I don’t know how many times I’ve found myself in a rut with menu planning. I’m sure way too many too count.
I seem to make the same seven or eight dishes over and over again. Sound familiar?
But, I always return to the meals that are simple and satisfying, where the recipe is committed to memory or every ingredient needed is sitting on a pantry shelf. There is a place on your weekly menu for those types of recipes. That’s for sure.
Pasta with olive oil, I’m talking to you right now.
What if I tried to coax myself out of my comfort zone, just a bit.
And, once a week I introduce my family to something they haven’t seen before.
A simple recipe, but something new. Not too different to elicit the there’s no way I’m going to eat that face.
I’m going to call it: MONDAYS ON MAIN ST.
Each Monday I’ll post something for you to try that week. At the same time you’re making it for your family, I’ll be making it for mine too.
Then we can chat about how it went. See what worked and what didn’t.
So, let’s begin with the very first MONDAYS ON MAIN ST. recipe. It’s for seared pork chops with black eyed pea and tomato salad.
Here’s a quick peek at just the black eyed pea and tomato salad. I made it recently for myself as a light lunch.
If the thought of seeing a black eyed pea starts to make your 6 year-old twitch a little, you could always mix up theirs with just the tomatoes and cucumbers and maybe crumble some feta cheese on top.
Seared Pork Chops with Black Eyed Pea and Tomato Salad
Recipe for the salad adapted from Real Simple Magazine, August 2013
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 15.5-ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed
1 pint variety of small tomatoes, halved
1/2 English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 thin-cut pork chops
Toss the black-eyed peas, tomatoes, cucumber, thyme, vinegar, oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl.
For the pork chops, season each with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Over high heat, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a 12-inch skillet. When the oil is hot, add the pork chops and sear for 1-2 minutes per side.
Kitchen Note: If black pepper won’t work for your children, just leave it off the pork chops that will be served to them. You can always season your pork chop with salt and black pepper.