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Make these Citrus Soy Pork Tenderloin using the leanest cut of pork marinated in a citrus soy marinade made with Mazola® Corn Oil.
My recipe for Citrus Soy Pork Tenderloin is a lighter option for the grilling season. It starts with the leanest cut of pork bathed in a richly flavorful marinade made with orange and lemon zest, reduced-sodium soy sauce, a good deal of spices, and Mazola® Corn Oil. One of the many reasons I chose Mazola Corn Oil for this recipe is because of its neutral flavor and because it’s a heart-healthy* fat. *See Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health. In fact, a clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com.
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Tips for Making Recipes Healthier
There are innumerable ways to make better-for-you choices for recipes, but here are a few swaps I try to employ most often.
- Use more produce and less meat. Whenever possible, reduce the meat in a recipe by ¼ pound or more and add fresh veggies. This works particularly well with ground meats.
- Choose healthier fats. Swap out soil fat, which most likely has trans-fats, for liquid fats.
- Use alternative cooking methods to frying. Instead of deep-frying foods, you can oven bake or use an air fryer.
- Try healthier grains. Use white whole wheat flour in place of all-purpose white flour.
- Go for natural sugars when possible. Date sugar, honey, and agave are natural sweeteners that can be used in lieu of processed sugar.
- Drain the natural fat from cooked meats. Pouring off the excess fat from meat after cooking and before adding more ingredients reduces fat intake.
- Make your own seasoning blends. Make a spice blend according to your desire using a small amount of kosher salt and bind them together using a grinder. This will concentrate the flavors for even distribution within recipes.
Mazola Corn Oil as a Healthier Option
Since adding lighter recipe options to my family’s diet, I wanted to include new types of fats that promoted heart health amongst other benefits. I like that corn oil can be used to lighten up my baking, grilling, and sautéing. I was surprised to learn that with cholesterol-blocking plant sterols, Mazola Corn Oil is a heart-healthy* choice for salad dressings and marinades. *See Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health. Not only that, it has a neutral flavor that doesn’t compete with my flavor profile and it has a higher smoke point of 450 degrees F. The higher smoke point makes a difference not only to the taste of the food but the nutritional value as well.
Making Citrus Soy Pork Tenderloin Kabobs
By making simple swaps, I’ve been able to make this recipe a little healthier by using a lean cut of pork instead of a fattier cut like pork shoulder. I also used lower-sodium soy sauce in the marinade and reduced the salt in the seasoning rather than the high salt sauces.
Step 1- Prep
The first step is to prep the meat and veggies. Cut them into pieces about 1-2” in size. I’m using wooden skewers, so I’ll use this time to soak them according to package directions. This recipe will make 12 kabobs using 9 ¾” skewers.
Instead of using a zester, I cut thin slices of the peel, trying to avoid getting the bitter white part. Then to my grinder, I blend together the orange zest, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Pulse until a little oil is released from the citrus rind and the spices are unified. The consistency should resemble a crumb topping almost.
Next, I'll whisk together the corn oil, orange juice, soy sauce, and honey and set it aside.
Step 2- Marinade
The next step is to season the tenderloin with the spices. This is a very important step because it will help to attach flavor to the meat. I like to massage the spices into the flesh so that it penetrates and sticks even after the liquid is introduced.
Once the pork is properly seasoned, pour the marinade over it and allow it to soak in for 2 hours. I don't recommend marinating overnight since citrus juice can make some meats tough, but I promise if you stay within the 2-hour range, you will not have that problem.
Step 3- Making Kabobs
Assemble the kabobs in the pattern of meat, veggies, fruit, and repeat. Each kabob should have at least three pieces of pork. Discard the marinade.
Step 4- Grilling
To cook the kabobs, you have a couple of grilling options. Outdoor gas, charcoal, or stovetop griddle pan will work. Don’t have any of those? Broiling is an option, as well! I’ve provided broil instructions in the recipe card below.
Looking for Lighter Recipes? Try One of These!
Citrus Soy Pork Tenderloin Kabobs
- 1 lb pork tenderloin cut into 36 pieces
- 1 white onion cut into 24 pieces
- 1 red pepper cut into 24 pieces
- 1 green pepper cut into 24 pieces
- 1 navel orange cut into 24 pieces with rind
- ½ c corn oil
- ½ c orange juice
- ¼ c low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp orange zest ½ the peel of an orange
- 1 tbsp lemon zest peel of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt season to taste
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 12 wooden skewers treated according to package directions
- Place the cut pork into a large dish or bowl.
- Grind together the orange zest, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper using a grinder or food processor and sprinkle it over the pork pieces evenly. Massage it into the meat to coat well then set it aside.
- Whisk the corn oil, orange juice, soy sauce, and honey together in a medium measuring cup. Pour the mixture over the seasoned meat. Be sure the marinade get between all of the meat by mixing it around gently. Cover the dish and store in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Remove a tenderloin piece from the marinade to begin assembling the kabobs. Starting one piece of meat, followed by one pieces of onion and peppers, finishing with one piece of orange. Repeat for the length of the skewer. It should be at least 3 pieces of pork per kabob.
- To grill, brush each kabob with a little corn oil if using; place kabobs on a preheated grilling surface of you choice. Grill on all sides until thermometer reads 145 degrees about 11-14 minutes.
Don’t have a grill?
- Set the oven to broil. Place the kabobs on a grated broiler pan. Cook the kabobs with the oven door crack about 1-2” to maintain constant heat. Rotate kabobs halfway through cooking; about 6-7 minutes per side. Thermometer should read 145 degrees when done.