Whole 30 Day 17: Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Mashed Potatoes with Crispy Prosciutto, Onions and Pine Nuts, Sauteed Spinach

It was a beautiful Sunday here in Petaluma. I took a walk through Helen Putnam Park and spent a good chunk of the afternoon getting myself organized for the coming week. Fortunately one of the benefits of the weekend is that still leaves more time than usual to work on dinner. I spent that time playing with this new potato recipe and piling up things for Jason to throw on the grill! It was 70° here today so there were no complaints about using the BBQ.

I decided to marinate the pork tenderloin in a combo of sugar free apricot fruit spread, ginger, and garlic. I love a little sugar when I am cooking pork, it caramelizes and really enhances the meat. Since we are relying on a pretty simple fruit spread for that you’ll need to add quite a bit of ginger and garlic for flavor, about 2 tablespoons minced ginger and 4-5 cloves of garlic. I also seasoned the tenderloin well with kosher salt, fresh black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Once the meat is in the bag press all the marinade down to the bottom surrounding the meat and put it back in the fridge, preferably overnight.

The potatoes are from Cooking Whole 30. The recipe caught Jason’s eye when he was flipping through the book so I put it on the meal plan for this week. He has been such a trooper with this program and it’s nice to be able to make something special that still fits within the dietary guidelines. The potatoes are a little creamier than the ones we made a few nights ago with our halibut thanks to the addition of a few tablespoons of coconut milk, but it’s the prosciutto and onion topping that really makes these a showstopper.

And as long as I was making something special for Jason I may as well throw a little something extra for me on there, right? Well that is just what I did because I also sliced up an eggplant to grill. Jason is not big on eggplant but I love it, so this was a special treat for me. The key to grilling eggplant is to get some of the water out of it before it hits the BBQ. Salt does the trick beautifully. Sprinkle the sliced eggplant with kosher salt and let stand at room temp for about an hour. You will literally see the water beaded up on the surface of the eggplant and can pat the slices dry with a paper towel before seasoning with some fresh black pepper. You’ll also want to brush them with about one tablespoon of olive oil, then grill for a few minutes on each side and they are done. I served them with the Tahini Ranch Dressing from last week and it was a perfect match. The dressing is thick, so I spread a little on the plate and then put the grilled eggplant on top.

Let’s be clear, we in no way needed this extra vegetable. I had sauteed spinach as well (see day 1 if you want details on how to make that), so the meal was complete without the eggplant. But, I don’t anticipate having the grill ready to go again soon so today was the day. I now have a nice little stack of grilled eggplant in the fridge for the coming week, and since it is not something I make at home very often I am looking forward to experimenting with it!

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