Friday, November 1, 2013

Pork Tenderloin and Mexican Quinoa with Honey-Habanero Dressing

Happy November!

I'm here with a grilled meal for you :)

Yeah, yeah, I know. All the other bloggers are serving up chili and soup and I'm over here with my grilled pork and corn salads. In my defense, grills are year-round worthy and some areas never really cool off enough for cold weather food by November.

The weather here in North Carolina got chilly for about a week (I wasn't amused) and then warmed back up. Not as hot as Texas typically is this time of year but definitely not cold. And definitely not chili weather!

This meal is super simple but tastes much more complicated than it is! The fact that you can do most of it in advance is also a plus in my book. The pork is marinated for a couple of hours and then simply grilled. The result is super tender and flavorful! You toss some of the same marinade with a few easy ingredients and create a colorful and delicious quinoa salad that could easily be made in advance and chilled until ready to eat. SO GOOD!

We didn't think there was much heat in this, though I only used half the habanero and I discarded the seeds. It just nicely balanced out the sweetness of the honey. If you're a fan of heat, increase the amount.

Pork Tenderloin & Mexican Quinoa with Honey-Habanero Dressing
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1 (15.5 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 red pepper, diced
3 green onions, diced
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cubed

For the Honey-Habanero Dressing:
1/4 cup honey
6 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 - 1 habanero
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup cilantro
1/3 cup olive oil

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and add it to the pot along with salt. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until tender. Let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, combine the honey, lime juice, vinegar, habanero, cumin, salt, pepper, and cilantro. Run until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil until combined. 

Pour half the dressing over two pork tenderloins in a shallow dish. Lightly cover and place in fridge to marinate for 2 hours.

In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn, pepper, green onion, and cheese cubes. Add the cooked quinoa and part of the remaining dressing. Mix and add more dressing until it's a consistency you prefer. Check for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Chill until ready to serve. 

Grill the pork over medium-low heat until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees, about 20 minutes. Let sit a few minutes before slicing and serving alongside prepared quinoa salad.

Source: slightly adapted from Baked Bree


  1. I have some cooked quinoa I need to use up - I just might have to make this this weekend! Thanks for sharing at Saturday Night Fever - pinning!

    1. Let me know what you thought if you get around to making it - I thought the quinoa + cheese combo was strange... but delicious! Though we are cheese loving fools at our house...


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