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5 Ways to Mango: 2 dinners, 1 Salad, and 2 Cocktails!

I love Spring.

The flowers are blooming, the garden is overflowing with vegetables and the bees are busy making honey. But Spring also means that my favorite fruit is finally back in the produce section at the farmer’s market.

Mangoes!

Yes, I must confess, I am addicted to anything with mangoes. Mango margaritas, mango shower gel…heck I even have mango shaving lotion! To say I’m a bit of a mango-fanatic is a serious understatement.

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Finally here! Fresh mangoes at the farmer’s market! 

However, mangoes are not easy to prepare and they often yield very little fruit thanks to the large fibrous pit. Simply put, if I am going to tackle a mango it has to be worth my time since I can buy them pre-sliced at the market. So here are five dishes that all use the same mango base and share some of the same ingredients (many of which are probably already in your pantry):

Crockpot Shredded Chicken Sandwiches 
Tex Mex Chicken Tostadas 
Spring Salad with Mango Vinaigrette 
Mango Mimosa 
 Mango Lime Caiproska Cocktail (or Mocktail)
These recipes are balanced, so don’t worry about the food being too sweet. And I know the prep work seems tedious but trust me- it is worth it! Two dinners, a salad, and two cocktails that are table-ready within minutes of opening the refrigerator door is so very, very worth it. By the way, did I mention that the leftover mango juice is just heavenly on it’s own? No? My bad.
 
Two things to know before you begin!
  1. First, you will need a crock pot, a Vitamix or high-speed blender, and a strainer (or cheesecloth) to prepare these dishes.
  2. Second, you will need to prepare the mango juice first, as it is the base for all of the recipes.

*Preparation instructions follow the ingredient list.*

Mango Puree/Juice:

3 ripe red mangoes (mostly red; yields to the touch but is not too squishy)

2 cups of water, plus 3 additional cups available if needed

¼ cup + 2 tbsp of white sugar (raw is okay too)

 

Shredded Chicken Sandwiches (Serves 4/one sandwich per person):

4-5 large chicken breasts (approximately 1.5 pounds)

15-18 oz jar of barbecue sauce- original or mesquite (avoid the sweet varieties)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp white vinegar (if using apple cider vinegar, only add 1 tbsp)

4 seeded buns

4 slices of cheddar cheese (optional)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

 

Tex Mex Tostadas (Serves 4/two tostadas per person):

8 Yellow corn tostada shells (or taco shells), cooked per package directions

15 oz can of refried beans, warmed

Leftover shredded chicken, warmed

1 cup of chunky salsa

8 oz sour cream

2.25 oz can of sliced black olives

¼ cup chopped cilantro

 

Mango Lime Caiproska Cocktail or Mocktail (Serves 1):

½ cup mango juice (thinned until it has a juice-like, not puree)

1 tsp sugar (preferably fine white, but granulated or raw works well too)

¼ cup club soda

2 tbsp vodka (optional)

1 lime

1 tbsp lemon juice (only if making the mocktail)

 

Mango Mimosa (Serves 1):

Champagne

Mango juice or puree

 

Spring Green Salad (Serves 4/ two servings per person):

4 cups Butter Lettuce (or 1 pre-washed package), torn into bite-sized pieces

½ large cucumber (sliced, then cut into strips)

10-12 mini sweet peppers (halved, seeded, then sliced into strips)

Feta cheese (optional salad topping)

 

For the First Salad Dressing:

¼ cup of mango juice or puree

¼ cup finely diced mango chunks

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp white vinegar

⅛ tsp salt

⅛ tsp black pepper

 

Ingredients to Modify the Second Salad Dressing:

⅛ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp vinegar

Day 1: Prep Work!

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Be sure to treat yourself to a glass or two of the fresh juice. It is amazing!

1.) Prepare the chicken:  If you are preparing the chicken for that night’s evening meal, add it to the bottom of the crock pot (otherwise, skip this step until the next morning). Whisk the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken. Cook for 6 to 8 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high.

2.) Prepare the mangoes:  Wash, peel and pit the mangoes (if you need a tutorial on this, check out this link) and follow the instructions for slices. Finely dice (lima bean size) 1-2 of the mango slices to net ¼ cup. Cover and refrigerate the chunks to use later. Add the rest of the mango flesh, sugar and 2 cups of water to the blender. Add additional water and blend until it reaches the consistency of a slightly thick juice. Strain through a strainer or cheesecloth. Store juice in a large glass carafe.

