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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lettuce Wrap Carnitas

I owe my husband for this one. We were rushing all around one morning and both trying to get out the door for a very long day away from home. We were on our usual broken sleep pattern the previous night thanks to one of our little men that thinks sleeping is overrated. I was on my second cup of coffee and praying for mental clarity as I walked into the door jam for the second time that morning. Then I saw it... the pork tenderloin I had defrosting from last night. I just stared at it. I wasn't going to be home in time to prepare a pork tenderloin unless we planned on eating dinner at 10pm. That's when hubby noticed me... catatonic... staring... at a pork loin. I was already overwhelmed and the day hadn't even started. He came over to me, threw his arm around my shoulder and said, "Why don't you just stick it in the crock pot."

This is why I married him.

I had a few minutes before I had to bolt out the door. I've never cooked a tenderloin in the crockpot. It seems a little sacrilegious to cook such a quality piece of meat that way. But I was desperate and it was a great suggestion.

Dinner that night was a surprising hit. The pork came out moist and tasty. I dressed it up nicely into tacos. It could not have been any easier!

What you'll need:

1 pork tenderloin (this would work with chicken or meat too)
juice of 2 limes
1 T chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chicken broth (low sodium, gluten free)
1/2 a purple onion
1 green bell pepper
1 head of butter lettuce (or lettuce you can make into taco shells)
store bought pico de gallo (or make your own)
store bought guacamole (or make your own)

What you do:

Kiss your husband for being brilliant and saving dinner. Get out your 'ol faithful crockpot. Put the chicken broth in, the lime juice and the two bay leaves. In a small bowl mix up all the spices. Coat the pork with the spices and give it a little massage. Lay the pork in the crockpot and turn it on low. Cover and forget it. It should be done in five to six hours so hopefully you have a crockpot with an automatic timer. If you don't has them with free shipping. They are worth every penny. If you have time in the morning you can dice up the purple onion and green pepper. If not it's easy to do in the evening. Saute the onion and pepper together until crisp/tender.

When you return home you will be greeted with a wonderful aroma. It's a great feeling to know that dinner is almost ready and you don't have to put much effort into the finishing touches. Shred the pork. Get out the lettuce and put a few leaves on everyone's plate. Top with some meat, sauteed veggies, pico de gallo, and guacamole. If the kids don't like the idea of a lettuce wrap you can easily serve this in a bowl and add anything else they may like to it.


p.s. For my non-southwest natvies; Pico de Gallo is a fresh salsa made with tomato, onion, jalapeƱo, cilantro and lime. If you can't find it sub it with some high quality jarred salsa.


  1. SOOOOO Good, Stephanie ;-} Thanks for sharing ;-}

  2. I made this last night as one of my first paleo meals. Used a fruit salsa and some orange and yellow bell peppers with guac. It was soo good.

  3. Mmmmm.... fruit salsa! What were the ingredients??? I must know!