RECIPE: A plan for stress-free meals

Make Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Snap Peas for an easy, healthy dinner

Until now, my experience with meal planning has yielded marginal results. On Monday morning, I design a week’s worth of inspired recipes that will save me time, money and calories. By Friday night, I’m snarfing pizza from a greasy carryout box balanced on my belly.

But if ever there is a month to manage waistlines, budgets and trips to the grocery store, December is it. Fortunately, “Stress-Free Family Meal Planning” by Kristen McCaffrey (Page Street Publishing Co., 2020) shows us the way. It’s packed with shopping lists, prep schedules and recipes for a month’s worth of healthier meals. Not just dinner — breakfast and lunch too. (Which is incredibly helpful if you have a house full of distance learners who are hungry All The Time.)

Its liberal use of the “cook once, eat twice” philosophy teaches you how to enjoy nonstop homemade meals without being tied to the stove. For example, you’ll make enough breakfast Sunday morning to enjoy the same on Tuesday and Thursday, and lunches are often leftover dinners.

McCaffrey’s one-skillet pork tenderloin recipe is a big hit with my people (although I did have to double the recipe to satisfy three teenage appetites). It’s a delicious, inexpensive bounty of lean protein that comes together in around half an hour. We loved the roasted apple and snap pea sides, but I won’t tell if you substitute fresh pineapple chunks and Brussels sprouts. Best of all, pizza is still part of the plan: The next morning, Pepperoni Pizza Mini Frittatas are on the menu.

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Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Snap Peas
  • 1 1/3 pounds lean pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grill seasoning
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt, as needed
  • 2 cups snap peas, trimmed
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • Black pepper, as needed
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat all sides of the pork with the grill seasoning. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the honey, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. In another medium bowl, toss the snap peas with 2 teaspoons of the oil, salt and black pepper.
  • In a large, heavy, oven-safe skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork tenderloin and sear the pork for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning the pork once it is brown. Push the pork to the center of the skillet. Add the snap peas on one side and the apples on the other side.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and roast the pork, apples and snap peas for 13 to 17 minutes, or until the pork’s internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Stir the apples and snap peas halfway through the cooking time.
  • Tent the entire skillet with foil and let the pork rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 284 calories (percent of calories from fat, 32), 32 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 98 milligrams cholesterol, 470 milligrams sodium.

Adapted from “Stress-Free Family Meal Planning” by Kristen McCaffrey (Page Street Publishing Co., 2020).

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