This post is sponsored by Imperial Sugar. As always, all opinions and recipe are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who support Shared Appetite!
A healthier option for taco night this week, these Cinnamon Chili Pork Lettuce Wraps with Apple Corn Salsa, Pickled Onions, and Avocado are big on flavor!
This weekend was a doozie. It was Winter Weekend. The annual retreat for our middle school youth group to a camp in PA. For many of the kids, it’s the first time ever going away without their parents. That equals staying up late, eating way too many energy drinks and piles of junk food, and of course… staying in a cabin with middle school boys that prefer not to shower as often as they should. I choked on a permanent cloud of Axe that was in the air throughout the weekend.
Of course, it’s a fantastic opportunity for our middle school kids. No cell phones are allowed, so the only connection they can rely on is actual face-to-face contact. They bond over group games during free time and worshipping together during our large sessions. And something that was really cool. During our last small group session, we had them each stand up one at a time and the group shared encouraging words about each other.
Of course, camp food is less than… well, good. And it’s definitely not good for you. And if there is one thing I need right now, it’s eating healthier. Healthier, though, needs to still have those big flavors I crave. I rely on a few things while trying to shed pounds… lots of spices, avocado, and condiments. These Cinnamon Chili Pork Lettuce Wraps with Apple Corn Salsa, Pickled Onions, and Avocado has all three 🙂
I love me tacos. And my healthier-replacement for taco night are always lettuce wraps. You can fill ’em, roll ’em, and devour ’em sans guilt of all those tortillas.
I love the gentle heat of the cinnamon chili pork. I personally use ancho chili powder, since it’s is pretty mild on heat but big on earthy, smoky flavors. The apple corn salsa and pickled onions bring a ton of fresh, bright, acidic flavor with a little sweet edge to the party. And of course, avocado is avocado. Glorious in every single way 🙂
This, my friends, is my kind of healthy eating. And I’m happy to say… it’s working. So far I’m two weeks into my operation #stopbeingafatty. Goodbye 14 pounds. I have a ways to go still, but at least now I’m headed in the right direction 🙂
You can snag this recipe for Cinnamon Chili Pork Lettuce Wraps over at Dixie Crystals.Print
Cinnamon Chili Pork Lettuce Wraps with Apple Corn Salsa
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
Lighten up weeknight dinner and keep those big, bold flavors we love with these lettuce wraps stuffed with cinnamon chili spiced ground pork, apple corn salsa, avocado and pickled onions.
- 1 1/4 pounds ground pork
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup water
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 heads Bibb or Boston lettuce, leaves separated
- 1 avocado, chopped
- Apple Corn Salsa (recipe below)
- Pickled Onions (recipe below)
Apple Corn Salsa
- 1 large honeycrisp apple, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- Cilantro, finely chopped, to taste
- Kosher salt
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground pork and cook, stirring occasionally and using a spoon to break the meat into crumbles, until cooked through and browned. Season generously with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Add ancho chili powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder and water. Stir to combine, scraping up any flavorful browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, and let cook until sauce thickens to coat the pork. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Top lettuce leaves with a spoonful of cinnamon chili pork and apple corn salsa, a few pieces of chopped avocado and pickled onions, and if desired, a drizzle of sriracha or other hot sauce. Serve immediately.
Apple Corn Salsa
- Combine apple, corn, jalapeno and scallions in a small bowl. Add juice from 1/2 lime and brown sugar. Season with Kosher salt. Let sit for at least 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld, although it can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated. Taste and add more lime juice, if desired. Stir in desired amount of cilantro before serving.
- Combine warm water, vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together until sugar and salt is fully dissolved. Place onion in a jar or bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over onions and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Preferably, cover jar or bowl and place in refrigerator for at least 1 day. Pickled onions will last for a few weeks stored in the refrigerator. Use leftover pickled onions to top tacos, nachos, sandwiches, salads and more!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
Sounds like you had a great deal of fun my friend, good for you!
I’m loving these healthy tacos; seems like SharedAppetite is finally joining the dark side of food blogging (aka healthy eating), and I’m totally digging it!
Hahaha healthy eating is definitely my jam right now! It’s a necessity, really. I’m even, dare I say… exercising on the regular basis!
