Everyday Inspirations

 
 

Chayote
{angie}
Remember last week when I didn't quite know about the little, green, squash-looking vegetable that arrived in my Bountiful Basket? Well thanks to the peeps over there, I was able to discover what it is--the chayote

Um, the what? If you haven't heard of a chayote it's basically like a pear, zucchini and cucumber mated in flavor and had a wrinkly, pear-shaped baby. It has a light, slightly sweet flavor and can be used in much the same way as cucumbers raw or summer squash cooked. The seeds, skin and fruit are all edible. It also happens to be low in calories and full of amino acids, vitamin C and fiber. Oh, and did I mention they are generally pretty cheap? 

So now on to cooking them. I took this new veggie and challenged myself to come up with three different recipes with different styles of preparation: raw, sauteed, and baked in a side dish, entree and dessert. I wanted to do this serious Iron Chef style after all (minus the time limit and the only judge would be my husband). 

This is the first installment with the salad and entree. Here are my recipes for chayote, chicken and tomatillo tacos and ensalada fresca with cilantro-lime vinaigrette.

{Chayote, Chicken and Tomatillo Tacos}

Chayote tacos
Picture
Ingredients
1 medium chayote
2 tomatillos, diced
1 chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 jalapeño
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon lime juice
fresh cilantro leaves
salt to taste
olive oil
tortillas
toppings as desired (cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc)

Directions
To prepare the chayote, slice in quarters and remove center, similar to cutting a pear or apple. Prep all other ingredients. Saute onions and jalapeño in olive oil on medium heat until onions are clear. Add chicken and stir until fully cooked. Add chayotes, tomatillos, salt, cumin, sugar and lime juice. Cook until chayotes begin to soften. Serve on tortillas with fresh chopped cilantro on top. 


Chayote salad

{Ensalada Fresca with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette}

Ingredients
For the dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 cup cilantro
juice from one lime
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon honey
1 jalapeño

For the salad:
1 chayote
1 red bell pepper
4 vine tomatoes (or 1 larger tomato)
1/3 cup pineapple
1 avocado

Directions
For the dressing: 
Add all ingredients together in a blender or food processor (my Magic Bullet worked like a charm). Blend until creamy and smoothe.

For the salad:
Dice all ingredients into similar-sized pieces and mix together in a bowl. Add dressing and let marinate for at least 20 minutes before serving. 
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