Make That the Freshman Zero: Healthy Island Pork Tenderloin

Photos: Nathan Davison
Photos: Nathan Davison

You’ve seen how to organize (and maintain!) a workout schedule for your whole crew — no matter how crazy your schedules are — and what kinds of meals and shakes Michelle and her group rely on to stay energized all day long. But when dinnertime comes, how do you resist the Taco Bell drive thru?

With crazy-good recipes like this. Michelle and Sean shared one of their weeknight favorites with us, and we have to say, it’s incredible. This Island Pork Tenderloin is a little spicy without setting your tongue ablaze, and way more flavorful than a grilled chicken breast. You can serve it atop a salad, with rice, quinoa or steamed mixed vegetables. (In fact, you can pair it with just about anything and feel satisfied. Except maybe chocolate pudding. Step away from the chocolate pudding.)

If you try it with salad, Michelle recommends drizzling a little Cumin Vinaigrette on top. To make it, shake all of these ingredients together (serves 2):

  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

We made a few adjustments based on what we had on hand, and we’re thrilled with the results. Oh, and if you try it, be sure to take a pic and include #collegiatecook. With a few simple swaps, we can make that Freshman 15 the Freshman 0! [Cue cheesy, fist-pumping inspirational music here.]


Island Pork Tenderloin
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serve with a salad, mixed vegetables, quinoa or brown rice for an out-of-this-world dinner.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 16 ounces pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Frank's wing sauce
  • 2 - 4 pineapple rings
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Stir salt, pepper, cumin chili powder & cinnamon in a bowl. Coat all sides of pork in powder mix.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork cubes on all sides for about 4 minutes (you're giving it a good sear that will give the meat more flavor and better texture). Add meat to an oven-safe pan.
  4. Stir together brown sugar, garlic and wing sauce until it is thickened and thoroughly combined. Pour the sauce over the cooked meat, coating it entirely.
  5. Using the skillet used to brown the pork, grill pineapple on medium-high heat for 2 minutes per side. Layer pineapple slices on top of the sauced pork. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.


(Pictured with roasted carrots.)

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