Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

Cuban Pulled Pork Salad
Sonja_For The Pleasure Of Eating

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Lots of crunchy nutritious veggies, some made into a slaw, charred corn and marinated, fried zucchini, quick marinated beets, orange slices and crunchy hazelnuts make this Cuban Pulled Pork Salad a super healthy feast in its own right. I’m using part of the Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Shoulder from the day before, as a fantastic way to use up leftovers and speed up your meal prep. The Salad is brought together by a zingy Cuban inspired Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime, using similar ingredients to the pulled pork marinade, to complement the flavours.

Why You Want to Make This

Nutrition

Nutritionists would probably frown upon the pork shoulder, but the fact that we are using it more like a salad topping than main part means, you get your protein from it. All while feeding your body with lots of other nutrients including fibre and vitamins from the large selection of veggies I’m using here. Cuban Pulled Pork Salad Ingredients

5-a-day in one bowl

Well…7-8 rather really. I love using seasonal veg and end of summer is an amazing time for that. Though most of them you’d get in winter too. Red and white cabbage, carrots and fennel make a super flavourful coleslaw when mixed with the Hazelnut-Orange-Lime-Dressing. You could add onions and apple too if you’d like a little more sweetness. I often do. Charred sweetcorn and zucchini add interest and sweet crunch. Did I mention I love sweetness in my salads? Also, when I see fresh sweetcorn on the cob, I can absolutely never resist. It’s just too good. Super quick marinated beets lend earthiness and even more sweetness. The greens are provided by some Romaine lettuce. I’m topping the whole thing with sliced oranges and crunchy toasted hazelnuts, bringing all the flavours together, matching the dressing and Pork.

What about carbs?

Since I was planning already the tacos for the next day, I decided to make fresh sourdough whole wheat tortillas, which I had adapted from this and just use them as a side to the Cuban Pulled Pork Salad. The recipe is the same I used for my Healthy Chicken Tacos. If you don’t feel like making your own (I won’t judge) you could use any store bought tortillas or even just bread on the side. Or just skip the carbs, as the salad is super filling on its own.

The Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime Ingredients I’m using soaked hazelnuts here, which I then throw into my Nutribullet. You could use other nuts too. Cashews or Almonds make an even creamier dressing. The hazelnuts don’t get as creamy, but I loved the favour they added and due to the crunch from the coleslaw, the remaining texture in the dressing wasn’t really noticeable. If you don’t have a blender, you could just use any nut butter and add a bit more water. The flavour will change depending on what nuts you are using. Tahini would work too here. The nuts are blended with water, orange and lime zest and juice, cilantro and garlic, sweetened with a bit op maple syrup. This mimics the Cuban marinade I used for the pork and adds incredible flavour. It’s also much healthier than an oil based dressing, as your body gets fibre and healthy fats from it, it can readily use. I’m using very little of the Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime on this Cuban Pulled Pork Salad, which gets mostly mixed into the coleslaw, as I found the other ingredients have so much flavour when eaten together, more dressing was just not needed. And if I can save calories without compromising on enjoyment, I sure will. If you leave out the salt, this dressing would be Nutritarian.

Variations

The fact that I’m using a lot of veggies here doesn’t mean you have to use them all. I just absolutely love the variety and my body is thanking me for it. But if you don’t like some of them or simply want less work, just leave out what you don’t want. Make it your own. And let me know what you changed. I’m very curious.

The Process

Tortillas

If you are making your own tortillas to serve with the Cuban Pulled Pork Salad, start by making the dough. Just mix all the ingredients and knead (I used a stand mixer) until you have a smooth dough. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I made mine the evening before, to let the flavours develop and the sourdough do its thing over night. Once ready to fry, divide into about 12 pieces and roll them out thinly, while stacking between sheets of cling film or baking parchment. Pre-heat a pan to medium high heat (no oil) and fry your tortillas until bubbly and golden. This should take about 30 seconds on the first side. If yours fries much faster or slower, adjust the heat. Flip and fry for another 30-40 seconds. Keep them stacked on a plate, wrapped into a towel and topped by another plate. The moisture and heat will keep them soft and pliable while you prepare them all. Meal prep wise, I found these are ok re-warmed briefly in the microwave. But you could also keep them raw in the fridge between clingfilm and fry fresh when needed. They keep for about 3 days. After that the edges get a bit dry. You can also freeze the dough balls, to have a quick and delicious side whenever you like.

Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

For the Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime, use: ½ cup hazelnuts. Soaked for 1h in hot water or overnight in cold. Drained. ¼ cup water, 1 Orange, zest, and juice, 2 limes, zest, and juice, 2 tbsp fresh cilantro and/or oregano, 1 clove of garlic, minced, 2 tbsp maple syrup, Salt and pepper to taste. Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime Process If you are using pre-soaked nuts, add all dressing ingredients to a high speed blender (to get creamy dressing from nuts, it does have to be high speed. Nutribullet is a really good and affordable choice) and blend until creamy. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. The coleslaw needs a lot of seasoning, so go with a bit more than you’d think when tasting. Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime

Zucchini

For the Zucchini, mix 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, zest and juice of 1/2 orange, chopped oregano (or dried) and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add the zucchini slices to a container with tight fitting lid or a freezer bag and pour the marinade over. Close lid or bag and shake, to cover the slices with the marinade. Put to one side while you prepare the rest. When you have everything else prepared, heat a pan on medium high (I used cast iron, but any pan will do). Once hot, add the zucchini slices in one layer. You will have to do this in batches, so they get nice and brown and don’t just steam. Let them fry until brown on the edges, maybe even a little charred. Turn, let them fry for another few minutes, so both sides have some colour. These are lovely cold or warm.

Coleslaw

I use the slicing blade of my food processor, to make quick work of the red and white cabbage and the fennel. The switch to the grater for the carrot. If you don’t have one, thinly slice and grate by hand. In a big bowl, mix all of the above with ¾ of the Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime and massage with your hands, so the cabbage breaks down a bit and absorbs all the flavour. Stick in the fridge to marry the flavours while you prepare the rest. This is even better the next day, so great for meal prep.

Sweetcorn

Rub the corn cobs with a little olive oil. Either use the same pan as you used for the zucchinis. Heat to fairly high heat, add to the pan. Let the corn cobs fry, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Let them cool a little. Once cool enough to handle, get a larger bowl, put a small bowl (like a ramekin) upside down into it. Stand your sweetcorn cob on the small bowl and, with a sharp knife, slice the kernels from the cob. This way they fall neatly into the bowl, instead of flying all over your work surface.

Beets

I’m using pre-steamed mini beets here I found a M&S, which was very handy. Most supermarkets have some sort of cooked and unmarinated beets these days. Use whatever you find. Or use pre-marinated if you prefer. If marinating yourself, mix the remaining tbsp maple syrup, juice and zest of ½ orange with salt and pepper and pour over the beets. These too get better by being given time for the flavours to marry. So, they work very well for meal prep.

Oranges

Using a sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom of your last 2 oranges. Then, following the curve, slice of the skin and pith, leaving you just with the juice insides. Cut them into slices across.

Pork

If using the Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Shoulder, slice off the crackling and fat and quickly heat them in the air fryer or oven, to re-crisp. Or give it a quick fry in the pan, skin side down. Pull apart the rest of the pork, using two forks.

Assembly or your Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

In either one big bowl or single portion plates, lay out a bed of the romaine. Top with coleslaw and a bit of the remaining dressing. Surround the slaw with the remaining ingredients, top with the pork and hazelnuts, and, if using, a little BBQ sauce over the pork.I used my Peach BBQ Sauce with Single Malt.

Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

Enjoy the Cuban Pulled Pork Salad with your warm tortillas, knowing you will make your body very happy.

Meal Prep

Due to the various parts in this that actually profit from marinating and resting, this Cuban Pulled Pork Salad is perfect for meal prep. Coleslaw, Orange Maple Vinaigrette with Hazelnuts and Lime, beets, zucchinis, and tortillas do all particularly well when made the day before, as they flavours can mingle. Cuban Pulled Pork Salad Meal Prep

For the rest: I tend to prepare everything on a weekend day, the store the separate parts in lidded containers in the fridge. That way, I just have to assemble and maybe briefly heat pulled pork and tortillas in the microwave and I have a fabulous workday meal ready in 5 minutes.

Variations

In the next few days, I will post a recipe for healthy pulled pork tacos, that uses exactly the same ingredients. Stay tuned. Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

Looking for a dessert to go with this? Protein Creme Brulee Two Ways (pick one or make both) gives you added protein and is easy to prepare the day before.

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Have you tried this? Did you enjoy it?

What other recipes would you like to see?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please share. It helps me a lot.

Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

Cuban Pulled Pork Salad

Lots of crunchy nutritious veggies, some made into a slaw, make this Cuban Pulled Pork Salad A super healthy feast in its own right. I’m using part of the Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Shoulder from the day before, as a fantastic way to use up leftovers and speed up your meal prep. The Salad is brought together by a zingy Cuban inspired Hazelnut-Orange-Lime-Dressing, using similar ingredients to the pulled pork marinade, to complement the flavours.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Dressing, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American, Fusion
Servings 8
Calories 370 kcal

Ingredients
  

Sourdough Whole Wheat Tortillas

  • ½ cup sourdough or discard
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup hot water or more, if needed
  • cup shortening or vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tsp salt

Salad with Hazelnut Orange Lime Dressing:

  • ½ cup hazelnuts. Soaked for 1h in hot water or overnight in cold. Drained.
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 limes zest, and juice
  • 4 oranges 3 zested and juiced. Divided.
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced. Divided
  • 1 tbsp oregano fresh, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup divided
  • 1 lb pulled pork https://forthepleasureofeating.com/slow-roasted-cuban-pork-shoulder/
  • ¼ red cabbage stalk removed, shredded thinly
  • ¼ white cabbage stalk removed, shredded thinly
  • 2 carrots roughly grated
  • 1 fennel bulb Inner stalk removed, finely shredded across the grain
  • 2 corn on the cob leaves and silk removed
  • 2 zucchinis sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce shredded to your preferred size
  • ½ lb 1 pack steamed mini beets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp oregano fresh, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • ½ cup hazelnuts toasted in the oven for 8min, the roughly chopped
  • BBQ Sauce optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Instructions:

