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Interview: Chef Tre Wilcox from Bravo's Top Chef Shares Healthy Pork Recipes Families Will Love

Feature: Chef Tre Wilcox from Bravo’s Top Chef Shares Healthy Pork Recipes Families Will Love

Celebrated TV chef Tre Wilcox is no stranger to creating healthy and appetizing dishes. And with February, being Black History Month and American Heart Month, he is serving up some traditional soul food dishes with a heart-healthy twist. Heart disease, hypertension and obesity are significant health concerns for millions of African Americans. That is why Chef Tre is showing families across the country easy ways to reduce fat, calories, and sodium without sacrificing the rich and savory flavors of soul food favorites — especially those made with pork.

Soulful Side of Pork encourages African American families to reconnect with their heritage and explore soul food in new, healthy and unexpected ways. All pork recipes, featured on PorkBeInspired.com, use leaner cuts of pork that offer a great way to reduce fat, calories, and sodium. Pork tenderloin, in particular, is certified as heart-healthy by the American Heart Association.

“Incorporating lean cuts into everyday soul food dishes is an excellent way to reduce fat, which cannot only help keep our waistline in check, but can also keep our heart healthy. This is especially critical for African Americans, who unfortunately overindex in heart disease, hypertension and obesity,” said Chef Tre.

Chef Tre is best known as the Chef-tainer, founder of TRE Cooking Concepts and a contestant on Season 3 of Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars. As his career took off on Top Chef, Top Chef All-Stars and Iron Chef America, Tre began to expand on his other gift, sharing his passion for food through teaching others how to make delicious dishes at home. He uses T.R.E., an acronym based on his name, as pillars for good cooking: Techniques, Recipes and Execution.

Tre joined me recently to share some of his favorite easy-to-make healthy pork recipes to help celebrate Black History Month and American Heart Month with nutritional dishes that are low in calories and fat, but are full of flavor.

Interview: Chef Tre Wilcox from Bravo’s Top Chef Shares Healthy Pork-Inspired Recipes Families Will Love

Take a look below.

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Sizzling Chili Pork Chops copy

Sizzling Chili Pork Chops

From PorkBeInpired.com

 

INGREDIENTS

6 (4 oz.) boneless loin pork chops, about 1/2-inch thick

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil

1/3 cup orange juice

Water

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

 

COOKING DIRECTIONS

Stir together chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and cumin in small bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle chili mixture evenly on both sides of each pork chop, rubbing mixture into pork.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in cast iron or oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Place pork chops in hot oil to brown, turning once after 3 to 5 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon of oil if needed. Remove skillet from burner and place skillet in preheated oven. Bake pork chops 15 to 20 minutes or until internal temperature on a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F.  Remove chops to serving platter. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes before slicing.

 

Add water to orange juice to measure 3/4 cup.  Return skillet to range top. Stir flour into pan drippings, scrapping any brown bits from bottom of skillet. Gradually stir in combined orange juice and water, cooking over low heat mixtures thickens. Remove from heat and serve with pork chops.

 

SERVES 6

TOTAL COOKING TIME 30 minutes

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Serve with stone-ground grits, simmered greens or fried corn.

 

NOTE: If pork chops release any juices during 3 to 5 minutes standing time, you can stir the pork juices into sauce before serving.

Healthy Pork Recipes

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Jerk Seasoned Pork Tenderloin copyJerk Seasoned Pork Tenderloin

From PorkBeInpired.com

 

INGREDIENTS

1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb. pork tenderloin

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper

2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

 

COOKING DIRECTIONS

Stir together pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, and thyme in small bowl. Blend in remaining ingredients, mixing to form a paste. Place pork tenderloin in resealable plastic bag; pour paste mixture over tenderloin. Press excess air out of bag and seal. Gently roll tenderloin in bag, coating tenderloin with paste mixture. Marinate pork in refrigerator, turning bag over once, 8 to 10 hours or overnight.

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Remove pork tenderloin from marinade; discard marinade.

Place pork tenderloin on baking pan and roast uncovered in preheated oven 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. Roast 20 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature on a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F. Remove from oven; let rest 10 minutes before slicing.  

 

SERVES 6

TOTAL COOKING TIME 30 minutes

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Serve with steamed cabbage, roasted sweet potatoes or sautéed plantains.

 

NOTE: For spicier marinade add a dash or two of red pepper flakes.

Healthy Pork Recipes

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Spicy-Sweet Pork Stir Fry copySpicy-Sweet Pork Stir Fry

From PorkBeInpired.com

 

INGREDIENTS

1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lbs. boneless pork sirloin, cut into ½-inch cubes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper

2 tablespoons bacon drippings or vegetable oil, divided

2 cups frozen corn kernels

1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1 small garlic clove)

2-1/2 cups fresh turnip greens or kale, rinsed and drained, cut into 1/2-inch strips

1/1/2 cups matchstick cut carrots

1/2 medium red onion, cut into wedges (about 1 cup sliced wedges)

1/2 cup sweet chili sauce

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

 

COOKING DIRECTIONS

In large bowl, sprinkle pork sirloin cubes with salt, pepper; mix lightly. Heat 1 tablespoon of drippings or oil in 10 to 12-inch skillet, until hot. Add corn and garlic; cook over medium-high heat stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until kernels begin to brown. Remove corn from skillet and set aside.  Reduce heat.

 

Add remaining tablespoon of drippings or oil to skillet. Add pork cubes, cook and stir over medium-high heat, 3 to 5 minutes until cubes are lightly browned.  Add prepared corn, carrots, greens and onions to skillet, cook and stir 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Reduce heat to low.  Stir in combined sweet chili sauce and vinegar, heat 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

 

SERVES 4-6

TOTAL COOKING TIME 25 minutes

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Serve with brown rice or white rice.

NOTE: Ready-to-use matchstick cut carrots can be found in the produce section of the supermarket.

Healthy Pork Recipes

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To find more healthy pork recipes and cooking tips, visit PorkBeinspired.com. Follow Pork Be inspired on Pinterest,FacebookTwitter and Instagram for delicious healthy pork recipes.

Healthy Pork Recipes

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Meet Our Guest:

image005Tre Wilcox, award-winning chef and television personality, is the owner of TRE Cooking Concepts and co-owner of Julia Pearl Southern Cuisine Restaurant in Plano, Texas. Wilcox is known as the Chef-tainer, and is a former contestant on Season 3 of Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars. He has been named Best Chef by the Dallas Morning News and has been featured in Gourmet, Modern Luxury and Food & Wine magazine. For more details about Wilcox, visit www.trewilcox.com.

Healthy Pork Recipes

Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and Founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

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