Apple & Spinach Stuffed Pork Chop Dinner With Rustic Roasted Potatoes & Balsamic Candied Carrots
Apple & Spinach Stuffed Pork Chop Dinner with Rustic Roasted Potatoes and Balsamic Candied Carrots

That’s the name of the dish that won my team the recent Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off Contest!

If you read my weight-loss blog, I shared the story there a few weeks ago, but I wanted to post the recipes here on GreenLiteBites as well. It just took longer than I expected to get the photos from the PR company, and you guys know me — there is NO WAY I’m posting a recipe without a photo.

The cook-off had a very Food Network feel. Each team was given either chicken, ground turkey, tilapia or pork.  We were limited to the pantry items they had available, and we had to stay under a budget of $10 while making the protein and two sides. Once our shopping was done, we had 45 minutes to cook alongside the other teams in a fairly tiny restaurant kitchen.

It was an absolute BLAST!

If you didn’t know, I’m the tall girl with short hair and that’s my hand sauteing the spinach and apples!

This is my team and I scoping out the pantry.

Food Lion Cook Off

That’s me,  Sara of Capitally Frugal DC with the calculator, and Liza of (A) Musing Foodie taking notes. They were SO nice!

Here we are in action.

Cooking in Food Lion Cook oFF

I had an amazing time and I’m not going to lie, winning has given me a bit more confidence in the kitchen. Since I really only cook for myself and my family (who are kind of picky, let’s be honest) you tend to question yourself. Are you really a good cook? Or do you just happen to like what you make but no one else would. 

That thought crosses my mind… a LOT.

Anyway, Here are the recipes. I didn’t have very many photos to work with because I didn’t bring my own camera, but I wanted at least one close up of each part of the dish. Thank you Photoshop!

Apple & Spinach Stuffed Pork Chop

Apple spinach stuffed Pork Chop

  • 1 Fuji apple
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 1/2 bunch spinach
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and Italian seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Dice apple, onion, spinach, parsley, and garlic.  Finely chop the carrot.  In a non-stick pan, saute the apple, onion, spinach, parsley, garlic, and carrot for about 10 minutes.

Pound boneless pork chops with a meat tenderizer, and season each one with salt and pepper.

Place 1/4 cup of the stuffing in the pork chop, roll the pork up and secure with a toothpick. Dip the pork roll in the beaten eggs and coat with seasoned bread crumbs.

Lightly coat a pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, place the stuffed pork chops on it, drizzle with remaining olive oil, and bake for 20 minutes (or until cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees).

After pulling it out of the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing it.

Balsamic Candied Carrots

Candied Carrots

  • 8 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dash of dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sprig of fresh parsley, for garnish

In a non-stick pan, sauté carrots with olive oil and a dash of salt, pepper, parsley, sugar and garlic, stirring frequently so the carrots do not burn. Cover about half way through cooking.

Once the carrots soften, in about 10 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar. Let cook for another minute.

Serve the carrots with a sprig of parsley.

Rustic Roasted Potatoes

Rustic Roasted Potatoes

  • 4 red-skin potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, cut into roughly the same size as the potatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Dash of paprika
  • Dash of Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (You could roast slower in the 375-degree oven with the pork but they will take at least an hour at the lower temp.)

Toss cubed potatoes with garlic, onion, salt, pepper, parsley, olive oil, and a dash of paprika and Italian seasoning.

Place on a sheet pan and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, or until potatoes are tender.

The Winning Dish…

All the components of the meal complimented each other because we used the same seasonings throughout. It was really our only option since we were limited by the pantry.

Apple & Spinach Stuffed Pork Chop Dinner with Rustic Roasted Potatoes and Balsamic Candied Carrots

Here we are with the winning dish.


And with our really cool trophies.


TOO much fun!

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15 Comments and 3 Replies

  1. Ryan

    Amazing! Meant to be…had some boneless porkchops and just harvested the carrots and potatoes!

    A pefect Sunday dinner for us…Thanks so much for supporting and sharing!

  2. Jon

    Roni first let me say congrats on winning. That’s great!!!! Second you crack me up. You have a blog devoted the the foods you create, witch I must tell you rock and you think that your cooking may not be good. Let me tell you it is. Also thanks for all that you do it is greatly motivating and appreciated. I had all but given up reach the all time high of 458lbs and was beside myself. When I decided to start taking care of myself first again your sites were some of the first that I turned to. It is refreshing to see that over the years you have stayed real. It even gave me the encouragement to start a new blog. I hope to attend you blog conference this year. Ok anyway I am babbling

    Thanks again


  3. Jennifer

    Congratulations – I make your recipes frequently so I know you are a great chef! Quick question on the pork dish: Do you need to soak the toothpick in water before baking?

    1. roni

      You probably should but honestly, I never do. I’ve only ever had a problem on the grill when my skewers burn off. lol

    1. roni

      Hi Pam. I didn’t calculate it for this one because I did measure everything in my own kitchen. Every thing we listed in the recipes are estimates so I don’t feel comfortable calculating. I hope you understand.

  4. Judy

    Mmmm! I can’t say that my mouth is not watering right now, because that looks amazingly delicious! I can just imagine eat those yummy looking potatoes!

  5. Fiona

    Those recipes look delicious and I’ll definitely try them, especially the carrots, but this bit from the post made me smile:

    Since I really only cook for myself and my family (who are kind of picky, let’s be honest) you tend to question yourself. Are you really a good cook? Or do you just happen to like what you make but no one else would.

    I ask myself that all the time, especially since most of my “recipes” are just made up on the spot with what I have. I really should stop doubting myself so much!

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