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October 20, 2011 at 8:00 AMComments: 12 Faves: 0

Dietitian's Dish: Seared Pork Tenderloin with Braised Apples, Celery, & Raisins

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

Wondering what to make for dinner this evening? Struggling to find time to prepare a healthy meal the whole family can enjoy? I hear you :) Thankfully recipes like this one only take minutes to prepare and the results are delicious and nutritious! 

Seared Pork Tenderloins with Braised Apples, Celery, & Raisins

  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, 1/2" slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
  • Salt, pepper, & brown sugar to taste
  • 3 fresh apples (I chose the Michigan Rome), washed & sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh celery, washed & sliced
  • 1/8 cup plump raisins
  • Splash of fresh apple cider
  1. In a large skillet cook garlic in hot oil or butter over medium-high heat for about 15 seconds.
  2. Carefully place pork in the hot oil. Sear each slice by cooking for 2-5 minutes on each side or until browned and NOT pink in the center. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients and cover. 
  4. Cook, covered, until apples and celery have been cooked through. 

I chose the Michigan Rome out of the multitude of Michigan apples because it is a great cooking apple that will not fall apart with the heat. Great advice given to me by my grandmother, a long standing apple farmer :) Apples are a great addition any time of year due to the rich fiber content, powerful antioxidants (Quercetin is believed to be more powerful than vitamin C!), and besides, they are naturally sweet - my favorite fruit as a matter of fact.  

Apple Slices (Medium)

When it comes to the lean cut of the pork tenderloin, many people may steer clear in their cooking adventures due to the commonly dry results. You can easily prevent this by searing the edges, a key step! By cooking the pork with strong heat, you are able to lock in the juices to maintain rich results! 

Pork Seared(Medium)

While you could certainly cook the apples and celery first or separately from the pork, I chose to mix everything together in order to give all of the unique flavors a chance to mingle :) In order to cook a bit of the crispness out of the apples and celery, I covered the skillet and allowed it to steam until they reached the perfect level of crunch! 

Pork Loin Seared Apples (Medium)"

And with that, the meal is ready! Enjoy :)

Pork Tender Loin Seared with Braised Apples, Celery, & Raisin (Medium)"

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  • Wow! That looks amazing. Definitely an upgrade from the old pork chop and applesauce dish! Unfortunately, pork products seem pretty hard to replicate in vegetarian form. I've found tons of great chicken and beef substitutes, but not pork. :/

  • This dish looks great. I was just thinking about how my husband and I need some new recipes for dinner. He just came up with a new one last night, so now it's my turn! :) I've never added apples or raisins to any of my dishes before, seems like it's a great fall dish. I bet it's be a great summer dish as well too!

    @ Erin, hmmm, I wonder if there is something good out there for a pork substitute. Any ideas, Jessica? Have you tried pork substitutes before Erin and they just aren't that great?

  • Veggie bacon is OKAY if you eat it mixed with other things, but it's definitely no where near the real thing. I also recently, against my better judgement, picked up a veggie ham lunch meat substitute- if ham came from the cardboard boxes and not from pigs, that's what it would taste like. :/ I DO have a ground breakfast sausage substitute I love, and typically, that's made from pork, but it's all in the sage and other spices. Even real breakfast sausage isn't really pork flavored.

  • @Erin, or porkchops with apple pie filling... sugar overload?

    @Bri, LOVE that you two are switching things up in the kitchen! What has been your favorite meal?

    As for a pork substitute, I would recommend tempeh. Have you tried this as an alt before, Erin? It has dryer texture than most soy products, plus a uniquely tangy flavor. Made from beans & grains or fermented soybeans. When marinated and fried, Tempeh cutlets are delicious :) You can even buy it pre-marinated or seasoned.

  • @Erin, another great seasoning is liquid smoke. I always add this to my vegan split pea soup to give it the taste of ham many people desire.

  • I have tried tempeh before and though I wouldn't say it tastes like pork, it was very good.

    I'll have to look into that liquid smoke! We like to cook out over a woodfire whenever we can, because I feel almost everything tastes better cooked that way. We even did marinated squid skewers over the fire (I'm a pescatarian, actually) which turned out to be the best squid I've ever had! Unfortunately, it's getting to be a bit cold for outdoor cooking. It would be nice to enjoy smokey tastes in the cooler moths as well!

  • Erin - have you ever tried seitan?

  • I haven't, but I'd love to call up my local grocery store and request it! lol They'd probably hang up on me!

  • Hahahaha...yes, the name does leave something to be desired. :P But it's actually a great meat substitute made from wheat gluten - the texture can actually be super similar to actual meat! I've never seen it used as a pork substitute (I've only had it a couple times at a restaurant as a Philly "steak" sandwich), but it wouldn't surprise me if you could use it as one. Here's some information comparing it to tofu:

    Because of the texture, I think it might actually make a great pork stand-in - which is awesome, because Jessica's recipe sounds delicious!

  • Great suggestion, Laura! Seitan is tastier than tempeh in my opinion, much less dry :)

  • Actually, my friend Katie on here has told me her and her husband make their own meat substitutes , most of which are a variation of seitan, which she says she loves... though they giggle about the name, as two very mature adults should. ;)

  • I would love to try making my own as well! I may have to do some Googling...

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