3.) Prepare the salads:  Be sure to make enough salad for two meals! In a very large bowl, add the lettuce, cucumber and peppers. Mix well, then sprinkle with feta cheese. Cover and refrigerate.

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I taste-tested the mimosa while I prepared the salad. I highly recommend you taste-test it too! 🙂

4.) Prepare the salad dressing: Whisk all  ingredients for the first salad dressing, except the diced mangoes. Cover and refrigerate.

5.) Wash/chop the cilantro: Aim for ½ cup. Cover and refrigerate.

Day 2: Get Ready to Eat!

0421161609_resizedMmmmmm. Get. In. My. Belly. Go on, what are you waiting for?

1.) Serve the salad: Use a few tablespoons of the dressing to dress HALF of the salad. Toss well, then top the salad with all of the diced mango chunks. Refrigerate the leftover dressing.  

2.) Serve the chicken sandwiches:  Remove the chicken from the crockpot, and shred the meat using two forks. Combine 1 cup of the liquid with the shredded meat and stir well. Place a slice of thin cheddar cheese (optional) to the bottom bun. Add the meat on top of the cheese, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro before closing it up.

3.) Serve a mango mimosa: Grab a champagne flute and fill ⅓ with mango juice. Add champagne slowly (mango is very acidic, so go slow or it will overflow). Stir well with a spoon before serving.

Day 3: Get Ready to Eat….Again!

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Be prepared to fight your family members for your share of the chicken. Yes, this really will happen.

1.) Modify the salad dressing: Add in the ingredients for the second salad dressing and whisk. Dress the remaining salad with 2 tbsp of the dressing and toss to coat. Add more dressing as desired.

2.) Serve the chicken tostadas: Layer the beans, shredded chicken, sour cream, salsa, olives and cilantro on the shell. Serve!

3.) Serve the mango-lime caiproskas:

  • Using a 10-12 oz bucket glass, add the mango juice, sugar and the juice from ¼ of a lime. Miix very well, scraping the bottom of the glass to make sure the sugar is incorporated into the mix.
  • Add ice (crushed, preferably) leaving about 1 inch from the top of the glass. Then top to near full with club soda. Mix again. Garnish the side of the glass with a slice of lime.
  • *If you are going for a mocktail, use 1 tbsp of the mango juice and 1 tbsp of lemon juice instead of the vodka.

Day 4: Relax, and Drink the Leftover Juice!

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It’s a tough job, but someone has to finish off that fresh juice!

So there you have it- 5 ways to mango! Do you have a scrumptious mango recipe or cocktail to share? Let me know in the comments!

And THANK YOU for reading my first blog post! – Melanie 🙂

 

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6 Responses to 5 Ways to Mango: 2 dinners, 1 Salad, and 2 Cocktails!

  1. Jenn c. May 4, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

    Wow! I knew you could make stuff with mangos but I’ve always been intimidated by how much effort it took! I’ll have to make some juice for those cocktails though. 😉 thanks for sharing!

  2. Ashly V. May 4, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

    Definitely will try it all!!! Thank you for sharing your creativity!

    • Melanie Hughes
      Melanie Hughes May 4, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

      Thank you Ashly V! I hope you enjoy the dishes! 🙂

  3. Melanie Hughes
    Melanie Hughes May 4, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

    Mangoes are super intimidating- you are not alone Jenn C! I threw the cocktails in there as a reward for all that hard work! 🙂

  4. Lori Clark
    Lori Clark May 5, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    I LOVE MANGOS! Great ideas for how to use them! I always just peel and eat. Why it itook me till my 50s to discover this amazing fruit…. I blame on my mom. jk She tried, she says, to share the mango love when I was a kid, but it wasn’t till this last year that I become a mango junkie. Come to find out they are higher in vitamin C than an orange and are being declared the new SUPERFOOD!

    • Melanie
      Melanie May 5, 2016 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks Lori! I love to just peel and eat them too, but they are so much work! The pit is just horrendous, and when you are done there is a big pit and not that much edible fruit. I hadn’t heard that mangoes are now a SUPERFOOD— so exciting! Another reason to eat them (as if I needed a reason)! 🙂

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