The best quarter of the plate

Ontario Pork Blog

25 April 2019

The best quarter of the plate

The best quarter of the plate

James Synowicki

I’m James Synowicki, the content creator, influencer and brand ambassador behind the IG account @zimmysnook. In partnership with my wife Elaine, we work with and passionately promote the stories of local Canadian food producers/purveyors, as well as the products of companies who share our passion for quality, innovation and design.

Our philosophy: Buy the freshest ingredients, prepare them simply and enjoy with friends and family. #KnowYourFarmer

Canada's Food Guide was recently updated to a fantastic and simple premise: Eat a variety of delicious, healthy foods and have fun preparing them each day!

I LOVE to eat good food. I LOVE to cook everyday! I LOVE to shop for the best ingredients available (that I can afford) and I really LOVE to know where my food comes from… so needless to say, I support the spirit of the Canada Food Guide completely. 

I am also grateful for all the incredible pork farmers here in Ontario, who work tirelessly to provide us with a local, delicious, healthy and affordable food supply. Lean cuts of pork are versatile, take on flavours well and can be prepared in so many ways. My first choice is to grill, because it is quick, doesn’t require additional fats or oils and tastes so darn good!  

Recently, my family and I faced some health challenges, which heightened our awareness of the importance of eating fresh, clean and delicious meals. So, I encourage you all to fill your plates with fruits & vegetables, whole grains and delicious lean pork proteins. 

This recipe for ONTARIO PORK LOIN CHOPS WITH HUMMUS-YOGURT DIP, has everything I look for in a soul satisfying meal… tender, flavourful pork, bright flavours and a rich creamy dip that replaces the need for a fatty cream or butter sauce. 

Now gather your family and friends around the table to enjoy a healthy meal, great conversations and a good laugh. 

Yield: Serves 2 adults and 2 kids
Preparation Time: 15 minutes (plus 1 hour marinade time)
Cooking Time: 6 - 8 minutes




Ontario pork loin rib end boneless chops (1 inch thick, trim excess fat)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 lemon, zested and juiced

2 Tbsp (30 ml) chopped oregano leaves

1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



1 cup (250 ml) drained no-salt-added canned chickpeas, liquid reserved

1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini (sesame paste), with some of its oil

2 Tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1-2 garlic cloves, peeled (to taste)

1 tsp (5 ml) paprika

Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more as needed

1/4 cup (60 ml) plain 2% Greek yogurt

1 tsp (5 ml) white balsamic vinegar

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions:


Combine the garlic, lemon zest, juice, oregano and oil in blender and blend until smooth. Put the pork in a resealable bag, add the marinade and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Heat your grill (or grill pan) to med-high. Remove the pork from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill until grill marks appear 3-4 minutes, flip and grill 3-4 minutes more. Pork should be cooked to medium doneness (145-150°F). Remove the pork from the grill to a cutting board and loosely tent with foil. Before serving, let rest 6-8 minutes until internal temperature reaches 160° F/71° C.

Hummus-yogurt Dip

Put the first six ingredients in a food processor and begin to process; add the chickpea liquid as needed to allow the machine to produce a silky and smooth puree.

Add the yogurt and vinegar and blend to combine.

Taste, season with salt and pepper and add more lemon juice if desired.

Serve the chops on a layer of the yogurt dip (or with the yogurt dip on the side) and garnish with lemon zest and finely chopped oregano.


Did you know?­ Canada’s new Food Guide recommends that a quarter of your plate should be a lean protein — this chop fits the bill.

Nutritional Information
1 serving (1/4 of recipe)
Protein 28.8 g
Calories 450
Sugar 2 g
Fat 30 g
  Saturated 6 g
Cholesterol 52 mg
Sodium 514 mg
Potassium 402 mg
Calcium 28 mg
Carbohydrate 19 g
Fibre 5 g

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