Balsamic Marinated Pork and Hearty Fruit Salad in Pepper “Boats”

The new season of Master Chef started a few weeks ago so I am find myself newly inspired to keep up with my food challenges. Today marks my 70th post! This weeks challenge included pork chops, plantains, kiwi, and papaya.

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My first thought was that this would be way too much sweetness for dinner. I grew up on meat and potatoes and dessert or fruit always came after dinner. So, I immediately decided that I wanted to use the fruit and make something that was a little more substantial. While I thought about what in the world to do with the fruit, I put the pork chops into a black cherry balsamic marinade. I’ve used this black cherry balsamic in two recipes (sweet potato caprese and salad dressing) now and I am loving it!

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I chopped one plantain, one kiwi, and about 1/4 of the papaya into bite sized chunks. I have only cooked with plantains one other time and tried to make a sweet and healthy dessert with them. I took the plantains in a completely different direction this time.

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I then explored what we had in our own refrigerator to add to it. I chopped about 1/4 cup of red onion, 8 cherry tomatoes, and one jalapeno to add to the mix. I seasoned it with 1/2 teaspoon each of paprika, garlic powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. I sauteed this in olive oil butter until the plantains were golden brown and the flavors had mixed well.

image(138) While it sauteed, I did two things. First, I cut a green pepper in half to serve as the “boats” for my hearty fruit salad. Second, I started searing the pork chops.

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Next, I stuffed each pepper with the hearty fruit salad. Once the pork had a nice sear on each side. I put both into the oven and baked them at 300 degrees for about 25 minutes.

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The final dish was so good and so filling! I worried about the mix of spicy and sweet in the fruit salad, but it really did taste hearty and not at all like fruit salad. It seemed to be a relatively healthy meal and it meets the paleo diet standards.  Even the plantains are paleo, which surprised me!

As a side note: My life with my cats is always an adventure…Dropping papaya seeds in the floor will result in consumption by cats. Twelve hours later and it does not appear that consuming papaya seeds is harmful to cats. Here are some foods that are dangerous to cats though. Whew!

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