This herbed dijon pork loin is a super simple yet impressive meal for guests or a cozy dinner. Pork is covered with dijon mustard and thyme and roasted along with vegetables for knocking out a side dish all at one time. Topped with butter sautéed apples and cabbage, it’s a healthy and gluten free delight.
The Perfect Migraine Diet Christmas Dinner
As I try to move forward this Christmas after an enormous heartbreak, I realize I’m turning to cooking yet again. After a week of being unable to find the strength for the majority of the week, I got back into the kitchen Thursday night with a glass of white wine that never tasted so good. Sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than planning out a dinner that you intend to make for family and friends.
The past few years I’ve made rack of lamb or duck breast with a cherry sauce for Christmas or Christmas eve. The duck is easier to cook than one would expect and I plan on sharing that recipe soon. Another option would be a beef tenderloin like this one. Or if you’re vegetarian, don’t hesitate to try out this Boursin Broccoli Casserole. This year I know at least one of our meals will be this dijon herb pork loin with sautéed apples and cabbage.
Herbed Dijon Pork Loin with Simple Sides
If you’re cooking for a crowd, I strongly recommend this meal. The dijon pork loin is super simple to make, but delicious and elegant. The roasted vegetables are cooked along with it, so you don’t even have to think twice about creating another side dish. The apples are a perfect, sweet and tart compliment to the salty dijon pork loin. And the sautéed cabbage, which I didn’t expect to enjoy at all, ties the whole dish together and takes only ten minutes.
Of course this recipe is inspired by Ina Garten, my mother in law’s cooking idol. When we discussed what meals to make for the crowd at Thanksgiving, this was on her list. I have to say when I first saw it, I wasn’t thrilled. I’m not a huge pork person unless it’s pulled and loaded with BBQ sauce or shoved in some tacos. I’ve also never tried sautéed cabbage, but the idea of it wasn’t something that ever popped in my head as being SUPER delicious. To my surprise, this was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. My MIL originally paired this with applesauce, but I didn’t want to put the extra effort into making it. Sautéed apples loaded with butter (of course), ended up being the perfect compliment.
If you’re having the same thoughts about this recipe, I encourage you to test it out before trying it on Christmas or even New Years Eve. I guarantee it will be a hit with your family. It certainly was with ours.
Which Kosher Salt to Buy
Here’s a tip you may not know. A lot of chefs use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, which is actually far less salty in taste than Morton’s. If you find a recipe is too salty for your taste, this could be the reason why. I recently switched over to Diamond and I prefer it so much more.
And if pork isn’t your thing, check out some of these other meals that are just as special.
Whole30 Dijon Pork Option
For a Whole30 or Paleo option, you can either use ghee or olive oil. With the apples, I would definitely use ghee if you can, it gives them a great depth of flavor!
For more migraine diet holiday recipe ideas, check out these guys!
Buttered apples become the sweet compliment to a savory dijon pork loin that's seasoned with thyme. The roasted vegetables cook along with the pork, allowing for easy clean up.
- 1.5 lb boneless pork loin roast *
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2-3" pieces
- 1 lb fingerling potatoes, cut in half
- 1-2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered (if really large, cut the quarters into halves)
- 4 large shallots, peeled and cut into quarters
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 3 tbsp dijon mustard *
- 1.5 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp kosher salt and pepper
- 1-2 large apples, peeled and chopped into 1/2" pieces *
- 1 tbsp good butter, like Kerrygold
- 1 head of green cabbage (about 16oz), cored and sliced/shredded *
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pull pork out of the fridge. In a 8x12 inch roasting dish (or large enough to allow the veggies to be on a single level), toss chopped vegetables with melted butter and olive oil, plus 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Roast for 25-35 minutes and toss.
Meanwhile, sprinkle pork with kosher salt and pepper. Combine the garlic, dijon, and thyme in a small bowl and spread on top of the pork roast. Nestle the pork roast, dijon side up, in the cooked vegetables and place back in the oven at 425 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until the internal temp of the pork is 145 degrees.
Meanwhile, peel and chop your apples and cabbage. Melt butter in two separate pans over medium heat (or you can use the same one if you'd like and just make one dish after the other). Place chopped apples in the pan and allow them to brown, about 2 minutes, before you toss. Then toss on all sides another 2-3 minutes until softened and nicely caramelized. If using the same pan, melt butter again and saute the cabbage, until slightly browned and soft, about 10-15 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pull out the pork and vegetable roasting pan, cover with tin foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Serve hot.
- There's a difference between tenderloin (long and thin) and pork loin (shorter and fat). A tenderloin would require a different baking time
- For a migraine friendly dijon mustard, Annie's Naturals is widely found, but many local brands can be found without sulfites/wine.
- I used honeycrisp apples for this recipe, but your favorite apple will do.
- You can buy cabbage pre-shredded at Trader Joe's and it makes life a lot easier*
- For a Whole30 option, use ghee or olive oil, but try to use ghee for the apples if possible.