Even though a snow storm is just as likely as a pleasant sunny day, I can’t help but try to will the weather to warm up permanently with some summery food. I’m all but done with the heavier foods I love in the winter – squash, stews, casseroles, warm salads…and I just want to eat crisp veggies, light sauces, and lots of fresh herbs.
Mexican food in general is a cuisine that I pretty much shun until the temperature gets above 60. I’m never ever in the mood for it until warm weather sets in. So here is a great inaugural dish. The spicy, smoky chipotles go great with loads of cilantro. The chicken could easily be swapped for any other kind of meat or fish. And you can cook those meats in any way you’d like – bake, broil, roast, grill. The sauce can be put on after cooking or before cooking. If you really like some spice, double the chipotle pepper amount!
The salad is also easily changed up if you want. What I don’t want you to change is the jicama. So delicious! The dressing is great too. Just a touch of sweetness and a nice sharpness from the lime. The veggies take a while to chop, but all in all this whole dinner is pretty easy to prepare. You can make the dressing and the chipotle cilantro sauce before you start the chicken, so that it’s more leisurely.
1 1/2 cups chopped cilantro (thin stems are okay)
2 tablespoons oil (melted coconut oil is good)
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper from canned chipotles in adobo
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
oil for cooking
4 chicken breasts, cut into strips (if desired – I did this to speed it up because it was getting late!)
1. Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Consistency will be kind of thick, that’s okay. You can thin out with more oil, water, or adobo sauce if desired.
2. Heat oil in a skillet. Cook chicken strips. Add sauce when chicken is almost done and stir to coat.
Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
1 head lettuce, washed and roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 (about 1 small) cup jicama, peeled and cut into 1 inch matchsticks
3/4 cup radishes, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 avocado, cut into slices
1/4 cup lime juice, about 2 or 3 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
1. Toss the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl. Serve the avocado slices on top of the salad before serving, so they don’t get mashed.
2. Whisk remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste