July 25, 2010

Jalapeno Guacamole Chicken


2 jalapeno peppers
2 chicken breasts
4 slices cheddar cheese
1 avocado
1 tomato
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cilantro
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste

Slice the chicken breasts in half, length-wise; season with taco seasoning.

Prepare the guacamole by peeling and mashing the avocado. Chop 1 jalapeno pepper and the tomato; add to the avocado mash. Add cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Heat a frying pan on high heat. Add seasoned chicken breasts and sear, about 1-2 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium and cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle, about 5-6 minutes each.

Slice remaining jalapeno pepper into rings and cover chicken breasts. Top jalapeno peppers with cheddar cheese. Cover pan and heat until cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy!
Yield: 4 servings

Note: Seeding peppers will reduce their heat. Wear gloves when cutting peppers if your skin is sensitive.

Quick tip: Easily remove an avocado pit by sharply striking pit with the cutting edge of a chef knife, slightly embedding the knife blade. Twist the knife right or left and remove pit. Scoop out fruit with a spoon. (Surprise! Avocado is a fruit. :) )
This refreshing soup was contributed by Eileen M, in Apex. Thanks, Eileen! 

Mexican Butternut Squash Soup
2 tsp olive oil
2 c. peeled cubed butternut squash
2 c. chopped onions
1 c. chopped red bell pepper
1 c. chopped celery
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chili peppers
4 c. canned vegetable broth
1 can (15.5 oz) white hominy or whole-kernel corn, drained
¼ c. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro


1. Heat oil; add squash and next 6 ingredients. Sauté 3 minutes

2. Add veggie broth and hominy and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 35 mins or till veggies are tender

3. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro.

Yield: 4 servings
Note: may substitute water for veggie broth to reduce sodium intake.
Butternut squash! It's my favorite winter squash. Very yummy and close in taste to sweet potato, only milder, it can be roasted whole, halved, or skinned and chunked. The 'Roasting Eggplant' methods apply well to butternut, but the squash will need more time to roast. Add 10-20 minutes for each method, but check often. If the squash are small, the eggplant time frames may apply. After roasting, squash may be diced or pureed, and added to pasta, rice, etc.

Raw peeled squash can also be diced and cooked in soups and stews. Or try baking it: halve squash and remove seeds with a spoon. Place cut side up on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F, for 30-60 minutes (depending on size). Add small pats of butter or margarine, sprinkle on cinnamon and brown sugar and add cranberries, raisins and chopped pecans or walnuts, if desired. Bake till sugar and butter melt, about 5 more minutes. A very yummy side dish! :) This is also a great method for Acorn squash.