This Puerto Rican chef encourages pork-based healthy meals

Doreen Colondres wants to change how people view their meals. According to the Puerto Rican chef, all it takes is a commitment to spend 20…

Pork has a bad reputation but can be a health form of protein. (Shutterstock)

Doreen Colondres wants to change how people view their meals. According to the Puerto Rican chef, all it takes is a commitment to spend 20 minutes in the kitchen a day for a person to change their overall health and that of their family.

The key to success is how people think about food. According to Colondres, just because processed food is fast and convenient doesn’t mean fresh food isn’t.

SEE ALSO: Smoked pork loin recipe and corn salad

There are plenty of ways to cook healthy, flavorful meals with healthy ingredients without committing to hours in the kitchen.

“That’s my brand, that’s my mission basically. I want to convince people to spend more time in the kitchen instead of buying processed foods or going out to eat. Just 20 minutes a day. We are what we eat,” she told Latin Post in an exclusive interview. “As long as we control what we are eating, we can be healthier. I want to convince people that it’s easy, it’s a therapy, and that it’s something that we have to share with people, with our families and with our kids.”

As a Latina who grew up influenced by traditional family meals, one of Colondres favorite ingredients is pork.

“I am a Latina, I grew up eating pork. I am from Puerto Rico.  I think pretty much all Latinos like pork. We think of our grandparents’ and our parents’ recipes. In every country, you have it. It’s kind of emotional for me and it’s been a perfect marriage for me,” she explained. “I just want people to get inspired with those Grandma recipes and those flavors from our countries. For me, it’s a great opportunity to show others creative and flavorful ideas for cooking at home.”

Pork isn’t always on people’s radar when it comes to healthy meals, but according to experts at the Food Network, there are some reasons to consider adding pork into a healthy meal routine.

Pork chops are quick and easy to make

Pork chops are an easy meal that can be made in less than 20 minutes. (Shutterstock)

Sometimes referred to as the “other white meat,” lean cuts of pork are high in protein, low in fat and have more B-vitamins than many other meats. Lean cuts of pork often contain fewer calories than the same portions of chicken.

Unfortunately, because many processed foods are pork-based and bacon is a pork product, the protein has a notoriously bad reputation.

Pork meals are also a great opportunity for adults to get in the single serving of wine a day for heat health. “Spanish wine will always be amazing with pork,” said Colondres. “A Rioja is amazing with pork. … With any kind of pork recipe — with sauce, or with no sauce. People are more into wine, Latinos are more into the wine. I love wine, so it’s great. Wine is a perfect pairing with pork.”

Red wine in moderation is thought to be part of a heart-healthy diet. According to research, red wine contains a number of antioxidants which can help lower cholesterol and protect blood vessels from degeneration.

just twenty minutes in the kitchen can serve up some healthy, pork-inspired meals, including:

Chipotle orange-glazed pork chops


2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded chipotle with 1/2 teaspoon adobo

4 (3/4-inch thick) center cut pork loin chops (about 8 ounces each)

1/2 teaspoons salt

SEE ALSO: Smoked pulled pork tacos with salsa recipe


Combine the maple syrup, orange juice concentrate and chipotle.

Preheat grill pan. Sprinkle both sides of the chops with salt.

Brush 1 side of chops generously with glaze.

Place on grill pan glaze side down.

Brush other side with glaze.

Cook 3 to 4 minutes per side over medium-high heat