Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Paleo Pizza-Stuffed Pork Chops

When I think of stuffed pork chops, what comes to mind is traditional autumn comfort foods like bacon, nuts, apple and so on. I wanted to give the dish a different spin, so went with Italian-inspired ingredients instead.

While I did choose to include some dairy-free Daiya provolone, you can completely omit it for a truly pale-compliant dish. I think diced mushrooms would be a nice inclusion, but since neither of my kids will eat them I chose to roast some portabella caps for myself and the caveman to enjoy alongside the meat.

Paleo Pizza-Stuffed Pork Chops

2 tbs. olive oil, divided
3 minced garlic cloves
4 cups baby spinach
1 small zucchini, diced small
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt & pepper
4 oz. nitrite-free pepperoni, diced small
1 egg
4 thick, boneless pork chops (mine was 2.5 lbs. total), slice in the center like a book
pizza or marinara sauce (optional), for plating

Heat olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir constantly for one minute. Add spinach, zucchini, Italian seasoning and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cook just until spinach is wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.

Once the spinach mixture is cool, add it to a medium-sized bowl. Add pepperoni and egg, stirring to coat mixture with egg.

Stuff each chop with 1/4 of the stuffing and secure with toothpicks.

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat other tbs. of olive oil in skillet over medium and add pork chops. Cook 2 minutes a side or until just starting to brown.

Place chops in a single layer in a baking dish. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until chops are cooked through.

Remove to a plate or platter and cover with foil, allowing to sit for 5-10 minutes. While pork chops are resting, heat pizza sauce (if using) on stovetop or microwave.

To serve, remove toothpicks from meat and drizzle a little sauce on top of each chop.