Summer Food: Grilled Pork Chops and Avocado Salad Dressing
Shortly after we moved into this house, the dishwasher died. Which was only adding insult to injury because my dishwasher in the house before had died right before we moved out, causing me to purchase a dishwasher for the new owner, after I had hand-washed my own dishes for a couple of months. And then we moved, and it happened again. I am dishwasher cursed.
So they brought a new one, a sturdy "Taurus" model. It is no Cadillac, to be sure, but it's decent. Which made it even more maddening when it died a week ago. Less than a year old, and it went kaput. Now every night I shake my pruned up dishwater fists at the heavens after I do the dreaded dishes again. They're coming to fix it tomorrow, and it can't come fast enough. We dirty a lot of dishes around here for just a small family of three. I don't really know how or why, except that I cook a lot and often have guests. I need a dishwasher. It's not negotiable.
So on Sunday night, I yanked a bunch of stuff out of the refrigerator and said to Mr. Meat and Potatoes, "Put this on the grill. I'm done scrubbing skillets and casserole pans." This is the glory of summer. Summer is about cooking in tin foil and using baskets and never heating up the stove at all. This was a fairly standard and easy grill dinner for four, but I always try to liven it up a little if I can.
Chipotle-Lime Grilled Chops
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chipotle seasoning
Juice of two limes
Coat the chops in the lime/spice mix and let that rest for at least half an hour before you toss them on the grill. The chops will be mildly spicy and the lime juice sets off the pork really nicely. PS: You don't have to grill chops to well done anymore. Leave it a tiny bit pink (internal temp of approximately 150/155) and it will be much juicier and more delicious than if you cook it all the way to done.
Weight Watchers Points Plus Values: 5 per chop
Garlic Hobo Potatoes
4 large red potatoes
1/4 red onion
15 large garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons light butter or olive oil
salt and pepper
Cut the potatoes up into fairly small slices. They tend to take awhile on the grill, so smaller pieces helps speed up the process. Cut the onion into large hunks, and pull of four large sheets of aluminum foil. Divide the ingredients between four pouches. It's important to get the pouches really sealed up, and also not to make them too large or they become unwieldy on the grill. Grill potatoes over indirect heat for 20 to 25 minutes depending on how hot your grill is. Turn every eight minutes or so to ensure even cooking.
That garlic will roast and soften in the packets and really bring a lot of flavor to the whole party. This is why I didn't go crazy with a lot of other spices - I wanted the garlic to really show off.
Weight Watchers Points Plus Values: 5 per packet (one medium sized red potato per packet)
Avocado Spinach Salad
4 large handfuls of spinach (how do you measure spinach? I don't know)
2 large avocados
2 roma tomatoes
1/4 red onion
Just chop it up and throw it in a bowl with the spinach. The dressing is really the star of this salad.
Spicy Avocado Dressing
2 Tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon light sour cream
2 Tablespoons lowfat milk
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large avocado
a handful of cilantro leaves, stems removed
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon juice from pickled jalapenos
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tablespoon chopped pickled jalapenos
Toss it all in the blender (yes, I did have to wash the blender) and liquify. If it's too thick, add a little more milk until you get your desired consistency.
The beauty of this is that a lot of the liquid comes from the tomato. I'm always looking for ways to make good salad dressing without glopping a lot of oil or mayonnaise into the mix. This is easy on the creamy stuff, but has the right texture and doesn't disappoint in the flavor department. It keeps for about two weeks and will dress many salads before it's done.
Weight Watchers Points Plus Values: 1 per Tablespoon
I also had Mr. Meat and Potatoes throw some corn on the grill, which I do by simply wrapping it in aluminum foil and adding and ice cube inside the packet to create steam. An ear of corn, by the way, gets 2 Weight Watchers Points Plus Values, for those of you who are counting.
This whole meal, then, besides being no mess in terms of cooking, was delicious, hugely filling, and only cost me 13 Points Plus Values, which for a big Sunday dinner, is a very reasonable amount. It makes me sick that dieting can taste this good and I wasn't concentrating on it before.
Happy grilling season! It's the best way to impart loads of flavor into healthy foods, in my never-to-be-humble opinion. Take advantage of that, while this weather is so perfect.