Pork and Kale Tacos with Cherry Cilantro Salsa

I get emails and feedback from time to time saying things like, “I want simple, easy recipes, nothing exotic with easy to get ingredients.”

So what qualifies as exotic and unusual?

As defined by a dictionary, exotic is: Intriguingly unusual or different; excitingly strange.

Funny thing is, quinoa sounded quite exotic to me 6 years ago, but to the Peruvian people this is the most basic ingredient found in their kitchen, like corn meal might be to Mexicans.

Cherries won’t seem so exotic to you if you live in Kelowna, BC, but if you live in Russia you might not have access to that fruit. I don’t really know since I’ve never been there, but I’m guessing the same would be true for kale. I’m sure Kale is not that common in Africa.

Here’s one that Americans might find funny since, after all, Canada and the US are so close. Up until not that long ago, finding corn tortillas in Canada was extremely challenging. To this day, most packages (if you can even find them) are $5.99 for 12 tortillas!

So for any one in the States, corn tortillas are old hat, in Canada however, they are not. We recently found a little Latin grocery store that sold 40 tortillas for $5.99, but it required a hunt. My sister has lived in Edmonton for at least 8 years, if not longer, and only came across them 2 weeks ago. Hunting down corn tortillas to make this recipe might not be realistic for some, but quite ordinary for others.

I can’t know what’s normal for everyone.

So how does a writer of a food blog, that is read by people from 100 different countries (that’s right! 100!) including places like Saudi Arabia, Latvia, Malta Russia, Bermuda, Swaziland, Iceland, Columbia, Peru and the list goes on, design recipes using common ingredients?

One word.

Impossible.

Here’s the next conundrum.

What happens when you take what North Americans would call “normal” ingredients and put them together in an interesting way? Does that make it exotic and unusual?

Probably. So I’m screwed either way.

Long story short. It’s all about perspective.

Now for the bad news….

Are you sitting down?

No really, sit down.

I can’t do normal. It’s just not who I am!  <–Tweet this!

I don’t even know what normal is? Does that mean creating recipes only using vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms and peppers. Maybe I could go a little crazy and include summer squash like zucchini. That doesn’t exactly paint a picture of a very healthy diet. There’s no way all the minerals, vitamins and anti oxidants we require to live a vibrant life can be found in so few things.

I want to celebrate the odd!

I love weird things, odd things, things that get my brain wizzing around.

Besides, I’m kinda odd and I LIKE it!

Let’s celebrate the Saskatoon berries, the Indian eggplants, the oyster mushrooms. Let’s raise a glass to lychee fruit, the kabocha squash, the purple carrots and the white asparagus’ of the world.

Let’s get out of our comfort zones and learn to love new veggies and fruits and with it a more vibrant health.

And just so I don’t get an onslaught of emails, let me clarify that this of course does not mean that those of you following a special diet, whether that be GAPS, paleo, primal and traditional diets can’t have optimal health because the diets might be more limited or specific. I’m just trying to give some perspective on “normality,” embracing things that might be a little different, and being open to trying new things.

Alright, now on to the recipe…

Note: We used 2 Pork Sausages from the Butcher Block, but since not everyone has a Butcher Block, I made the changes in the recipe to reflect that. These are NOT breakfast sausages. I’ve written the recipe so that it is easy to replicate using simply ground pork.

Next to taste, my favoritest (yes, I know that’s not a real word) thing about this recipe is that it has 3 servings of vegetables per serving! If you served it with a side salad or slaw it would easily be 4 or 5! Sweet dealio (also not a real word).

Stretch this even further and add extra veggies by adding beets greens or mustard greens, mushrooms or zucchini.

Pork and Kale Tacos

Serves 2 large portions

  • 225 grams of extra lean ground pork or 1/2 lb (we used 2 pork sausages from the Butcher Block)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • crumbled soft goat cheese, to serve
  • 6″ corn tortillas (I eat 3, Joshua eats 4)

In a large skillet, fry the onion and the pork until mostly cooked through. Drain off any excess fat. Add the chopped kale and stir until the kale is wilted. Cover with a lid, remove from heat and set aside. Prepare the tortillas according to package directions.

