Pork Tenderloin with Raisin Sauce

Before the holiday baking began on Saturday, we fueled up with a nice lunch starring my Grandma Saar’s recipe for pork tenderloin with raisin sauce.  I was having trouble finding a fresh turkey breast for Friendsgiving and came across a pork tenderloin that caught my eye.  I figured if all else fails, I would prepare it instead of a turkey, but I obviously found the turkey breast and used Dave’s mom’s recipe instead.  Since my parents were coming over, I knew it would be a perfect way to start off the day!

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures while making the pork but here is one from leftovers I ate last night.

The pork is first seasoned with a few simple spices, roasted, and topped off with a sweet, raisin sauce.  The raisins get nice and plump and you can taste a hint of cinnamon in the sauce.  I love the combination of pork and sweet.  Usually I come across recipes for pork with apples, which is also very tasty, but this is a nice alternative to switch things up a bit!

The recipe calls for a pork roast so I adapted the cooking time to accommodate the pork tenderloin.  I inserted a meat thermometer in the thickest section so the tip was touching the center of the meat.  I baked in the oven at 425 for about 30 minutes or until the thermometer read 155 degrees.  After removing from the oven, I let it rest for about 15-20 minutes before my dad sliced it up. He’s the master carver in the family!  He always does such a great job 🙂

Here is the original recipe from my Grandma Saar:

Pork Roast with Raisin Sauce

Pork Roast Ingredients:

4 lb pork roast

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp ground cumin



Mix spices and rub over pork roast.  Place fat side up on rack in shallow pan.  Insert meat thermometer so it’s in the thickest part of meat without touching fat.  Roast at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until 170 degrees on thermometer.


Raisin Sauce Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups apple juice

1 1/2 cups raisins

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp cornstartch

2 tbsp water



Mix first 4 ingredients and heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat and simmer until raisins are plump and tender.  Mix cornstarch and water in a separate bowl and stir into raisin mixture.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir for another minute.  (If the mixture isn’t thick enough, you can add a little bit of cornstarch/water mixture at a time and continue simmering.)  Ladle raisin sauce over pork roast and serve in bowl.


Along with the pork, I served faux mashed potatoes, a.k.a. mashed cauliflower, as pictured above.  I’ve seen this recipe pinned on Pinterest a million times claiming it tastes just like real mashed potatoes.  I was always curious if it was true but never had the courage to actually try it.  Since my parents like to keep their carb intake to a minimum, I seized the moment and made them my guinea pigs.

Verdict?  It was much better than I expected!  It had a very slight cauliflower taste but not as overwhelming as I was anticipating.  The texture was nearly identical to homemade mashed potatoes and my mom and I agreed if it were topped with gravy, you could easily fool someone!

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

Slightly adapted from this EatingWell recipe.



1 bag frozen cauliflower

1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk*

3 tsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter (divided)

1/2 tsp salt

5-6 shakes Garlic Gold Nuggets**

Pinch of pepper, or to taste



Steam frozen cauliflower according to package directions.  Place cooked cauliflower in food processor for about 30 seconds.  Add remaining ingredients, except pepper and 1 tbls butter.  Process until smooth.  Transfer to a dish, sprinkle pepper, drizzle melted 1 tbls butter, and serve.


*I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand, so I used the EatingWell suggestion to mix 1 cup milk with 3 tbls lemon juice.  

**I use these Garlic Gold Nuggets ALL the time, they’re great!  But you can substitute for fresh garlic and add to cauliflower during the steaming process, like the original recipe directions.


I rounded out the meal with roasted brussel sprouts but when I ate leftovers, I opted for kale chips.

Once again, this was new territory for me as I have seen recipes for kale chips all over Pinterest and blogs, but never ventured out.  Probably because kale is scary looking!

Okay, maybe not scary but it’s appearance turns me off, it’s simply unappealing.  BUT thanks to my sister-in-law, Nikki, who encouraged me to try it, I loved it!  It was crispy, salty, cheesy and fun to eat.  The best part is you would never know it was healthy for you… for real!

I followed her suggested recipe for Baked Parmesan Kale Chips from the Skinnytaste website.  I highly recommend it.  Thanks Nikki!

Overall, a highly nutritious and delicious meal.  Guess it pays off to be adventurous 😉


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