Tender pork chops with sage butter that melt in your mouth. Accompanied by sweet and juicy plums, together with slightly bitter walnut, this dish creates an amazing flavour harmony. It can be an amazing dinner for a gloomy October evening or a nice lunch with your family.
What do you describe as clean eating? It is generally understood to be a diet based on the belief that people need to consume wholefoods and avoid processed foods. By doing this, you can supposedly achieve amazing health and wellbeing benefits. Depending on the article you read, clean eaters should avoid gluten, diary, meat, fish or even cooked meals. This is apparently clean eating. No scientific evidence, no nutritionist value, just big ideas and loud phrases.
I wouldn’t call myself a clean eater. I am a smart eater. However, almost ten years ago I had a different story. I found out that I had a stomach disease and for the rest of my life I would need to take medication if I wanted to live without pain. Of course, this didn’t sound right, and I felt that my eating habits could make a big difference to my overall wellbeing. At that time, I heard about the idea of clean eating. I was hooked! I read all about it and decided this was the way I needed to eat.
I spent hours in shops, reading product labels. My theory was, if products had more than 5 ingredients, they were unhealthy. My shopping bag completely changed. I was buying what I described as just real food. However, I still felt that this was not enough. Beef, pork, sugar, butter and flour were crossed from my shopping list. I started to get more and more anxious about the food I was eating. I felt that all the efforts I was going to were simply not enough, I felt that my eating habits were still not clean enough. This led to the next development. I started to steam my food, and I mean all my food – I steamed chicken, fish, I steamed broccoli, carrots, peas – everything. Lastly, salt was completely crossed out as well. I was eating just poor food, without any spices, any sauces, any flavour.
To be honest, health wise, I was feeling really good. I stopped taking medicines. I didn’t have any stomach aches after I finished my dinner. I felt that finally, my body belonged to me. But mentally… that bland, tasteless, repetitive food was driving me crazy! For all my life, food had been my pleasure and now I felt like somebody had taken this away. This restrictive diet had to end.
One weekend I just couldn’t stop myself, and I went to a shop and bought ice cream! After almost a year without sugar and clean eating I felt like I was breaking the rules. To be honest, I was scared to relive the stomach pains I used to have. I had a scoop of strawberry ice cream, and I held my breath. In my head I heard a voice saying, “Here it comes, here it comes. One more second and you will be crying from the pain, why you did this to yourself?!” Five minutes, ten minutes, one hour later – nothing! No pains, no aches, just one happy kid with the sweet and delicious strawberry ice cream. Perfection.
Step by step, I started to incorporate more and more ingredients into my diet. I was still reading product labels, avoiding all highly processed food, but butter, sugar, flour and fried foods came back to my life. With each experiment, I became braver and braver. More products returned to my diet; my fridge started to look exciting. Five years later, I am pleased to say that I haven’t taken any pills to survive my stomach aches – and incorporate a multitudinous variety of ingredients in my diet.
You might ask why I started this story? Well, I just wanted to remind you that food is not our enemy, all ingredients are clean and healthy (I am not talking about highly processed food). Pork, beef, sugar – everything is wonderful and like everything in our life – we need to find the balance. Food can bring happiness, memories, help us get through tough or exciting times. Do not punish yourself by limiting the ingredients. I haven’t had pork in more than 5 years and I am telling you, I will never make the same mistake.
This is one of the reasons why I started this post by calling myself a smart eater. With the right balance, you can eat anything you want. And these sage butter pork chops are freakin delicious! So juicy and tender, with earthy tones of sage, it brings memories flooding back. Somewhere next to the sea, with a nice breeze and that pure happiness when you feel fully content and joyful. When you don’t just feel, but you know that you are living your life. This is the power of food. Why would you want to take this away, just because somebody told you that pork is not clean?
Plums are still in season, so hurry up. Get those juicy and lovely fatty plums and get feasting. This is real eating!
4 pork chops
4 sage leaves
Salt and pepper
2 sage leaves
1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard
1 garlic clove
1 clove of garlic
1 chilli pepper
1 tablespoon of capers
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley
- Marinate the pork with olive oil, salt and pepper for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
- Prepare the sage butter: soften the butter. Finely chop the sage. Mix the butter with sage, mustard and one crushed clove of garlic. Leave it in the fridge.
- Prepare the pork: fry the pork in a pan for 2-3 minutes on both sides, pressing the fat down with tongs or a spatula. Transfer the pork onto a baking dish.
- Add a spoon of the sage butter into the frying pan and fry the plums with walnuts for a couple of minutes. Add the sage leaves and toss to coat in the buttery juice. Pour all this mixture onto the pork and put it in the oven to bake for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the potatoes: mix the butter, crushed garlic, finely chopped chilli with parsley and capers together, until everything is smooth and combined. Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water. After they have boiled, drain them. Heat the pan and add the butter. Toss the potatoes and fry everything together until they are golden and crispy.
- After the pork chops are cooked, take them out of the oven, add the remaining sage butter on top, and serve them with potatoes. Delicious.
If you like this recipe try my Pork Medallions with Veggie Gravy.