Few things make me cringe like the words “healthy eating”. No, I’m not raising a monument to sloth and gluttony using only my pudgy flesh as the foundation, nor am I against consuming whatever the Internet currently says is good for me (unless it’s chia seeds. Those can get the hell out of my smoothie and go right back to garnishing pottery of questionable taste). Rather, my aversion to the phrase stems from the fact that most so-called “healthy meals” are bland, unfortunate affairs, sickly and unsatisfying pseudo-food unworthy of the ingredients used to cook it.
However, as a human person who’d like to live longer than a diet consisting solely of bacon-wrapped cheese logs would likely allow, I recognize the need for a more reasoned, temperate and—dare I say—healthy approach to eating. But I’m not willing to give up taste, nor am I interested in spending hours cooking elaborate meals that ultimately don’t satisfy. Which brings me to my secret weapon: the humble pork tenderloin.
The tenderloin is cut from a muscle that runs along the rear portion of the pig’s backbone, where it does … not a lot, actually. The fact that it just sits around all day, doing whatever lazy muscles do, makes it the most tender cut on any given pig—hence the name. Tasty and lean (remember, we’re going for healthy) pork tenderloin is also relatively cheap and both fast and easy to cook. It’s a pretty versatile beast—you can roast it, cook it sous vide or cut it into thin steaks and sear it on the stovetop. Even better, it pairs with just about any spice or seasoning you’d care to try—whether it’s a basic herb crust, a southwestern-style rub or a ginger-soy marinade. It’s sort of like boneless/skinless chicken breasts’ less-boring cousin.
This simple meal pairs pork tenderloin with fresh salad greens, a few veggies and a bright vinaigrette. It comes together in under an hour, and it’s one of my favorite things to eat when I’d like something relatively healthy and don’t feel like going whole hog with fancy meal prep. Unfortunately, I’ve exceeded my quota of allotted pork puns, so I think I’ll just post the recipe now.
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