Cook this: quick & healthy – pork with apples & lentils

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Sometimes it’s really fun to get your MasterChef on, whip out a glossy recipe book and put together a fancy new recipe. Sometimes you just want to put on your PJs after a long day and work and put your feet up and relax, and not spend 3 hours in the kitchen making a meal that’s just going to be eaten in a few minutes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you want take away!

The common misconception is that cooking up a delicious, healthy meal is time consuming and expensive. I’m going to try to disprove that by posting some QUICK DINNER recipes. I grew up in a good, traditional Italian family, where mum put a homemade dinner on the table every single night without exception, no matter how tight money was or how exhausted she was after her long days. I think it’s because of this upbringing that I really believe everyone should have access to delicious food that is good for you, fun to put together but not necessarily time consuming or expensive. I get it, sometimes you just can’t be stuffed. But I want people to see that you can still put a great dinner on the table without resorting to Maccas!

First up in the QUICK DINNER series is pork steaks with apples and lentils. You can cheat and save a bit of time by using tinned lentils and dried sage, without compromising on goodness or flavour at all. It doesn’t take more than 20 minutes, start to finish, and it’s a reallllyyy delicious winter dinner.  Here’s how to throw it together…

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What you need (to make dinner for 2):

  • cooking spray oil
  • butter
  • 2 pork steaks (standard serving is around 135g each)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large apple (I like to use Fuji apples), skin on, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 x 400g tin of lentils, drained
  • sage (you can use dried sage here)
  • 1 handful baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped

 

What to do:

  1. Heat a large non-stick fry pan over medium heat (not high – pork doesn’t like to be seared, it dries out really easily!); spray a coating of cooking oil and add a bit of butter (just enough to coat the pan).
  2. Add the pork and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for 2 – 3min on each side, or to your preference (I like mine a little pink inside still).
  3. Once cooked, remove from the heat and cover with foil to keep warm while resting.
  4. Add some more butter to the pan, about twice as much as you used for the pork; once melted, add the shallots and cook for a minute, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  5. Turn the heat up to high, throw in the apples and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Stir that around, then add in 2tbsp water to help de-glaze the pan and caramelise the apples a little. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 – 3min.
  6. Stir in the lentils and sage next and cook for another minute or two.
  7. Finally, stir in the baby spinach until just wilted. Spoon the mix onto a plate, slice up the pork, and serve that on top!
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