Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Eastern Inspired Pork Tenderloin

During my "Grill Only" cooking phase, I would pick up pork tenderloins on sale, sprinkle some off-the-shelf rub on it, and drop that baby on the grill. Good stuff. There's only many so many times you can do that though before the family starts complaining about "same ol' same ol'", and to be completely honest I was bored with it too.

But pork tenderloins were on sale a few weeks ago, and I decided to pick one up and see if I couldn't dig up some recipe online that might inspire me. Well, needless to say, I found four recipes within my skill set, thought I'd throw in a lonely box of couscous from the pantry, The Boss's two favorite spices, curry and turmeric, and include my go-to veggie asparagus.

Ta-da, I had a tasty pork tenderloin that sent us back for seconds, and seems to photograph well enough to post.

Eastern Inspired Pork Tenderloin
- 1½ pound to 2 pound pork tenderloin
- ¼ ounce (or to taste) of each of the following: curry, turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper, celery seeds, parsley, dill seed
- half cup of EVOO
- half cup of balsamic vinegar
- 5 ounces of couscous
- half can (7 ounces) of peas
- half can (7 ounces) of diced carrots
- ½ ounce of curry (or to taste)

 - mix all spices together
 - marinate pork tenderloin in a mixture of the EVOO, balsamic vinegar, and spice mix (I did it for four hours in the refrigerator, but you can do it for one hour or even overnight)
 - preheat oven to 400 degrees
 - place pork tenderloin in casserole pan and pour the rest of the marinade over it, cover with foil
 - place tenderloin in oven for 30 minutes (until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees)
 - prepare couscous per product directions; mix in curry (to taste), peas, and carrots (I added some extra scallions at the last moment; and keep an eye on that couscous, it soaks up the water faster than you realize)
 - after removing tenderloin from the oven, keep it covered while steaming asparagus for about two minutes in the microwave until they are the perfect combination of flexible but still crisp to the bite. (this takes practice and varies per microwave) 
 - serve it and listen for the choruses of "oohs" and "ahhs"

Calories per serving
Total 470 calories
Carbs 221; Protein 115; Fat 29 (5.2g Fiber; 649mg Sodium)

I'm pretty proud of this considering its simplicity. As with all my recipes to date, I'm sure it's been done a thousand times by a thousand people, but I don't have a lot of experience cooking with curry or balsamic vinegar, and I think I've made couscous twice in my life, so for this to come together and compliment each other gives me another template in my cooking repertoire.

Until Next Time...
Here's an interesting video on another Eastern way to prepare pork tenderloin, although in this recipe, I'd personally exclude honey.

Easternly Yours,

Calorie Breakdown
Pork Tenderloin (per three ounce serving)
Total 122 calories
Carbs 0; Protein 88; Fat 27 

Asparagus (5 stalks)

Total 70 calories
Carbs 70 calories

Couscous per serving (one half cup)
Total 88 Calories
Carbs 72; Protein 12; (1.1g Fiber; 4mg Sodium)

Peas per serving (four ounces)
Total 70 calories
Carbs 52; Protein 12;  (3g Fiber; 350mg Sodium)

Diced Carrots per serving (half cup)
Total 32 calories
Carbs 27; Protein 3; Fat 2;  (2.2g Fiber; 295mg Sodium)