Cinco de Mayo is less than a week away and I’m feeling the vibe. The sun is shining, spring is in the air, and we have an excellent excuse to eat Mexican food and drink margaritas.
Mexican food doesn’t always have to be heavy, cheesy, and high in fat and calories. Sometimes it’s nice to lighten it up and this is a great way to do it. A mango avocado salsa adds a ton of freshness and flavor to an otherwise basic chicken taco. These tacos are quick and easy, fresh and flavorful and far less guilt provoking than typical Mexican fare. Except, you’ll want to eat five – try not to eat five.
The grocery list – A mango, a couple of Roma type tomatoes, avocado, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, fresh lime, sea salt, vegetable oil, chicken breasts, taco seasoning mix, black beans, and corn tortillas
You will also want to have some sour cream, cheese, and shredded cabbage on hand
You can make this salsa in nothing flat. Just dice up the mango, tomato, red onion, cilantro, avocado, and jalapeno and place them in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of a lime over the top, add a little salt and toss it all together.
Just a few notes on some of the ingredients…
Have you discovered the joy of these lovely, golden yellow mangos yet? They are called Ataulfo mangos and I’ve also seen them labeled at the store as Champagne mangos. Ever since we discovered these babies, we anxiously await mango season each year. The flesh is super sweet and not fibrous at all like the flesh of the red mango. We are totally and completely hooked.
If you remove all of the seeds and membranes from the inside of the jalapeno, you will have no heat at all. I recommend leaving some behind, depending on your taste. I left about half of what is here. A little heat is good in this salsa to balance out the sweetness of the fruit.
Here’s a quick tip for a clean and easy way to dice an avocado. Cut it in half and remove the pit. Hold one of the halves in the palm of your hand and using a sharp knife, carefully (no emergency room visits please!) slice the flesh lengthwise and crosswise, give it a little squeeze, and then use the knife or a spoon to scoop the pieces out from the shell and into your bowl. Works like a charm!
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator while we work on the tacos.
A funny thing happens when I slice into a mango. No matter where he is, or what he’s doing, Bruno appears at my feet. It’s like he has some kind of mango radar.
Who can resist this face? He’s crazy about mango. Okay, off to wash my hands.
It’s time to get the tacos going. Drain off most of the liquid from the black beans and place them in a small saucepan over medium heat. When they are nice and warm, turn down the heat and let them simmer while preparing the chicken.
Cut the chicken up into bite sized pieces.
Coat a large pan with vegetable oil and place over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the taco seasoning and continue to cook and stir until chicken is cooked through, another 3 or 4 minutes. I always use my own taco seasoning mix (find recipe here) that I keep in a small mason jar in my pantry at all times. You can sub the store bought, packaged variety if you like but the homemade mixture is good stuff!
Time to assemble your tacos. Warm a corn tortilla in the microwave for 25 seconds, and layer away! Beans, chicken, shredded cheese, shredded cabbage, some mango avocado salsa, and a little sour cream.
Add a little extra salsa on the side and serve it up with tortilla chips.
And, since Cinco De Mayo is on a Saturday night this year, how about a cerveza or two; or did I hear someone say tequila? Oh, that’s right, I think it was me.
Chicken Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa
Ingredients:For the salsa:
- 1 mango, peeled and chopped
- 2 Roma type tomatoes, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded as desired and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 fresh lime
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the tacos:
- Vegetable oil
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
- Corn tortillas
- Light or regular sour cream
- Shredded cheddar/jack cheese blend
- Shredded green cabbage
Prepare the salsa by mixing together the mango, avocado, tomato, red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a small bowl. Mix to combine. Squeeze the juice from the lime over the mixture, add the salt, and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate while preparing tacos.
Place black beans in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat through. Turn heat down to low and simmer until ready to assemble tacos.
Coat the bottom of a large saute pan with vegetable oil. Place over medium high heat. When oil is hot, carefully add chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally until almost no pink remains. Add taco seasoning and continue to cook and stir until no pink remains. Remove from heat.
To assemble tacos, warm a corn tortilla for about 25 seconds in the microwave, top with a small amount of black beans and chicken. Top with some of the mango salsa, sour cream, cheese, and cabbage.