Once or twice a week, usually on my days off, I make a nice fancy dinner. I had a container of figs I picked up last week at the market that needed to be used up so my brain automatically went to balsamic vinegar and pork. The end result was a roasted pork tenderloin with balsamic fig reduction drizzled overtop. This sounds super fancy, right? We have our ways of doing those things. But to be honest, it took about 10 minutes prep time and about 25 minutes in the oven. One of the things I preach about it how quick and cheap eating healthy can be. People are so quick to assume they have no time to prepare meals and that fresh produce costs too much money. The average time it takes me to make a meal is 15 minutes. 15 MINUTES. The estimated cost of this dinner in particular was about $11 for two of us, this being on the higher end of what I usually make. Once you have a stocked pantry of the essentials, make one or two trips a week to preferably a local market for fresh produce and meat. I will be making a list of pantry essentials that you can use to get started in your “nature diet”. Herbs and spices can take a vegetable from boring to delicious if you have a little knowledge of flavor combinations. Back to my “pig and figs”. This one’s perfect for a dinner party as a pork tenderloin is a great way to serve a large amount of people and looks lovely and sophisticated on the plate.
Recipe: (2 servings)
One pork tenderloin (the package I purchased had two. I used one which was enough for 2 people)
Chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove fresh garlic chopped into medium pieces
Salt & Pepper
About 1 1/2 cups fresh figs, quartered
1 small cooking onion or shallot, chopped
4 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup stock, beef or chicken
Heat oven to 400. Rub pork with olive oil. Make small slits in top and shove the garlic in them. Rub rosemary, salt and pepper over the meat. Brown in a hot skillet for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Transfer pork to roasting pan and bake uncovered for 25 min or until a thermometer reads 160 in the center of the loin. Meanwhile, saute onion in olive oil until tender. Add 3 Tbl vinegar and stock. Simmer until reduced by half and add figs and last Tbl of vinegar. Reduce to half again. When the pork is done, let sit for 10 minutes before carving. Slice into preferred width and spoon fig reduction overtop. Serve with a fresh greens salad.
This morning I made something new and amazing and cannot for the life of me realize why I never thought of it before. Sweet potato hash and eggs. So simple and delicious.
1 medium sweet potato
salt and pepper
Chopped a sweet potato into thin small strips or use a grater if you prefer. Heat coconut oil in skillet and add the potato. Saute over medium-high heat until potato is tender and starts to brown. Season with spices (use your own preference as to how much). Serve with eggs cooked your way!
Sweet potatoes are an awesome source of beta-carotene and vitamin C, as well as being low on the glycemic index. I usually substitute them for anything involving boring, high starch, white potatoes. Sweet potatoes have been shown to be a much healthier dietary staple than grains, white potatoes, beans, or rice. White potatoes (along with peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant) are in the nightshade family which very strict paleos completely avoid altogether. Those suffering from autoimmune disorders of the skin showed great improvement after cutting out white potatoes. The best advice to give if you are suffering from a health problem is to see which foods cause an increase or decrease in symptoms as they differ from individual to individual.
There is MUCH to learn about the primal diet and everyone’s opinions of what it means varies. Here are some great references to check out to lead you in the right direction.
Eat Clean by Margaret Floyd (not so much “paleo” but about clean eating in general. For example, if you’re going to eat dairy or grains, she shows the best and healthiest options for doing so)
Mark’s Daily Apple-the blog by the writer of The Primal Blueprint
The New Evolution Diet written by Arthur De Vany
Clothes Make the Girl- a great blog for recipes!