Thursday, October 13, 2011

Football Party Taco Bar

It's no secret my husband and I LOVE Mexican food.  It typically makes a weekly appearance in our dinners, we frequent the best Mexican restaurant in our area, and we visit the country on a yearly basis to get our fix.  So, of course, it's a staple in our tailgate menus as well.

A taco bar is a great idea for your next football party, especially if you're the host.  Simmer the meat in the slow cooker all day, chop up the toppings ahead of time, and then let your guests assemble it themselves so you won't miss a single play!  Plus, the freshness of the ingredients provide a ton of flavor AND health benefits.  

I decided to switch things up this week and go with pork tacos.  Since it's a leaner cut, I used a pork tenderloin.  It was approximately one pound which could serve about 4 people (maybe even less if you love Mexican as much as we do).  You can buy taco seasoning at the store to save time, however I made my own to cut down on the sodium content.

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup chicken stock, low sodium
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Combine all spices and whisk with olive oil.  Coat pork tenderloin in the oil/spice mixture.  Brown the meat on all sides, then place in slow cooker.  Add chicken stock to the skillet to deglaze the pan.  Be sure to scrape up any brown bits for added flavor.  Then pour chicken stock into slow cooker with pork (I also added whatever oil/spice mixture was left to the slow cooker).  Cook on low for 6 hours or until meat easily pulls apart.  You can shred the meat and easily serve it right from the slow cooker. 

I cut the tenderloin into two pieces so it would fit in my slow cooker more easily.

The toppings are the fun part!  Get creative with your choices and prepare them ahead of time so they are ready to go when your guests are hungry.  I served with (clockwise starting at the top left) shredded lettuce, lime wedges, chopped avocado, fat free sour cream,  jalapenos, chopped green onion, diced red onion, diced tomatoes, low-fat shredded cheese, and chopped cilantro.

Heat up some whole wheat tortillas when you're ready to serve.


My husband said these were some of my best and insists that avocado is now non-negotiable for every future taco night.  Can't argue with that.

Penn State is now 5-1, still doesn't have a starting QB (Team McGloin!), and there's rumors swirling of Urban Meyer as the successor to JoePa.  Should be an interesting season!

We are...PENN STATE!

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