Whole 30 Day 20 – Pork Tenderloin with a Basil and Walnut Pesto.
I had every intention of going to the gym but I wanted to sleep in since I’ve been sleeping late at 1 am. I’ve been binge watching netflix on random shows and random movies. Right now, I’m obsessed with Chef’s table and it’s so interesting to watch how these talented chefs became who they are today. I’m inspired and I just want to cook like a mad women in my tiny kitchen. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had gone to Las Vegas to pursue my Hospitality degree like alumni Guy Fieri, the guy behind diner, drive-ins, and dives. Just what if? Being a food network star may sound glamorous but it seems grueling. I’d rather be behind a computer blogging and eating away.
Today, Mr. T and I took my brother out for his birthday at Seapot, a hot pot all you can eat restaurant in San Mateo. I heard about it from my good friend and highly recommended it. This was an interesting restaurant because it has a conveyer belt that comes around with vegetables, seafood, and desserts that you pick out to add to your hot pot. It’s a great concept and there was a lot of variety including raw crab, fish, and shellfish. They even had cake and fruit. What I like about the restaurant is that you get your own pot rather than sharing it with others. My brother got the spicy broth and added more chili because he likes it really spicy. He said the broth didn’t need anything and liked it a lot. Mr. T got the miso broth and he said it was a bit bland and added more seasoning to it which made it more flavorful. I got the herb broth which contained dried fruit and herbs. It was interesting. I didn’t add anything to it and relied on my dipping sauce to flavor my protein and veggies.
The restaurant had a modern decor with a few private rooms to the side. As soon as you walk in there’s a bar on the left with 3 tv’s. To the right is a giant tv screen that takes up the entire wall like a time square billboard. We were seated right next to the giant tv which was extremely bright but we didn’t care too much for it since we were enjoying our food. The restaurant was surprisingly empty when we got there and we were seated right away. I was afraid it was packed since the parking lot was full and had to stalk a few people to get their parking spot.
Being on whole30 and dinning out on special occasions is really tough especially if the people you’re with are not on the same diet. I really miss drinking, carbs, and dairy. I’m really counting the days when I’m done with whole30 and I can eat whatever I want. Whole30 is great if you’re resetting your body and you’re trying to understand what’s inflaming your body but I don’t have those. What I like about whole30 is it makes you aware of what you’re putting in your body and questions the ingredients on labels.
Food should be simple and should be made with ingredients that you can pronounce. I don’t agree that you have to cut out grain, dairy, and alcohol. I mean, the Italians drink wine everyday and eat ridiculously amount of pasta but their portions are smaller and their ingredients are not processed. When I went to Italy, I had a huge breakfast, ate paste and breads for lunch and dinner but I walked everywhere and the food was just incredibly fresh.
For dinner, I wanted something lean yet refreshing since the all you can eat got me so full that I had to nap afterwards. Pork tenderloin is a cut of meat that is lean yet flavorful when cooked right. It can be dry but when brined for at least an hour, the meat is juicy. I first brine the pork in a salt brine for an hour. It makes a huge difference so make an effort to do do so. I had some fresh basil that I was going to use for a zucchini pesto but I wanted texture and freshness to the pork so I decided to use pesto to cover up with pesto.
- 4 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of sea salt
- 1 tsp of black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 - 3 lb pork tenderloin
- 4 cups of loosely packed basil leaves
- 1/4 cup of walnuts
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, add water, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves,thyme, and garlic cloves and mix well
- Submerge the pork tenderloin and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to 4 hours if desired
- In a food processor, add the basil leaves, garlic, walnuts, and lemon juice and pulse
- Slowly pour in the olive oil pulsing slowly to incorporate and a paste consistency
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit
- Pat the pork dry
- Spread the pesto evenly on the pork, coating evenly
- Place the pork in a greased sheet pan and cook for 40 - 45 minutes or until temperature reaches 145
- Let it rest for 10 minutes to redistribute the juices