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Explorations in food

Yesterday was a cooking, baking, and preserving day.  I am gratefully buried in apples and grapes, from my mother’s wonderfully abundant garden, and the last of my tomatoes-some red, some green.  My children and I talked, wrote, and completed mathematical calculations while entrenched in wonderful smells.  We dried apple slices and baked apple cakes.  I made sweet green chili/tomatillo salsa, reminicent of the wonderful salsa Bajio served (before being bought out and closed by another chain-darn it!).  It turned out perfectly, even with my dump and mix method.  My proportions are large, because I was using up my harvest, but you can cut it down to size, I suppose.  (Mental math is a great brain anti-aging technique so it’ll do you good.  Yes, this is me loving you, while taking the easy way out!)

Then I got a little adventurous recreating a Bajio salad.  The original salad had honey-lime chicken, and since 3/4 of my crew is non-veg, I made some up too.  The salad can be made completely raw (without the meat), but I cooked my sweet salsa because I wanted to bottle it (freezing would work).  I will add pictures when I can, but for now, here are my recipes:

“Bajio-(don’t)-wanna-be-sweet- green-chili-chicken-salad”

Chopped romaine lettuce

a couple of wedged tomatoes (only if in season and flavorful)

Cooked black beans

Sweet Green Chili Salsa

About 1 gallon green tomatoes

3 quarts tomatillos

3-27 oz cans HATCH’s mild green roasted chilis (If you have fresh chilis, that is fantastic!)

1 squeezy lime (I used this out of convenience, yet 5 or 6 nice, juicy large limes would  work).

4-4.5 cups sugar

3 T onion powder

1T kala geera or cumin seeds, crushed (I used Kala geera as a substitute for standard cumin because I thought it would be softer, and I liked the effect!)

1 bottle cilantro (two ounces or so) or 1 bunch fresh

1 t. black pepper

Place tomatoes and tomatillos in pot with water just covering them.  Cook on medium-high heat until tender and ready to pop, stirring frequently.  Skins will curl back.  Use the back of a large spoon to pop the fruits and let them cook a few more minutes.  Add other ingredients and stir well.  Reduce head and simmer until cooked down nearly to desired consistency.  Remove from heat; cool until manageable.  Transfer small batches to food processor and blend thoroughly until desired consistency (I like mine fairly small with minimal chunks).  If bottling, return to heat while preparing bottles so salsa stays hot.

Honey-lime chicken

6 chicken breasts

¾ cup honey

1 cup lime juice

Bake slowly, 325 until cooked thoroughly and juices run clear; shred

Creamy Cilantro dressing

2 T. vinegar

Dash of dill

3 C. sesame seeds

1/2 T lime juice

1 t. garlic powder

½ olive oil

5 c water

1 bunch fresh cilantro

salt to taste

place all ingredients except cilantro into blender (vitamix or blendtech) and process on whole juice mode for about 1 minute; adjust water and salt content as desired; stir in finely chopped cilantro.  (It could be buzzed in with everything else, giving it a nice green color throughout.)

Caramelized corn and onions

1 package frozen sweet corn

1 ½ large yellow onions, chopped small

½ tsp. black pepper

½ c water for steaming

½ c honey

Steam veggies in water until nearly tender, then add honey
and pepper and saute until caramelized

Put it together:

To a bed of romaine lettuce, add one scoop (1/4 cup) of cooked, drained black beans, shredded chicken (if desired), caramelized corn and onions, and wedged tomatoes (if fresh).  Drizzle liberally with cilantro dressing, then with sweet green chili salsa.  Serve with soft tortillas, fresh corn chips, olives, (sour cream), (cheese), and guacamole.  Yum!

Notes on veg./ raw substitutions:  my dressing is raw.  these proportions make about 6 cups, which my family can go through easily in a week on salads.  Half or quarter for a smaller group.  I love this because it is non-dairy (for me) yet provides creamy-ness and cilantro for the salad.  My raw version does not include chicken, tortillas, cheese, or honey in the recipes;  I replace the honey with raw, organic blue agave because it produces a smaller glycemic punch.  When I want something sweet, this combo is very nurturing.  The beans, sesame seeds, and oils provide vitamins and minerals that leave me feeling satisfied and energized.  I don’t eat beans often, but every now and then, this hits the spot.

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About dragonflywingz

Christian, wife, mom of seven amazing teens and kiddles, home educator, homemaker, artist, college student, romantic, dreamer. I love for poetry, music, art, fashion and everything that makes life beautiful profoundly-(sigh!)

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