Down & Dirty Fajitas

Use this recipe when you've forgotten to marinate the chicken and your kids have likewise forgotten to take the chicken out of the fridge for you even though you asked.

Also, when you don't have time to grill, when someone needs a ride to class within in hour, if you like leftovers, if a relative is dairy intolerant, or if you're practicing a gluten free lifestyle. I'm not sure about the caveman diet, but I'm pretty sure I can fit it into Weight Watchers parameters.

Basically mix and max chicken fajitas can work if you want to slam dinner on the table for most omnivores.

…and yes, even I invest the cash for skinless, boneless white meat from time to time.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken sliced into bite sized pieces

1 medium to large onion, halved & sliced

2 bell peppers, any color combo, halved & sliced

2 cloves of garlic, sliced, optional

Veggie oil

3 teaspoons cumin, separated

1 1/2 teaspoons coriander, separated

1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional

1 lime

Salt & pepper

Whole wheat, corn or rice tortillas ….or over rice

Condiments: pickled jalapeño, grated mild cheese, sour cream, lime

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken about 5 minutes, then add 2 teaspoons cumin and 1 teaspoon coriander, toss and finish cooking 3-4 more minutes. Remove chicken. Add 1-2 more teaspoons of oil. Sauté onions, adding peppers and garlic (if desired) after a few minutes. Veggies are done when they're crisp, caramel colored outside & tender inside. Season with 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander (cayenne if desired) when close to being done. Add chicken back to pan, tossing to reheat. Squeeze 1/2 lime into pan. Adjust salt & pepper.

Meanwhile heat stack of tortillas covered by damp paper towels in microwave (about a minute).

Platter, serve, eat & carpool – B

 

Bold Flavors, Soft Tacos

It always pays to have a plan. My goal? Make sure the kids eat vegetables intentionally or not, and bribe my son's friend who is staying with us through food. So I set my plan in motion weeks ago asking for a list of his faves. I got back a string of ingredients and a nod toward junk food. Ingredient suggestions in hand I planned the menu for the week. I don't always make a menu, but when I do, food production feels less like a chore. (Admittedly grocery shopping Sunday night wasn't all that…except for the company 🙂

Tonight – crowd pleasing soft tacos! I can't tell you exactly what was said, enough to say there were no leftovers.

Mea culpa. I bought a taco seasoning pouch. Confession. I was too paranoid to use it. Two ingredients I didn't recognize and we were already fighting a potential allergy in the house.

As an alternative, I offer this super simple any night of the week supper.

Ingredients

1 1/4 lbs lean ground beef, or turkey

1/2 large onion chopped

1 teaspoon Veg oil

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

Sprinkle cayenne

1 tablespoon cornmeal

10 oz. can tomatoes with chiles, mild

Salt

Pepper

Soften chopped onion in oil in large skillet. Salt & pepper. Add ground beef, cooking the pink out of it and breaking up chunks. Season with chili powder, cumin, cayenne. Stir 1-2 minutes. Add cornmeal and mix. Add tomatoes & chiles. Cook 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The fixins: shredded cheese, salsa, lettuce, pickled jalapeños, whole whet tortillas (cover stack with damp paper towel and zap 30-45 seconds in microwave)

Make it your own with your best toppings – guacamole? Sour cream?

Enjoy – B

 

A Mostly Meat Free Monday

Let’s preface this by saying, I really did not feel like cooking tonight. I didn’t want to make the planned stir fry. I didn’t want to celebrate meatless Monday. I didn’t want to leave the sofa or the bodice ripper that got delivered to the office among the cookbooks.

That said, I got up and did it anyway. I skipped the prep and chop of stir fry, going Mexican instead. Lighter chicken enchiladas are a fam fave. I borrowed the sauce from Martha Stewart, but made veggie stuffed corn tortillas all on my own. This sauce uses chicken stock. Meat free sticklers feel free to use vegetable stock.
Don’t tell anyone south of the border, but I used last night’s leftover rice pilaf as a base. I sliced and sautéed another giant onion, a bell pepper, and let a few handfuls of spinach steam with the whole kit and caboodle. Salt & pepper to taste. Use a little sauce to bind the filling. Wrap 8 corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and zap in the microwave for 30-ish seconds. Stuff the tortillas, lay in an 8 inch casserole with more sauce top and bottom, and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven until bubbly.

Dig in, B