Happy Labor Day! Hope you are having a relaxing day off from your usual labors.
I made Macaroni salad with a New Mexico twist yesterday. I wanted to use as much produce from my garden as possible. I found a recipe for Jalapeno Ranch Dressing from Closet Cooking, which was the perfect dressing for this salad.
I only used one jalapeno pepper in the dressing, which was great for us. Obviously, an extra pepper (or leaving in some seeds) would give you more heat. The jalapeno peppers and tomatoes came from our garden, the carrots, lime and onion from our harvest box.
I love sweet potatoes, but they do take a fairly long time to cook. Too long to make them on a work night. I was searching for something to do with the sweet potatoes in our box, when I came across several different recipes for a southwest salad. I decided to do some prep ahead work over the weekend, so that I could get dinner ready quickly during the week. Since the salad required cooked and chilled foods, this became the ultimate opportunity to cook ingredients ahead and have a great dinner during the week.
The recipe I used for the dressing is adapted from this recipe from Hispanic Kitchen. It was less spicy than I anticipated, which was actually a good thing!
Peel sweet potatoes and cut lengthwise into ½ inch thick slices. Brush the sweet potatoes with ¼ cup of olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Heat grill to medium heat. Grill sweet potatoes until cooked through, turning once. At the same time, grill the corn, turning frequently. This will take about 15 minutes.
Combine chili powder and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Rub over chicken breasts. Grill chicken breasts until cooked through, turning once. (About 10 minutes.)
Let sweet potatoes, corn, and chicken cool. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Thinly slice chicken.
While everything is cooling, make the dressing. Zest one of the limes, and juice both limes. In a blender, combine lime zest and juice, jalapeno pepper, garlic, cilantro, and remaining teaspoon of cumin. Blend until smooth. With blender running, drizzle in the remaining ¾ cup of olive oil.
The above steps can all be done ahead, with everything refrigerated until serving time.
Divide lettuce among plates. Top with tomato, cooked sweet potatoes, cooked corn, black beans, and sliced chicken. Drizzle dressing over.
We have been getting zucchini in our box almost every week. I think the ones we are getting now are from Mexico, but they grow quite easily here, too. This week, I chose to make a soup from vegalicious with the zucchini.
I expected this to be spicy, but it wasn’t. You could add another jalapeno pepper or some additional cumin if you want more heat.
In many parts of the country, salsa is some mushy tomato stuff in a jar. In reality, the definition of salsa is a mixture of chopped vegetables (or fruits) that is used as a condiment. I decided to use some of the cucumbers from this week’s box to make a salsa to serve on grilled fish. While the fish was grilling, I was “sampling” the salsa with chips, and it tasted good for that, too! Feel free to adjust the proportions to your taste. Salsa is not an exact science!
When our children were growing up, Halloween night always involved either a Halloween carnival or trick or treating. They always came home with TONS of candy. I would always try to feed them something healthy before they went out.
These fajitas would definitely fill the bill! They are full of vegetables and low in fat. They cook up pretty quickly, too. You could chop all the veggies in advance, and have the dinner ready in 10 minutes. The original recipe comes from the Full Plate Diet website, I have adjusted the spicing to make them a little hotter. I also used some of the red mini jalapeno peppers I got from our niece.