Pork Loin on Spiral Root Veggies

Haven't updated from my CSA deliveries in a while! Had to skip a couple weeks; realistically there's only so much two people can eat in a week, especially when I'm out of town so often with work. We're getting into that time of year now when I'm not going to want to skip a single week - we're approaching Lughnasadh, which means the peak of harvest season!

When Lughnasadh is celebrated depends, of course, on what spiritual sect you follow. Personally, I follow the sect of Convenience, so I celebrate it on the Sunday closest to August 1st (the more modern tradition). This way it falls on a day off and I can go for a hike, bake bread, and eat a lot of food!

This week's CSA included: green beans, cauliflower, blackberries and blueberries, lettuce, basil, and a dozen farm fresh eggs. I also have walla walla onions and gooseberries from some friends.
I already ate half of all the berries. I loves them so.

I'll show you a recipe today for which I only have one pretty crappy before picture. Fun!

It's an easy and healthy low-calorie dinner. I recommend it for days where you've already eaten a lot and need a low calorie but protein rich option, and maybe supplementing it with some crusty bread. It's pork loin over spiralized carrots and beets (both were from last week's CSA).

First, spiralize the carrots and beets with a spiralizer. I was on the fence for a long time about spiralizers; was it just another cool sounding kitchen gadget that would sit unused in my cabinets? But I pulled the trigger when it was the Amazon deal of the day, and I definitely enjoy it. I only use it a couple times a month, but it's worth it.

Anyway...I used two beets and two carrots. How to spiralize them is very easy, but if you're unsure just do a google search and there's tons of videos and tips out there. The only thing with the beets is remember that they bleed profusely and stain - so wear an apron, gloves, and rinse the spiralizer immediately. Also wipe counters and floors if you're like me and the juice gets everywhere.
The spirals! So pretty! Such color!
Soak the spirals in salted water, occasionally draining and refilling. This helps bleed out the excess red, and is optional.

While they soak, rub down a boneless pork loin with salt, pepper, onion powder, and paprika. As always, feel free to play around with the spices - I just used what was closest in reach to my tiny tyrannosaurus arms. In a pre-heated skillet, saute each side of the loin for about 6-8 minutes. BTW, this whole process is almost identical to my cast iron crispy chicken legs. Once nicely browned, stick in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. The pork's internal temp should reach about 145 degrees, so how long it's in the oven really depends on the thickness of the cut.

When cooked through, pull from the oven and let sit on a plate, covered in tin foil. In the same skillet (meat now removed) throw in a little chicken broth and scrape up the browned bits, then add the spiral veggies. Saute lightly - this is also optional as both these vegetables are delicious raw, and if you're looking for optimal nutritional punch you should keep them raw, but I like how they soak up the meat juice and the colors bleed together. The carrots will start staining from the beets and it's very pretty :)

I only saute them for 5 minutes or less. I didn't add any salt because they're already cooking in the browned bits, but I did add some black pepper. Put those aside and throw in some pine nuts to brown. By now the pork should have drained some of its juice, and I poured that over the nuts. They take just a couple minutes to get toasty brown.

Serve the veggies as a bed, with 4 sliced pieces of pork on top and sprinkle some pine nuts on top of that. Voila!


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