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I get emails and feedback from time to time saying things like, “I want simple, easy recipes, nothing exotic with easy to get ingredients.”

So what qualifies as exotic and unusual?

As defined by a dictionary, exotic is: Intriguingly unusual or different; excitingly strange.

Funny thing is, quinoa sounded quite exotic to me 6 years ago, but to the Peruvian people this is the most basic ingredient found in their kitchen, like corn meal might be to Mexicans.

Cherries won’t seem so exotic to you if you live in Kelowna, BC, but if you live in Russia you might not have access to that fruit. I don’t really know since I’ve never been there, but I’m guessing the same would be true for kale. I’m sure Kale is not that common in Africa.

Here’s one that Americans might find funny since, after all, Canada and the US are so close. Up until not that long ago, finding corn tortillas in Canada was extremely challenging. To this day, most packages (if you can even find them) are $5.99 for 12 tortillas!

So for any one in the States, corn tortillas are old hat, in Canada however, they are not. We recently found a little Latin grocery store that sold 40 tortillas for $5.99, but it required a hunt. My sister has lived in Edmonton for at least 8 years, if not longer, and only came across them 2 weeks ago. Hunting down corn tortillas to make this recipe might not be realistic for some, but quite ordinary for others.

I can’t know what’s normal for everyone.

So how does a writer of a food blog, that is read by people from 100 different countries (that’s right! 100!) including places like Saudi Arabia, Latvia, Malta Russia, Bermuda, Swaziland, Iceland, Columbia, Peru and the list goes on, design recipes using common ingredients?

One word.


Here’s the next conundrum.

What happens when you take what North Americans would call “normal” ingredients and put them together in an interesting way? Does that make it exotic and unusual?

Probably. So I’m screwed either way.

Long story short. It’s all about perspective.

Now for the bad news….

Are you sitting down?

No really, sit down.

I can’t do normal. It’s just not who I am!  <–Tweet this!

I don’t even know what normal is? Does that mean creating recipes only using vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms and peppers. Maybe I could go a little crazy and include summer squash like zucchini. That doesn’t exactly paint a picture of a very healthy diet. There’s no way all the minerals, vitamins and anti oxidants we require to live a vibrant life can be found in so few things.

I want to celebrate the odd!

I love weird things, odd things, things that get my brain wizzing around.

Besides, I’m kinda odd and I LIKE it!

Let’s celebrate the Saskatoon berries, the Indian eggplants, the oyster mushrooms. Let’s raise a glass to lychee fruit, the kabocha squash, the purple carrots and the white asparagus’ of the world.

Let’s get out of our comfort zones and learn to love new veggies and fruits and with it a more vibrant health.

And just so I don’t get an onslaught of emails, let me clarify that this of course does not mean that those of you following a special diet, whether that be GAPS, paleo, primal and traditional diets can’t have optimal health because the diets might be more limited or specific. I’m just trying to give some perspective on “normality,” embracing things that might be a little different, and being open to trying new things.

Alright, now on to the recipe…

Note: We used 2 Pork Sausages from the Butcher Block, but since not everyone has a Butcher Block, I made the changes in the recipe to reflect that. These are NOT breakfast sausages. I’ve written the recipe so that it is easy to replicate using simply ground pork.

Next to taste, my favoritest (yes, I know that’s not a real word) thing about this recipe is that it has 3 servings of vegetables per serving! If you served it with a side salad or slaw it would easily be 4 or 5! Sweet dealio (also not a real word).

Stretch this even further and add extra veggies by adding beets greens or mustard greens, mushrooms or zucchini.

Pork and Kale Tacos

Serves 2 large portions

  • 225 grams of extra lean ground pork or 1/2 lb (we used 2 pork sausages from the Butcher Block)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • crumbled soft goat cheese, to serve
  • 6″ corn tortillas (I eat 3, Joshua eats 4)

In a large skillet, fry the onion and the pork until mostly cooked through. Drain off any excess fat. Add the chopped kale and stir until the kale is wilted. Cover with a lid, remove from heat and set aside. Prepare the tortillas according to package directions.

Cherry Cilantro Salsa

  • 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted & quartered  (approximately 20 cherries)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp rum (optional but it does make quite the difference)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Remove the stem and pit the cherries using a cherry pitter, or slice the cherry in half and remove the pit. Quarter the cherries and place in a large bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice and rum. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place a couple of spoonfuls of ground pork and kale in the center of the tortilla. Add a small amount of crumbled soft goat cheese and top it with salsa.

Hot Tip: Don’t wear white and use a table cloth that can handle a few stumbling juicy cherries!

 So tell me, what do you love to cook that others think is odd? Leave me a comment letting me know :)


I’m sharing this with Mangia Monday, Monday Mania, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, This Chick Cooks, Cast Party Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, The Tasty Alternative, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Foodie Friday.

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