Pork Chops with Jalapeño Basil Salsa & Strawberry-Tomato Arugula Salad

Time to push myself
out of the cooking rut again. I don't dislike meat, but I don't like cooking it much.  So even though I was brought up on a meat and potatoes style meal, making one is never my first choice to cook. I love soups, stews, curries, rice bowls, one pot/pan meals and more.  My husband prefers more traditional though, so I try to make it happen occasionally. 

A few days ago I went on my fav cooking app - Mealime - and searched for a recipe that would use up some fresh basic I had lying around. The photo for Pork Chops with Jalapeño Basil Salsa & Strawberry-Tomato Arugula Salad really jumped out.  I loved that it was a low carb meal for me, that it had a little kick of spice, and that I could add some new potatoes to my husband's plate to make it the full meal deal for him.

I had a little problem with recipe amounts.  What is half a small package of fresh basil? I decided on 1/4 cup and it seemed the right amount, but who knows.  Then they mentioned 8 oz. of strawberries. Fortunately I had a kitchen scale, so I weighed my strawberries and sliced them into a measuring cup to give you the amount listed below.

Look for a package of tomatoes with
a great colour mix such as red, yellow and purple!

For my husband who isn't a big spice fan, I used 1/2 a larger Jalapeno instead a full one. The salsa had a nice bite, but he could still eat it. That topping probably wasn't his favorite, but I enjoyed the unique kick it gave the otherwise plain pork chop. I have to honestly say though, so far my favorite salsa topping on this app is the feta/cilantro/jalapeno one. It's to die for.


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Pork Chops with Jalapeño Basil Salsa & Strawberry-Tomato Arugula Salad

Ingredients - 

2 Pork Chops
1-1/2 tsp                Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Salsa -

1/2                          Lime
1                             Garlic, minced or pressed
1                             Shallot, minced
1-1/2 T                   Olive Oil
1 tsp                       Honey
1/4 tsp                    Salt
1                             Jalapeno, diced (veins and seeds removed)
1/4 C                      Fresh basil, Minced

Salad - 

2-1/2 oz                 Arugula
1 C                        Grape Tomatoes (or cherry), quartered or halved (I love the multicoloured Heritage)
2 C                        Strawberries, sliced or quartered (I sliced)
2 tsp                      Olive Oil
2 tsp                      Balsamic Vinegar (I used a Maple Balsamic, yum!)
1 tsp                      Honey
1/4 tsp                   Salt
1/8 tsp                   Pepper

Instructions -

Salsa - Juice lime into a small bowl. Add the olive oil, honey and salt and stir.  Add the jalapeno, shallot, and fresh basil. Gently toss and set aside. 

Pork Chops - Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. While the skillet heats up, pat pork chops dry with paper towels and place on a plate; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Once the skillet is hot, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Pan-fry the pork chops until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. 

Salad - While the pork chops are cooking, add the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper to a salad bowl. Whisk to combine the dressing. Add the strawberries, grape tomatoes and arugula to the bowl, then toss until well combined and all ingredients are coated evenly with dressing. 

To serve, divide pork chops and salad between plates; spoon salsa over the chops and enjoy!