$12 Cooking Challenge: Chef Thiago Silva Whips Up Grilled Pork Loin

Making an effort to eat healthier food is a goal many of us share. Unfortunately like many things that require effort, it’s not always easy to achieve. Not only is it hard to say no to chips, healthy food also comes with a price tag. Moreover, fresh food doesn’t come in a box with instructions, making the task even more daunting.

Lucky for us, decorated chef and winner of Chopped, Chef Thiago Silva is here to share his expertise. If you’re thinking that what’s coming next is going to be expensive or difficult, you are in for a very pleasant surprise.

Although Chef Thiago is more than used to satisfying the expensive taste of stars like Derek Jeter, John Legend, Sophia Vergara, Lady Antebellum and Brook Shields (just to name a few he’s cooked for), we have challenged him to design a delicious $12 meal.

Now, we all know that you can barely get two iced coffees for $12, so how in the world is someone going to make a meal that isn’t mac and cheese with that amount? Apparently by making grilled pork loin with soy coconut glaze, a side of charred brussels sprouts, roasted kabocha squash and fresh apples.

Of course, that sounds delicious. But it does not sound like $12, which is why we asked for a price breakdown:

  • 2 pork loins – $4.50
  • Brussels sprouts – $2.75
  • Apple – .50
  • Kabocha squash – $1.99
  • Onion – .50
  • Ginger – .99
  • Garlic – .50
  • Total = $11.73

Okay so the price might be right, but what kind of impossible culinary witchcraft is he using to make this happen? Check out the recipe below to see how to replicate this delicious meal.

Cook: 45 min
Prep: 20 min
Serves: 1
  • 2Pork loins
  • 1 lbBrussels sprouts
  • 1Apple
  • 1Kabocha squash
  • 1Onion
  • 1Ginger
  • 1 CloveGarlic
  • To tasteSalt
  • To tastePepper
  • Marinade: 12 cupCoconut nectar
  • 14 cupVinegar
  • 12 cupSoy sauce
  • 1 tablespoonSesame oil
  • 1 teaspoonFresh ginger
  • 1Clove of garlic
  • 1. Preheat oven to 425
  • 2. Combine ingredients for the coconut soy marinade in a bowl and whisk until well mixed.
  • 3. Place pork loins and marinade for 15 minutes (1 hour if you have time)
  • 4. Cut squash into rings, toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  • 5. Place squash in oven for 25-30 minutes
  • 6. Cut brussels sprouts in half, place in pan over high heat with 1 tablespoon of canola oil and lay in the pan on the cut side to sear until charred.
  • 7. Cut apples into slices and use to garnish plate.



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