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The Other White Meat: Cider-Glazed Pork Chops with Barley and Mushrooms

Home cooks often stick to chicken breasts when they are looking for a quick, healthy meal option, but pork today compares favorably for fat, calories and cholesterol. In fact, many cuts of pork are just as lean – if not leaner – than chicken.  Pork tenderloin,  like skinless chicken breast, meets the government guidelines for “extra lean.” According to The Pork Checkoff, six pork cuts meet the USDA guidelines for “lean,” with less than 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving.

If you’re looking for a perfect partner for pork chops, whole grain barley makes a great teammate for any cut of “the other white meat.” Barley is low in fat, high in fiber and extremely versatile for any meal. A cereal grain with a rich, nutty flavor, it has an appealing chewy, consistency that tastes like a blend of rice and pasta.

Cider-Glazed Pork Chops with Barley and Mushrooms
Serves 4

Chops:

  • 1/2 c apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 bone-in center-cut loin pork chops (5/6 oz each)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Barley:

  • 2 c water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c quick-cooking barley
  • 1 med onion, sliced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 c grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. Boil first three ingredients for chops in small saucepan over medium-high heat until syrupy, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Prepare barley while cider mixture cooks: Bring water and 1/8 teaspoon salt to boil in saucepan. Add barley, cover, and cook over medium-low until liquid is absorbed, 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

3. Cook onion and mushrooms in oil in frying pan over medium-high heat while barley cooks. Sauté till browned, 8 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes. Add barley. Cook 1 minute. Turn off heat, stir in parsley. Cover.

4. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Put on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush with glaze. Broil 2 minutes. Turn, brush with glaze, and broil 2 minutes longer. Remove and brush with any remaining glaze. Serve chops with barley.

Nutrition (per serving) 406 cal, 28 g pro, 45 g carb, 5 g fiber, 13.5 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat, 364 mg sodium

Work time: 25 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

[Recipe: Prevention Magazine]

January 28th, 2011

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