This marinated pork fillet is tender and juicy, the corn couscous is enhanced with additional dried fruit and toasted nuts, and the steamed beans tied with chives balance the intense spices in the sauce.

Managing my high cholesterol doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy herbs and spices, lean proteins, garden fresh vegetables and discover new low GI carbs that add texture to a meal.

We are living in the country, in the southern highlands of NSW Australia, 2 hours from Sydney. This allows my partner and I to dig a simple herb garden and grow a few seasonal vegetables. Each afternoon as the evening meal draws near, I go outside and forage for the freshest seasonal offerings in my little garden, and team them with proteins from the local butchery, some 40 kms away. This means thawing the hero protein from the freezer the night before, so a little planning is required.

If you don’t have fresh herbs, substitute dried from your pantry.

Spiced pork fillet with corn couscous and beans

Fresh herbs and aromatics; lean and tender pork fillet

Spiced pork fillet with corn couscous and beans

Spiced pork fillet with corn couscous and beans

Marinade combined and poured over pork

Spiced pork fillet with corn couscous and beans

Spiced pork fillet with corn couscous and beans

Corn couscous, toasted slivered almonds, dried cranberries and apricots; green beans tied with chives

Spiced pork fillet with corn couscous and beans

INGREDIENTS

Serves 2

1 medium pork fillet

2/3 cup corn couscous

2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted in a dry pan

3 dried apricots, julienned

1 tbsp dried cranberries, chopped

1 handful of long green beans, sliced in half lengthwise

2 chives stalks, long

For the marinade:

1 tbsp Chinese rice wine

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp mulberry molasses (or honey)

1 tbsp soft brown sugar

1 whole dried chilli, chopped into 4 pieces

2cm length of fresh ginger, julienned

1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

1/2 eschallot, finely chopped

1 x fresh orange blossom, or 2 drops of orange flower water

Salt flakes

1/2 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp cornflour

METHOD

Whisk the marinade and pour over the pork in a non reactive container and marinate, turning once or twice, for one hour, longer if desired.

Preheat oven to 200C.

Strain the marinade and reserve the liquid.

Roast the pork for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to the packet. Stir through the dried fruit and nuts and add a squeeze of lemon. Keep warm.

Steam the beans, covered, in a small amount of water. Set aside and keep warm.

Bring the marinade to the boil, together with 1/4 cup of water, in a small nonstick pan and boil for 6-8 minutes on a medium heat until reduced by half. Stir through the cornflour that has been diluted in a tbsp of water and simmer for a minute or so, until thickened.

Rest the roast pork for at least 5 minutes whilst keeping warm with a cover or foil wrap.

To serve, carve the pork into 1.5cm slices. Fill a medium kitchen funnel with the couscous mix, pack tightly and invert onto the plate to create a cone shaped serving. Place the tied beans beside the couscous, place the pork slices and add dollops of the sauce to finish. A slice of lemon to squeeze over the couscous, fresh rosemary flowers on the couscous cone and a few sprigs of fresh mint on the pork finishes your plate.