The fast food industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise ranging from burgers to tacos to Chinese food. Most of that money is made on pop (with a 200% mark-up) and 75% of business is done from the drive-thru. Likewise, meander down the frozen food aisle at the grocery store and you’ll find the same variety promising a quick meal in minutes from the comfort of your own microwave. “Healthy” options abound touting reduced fat or reduced calories but in order to do so, sodium and other laboratory created “flavors” are added. Logically, we know these options are not good for us, but sometimes we’re pressed for time and it’s too easy to just pick something up.
What follows is a meal that satisfies the need for crappy Chinese take-out but is made with real food and therefore isn’t crappy, and takes only 20 minutes to make.
Serves 2 (you’ll want to double it to feed more or have leftovers)
|Salt and pepper||Coconut oil|
|½ pound pork tenderloin, cut into ¾” cubes||1 heaped teaspoon five-spice powder|
|1 small red onion, ¾” dice||1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (instead of cornstarch)|
|1 red or yellow bell pepper, ¾” dice (or ½ of each)||2-3 tablespoons coconut aminos|
|A thumb-sized piece of ginger, thinly sliced||1 x 8 oz can pineapple chunks in juice (no sugar)|
|2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced||2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar|
|½-1 red chile, to your taste, finely sliced||2 teaspoons sesame seeds|
|A small bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves picked, stems minced||1 small heart of romaine or ½ a butterhead lettuce or 2 baby bok choy, divided|
Preheat a wok or large frying pan on high heat and once its very, very hot, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and swirl it around. Add the pork and the five-spice powder and toss or stir around. Cook for a few minutes until browned, then transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Carefully give the wok or pan a quick wipe with a ball of paper towels and return to the heat. When it’s really hot, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and all of the chopped ingredients. Toss or stir everything together and cook for 2 minutes. Stir the arrowroot powder or cornstarch and coconut aminos. Let everything cook for 30-40 seconds, then add the pineapple chunks with their juice, the browned pork, and balsamic vinegar. Season with black pepper and a little more coconut aminos, if needed. Cook until the sauce is gravy-like, a few minutes more. Break open a piece of pork, check it’s cooked through, and remove from the heat.
Serve on top of cauliflower rice and baby bok choy (or lettuce) topped with cilantro leaves and sesame seeds.
Stop eating fast food or pre-packaged frozen entrees. Think of food as fuel rather than filling a void in your belly. Real food tastes good and is good for your body. And you need your body for a long time.