Fresh Start: Grilled Pork Tenderloin Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Fennel
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Fresh Start: Grilled Pork Tenderloin Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Fennel

I am attempting to turn a new leaf this fall. Time to eat healthier and exercise more. After being on sabbatical since the first of the year, there has been a little too much decadence and indulging and I am just not pleased with the results when I put on a swim suit. Ugh.

So since we are changing our scene to the gulf side, I thought it was a good time to change up the menu at our home as well as my exercise plan. I have been walking and exploring each morning to learn more about our new neighborhood (which I am loving by the way).  My dog Barney at my side, a very will participant, makes my morning walk not feel so much like a chore that has to be done.  Palm tree, the Manatee river and the Riverwalk in Bradenton make it down right enjoyable!

On the menu side, I am attempting to get more vegetable into our diet along with healthy protein. Tonight for dinner I threw together this marinade for pork or chicken using Wildtree ingredients and other pantry items that I had on hand and I think it resulted in a flavorful but easy dinner tonight.If you are not familiar with Wildtree, it is a line of all natural, organic products with no preservatives or MSG.  They are great.  Check them out at on my website at www.chefjenswitzer.com.

The salad component is fresh and flavorful with a lot of great textures with the sweet and tangy mandarin oranges, the crisp fennel and the chewy dried cranberries complement the fennel and the red onion adds some savory to balance the sweet. Crunch is delivered by the almonds. If you are a fan of cheese, add some salty feta or crumble some goat cheese and you will complete the salad. The salad is set off by the tender pork loins that grill quickly but add a great depth of flavor from the marinade.

Now grilling in south Florida and other places in the south this time a year can be a challenge so you can grill the chops indoors on a grill pan in a pinch.  My husband manned the grill last night and the chops were done only seconds before the evening monsoon hit.I hope that you give this dinner tonight a try and consider making a fresh start yourself with the fall season upon us. 

Enjoy!

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

1 teaspoon WT Garlic Galore seasoning blend
1/2 cup mandarin orange juice
4 tablespoons WT Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon WT Zesty Lemon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon WT Apple Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 boneless pork loin chops

Salad

1/2 cup of mandarin oranges, drained and juice reserved for marinade
1 head of romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
1/2 a small fennel bulb, thinly sliced (optional)
2 tablespoons finely sliced red onion or shallot
2 tablespoons dried cranberries or raisins
1-2 tablespoons toasted almond slices
feta (optional)

Dressing

1 tablespoon WT natural grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon WT Apple Balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pour marinade ingredients into a resealable plastic bag, add pork and seal, squeezing out any excess air from the bag. Turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight.Preheat grill to high or heat a large indoor grill pan over high heat. Remove the pork from the marinade, reserving marinade. 

Grill the pork, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the reserved marinade along with 2 additional tablespoons of teriyaki sauce and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil stirring until thickened slightly and a sauce that would coat the back of a spoon develops.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Add salad ingredients and dressing to a large bowl, tossing to combine. This salad is also great with Wildtree Italian dressing as well prepared according to package directions.Thinly slice the pork and arrange on top. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with feta.

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