I know it’s fall, but these refreshing tacos here will make you feel like it’s still summer. I’m just as much of a fall-food fan as anyone, but sometimes, nothing beats bright and light. These are just that… light refreshing tacos perfect for any time of year or occasion. (Fall is the nicest time of year where I live, so grilling was an option; if you are currently hidden under a blanket of snow or rain, you can easily modfiy this to be made indoors.)
We have tacos a lot around here, but they’re never the same… I always switch up the salsa, garnishes, and fillings. But I have to say… this version may be my most recent fave. The tomatillo salsa adds a tangy brightness, the mango adds a subtle sweetness, and the jicama and purple cabbage are both marinated in lime juice, so they’re ultra refreshing. And the chicken… oh the chicken. It’s marinated in a homemade spiced tomato sauce (though you could use any sauce or spices) that makes it even more scrumptious and tasty.
I typically marinate chicken for tacos in some sort of spicy savory goodness I invent on the spot… ancho chile powder, adobo seasonings, garlic, lime, and whatever else I find in the kitchen that looks good. But these are different… I recently stumbled upon a fellow food blogger’s recipe for a garden tomato sweet and sour tomato barbecue sauce. It’s spiced with loads of goodness and almost Indian-like in flavors with cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, and dried mustard. And most intriguing to me of all… it used two of my favorite kitchen treats- raw honey and coconut aminos. Plus, I had a plethora of tomatoes to use from my garden… so the recipe double-intrigued me. I was dead-set on trying it.
So I first made the tomato marinade… it’s from Happy Healthnut’s site and can be found HERE if you’d like to check it out. Like me, she is a self-proclaimed condiment-queen. So I was pretty positive that her sauce would be a great addition to my grilled chicken tacos.
Along with the tomato marinade, I made a roasted tomatillo salsa. I LOVE tomatillo salsa… it’s so bright and tangy- a perfect balance to anything with spice (recipe HERE). Then I topped it all with some fresh mango, lime-marinated jicama and cabbage, some Greek yogurt, and cilantro. The flavors marry oh so well…
for the tacos…
2 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
1/2 large jicama
1/4 whole purple cabbage (or green)
tomatillo salsa- recipe HERE
tomato marinade- recipe follows
handful fresh cilantro
Greek yogurt or sour cream, optional
grated cheese, optional
3 lbs tomatoes, any variety
1/2 cup raw honey
1/4 coconut aminos (or soy sauce if preferred)
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp chili powder (*see note below)
3 tbsp dried mustard
2tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper, to taste
*Note: I did not have chili powder on hand, so I made my own! See the recipe and how-to HERE!!)
**If you’re making the tomato sauce, plan on needing about 1 hour of prep time prior to making the tacos… if you’re not making the sauce, then jump right to grilling, or use shredded chicken you have left over from another meal!
The tomato sauce uses these two amazing ingredients-
two of my faves in the pantry actually!
(If you can’t find them in stores near you, you can always buy them online…
I was also excited to use a heap of fresh tomatoes… the guys just won’t stop growing!!
If you are not making the tomato sauce, skip ahead…
if you’re using this delicious marinade, then start here
To make the tomato barbecue sauce…
Measure out all of the spices
Roughly chop the tomatoes- in half or thirds is good
Toss them in a blender or food processor
Blend until smooth ands saucy
Pour the sauce into a pot over a medium-high heat
Add all of the spices
Stir well to mix
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low
Simmer for about 45 minutes, until it has reduced and thickened
When done, remove from heat and let cool
Keep some aside as a sauce for the tacos if you’d like…
the rest will be used as a marinade
Once cool, pour the sauce over the chicken breasts and
let marinade while you prepare the remaining ingredients
If you’re making the tomatillo salsa, make that now
For the jicama…
Cut all of the peel off
You can cut it however you want, but I like little julienned strips…
To make them, slice the jicama into thin pieces first
Then slice the opposite direction, to make long little strips
Then place them in a small bowl…
Squeeze a half of lime over them and toss
For the cabbage…
You’ll need just a small quarter or so
Same idea- thin julienned slices are best…
If there are any larger pieces, remove them- the thinner the cabbage,
the lighter your tacos will feel… light is good
Place the cabbage in a small bowl and top with the other half of the lime
You can refrigerate them while you prepare the rest of the taco makings…
they’ll marinate and be extra taste by the time you’re ready to use them!
Now for the chicken… yay, you’re so close to being done!
Set chicken breasts on pre-heated grill
Grill breasts until thoroughly cooked and grill marks have formed
Lay on a plate to rest…
Once cool enough to the touch, shred the chicken with your fingers or forks
Meanwhile, chop up the mango…
Cut all of the peels off
Then cube the mango into small bite-size pieces
Bring out some cilantro and you are just about ready!
Heat tortillas.. over the grill, on the stove-top, or in the oven- whatever you prefer
Ready to assemble!
Top tortillas with chicken
Then some cabbage…
you can see two of these tacos have grated cheese- it’s optional-
the man wanted some cheese, I preferred mine without
Top with jicama
Then give ‘em each a good heap of tomatillo salsa
(you simply can’t have too much of the stuff)
Then top with mango and fresh cilantro leaves
Top with Greek yogurt or sour cream and devour!!