I was so excited to write this post tonight because a dinner I thought would not be a huge hit with the kids, ended up pleasing everyone! Some comments from our dinner include my 7-year-old daughter saying with enthusiasm, “You should start making this more often!” She then went on to say her favorite bite was the one with a piece of pork and artichoke together on the fork. My son, who has been my biggest challenge in converting to a no-processed-food diet, said “Wow, this is good!” My husband asked for seconds and said it was “company worthy.” There was not one bite left!
This was also a great dish to let my daughter help prepare. I chopped all the veggies and let her sauté them in the pan. I have found that my kids are much more likely to try new foods if they help to prepare them. And she truly was a help! I was able to prepare the pork while she focused on the vegetables.
When purchasing your sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, try to purchase ones in a glass jar to be sure you are avoiding BPA. “The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s bodies exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. You can get 50 micrograms of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young.” http://www.rodale.com/food-ingredients-avoid
Here is a great reference for BPA free canned food brands: http://bpafreecannedfood.wordpress.com/bpa-free-canned-food-brands/
Here is a BPA Canned Food Pocket Guide to take with you to the store: http://bpafreecannedfood.wordpress.com/bpa-free-pocket-guide/
The Breast Cancer Fund and Silent Spring Institute found that BPA levels in families who ate fresh instead of canned or plastic-packaged food for THREE days dropped by 60%!
Here is a breakdown of the ingredients and why they are good for you:
Pork Tenderloin (purchase organic if possible): One of the leanest cuts of pork available. A 3-oz. serving of pork has 2.98 g of fat, while chicken breast has 3.03 g of fat. This cut of meat is a good source of B vitamins and a great source of protein with a 3-oz serving containing 14.99 g of protein (USDA.gov). According to The Pig Site, a serving of pork tenderloin includes thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B-6. When it comes to thiamin, pork tenderloin is one of the best natural sources, and the meat contains nearly half of the recommended daily allowance of niacin. Pork tenderloin contains phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc. With each serving of pork tenderloin delivering 36 percent of the recommended daily intake of zinc, the meat is considered to be a rich source of this mineral. Information provided by: www.livestrong.com
Eggs (purchase organic if possible): Packed with vitamins A, D, E, B2, B6, B9, iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and choline. When shopping for eggs, keep in mind pasture raised, free-grazing hens produce a superior quality egg and are less prone to salmonella contamination. Free hens lay eggs with 3 times more vitamin E, 7 times more beta-carotene, 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, and 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids. Learn more here.
Onions: Prevents cardiovascular disease, dissolves blood clots, lowers risk of developing cancer, fights against infections, improves lung functions in asthmatics, helps detoxify the body, lowers triglycerides, reduces blood pressure.
Sun Dried Tomatoes: Anti-oxidant & promotes heart health. In addition to containing 6 percent of the daily intake of calcium, 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes has 25 percent of the recommended intake of magnesium and 27 percent of phosphorus. Calcium combines with phosphorus to create the primary bone-building mineral hydroxyapatite, while magnesium helps form the matrix that supports the other minerals. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-eating-sun-dried-tomatoes-2314.html
Artichokes Hearts: Contain high levels of antioxidants, which help prevent heart disease, cancer and birth defects. Boost the regeneration of liver cells, improve digestion, contain potassium, vitamin C and folic acid.
Sage: Enhances memory and concentration, regulates circulation, promotes blood flow, relives inflammation.
Thyme: Anti-bacterial, cancer fighter, immune booster.
Nutmeg: Lowers blood pressure, cleanses & detoxifies the liver and kidneys, relaxes anxiety, aids with encouraging effective sleep cycles.
Garlic: Aids in weight loss & digestion, anit-fungal, boosts immune system, “Garlic is one of the foods that specifically inhibits cell growth in certain cancers. Dr. Beliveau’s laboratory was able to test crude extracts from different foods on the cells of several different cancers. Garlic, onions and leeks rank high among the most effective foods for the following cancers: brain, lung, prostate and breast.” – David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD.
1. In a medium skillet over a medium-high heat, saute the onion, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, sage, thyme, nutmeg and garlic in olive oil or ghee. You can also add the olive oil that the sun-dried tomatoes come in if your are using jarred sun-dried tomatoes. This oil is healthy and full of delicious spices and flavor.
2. Saute everything for about 3 to 4 minutes, just until the onions become slightly translucent and the tomatoes and artichokes begin to become tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside for later use.
3. Place the pork tenderloin in a 9×13 baking dish, rub some cooking fat all over and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. In order to stuff the loin, create a seam in the meat by cutting it down the center lengthwise, essentially, you want to be able to unfold the meat. Set the meat aside until the stuffing has been prepared.
4. Preheat oven to 450 F.
5. Once the ingredients from the skillet have completely cooled, whisk in an egg. The egg is essential to the stuffing, it is used in place of breadcrumbs and works to hold everything together. However, to make this work best, the sun-dried tomato/artichoke mixture must be cool, otherwise it will cook the egg before it is even stuffed in the meat and the egg will no longer act as a glue, since it cannot be cooked twice. If you need to cool the stuffing quickly, place it in a bowl and place the bowl in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
6. Take the stuffing and begin spreading it across the seam of the meat. Avoid filling the meat too much, as you will not be able to fold the pork closed. Use some toothpicks to ensure the tenderloin does not pop open while cooking.
7. Cook, uncovered, at 450 F for 30 minutes. Once the first 30 minutes have passed, reduce the heat to 300 F and cook for another 20 minutes. When the time is up, turn off the oven, but allow the meat to remain in it for at least 15 minutes. This cooking method is perfect for keeping the meat from overcooking and becoming dry.
~ If you don’t eat junk, you won’t crave junk. If you eat healthy, you’ll keep eating healthy.