Herbs de Provence Will keep Me in The Game

Starting this coming Monday we CrossFitters with be participating in a Paleo/Zone Diet Throwdown. We will split up into two teams, Paleo v. Zone, and for four weeks we will stick with the prescribed diet of our team, complete workouts at CrossFit, and compete for points by doing things like pull ups. I am team Paleo. Not that I buy into that whole caveman thing, in fact I don’t believe in Evolution. I am a Creationist. Gasp. But I do believe in (some) modern science and the latest findings in healthy eating. Sure there are many camps on the subject of healthy eating, that’s why I put more emphasis on moderation and figuring out what works best for me. For the next four weeks, I will not modify. Don’t worry BRK will still be BRK with its wide variety of culinary offerings. I will have to hire taste testers though. Or spit the food out like those coffee tasters. Smirk.

So what is Paleo? Here is a brief summary…

Lean meats, fish, and eggs, fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, olive and coconut oils. No dairy, tubers, grains, sugar in any form, legumes, alcohol, caffeine, or salt. Nothing processed or cured.

That’s about it. Humph.

Our CrossFit may vote on modifying this a bit by allowing small amounts of salt and things like vinegar and bacon swinging us in the direction of Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint. We’ll see.

Knowing that I have to cut out salt, or maybe have to reduce it to a certain amount, I will be using plenty of my favorite herb blend- Herbes de Provence, a blend of rosemary, cracked fennel, thyme, savory, basil, tarragon, dill weed, Turkish oregano, lavender, chervil and marjoram. I use Penzeys’ version. This herb blend adds so much flavor and the thing about it that I really love is that it makes every bite taste a little different from the last. Great on fish and chicken as well.

Herbes de Provence Pork Chops
6 thin cut boneless lean pork loin chops
2 large vidalia onion, sliced
3 apples sliced, thinly
3 T. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar, optional but not Paleo
fresh cracked black pepper
2-3 tsp. Herbes de Provence
Sea salt, optional but not Paleo

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add apples and onions, balsamic, and some pepper. Cover and lower heat to medium low. Cook stirring occasionally until onion and apple mix is caramelized or nicely browned but not burnt. Remove to plate. Sprinkle each side of pork chop with Herbes de Provence and pepper. Salting is optional but not Paleo. Place pork chops in skillet and turn heat up to medium high. Cook about 2 minutes on each side- my chops were about 1/3 inch thick. Top each chop with onion mixture, cover and heat through for about 1 minute. Makes 6 servings, you decide on how many of those servings you want to eat, all of us need varying protein/carbohydrate intakes.

I served this with my favorite berry- the avocado, with a good sprinkling of fresh lime juice.

You are not here for this healthy junk are you?

Here are some Super Dooper Super Bowl recipes…
Crockpot Grinders
Jalapeño Popper Dip
My Big Fat Italian Sandwich
Garlic Ranch Pretzels
White Castle-like Sliders
Italian Sausage Cacciatore Sandwiches
Chicken Taco Stuffed Shells
Redskin Pie Hahahahaha!

Go Commercials!


  1. Alison
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    Nice work on that rope lady! I think I am going to be Team Paleo as well, since it is almost how we already eat most of the time. All I am going to have to cut out is cheese. BUT…if they need people to do the Zone, then I can swing that way too. Ha!I'll have to try Herbs de Provence! We've never used it before! Thanks for the tip:-)

  2. Big Dude
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    This sounds similar to the diet Bev has been on but hers has a daily calorie limit as well. She's lost 10 lds in a month and is well pleased. Your chop looks very good.

  3. Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    I love Penzeys! HdP and Northwoods are my two main all purpose besides my own Seasoned Salt, but I use all Penzeys to make that one anyways. I have not heard of this diet…good luck! I dropped a bunch of lbs last summer and wish I had a gym buddy. I am still wincing from the squats I did in Mondays class 🙂 I love torture. The diet looks good and healthy, the coconut oils are great and make awesome stir fry not to mention all the health benefits.

  4. A Year on the Grill
    Posted February 4, 2011 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    A very sincere Good Luck with this… I add Lemon Zest to my herbes de Provence… Peps it up a lot.

    Also, if you get to add just a titch of salt, I have a mix…

    All equal parts..

    1 part Course sea salt
    1 part Garlic Flakes
    1 part White Sesame Seeds
    1 part black sesame seeds

    AT the very least, you get 1/4th of the salt, but lots of extra flavors.

    Things like eggs or raw tomatoes, this works amazingly well as a low salt sub.

  5. Jenn@slim-shoppin
    Posted February 5, 2011 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    I think you'll come up with great things to make with using those ingredients.

    Good luck!! That's a fun contest!

  6. Anonymous
    Posted February 6, 2011 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    I've been reading this blog for a while now- it's always amusing to me to read "cooking" blogs where most of the "recipes" call for prepared foods (19 of the last 33 recipe posts). I've been taking the fad diet thing with a grain of salt, since it adds to the humor of the blog. I'm going to have to stop reading regularly, even if just for amusement. Saying you're a creationist is tantamount to saying "I'm an ill-educated ignorant person who never took a science class, doesn't like to read, and puts my fingers in my ears and hums every time someone makes a point that I don't believe in." It's on par with not believing in global warming, thinking that homosexuality is a choice, and believing that vaccinating your children leads to autism. Ignoring vast quantities of scientific discovery and research isn't "belief", it's not using the intelligence and sense that God gave you; it's part of the reason that our nation is not on the forefront of education or science. It's an insult to my intelligence and my ideas of what cooking actually is to read this blog, so I'm done.

  7. Robin Sue
    Posted February 6, 2011 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    Dear Anon,
    I will not spend much energy responding to your comment since you hid behind “Anonymous” and chose not to show your true identity. In response to your quote- “and puts my fingers in my ears and hums every time someone makes a point that I don't believe in.” Is that not what you are doing here, quitting this blog because I have stated that I am a “Creationist,” a point you do not agree? Who is humming now?

    Whereby, I can no longer insult your intelligence, I can only mock it.

  8. Biz
    Posted February 6, 2011 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    I have given your jalapeno popper dip recipe to a few of my friends, and now its their staple dip to make. In fact my friend Kim who I gave the recipe too, is having a superbowl party today, and at least half the people said they would only come if she made that dip!

    Enjoy your Sunday!

  9. Amanda
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    Hi Robin Sue,

    I won't hide behind anonymous, nor will I spew quite as much vitriol as that anonymous person above did, but I did also want to say that I enjoyed reading your blog but the creationist thing is too much for me as well. To me there's room for both in a belief system.

    So I'll bid you adieu, wish you the best and all that.

  10. Robin Sue
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    Amanda- Thank you for supporting Big Red Kitchen while it lasted. All the best to you too.

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