Don’t fear the pork chop!  These babies are guaranteed to sway any believer that pork chops are always tough or dry.   And the best part??? They’re ready in less than 30 minutes!

pork chops with sweet onion gravy| One Strange Herd

When it comes to pork chops I have 3 favorite go-to recipes all very different from one another.  One is marinaded for the grill, another is breaded, and then there’s this one that is smothered in a simple yet heavenly sweet onion gravy!
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And those tiny bits of garlic pack a flavorful punch.  Tonight we paired the chops with dijon roasted red potatoes instead of our usual mashed.  Whatever carb route you choose to go down the gravy will be a wonderful accompaniment.

Choose boneless pork chops and trim of excess fat then season with a bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder.
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Pork chops are simple math…

4 people & 4 pork chops= enough for one dinner.  But chicken?? I always get it wrong.  It goes one of two ways…we have way too much (the chicken breasts multiply when I get them home) or we don’t have enough (like when I make buffalo chicken).  “Wadever” in the words of my witty 4 year old.

This onion slice reminds me of a cell culture in a petri dish.  Flash back to freshman science class. Annnd, we’re moving right along…
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Freaky onion or not, they start by sautéing with the pork chops in a little butter and olive oil.  Keep your tongs close by and continually toss them around so they don’t brown unevenly while the pork chops get a nice sear, about 4 minutes each side.
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After the chops get flipped and seared on the other side, add some garlic and stir continually to avoid burning.  Then add 1/2 a can of low sodium beef broth that serves as the base for the gravy.  (I’ve used chicken broth in the past too, but find it needs more oomph. So stick with beef broth that has the oomph needed.)

Put the lid on (unless for photographic purposes) and let them simmer in the broth for 10 minutes to finish cooking through…
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My flour jar was a little empty after making pizza Friday night.  I *always* procrastinate refilling it too because those darn paper bags of flour always get the best of me.

While the pork chops are simmering you’ll use the remaining broth and a bit of flour to make a thickener.  Thickener doesn’t sounds like a real word.  If you have half n half on hand it’s a great addition too but not necessary.  See recipe for full instructions.
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No steak knife needed to cut through these juicy pork chops.  Oh my stars…gravy.
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**Double Duty Dinner:
Make extra pork chops to use another night for Pork Fried Rice.

 

Pork Chops with Sweet Onion Gravy

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless pork chops, trimmed of fat
  • 1TB butter
  • 1TB olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15oz can low sodium beef broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup half n half (optional), if on hand
  • 1 TB flour (+ more if using half n half)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • garlic powder
  • 1 TB butter
  • 1 TB olive oil

Instructions

  1. Trim pork chops of any fat and season both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with butter and olive oil. Add pork chops and onions to skillet and cook for 4 minutes. Flip to other side and cook an additional 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute stirring continually to avoid burning.
  4. Pour in 1/2 can of beef broth and allow to simmer covered for 10 minutes.
  5. While the pork chops are simmering add the remaining beef broth to a small bowl and whisk in flour. (Half n half is optional but makes it richer in flavor. Adjust flour by a few teaspoons at a time)
  6. Pour the gravy mix into the skillet and gently stir to combine. Allow to simmer for another 2 minutes allowing the gravy to thicken.
  7. Remove from heat, with lid on, for 3-5 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve with potatoes, rice, or egg noodles!
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Double Duty Dinner Pork

Friday’s on the OSH blog will be dedicated to all things fitness and health.  Everything from healthy snacks ideas, to product reviews, exercise routines and more are coming!  Be sure and sign up to receive email notifications of new posts!

Today I’m sharing this blueberry and vanilla protein milkshake!  I’m enjoying some now and it’s not only really tasty but really filling!  I’m not into meal replacement shakes…this girl loves food.

blueberry vanilla protein milkshake| One Strange Herd
Over the past few months I’ve been incorporating an all natural whey protein shake into my day.  I lift weights often and shakes are a great way to efficiently deliver protein back to my muscles.

