It took me a long time to believe that eating a salad could be a full meal. People always tend to say "throw some chicken on it" as if that would be enough, but for me it rarely was. This summer, I decided to get creative. My parents eat a lot of salads and I know that lighter meals are something they enjoy.?I seem to be always gravitating towards carbs (both pre-pregnancy and now) so I decided to challenge myself to create a salad that was easy, quick, filling and delicious. In order to do that, I took inspiration from other salads I have had in the past and using a meat you don't often see on salads: pork filet.
Steven loves a good pork tenderloin or filet and we've been using Smithfield marinated pork since we got married. Usually we just bake the meat and serve with some veggies, but for some reason, I was really inspired to try grilling the pork to put?in a salad. Because the pork is marinated in the package, it makes such a quick meal that can be made for dinner with five simple ingredients plus it saves really well for lunch the next day! The summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill and make a meal around it. I love making my own salad dressings and this recipe includes a simple mango and lemon citrus vinaigrette.
I've learned that with salad recipes, it's just as important to cover your bases when it comes to textures as it is when it comes to flavors. Salads are always better when there's a little crunch. Usually croutons bring the crunch to a lot of salads, but there are lots of other crunchy options to add into salads. Adding your favorite kind of nut can be the perfect way to do that!
We tried a local taco restaurant when we first moved to Arizona and had a salad that used a grain in it. Before having that salad, I had never had a salad with any kind of grain in it and never would have thought to add that in (again, not a salad person for most of my life). Adding quinoa to this salad adds tons of great texture but it also helps this to be a filling salad, which is always my fear in eating a salad for a meal! This salad has so much flavor and texture so the fact that it fills me up is just a big bonus!
- Smithfiled Garlic and Herb Pork Filet (1 lb or more)
- 12 ounces lettuce (any mix of your preference)
- 1 cup quinoa cooked (room temperature or cold)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup pecans (or other nut)
- 1 medium mango, peeled and diced
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
For the dressing:
- Combine dressing ingredients in food processor until liquified. Set aside or refrigerate until serving.
- Grill pork loin on medium high heat until internal temperature is at 165 degrees (approximately 12-15 minutes, turning every minute). Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing and serving.
- Combine rest of salad ingredients.
- Toss to combine and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g
I decided to get all of the ingredients for this fun summer salad while I was at Walmart getting ingredients to bake chocolate chip cookies. That late night craving had me shopping pretty late, so it was great to be able to get all of the ingredients in one place. You can save $2.00 on any ONE (1) Smithfield? Marinated Fresh Pork Product? through this digital coupon offer.?(While Supplies Last)
Creating this salad recipe helped me believe that salads can be filling, flavorful and creative! It's perfect for the summer when grilling season is at it's peak!