- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 6, 2006

If you’re trying to lose a few pounds before peak swimsuit season, you’re probably building a repertoire of low-calorie recipes.

Calories, however, aren’t all you have to take into consideration. Satisfaction is important in determining whether you can stick to a weight-loss plan.

If you’re always hungry, bored or yearning for forbidden food, the diet probably is going to fail.

That’s why including pork tenderloin in your menus may be a good idea.

This meat cut is lean and low in calories. A 3.5-ounce serving of roast pork tenderloin has about 165 calories and 5 total grams of fat, which is about the same as a serving of skinless, roasted boneless chicken breast.

Pork’s big selling points are its gutsy taste and meaty texture. You’re getting food you can sink your teeth into, not a meal in which a low calorie count is the only virtue.

Although speed may not be your top consideration, quick-cooking dishes are particularly important when you’re dieting.

When your stomach is grumbling, you don’t want an entree that takes hours to cook so that you have hours to snack.

Many pork tenderloin recipes require 30 minutes or less from start to finish, which is fast enough to prevent a junk-food binge while you’re waiting for dinner.

This stew, which is less than 400 calories a serving, is so delicious and filling, you won’t think of it as diet food.

Pork and tomato stew

1 8- to 9-ounce pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon pepper

½ tablespoon vegetable oil

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup orange juice

2 scallions chopped, green parts only

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 cup cooked brown rice

Place pork in a paper bag with flour, salt, cumin and pepper. Shake well.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add pork in a single layer and brown over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Remove pork and pour off any fat.

Pour tomatoes into skillet and scrape up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer. Return pork to skillet.

Add garlic, orange juice and scallion.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until pork is tender and thoroughly cooked.

Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve over rice.

Makes 2 servings.

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