January 4, 2008

Healthy Meal: Pork Chops with Caramelized Onion Gravy and Walnut Glazed Yams

I was planning on having just a salad for dinner, but when I stopped at the grocery to pick up a tomato, I saw yams on sale and I got excited. I already had a pork chop in the fridge, and I remembered a delicious recipe I made this summer. It was kind of southern style, with a bourbon gravy and then pecan crusted sweet potatoes. Yams and sweet potatoes are good substitutes for each other, so I picked up a yam and changed my plan. Unfortunately, when I got home, I realized I was lacking some ingredients, and it also wasn’t as healthy as I thought.

Apologies for the poor picture quality. On a brighter note, I got my camera charger today, so starting tomorrow I’ll be able to use my awesome digital camera instead of my crappy PDA to take pictures!

Recipe notes for the pork chop:
I made the Essence myself, with no salt, and grilled the pork chop on the Foreman instead of pan-frying with olive oil. I also used a 7 oz pork chop. I have yet to find a pork chop that is 4 oz, even though 4 oz is considered one serving anywhere you look.

Recipe notes for the gravy:
I used margarine instead of butter, way less onions (1/4 cup for one serving), and rum instead of cognac (thank you to my friend Joanna for leaving a bottle at my place this weekend, because I normally don’t keep dark liquors on hand). As a side note, if you ever cook with alcohol and are trying to figure out how to count the calories, check out this link and scroll to the bottom of the page. In this recipe, only 40% of the alcohol remains when you cook it. Finally, I didn’t add salt at the end.

Recipe notes for the yams:
The recipe actually calls for sweet potatoes, but yams are fine. I sprayed the bottom of the baking dish with Pam non-stick spray, and then just used a teaspoon of oil to coat the yams. Once baked, I used 1 tbsp margarine, 1 tsp brown sugar, and 1 tbsp walnuts to coat it. Unfortunately, these yams are pretty high-calorie… if I had calculated the calories before I ate them, I probably would have divided what I made into two servings. I should note that these have a TON of protein in them though.

Nutrition data:
280 cals for the 7 oz pork chop (recipe here)
124 cals for the gravy (recipe also here)
450 cals for the yams (recipe also here)

Review: 4/5
This was delicious – the one point deduction is just because it’s still not that healthy even with my substitutions. The gravy is awesome, with the rum giving it a great flavor without too many calories. If you used half a pork chop (about 4 oz, which is considered a serving size), that part would be okay, and then I’d just pair it with a lighter vegetable instead of the yams (though the yams are pretty delicious). Unfortunately, this wasn’t terribly filling – I was hungry again about 2 hours after dinner, so save it for a day when you had a light lunch and can afford some extra calories after dinner.


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