Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cheap Healthy Pork: Recipes, Methodology, and Tips

A few weeks back, I posted Cheap Healthy Beef, a treatise on the affordability and nutrition of certain cuts of cow. Originally, it was supposed to be a stand-alone essay, with no sequels, follow-ups, or ensuing chapters. As it turns out though, Americans really like meat (duh), and that single entry scored more CHG hits than any other post so far. (Thanks, Google Analytics!)

Thusly, please give a warm welcome to Cheap Healthy Pork, the second episode of what is now an ongoing meat-centric series (chicken, fish, and uh … other meats to come). Like the beef post, my intent with pork (a.k.a. the Bestower of Chops, Endower of Ribs, and Giver of Bacon) is to find economical, body-friendly cuts that can easily be turned into flavorful, nutritious dishes.

Last time I tried this, the process took roughly four billion years, so this time I skipped to the chase: the six government-approved lean cuts of pork (less than 10 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 95 mg cholesterol per 3 oz serving) are:

Since Extra-lean Ham (5% fat) and Canadian-style Bacon were also mentioned in numerous articles as being particularly tasty and trim, they’ll be included as well. Strips, cubes, etc. can come from any part of the pig, which is why they’re not featured.

As for price, I found lean pork wasn’t exorbitant, at least compared to beef. The chops and roasts are downright bargains, hovering around $2/lb, while Pork Tenderloin and Canadian Bacon can be bought on sale or in bulk for $3/lb. What’s more, since the recommended swine intake is about three or four ounces per serving (even less for Canadian Bacon), a little bit stretches a long way.

Finally came the quality research. Here, I again learned from my adventures with cattle: no matter how tough, fatty, or irascible, just about any piece of pork can be manipulated via heat or flavoring to create a mouth-watering dish. Essentially, though some may prefer a pork center cut loin chop over a sirloin roast, either can be finagled into a glorious meal.

So, without further ado, here are 47 gajillion recipes for the eight healthiest, most moderately-priced pieces of pork out there. Please note, when searching, I paid close attention to cost and health factors (chop thickness, calories, fat, etc.), but didn’t actually taste test any of the recipes. Cut me some slack, man.

Pork Tenderloin (aka Pork Tender, Pork Filet)
All Recipes: Portuguese Pork with Red Peppers
All Recipes: Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
All Recipes: Rosemary Roasted Pork Tenderloin
All Recipes: Wine and Dijon Marinated Pork Loin
All Recipes: Pork Tenderloin with Creamy Herb Sauce
All Recipes: Chipotle Crusted Pork Tenderloin
All Recipes: Pork Tenderloin alla Napoli
All Recipes: Kalamata Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary
Cooking Light: Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Cranberry Sauce
Cooking Light: Pork Tenderloin with Guava Bourbon Sauce
Cooking Light: Pork Tenderloin with Olive-Mustard Tapenade
Cooking Light: Pork Tenderloin with Rosemary and Thyme
Cooking Light: Pork Tenderloin with Shallot-Cider Sauce
Cooking Light: Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Guava Glaze
Cooking Light: Apple Cider-Glazed Pork Tenderloin (MAN this looks good.)
Cooking Light: Fennel-Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Cooking Light: Gorgonzola Topped Pork Tenderloin
Cooking Light: Fruited Pork Tenderloin
Cooking Light: Grilled Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches
Cooking Light: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Ginger Sauce
DLife: Apricot-Mustard Grilled Pork Tenderloin
DLife: BBQ Pork Kebabs
DLife: BBQ Pork Tenders
DLife: Chinese Pork Vermicelli
DLife: Garlic Pork with Tarragon Dip
DLife: Grilled Pork Tenderloin Oriental
DLife: Italian Pork, Squash, and Tomatoes
DLife: Jamaican Pork and Mango Stir-Fry
DLife: Pork and Green Beans
DLife: Pork Tenderloin Diane with Wild Rice
Eating Well: Pork, White Bean and Kale Soup
Eating Well: Mustard-Maple Pork Tenderloin
Eating Well: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mustard, Rosemary & Apple Marinade
Eating Well: Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Cherry & Tomato Chutney
Eating Well: Chipotle-Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Eating Well: Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
Eating Well: Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Plums & Rosemary
Eating Well: Apple-&-Fennel Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Ellie Krieger: Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub
Ellie Krieger: Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
Ellie Krieger: Pork Au Poivre
Ellie Krieger: Pork Medallions with Cherry Sauce
Epicurious: Roast Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Cider Sauce
Epicurious: Grilled Pork Kebabs with Ginger Molasses Barbecue Sauce
Epicurious: Asian-Style Pork Stir-Fry
Kathleen Daelemans: Seared Pork Tenderloin with Fry Pan Quick Fruit Chutney
Pork Council: Asian Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple
Southern Living: Barbecued Pork Tenderloin
Southern Living: Caribbean Pork Kabobs
Sunset: Chipotle and Maple-glazed Pork Tenderloin

