Post 78 – The Process of Elimination

When I started this blog, I wanted to write about all the wonderful recipes and foods in the world that I loved to cook and eat. Erin Eating Everything was supposed to mean that nothing was off-limits and that my followers would enjoy reading about a variety of delicious and often healthy recipes. Lately though I have felt restricted in what I eat and therefore in what I cook due to my digestive issues caused by my acid reflux/GERD. In reality I am probably eating much healthier now than I did before by eliminating sugar, which is a major cause of inflammation. It has been frustrating and upsetting, but I have taken my health more seriously lately and decided to do everything I can to feel the best that I can. I thank you all for continuing to follow along with me throughout this journey and I promise to still give you delicious recipes along the way!

Today is day 9 of my Elimination Diet (ED). I know what you’re thinking. I know that diet often has the connotation of crazy fad food regimes where you eat 600 calories a day and starve yourself to lose weight, but that is not the case for me. I have started the ED with the guidance of a doctor and nutritionist in an effort to get off reflux medications, improve my health (since my symptoms have not gone away despite avoiding supposed trigger foods), and feel better. As the name suggests, I have eliminated all potential (most common) allergens and will reintroduce them one at a time to test for which ones may be the culprits. It requires patience, planning, and persistence and of course it helps to have your support.

Rather than focus on the negative (what I can’t eat) I want to focus on the positive and share with you all of the delicious things I CAN eat.

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Like my coconut curry chicken with rice that I shared with you last post – full of flavor and a feast for the eyes as well!

I also enjoyed salmon that I topped with fresh ginger, cilantro, and sesame oil with roasted asparagus and sweet potatoes on the side.

 

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And for few days this week we savored oven-roasted pork chops (recipe follows)photo 3(21)

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First I brined the chops in a salt-water solution for an hour, then I pan-seared them and finished them in the oven. They were moist, flavorful, and delicious. Brining them helps to keep them moist and inject a little bit of flavor with the salt. The recipe is not entirely hands-off, but it is well worth it if you don’t want a dry pork chop. I hope you give it a try!

In other news, spring has sprung here in Boston and I am taking advantage as much as possible of the warmer weather, longer days (notice the wonderful natural lighting for my dinner!) and sunshine. I’ve been biking to work most days and playing frisbee with a spring hat league, which are both great ways to get out. I hope you are enjoying the spring weather as well.

 

Oven-Roasted Pork Chops

inspired by America’s Test Kitchen and The Kitchn

4 center-cut pork chops (I used boneless but bone-in works too)

spice rub mix of your choice

salt

sugar (optional)

olive oil

 

Prepare your brine by dissolving 3 Tablespoons of Kosher salt in 6 cups of cold water in a large bowl (optional to also add 3 Tablespoons of sugar to the brine). Add your pork chops, cover, and refrigerate for an hour.

When ready to cook, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Remove pork chops from the brine and discard liquid. Pat each chop dry and rub on both sides with your favorite spice rub. I used (an unmeasured mixture of) salt, black pepper, and paprika. Heat a large oven-safe skillet (cast iron works well) over medium high heat and add a light coating of olive oil. Swirl to evenly distribute in the pan. When the pan is hot, add your pork chops carefully so as not to splatter yourself with hot oil. You should hear a fairly loud sizzle when they hit the oil. If not, your pan is not hot enough. Sear for 3 minutes on the one side, until the pork chop is well browned on the underside. Flip your pork and immediately transfer the pan to the hot oven (don’t forget to turn off your burner). Cook for 6 to 10 minutes (depending on thickness of the chops) or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees in the thickest part of the meat (or longer if you are worried about under cooking your meat, though see this link for more information). Remove the chops from the pan and put on a plate, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes. This step is very important if you want to keep your pork juicy!

Serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!

 

 

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