This Nov. 28, 2011 photo shows German pork stew in Concord, N.H. Once the pork in this recipe is tender, it gets shredded for a pulled pork effect. [Matthew Mead/AP]

Matthew Mead/AP

It's winter. It's cold. You want something hearty. But you're also trying to eat better and don't want to ruin your diet by diving into a cream-laden casserole.

A lean stew is just the thing you need. Instead of being heavy, it's hearty with virtuous veggies, lean protein and warm seasonings. We start with a pork tenderloin, sear it for maximum flavor, then simmer it in a flavorful broth. Once the pork is tender, we shred it for a pulled pork effect, then add in filling and nutritious vegetables.

Sweet potatoes load on the fiber and vitamin A, while cabbage packs yet more fiber, as well as vitamins. By the time you throw in the leeks, onion and celery, you've got a super healthy and satisfying stew. To top the whole thing off, we add a dollop of calcium-rich yogurt topping inspired by thousand island dressing to add a little touch of tangy creaminess.

GERMAN PORK STEW

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 6

1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 leeks, white parts only, sliced

2 teaspoons caraway seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed

1/4 teaspoon celery seeds

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Zest and juice of 1 orange

1 quart low-sodium chicken broth

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage

2 stalks celery, diced

Salt, to taste

1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek-style yogurt

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

Chopped fresh dill, to garnish

1. Cut the tenderloin into slices 1 1/2 inches thick. In a bowl, toss the sliced pork with the olive oil.

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high. Add the pork and brown, about two to three minutes per side. It does not need to cook through. Add the onion and leek and continue to cook until the vegetables soften and begin to brown, about five to six minutes.

3. Add the caraway seeds, fennel seeds, celery seeds, mustard, black pepper, orange zest, orange juice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the pork is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. When the pork is tender, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the liquid. Using two forks, shred the pork to bite-size chunks, then return it to the pot. Add the sweet potato, cabbage and celery. Continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Season with salt.

5. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, ketchup and relish. Serve the stew topped with a dollop of the yogurt mixture and a sprinkling of fresh dill.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 180 calories; 25 calories from fat (14 percent of total calories); 3 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 50 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 20 g protein; 3 g fiber; 280 mg sodium.

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