Honey-Harissa Pork Tenderloin with Saffron Freekeh & Zucchini

Honey-Harissa Pork Tenderloin with Saffron Freekeh & Zucchini

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From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2016

In this 30-minute healthy dinner recipe, whole-grain freekeh cooks unattended while you finish the rest of the meal. Using baby vegetables cuts down on prep time because they can be cooked whole. Look for them near prepared and/or specialty vegetables. If you can't find them, use 4 cups sliced small zucchini or summer squash instead ( ½-inch-thick slices).

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup freekeh (see Tips)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron (see Tips)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 1 pound baby zucchini or pattypan squash
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed, cut crosswise into 4 equal portions
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons harissa (see Tips)

Preparation

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  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine water, freekeh, 1 tablespoon oil, saffron and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, toss squash with 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Sprinkle pork with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Combine honey, garlic and harissa in a small bowl.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; add the pork and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the pork over and brush with the harissa mixture. Scatter the squash around the pork.
  5. Roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees in the center of the pork, about 10 minutes. Slice the pork, if desired. Serve with the squash and freekeh, drizzled with the pan juices.
  • Freekeh is wheat that's been harvested when it's still young, roasted and then cracked into a grain that looks similar to bulgur. Relatively new to the U.S., the chewy whole grain has a mild nutty flavor and is higher in fiber, protein and minerals than grains that are harvested once fully mature. Look for it in well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores.
  • Saffron adds flavor and golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African and European foods. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops or at tienda.com. It will keep in an airtight container for several years.
  • Harissa is a fiery Tunisian chile paste commonly used in North African cooking. Find it at specialty-foods stores or online. Different brands vary in heat, so start with a little and taste as you go.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 3 oz. pork, 1 cup squash & ¾ cup freekeh
  • Per serving: 444 calories; 15 g fat(2 g sat); 9 g fiber; 46 g carbohydrates; 32 g protein; 26 mcg folate; 74 mg cholesterol; 12 g sugars; 7 g added sugars; 218 IU vitamin A; 20 mg vitamin C; 52 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 711 mg sodium; 753 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (33% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, ½ vegetable, ½ other carbohydrate, 3½ lean meat, 2 fat