Our house got cleaned today, and you know what that means … I had to dirty-up the kitchen!
Tonight, all my disappointment in having missed yoga class vanished when I walked into a shiny, clean kitchen. Brad had a meeting, and I had a hungry belly, so I needed something that would come together quickly. Fortunately, when we went to Whole Foods last night (the last stop on a whirlwind tour of not one, not two, but three grocery stores needed to get everything we’d run out of!), I decided to pick up some center-cut pork loin chops and sugar snap peas … just in case I had time to cook this week. I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but they seemed like a good start.
My solution :: Maple-Balsamic-Glazed Pork with sugar snap peas and quinoa.
The quinoa is effortless. If you can boil water, you can cook the sugar snap peas. (Though I also recommend pulling the strings first. As we learned tonight, we like them snappy – not stringy!) The pork cooks fast, especially if you pound it a little thinner, which has the added benefit of tenderizing the meat. And the sauce — a blend of equal parts maple syrup and balsamic vinegar with a touch of Dijon mustard — is the perfect balance of tangy and sweet.
You can get the recipes for all three here.
The beauty of this meal is it’s versatility! Don’t like pork? Use chicken. Don’t like quinoa? Try couscous, rice, or even pasta. Don’t like sugar snap peas? Whip up green beans or asparagus. Just please put something green on the plate!
This dinner required far more pots and pans than I normally would attempt. Four to be exact — two for the pork and glaze, one for the quinoa, and one for the peas. Yet, it still wasn’t too dramatic. I started cooking at 6:20, and had dinner on the table (and most of the dishes in the wash) by 6:50.
With that, I’m off to address Christmas cards and write a 5k training plan for beginners, while watching a Charlie Brown Christmas followed by the Biggest Loser Final Four. Wow, there’s some serious synergy there. I’d say that this evening just fell right into place. 🙂