    Tortillas:

    • If you are making your own tortillas, start by making the dough. Just mix all the ingredients and knead (I used a stand mixer) until you have a smooth dough. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge until you are ready to use it. I made mine the evening before, to let the flavours develop and the sourdough do its thing over night.
    • Once ready to fry, divide into about 12 pieces and roll them out thinly, while stacking between sheets of cling film or baking parchment.
    • Pre-heat a pan to medium high heat (no oil) and fry your tortillas until bubbly and golden. This should take about 30 seconds on the first side. If yours fries much faster or slower, adjust the heat.
    • Flip and fry for another 30-40 seconds.
    • Keep them stacked on a plate, wrapped into a towel and topped by another plate. The moisture and heat will keep them soft and pliable while you prepare them all.

    Hazelnut Orange Lime Dressing:

    • If using pre-soaked nuts, add all dressing ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Set aside.

    Zucchini:

    • Mix 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, zest and juice of 1/2 orange, chopped oregano (or dried), and minced garlic for the zucchini marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Add zucchini slices to a container with a tight-fitting lid or a freezer bag and pour the marinade over them. Close the lid or bag and shake to coat the slices. Set aside.
    • When ready, heat a pan on medium-high heat, add the zucchini slices in one layer, and fry until browned on the edges. Turn and fry for another few minutes until both sides have some colour. These can be served warm or cold.

    Coleslaw:

    • Use a food processor with a slicing blade for red and white cabbage and fennel, and a grater for the carrot.
    • Alternatively, thinly slice and grate by hand. In a large bowl, combine the shredded red cabbage, white cabbage, grated carrots, and finely shredded fennel.
    • Add ¾ of the hazelnut dressing to the bowl and massage the coleslaw with your hands until the cabbage softens and absorbs the flavour. Refrigerate the coleslaw to allow the flavours to meld.

    Sweetcorn:

    • Rub the corn cobs with a little olive oil. Heat a pan over fairly high heat, add the corn cobs, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Let them cool.
    • Once cool enough to handle, slice the kernels from the cob into a larger bowl.

    Beets:

    • Use pre-steamed mini beets or marinate them by mixing 1 tbsp maple syrup, juice and zest of ½ orange, salt, and pepper.
    • Let them sit to enhance the flavours.

    Oranges:

    • Cut off the top and bottom of your last 2 oranges. Then, following the curve, slice off the skin and pith, leaving you just with the juicy insides.
    • Cut them into slices across.

    Pork:

    • If using Slow Roasted Cuban Pork Shoulder, slice off the crackling and fat, and re-crisp them in the air fryer, oven, or a pan.
    • Pull apart the rest of the pork using two forks.

    Assembly:

    • In a large serving bowl or on individual plates, create a bed of shredded Romaine lettuce. Top the lettuce with the coleslaw and drizzle with some of the remaining hazelnut dressing.
    • Arrange the zucchini, sweetcorn kernels, beets, and orange slices around the coleslaw. Place the pulled pork on top and sprinkle with the toasted, chopped hazelnuts.
    • Optionally, drizzle a little BBQ sauce over the pork.
    • Serve and enjoy your Cuban Pulled Pork Salad!

    Notes

    Nutrition for salad with dressing
    8 portions
    Calories: Approximately 350-400 calories per serving
    Protein: Approximately 10-15 grams per serving
    Fat: Approximately 20-25 grams per serving
    Carbohydrates: Approximately 30-40 grams per serving
    Fiber: Approximately 6-8 grams per serving
    Sugars: Approximately 10-15 grams per serving
    Sourdough Whole Wheat Tortilla (Per Serving. Makes 12):
    Calories: Approximately 140-160 calories per serving
    Protein: Approximately 3-4 grams per serving
    Fat: Approximately 4-5 grams per serving
    Carbohydrates: Approximately 24-26 grams per serving
    Fiber: Approximately 2-3 grams per serving
    Sugars: Approximately 0-1 gram per serving
    Hazelnut Orange Lime Dressing (Per Serving. 8 servings):
    Calories: Approximately 100-120 calories per serving
    Protein: Approximately 1-2 grams per serving
    Fat: Approximately 9-11 grams per serving
    Carbohydrates: Approximately 6-8 grams per serving
    Fiber: Approximately 2-3 grams per serving
    Sugars: Approximately 3-4 grams per serving

    Nutrition

    Calories: 370kcal
    Nutrition Facts
    Cuban Pulled Pork Salad
    Amount per Serving
    Calories
    370
    % Daily Value*
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    Keyword Healthy, High Fibre, Protein
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