Real men can eat healthy: Herb-Rubbed Tenderloin

September 22, 2017

Healthy pork tenderloin recipe from Providence Healthy Living blog

By Kay 'KayMac' MacInnis, Registered Dietitian

I recently went to a health fair to push my nutrition agenda. I took my portion plate with me and tried to spread enlightenment regarding portions, among other things.

It was funny to see the response from the guys when we talked about the proper portion size for meat. The thought of serving a piece of red meat that is about the size and thickness of a deck of cards was not well received.

Most of us want to eat more meat than recommended. But the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends no more 18 ounces of red meat per week. This is about three ounces of cooked meat, about the size of a deck of cards, six times per week, or up to six ounces three times a week. There is strong evidence to suggest that diets high in red meat are linked with increased risk of colorectal cancer.

Choosing lean cuts of beef, pork and veal while avoiding the highly processed meats (sausage, bacon, hot dogs, ham, pepperoni, salami, luncheon meats) is the smart way to go.

Can you see why the guys were making faces? First, we ask them to decrease the portion size, and then we ask them to avoid the cuts of meat they most enjoy!

I know: I’m a killjoy.

Try this recipe for a healthy way to serve lean meat.

Herb-Rubbed Tenderloin


  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
  • 10-15 cranks fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 lbs. pork tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Combine the garlic, oregano, thyme, coriander, rosemary, fresh cracked pepper, and salt in a small bowl.
  • Stir until all dry ingredients are well blended.
  • Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to the herb mixture.
  • Place the pork loin on a baking sheet covered with foil.
  • Rub the oil and herb mix over the entire surface of the pork (including underneath).
  • Place the pork loin on a baking sheet (covered with foil for easy cleanup, if desired).
  • Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
  • Allow the pork loin to rest for ten minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Information: 209 Calories, 9 grams fat, 92 mg. cholesterol, 30 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrate, 221 mg. sodium.


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – a Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.