Chipotle Pork Tacos

Who doesn’t love a taco?

We LOVE tacos in our house.  I try to make healthy versions, but let’s face it…  Browned hamburger usually doesn’t fall into the low calorie category.  As much as I cook with beef I’ve had to cut back on my beef consumption while I’m trying to shed some extra weight.

I found this recipe in an older edition of Cooking Light.  The use of pork tenderloin and sauted vegetables caught my attention.  The other major turn on was the fact that two, loaded tacos was only 300 calories!!!  COME TO MAMA!!!!!

I got all the goods and gave it a try last night.  They were a big hit and SO easy to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 2 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed

3 tsp finely grated lime zest

2 TBSP fresh lime juice

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce

2 tsp minced garlic

1/4 tsp salt

Cooking spray

1 thinly sliced onion

1 thinly sliced bell pepper (any color)

1 TBSP olive oil

8 corn tortillas

chopped cilantro

sour cream

If your tenderloin is in one large piece, cut it in half lengthwise.  Place one half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap.  Pound out to 1/4 inch thickness with a meat mallot.  Repeat with remaining half.  Slice pork in thin strips and place in a large bowl.  Mix together lime zest, juice, oregano, sugar, chipotle pepper, garlic and salt.  Mix and add to the meat. 

Combine until the meat is well covered.  Set aside to marinate.

While the meat is marinating heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Spray with cooking spray and add onions.

Cook until soft, translucent and slightly browned on the edges.  If the pan seems to be getting too dry spray the onions with a bit more cooking spray and toss.  Remove the onions and keep warm.

Add the oil to the pan and add the pork in portions being careful not to over crowd the pan.  Saute until the meat is no longer pink.

While the meat is cooking heat another large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Warm the tortillas according the package directions by warming each side in the DRY pan.

(Try not to burn them, like I clearly did to this one.)

The peppers were an after thought on my part.  I forgot I had bought one and decided more vegetables is never a bad thing.  If you were more prepared than me you could have cooked the peppers at the same time as the onion, but if you’re cooking on a whim, as I obviously was, feel free to toss the peppers into the pan after the meat is done.  There should be enough oil left on the pan to cook the peppers without burning.

Serve everything in the toasted tortillas with beans (see note below), a tad of sour cream and cilantro.

My personal addition and notes: (aside from the peppers)

My family loves beans with their tacos.  And..they’re a great source of fiber and protein so I try to add them when I can.  To make a great mock refried bean add a can of black beans (juices and all) to a sauce pan.  Season with a dash of cumin and salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until the juices have cooked down and the beans have thickened.  They’ll be the consistency of refried beans without the fat!!!  Please note that the above mentioned calorie count does NOT include the addition of the beans or bell peppers.

The original recipe only calls for one pound of meat, but I just don’t think it would go far feeding more than a couple people.  We rely on leftovers in our house for lunches so I opted for the 2 pound version.  I adjusted the recipe to two pounds with the exception of the chipotle peppers.  The original version called for 2 tsp of peppers to one pound of meat.  I used 3 teaspoons and thought it might be a little much if you’re feeding kids.  You could easily cut it back to 1 1/2 to 1 teaspoon and it would be more than enough heat and flavor.

So there you have it my friends.  You can’t go wrong with this recipe.  It’s delicious and oh, so healthy!!!

I’m already thinking about the leftovers on a salad tomorrow night!!!!  Mmmmmm!!!!!

Peace, love and carnitas!!

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