Who doesn’t love a good piece of pork? (No I’m not directing that question toward vegetarians/vegans or people who choose not to eat pork based off of cultural and/or religious beliefs).
So I guess I should have started that question with that caveat – so if you choose to eat pork, who doesn’t love a good piece of it?
Fun fact about me – I might not eat McDonald’s often, but I love looking at their International menus to see what McDonald’s in other countries serve (I’m a food nerd, so sue me). India – Mutton Big Mac, Japan – Shrimp Burger, Germany – Beer, Philippines – Fried Chicken and Filipino Spaghetti!
But anyway, if you’ve been following my blog at all you know that I’m a big pork lover. For me, any recipe you can use chicken in you could easily use pork in.
Plus I usually have a pork tenderloin hanging out in my freezer. Usually tenderloins come two to a package (at least around where I live), the only singular ones I’ve seen are the kind that come pre-seasoned which is definitely something I don’t want.
This is one of those meals again where I was just trying to clear out my pantry and fridge plus take advantage of some of the zucchini that’s been loading down my CSA box recently (not that I’m complaining!).
Basically, I pulled a tenderloin out of the fridge to defrost, some of the jarred roasted red peppers and feta I usually have in my fridge, then made a quick side but throwing in some of those zucchini, some leftover sun-dried tomatoes and whole wheat orzo from my pantry and ta da!, dinner is served.
- 1 ¼ lb pork tenderloin
- 10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- ¾ cup roasted red bell peppers, diced
- 2 oz crumbled herbed feta (any big pieces crumbled more)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 3 tsp salt free Greek seasoning
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp dried dill
- 1 ½ tsp olive oil
- Salt (skip if you use regular Greek seasoning)
- Kitchen twine
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Cut pork lengthwise slightly off center, cutting to, but not through the other side. Basically picture the pork tenderloin divided into a two thirds section and a one third section longways. Unroll the thicker side. Holding your knife parallel to the board cut the thicker side to, but not through the other side. Here you’re basically cutting the thicker side into two sections, again longways. Unroll that side. Place between two layers of plastic wrap and gently pound to a uniform ¼ inch thickness. I.e. do you best not to go crazy on it and end up tearing it, but a little bit of tearing is ok and we’re going to call it more “rustic”.
- Combine parsley through dill and salt if using the salt free Greek seasoning. Rub about a 1/3 of the seasoning on the less pretty side of the pork that will be filled with stuffing. To the remaining seasoning add 1 ½ tsp of olive oil and mix well.
- Layer spinach evenly over pork (the side you’ve seasoning), then roasted red bell peppers, feta and sprinkle with the minced garlic. Starting at one of the long sides, carefully roll up the tenderloin with stuffing in the middle and tie at even intervals with kitchen twine. Use remaining oil/seasoning mix and rub all over the outside of the pork.
- Roast in oven until thermometer reads 150, about 50 - 60 minutes (USDA says minimum safe temp for a pork roast is 145, if you like your pork more well done then please brine it first and then cook till 160). Remove and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
- 5 oz of whole wheat orzo
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
- 3 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, diced
- 1 jar of quartered artichoke hearts, chopped into smaller pieces
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil from sundried tomato jar
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ¾ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp Greek seasoning
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- Salt and Pepper, to taste.
- Cook orzo according to package directions until al dente, drain and set aside in a medium bowl cool.
- Spray both sides of zucchini slices with nonstick spray and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides until zucchini is tender and there are grill marks. *I was using a grill pan so it took about 3 – 4 minutes per side. If you were using an actual grill it’d be done in a minute or so depending on how hot your grill is. On the note of the outdoor grill, if you are cooking it outside, use a grill basket to make it easier. When zucchini is done, let cool slightly and cut each slice into quarters, placing cut zucchini into bowl with orzo.
- Add sundried tomatoes and artichokes to the orzo.
- Combine white wine vinegar through salt and pepper, shaking well (I have a little glass jar I use). Taste and adjust. Pour over orzo and toss well to combine. Let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors combine.