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Pumpkin Spice Tacos!

Pumpkin-Spice-Tacos_0001It started as a joke, but it’s not a bad meal! Pumpkin Spice Tacos are a real thing at our house now.

Let it be noted that I am not a fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I love my pumpkin pie, though. In fact, it’s creamy filling with all those pumpkin spices is my favorite! But please don’t put fruits or vegetables in my lattes. No PSL’s for me. I don’t march in that parade. I’m more of a Salted Caramel Mocha girl if I’m going to jazz up my espresso. With real caramel sauce, not that flavoring. Just sayin’. 

A photo floated through my Facebook feed a couple weeks ago, showing a bar’s reader board saying, “Pumpkin Spice Tacos are Here! Just Kidding. Drink Tequila.” 

A PSL-loving friend of mine commented that even she thought that might be going to far. At first I agreed and had a good laugh. It’s a funny sign! But then memories of various recipes that combined black beans, pork, and either sweet potatoes or butternut squash came to mind and I wondered…

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I wondered how it would actually taste if I put seasoned pork tidbits, black beans, and some cilantro-flavored slaw in a tortilla with some pumpkin spice seasoned squash cubes. 

So I made Pumpkin Spice Tacos. We ate them. And you know what? Pumpkin Spice Tacos have a place in the world! 

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This was my first attempt at Pumpkin Spice Tacos, so I’d do some tweaking with the add-ins, but as far as the pumpkin spice seasoned squash cubes? Nailed it first time! YUM! 

If you make Pumpkin Spice Tacos, you might like to add some queso fresco or other cheese of your choice. You might want some thin-sliced red onion in your cabbage slaw. You could use a sugar (pie) pumpkin, or you could use butternut squash as I did. I intentionally chose not to add any dairy (sour cream) or avocado because I wanted the spices to steal the show. But you can toss anything you imagine into your Pumpkin Spice Tacos, of course.

 

Pumpkin Spice Tacos
Pumpkin-spiced butternut squash cubes add a fantastic fall flavor to small pork and black bean tacos.
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Slaw
  1. 1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, sliced thinly, 3 - 4 cups
  2. juice of half a lime (or more)
  3. 1/3 c. chopped cilantro leaf
  4. salt to taste
Pork
  1. 1 lb -- 1.25 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2" to 3/4" cubes
  2. 1 cup chopped onion
  3. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  4. salt and pepper
Squash
  1. 4 cups diced butternut squash, 1/2" cubes
  2. 2 Tbsp. oil
  3. 1 Tbsp sugar plus the following three spices, or 2 tsp. your favorite pumpkin pie spice blend...
  4. 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  6. 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Additional Ingredients
  1. Cooked black beans
  2. 6" corn tortillas
  3. Additional chopped cilantro
  4. Optional: whatever else you wish to add to your tacos
Make the Slaw
  1. Cut cabbage strips crosswise into shorter lengths. Mix with lime juice, cilantro, and a generous sprinkling of salt. Toss well and set aside in the refrigerator.
Make the Squash
  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Toss squash cubes with oil to evenly distribute. Sprinkle half of the combined sugar and spices over cubes and toss to distribute. Add the remainder of the spice mixture and toss until cubes are evenly covered.
  2. Roast squash in a single layer on non-stick foil or greased baking sheet for 15-25 minutes at 450F until soft.
Make the Pork
  1. While squash is roasting, saute half the onion and garlic in a large skillet until onion is translucent. Add half the pork and cook until starting to brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and keep warm while cooking the second half of ingredients the same way.
Finish
  1. Heat the cooked black beans and the corn tortillas.
  2. Assemble tacos with beans, pork cubes, pumpkin-spice squash cubes, and slaw. Garnish with additional cilantro and any desired condiments.
Notes
  1. I'm thinking this would be good as a salad bowl -- slaw on the bottom and ingredients over the top!
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Enjoy some Pumpkin Spice Tacos, even if you’re not a PSL fan! 

Gail

 

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