This is hands down one of my favorite weekday meals. Why? Well for starters it’s delicious. Even better, these Paleo pork chops feel gourmet, but only take about 20 minutes to make. Paired with some roasted green beans, a simple arugula salad and the nutritional powerhouse hemp seeds, it’s the perfect example of how eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard.
Have you tried a mustard marinade on pork chops before? It is my absolute favorite. This one is equal parts dijon mustard, yellow mustard and maple syrup. It might sound weird, but it goes perfectly with pork chops. My kids love it too!
As you know, green beans are a pretty traditional food. As a kid I used to eat them out of a can. I don’t think my mom ever even bought fresh green beans. Wow how times have changed. Now I try to buy very little in a can thanks to BPA contamination during the lid sealing process and the fact that the aluminum can leach into the food. Fresh is the way to go. I just pick up a sack of organic green beans, wash and trim the ends, toss them in olive oil and throw them in the oven for 10 minutes to roast them.
Next, I throw them in a salad. Do you put hot foods on salad? Putting roasted or grilled veggies on top of salad is my goto. It makes the meal more interesting for sure. For this salad, I just used some organic arugula with basil extra virgin olive oil and fig balsamic (that I picked up at my local olive oil store.) Then I threw the green beans on top and added some hemp seeds for a nutritional punch.
All About Hemp Seeds
Speaking of hemp seeds, do you eat them? They have a mild nutty flavor and are loaded in nutrients. Hemp seeds are about 30% fat and 25% protein. They are high in vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc. They are especially rich in linoleic acid, alpha-linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid. These fatty acids have been linked to several health benefits. In fact, hemp seed oil has been used in Chinese Medicine for at least 3,000 years. Let’s take a look.
First and foremost, hemp seeds are protective against heart disease. They have a high level of arginine which produces nitric oxide in your body. This molecule assists in relaxing your blood vessels and lowering your blood pressure. Arginine is also known to reduce C-reactive protein, an inflammatory marker associated with heart disease risk.
Additionally, hemp seeds have been shown to provide significant cardioprotective effects and assist in re-perfusion post heart attack or stroke.
Hemp seeds and hemp oil have also been scientifically shown to relieve dry itchy skin and eczema when taken internally.
These little superfoods have been studied and shown to reduce various inflammatory markers including neuroinflammatory conditions. This means that they are potentially protective against neuroinflammatory diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, they are very high in protein. In the plant kingdom, there are very few sources of complete protein. Most lack the amino acid lycine. However, hemp seeds are considered a complete protein and are far more digestible than most other nuts and seeds.
Did you know about 80% of women in their reproductive years suffer from PMS? This is most likely due to the hormone prolactin. Amazingly, hemp seeds are loaded with GLA which has been shown to reduce the effects of prolactin. Specifically, it decreases breast tenderness, irritability, depression and fluid retention. Past your reproductive years? No problem. They also have been shown to regulate the instability of hormones post menopause. They are like little miracle seeds for women!
The Science Backed Health Benefits of Hemp Seeds
- Heart protective
- Protective against neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia
- Reduces inflammation in the body
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Potential treatment in autoimmune conditions
- Improves skin health
- Reduces symptoms of PMS
- Reduces symptoms of menopause
- A complete source of protein
- High in vitamins and minerals
- A good source of healthy fatty acids
Now that you know a little more about hemp seeds, let’s start throwing them on everything shall we??!!
As always, let me know in the comments if you try these delicious pork chops or if you are using hemp.
Paleo Maple Mustard Pork Chops with Roasted Green Beans and Hemp Hearts
- 2 8oz pork chops pasture raised
- 1 tbs yellow mustard
- 1 tbs dijon mustard
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- 4 cups fresh organic green beans, washed and trimmed
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups organic arugula
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil (I used basil infused)
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar (I used fig balsamic)
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup hemp hearts the more the better!!
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Mix mustards and maple syrup in a bowl. Spread over all sides of the pork chops. Grill for about 10 minutes or until desired doneness (mine were about an inch thick and we like them medium).
- Toss green beans in oil. Sprinkle in salt and spread over a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes or until starting to brown on the bottom. Remove.
- Toss arugula in more oil and balsamic. Place on plate. Top with green beans and help hearts. Serve with pork on the side.
Euphytica. 2004. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview.
Chemistry Central Journal. 2012. Nutritive quality of romanian hemp varieties (Cannabis sativa L.) with special focus on oil and metal contents of seeds.
Archives of Pharmacal Research. 2009. Nitric oxide and pathogenic mechanisms involved in the development of vascular diseases.
Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences. 2019. Hemp seed/evening primrose oil affects expression of STAT3, IL-17, and FOXP3+ in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
Food & Function. 2019. Neuroprotective protein hydrolysates from hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) seeds.
Journal of Food Biochemistry. 2019. Kinetics of acetylcholinesterase inhibition by hemp seed protein-derived peptides.
Nutrition. 2005. Association between dietary arginine and C-reactive protein.
American Journal of Physiology. 2007. Effect of dietary hempseed intake on cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury.
Journal of Dermalogical Treatment. 2005. Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis.
Methods and Findings in Experimental Pharmacology. 2010. The effects of Cannabis sativa L. seed (hempseed) in the ovariectomized rat model of menopause.