The “Other White Meat” Dinner for the Family

You’ve heard the commercials for years…”Pork, the other white meat.”  Despite being as healthy as chicken, and no more difficult to cook (as I just discovered) it’s just never been a  staple in my house.  All that changed for me the other day as I strolled the aisles at Trader Joe’s.  The people there know me and my littlest child by name, so the two of us frequent the store often.  I always love the chance to be inspired by Trader’s shelves of outrageous ingredients that somehow taste splendid together.  Dark chocolate covered soybeans, anyone?  Where else can I go where the ladies shower my baby with samples, and delight in him devouring dried seaweed as we shop?  Yes, he’s 10 months old and loves seaweed.  But back to dinner…The store, this day, had wafting scents of onion, garlic and meat.  That meat turned out to be pork, so I almost passed by but decided to take a closer look.  What I learned was that the amazing aroma came from simply coating the tenderloin with a dry spice rub, placing it in a pan to sear, and then popping it into the oven for 22 minutes.  I felt I was absolutely up to the challenge of tackling a tenderloin, which I previously thought took much more time, and more finesse, than I was able to provide given that it’s summer and my three kids aren’t always perfectly agreeable during the evening hours.  I quickly thought of my pairings (some whipped sweet potatoes for our healthy carbs and a small green salad).  Armed with my groceries and a mission to impress my meat-loving husband, I made my way home and got down to business.

I’m pleased to report that even with a baby climbing up my legs, I was able to create an amazing and balanced dinner in less than 30 minutes. In no time at all, my house smelled like a restaurant and my family was asking for seconds.  We even had leftovers for my husband’s lunch the next day.  Not bad for a little jaunt to Trader Joe’s.


  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • dry spice rub
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • olive oil spray, or olive oil
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  •  1/8 cup coconut milk, or milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave (optional)
  • side salad of your choice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray tenderloin with olive oil spray or lightly rub with oil.  Cover completely with your dry spice rub and crushed garlic.  Heat a medium pan and place loin into the pan to sear.  Brown all sides (approximately 8 minutes to get all sides browned).  Remove and place in an oiled baking dish.  Place in oven for 22 minutes, or until cooked through.  Meanwhile, microwave your sweet potatoes until soft, approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on size.  Allow to cool, then scoop and place in a food processor.  Add coconut milk and agave, if using.  Whip until smooth.  Assemble your salad.  Your accompaniments should be completed by the time the pork is done.  Assemble on your plate, and know you have a lovely and balanced ratio of fat (from the oil and a tiny bit from the pork), protein (from the pork) and carbs (from the sweet potatoes).

Pork is only 122 calories per serving and contains only 3 grams of fat.  The protein content is about the same as chicken at 22 grams.  A meal like this keeps your blood sugar stable, providing you keep your carbs around15-20 and fat around 7.


Serves 4-6

(This was my husband’s man-size portion)

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