After following all the hype for Quest protein bars on Instagram I jumped on the bandwagon and purchased their Vanilla Milkshake protein powder.  It’s a mix of whey and casein so it’s a bit more hearty.  Whey is faster digesting, casein is slower.  Anywho…It smells identical to a packet of vanilla pudding and the taste is spot on!  And in case you’re wondering, I purchase all my tubs-of-protein from The Vitamin Shoppe.  

quest protein shakeNot another ounce of anything could fit!  I use frozen blueberries because I always have them on hand but fresh would be perfect too.

blueberry protein shakeHave you ever used a Magic Bullet?  I find it helps get the right proportions when you’re just dumping stuff in.  This shake came together in less than 2 minutes.  The outcome is a perfect thick and creamy milkshake.

magic bullet protein shake

There was a time I made my kids a strawberry smoothie but the bottom of the blender wasn’t sealed tight enough…good times.
IMG_0680This one came prettttty close to overflowing but it all worked out.

Protein shake + graham crackers = the best bedtime snack.  Of course, I’m in love with Trader Joe’s brand of honey graham crackers.  Seriously there’s not much I don’t love there.

Cheers!

blueberry vanilla protein shake| One Strange Herd
This recipe is a great base to experiment with other fruits/flavors.  If you want it a little less filling (I almost couldn’t finish mine) use more water to milk ratio.  You can also substitute greek yogurt for protein mix!

Blueberry Vanilla Protein Milkshake

Ingredients

  • *adapted from Mommysavers.com
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 scoop whey vanilla protein mix

Instructions

  1. If using fresh fruit ice may be added to create a thicker milkshake like consistency.
  2. To a blender add milk, water, and scoop of protein powder and stir/pulse to combine. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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Tasty Beverages

It’s no secret I’m totally addicted to Sriracha sauce. But ONLY Trader Joe’s brand. I find the stuff with the green cap to be too spicy and the salt content is much higher too. It’s amazing on eggs, mixed with macaroni and cheese, sour cream, added to stuffed peppers… (to name a few) or mixed with this amazing remoulade for these fish tacos!

fish tacos with garlic sriracha remoulade | one strange herd

Remoulade is a fancy term for sauce-made-with-mayo. Or something like that. It may not look like much but it’s packed with flavor and totally necessary for these tacos!

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Fish tacos are one of my favorite restaurant menu items. Probably because the fish is always deep fried or blackened in a way I can’t duplicate at home. I deep fry nothing. I blacken nothing…on purpose. After making these I no longer need to order them out. They were EASY and the family raved about them. WINNER WINNER FISHY DINNER! Boom!

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The main star of these tacos is frozen cod I purchased from Costco. Each filet comes individually vacuumed sealed (5 large pieces per bag) which makes getting dinner ready a breeze. (And why are cute socks so stinkin expensive?! New socks do make me happy, especially my pink and gray chevron ones.)

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To thaw the filets I just followed the directions on the bag and put them in a bath of cool water and changed it every 5 minutes for about 15-20 minutes. We had 1 filet leftover and that’s after polishing off 7 tacos! For the record that was 3 corn tortilla tacos for me, 3 flour tacos for My Love, 1 flour taco for the GG, and just some plain fish for Linc!

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The smaller and thicker filets were still slightly frozen in the middle after a 20 minute luxurious water bath. No worries! While the fish was thawing I made the cabbage and carrot (not pictured, it was an after thought) slaw. Purple and orange have always been my favorite color combos…these fish tacos were just meant to be.

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Into the bowl goes julienned purple cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, and honey…and of course the carrot sticks, which not only provide more veggies but a wonderful crunch and pop of color…use your imagination.

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After the cod was semi-90%-thawed I begin the breading process. They get dredged first in egg then tossed in a mixture of panko, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, and cumin!

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Since mine were still a little frozen in the center I baked them for 10 minutes on each side. After 20 minutes I jabbed a fork in the thickest one and gave a little twirl…perfect white fluffy cod! Time to plate!

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Have mercy…huge flaky pieces of fish with that remoulade and crunchy slaw. Paired with some Peach Blue Moon…it doesn’t get better than this folks.

