Pork Chops with Acorn Squash and Greens

This dinner is very well rounded. You are getting your proteins and all the good vitamins and minerals from a healthy serving of vegetables. 

The recipe is: paleo, allergy friendly, dairy free, and gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 2 T. of maple syrup
  • 1 T. of fat or oil*
  • 2-4 pork chops
  • 2 cups of Kale*

How to Make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Cut the acorn squash in half. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds.*  Put the acorn squash flesh side up on a baking sheet. Put one tablespoon of maple syrup in each cavity. Put into oven. Set a timer for 20 - 25 minutes. 

2. In a cast iron skillet heat the fat or oil on medium/high heat. While that is heating salt and pepper the pork chops. Once hot put pork chops in the pan. The goal here is to get the outsides crispy and brown. Once one side is brown turn to the other. When that side is also browned lower heat to medium. **

3. Depending on the thickness of your pork chops your cooking time will very greatly. If they are thin then cooking should only take 10 minutes. If they are thick it may take closer to 20 minutes. 

4. While the pork chops are cooking use the cast iron skillet to also cook the greens. You can do this in small batches and plate once complete. Then salt and pepper.

5. Once acorn squash is done remove from the oven and mash in the gorde (to avoid an extra dirty dish). Hold the acorn squash in a hand towel with one hand and mash with the other. If desired you can add butter.*

6. Put acorn squash on the plate and top with pork chop and a side of greens.  

Notes:

  • Any oil that stands up to high heat can be used here. I use leftover bacon fat. Other options include: coconut oil, butter, ghee, or lard. 
  • If you do not have kale on hand you can use any greens. Other options include: collard greens, spinach, or swish chard. 
  • If your kids are around when you scrape out the seeds from the acorn squash let them play with them. This is a great sensory activity. 
  • If you are doing four pork chops and they do not all fit in you cast iron skillet at once, brown the outside of two and then set aside and do the other two. Then put all four into the oven to finish cooking. 
  • If you are serving to kids I would recommend adding butter to the acorn squash. This is great way to get them some extra fat that they need for critical brain development. 

Serving to Children:

I cut up the pork chop and have my little one "dip" the pieces in the acorn squash. The green are hit or miss, but I always try to get him to eat them.