Blackened Pork Chop with Dijon Sweet Potato Mash & Spicy Kale Chips


Whole30 Day 2 Dinner: I have to admit this dinner kind of got me excited. When dining solo I usually opt for pork, if I’m in the mood to cook at all that is, and it just so happened that I had two gorgeous bone-in pork chops in my freezer, that I had picked up a while back from Detwiler’s Farmer’s Market. I popped those bad boys in my fridge the moment I decided to commit to Whole30. I also had half a sweet potato in need of use, and since one of my favorite flavor combos is sweet potato and Chipotle I decided on a smokey Chipotle rub for the pork.

The challenge for me was figuring out how to marinate the chops. I normally use a simple 1:1 salt and sugar brine for all my pork and poultry recipes but sugar in all its forms is completely off limits right now. Thanks to The Google (as I refer to it), I learned that the tannins in black tea are an excellent tenderizer, as is most vinegars. So, a new brine has been born. Still tweaking it a bit, but thus far I am very pleased with the results.

Oh and new ingredient alert: Coconut Aminos! Of course coconut trees have sap, but did you know that that sap is edible? I sure didn’t. Just another Whole30 eye opener! Not only had I never heard of Coconut Aminos, I was completely unaware that it is a popular substitute for soy sauce. Since all soy products from edamame to tofu (oh, how I’m gonna miss my little tofu friend) are banned on this program, many people use Coconut Aminos in their marinades and stir frys. I was entirely skeptical at first but I tasted it and yeah, it pretty much tastes exactly like soy sauce. So, let the experimenting begin!

Blackened Pork Chop


1 good quality bone-in Pork Chop, or chop of choice

1/2 cup unsweetened Black Tea

1/4 cup Coconut Aminos

1/4 cup ACV

1/2 tsp Chipotle Powder

1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika

1/2 tsp Ghee

Salt and Pepper to taste


In a med sized storage container with a lid, whisk together the black tea, Coconut Aminos, and ACV. Submerge the pork chop in the brining liquid (adding water if needed) and allow to marinate at least 1 hour to overnight.

Remove the pork chop from the brine and evenly coat it with the Chipotle powder, Smoked Paprika, salt and pepper. Be sure to really massage the seasoning into the chop. Discard the brine. Set the chop aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan over med flame, add the Ghee and continue to heat until shimmering. Note: if available, turn on the hood fan as blackening seasoning has a tendency to get smoky. Sear the chop 3 to 7 minutes per side depending on the thickness of your chop or until an instant read thermometer registers 145 degrees for medium doneness, which is my preference. Cook longer for well done. Remove the chop from the pan and set aside to rest a few minutes. Serve with your favorite sides.

Dijon Sweet Potato Mash


1/2 a Sweet Potato, cubed

2 tsp Ghee, or to taste

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard, or to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste


In a med soup pot, add the cubed sweet potato and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high flame and cook the potatoes until fork tender, about 15 to 25 minutes. Once potatoes are tender, drain off the water and add them back to the pot. Add to the potatoes the Ghee, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve immediately.

Spicy Kale Chips

1 med bunch of Kale

1 tbsp EVOO

Juice from 1/2 a Lemon

1 tsp Red Pepper flakes, or to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste


Every single person and their cousin most likely knows how to make kale chips at this point, but here’s the method I use anyway.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove kale leaves from stems, tearing the leaves into smaller chunks and discard the stems. Toss the kale leaves in the roasting pan with the EVOO, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until the kale is crispy, about 20 to 30 minutes. Finish with additional salt, if desired. Serve immediately.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. ginasjoys says:

    Blackened pork chops? I’ve never considered that. It sure looks and sounds good to me. I will definetely be making them. However, I am not familar with using aminos and such in cooking, but I just might give your exact recipe a go. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tiffany says:

      I’ve been in love with blackened dishes since trying a blackened red fish for the first in New Orleans. So yummy! This recipe is a super simplified version and I really enjoyed it on the pork.

      Aminos are completely new to me as well but I cook a lot of stir frys and had to fund a soy sauce replacement. So far it’s keeping me happy 😊 Let me know whatcha think.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s