Pork Chops with Quinoa, Kale, and Blood Orange

I’ll be totally honest: before this spring, I had never tasted a blood orange. Of course I’d heard them hyped up online and in food mags, but for some reason had never had them in real life. Crazy, huh? So I picked up some during the same shopping trip where I found some majorly discounted pork chops nearing their expiration date [no problemo, just throw them in the freezer]. I came home and this dinner promptly appeared on our plates. Cool, huh?

Pork Chops with Quinoa, Kale, and Blood Orange | The Pajama Chef

Well, it wasn’t QUITE that simple. I had to mix some things up and do a little work, but other than that, this dinner was a cinch to throw together. And quite tasty too. So after we devoured it, I quickly wrote down what I did so I could share it here with you!

Pork Chops with Quinoa, Kale, and Blood Orange | The Pajama Chef

I’m not sure what the best part of this dinner was: the sweet, garlicky, vinegary pork chop? The tender sauteed kale? The nutty ‘n citrusy quinoa? I don’t know, but what I do know was that each bite was just so darn good! And it’s pretty fabulous that this dinner comes together in about 30 minutes. You gotta try it! If you don’t get around to til after blood orange season has passed, then try it with regular navel oranges, or grapefruit, or even clementines. The more I think about it, the citrusy freshness was definitely my favorite part. Enjoy! 🙂

Pork Chops with Quinoa, Kale, and Blood Orange [a The Pajama Chef original]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 blood orange: zest all of it, juice half of it, and slice the other half of it
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 bunch kale, washed, dried, stems removed, and chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • garlic powder

Directions:

Place pork chops in a shallow bowl. Whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, red pepper, and half the blood orange zest. Pour over pork chops and marinate for 10 minutes as you start preparations for the quinoa and walnuts.

Prepare quinoa according to package directions–but instead of just using 1 cup water, use juice of 1/2 the orange and make up the difference with water. Also add the remaining half of the blood orange zest.

Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a small skillet set over medium heat. Cook for 7-8 minutes until fragrant, stirring occasionally. When toasted, chop walnuts.

Now, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops and marinade to the pan and saute for 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through. [Don’t forget to watch the walnuts!] Remove pork chops from pan to a plate; cover to keep warm.

Add kale to hot skillet, stir to coat with pan juices. Saute until kale is tender, and season with pepper, salt, and garlic powder as desired.

Serve pork chops on top of kale and quinoa, dressing with pan juices, chopped walnuts, and blood orange slices.

Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: 2 servings.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.

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12 thoughts on “Pork Chops with Quinoa, Kale, and Blood Orange

    • it’s great 🙂 regular oranges would be absolutely fine too, or even grapefruit or lemon for a different twist. i don’t think i saw blood oranges before a year or so ago either.

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