Packing Eat: day 2- jars o’ protein roasted pork tenderloin

DSC03973How’s it going? Are you fired up about having a refrigerator fully loaded with whole food meals, made in small batches, in short bursts of time for eating at home or on the go? If not, I need to check your pulse.  I am getting some great feedback about Packing Eat Day 1 and how excited folks are about having a few meals at the ready. They are also sharing some of their own modifications to save time and further enhance their own dietary needs and tastes. Dude! This is exactly as I hoped. Please make all my recipes your own by adjusting spices, ingredients, and portions to suit you and your own Team.

DSC04029Because I made Breakfast Bowls yesterday, I can start my day with a heck of a brekkie, I mean come on, look at those colors. I even made some smaller ones for post workout nutrition, an FYI for those of you who are athletes.  A drizzle of coconut oil on top is great for my weight training days, as I need that extra umph. As an athlete, play around with protein to carb ratios to see what works best for you, and if you need a little healthy fat, go for it.

Now that we’ve eaten a phenomenal breakfast, let’s get started.

DSC03993-001TASK 3: Roast Meat
You can see from this photo that I keep roasted meat in jars (use vessels of choice) at eye level. I rotate roasting whole chickens, various cuts of beef, and pork tenderloins. I’ll get to the chicken and beef another time.  One of the biggest challenges of the Paleo lifestyle is having protein at the ready for active weeknight meals or on the go.  This is why I keep jars of meat loaded up at all times. Also, I am working harder at getting more protein into my Team than pasta dishes.  My oldest, after a CrossFit workout can do a job on these Jars ‘O Protein.  If you are a vegetarian, think about preparing your protein of choice to have available just like us meat heads.

Why Jars ‘O Meat?

1. Sandwiches- these are wonderfully uncured, sugar-free homemade cold cuts.
2. Hot Open Face Sandwiches- on bread for the Non-paleos, or over a bed of roasted spaghetti squash for the paleo heads.
3. Salad Toppers
4. Fajitas
5. Tacos- either crunchy or soft, OR in lettuce leaves.
6. Wraps- lettuce or tortilla.
7. Stir-fries- this makes stir-fries go at the speed of light.
8.  BBQ sandwiches
9. Egg Rolls- either in the normal wrappings or in cabbage leaves for the paleo heads.
10. Any other ideas? Please share.


Step 1: 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2:
Rub 2 one pound pork tenderloins, liberally, on all sides with sea salt, pepper, and dried rosemary and place on a foil-lined pan. Drizzle each with a little olive oil. Other good spices are lemon pepper, or garlic salt.

Note: Do not spend much time prepping your roasts. If you are spending more than 5 minutes with them they will assume you want marriage.  There is a time and place for special rubs, marinades, searing, brining, or whatever other hoopla chefs bloggers would have you do. The goal is to get it done sufficiently while still maintaining an excellent outcome.  Use the fancy stuff for company or Sunday dinner, but then again I would serve this to my company, see top photo.


Step 3:
Place the tenderloins in your oven and roast for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Note that cooking times and oven temps vary, but mine got to temp in 30 minutes. So what are you going to to with those 30 minutes? I like to call this hands off cooking.

DSC04202Step 4:
Cheat.  Here is where I am going to show you a little shortcut I like to take to make the au jus (with it’s own juice)– that wonderfully flavorful broth that comes with fancy restaurant sandwiches by which we call French Dip. Yes it’s usually beef but pork works well too.
As soon as your pork is done roasting pour 2 cups of boiling water over it and seal the foil up around it for 30 minutes. Another 30 minutes? Oh what will you do with yourself? Email, laundry, football, clean kitchen, angry birds…  I love hands off cooking.


Step 5:
Would you look at that gorgeous au jus! That’s all for step five- admiring your work.


Step 6:
Pour the juice into a jar and slice the meat as thinly as possible and place in jars as well. Store in the refrigerator 3-4 days. To reheat, take the amount of meat you would like to eat and simmer it in a little of that au jus until heated through. Or gently microwave. Or grill very quickly.

How we used our Roasted Pork Tenderloin for dinner…


Diner Style Hot Open-Face Sandwiches cooked up for the non-paleos by thickening the au jus with kuzu, a paleo-friendly thickening agent, and simmering the meat in there until warmed through, while Himself and I had our tenderloin over spaghetti squash.


I threw a little of that roasted chicken on there too. No waste. And this is how I feed Paleo Heads and Non Paleos.

You can see that much of roasting this meat is hands off, allowing you to accomplish other tasks or relax, your choice.  Make other fancier and more involved Roasted Pork Tenderloin recipes when you have the time, not for Packing Eat. Packing Eat is about efficient sufficiency, not fancy schmancy. Remember Packing Eat meals are for active weeknight meals or for meals on the go.

Now go forth and roast.

Recap of Packing Eat Day 1,  2, 3 and 4:
Packing Eat Intro: What is Packing Eat?
Task 1: Clean and Organize your fridge
Task 2: Make a Small Batch Meal, choose one of the three I have given you
Lesson 1: Make it look good!
Task 3: Roasted Pork Tenderloin, above
Lesson 2: Why Jars of Meat?  Above
Task 4:Make your side dishes
Task 5: Make Bolognese Sauce and Korean Rice Bowls
Lesson Three: How to Make Small Batch Cooking go Faster

Come back Friday for Day 3 and 4, another Algorithm, this time taking you to Italy and Korea in one pan.

PACK EAT and Nobody gets Hungry


  1. Sharon
    Posted November 20, 2013 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    So, we often refer to CrossFit as “functional fitness.” I think it’s fare to call these meals, “functional foodness.” The jury rests. ~Sharon

    • Robin Sue
      Posted November 20, 2013 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

      Functional Foodness- has a good ring to it:)

  2. Anna in Atlanta
    Posted November 22, 2013 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    So, how do you keep the teenagers from going through an entire pound of the roast pork in one (non-meal) sitting??? Serious Question. My 16-year-old son totally would eat it ALL, and we’d be back to “there’s nothing to eat” in the overflowing refrigerator. Tips welcome. And I do ADORE mason jars. Thanks!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

      Cry a little- that’s what I do:) But be glad they are eating protein for their growing bodies. I roast two at a time. I roast whole chicken or a bunch of drumsticks to have on hand. I point them toward the fruit, they esp. like apples and bananas, cheap enough. It is a never ending cycle, but I do it so that some day when they are on their own they will learn to make healthy food choices. Fingers crossed;)

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