I thought I would occasionally share not just a good recipe I’ve used successfully, but a whole meal that works together well and tastes great. That way, if you’re looking for a new meal, here’s everything in one spot. I love to cook, but sometimes figuring out meals is painful, especially when you meal plan/shop two weeks at a time like I do. Typically, when I find a good main dish I like, I stick with the same sides every time, varying the vegetables based on what’s on sale/fresh. So here’s the first “It’s What’s for Dinner” post. . .
Once upon a time, I liked Taco Bell well enough. Then, I moved to Rockford, IL and was introduced to real Mexican food, and let me tell you. . . there is no comparison to the real deal. I don’t claim to make legit Mexican food, but these tacos are much closer to the good stuff than those I used to make (and sometimes still do, because they’re kind of in another food “genre.”)
Main dish: Slow cooker pork tacos with corn tortillas
Side dishes: Lime cilantro coleslaw; chips and guacamole/salsa; limes, cilantro, and green onions (optional)
Slow Cooker Pork Tacos
One of my favorite cookbooks is 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous (You can usually find it used for a really good price here!) I use the recipe for her Slow Cooker Shredded Pork and Bean Tacos. I didn’t want to share her recipe here to protect copyright, but I did find a similar recipe on her website: Pork Carnita Tacos. This is very similar to the recipe I follow.
I recommend adding paprika and chili powder to your spices, as well as a jalapeno with the onion to make it taste a little spicier. (I leave out the black beans recommended in the cookbook, because I don’t like the mushy texture of the beans in the slow cooker.) I also do one additional step that I think makes these tacos fabulous! I line a cookie sheet with tin foil and place some or all of the meat on the pan. Then I put it in the oven on broil. You can leave this in as long as you’d like (just watch it!), but everyone in my family loves it when the edges and fat pieces get crispy. I honestly think this is what make this recipe so delicious!
Stovetop option with leftover pork: If you already have pork leftovers from a roast or pulled pork or something, I’ve also frequently followed this incredibly quick and easy recipe for the stovetop: https://www.mrshappyhomemaker.com/pork-tacos/. There is no need to broil this recipe as the meat gets crispy enough in the pan.
Warming corn tortillas: Although you can use either flour or corn tortillas, we like corn for this meal (or you could skip if you’re low-carb). If you heat a nonstick pan, simply place the tortilla in the heated pan and warm on each side for 15-30 seconds (depending on how hot your pan is). Keep an eye on it, or they might burn. Have a tortilla warmer or bowl handy to keep them warm while you heat the others.
Lime and Cilantro Coleslaw
Again, this recipe is from 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous. This recipe was also not on her website, but I found two that were similar on other blogs, one of them being dairy free (which is great for my youngest with dairy allergies.) The coleslaw tastes great on the side, but it is amazing right on top of the taco as well.
This recipe is almost exactly like the one I use: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/cilantro-lime-slaw/. I use sour cream instead of yogurt. When I make it, I mix the lemon juice, honey, and salt ahead of time and take a little of that to mix with a separate amount of coleslaw for my dairy-free daughter. Then I add in the sour cream and mix the rest up for the family. I’ve used both coleslaw mix (easier and faster) and chopped cabbage and carrots (cheaper). Both work great.
If you’re dairy free, this recipe is very similar and would work great as well: https://midwestfoodieblog.com/5-minute-cilantro-lime-slaw/.
Chips & Guacamole/Salsa, Lime, Cilantro, and Green onions
These sides are optional but tasty. We like to put a little bit of guacamole on the tortillas then the coleslaw to hold things together. Then we add the meat topped with freshly squeezed lime juice, cilantro, and green onions.
Guacamole: For every 2 avocados, finely chop about 2-3 Tbsp of onion (or lesser amount of onion powder, to taste) and about 1/2 roma tomato. First, mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher, sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper (to taste), along with about 1 tsp of lemon or lime juice per 2 avocados. Mix thoroughly, then gently fold in tomato and onion. You could also add chopped jalapeno and/or cilantro.