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5 Ways to Take Taco Tuesday in a Tropical Direction

If you're craving something dramatically different on Taco Tuesday, we've got some brilliant suggestions that will make those tortilla-filled creations shine. On a recent Taco Tuesday, chef Kirsten Helle visited the Allrecipes HQ in downtown Seattle to brainstorm some taco toppings with a fresh twist. She brought shredded beef, pork and chicken cooked in her new line of simmer sauces, and used a bunch of tropical and citrus fruits to create salsas that might put you in a summer-at-the-beach kind of mood. Here are her top 5 tips.

1) Put the Lime in Coconut

Salsa is the Spanish word for sauce, but the definition is definitely stretched in the New World, and this 2-ingredient preparation proves it. Squeeze the juice of a lime over 1/2 cup of shredded, non-sweetened coconut and you've got something sweet and tangy that wakes up the flavors of Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas like a rooster crowing on a Maui morning.

edited-lime-and-coconut-salsa-photo-by-leslie-kelly

Photo by Leslie Kelly

2) Mango + Papaya

The combination of these two sweet, tender tropical fruits along with chunks of avocado, onion and peppers in the Mango Papaya Salsa is something so good you'll want to eat it by the spoonful. Which is perfectly acceptable when it comes to this low-carb, no-fat taco topper. Try it with Kris' Amazing Shredded Mexican Beef or on Baja-Style Fish Tacos instead of the classic slaw.

edited-mango-and-papaya-salsa-photo-by-leslie-kelly

Photo by Leslie Kelly

3) Grill that Pineapple

The simple act of quickly grilling pineapple makes it even sweeter, especially when paired with the traditional Pork al Pastor. No grill? No prob. Pop slices under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until it caramelizes.

edited-grilled-pineapple-photo-by-leslie-kelly

Photo by Leslie Kelly

4) Kiwi Time

Not only are kiwis a killer source of Vitamin C, they taste incredible when tossed with lime juice and sprinkled with crushed red pepper flakes. Another easy salsa that requires no real recipe. Just go easy on the peppers because the heat gets more intense after marinating for a while. This one's a perfect companion for the delightfully different Chicken Teriyaki Tacos.

edited-tropical-fruit-tacos-photo-by-leslie-kelly

Photo by Leslie Kelly

5) Turn Up the Heat with Kimchi

Chef Kirsten created the coolest mashup by tossing equal parts chopped pineapple and kimchi into the food processor and pulsing it a few times until smooth, but not exactly pureed. It sounds strange, but it was incredible, not tasting like either of those two ingredients. It transformed something completely new and utterly delicious. Just the thing to drizzle over Crispy Pork Carnitas.

Bill's Kimchi

Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

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About Leslie Kelly

Always hungry to learn, never had my fill of oysters, Memphis dry rub ribs, wild salmon, chocolate chip cookies or a well-rolled lumpia. Washington state wine lover, bourbon fan. Totally obsessed with brunch!