Recipe (and Recovery): Chipotle-Lime Pork Tacos

Yesterday, I spent two hours cleaning and prepping delicious Whole 30 food to enjoy for the entire work week.  By 12:30, I had filled every tupperware bin in my kitchen with tacos, trail mix, steak salad, chicken salad, egg muffins and power balls.  I took a deep breath, marveled in my accomplishment and stepped onto my patio.  This is what I saw:

Who says it’s always rainy here?

SUNSHINE.  No clouds.  Pristine 80-degree weather.  What in God’s good name had I been doing inside – cooking – on a day like this?  I needed to get to the beach.  STAT.  Without hesitation, I hopped into my mom’s car and returned the thing to her before heading to Golden Gardens with Blaze, my brother and a bunch of friends.  After a couple of hours spent basking in the Seattle sun one thing was painfully clear: I was going to take a swan dive off of the Whole 30 wagon.  I could see it as clearly as I could see the light at the end of the graduate school tunnel the day before our graduation ceremony.  Sure, I could have avoided it, but I didn’t want to.  I wanted to roll with the party train and enjoy the sunshine and a delicious meal to boot.  So I did.  I went for the gold.  What would be the point in cheating if I was only going to go half way?  From Golden Gardens, we headed to AQUA by El Gaucho where we were treated to the absolute best seat in the house.  I chowed on steamed clams, pancetta-wrapped prawns and oysters, while the guys enjoyed the same plus crab cakes, crab macaroni and cheese and calamari.  We all had a few cocktails.

It was a glorious evening… until this morning.  The sun has come out this morning as brilliantly as ever and I have a headache that makes me want to shut the blinds.  Today is my Monday and I would love nothing more than to sleep through the whole freaking day.  What. A. Fail.  Today’s workout is my final pre-half marathon run along a 6-mile route that I have dubbed the “Queen Anne Hug.”  I usually enjoy the Hug, but have a distinct feeling that today might not be so fun.  Oh well… you know what they say: if you’re gonna play, you have to pay.  Count $20 deposited into the Bank of Mom for breaking my 30-day promise to remain true to the Whole 30 program.

My hangovers are typically associated with an achingly insatiable appetite.  Back on the Whole 30 wagon, I’ve already had a big breakfast and am really looking forward to lunch (with Dad and Bro!) and dinner this evening.  Spicy foods are a God-send for me when I’m feeling like I do this morning and these tacos will keep me going through the long work night I have ahead of me.

Chipotle-Lime Pork Tacos

Ingredients

2 tsp. coconut oil

1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/4″-1/2″ strips

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/2 red onion, diced

2 chipotle peppers, minced (I used canned chipotles in adobo sauce, leaving the sauce out)

Scant 1/2 c. chicken broth

1 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

3 Tbsp. lime juice

3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

8 butter lettuce leaves (2 per serving, when ready to serve)

2 avocados, sliced (1/2 per serving, when ready to serve)

1 lg. tomato, sliced (couple slices per serving, when ready to serve)

Method:

1) Wash and chop onion, chipotle pepper, green pepper, cilantro and tomatoes

2) Season pork with salt and pepper.

3) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, add coconut oil to pan.  When the oil is hot, add pork and sauté until lightly browned – about 4 minutes.  Remove pork from pan and place in a bowl.

4) Add onion, chipotle pepper and green pepper to hot pan, sautéing until tender, 5-7 minutes.  Add broth and tomatoes, reducing heat to medium-low.  Simmer for a couple minutes, scraping pan to loosen any browned bits.

5) Return pork and any juices to the pan.  Stir in lime juice and simmer until pork is cooked, 7-10 minutes.

6) Remove from heat and top with fresh cilantro, stirring to combine.  Serve wrapped in butter leaves with avocado and tomato slices.

This is my “to-go” dinner for work this week.  To keep tacos crisp, I prepped two containers for this meal: one with butter lettuce, avocado and tomato slices and another with the meat filling.

Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8 tacos

Serves: 4

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