Spicy Pork Tostadas with Baby Corn and Peppers:
It’s that time of year when everyone I know wants to lose a few pounds…and it’s also the time of year when we are all making resolutions. Everything from what can we do to improve ourselves to how can we slow down global warming and save the world. What if I told you that there’s an easy way to cut calories and help save the planet. And that it doesn’t mean giving up anything at all. That it might just help you save a bit of money too. Interested? You also get to eat delicious meals like these Spicy Pork Tostadas!
While I follow the 5:2 diet for weight loss and have extremely low-calorie meals on two days of the week while I’m trying to slim down, I’m keen to eat healthy food whether I am dieting or not. For me, that means eating lots of fresh vegetables, pulses and beans, fish and lean meat and a moderate amount of good quality dairy and vegetable fats. I try to include recipes like this one for Spicy Pork Tostadas in my weekly diet because I find spicy dishes help to curb my appetite. I’m not vegetarian or vegan and although I respect those who are, I have no desire to completely give up meat and fish products. But, I’m more than happy to move towards a flexitarian style of eating that will hopefully be ‘greener’ and I have my own plan for how to achieve that.
For 2019 I am aiming to reduce the quantity of meat that I eat and specifically avoid the two types of red meat with the highest carbon footprint (beef and lamb). The problem with these meats is that both sheep and cows are ruminants and produce a large amount of methane gas as they digest the grass they feed on. While there are ways to minimise that (by feeding cows with seaweed for instance, so they produce less methane), it is amazing just how much these animals generally contribute to greenhouse gases. According to the GreenEatz website The carbon footprint of a kilo of lamb is equivalent to that of 91 car miles, while a kilo of chicken is just 16 miles and a kilo of lentils is just 2 car miles. My goal is to be a more considerate consumer while not abandoning the food I love.
Where I do eat beef and lamb it will either be as a treat (a perfectly cooked steak once a month for example) or by adapting the recipes I already use so that the percentage of meat is kept to a minimum. That’s easy enough to do for things like a bolognese sauce, a chilli con carne or a shepherds pie and to a certain extent, it’s what I’ve been doing anyway to reduce calories. If you look at my own recipes for diet chilli con carne and low-calorie spaghetti bolognese, you may notice that the amount of meat per portion is just 50grams. In the case of the bolognese sauce, I’ve included 300g of mushrooms in the mix together with celery, onion, tomato and carrot. And for the chilli, I’ve doubled the weight of red kidney beans and added in three peppers to bulk out the mixture. It’s an easy trick and one I intend to continue with all my recipes in 2019. Of course, it reduces the calories of the overall dish – 100g of mince has around 300 calories, while 100g of mushrooms has just 22 calories! And, I don’t feel in any way deprived of meat treated in this way. Here in this recipe for Spicy Pork Tostadas, I’ve allowed 75g of lean pork per person, but you could add more veg and cut the calories down a little further.
The inspiration for this Spicy Pork Tostadas dish is a recipe from Hello Fresh that works perfectly using my strategy of reducing meat and increasing vegetables. In fact, pork as used in the original Hello Fresh recipe for Mexican Pork Tostadas, has a carbon footprint which is lower than cheese and less than half that of beef and a third that of lamb (equivalent to 28 car miles) so it’s not bad in the first place. Trimmed of fat, pork is also relatively low calorie (120 calories per 100g of lean meat). But, it’s still a lot higher in calories than the veggies originally used by Hello Fresh and those I’ve added (peppers are 20 calories per 100 grams and baby corn 26 calories per 100g). What I’ve done is cut the meat volume by half and added in an extra pepper and some baby corn to the recipe. I’ve also spiced things up a bit by adding some chilli flakes to the meat seasoning. And, I’ve used half-fat creme-fraiche rather than sour cream. My aim was to lower the calories from the 667 calories that the Hello-Fresh box recipe produces to something under 500 calories, while still allowing 2 tostadas each. The extra chilli was simply my own personal taste – I love the smokiness of the paprika but wanted a bit of extra ‘heat’ too.
A low calorie version of smokey pork tostadas from Hello-Fresh, with a little extra chilli, additional vegetables and lean pork tenderloin
- 150 g Pork loin trimmed of all fat
- 1 Red pepper
- 1 Yellow pepper
- 1 Green pepper
- 8 Baby corn
- 2 tsp Rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 Lime
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 50 g Rocket
- 4 Low carb tortillas If available - you can use low carb wraps from the supermarket (between 75 and 130 calories per wrap) or make your own
- 1 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp Chilli flakes optional
- 1 handful Fresh coriander optional
- 1 tbsp Low calorie creme-fraiche
- 1 clove Garlic chopped finely or crushed with a little salt
Pre heat the oven to 190c (fan) or 200c (regular).
Zest the lime and cut in half
Mix the cumin, smoked paprika, chilli flakes and garlic in a medium sized bowl and add half the lime zest.
Trim all the fat from the pork tenderloin and cut into 1cm cubes.
Add the meat to the bowl and mix well with the spices to coat every piece. Cover and put to one side.
Deseed the peppers and cut into thin slices. Cut the baby corn in half lengthways. Spread all the vegetables out on a lined non-stick baking tray, season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Put the peppers and corn in the oven to cook for 15 - 20 minutes until they are cooked and the edges are just starting to char.
Heat the rapeseed/sunflower oil in a large, non-stick skillet. When the oil is really hot, fry the meat for 5-6 minutes turning so that each side is browned and crispy. If necessary cook the meat in batches and keep warm, draining off any excess fat with kitchen paper.
Meanwhile, bake the tortillas in your oven till golden and crispy (5-6 minutes).
Stir the remaining lime zest into the creme fraiche and add a squeeze of lime juice and a little salt and pepper.
Mix the remaining olive oil with lime juice and use to dress the rocket.
Lay out the tortillas and make up by layering first with rocket, then pepper and corn mixture, then meat and finally a teaspoon of creme fraiche. Garnish with finely chopped coriander.
Spicy pork tostadas- healthy Mexican food
Serve this Spicy Pork Tostadas dish with homemade guacamole, more creme-fraiche and spicy tomato salsa.
This is a great example of what I like best about Hello-Fresh recipe boxes. Whether you are short of time but like cooking from scratch, stuck in a rut and need some inspiration to add to your own recipe ideas or simply want to learn to cook, Hello-Fresh makes it easy for you to try new ideas. The boxes contain everything you need, portioned up so that you won’t end up with a jar of a spice you’ll never touch again. And, if you like the recipe, you can order it again – or make it your own and buy the store-cupboard ingredients in bulk on your next supermarket shop. It’s the perfect way to experiment without tears and to learn some new techniques. Since I’m now looking for more pork and chicken recipe, next on my list to try from the Hello-Fresh portfolio is this delicious looking recipe for a Spicy Pork Biryani – sounds delicious doesn’t it, and just the thing for a cold winter’s evening meal.
Meanwhile, if you want to try my version of Spicy Pork Tostadas at home, why not pin this post for later
Disclosure: I have been commissioned by Hello-Fresh to choose one of their recipes and adapt it for the purpose of this blog. All content is editorially given.