Since the prep work is done already – you just have to cook it the best way for you – whether it’s grill, saute, roast or in the slow cooker. I find the pork loin is too lean for the slow cooker (the Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork Roast is perfect for this).
I decided to sear the pork loin on the stove top – this is super simple – grab the cast iron and sear on all sides. Look at all that bacon! Real bacon! With that – no oil needed. It only took a few minutes to sear. Then I popped it in a 375 oven for 10 minutes. (Side note: I only cooked half the pork loin since I was making this for two people – for four people – use the whole loin.)
Now that my protein was ready to go – time to recreate my favorite salad – but with my Food Hussy tweaks of course. While the pork loin was searing and then in the oven – I was able to prep my salad ingredients.
The original salad is the “Cacao comes from a tree, which is a plan…Chocolate is Salad” (crazy long name I know) The Bite version has spinach, dried cranberries, strawberries, cacao nibs, gorgonzola, pecans, cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette. And I can have fun with that!!
I kept a lot of the ingredients like strawberries, tomatoes and most definitely – the cacao nibs. See cacao nibs are one of those powerful foods – they have antioxidants, flavinoids, fight cardiovascular disease, lots of fiber, magnesium, potassium and they’ll even improve your mood!
Additionally – I used spinach and red onions – but then some more Food Hussy tweaks! I’m a huge fan of goat cheese so any chance to put that in something – I’m doing it. For the dressing – I have a killer recipe for Blueberry Vinaigrette that I use any time I can!
And that pork loin – it’s always perfect at 155 degrees (get a meat thermometer – they’re super cheap and a life saver!) – you want that blush of pink in the center to be sure it’s moist and oh so good.
I cooked mine a little faster because I cut it in half – but you can always slice or cube the pork if you’re in a super hurry. I think cutting it in half was perfect for this – and even if I was cooking the whole loin – I would still do that – just to cut the oven time down. And I always sear on the stove top first – gives it that delicious crust that you don’t want to miss!
My salad was perfection! It definitely reminded me of the great Bite salad – but I had it in the comfort of my own home and in less than 30 minutes from fridge to belly! Woohoo! I’ll take that any day!
The other thing I love about this salad is how complex it is. I would NEVER think to put all this stuff together – but when I do – it’s amazing and it all works together – even with my fun tweaks. Plus – it’s good for you!
So I do hope you enjoy – it’s super simple and delicious – which is all I want in a meal after a long day of work. You can also visit their site and enter your tips for getting meals on the table quickly in the Smithfield Real Food, Real Fast contest!
Strawberry Cacao Pork Loin Salad
- Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork Hardwood Smoked Bacon and Cracked Black Pepper Tenderloin
- 1.5 cups baby spinach
- 1.5 cups romaine lettuce, diced
- 1/2 cup diced strawberries
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1/3 cup diced blueberries
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 4 oz goat cheese, diced
- Blueberry Vinaigrette salad dressing
- – Preheat oven to 375
- – Sear the Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork loin in a cast iron skillet at medium heat. Sear on all sides for just a couple of minutes on each side.
- – Transfer cast iron skillet to the oven for 10 minutes more
- – While the pork is cooking, prep all your salad ingredients
- – Toss all the ingredients from the spinach to the goat cheese
- – Remove the pork from the oven and let rest, then slice
- – Add the blueberry vinaigrette dressing
- – Plate the dressed salad with slices of pork loin
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork.