Day 5 – Dinner

Green Salad with Grilled Pork, Cranberries, and Roast Garlic Balsamic Dressing and Candy Spotted Apple

Spinach Salad with Grilled Pork, Cranberries, and Roast Garlic Balsamic Dressing

1/2 tablespoon olive oil – $0.29
1/2 clove garlic – $0.05*
1 pork chop – $0.96** (make 2, one for tomorrow’s lunch)
salt and pepper to taste $0.05
1/2 tablespoon of balsamic – $0.16
1/4 tsp dijon mustard $0.01
.75 ounce spinach -$0.20
2 leafs escarole – $0.16***
1 tablespoon dried cranberries $0.28
1/2 oz carrot – $0.08****

Total for recipe – $2.08 per serving
Calories: 227 Fat: 13.4 Protein: 20  

In a small pan, heat olive oil and half a clove of garlic for 2 minutes, until the oil is infused.
Set to the side to cool.
Whisk together balsamic vinegar and dijon, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Preheat the grill pan to medium high.
Season pork with salt and pepper.
While grill is heating, whisk oil into balsamic mixture, drop by drop, until incorporated.
Grill pork for 2 minutes, then rotate 90 degrees to create hatch marks.
Grill another minute or two.
Flip pork and grill another to an internal temp of 155, about 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness.
If your chop is very thin, this may only take 2 minutes to create hatch marks, and another couple to finish. Do not overcook your pork. It will dry it out and no sauce in the world is going to fix that. Reheating will dry it out even more if you’re not careful, so you may want to take one off early if you’re saving one for tomorrow.
Rely on your senses for doneness. To give you an idea – Doneness
Remove pork from the grill and rest.
Wash, dry, and tear greens. If you don’t have a salad spinner, use paper towels.
When pork is rested, cut into bite sized pieces, and place on salad.
Sprinkle with cranberries, peel carrot slices in with vegetable peeler, and drizzle with balsamic.
When other pork chop has cooled, stash in the fridge for tomorrow.

*I’m going to use other half for pesto for tomorrow, but the price reflects the whole clove. Raw garlic is not good for snacking. Really. I’ve tried it. *chagrined*

**As previously mentioned, I always find some kind of pork chop on sale. You can buy chicken thighs if you can’t find pork on sale, but it will not work as well in this recipe as pork will. It would still be alright. You could easily (and cheaply) replace the protein in this recipe with cheese and/or nuts, but I was trying to prep for tomorrow and to lighten up. It’s been a heavy day.
***If you do not like bitterness in your salads, avoid escarole. It’s extremely bitter. I like the bite to balance out the sweetness of the cranberry in this recipe, but it’s not necessary.
****This price reflects the whole carrot. I snack on the rest. What am I gonna do with half a carrot? Actually I could wrap it like I do cucumbers and stash it for the next salad.  But I couldn’t resist snacking this one.

To stay light, I would finish up with a simple dessert

Candy Spotted Apples

1 apple – $0.42
1 tablespoon sugar – $0.03
2 tablespoons water

Total for recipe – $0.45 per serving
Calories: 76 Fat: 0 Protein: 0  

Cut the apple. If you’re against the browning that comes with the apple oxidizing, keep the slices in a bowl of water with a few drops of lemon juice while you ready the sugar.
In as small a pan as you have, combine water and sugar.
Heat on medium high.
Let heat.
Do not stir.
Really, you don’t want to do that. Stirring will make it clumpy, and clumpy carmel is no apple’s friend.
It will start bubbling.
Wait until it’s just starting to turn amber. If you wait until it achieves a carmel color in the pan, it could go too far. Then it’ll have a smoky almost burnt flavor, which some favor, but I do not.
Turn off the heat.
Wait 20 seconds for it to come together.
Don’t touch it. For the love of God, don’t touch it. Sugar burns are the worst sort. Once hot sugar is on your skin, it’s not coming off unless your skin is going with it. Exceedingly painful and kind of unattractive to boot.
Drain your apples if they’re in water while you’re waiting the 10 – 20 seconds for it to cool.
Once it’s started to cool and gel, gather it with a wooden spoon before it hardens and drizzle it on the apple. The cool apple will harden the carmel.
Still, don’t touch it for a minute.
Get water in the pan right away.
If you don’t, the carmel will stick. If it does stick, don’t fret. Are you fretting? Don’t. Put some water in the pan and boil it, and that will loosen the sugar.
But before that. Eat your crunchy candy spotted apple. Delicious. And fat free.

I won’t have time tomorrow morning, so now’s a good time for making Pesto and Pasta. Also a good time to make Creamy Caesar Dressing.  I use it for a snack dip for carrots since I didn’t make hummus this week, and it dresses up chicken beautifully in a salad or on a sandwich.


Totals for meal

Total for recipe – $2.53
Calories: 303
Fat: 13.4 (40%)
Protein: 20 (26%)


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