Despite the long ingredient list, this recipe comes together very quickly once all the chopping and prepping is over. Many of the tasks can be done contemporaneously, such as chopping up pork while the peppers roast.
Now, I love acorn squash and saw an opportunity to toss in some prepped squash I had left over from the day before, but some leftover baked yam or sweet potato would do just as well here.
Pork, Pineapple and Chile Salad with Avocado [printable recipe]
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 2 as a main
- 1/2 pound pork tenderloin or boneless pork chops, cubed
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp rosemary
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 can of diced pineapple, drained (or about 1/3 - 1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, sliced and diced)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 Anaheim chiles
- 1/2 acorn squash, seeded and peeled1
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 large avocado, diced
- 1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
- spinach, large stems removed2 or other lettuce blend
First, mix up the vinaigrette (cilantro through garlic) by whisking the ingredients together in a small bowl. Let it chill in the fridge while you put the rest together.
Broil red bell pepper and anaheim chiles about 4" to 6" inches away from the element for 10 - 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until all sides of the peppers are evenly blackened. Remove and place in a paper bag for 10 minutes. Remove peppers from bag, peel away charred skin and discard. Stem and seed the peppers, then dice the flesh. Set aside.
Peel and seed the acorn squash, cube the flesh and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a teaspoon of honey and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 4 - 5 minutes, until tender. (See notes.)
Toss the pork with its spices (cumin through salt and pepper), then saute over moderate heat in olive oil until nicely browned and cooked through, about 4 - 5 minutes. Set aside.
Combine: pork, squash, diced peppers, diced avocado, diced tomato, diced pineapple, spinach or lettuce, and vinaigrette in a large bowl. Toss well to combine. Serve.
- I'll have a longer post on acorn squash soon, but I do peel the squash before I cook it. I've found it's much easier to do with a paring knife3 than a vegetable peeler, but if you have trouble with that, then do this: Cut the squash into quarters, removing the seeds and stringy bits from the center and place in a microwave-safe dish. Drizzle a little honey over the cut sides, along with some salt and pepper. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes. Peel away the skin or scoop out the flesh, dice and continue with the recipe.
- I purposefully left off the quantity of spinach. Sometimes I like more, sometimes less and who can easily measure cups of spinach? Put however much you want in the bottom of your bowl. And if you don't like spinach, use any kind of salad greens. I'm partial to the Spring Mix myself.
- I blame my newfound ability to peel with a paring knife on my husband and his family who have done it this way for a very long time. I'm not as good as my husband at it, but I'm learning.