Pork Chops with Ginger-Soy Glaze

Me and ginger have never really gotten along. My first experience with sushi was when an ex-boyfriend told me to open my mouth wide and he shoved a huge hunk of raw ginger in my mouth. I wanted to throw up. It turned me off to sushi and ginger for years. It wasn’t until I met Michael and gave sushi another chance that I got over it. But ginger? Still not a huge fan. When I eat sushi, I rarely eat it with ginger or wasabi.

Well, I wanted to give it another try. I like gingersnap or gingerbread cookies. I’m way older now, right? Maybe my palate has changed. That’s the reason why I chose this recipe.

I made the most common mistake I usually make with recipes: I skim the ingredients and don’t read the instructions until I’m ready to start. We tried to make this recipe a few days ago but I realized this marinade had to sit for 30 minutes to 3 hours! It was too late to start a marinade so I held onto the recipe for a few days letter and tried it again.

The preparation for this recipe was quick and easy. I halved the recipe since it was just the two of us. I substituted the Splenda/Sugar Blend instead of straight sugar, too. I had a jar of minced ginger that I used for the recipe, too.

For the broth, I used a homemade chicken and vegetable broth that was given to use by friends (thanks Alazar and Bob!). They made the stock from scratch–something I’ve never tried but want to! It was thicker than I was used to but smelled wonderful. I added just a splash of water to it to thin it out and then mixed in the rest of the ingredients.

The pork chop was a really nice cut. I used a small, shallow glass bowl with a lid and poured the marinade over it. The marinade smelled wonderful! I was really excited about the recipe, and hopeful. I let the marinade do it’s stuff for about 2.5 hours.

For the side dishes, we made steamed broccoli and also baked one acorn squash to split. I just cut the squash in half and baked it in the oven in a dish of water and seasoned the cooked squash with butter, salt and pepper.

While the squash cooked, Michael started the pork chop. He cooked it in the skillet and then removed it and wrapped it in foil while he reduced the fluid.

I scraped out the squash from the skin and then steamed some broccoli to go with dinner. The pork chop we were splitting was a tad on the small size, but the veggies and squash would be filling enough.

We poured the glaze over the pork. It was thick and shiny and smelled absolutely wonderful!

I loved the flavor of the glaze. Michael could really taste the ginger, but I didn’t taste very much. I tasted mostly the soy sauce–which I love. So shying away from recipes that call for ginger were unnecessary. Apparently my palate doesn’t mind the ginger.

I liked the dinner a lot and I would definitely make it again. I think this recipe is a good one for dinner guests. It seems like it might be difficult to make, but it was really easy. Easy to impress! This recipe is a keeper.

For dessert I made us vanilla pudding and added freshly sliced strawberries to my pudding. It was a really good dessert for half the calories of an ice cream dessert and I love strawberries. I liked the pudding as a sweet treat but I think I’d gotten sugar free by mistake or something because it tasted a little “chemically” to me. Oh well. It was a nice treat.

QUESTION: What is a food that you despised for a long time but gave it a second chance? Did your palate change?

N is for Nemesis

N is for Nemesis

I have one Nemesis in my life. It’s a simple one. It’s a vice that I wish I could beat. My nemesis is sometimes tricky–it can lay dormant for awhile and I think I have it under control. Then my Nemesis pays me a visit.

What is my nemesis?


DESSERT. 

Recently I wrote about Happy Weight and making peace with my body image, peace with the number on the scale. I know that I could lose those “last few pounds” if I didn’t battle so much with my nemesis.

I really wish that I was a stronger person and could resist having dessert every day, but I just can’t. While I stay within my calorie range for the day, I do eat dessert most nights. Sometimes it’s a hot cocoa. Sometimes it’s cookies or ice cream. I try to choose low calorie options.

See, I love dessert. I always have. Dessert was my trigger food. Dessert was one of the main reasons I was obese. I loved ice cream and ate cartons by myself. Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. Peppermint ice cream during Christmas time…I loved it.

Since I can’t completely kill my nemesis, I try to resist it as much as I can. I trick my brain by eating alternatives.  While I talk on and on about eating whole, real foods, I do believe that eating lower calorie alternatives of dessert is a-okay.  Sometimes I just need a TASTE to satisfy that craving.


I’m working on not feeling bad about myself when I eat treats. I’m eating them in moderation, within my calories for the day, so why am I beating myself up about it? Why do I feel like a failure for the day if I indulge in dessert? I don’t understand it myself. I do know that after years of restricting in order to lose weight, certain foods because trigger foods that I just avoided. So maybe it just takes some rewiring of my brain.

Recently I  wrote about how I was trying to break the habit of mindlessly snacking on candy at work. It was a habit that I wanted to break because I was WASTING so many calories each day eating candy that I didn’t even really LIKE. It wasn’t worth it. And I always felt bad about myself when I gave in to the temptation. I felt like I had failed for the day. For no particular reason, I decided that I would avoid snacking on candy from The Candy Room. A week went by and I was successful. Then another week went by and I realized I didn’t miss it.

This is not the first time I’d tried to avoid The Candy Room. I did it once before a year ago. But it only lasted about a week. I avoided eating candy and chocolate of any kind for a week. But once the week was up, I was eating candy and dessert again. I had a light bulb moment. I realized this time around that the dessert wasn’t the issue: the candy at WORK was the issue. If I just resisted the mindless munching during work hours, I made it through the day. Having a treat at night for dessert was enough sugar to satisfy the craving keep me from eating it at work. I realized once again that moderation is key: completely eliminating something from my life just made me want it more. But allowing myself to eat it in a certain scenario worked. I saved hundreds of calories a day by not eating candy at work. And was happier for it. AND I still got to enjoy a small dessert at home.

How I “Trick” My Brain

Some of my favorite desserts are low in calories. Here are some ideas I have to share that I frequently use myself:

1. Pudding. Making some chocolate pudding is a good option for a treat. I like that it’s easy to make and there are lower calorie options. For less than 200 calories you can enjoy a chocolate dessert. Who doesn’t like pudding?

2. Vanilla ice cream with fruit. In the summer time I add slices of strawberries to my vanilla ice cream. Sometimes I’ll drizzle a little light chocolate sauce on it too. Love the flavors!

3. Fruit Crumble. There are lots of quick recipes you can do to make a fruit crumble. One I used to do was cooking apple slices in a skillet with a little brown sugar, top with granola cereal and a scoop of ice cream–yum!

4. Fruit and honey. I recently made a dessert for a dinner party that was a hit. It was slices of pears with goat cheese, toasted walnuts and drizzled with honey. It was delicious and healthy.

5. Dark Chocolate. A few years ago I made the switch to dark chocolate. It’s so much healthier and after getting used to the dark, rich flavor I started to prefer it over any other chocolate. It’s good because it’s hard to eat a LOT of dark chocolate!

QUESTION: What is YOUR nemesis? What’s your battle plan?

 

A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight * M-Measuring Mistakes *