Pork Tenderloin Carnitas

carnitas-1My husband loves carnitas.  Like LOVES it.  I’m not a huge pork fan unless it’s ribs slathered in BBQ sauce.  I love ribs like he loves carnitas, but sometimes fattier cuts of meat like that don’t sit too well with me.  I prefer my fats elsewhere and usually tend to stick to leaner cuts of meat.  Usually carnitas is made with a pork shoulder, but I opted for the tenderloin to keep it on the leaner side.  I prefer my fats in heavy whipping cream, nuts, nut butters , avocado and the like.  It’s just what works best for me and my needs.  But as always, a lean and clean dish doesn’t always equal boring.  It’s all about the seasoning, the cook and the pairing of accompanying foods.  I’m always doing “weird” things with my meats and experimenting with different combos.  Lately, I’ve just been obsessed with grilling any form of meat and just dumping it over a shit ton chopped romaine lettuce covered with, cauliflower rice and a bed of roasted veggies.  It’s weird, I know.  But for some reason I find it irresistible.  It’s been my go-to all summer long.  Something about the crisp cold lettuce, the warm roasted veggies, some ridiculously good grilled meat and a drizzle of whatever “sauce” suits my mood.

carnitas-2This particular pork carnitas started with a sear in a cast-iron skillet, slow cooked in the crok port and was then finished off in the oven.  I dumped a massive heap of it over my spiced jicama shoestring fries (see my Instagram @kmorlock21) and topped it with homemade pico de gallo and avocado.  Super simple Indian Summer night dinner.  You could eat this obviously as tacos, in a lettuce wraps, over a salad, or just as is with some veggies.  As always, I like versatile meats that can be served in a variety of different ways because I usually make in bulk.  Especially when it comes to crock pot meats.


2 Pounds Pork Tenderloin

1/2 Large Yellow Onion Diced

1 Cup Chicken Broth

Fresh Squeezed Juice of 4 Limes

8 Whole Garlic Cloves

Kosher Salt & Pepper

Onion & Garlic Powder


Chili Powder

Cayenne Pepper

Olive Oil / Nonstick Olive Oil Spray

Fresh Chopped Cilantro to Garnish


Cut Pork Tenderloins into 3-4 large chunks, coat with a light layer of olive oil or non-stick olive oil spray.  Liberally coat tenderloin chunks with all seasonings – I do not really measure my seasonings, but season to my liking and taste.  Just make sure to season heavily.  Press all seasonings into the meat and let sit for a bit (you can do this step the night before and place in a Ziploc bag if you think ahead).

Heat a cast-iron skillet with either a little olive oil or a good coating of non-stick olive oil spray.  Sear all sides of the pork tenderloin chunks until you get a brown crust on the outside.  Set aside.

In the bottom of your crockpot, layer half of the diced onion, the garlic cloves and half of the chicken broth.  Place the pork chunks in the crockpot and cover with the remaining onion and broth.

Cover and cook on low for approximately 4 hours.  Since the pork is lean and was seared in the skillet, be careful no to over cook or it will dry out.  If the pork easily begins to shred, then it is done.

Once the pork is cooked, remove from the crokpot and shred with two forks.  Transfer the shreds to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.  Drizzle a very light layer of olive oil or dust with a coating of nonstick olive oil spray.

Place under the broiler for a few minutes until you see some of the pork begin to crisp.  Again, do not overcook to avoid drying it out.

Return the pork shreds to the crockpot liquid and coat.  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve.

Chicken Artichoke Spaghetti Squash Bake

Pizza Bake.pngI keep saying life is going to slow down a little bit and “get back to normal” but I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon. Summer may technically be over with the close of the Labor Day weekend but it’s still hot as hell here and I’m going to take advantage of all the sunshine I can get.  There’s lots more tanning to be done, margaritas to be drunk and all the grilled meat to be eaten.  But, as always with this time of year, that onset of Fall makes me start to crave those comfort type foods.  Every time I go to Costco, which is basically weekly, I cross my fingers that there’s spaghetti squash again but no such luck.  And a few weeks back this stranger sitting next to me and my husband at the bar at Farmshop forced us to try a piece of his pizza and it was to die for.  I couldn’t tell you the last time I had pizza, and now that’s right up there on my list of food cravings. Continue reading

Not Your Average Salads

BBQ SaladI’ve been on a salad kick lately. Check out my Instagram post a few weeks back to see how to make my absolute weekly favorite: Fajita Salad.  When people think salad, they think boring, but they don’t have to be.  I’m always trying to be creative with food and use ordinary ingredients in different ways.  Yes, your basic salad can get old real quick, but when you find that perfect flavor combination, it can be so satisfying.  That is kind of where I’m at right now.  Loving the warm weather and loving the salads that go with it.  When eating out, people often peruse the salad section of a restaurant menu because they believe it’s the “healthiest” option, however, if you actually were to look at the macro count of a restaurant salad, you’d be blown away.  Often times, the caloric value of a restaurant salad is far worse than other options on the menu.  And, when making a “healthy” salad at home, where most people take a wrong turn is the dressing. Continue reading

Anytime Shredded Pork

Shredded PorkI’ve never  been a pork person but sometimes it’s nice to have another go-to cut of meat that’s lean for weeknight meals.  I’ve been experimenting with pork tenderloin lately and wanted to see how it would do in the slow cooker.  Because it is super lean, I was worried it would taste dried out, but it was anything but.  For my family’s 4th of July get-together earlier this week I tested out this recipe on them and it was a hit.  Some made sandwiches, but most just ate it straight up!  Of all the meats available, including perfectly grilled tri tip, the shredded pork was getting the most love.

