Well, last year around the holidays, my kids —who are also my recipe testers/subjects—challenged me to cook something with blueberries other than muffins or pies. Challenge accepted!!! (And be careful what you wish for!!) It was wildly popular. Since then, I have found that creating recipes by adding fruit into savory dishes is one of my signature moves as a chef. It’s a great dish for holiday season dinner parties, a special dinner at home or even Valentine’s Day (which is not too far away!)
This is overall a very clean and gluten-free meal. A very large 4-6 oz serving of pork with the glaze, green beans and a cup of stuffing came to a total of 567 calories.
You can use lemon juice in place of balsamic vinegar. Also, you can substitute stevia for the honey. I suggest using tapioca flour (from the cassava plant) in the glaze which is a great gluten-free way to thicken just about anything without altering flavor. One of my favorite poultry seasonings is called “Persian Orange Tarragon” Poultry Seasoning by Nature’s Promise. That gives poultry & lamb a subtle autumn spice flavor but it’s not overwhelming. However, regular poultry seasoning works beautifully for these recipes. Finally, to make the stuffing gluten-free, I used Ezekiel Bread but I’ve also made it with Dave’s Killer Bread (the Good Seed Sprouted Loaf) and that just gives it an amazing rustic heartiness. That bread is the crowd favorite at my house. Toasting the bread before dicing it gives the stuffing extra texture. Finally, you can make this with chicken if that’s your preference. You just have to adjust the cooking time so it doesn’t dry out. Both chicken and pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165F. [With regard to timing: I prep the stuffing ingredients and start sautéing the stuffing vegetables, as well as cook the quinoa, before I prepare the pork. Then while the veggies are sautéing, I prep the pork and put it in the oven. The rest falls into place from there since the stuffing and the pork can bake at the same time.] As always, enjoy and please share photos & comments!
BLUEBERRY GLAZED PORK LOIN:
• 1-2 pounds pork tenderloin
• 2-3 teaspoons poultry seasoning
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 pound fresh green beans
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
• 1-3 tsp tapioca flour (as needed to thicken glaze)
• 2 tbsp honey
1. Heat oven to 400 F.
2. Rub pork with poultry seasoning, salt and black pepper. Place in a roasting pan and roast for 25 minutes (total).
3. At 10 minutes into cooking time, add the green beans to the roasting pan, spread around the pork and drizzle with olive or avocado oil. Return pan to oven for remainder of cooking time.
4. While the pork is roasting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan. Add onion, and cook for about 5 minutes.
5. Add the blueberries. Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, begin breaking the blueberries while they are cooking. Then add the honey. The blueberries will begin to boil and sauce will begin to form. Then stir in the balsamic vinegar as well as the poultry seasoning, remaining salt and black pepper.
6. Bring the sauce to a boil and allow to it to reduce and thicken for 12-15 minutes. (It should flow almost like the consistency of honey off of a spoon.) If the glaze doesn’t thicken enough on its own, you can add 1-3 teaspoons of tapioca flour while stirring the glaze continuously.
7. Serve pork sliced into medallions with glaze drizzled on top alongside green beans and stuffing (see below).
WILD BLUEBERRY STUFFING:
• 2 cups bread, diced (toasted first) • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil • 1 1/2 Tbsp poultry seasoning • 2 cups parsnips, peeled & diced • 1 cup leeks, sliced thin • 3 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms • 1 cup tri-color quinoa, cooked • ¼ cup vegetable broth (use as needed) • 1 ½ cups frozen Wild Blueberries • Sea Salt & ground pepper
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a small saucepan, cook the quinoa according to package instructions.
3. While quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a large sauté pan or cast-iron skillet. Add the mushrooms, parsnips, leeks and salt and pepper into the pan and sauté until softened.
4. Stir in the poultry seasoning & cook for a few more minutes.
5. Add the bread & cooked quinoa to the pan.
6. Add just enough vegetable broth to keep the mixture moist (if any is needed—cooked mushrooms have a lot of moisture so the broth may not be necessary.) Season again with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Top with frozen blueberries.
8. Bake (in the skillet or sauté pan) at 400F for about 20 minutes. Stir before serving.