A lot of our friends are “empty nesters” who are struggling with dinner time meal planning. I often hear, “It’s such a bother to cook for just the two of us,” so structured and clean eating often goes to the wayside.
This recipe makes the perfect proportions for a meal for two with a “cook it once, use it twice!” mentality: one recipe for dinner and enough leftovers to re-purpose for later. Of course, the proportions can be increased if you are cooking for more!
Asian Inspired Pork Tenderloin
Ingredients: (Always try to use organic ingredients whenever possible)
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed mandarin orange juice or pineapple juice from a can of unsweetened pineapple
- 4 tbsp coconut aminos (soy sauce is not a good substitute, as it would make this recipe very salty!)
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 tsp lime juice from a fresh lime
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 1 large clove of garlic, grated
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions, plus 2 tbsp for garnish (optional)
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 pork tenderlon – if you want enough for both recipes, you want a tenderloin that is a little over 1 lb.
Sharon’s Nutrition Advice:
This is a delicious and creative dish that allows all of us bored with chicken to have a healthy and nutritious option. Pork tenderloin is packed with B vitamins and is more nutritionally dense than poultry.
Prepare the Marinade.
- Mix together all ingredients to prepare marinade, except the pork.
- Place pork in a glass dish and cover with marinade. Refrigerate overnight, turning the pork in the container occasionally to redistribute the marinade.
Heat oven to 300°F.
- Remove pork from the marinade and place on a parchment paper-lined small cookie sheet. Roast, turning occasionally until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. (A 1 lb tenderloin will take about 20-30 minutes into the roasting process.) Don’t be tempted to increase oven temperature to speed the cooking process or your tenderloin will be dry due to the lower fat content. Low and slow wins the race!
By cooking at such a low heat, you will maintain the moisture of the pork tenderloin. This is the leanest cut of pork, coming in at 3 grams of fat per 3oz serving.
- While the pork is cooking, place marinade in a small enamel non-stick pan and, over medium-high heat, start to reduce. To rid a marinade of bacteria from the raw pork, you must bring it to a boil for a full 5 minutes. Watch this carefully, as it can easily reduce too quickly and burn. This reduction elevates the recipe; you want it to be perfect! If the sauce thickens too quickly, you can always add more of the mandarin or pineapple juice.
- Once the pork reaches 165ºF, remove from oven, cover the roasting pan with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Slice 1/2 of the tenderloin on the diagonal, top with the remaining green onion, and serve with steamed broccoli or roasted veggies and a small baked sweet potato for a complete meal. Serve the marinade reduction on the side as a condiment for the sliced pork.
- Reserve the remaining pork for the second recipe – coming soon! The cooked pork can be cooled, diced, and frozen in an airtight container for up to one month.
Stay tuned for the second recipe: pork cauliflower fried rice!