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.
While looking for zucchini recipes this week, I was surprised at how many recipes I found for tacos! I always thought of zucchini as an Italian vegetable. (And, indeed, they probably did originate there.) However, zucchini are apparently used in all different cuisines. We see zucchini used often in calabacitas, a Mexican side dish of summer squash, corn, and chile peppers.
This recipe is completely vegetarian. I served them with sour cream and cheese, but if you avoid dairy products, this would be great without them.
1¼ pounds zucchini, sliced lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices
¼ cup olive oil
ground cumin to taste
½ large onion, cut in ¼ inch thick slices
2 ears fresh corn
15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup chopped green chile (fresh or frozen preferred)
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
tortillas of your choice
Salsa, shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, sour cream or other taco accompaniments
Preheat grill for medium heat. Brush olive oil over both sides of zucchini slices and season with cumin to taste.
Remove all but about 2 layers of husks from the corn, as well as the visible portion of the silks.
Grill zucchini, onion, and corn. Corn should be turned every 2 minutes, zucchini and onion should be turned once during cooking. Chop zucchini and onion into small bitesized pieces. Cut corn from cobs.
Heat black beans and green chili in a large pot over medium heat. Add grilled zucchini, onion, and corn, heat through.
Serve zucchini mixture in tortillas, with accompaniments to taste.
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.
While researching sugar snap pea recipes, I discovered this recipe from Eating Well for Five-Spice Shrimp & Vegetable Packets. I LOVE Chinese Five-Spice powder! This recipe also uses crushed red pepper flakes for the marinade, so it is a little hot. Since the dish is cooked in foil packets, this would be a fun foil dinner for camping, too!
(Sorry about this picture, it was underexposed and required a lot of Photoshop.)
This recipe called for bell pepper. I had yellow carrots from our harvest box, so I used them instead. I also substituted chicken, as I had some on hand.
1¼ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in thin strips
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
¾ pound sugar snap peas, string removed
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups cooked brown rice
Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, five-spice powder, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Add chicken, toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Tear 4 two foot sheets of wide aluminum foil, fold in half crosswise. Spray each sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from marinade, reserving the marinade. Divide chicken equally between the 4 foil sheets, placing chicken on the center of each square. Top with the carrots, snap peas, and corn; dividing each vegetable evenly on the center of each foil.
Individually drugstore wrap each portion. Place on the oven rack and bake for 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. (Open a packet carefully to check, watch out for steam!)
While foil packets are baking, pour reserved marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, boil for 3-5 minutes, until it thickens.
Serve the chicken and vegetables over rice, topped with some of the thickened marinade.
Green chile stew is a traditional New Mexican fall favorite. Usually made with pork and hominy in addition to the chile, it is a great way to end a cool day. I used a rotisserie chicken instead of pork, and frozen corn instead of the hominy. Mine isn’t as hot as many New Mexicans make green chile stew; I like to be able to taste something afterward! Feel free to add more chile if you like it really hot.