Cherry Cilantro Salsa

  • 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted & quartered  (approximately 20 cherries)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp rum (optional but it does make quite the difference)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Remove the stem and pit the cherries using a cherry pitter, or slice the cherry in half and remove the pit. Quarter the cherries and place in a large bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice and rum. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place a couple of spoonfuls of ground pork and kale in the center of the tortilla. Add a small amount of crumbled soft goat cheese and top it with salsa.

Hot Tip: Don’t wear white and use a table cloth that can handle a few stumbling juicy cherries!

 So tell me, what do you love to cook that others think is odd? Leave me a comment letting me know :)

 

I’m sharing this with Mangia Monday, Monday Mania, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, This Chick Cooks, Cast Party Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, The Tasty Alternative, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.

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19 Responses to Pork and Kale Tacos with Cherry Cilantro Salsa

  1. Christine July 22, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    This is dinner tomorrow!  I’m making a huge pork roast today for dinner and I have a bunch of kale I need to use up.  Only thing that will be different from the recipe, is that I will be using shredded pork instead of ground.  Thanks so much for a great sounding recipe!I l love the combination of ingredients…very new and different than the “norm” for tacos.  Well done!

    • beyondthepeel July 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

       Shredded pork would be yummy in these. How did it turn out?

  2. The Cafe Sucre Farine July 23, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    This doesn’t sounds the least bit odd, France, it sounds fantastic! I love how colorful it is!

    • beyondthepeel July 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

       Glad we’re on the same page Chris :)

  3. Koko July 23, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    Screw normal, France!! Who knows what ‘normal’ really is! 

    I love love love the combination of flavours in here, it’s crazy! These sound truly amazing.

    • beyondthepeel July 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

       Amen sister!

  4. Amber H July 23, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    This is right up my alley.  I love the flavor combination.  Sweet and savory – YES!  It’s fun to combine ingredients, France.  You know all about that.  

    Now I’m so hungry and it’s time for bed.  

    • beyondthepeel July 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      “Now I’m so hungry and it’s time for bed.” <— this cracked me up! :)

  5. inspirededibles July 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Cherry cilantro Salsa – oh my, what a unique and delicious idea! (the splash of rum curls my toes – fabulous!)

    http://www.inspirededibles.ca

    • beyondthepeel July 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

       Glad you liked that little touch Kelly. It’s a delightful addition to the salsa.

  6. Joanne July 24, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    It’s so weird that corn tortillas are that expensive in Canada because in the US they are so cheap! Like…a dollar for 12. That salsa sounds amazing. I could just eat a huge bowl of that!

    • France Morissette July 24, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

      Its really quite ridiculous how expensive they are. But it just goes to show, what’s affordable for some isn’t affordable for all.

    • beyondthepeel July 25, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

       I know, it’s crazy right!

  7. Miz Helen July 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    Your Pork and Kale Tacos with Cherry Salsa look wonderful.  I really like the different combinations that are really full of flavor.   Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  8. Debbie @ Easy Natural Food July 27, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    That made me smile :)  Some people just aren’t much good at getting out of their comfort zones, and that’s just who they are. I’m working on challenging myself to constantly try new vegetables and flavor combos, so I totally appreciate the recipes that you create!

  9. Jen July 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Oh my.  That is AWESOME.   Well said. “I can’t do normal.  It’s just not who I am!”  I might add too that eating seasonally has caused me to eat slightly more odd combinations of things as well.  I always love your recipes.  BTW, thinking of doing a spin on your apricot bars that you posted last week.  Do you mind?  I made them and my husband raved about them.  I soaked my oats so I had to change the recipe up a bit for the extra moisture.  It’s only different in that regard. 

    • France Morissette July 27, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

      Hi Jen, I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much. Of course you can do a spin on them if you like. Thank you for asking.

  10. Janna August 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    I just wanted to let you know that I tried this and thought is was GREAT!  The flavor combinations were wonderful.  I really did not even know how it would taste all together.  But like I said, “GREAT” and super easy.  I am going to add this one to my regular recipes.  Thank you!

    • France Morissette August 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

      Hi Janna. Thanks for letting us know. Love the feedback.

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