Pork Top Loin Chops (aka Center Cut Loin Pork Chop, Pork Strip Chop, Double-Cut Chops)
Big Oven: Easy Summer Pork Stir Fry Orange-Spiced Pork Chops Creole-Style Pork Chops
CD Kitchen: America's Favorite Pork Chops Recipe
Cinnamon Hearts: Jamaican Pork Chops with Melon Salsa Ginger Pork and Stuffing Skillet (scroll down) Cuban Garlic & Lime Pork Chops
Kalyn’s Kitchen: Cuban Pork Chops Mojo
Napoleon Grills: Teriyaki Pork Salad
Pork Council: Thai Lettuce Wraps with Satay Pork Strips
QuickEats Pork Chops Dijon (scroll down)

Pork Top Loin Roast (Boneless) (aka Double Pork Loin Roast)
AOL: Honey-Glazed Pork Loin with Chunky Applesauce
Big Oven: Rubbed and Grilled Pork Loin
Big Oven: Marinated Pork Loin Recipe
Big Oven: Mexican Roast Loin of Pork (try with fat-free sour cream)
CD Kitchen: Jurassic Pork
Cooking Light Community: Cranberry Pork Roast Pork and Pepper Fajitas (scroll down - use low-fat cheese)
DLife: Chile-Glazed Pork Loin
DLife: Italian Pork Roast (non-diabetics use fat-free dressing)
Food Network: Roast Pork
Food Network: Roasted Garlic and Chile-Crusted Pork Loin
Hormel: Stuffed Pork Loin
Meals Matter: Mojo Pork Roast
My Recipe Source: Roast Pork Loin with Sagey Onions
Pork Council: Moroccan Pork
Pork Council: Cranberry-Onion Pork Roast
Seasoned Skewers: Seasoned Roasted Pork Loin with Pears & Onions
That’s My Home: Pork Roast with Plum Glaze

Pork Center Loin Chops (aka Loin End Chop, Loin Chop, Pork Loin Chop, Loin Pork Chop)
3FatChicks: Marinated Pork Chops for the Grill (scroll down)
3FatChicks: Pork Fajita Pita (scroll down)
Ah Yeah Unlimited: Berry Peachy Pork Chops Paige’s Perfect Pork Chops
Astray: Apple Glazed Pork Chops II
CD Kitchen: Mustard Bourbon Chops
Eating Well: Pork Chops with Apricot-Tomato Chutney
Eating Well: Raspberry-Glazed Pork Chops with Pickled Onions
Eating Well: Teriyaki Pork Chops with Blueberry-Ginger Relish
Epicurious: Italian Baked Pork Chops
Pork Council: Pan-Seared Chops with Pear and Soy-Ginger Glaze
Pork Council: Braised Pork Chops with Orange-Mustard Sauce
Publix: Pecan Apricot Pork ChopsRachael Ray: Pork Chops with Sweet and Hot Peppers
Rachael Ray: Maple Mustard Barbecued Pork Chops
Secrets of Good Low-Carb Living: Peppercorn Pork Chops
Southern Living Community: Crock Pot Chops (scroll down)

