This is our version of a Cafe Rio pork salad. It is NOT the exact Cafe Rio Recipe, but it is our own healthier and easier to make version. Also, it is REALLY YUMMY! We stared making it this year when we moved a 12-hour drive away from the nearest Cafe Rio (I got Zac hooked during the little time he was in Utah last year).
Now, this isn't a health food recipe. Especially the pork, as you will notice, has a lot of fat, sugar, and calories. But this recipe does cut down a lot from the original Cafe Rio recipe, especially in the dressing and rice.
Cafe Rio-Inspired Mexican Pork Salad
In a round tin pan, bake a tortilla sprinkled with cheese. When melted, add beans, cilantro rice, and sweet pork on top of tortilla. Fill tin with chopped red or green leaf lettuce. Top with cheese, sour cream, lime, guacamole, tortilla strips (we use crushed tortilla chips), salsa (see our recipe for fresh salsa) and creamy tomatillo dressing.
One Medium to Large Pork Roast
1 c Coca-cola
1 c red enchilada sauce (ketchup or tomato sauce also works)
1 c light brown sugar
2 tbsps minced garlic
In the morning, rub the pork roast with salt pepper and garlic. Put in a crockpot with the 1c coke and cook 4-5 hours or until cooked through and starts falling apart. At this point, pull pork roast from crockpot to a baking sheet or cutting board. Pour out coke and wash out crockpot. With two forks, shred pork back into crockpot. Add the enchilada sauce and brown sugar to the pork. If you want it sweeter, you can add another 1/2 c. of brown sugar. Mix together and let warm in crockpot for another hour or so.
2 c brown rice
1 smal fistfull (appx. 1/4 c) of chopped fresh cilantro or 2 tbsp dried cilantro
3/4 c green enchilada sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp chili powder
Cook brown rice according to package. When rice is thoroughly cooked, stir in enchilada sauce, cilantro, and spices.
2 cans black beans
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
Heat black beans in a pot on medium heat. Stir in seasonings.
Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
1 c mayonnaise (I recommend using light)
1 c sour cream ( I recommend using light)
1/2 c milk ( I recommend using skim, it works just fine)
1 small fistful (appx. 1/4 c) of chopped fresh cilantro or 2 tbsp dried cilantro
3 seeded jalapeños
1 limes, juice of
1-2 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves
1 packet fat-free original ranch dip mix
Place all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. Refrigerate. You can also replace the cilantro with 1/4 cup of your favorite salsa. Leave seeds in 1 or all of the jalapeños to add spice. Pour over salad as dressing.
I made these salads this week to take to a friend who just had a baby so we got to eat it as well.... and had enough for leftovers. This recipe will make about eight salads. It is also well worth all the trouble it is to make it. It's AMAZING!