A healthier, leaner verson of Pork Carnitas is served with garnishes to taste. NASHOBA VALLEY VOICE/DIANNE BORDONARO
A healthier, leaner verson of Pork Carnitas is served with garnishes to taste. NASHOBA VALLEY VOICE/DIANNE BORDONARO

Liven up your fiesta with a healthier, leaner version of Pork Carnitas that uses pork tenderloin as it's main ingredient, half the calories than a fatty cut such as the butt or shoulder. Slow-cooked in lime and orange juices, BBQ sauce and seasonings that make tender, juicy carnitas, quick and easy to assemble.

Go heavy with a variety of clean toppings to choose from, such as sliced radish and scallions, avocado, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Keep it light with a sprinkling of cheese or a small drizzle of sour cream.

An annual celebration of music, folkloric dancing and food, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's victory over the French forces of Napoleon III on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.

Make a batch of margaritas, put on some festive music and get into the spirit (spring has arrived) while you prepare delicious, guilt-free carnitas! Double the recipe and let the celebration continue all week long! Happy Fiesta!

PORK TENDERLOIN CARNITAS

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 lb. all natural, hormone-free pork tenderloin

1 Tsp cumin

1 Tsp oregano

1/2 Tsp chili powder

1/2 Tsp onion powder

Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large clove garlic, smashed

1/2 cup Dinosaur®Bar-B-Que sauce

1/2 cup orange juice

Juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tbsp)

1 1/2 cups spring water

Garnish:

3-4 scallions, sliced thinly

3 - 4 radish, sliced thinly

2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

Sliced avocado

Feta cheese

Sour cream

Finely shredded light cheddar cheese

Lime wedges

Flour or corn tortillas

PREPARATION

Rub tenderloin with dry spices --cumin, oregano, chili and onion powders, a pinch of salt and a good amount of cracked pepper.


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Place in slow cooker (crock pot); add garlic. Drizzle with BBQ sauce (I am partial to Dinosaur® Bar-B-Que Sauce with it's 'fresh from the pit glaze' taste that does not overpower) Add orange and lime juices, water, and cook covered on LOW for at least 6 - 7 hours until pork is cooked through and easily pulls apart. Turn tenderloin several times while cooking.

Prepare toppings for carnitas and set out in bowls. Prepare margaritas!

Transfer tenderloin to a cutting board and shred, using two forks. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set the slow cooker onto WARM setting, return shredded tenderloin back into slow cooker, with juices until ready to assemble.

Warm tortillas -- wrap loosely in a foil tent and warm for 5 - 6 minutes. Set tortillas on a serving platter and fill with shredded pork tenderloin. Serve with toppings of choice.

Store leftover pork along with juice, covered in refrigerator, for a quick weeknight dinner -- pulled pork sandwiches!