This was a meal that almost didn’t get made! We were originally supposed to make it for my mom a couple weekends ago, but when we pulled the meat out of its wrapping, it smelled funny. So we had to take it back to the store and by the time that was all sorted out, it was too late to start cooking it. As a result, we put it off another few days, until the kale was almost wilted! But alas, we persevered and the dish was finally complete. The pork we ended up getting turned out really tender, and the kale & lentil salad lasted for several days, which offered a nice supplement to our normal lunchtime foods. In the long run, it turned out to be better than anticipated and somewhat worth all of the hassle of getting it pulled together!
Cooking Notes for Pork: We used pork tenderloin tips as opposed to a true tenderloin, because of what was available at Farm Fresh. Will also skipped out on the original pan sauce, opting to create his own, which is reflected below.
Soy Dijon Pork Tenderloin (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 4)
1 lb. pork tenderloin
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
10-15 cranks fresh cracked pepper
Stir together dijon mustard, soy sauce, 2 tbsp olive oil, brown sugar, pepper, and minced garlic in a bowl. Place pork tenderloin and dijon marinade into a large zip top bag. Massage the bag to make sure the marinade covers all surfaces of the tenderloin, then refrigerate for at least two hours.
When the pork is ready, heat 1 tbsp of sunflower oil (it smokes less than olive oil) in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. When the oil in the skillet is hot, take the pork out of the bag, not wiping any excess off the meat (you want it kind of drippy), and add the tenderloin to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Once the pork has been lightly browned, transfer skillet to pre-heated oven (if you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, follow the steps in the original recipe) and bake the tenderloin for another 25-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
When the tenderloin is done baking, remove from the oven and transfer the pork to a separate plate to cool and put the skillet back on the stovetop, over low heat. Sprinkle a couple pinches of flour over top of the crusty stuff/juices in the skillet, mixing as well as possible. Add some water (at your discretion), scrape all the stuck bits off the bottom of the pan, and whisk until thick and bubbly. Once pork has cooled enough to be sliced into rounds, drizzle some glaze on top and serve!
Cooking Notes for Kale & Lentil Salad: Will doesn’t remember making any adjustments to this recipe, but it has also been over a week since he made it and I never took notes! *Just make sure if you make these recipes together that you put the sweet potato mixture in the oven BEFORE the pork!!!*
Wilted Kale & Lentil Salad (adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 6)
1 medium/large sweet potato
1 medium red onion
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
S&P, to taste
1 cup brown lentils
1 bunch curly leaf kale
1 clove garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2-1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (or just cook at the same time as the pork above, since oven temps are the same). Peel the sweet potato and then cut it into 1-inch cubes. Cut the red onion into thick strips. Place the sweet potato cubes and red onion slices onto a baking sheet covered with foil. Drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over top and then toss the veggies to coat. Sprinkle a small amount of S&P over the top. Roast the veggies for 45 minutes or until they are tender and the edges are beginning to brown.
Once veggies and pork are in the oven, bring a medium sauce pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Measure out one cup of brown lentils and rinse thoroughly. Once the water reaches a full boil, add the lentils. Allow the pot to come back up to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and continue to simmer for 20 minutes. Once the lentils become tender, remove from heat and drain in a colander. Place lentils in a large bowl until the rest of the ingredients are ready.
Pull the kale leaves from their stems (you can chop and keep the stems for later use) and tear them into bite-sized pieces. Rinse the kale well in a colander. Mince a clove of garlic and add it to a large pot along with the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook the garlic over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the rinsed kale leaves and saute just until the kale is about halfway wilted. Once it reaches a happy wilting point, turn the heat off. Add to the bowl of lentils and add the roasted sweet potato and red onion mixture. Toss until everything is combined.
In a small bowl, mix the cumin, cider vinegar (start with 1/2 tbsp and add more if desired…it can be strong), and some S&P to taste. Drizzle over veggie/lentil mix and stir in well.