Pork Center Rib Chop (Rib Chop)
BBQ Recipe Secrets: Simple Grilled Pork Chops
Chicago Meat Authority: Sweet and Spicy Pork Rib Chop
Cooking Live: Sauteed Boneless Pork Chops
Cooks Recipes: Mike Ditka’s Official Tailgater’s Pork Chops
DLife: Caribbean Barbecued Pork Chops
DLife: Margarita Pork Chops
Eating Well: Oven Barbecued Pork Chops
Fine Cooking: Grilled Pork Rib Chops with Fresh Herb Rub
Food and Wine: Grilled Pork Chops with Anchovies and Swiss Chard
GO San Angelo: Barbecue Skillet Pork Chops
iChef: Pan Roasted Pork Chops
Recipe Zaar: Peach-Glazed Grilled Pork Chops
Sarah Moulton: Grilled Teriyaki Pork Chops with Pineapple Mango Relish
Sarah Moulton: Pork Chops with Mustard Crumbs
Slow Cooker Recipes: Crock Pot Rio Grande Pork Chops
Wine Experience: Glazed Pork Chops

Pork Sirloin Roast (Bone-In) (aka Hipbone Roast, Loin End Roast, Sirloin End Roast, Pork Loin End Roast, Loin Pork Roast)
Big Daddy’s: Garlic and Herb Pork Roast
Canary Girl: Canary Island Style Pork Roast (Pata de Cerdo)
Cooks Recipes: Apple Glazed Pork Roast with Sauerkraut
DLife: Slow Cooker Pork Wraps with Broccoli Orange Herbed Pork Roast
Kitchenaid: Pork Sirloin Roast with Brown Onion Gravy (PDF pg 32)
Pork Council: Grilled Indian Pork Kabobs with Sweet Onions and Red Bell Peppers
Reynolds: Oven Bag Pork Sirloin Roast

Canadian Bacon (aka Canadian-style Bacon)
All Recipes: Canadian Bacon with Apples
All Recipes: Green Bean and Canadian Bacon Casserole
All Recipes: Orange-Glazed Canadian Bacon
Cooking Light: Caramelized Onion and Canadian Bacon Strata
Cooking Light: English Muffin Strata with Ham and Cheese
Cooking Light: Split Pea Soup
DLife: Spoon Bread with Canadian Bacon
Eating Well: Asparagus & Canadian Bacon Omelet
Ellie Krieger: Short-cut Collard Greens
Kathleen Daelemans: Mock Muffin
Meals for You: Blackberry Salad with Canadian Bacon
Pork Council: Bacon-Stuffed Shell Salad
Recipe Zaar: Canadian Bacon Split Pea & Lentil Soup (Crock Pot)
Recipe Zaar: Canadian Bacon Potato Soup
Spark Recipes: HealthierLynn's Potato & Canadian Bacon Chowder

Extra-lean Boneless Ham
Calorie Count: Italian Ham Roll-up
CD Kitchen: Angel Hair with Ham and Baby Peas Recipe
Channel3000: Donna's Barley, Black Bean And Ham Salad
Channel3000: Donna's Ham with Maple Syrup, Pineapple Ginger Sauce
Cooking Light: Double Corn and Ham Casserole
Cooking Light: Gratin of Leeks and Ham
Cooking Light: Overnight Artichoke-and-Ham Strata
DLife: Potatoes and Ham
Hormel: Hawaiian Ham Skillet Dinner
Mayo Clinic: Ham, Asparagus, and Pineapple Crepes
Meals Matter: Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin
Recipe Link: Smoky Ham and Navy Bean Stew (Crock Pot)
South Dakota DOH: Fruity Ham Slices

Aaaaaaand, that just about does it. For further research, please check out the following:
Pork and Health: health factors
Hormel: cooking tips, shopping guides, cut information
The Other White Meat: safety and handling, porktionary, history, and lore


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Deb in MA said...

I'm new to your blog, but I have to say wow! You are amazing! I will certainly try some of these recipes, as well as some of the beef ones.

Kris said...

Thanks Deb, and welcome!

TSI! said...

Hey Kris-

Found Paige's Perfect Pork Chops today and tried it. Sooo good! Easy recipe and very satisfying. It made me find a new taste for the same old pork chop. Thanks for the find.