What a great combo of flavors Chris! Sounds delicious.
Hope you had a fabulous weekend!
Thanks so much Melanie!
I love these “healthier” taco, Chris. The are mouthwatering. Pinning!
Thanks Jen 🙂
I love tacos and over the past two years I’ve realized just how many ways to jazz them up. I can’t wait to try these because they sound perfect and different and delicoius. I hope you have recovered from camp food and Axe bombs!
Hahaha thanks Chrissy! That axe is the worst!
Kevin | keviniscooking
Man these look outstanding and I’m loving that Honeycrisp and corn salsa. #WolfpackEats
Yea man, it’s my first time trying apple salsa and it’s totally legit!
Insanely great flavors, love this!
Thanks buddy! If only I could fit an egg on these…
Tacos for the win! These look absolutely awesome! haha and a cloud of axe – too funny!
Hahaha for the win indeed! …axe is the bane of my existence!
Allie | Baking a Moment
I love the sound of ancho and cinnamon- especially with a little pickled red onion and avocado! Reading about your Winter Weekend brought back so many memories… I used to do a Winter Weekend every year at my church’s camp in Bernville Pa. So much fun!
I’m such a sucker for pickled red onion. Love the punch it brings! Yea, retreats are always a highlight for the youth group kids. I remember mine back in the day… it’s such a strong bonding experience for everyone!
That flavour combination sounds incredible, Chris! Pinning!
Lettuce wraps! I love it. These tacos look delicious, Chris. I gotta say, I’m going to need you to return to being a fatty more often because that leads to #Stopbeingafatty which leads to awesome recipes like this one. The way I see it, it’s for the betterment of society. Or you can call it job research. Either way, two thumbs up for this one…looks awesome! #WolfpackEats #MoreTacos
Hahahaha I’ll always be on a #stopbeingafatty kick, don’t you worry. It’s cyclical. 🙂
15 pounds in two weeks, congrats!
I will definitely be making these for dinner soon. I have every ingredient except for the ripe avocados…just waiting on them 🙂 Thanks for taking the dinner pressure off me this week 😉
Thanks Sandra 🙂
These must be some totally rad middle schoolers – as they seemed to enjoy face to face contact that didn’t involve snapchat!
Loving the heat from the ancho chili powder in the pork and that apple corn salsa I could eat by the bucketload!
Congrats on the 14 lbs lost and more importantly – CONGRATS on crossing over to the healthier side!!!
Hahaha we actually make them leave their cell phones at home, so they have no choice but to interact with each other!
14 pounds in two weeks?! Wow, that’s really admirable. And lettuce wraps save me from eating one two many hamburgers. Great combination of flavors here!
Hahaha, yea, the first couple weeks is always easy for me (I’m an annual dieter lol). Now’s the tough part!
Chris these look INCREDIBLE!!! sooo pinning and making 🙂
Thanks Christine 🙂
Mmmm. I love lettuce wraps, and your Southern take on this dish. I’m going to have to plan to make this for dinner within the week!
Thanks Pamela 🙂 Would taste even better with some lettuce straight from your garden!
Love lettuce wraps or just in general replacing lettuce for tortillas .. I just wish they photographed better ya know! This recipe sound killer Chris, love the cinnamon addition to the meat. Pinned!
Thanks Krista! I love anything rolled up in lettuce or tortillas. Give me!
Congrats on the weight-loss, Chris – that’s pretty impressive, especially if you did it eating treats of dinners like these!
Coincidentally, I had a similar pork-based dish this evening for dinner. Yours sounds incredibe – great idea to use tast y condiments to take your mind off the fact that the fat’s missing!
Thanks Helen! Much appreciated!
I am drooling over these tacos. They look absolutely amazing. You and husband seem to have the same tastebuds, he is going to love these. Pinned
Thanks Kathy! I’m a sucker for anything rolled up in taco form!
I feel like I should just follow you around and eat what you eat because while you’ve shed 14lbs, I’ve put it all on. And I’m not even eating camp food! I love the pairing with apple in these lettuce wraps – I will add this to my list of healthy dinner ideas:)
Hahahaha the first few pounds for me are always easy to shed. Now I’m at a total stand still! I need some more of these lettuce wraps in my life I think!