Cheesy Kale and Bacon Pork Tenderloin + Mashed Potatoes
I love the simplicity of summer....it seems that grilling, fruit and fresh veggies are always on the menu and I don't know if this is true or not, but it really does feel like hosting friends for dinner is just easier, slower and more relaxed.
I don't have school-aged kiddos yet, but the fall definitely brings a whole new measure of busyness into our lives. It's back to a routine for sure with the start of leadership opportunities for Jordan and I in our church, and all around more responsibility. Plus, not to mention, the more pregnant I become, the less I want to be on my feet making dinner!
I yearn for the lazy meals of summer when fall approaches, and want to keep the spirit of summer happening around our table even with limited time for cooking. If you know me at all, you know I get giddy about new seasonal produce. One of our favorites is kale, which is perfect for this pregnant mama who needs to get as much dark leafy greens into her diet as she can ;)
Seeking to feed my family simply, I turned to Walmart and picked up this super simple, already marinated pork from Smithfield. Hello, cutting out the marinating step is genius. From the moment I opened the package to the time it was finished baking, my house smelled AMAZING, like savory garlicy cheesy goodness. And bonus, this recipe calls for just a few main ingredients, so you can still enjoy a seasonal meal with your friends, without all the work.
For the pork:
- 12 ounce package of bacon (divided in half)
- 1 Smithfield Peppecorn & Garlic Pork Tenerloin
- 8 ounce bag of shredded mozarella cheese (divided in half)
- 2 cups kale
- salt and pepper to taste
For the potatoes:
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- reserved cheese
- reserved bacon
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large skillet, fry up all of your bacon on medium high heat. I like to cut the strips in half to fit more inside the pan at one time. When they are nice and crispy on both sides, remove from the pan and place on paper towels to soak up any excess grease.
Preheat oven to 425 F
Remove half the bacon grease from the pan to use in future cooking and add kale to the pan, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and cook down until the kale is wilted. Once the kale has cooked, remove it from the heat.
When the bacon has cooled, chop all of it up into small pieces. You will use half the bacon in the pork, and half in the mashed potatoes, so reserve the portion for the potatoes in a small bowl.
Remove the pork tenderloin from the package and use a sharp knife to slice it 3/4 of the way through horizontally. Layer bacon, half the bag of shredded cheese, and cooked kale into the sliced pork. Use bakers twine to secure the pork closed.
Place the pork tenderloin on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.
While the pork is baking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel and quarter your potatoes and add to the pot. Boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes, until they are tender enough for a knife to pierce through them. Once cooked, turn off the heat and drain off the water, keeping the potatoes in the same pot. Add the other half of the shredded cheese, the reserved half of the chopped bacon, butter, milk, pepper and salt. Mash everything together and cover the pot with a lid until you are ready to serve.
This meal is definitely going in our fall rotation. My husband and I loved it, and I know you will too!
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