Many folks – vegetarians excluded – would agree with us when we say that meat is usually the head honcho of a dish. Veggies tend to be the side kick; they complement the meat, which always catches our attention first.
So this week, we’re going to turn the tables and make the veggie steal the show. Not only that, we’re going to use a vegetable that is thought to be plain and boring – celery.
If you’re ready to turn away from this recipe at the mention of celery, don’t! We promise that you won’t regret enjoying this crisp, refreshing veggie in a different way. Sure, it’s known for it’s health properties, and many people who are trying to lose weight eat it. But let’s stay away from all that and talk about something more interesting.
“We loved this! The pork chops were very tender and we enjoyed them plain. The star was the slaw and we loved it despite not being celery fans.”
Think, instead, of the crunchiness of celery paired with crisp, sweet Asian pear, with a bit of parsley to brighten it all up. Think of a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a drop or two of sweet and earthy maple syrup, and just a light sprinkling of salt to bring out the flavors of each ingredient.
Do we have your attention now?
Okay, we’ll bring the meat back. Now add some perfectly seared, tender, juicy pork chops to go along with this bright and refreshing pear and celery slaw. Now that’s a light and healthy meal that will have you smacking your lips and feeling good about what you eat!
“This was a simple but elegant meal that came together very quickly. The pear and celery salad really surprised us — a nice refreshing taste with the pork!”
The secret to this dish is to keep it simple. To truly enjoy the flavors of all the components of this meal, we count on basic seasonings, so nothing gets masked or overwhelmed.
We really hope that this recipe can convince you to try celery. After all, the best way to #eatmoreveggies is to try them in different ways and with various cooking techniques. If you’re not a celery and peanut butter kind of person, or even a fan of celery in stir-fries, then perhaps this slaw is just the thing you need to enjoy this underestimated veggie!
Still don’t like celery after trying it cooked or raw? Give celeriac, or celery root, a try! Celeriac is a variety of celery that has a lighter, subtler taste than celery, and has a creamy texture when cooked. Try it in a Pureed Broccoli and Celeriac Soup or roast in the oven like you would any other vegetable.
Round out this healthy meal with another dose of veggies and some color with this Pureed Butternut Squash Soup.
For More Smarts:
A little bit of lemon juice can bring out the flavor of fruit and celery.
Learn to season your pork chops (or any kind of meat) with this video:
This pear and celery slaw is so easy to throw together. You can see how it’s done with these how-to videos below:
We love how quick and easy this recipe comes together. All that is required is a bit of chopping and a skillet to cook the pork chops.
- Pork chops – 1 lb
- Celery – 3 ribs, julienned
- Parsley – 6 sprigs, chopped
- Asian pear – 1, julienned
- Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- Maple syrup – 1 tbsp
- Cooking oil – for brushing
- Pork chops – Season with salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Celery / Parsley – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
- Asian Pear – Prep as directed.
- Make slaw – Toss celery, pears, and parsley with lemon juice, maple syrup, and a sprinkle of salt.
- Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush with some oil and then place pork chops on heated oil. Sear on each side for ~3 minutes. For thin pork chops, this should be enough heat to cook them through. If you’re using thicker pork chops, lower heat and cover with a piece of foil until pork reaches 145F(or 63C) degrees. When done, let pork rest for ~5 minutes before slicing.
- Slice pork chops. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with pear and celery slaw.