate. Pixie picked at her meal, but even she had a few bites of pork chop. I doubled the recipes to make sure I had enough to last the week, with the occasional switch out of sides (remember, I shut down at 5PM, so I’m not inclined to cook from scratch every night of the week; leftovers are my friend!). This is definitely something I don’t mind seeing on the dinner table a few nights in a row, and again, Hubster and Princess are eating happily too, and Pixie snubs everything as a general rule, so we’re good with this menu.
Here’s the recipe for the Honey-Lime Pork Chops.
Pork chops with marinade:
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (I substituted jarred minced garlic)
- 6 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each) (I had smaller chops, but I made 8 chops total, doubling all the rest of the ingredients from what I’ve listed here)
- 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 clove garlic, minced (again, used the jar stuff)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon browning sauce
- Dash pepper
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
In large resealable plastic bag, combine first four ingredients (from chops and marinade list). Add pork chops, seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hrs or overnight. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chops, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 inches from heat for 6-7 minutes per side or until juices run clear.
For sauce, combine broth, garlic, honey, lime juice, browning sauce and pepper in small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into broth mixture. Return to a boil. Cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with pork chops.
Makes 6 servings.
Again, we really liked this meal, and with 8 chops instead of six, we’ve got enough to last the week. All I have to do is make new side dishes as needed. I’m going to try another couple of recipes from this cookbook before making a decision to hunt this one down and buy it, but right now it’s already looking like a good candidate for my bookshelf! If you want to get a copy yourself, it’s Taste of Home: Everyday Light Meals, available on Amazon.com and probably just about anywhere else you can order books. Enjoy!