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One pan Pork, Asparagus and Leeks

Ok, the one pan thing can be alright I suppose, with some tweaks. In this recipe I realized that you can make a stir-fry into a sheet pan dinner, and albeit with less caramelization, it works out great. Sheet pan dinners often read dry to me, especially if putting over rice or pasta. Here I make a sauce and add it to the pan with five minutes left in the cooking time. It does what it should, the tapioca starch (or cornstarch) thickening the liquid into a glossy sauce, with just enough to pour over the rice at the end. The basil, leeks and asparagus complement each other well but are definitely helped along by the fish sauce/soy sauce combo – that sweet and salty really balance is really nice. I didn’t taste much spice with 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, and if I was making it for just the adults I would add up to a full teaspoon. This came together quickly enough, and the cooking was all hands-off. Perfect weeknight dinner, naturally free of gluten and dairy.

One Pan Pork, Asparagus and Leeks

Serves 6-8

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, washed well and sliced

2 bunch asparagus, ends snapped, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 tbsp. avocado oil, divided

2 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 2 inch chunks

1/4 c. fish sauce

2 tsp. soy sauce/tamari

5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed


2/3 c. chicken broth

2 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. tapioca or corn starch

juice from 2 limes

1 tsp. crushed red pepper, or more or less to taste

1/4 c. roughly chopped fresh basil

Cooked rice, to serve, if desired

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Combine leeks and asparagus with 1 tbsp. of the oil in a medium mixing bowl and toss to combine. Spread on large rimmed sheet pan.
  2. In now empty bowl, combine meat, fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic and remaining 1 tbsp. avocado oil in medium mixing bowl and toss to coat.
  3. Nestle meat into veggies on sheet pan.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk chicken broth, brown sugar, tapioca, lime juice and pepper.
  5. Remove sheet pan from oven and, after stirring sauce to reconstitute, pour evenly over pan. Return to oven and bake an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil. Serve, over rice if desired.