Backtrack Tuesday + Pork Loin Chop with Balsamic Raspberry Reduction

Yesterday was quite eventful on my day off from work.  I had off due to Election Day.  Mid-morning my sister invited me to work out with her husband, Duke, whom is the personal trainer of The Duke Academy.  After a quick breakfast I met my sister at the training facility.

DSC00158 Peanut Butter and Banana on Slice of Whole Wheat Bread

Duke’s training program is hard core (similar to the work outs done on Biggest Loser) as his normal clientele includes college and professional athletes in addition to local children and adults.  After about twenty minutes into our workout, which felt like death from the start, as my sister and I together flipped this gargantuan tire I felt a muscle pull in my back.  I knew I could not continue on with moving the monstrosity of a tire which I stated to my sister and the trainers.  They did not believe me until I was brought to nearly tears.  I was then assisted with doing some not so lady-like stretches by Duke’s assistant trainer, Nat.   Needless to say, I am injured and out of commission as far as working out for the rest of this week for sure.

The rest of my day was spent with my sister and her family.  We ran a few errands, and headed to Michelle’s house for lunch.


Turkey, Mustard, Onion, Tomato on Toasted Wheat Sammie + Celery and Salsa for Dipping

Then I spent an hour or so lounging on her couch with Baby Breelyn to rest my back.


Shortly thereafter I arose to eat a snack just before dinner was ready.


A Sliver of Pound Cake

And finally dinner was ready.  Michelle cooked some pulled BBQ Chicken in the Slow Cooker to have on wheat buns. 


To make this she put six boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot with chopped onion, chicken stock, salt and pepper.  After cooking on high for 5 hours, she shredded the tender chicken and added a bottle of BBQ sauce.  It cooked for about an hour more and then it was time for devouring.

On side she served a cucumber salad with Italian dressing and red onion and corn on the cob.


Seriously, I could get used to having someone else cook for me every night!  Two nights in a row dinner was eaten at my sister’s house and it was tasty.  Thanks Meesh!

Once home I had a craving for some snackage, so I ate a small bowl of granola with a bit of low fat milk which hit the spot and killed my craving.



Onto today… was tough getting out of bed this a.m. with the soreness in my lower back.  Moving slowly, I opted to eat instant oatmeal for breakfast.

DSC00172 DSC00171

Kashi Instant Oatmeal with Half of Banana and Teaspoon of Peanut Butter Mixed In + Hot Chai

For lunch I actually enjoyed the other half of my leftover, soggy Chicken Caesar salad from Monday’s lunch, which I had left in the fridge in my classroom on Monday.


I brought a honeycrisp apple from home to add some sweetness.

Knowing I would be unable to hit the gym, I stayed a late at work to get some work done.  Once home I ate the other half of my banana from breakfast and a handful of pita chips with some of my sister’s leftover white beans as a dip.  They are so good and I can’t wait to eat some more for lunch tomorrow.

Finally, I began on dinner after defrosting a pack of pork chops from the freezer.  The chops I used were purchased on sale, bone-in center cut pork loin chops, but I would have preferred boneless.

Tonight’s menu included Pork Loin Chops with a Balsamic Raspberry Reduction, Cauliflower Potato Mash, and Peas.


Pork Loin Chop with Balsamic Raspberry Reduction

4 center cut pork loin chops

Garlic Powder

Dried Rosemary

Salt and Pepper

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons of seedless black raspberry preserves

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350*.  Season both sides of chops with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and rosemary.  Spray oven proof pan with cooking spray and heat to medium high.  Brown chops on both sides for 3-4 minutes per side.  Meanwhile, in small saucepan, bring vinegar, preserves and pinch of salt to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer stirring occasionally until reduced by half or desired thickness is reached.  Once chops are browned, put oven-proof pan in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes more until pork reaches 165* or cooked through to desired doneness.  Plate chop and drizzle with the balsamic raspberry reduction before serving.

Cauliflower Potato Mash

1 package frozen cauliflower

1 baking potato

1/4 cup low fat milk

1/3 cup less fat chive and onion cream cheese

Salt and Pepper

Directions:  Cook cauliflower according to package directions.  Peel and chop potato.  Put into boiling water and cook until fork tender.  Drain.  Combine all ingredients plus salt and pepper to taste.  Using a potato masher or electric mixer, mash/whip mixture to desired consistency.

DSC00180   DSC00182

  The flavor combination of the rosemary and balsamic raspberry worked exceptionally well together.  Also, the one potato mixed into the cauliflower gives all the flavor and texture of mashed potatoes with some added flavor, nutrients, and texture from the cauliflower.  Overall, I was pleased with this meal.  Again, I worry about meats being undercooked so probably tend to overcook it.  Just alter cooking times above to suit your preference or better yet use a meat thermometer.

I’m currently icing my back watching some Criminal Minds.  Cross your fingers my back heals quickly.  If you have any advice on a speedy recovery it would be greatly appreciated. 🙂


7 thoughts on “Backtrack Tuesday + Pork Loin Chop with Balsamic Raspberry Reduction

  1. omg i am obsessed with some of this food! i LOVE pb & banana on toast & oatmeal. my favorite breakfast! i also love pulled bbq chicken, honeycrisp apples, and peas. the balsamic raspberry reduction is SO me. mmmm. and this is random, but i think you have the cutest nose!

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