Taco Salad with Smoked Pork & Mango

This is a little embarrassing but this is how bare our refrigerator was tonight.  BTW, our refrigerator NEVER EVER looks this clean.  It just so happens my youngest and I cleaned it out yesterday so by the time we threw out most of what was in it, this is all that was left. Pretty, huh?  It seemed to warrant a quick picture to remember that for a moment it was organized and clean.  I repeat it NEVER EVER looks like this – ha! so don’t feel bad when you go to look at your own refrigerator (this is not our typical reality)!

refrigerator (1 of 1)

With this little amount of food in the frig, we didn’t have much choice for dinner tonight so we went with a typical standby – Taco Salad – modified a bit.

taco salad with mango and jalapeno and pork (2 of 3)

We have come up with pretty much every variation of Taco Salad in our household.  In the cookbook, we shared a basic Taco Salad recipe (see below) and I thought since I was making a different variation for dinner tonight (from what remained in the frig) that I would share it with all of you.

My husband has taken up smoking various kinds of meat lately so we have a stash of smoked pork shoulder in the freezer.  It was surprisingly hot in Colorado today so I couldn’t bear turning on the oven so had to fall back on a quick and easy meal tonight.  (If anyone would like my husband’s recipe for Smoked Pork just let me know.  I am happy to share.  The best part is that it makes so much that you can use it in so many different things.)

Taco Salad with Smoked Pork and Mango

1-2 cups of pre-cooked Smoked Pork or Pulled Chicken  (can, of course, substitute with 1 lb. of cooked Ground Beef)
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1+ Tbsp. Chili Powder (I rarely measure chili powder- I go by the taste more than anything)
2 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Oregano, dried
1 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Coriander
1-2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

1/4 cup of water

1-2 Heads Romaine Lettuce, chopped

1 Yellow Bell Pepper, finely diced

1 Orange Bell Pepper, finely diced

1 Ripe Mango, diced

1 Fresh Jalapeno, split in half, deseeded and diced (The heat of the jalapeno comes primarily from the seeds so if you want extra spice leave a few seeds when chopping.

1 Pint of Cherry Tomatoes
1 Ripe Avocado, chopped
1 cup Frozen Corn (thawed)
½ cup of Pepper Jack Cheese, diced
Fresh Cilantro, for garnish


taco salad with mango and jalapeno and pork (3 of 3)

Heat pork, chicken or beef with garlic and spices in large pan over medium heat.  Add in water and stir to combine until meat is heated all the way through.  Reduce heat to simmer and prep rest of salad.

Add lettuce to a large bowl and then layer on all of the remaining ingredients (bell peppers, mango, jalapeno, tomatoes, avocado, corn and cheese).  Top with seasoned meat and sprinkle with cilantro.  Serve with your favorite dressing.  Hope you enjoy this quick and easy meal!  This is really what we are having for dinner tonight and our refrigerator has only looked like the pic twice in its lifetime (when we got it and tonight)!



P.S.  Here is the original recipe from the cookbook.


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