It’s funny how when things get crazy it’s reflected in different areas of your life. For me, my house shows the true state of my mentality. At work, I’m managing my stress like a boss. I’m on top of everything, I’m getting a million and one things done, and I’m feeling great about it. At home though, the my house has been slowly deteriorating over the last 2 weeks. Dishes piling up, kitchens and bathrooms desperately needing cleaning, floors needing a twice over with the vacuum, and a thousand little neglected errands.
This past weekend, I worked my butt off getting my home back in order. It’s still not quite where I’d like it to be, but I’m so grateful to have put in the time to get my life organized. This week, I’m making sure it doesn’t happen again by assigning a couple small errands to each day so I don’t fall behind again. How do you manage your workload?
One major thing that has kept me going during this stressful time is a healthy diet. Our bodies are the vehicles through which we experience life. Keeping your body fueled properly with a plant strong diet is an absolute must! By keeping your body running clean, stress becomes so much more manageable. You might even find yourself enjoying your stressful days!
Sukhraj S. Dhillon famously said, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes everyday – unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.” Well, it’s the same for eating a plant-strong diet! During busy, stressful times you should be extra diligent about what you are consuming.
With a good diet, you’ll have lots of energy to tackle you’re to-do list, you’ll be able to concentrate better, and you will have this over arching sense of optimism about it all.
Easy healthy weeknight meals are the key to it all.
These are simple meals that are done in under 45 minutes and don’t require a ton of prep. Planning dishes like these can help you to manage your healthy diet within the little time you have during the day. It’s incredibly important time; your body needs more nourishment and attention than the most important thing on your to-do list.
This dish is an excellent example of easy healthy weeknight meals that hit the brain’s pleasure center as a bonus. Take 5 minutes the night before and marinate the pork. The sweet potato fries take about 40 minutes to bake (just 5 minutes to prep!), and the pork and sauce will be done in less than 20. After about 30 minutes of work time, you get this beautiful meal. Read more about sweet potatoes versus regular potatoes here.
I found the recipe for the cherry sauce in Joy of Cooking. Of course, I added my own Mexican-fusion flair; it was a major success. We ate all the sauce!
Pitting cherries isn’t too tough. I learned from this helpful article from The Kitchn. I found that cutting around the cherry with a knife (like you were trying to cut it in half) and then pushing the pit out with a chopstick was the easiest. If you’re a gadget person, this OXO Cherry and Olive Pitter would be a great addition to your kitchen, especially if you eat olives too!
Need other healthy pork recipes? Check out this tutorial for Juicy, Irresistible Pork Chops, which is perfect with a side or two of roasted vegetables. Other favorites include Curried Pork Tenderloin & Honey Roasted Carrots or Pork Tenderloin Mojo de Ajo & the Best Baked Beans of Your Life .
Chipotle Cherry Pork & Sweet PotatoesPrint Recipe
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 thick cut, bone in pork chops
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup fresh pitted cherries + a few more for garnish
- 1/2 cup preserves of choice (see note below)
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp ground mustard
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo (from can)
- 2 tsp adobo sauce (from can)
- Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
The night before (or at least 6 hours before eating), marinate the pork. Peel and smash cloves of garlic. Remove rosemary leaves from stems. Place in plastic bag with olive oil, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Massage bag to combine. Add in pork. Massage to coat, then place in the refridgerator.
When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 450F with the baking sheet inside. Take the pork out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
Wash and dry sweet potatoes, then cut into "fries". I made mine about 4 inches long and about 1/2 inch in width. Remove the baking sheet, add potatoes, toss with a little olive oil. Salt to taste. Place back in oven and bake for 30 - 45 minutes, tossing after 20 minutes and cooking to your desired level of doneness.
When potatoes go in the oven, prepare the cherries. Pit the cherries and place in a blender or food processor, reserving a few for garnish. Add preserves, soy, ground mustard, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce. blend until smooth.
When potatoes have about 20 minutes left, heat a cast iron pan (or other oven safe pan) over high heat.
When the pan is very hot, add a little olive oil, and then the pork. Discard the marinade. Sear the pork util nicely browned on each side, about 4-5 minutes per side.
Place pork in oven and cook until internal temperature reached 135F, about 10 minutes depending on the thickness and pre-cooking temperature of your pork. Remove from the oven and allow to sit outside of the pan for 10 minutes. When you remove the pork from the pan, add the cherry sauce into the hot pan. Stir to incorporate pan juices. Allow to sit while pork rests.
To serve, spoon cherry sauce over pork and potatoes. Garnish with a few cherries.
I used half blackberry preserves and half fig/ chocolate spread, which was great with the cherries and chipotle. The original recipe calls for plum preserves.