Lemon rosemary pork chops or chicken over butternut squash puree

If you forgot to make a reservation and don’t want to venture back out during the evening rush hour to enjoy dinner on Valentine’s Day — or you’d rather stay home for a cozy evening with your significant other — here’s a great recipe to try at home. Make this meal the heart of your romantic evening or serve as a delicious meal for a cold winter night.

The best part of the preparation of this meal is that you can easily work on the various components simultaneously, as the preparation of the meat requires some resting time. The meat and vegetables also cook at the same temperature! The vegetables complement the flavor profile of the meat, and it’s all tied together with a delicious puree.

While this is an easy meal for one person to cook, it’s even more enjoyable when prepared together by two people. And with this recipe, you’ll have everything you need for a delightful, complete meal that won’t make you feel guilty, so there’s room for dessert. All you’ll need to do is pick up that sweet treat on the way home — and don’t forget the flowers!

Servings: 2 full dinner plates

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless pork chops or 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon of salt, divided
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, divided
  • 1 medium-sized butternut squash
  • 2 medium-sized purple potatoes (or 4 new purple potatoes)
  • 12 brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts

 Note: This is a special occasion dinner that should provide some delicious leftovers and is healthier than many restaurant meals. To reduce sodium and sugar, use less salt and fewer cranberries. Enjoy!

Directions

  1. Place meat into a plastic bag with: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the juice from 1 lemon, and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  2. Close the bag and remove most of the air inside while closing. Rub ingredients thoroughly on the surface of the meat through the closed bag, taking care not to puncture it. Allow meat to marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  3. While the meat is marinating, peel and core the seeds from the butternut squash and chop it into small cubes. Divide the cubed squash equally into 2 bowls — one large, one small. Cut the potatoes into similar-sized cubes and halve the brussels sprouts.
  4. Add the potatoes and brussels sprouts to the large bowl containing half of the squash. Top the vegetables with: 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, and 1/4 cup of crushed walnuts.
  5. Boil the squash from the small bowl in a small nonstick saucepan on the stovetop, then strain the water and use a food processor or blender to puree the softened squash, adding: 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and a pinch of salt.
  6. Return the pureed squash to the saucepan to stay warm while the meat bakes and vegetables roast.
  7. Place the marinated pork chops or chicken in an oven-safe nonstick pan or cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees until the internal temperature is 150 degrees for pork or 165 degrees for chicken, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Gently fold the vegetables, cranberries, nuts, olive oil and seasoning together with a spatula, then spread them onto a nonstick or foil-lined cookie sheet and roast them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  9. Serve with puree on the bottom, roasted vegetables to the side, and use the 2 remaining rosemary sprigs to finish the plate.

Nutrition Information (per meal)

Pork chop version

  • Calories: 830
  • Total fat: 44 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Cholesterol: 70 g
  • Sodium: 1280
  • Total carbohydrate: 84 g
  • Dietary fiber: 16
  • Sugars: 31 g
  • Protein: 33 g

Chicken version

  • Calories: 750
  • Total fat: 34 g
  • Saturated fat: 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 65 mg
  • Sodium: 1280 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 84 g
  • Dietary fiber: 16 g
  • Sugars: 31 g
  • Protein: 38 g

Note: Nutrition information for both versions calculated using 3 ounces of cooked meat.

Contributor

Executive Chef