Now you may think that pork is difficult to cook and not a healthy option but I’m here to tell you that neither is true! Pork is very good for you, it’s a rich source of protein as well as vitamins and minerals including thiamin, niacin, selenium, zinc and phosphorus. Pork tenderloin, in particular, is leaner than a chicken breast, and is juicier and tastier too. It’s also versatile, you can grill it, braise it, roast it, pretty much do anything to it and it tastes delicious. Pork has a nice, delicate flavor so you can spice it up for Mexican dishes, Italian, Chinese, Thai, etc., and it will always taste great. I love all types of pork- chops, roast, ribs, loin, bacon (!), ham, etc, etc, etc… As always, I make sure that I buy my pork from a reputable local provider, or I will purchase it from my health food grocery store in a pinch. The quinoa is healthy too. It has protein in it which makes it a much healthier side dish, it’s got fiber and only 160 calories per cup of cooked makes it relatively lo-cal. It certainly beats mashed potatoes or pasta as a side dish.
As you can probably tell, pork is my personal favorite meat! With that in mind I created an easy, delicious and nutritious meal consisting of oven roasted pork tenderloin with basil pesto sauce, quinoa with onions and peppers, and tomatoes in basil and extra virgin olive oil, and I’d like to share it with you right now. Please enjoy!
Oven Roasted Pork tenderloin with basil pesto sauce
So the first thing you do is preheat the oven to 350 degrees and then prepare the 1 lb. tenderloin for the oven. I rubbed it all over with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), minced garlic, Herbs de Province, salt and pepper. I then threw it in the oven for a half hour or until it reached an internal temperature of 155 degrees.
I use an old school meat thermometer but if you have one of those new fangled instant read ones, by all means use whatever works for you. This is what the meat looks like when it’s midway through the roasting process.
Quinoa with onions and peppers
So while the tenderloin is roasting, I begin the quinoa. Don’t get intimidated, quinoa is simple dimple to make. First, you give one cup of quinoa a quick rinse under water, put a teaspoon of EVOO in a pan and sauté the quinoa in it for 2 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1/2 cup chopped green pepper to the rice and sauté it for another 2 minutes. After that, add 2 cups of chicken broth to the rice, onions and peppers and bring to a boil. Most quinoa cooking instructions call for water, but I think utilizing chicken broth gives it so much more flavor.
After the quinoa comes to a boil, reduce it to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the moisture is absorbed.
One minute tomatoes with basil and Olive Oil
I still have plenty of tomatoes from my garden so I sliced some tomatoes, added torn fresh basil from my garden, poured a bit of EVOO on the top, salt and pepper. That was my other side dish and it took virtually seconds to make, how great is that?!!!
When the tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees, take it out of the oven, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, use a quality jarred basil pesto and rub it on the tenderloin. I added a bit more EVOO, salt and pepper on the top and sliced it.
And that’s it! You just assemble the tenderloin, quinoa and sliced tomatoes, pour the wine, and you’re ready to eat! The pork was perfectly cooked, and the basil pesto makes a warm, flavorful sauce for the top. The quinoa is a delicious side for the pork, and the tomatoes add a brightness to the meal. All in all a very memorable dinner. I hope you try this very easy and yummy recipe. Let me know how you like it! Eating meals like this will help you live a life of vitality- like Valerie!