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And if you’re craving them again for lunch the next day but too lazy to heat up a corn tortilla (don’t judge)…serve it likeathees:

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Fish Tacos with Sriracha Garlic Remoulade

Ingredients

  • adapted from The Hungry Apple
  • 3 Cod filets, fresh or frozen, cut in half to form smaller pieces or strips.
  • 10 corn or small flour tortillas
  • 1 egg
  • slaw:
  • 1/2 head of purple cabbage, julienned
  • 3/4 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 tsp honey
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2TB chopped cilantro
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • seasoning:
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • remoulade:
  • 1/2 cup light olive oil mayo
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • dash of cayenne, salt and pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha sauce

Instructions

  1. 1. Combine all ingredients for the remoulade in a small bowl and set aside in the fridge.
  2. 2. In another bowl mix together cabbage, cilantro, honey, lime, carrots, salt and pepper and set aside in fridge as well.
  3. 3. Combine seasonings and panko for breading. Dip each filet in egg then panko seasoning using a spoon to help coat the fish to ensure the seasonings aren't resting on the bottom. 4.Lay each filet on a greased cookie sheet and Bake at 450 for 10 minutes each side. Adjust time by a few minutes if your filets are more or less frozen in the middle.
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Fish/Seafood

My Fiesta Ranch Turkey Burgers are not only a cinch to throw together but they can be served a variety of ways making them the ultimate meal prep champion.

While I love to throw burgers on the grill, don’t wait to fire up it up to make these juicy turkey burgers.  They cook beautifully on the stovetop without the grease-spattery mess from traditional ground beef.

Fiesta Ranch Turkey Burger | One Strange Herd

Folks, this recipe for flavorful turkey burgers couldn’t be easier.  You’ll have it memorized in no time, which is a good thing because I bet you’ll be making a lot of these.

In a bowl goes 1LB lean turkey with….drumroll…2TB each green onions, red onions, parsley, red pepper….then we break it down with 2 TSP of fiesta ranch mix (not pictured) and 2 garlic cloves.

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We hit a local restaurant after church a few weeks ago and I decided to try their turkey burger.  Total disappointment.  Not only did the meat look like a factory pressed circle-o-meat but it was rather flavorless and a weeee bit rubbery.

Speaking of pressed meat…this is my favorite trick to making burgers.  Simply cover a burger sized tupperware lid with saran wrap and press the meat around and release!  Perfect sized burgers every time!

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And in case you’re wondering “does this only make 3 burgers??”  eh, NO…I was hungry and cooked one.  Food blogger problems or solutions?  You decide.  It was dee-lish.

Topped with melty sharp cheddar cheese and slathered with a mix of sour cream and sriracha all on top of a lightly buttered and toasted bun…drool.  I love mine with some avocado slices and a side of salty fries (my daughter ate those soon after the first picture!!) hahaha.

BMC_6796Do you cut your burgers in half before you eat devour them? It’s like a rule or something.

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*Make it an easy packed lunch by serving leftover burger patties re-heated and cut into chunks on top of a  bed of romaine or lentils topped with anything you’d stack on a burger.  Add a little of your favorite salad dressing and lunch the next day is easy and delicious.

 

Fiesta Turkey Burger

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
  • 2 TB red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 TB red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 TB parsley, minced
  • 2 TB green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 tsp. fiesta ranch dry mix
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1 tsp sriracha (optional)
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • lettuce and tomato
  • bakery hamburger buns

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl add turkey and all ingredients through fiesta ranch mix. Gently mix with hands and press out 4 large patties using a lid!
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium -high heat with extra virgin olive oil. Add patties and cook 7 minutes per side.
  3. While burgers are cooking mix the sour cream and sriracha sauce and set aside.
  4. Top with sharp cheddar cheese remove from heat with lid on for 3 minutes to allow cheese to soften.
  5. Lightly butter some hamburger buns and place buttered side down in skillet until browned like a grilled cheese.
  6. Build your burger with some sriracha cream sauce (or substitute with ranch), lettuce and tomato.
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Double Duty Dinner Turkey