Sheet Pan Pork Chops and Potatoes

I’m kicking myself for not taking more photos of this recipe. I honestly didn’t have high hopes for this one and was tired at the time. Figured, I’d skip documenting our dinner for the night. Boy, did I miss an excellent opportunity on an outstanding dish!

I thought about waiting till I made this recipe again to share it with you, but that didn’t seem fair either. You are going to want to go ahead and add this into your rotation of easy weeknight meals.

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The only photo I managed to take was of the finished product. Why? Because it smelt that good coming out of the oven, I knew I had missed an opportunity and wanted to atlas have proof of the sheet pan.

The ingredients are simple:

  • 4-5 boneless, not-to-thick, not-to-thin pork chops

  • 1 pound of yellow potatoes (or any preferred small potato variety)

  • Olive oil

  • Ranch seasoning packet

  • 1 Tbsp Mike’s All Purpose Seasoning **

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Let me introduce you to Mike’s All Purpose Seasoning- It is made in Crystal Springs, Mississippi and found at Kroger (and I am sure in other places), but that is where I met Mike’s cousin who was demoing the product near the meat aisle.

You know what I am talking about, the product displays where you get a sample and a coupon and go about your business. Well, Mike’s cousin was more than a sample shoveler; he was a passionate promoter of the product and had the biggest smile. Not to mention, he had all kinds of goodies made up with the seasoning, I just had to buy a bottle.

In fairness, that bottle sat in my cabinet for longer than I care to admit. I had good intentions on using it soon after I bought it, but just never got around to it. Well, in comes this recipe and the original called for paprika, I was out of paprika and became pouty. I caught this bottle sitting at the back of my cabinet and decided to give it a try. The rest is history!

I look forward to learning more about Mike’s story and sharing it with you, for now, I encourage you to find it at your local Kroger, or online and give it a try. I’m happy to provide him with free advertisement.

The instructions for the sheet pan pork chops and potatoes are as easy as the ingredient list.

Wash and cut the potatoes in half (they cook faster).

In a small bowl add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.

In another small bowl, mix in the ranch seasoning packet and Mike’s All Purpose Seasoning.

Next, take your pork chops and lightly cover both sides with olive oil, and then cover it in the seasoning mix and repeat with all the chops. Assemble seasoned chops on the sheet pan.

You may need to add a touch more olive oil to your potatoes, but use the leftover seasoning mix and coat your vegetables, well. Don’t be alarmed the pork chops were rubbing around in there. It’s all cooking together.

Assemble the seasoned potatoes on the other side of the sheet pan.

Place your sheet pan into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

You know it’s done when the potatoes are soft, and the pork chop is at minimum 145 on the inside. They will continue to cook once you remove it from the heat. Learning to take them out of the oven or off grill 5-10 degrees below ideal temperature (which is 155 for pork) will make a world of difference in tenderness!

Feel free to recheck the temp 5-10 minutes after removing it from the oven, to prove to yourself that it rose another 5-10 degrees on the inside.

Complete this sheet pan meal with a side salad or other vegetable and dinner is served.

It turned out delicious!

Rebecca Turner
Summer Pasta Salad

Summer is the best time of year for all things salads! You can easily get overwhelmed with all the salad potential that comes with the summer harvest — so many vegetable combinations, so little time. And if you aren’t expanding past your sad salads of the same lettuce, a few standard vegetables, and sensible dressing, you are truly missing out.

Salads can be so much more than toppings on a bed of lettuce. Summer is the perfect time to keep a different one in the refrigerator each week to enjoy. This pasta summer salad can be a meal in itself or a light side to other summer favorites: backyard grilled meats, fresh fish or seafood.

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Don’t take these ingredients as the gospel, feel free to substitute your favorites, add more, take away, or whatever makes you happy. If you don’t like bowtie pasta, choose a different type. Stick with chickpeas (in my opinion) as they hold up to the dressing and store in the refrigerator without getting soggy. Plus, they add a boost of protein if you decide to eat this alone.

In this go-round, I used bell pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes.

The rest of the ingredients shown are for the dressing — an avocado, lemon, garlic, basil, and dijon mustard, with salt and pepper.

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Pro tip: seed your cucumber to help keep your salad from getting soggy. You don’t have to take this extra step, but you will notice a quality difference after a day or so in the refrigerator. The cucumber seeds quickly spoon out.

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  • You’ll want about 2-3 cups of cooked pasta.

  • Cook and drain pasta.

  • Drain and rinse your can of chickpeas.

  • Chop your vegetables.

  • Add them all to a big bowl and salt and pepper to taste.

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In a food processor, prepare the dressing.

  • Add in a 1/2 cup of chopped, fresh basil.

  • *A fresh avocado (peeled).

  • The juice of a lemon.

  • A tablespoon of minced garlic (or 2 fresh cloves).

  • A generous tablespoon of Dijon mustard.

  • Process till smooth.

  • Then add up to 1/4 cup water and process again.

*My avocado was not ripe enough and I ended up wasting a lot while peeling it. Since the avocado provides the creaminess, you desire in dressing. I added one teaspoon of olive oil. If you can’t find a fresh and ripe avocado, forgo it and look in your grocery for the prepared guacamole (It is already super smooth) and sub about 1/2 cup or one of the small guacamole containers.

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Combine the dressing and the vegetables whit he pasta and chickpeas.

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Yo! That is one pretty salad! It is light, yet filling. It is full of protein and fiber. It will be a big hit at your cookouts, and with your family. Seal it tight and it will last several days in your refrigerator. Best served chilled.

Rebecca Turner
Easy Pesto Vegetable Sauté

You may have tried the simple sauté for vegetables (and if you haven’t, you should), and wonder why am I sharing another one. Well, I found an even easier way to make vegetables taste good! Thanks to a friendly co-worker for sharing her kitchen tip with me: store-bought pesto!

Utilize this vegetable recipe to pair with various healthy foods and to create all kinds of flavorful meals. You can make it a meatless meal by serving them over pasta packed with plant-based protein. I’m a big fan of the protein plus pasta put out by Barilla. The pesto shown is what I had in the refrigerator at the time. Feel free to sub with any flavor of store-bought pesto. If you’re a big diva in the kitchen, you can make homemade pesto. Not happening here.

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There is no magic combination of vegetables to use in this recipe. I cleaned out the refrigerator and had a zucchini, onion, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes hanging out. Slice up whichever vegetables crank your engine. Cut them up and then add in a generous amount of pesto. How much? Don’t know. Depends on how many vegetables you have. As long as your veggies are “well covered” in pesto, you are good to go.

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Heat a pan to medium heat, and spray it with non-stick spray. Add your vegetables and cook till tender. If you feel the vegetables need some moisture, avoid oil or more spray, use white wine vinegar, cooking wine, or just plain water. It will help soften the vegetables and keep them from sticking.

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As mentioned, you can pair these with an endless number of things. I paired it with the protein noodles and chicken. I’m pregnant and hungry, don’t judge me. The plate below rates right - protein from the chicken (bonus with the noodles), a whole grain carb with the noodles, plenty of vegetables, and a healthy fat found in the pesto.

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Rebecca Turner