Paleo Plan

Cacao Nib Pork Chops

Serves 2 for dinner, with leftovers for lunch.

Approximate cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 (4-6 oz) boneless pork chops, trimmed of all fat
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao nibs, chopped
  • butternut squash (about 1-1/2 lbs), peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbs raw honey (optional)
  • 3 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 handfuls (cups) spinach
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Pound both sides of each pork chop to tenderize the meat.
  2. Whisk egg in a small bowl. Coat pork chops with egg mixture and season each side with 1 tsp chopped cacao nibs. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tsp of coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Once hot, add diced butternut squash, stirring often.
  4. After about 5 minutes, place 1 tsp coconut oil in a different pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, place coated pork chops in skillet and cook to desired temperature (165° F recommended).
  5. Meanwhile, add honey to the butternut squash as it cooks, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired.
  6. When squash is tender, serve over a handful of spinach, and serve pork chops on the side.

This recipe inspired in part or in whole from here.


13 Comments

  1. In the above recipe, I subbed honey for agave and chopped 100% cocoa pieces (from a bar) for the cocoa nibs–both worked brilliantly.

  2. mklbushn

    I don’t understand what”season the cacao nibs” means. Can someone enlighten me?

    • Jason G.

      Season “with” the cacao nibs on both sides. The cacao nibs will be small and you should add them to both sides of the meat.

  3. Clear Lake CrossFit

    Surprisingly good!

  4. I cannot find the cacao nibs. Are there any substitutions that a person can use?

  5. paulandsteph

    I have made this 3 times and have never gotten it to taste good at all (once it was basically not edible for me). This might be my least favorite recipe on the site. We’ve been doing other pork chop recipes instead because we dislike this so much.

  6. marioni

    I love this recipe. The second time I made it, I didn’t have any cacao nibs so I use raw carob powder that I had in the freezer. I liked it even better!

  7. marioni

    I love this recipe. The second time I made it, I didn’t have any cacao nibs so I used raw carob powder that I had in the freezer. I liked it even better!

  8. This was a very interesting dish! As a side, the butternut squash on top of the spinach is incredible. The coconut oil and honey combine to make a delicious ‘salad dressing’. Cacao Nibs (which I found at my organic grocery store’s bulk section next to teas – weird) are very bitter, and you CAN get too much. Admittedly, I got excited at the prospect of chocolate covered pork chops, so I was a bit heavy handed. Less is definitely more, and could make almost a mole sauce type flavor if done right. I’m considering grinding the nibs up next time.

  9. Yuck! Wasted a bunch of pork on this recipe… I am putting bbq sauce on the leftovers to get rid of the taste.

  10. Amanda

    Made this tonight. The pork was fine but the squash was awesome! Definitely making the squash again.

  11. for those who strongly dislike the cacao nibs…. I HATED them when I first started eating them. But I have found a little bit of raw honey goes a long way to curbing that bitterness and getting a more chocolate flavor. I would suggest honey, or even making more of a sauce glaze out of it instead of coating it. Dates work incredibly as sweetening and making the cacao flavor more palatable. Raisins also work well. I would try blending both together and make a paste sort of glaze. You may be pleasantly surprised at how just a little sweetness changes it entirely and you keep all the amazing health benefits that is cacao. Now, almost a year and a half later, I am actually starting to enjoy the bitterness of plain cacao.

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