Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pork Stir Fry with Peppers and Snow Peas

Stir fries are great. They're quick, flavorful and generally healthy. This one certainly has all those characteristics, and manages to meet all my new dietary requirements.

I found out recently that I have high cholesterol - scary, considering the considerable family history of heart issues that has popped up in the past year. I knew I needed to lose weight, and have been working on it gradually for a year or so, but now I've had to step things up a bit. To be honest, my diet hasn't changed very drastically. The first week after the doctor gave me this weight-loss ultimatum, all of the meals I had planned were suitable for my new low-fat, low-cholesterol program. The snacks and desserts are killing me, though. While I had been steadily improving my eating habits for quite some time, I was still eating a lot of baked goods, and chocolate was a common snack. I've had to cut that out almost entirely, since I can't really eat butter (and refuse to use something as engineered as margarine). It's been painful. If I'm really, really good during the day, I can have a controlled slice of cake or a cookie. I will definitely have to cut back on all the baking I love so much. 

With this diet in place, I was a bit leery of trying a pork recipe - the first "red" meat I've had in weeks - but Jeff really wanted it so I succumbed. It turns out that a nice, trimmed pork tenderloin is pretty lean. Since the rest of the recipe is packed with veggies, it's a rather healthy main dish. Half the recipe with 3/4 c rice is just about 500 calories (I only needed a third of the recipe, so I had some calories to spare for dessert!). Low in saturated fat and high in protein, fiber and vitamin C, this is definitely a keeper. That it takes less than half an hour is a great bonus!

Pork Stir Fry with Peppers and Snow Peas
Slightly adapted from Bride and Groom: First and Forever cookbook.

1 c basmati rice
1 1/2 c water
1/2 c light coconut milk

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped into half-moons
1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
8 oz pork tenderloin, sliced into thin rounds
1.5" piece of ginger, finely chopped
1/4 c sherry vinegar
1/4 c hoisin sauce
1/8 c water
1 c snow peas
1/4 c green onions, sliced (for garnish)

In a medium saucepan, heat the water and coconut milk until it comes to a boil (watch closely so it doesn't boil over!). Add rice, cover and cook 12-15 minutes, until liquid is gone and rice is tender.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large wok over high heat. Add onions and pepper and cook until softened.

Season pork with salt and pepper, then add to the pan. Add ginger. Cook 1-2 minutes, until pork is no longer pink. Add vinegar, hoisin sauce, and water to the pan. Simmer 1-2 minutes.

Add snow peas. Cook another 1-2 minutes until everything is cooked through and sauce is thick. Garnish with green onions and serve over rice.

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