Shredded Pork Tacos with Charred Pineapple Salsa

I made these tacos for dinner tonight, I love this meal because it took five minutes to get the pork into the crockpot, 10 minutes hands-on time to make the salsa, and dinner was ready!  Each of my three kids ate thirds of this meal, which was pretty amazing! I will make this over and over again.

Shredded Pork Tacos with Charred Pineapple Salsa

2-3 lb pork loin roast
5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 lime, juiced
1 Tb. canola oil
3/4 c. water

For Serving:
corn tortillas
lime wedges
sour cream

In a small bowl mix together garlic, cumin, sea salt, chili powder, lime juice and oil.  Cover the pork roast with all of the rub and put in the bottom of the crockpot and pour in the water.  Cover the crockpot and cook on low 5-6 hours, shred the pork and mix together well before assembling tacos. To serve put some shredded pork on a warmed corn tortilla and top with sour cream and pineapple salsa.  Serve with a lime wedge.

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Charred Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

This salsa turned out so yummy.  Sweet at first and then the spicy jalapeno hits.  It goes perfectly on the shredded pork tacos I'm going to post later.  This recipe is from one of my dad's favorite restaurants, Salsa Brava, in Flagstaff.  The restaurant was featured on Food Network, and their roasted pineapple habanero salsa was written in the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives book.  I had to try it!  I followed the recipe the first time exactly and it was SO spicy we couldn't eat it!  So, I made a few adjustments and now I've got it down.  

This salsa is more of a typical salsa than what you would compare to other fruit salsas, such as mango salsa.  I think it would go on a regular taco or salad too.

Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa
recipe adapted from Salsa Brava

3-4 fresh jalapenos (depending on how spicy you like it)
5 roma tomatoes, halved
1 large sweet yellow onion
1 16 oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 c. water
1 c. cilantro

Move your oven rack to the top spot and turn on the broiler.  Cut the jalapenos in half and carefully remove the seeds and ribs, being careful not to touch your eyes! Cut the onion in thick slices.  Lay out the jalapeno halves, tomato halves, and onion slices on a cooking sheet and broil the vegetables until they are charring on the edges, flip the veggies over and broil the second side. (I broiled mine 10-12 minutes on the firsts side and only 5 minutes the second side.)

Once the veggies are charred add them with water, cilantro and pineapple into the bowl of your food processor (or blender) and pulse until the veggies and cilantro are chopped.  Season with salt to your liking. Enjoy with tortilla chips or on a taco.
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Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad

I've posted this recipe before, but the photos were not great terrible. And I realized that the recipe wasn't super precise because when I cook I typically throw a bunch of stuff together until it works out.  This time, I very precisely measured everything!  And I think my photography has improved as well...just a bit.

I like to use baked bone-in chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken for my chicken salad, but you can certainly boil your chicken or used canned if you prefer the ease of that.  For these photos I used rotisserie chicken.  The photo above is my "sandwich", the photo below is my skinny husbands sandwich. Tastes great either way! I also like to set it out with some wheat thins or other crackers at a party.

Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad

4 c. chopped, cooked chicken
3 green onions, chopped
1 medium granny smith apple, peeled and chopped small
1/4-1/3 c. dried cranberries, depending on how much you like.  (I used 1/4 c.)
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1 heaping Tb. spicy brown mustard
1/3 c. sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/3 c. mayo
salt & pepper to taste

lettuce, sliced tomatoes, bread and/or crackers for serving.

Mix all ingredients together, taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.  (You can certainly sub seasoned salt, but I like the simplicity of just salt and pepper.) Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

* Note: I have noticed that the Greek yogurt leaves the salad a little bit watery whereas the sour cream thickens it more.  I still use the Greek yogurt :)
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Creamy Southwest Chicken

I seem to have been experiencing Blogger's-block.  If that exists.

Every time I use Blogger, my computer crashes and my husband has to re-install the operating system.  I'm sure it has nothing to do with Blogger itself, but rather that my laptop has some kind of nasty virus that can't be completely undone.  Basically my laptop has spent a lot of quality time as a paper weight lately.  And then once he had it all up and running again, I was out of the Blogging-routine and in the middle of May-sanity (ie: end-of-the-schoolyear-over-commitment).  May-Sanity is over now so I thought I would give it another whirl.

Today I'm bringing you a recipe we really like that is great for summer in HellonEarth the desert because it is all cooked in the crockpot with very little prep!  AND it makes a lot so it's great for a few lunches too.

I found this recipe on ...yah, you guessed it--Pinterest.  Shocking.  I am currently making an attempt to go through my Pinterest account and either make the recipes or crafts I've pinned or get rid of them.  I did adapt this recipe quite a bit to make it more flavorful for us but the base is great!  We like this in whole wheat tortillas, on chips or over rice or quinoa.

Creamy Southwest Chicken
recipe adapted from The Larson Lingo

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
1 8-oz block cream cheese
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Rotel, not drained
2 c. frozen corn kernels (I prefer Trader Joe's super sweet frozen corn)
1 packet taco seasoning mix
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
dash of cayenne pepper
Tortillas, tortilla chips or cooked rice for serving

diced red onion
jalapeno slices
shredded cheddar cheese
hot sauce, taco sauce or salsa

Place the chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Put the block of cream cheese, beans, rotel and corn on top of the chicken and sprinkle the taco seasoning, garlic and cayenne pepper on top of everything.  Cook on low 5-6 hours.  When you're ready to eat stir it well and shred the chicken.  Let the crockpot stand without the lid on for 10-15 minutes before serving and the mixture will thicken up a bit.  Serve as nachos or in a burrito with desired toppings.
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