Tender Grilled Tenderloin Tacos with Broccoli Chimichurri Sauce piled onto a raw jicama taco shell and topped with cheddar cheese. The perfect gluten-free taco!
Being willing to try new things is an important part of growing up. At least that’s what I tell my kids. 😉 And, of course, one of the best ways for you to really teach your kids something is to model it for them. So here I am, being a good role model for my five crazy kids by trying something new!
Jicama, tenderloins, and Chopped.
Last month I received an email inviting me to participate in an at home-version of the popular Food Network show, Chopped. I’d never seen the “real” show, but my kids love the junior version clips on youtube. And, of course, I love food, so my husband encouraged me to participate.
Now, for those of you who don’t know me, not only am I a hermit-ish introvert, I’m also super uncompetitive. Just about as uncompetitive as you can get. So competitions don’t really get a rise out of me. But again… I love food.
So I signed up.
The ‘hidden basket’ ingredients for this round were grilled pork tenderloin, broccoli, grape tomatoes, and Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar Cheese. After much contemplation I settled on turning the broccoli into a chimichurri sauce, and making some tasty tacos to go with it.
As someone who suffers with multiple food intolerances, food cleanliness is high on my list of importance. So I was a little nervous using a prepackaged shredded cheese. But after checking the bag of Sargento cheddar, I was happily surprised. No wheat or corn was used! In fact, Sargento is cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese.
Now, before we get into the recipe, a little disclaimer: before this pork tenderloin, I’d never grilled anything in my life. And the last time my hubby tried to grill for me he almost burned down the condo home we were renting. So grilled anything has been off the menu for… the last 6 years.
But, in the spirit of ‘trying new things’ I borrowed my friend’s grill and went about finding the basket ingredients. Which brings me to two other things that are new for me: pork, and jicama.
Yeah… that’s right. I didn’t know what a pork tenderloin was. Haha. The only pork I’ve ever really made is bacon. But my mom helped me buy a good looking tenderloin, and per my friend’s suggestion, I marinated it overnight with some cilantro, cumin, and evoo. ‘Cause those go pretty well with just about everything. 😉
Now, since I can’t do wheat or corn tortillas, and gluten-free ones can be sort-of a pain to keep from breaking apart when filled, I decided to use jicama for the taco shells!
Jicama, or “Mexican water chestnut,” is a delicious root veggie high in fiber, vitamins C, E, and B6, folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, thiamin, and the minerals magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese. They’re soft – making them perfect for taco shells – and taste sorta like a cross between an apple, a pear, and a raw potato.
Like potatoes, jicama is super high in carbs, but their fiber is full of oligofructose inulin, which surprisingly has absolutely no calories and enhances your body’s absorption of calcium from other foods! Pretty neat, eh?
Turns out, grilling pork isn’t so hard. And while slicing jicama can be a little tricky, it is SO DELICIOUS. Seriously, the combo of the grilled and marinated pork with the broccoli chimichurri, Sargento cheddar cheese, and tomatoes on jicama… my family and I were in love.
If you’re a fan of food and Chopped, I’d love it if you’d vote for my Grilled Tenderloin Tacos with Broccoli Chimichurri Sauce!
- 1 small pork tenderloin
- 1/4 c. evoo
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. pepper
- 1/2 t. cumin
- 1/2 c. chopped cilantro, divided
- 10 oz. chopped grape tomatoes
- 1 jicama, thinly sliced, for the taco shells
- Broccoli Chimichurri Sauce (recipe below)
- 1/4 head of cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
- sour cream
- Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar
- In a bag or bowl, combine the tenderloin, evoo, salt, pepper, cumin, and 1/4 cup of the chopped cilantro. Let marinate overnight, or for at least a few hours.
- Preheat one side of your grill to high (mine was about 500°). Sear the tenderloin for about 5 minutes on each side over the high flames. After searing, turn those high flames to low, move the tenderloin to the side of the grill that isn't lit, cover it with foil (shiny side up!), and close the lid until cooked through (internal temp of 145°) - about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your tenderloin. Let tenderloin rest for 5 minutes. Slice the tenderloin into 1/2-inch chunks.
- Chop tomatoes and mix with the remaining cilantro.
- Layer broccoli chimichurri, sour cream, shredded cabbage, tomatoes, and meat on jicama shells. Top with generous amount of Sargento Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar Cheese!
Instant hit! My husband raved about this sauce and started eating it on more than just his taco!
- 3 c. broccoli florets
- 1 c. fresh parsley
- 1 T. dried oregano
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 1/4 c. mayonnaise (I used my homemade mayo - find the recipe here)
- 2 T. white vinegar
- 2 T. freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 1/2 t. salt
- Place all ingredients in a blender (I used my wonderful Blendtec) and puree until smooth.
- Store in fridge.
- Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
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