It’s never too late to take the first step toward a healthier you, especially if it’s an easy, delicious step. Luckily, with pork, eating right does not mean skimping on flavor or satisfaction.
Did you know that one of the surest steps to a healthy lifestyle is to fill up on certain foods you already love? Consumption of extra-lean protein like the flavorful pork tenderloin has been linked to a greater feeling of fullness, retention of muscle mass and a reduced urge to eat.
And pork is leaner today than ever before, with 27 percent less saturated fat than it had 21 years ago. We like to enjoy today’s lean pork at medium-rare for optimal flavor. Cook chops, loins and roasts to 145 degrees F with a three minute rest for juicy and tender pork that’s tastier (and skinnier) than ever.
But the news gets even better!
Weight Watchers has just published a mouthwatering guide to all things pork—from succulent shoulder to the lean, mean loin. With delicious recipes, a visual guide to 14 versatile cuts and tips on cooking techniques, we dare you to not get inspired.
Pork, dumplings and dragons, oh my!
All around the world today, families are tucking in to sumptuous feasts featuring barbecued pork, spring rolls, dumplings and other traditional Chinese New Year delights.
2012 is the Year of the Dragon, which means a couple things:
- It’s going to be a lucky one. The Dragon is the most favored sign on the Lunar calendar—so much so that birth rates rise in Dragon years by up to 5%!
- It’s time to eat up. Certain foods are considered extra-auspicious when eaten at the beginning of the Lunar New Year—and there’s plenty on the menu for pork lovers. Favorites include dumplings, noodles, pork meatballs and spring rolls.
From familiar dumplings to a regional dish called “lion’s head meatballs,” here are some lucky, pork-tastic foods to make and enjoy during these first days of the Year of the Dragon:
Baked Pork Egg Rolls from PorkBeInspired.com
Chinese Pork Dumplings from PorkBeInspired.com
Lion’s Head Meatballs from About.com
Pork Spring Rolls from Saveur
Asian-Style Pork and Vegetable Noodles from Rachael Ray
According to trend expert Nancy Kruse, pork is the protein of the moment on restaurant menus across the country.
*Does a little dance*
Why? Aside from being despicably delicious, pork provides diners with a versatile, fun alternative to run-of-the-mill staples. At casual dining chains like Cracker Barrel, pork often appears as a chef's special, offering a welcome break from the usual menu. Meanwhile, high-end restaurateurs are experimenting with the whole pig, creating gourmet nibbles from yummy, underutilized bits like the cheeks.
To whet your appetite for the new “it” protein, check out Grub Street's slideshow of the greatest pork dishes in New York. Even if you don't live in NYC (we don't!) the yummy photos are worth every click. Seriously-there's a pork belly BLT involved. And we know you're dying to find out what a pork nugget and boudin basque is.
With all these inspiring, mouthwatering options, is there any reason to stray from the pork on the menu? We didn't think so either.
When we think of game day foods, we inevitably think of chili: that hearty, warming dish keeps spirits high, whether you're tailgating in wintry weather or screaming at the TV from your couch.
Pork does not appear in many traditional chili recipes, but it should. Meaty chunks of braised shoulder or country-style ribs bring a rustic flavor and substantial texture to what's often a one-note stew.
To inspire some out-of-the-box game day fare, we've collected some of our favorite pork chili recipes.
Whether you like your chili spicy or mild, with beans or without, there's something here to snap your taste buds out of their chili rut!
Winter White Chili from PorkBeInspired.com
Pork Shank Chili from Esquire
Spicy Pork Chili from Taste of Home (featuring tenderloin)
Black Bean Chili with Crispy Pork and Poblano Salsa from Bon Appetit
Green Pork Chili from Bobby Flay
As every year comes to a close what we most look forward to (aside from New Year’s Day pork dishes) is browsing the ubiquitous year-end wrap-up lists: What were the year’s greatest moments? The most touching photographs? The finest films? The biggest blunders?
But for food-lovers, the most inspiring lists of all revolve around, well, food: the year’s favorite flavors and best recipes. Leading trendy favorites like cake pops, quinoa and red velvet, pork tenderloin took the top spot among all recipes searched by our Canadian neighbors to the north.
And as much as pork wowed us all in 2011, the tenderloin promises to steal even more hearts in 2012. This delicious, heart-healthy protein is ideal for kicking off a delicious 2012. Why?
- It’s juicier than ever. In May, the USDA revised long-standing temperature guidelines for pork. Today’s lean pork can be enjoyed at a tender, juicy medium rare! Cook tenderloin to 145 degrees F with a three minute rest for optimal enjoyment
- It’s leaner than ever. Ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin is as lean as a boneless, skinless chicken breast. And it keeps getting leaner – seven of the most common cuts of pork have 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat than they did 20 years ago.
- It’s just delicious. Do we have to elaborate on this one? We think not.
So join us in kicking off the New Year by celebrating the delicious, nutritious tenderloin. Happy New Year, and happy eating!
Now that 2011’s last sizzle is behind us, we’d like to say thanks to all of our readers and bloggers. We were lucky to have Larry to share his beautiful photos, delicious recipes and insights with us. His final post as our featured blogger focused on Kaz Nakamura, a foodie and Twitter personality known for constantly providing delicious inspiration. Check out the post and the dish Kaz shared with us!
Earlier this year, Larry was joined by Kristina and Susan, who shared truly inspiring content with all of us. Remember when the USDA lowered the recommended cooking temperature for pork to 145 degrees? Kristina covered that breaking news on this blog!
And they both shared creative and exciting recipes. Susan even tried out her best Dr. Seuss rhymes to share a pork ice cream recipe with us in September.
We hope you’re not full from all the delectable blog helpings we served you 2011 because we’re asking you to come back for seconds. So get a fresh plate for 2012, subscribe to our RSS feed on the upper right if you haven’t already, and get ready to hear that sizzle we all know and love soon!