This might be a little anti-feminist to say but when men are pleased with my meat cooking recipes, it’s like a total stroke for my ego.  The men in my family might be able to grill, but I’m the master mind behind the flavor combos!  And this one was all me, except it required no grilling, and simply pushing a button.  Minor detail right? Continue reading

Grilled Asian Chicken Thighs & Ginger-Garlic Roasted Veggies

Asian ThighsI only have a few minutes left of my daughter’s nap to get this recipe up for you all so nothing fancy.  Just going to give you the details, however, this particular combination of seasonings for my “rub” is perfect on all types of meat.  I’ve used it for chicken breast, tri-tip and pork tenderloin.  All delicious but there’s just something about the flavor that goes oh so well with perfectly grilled chicken thighs.  Trip tip is my second fave so give that a go too!  Depending on your dietary preferences, serve meat and veggies over a bed of mixed greens topped with rice or cauliflower rice.  Mixed greens are not necessary but adds a little bit extra to your meal. Sautéed green onions as an additional topper absolutely elevates your dish as well! Continue reading

Tri Tip Loaded Fries

Loaded FriesI’m finally feeling like I’m moving on from my whole Crossfit California Regionals experience.  I feel as if my life was put on hold for the last three months and I wasn’t really able to relax and be “normal” because when preparing for something like that, you really can’t be normal.  What your putting your body and mind through is not normal.  Despite the outcome of my performance at Regionals, I am proud that I got myself there, for pushing through some of the most physically demanding training I’ve ever experienced, and being disciplined enough to stick to a way of eating that allowed me to train at the volume that was being expected.  No, my food was not very exciting or creative during the last few months, but that’s ok.  It didn’t need it to be.  I was using food strictly for fuel.  Did I have a day here and there where I ate something “bad”?  Sure.  But I stuck to my flexible eating plan, added in more protein and carbs to sustain the training volume and watched my body composition change in a very short time frame as a result. Continue reading

Authentic White-Girl Fire Roasted Salsa

SalsaReader beware.  You may never want to buy premade salsa again once you make this one.  I’m not even kidding.  It’s authentic, it’s easy and it’s out of control delicious.  When it comes to my recipes, if my husband gives me a compliment then I know I have a winner.  He said it’s better than any salsa he’s ever had in a restaurant.  I’m gonna take that compliment and hang it on the refrigerator with a gold star.  Most of my blog recipes are for meal ideas but salsa is a staple in our house and deserves it’s own blog post.  We easily go through a container in 1-2 days and let me tell you…”good” salsa isn’t cheap.  Every afternoon like clockwork, about 4:30 PM, I hear Steve grab the bag of tortilla chips and open the refrigerator door to grab whatever salsa we have on hand.  While he fills up on pre-dinner chips, I slice up my bell pepper and cucumber and use my veggie sticks as dippers for the salsa.  As much as I love chips and salsa, it’s not part of my daily nutrition.  The salsa, yes, the chips, no.  I save my chip indulgences for the real deal chips at the Mexican restaurant because I can’t resist eating all the pico de gallo when waiting for my lettuce wrapped tacos.  I’ll eat the chips but not the taco shell.  Totally makes sense right?  Actually it does, because when you eat flexibly it’s about choice.  I choose to have chips and wrap my tacos in lettuce because they’re actually super delicious that way.  If I wanted the tortillas, I would opt out of chips for the night.  That’s just the way this thing works.  Always keeping the balance. Continue reading

Knock-Off Puerto Rican Chicken

Sol FoodI still have about a week to go until I find out if I make the NorCal Crossfit Regionals or not. Today the leaderboard was set after video submissions were validated and I officially ended up the 26th fittest female in Northern California.  I am extremely proud of that accomplishment in itself, however, I still am waiting to see how many of the top 25 females that placed ahead of me decide to decline their individual invitation and go team.  I hate to admit it but there has been a lot of social media creeping going on to see who is doing what.  Mostly because I’m dying over here trying to keep my training and nutrition on point while everyone else is riding the post Open derailed train .  Continue reading

Creamy Fruit and Nut Chicken Salad

Chick SaladI love the idea of brunch but I never really know what to have. It confuses me.  It’s like, do I order pancakes with a side of veggies?  Or do I have fruit on the side of my burger?  I’m just not very good at brunch.  When my mom asked what I was bringing to Easter Brunch at my brother and sister-in-law’s new house I really didn’t know what I wanted to make.  I figured I’d be in the mood to make something borderline indulgent because I would have finished my 6th Crossfit Open two days prior and ready to splurge.  My diet and training have been pretty much spot on for the last year, and especially dialed in for the last five weeks after I unintentionally placed 4th in the Northern California region for first workout of the Open.  This might sound a like I’m getting off topic but I promise I will tie it back in at the end.  For the last year, I kind of have been feeling a little lost in my Crossfit life. Continue reading

Asian Roasted Cabbage

CabbageMove over eggplant, cabbage is my newest obsession. It’s one of those vegetables that you really only think of when you hear corned beef but it needs to become part of your veggie rotation!  It’s one of those low carb veggies that takes on that noodle-y type consistency when softened.  I’ve been experimenting with different ways to eat it but this recipe here has those Asian flavors that sometimes we forget to venture into when cooking cleanly.  The ingredients are minimal and the prep is quick which makes it even better.  Pair this with some grilled steak and you’ve got a winning dinner combo.  If you aren’t looking for an ethnic side dish, then all you need for a perfect roasted cabbage dish is olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  I literally could eat a simple roasted cabbage dish every night.  Continue reading