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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ground Chicken Tacos w/ Mango Salsa

Tacos, Mango Salsa and Avocado Lime Sauce
Yeah, I forgot to take a pic before the first few bites. LOL. Please forgive me! 

Confession: This is what we had as our Easter dinner this year.  I know, not your traditional ham and mashed potatoes dinner ...but it was really nice to have a light healthy dinner today. Especially after all of the Easter candy we've been consuming almost all week. These may not look like much, but all of flavors in this taco compliment each other so well. They were such a hit that my husband ate 4 of them (which he admitted was the most tacos he's ever eaten in one sitting.)

Ok, first off I would like to admit that my main reason for this post is to show off the Avocado Lime Sauce that I made for these tacos. I was so impressed with myself, I thought I should share the recipe with you all.

Second, I almost would've made these tacos with shrimp instead if we had some on hand. If you decide that's what you'd rather do, I will include a note at the bottom on how to prepare the shrimp best to go with the rest of the ingredients in the tacos. Although, honestly, the ground chicken was still great!

I suggest that you start off with making the salsa. You can even make it hours to a day ahead. The longer it sits, the more the flavors will develop and come together.

Mango Salsa:
1 ripe mango, diced
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 tbsp red or white onion, finely diced
2 tbsp cilantro
juice of 1/2 lime
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 Jalapeño (optional and you can adjust according to how spicy you want it)

Next, prepare the Avocado Lime sauce. Once prepared, place in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.

Sorry, I totally failed at capturing the glory of this delicious sauce. 

Avocado Lime Sauce (for tacos):
1 1/2 ripe avocado
4 tbsp Greek yogurt
juice of 1/2 juicy lime
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 pinch sea salt
1 very small clove garlic or 1/2 of a reg clove
1/2 Jalapeño (optional and you can adjust according to how spicy you want it)

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. I used our Bullet blender.

Taco Meat:

1/2-3/4 lb ground chicken breast (or turkey if you can't find ground chicken)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp onion, finely diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 pinch each cayenne pepper and ground black pepper
*you can also use taco seasoning from the store*

Drizzle enough olive oil to coat bottom of saute pan.  On med-low heat, saute onions and garlic until soft. Once softened, turn the heat up to med-high and add in the ground chicken. Immediately add seasonings to the chicken. Don't stir right away because you want to brown the chicken. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and browned. You may want to test a piece once it is cooked through to make sure the seasoning is right. (I suggest you do this with just about everything you cook/prepare.)

As for the taco shells, I used flour tortillas and baked the shells over the rack in the oven.  Just fold the tortilla over one or two of the grates on your oven rack and then turn your oven on to 350 degrees. Bake 8-12 minutes, depending on how crispy you want them.

To assemble, spread avocado sauce on taco shell, then layer meat, shredded cheese (jack, pepper jack, or Cotija would be great) and mango salsa.

Enjoy these easy but flavorful tacos!

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Here are a few ideas that you can also use the Avocado Lime sauce for:
  • Use as an enchilada sauce- you will need to double or triple the recipe, depending on how many you are serving. You are welcome to thin the sauce a bit with some milk or water if you feel necessary. *I may be making these soon and will be sure to show them off when I do*
  • Use as a salad dressing for a taco salad- thin out the dressing by adding 1 tbsp water/milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. 
  • Serve as is for dipping tortilla chips into

Citrus Shrimp:
Makes 8 tacos

24 raw, peeled and deveined shrimp

1/4 cup fresh OJ or good quality OJ (I prefer Costco's OJ)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 pinch salt 
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Marinate the shrimp in a Ziploc bag for up to 1 hour, making sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible.

Drizzle enough olive oil in a large saute pan to coat the bottom evenly.  Heat your pan to med-high heat and saute shrimp. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan.  You will want to cook each side 2-3 minutes until pink.

Serve 3 shrimp per taco.