Italian Fajitas, Mashed Potato Salad, Stringbeans, Tomato/Avocado Salad

Plastic Food?

No summer was complete as a kid without a visit to my Great Aunt and Uncle in Brigantine, NJ.  They were pretty old – Aunt Anna was all hunched over and hobbled around (she shrank every summer) and Uncle Joe could barely hear.  One night little Aunt Anna insisted on making dinner for everybody (probably 15 of us) to show us that she was still capable.  We all sat down and of course began complimenting Aunt Anna on her food profusely, “this food is the best….terrific…. wow this food is FANTASTIC!”.  Uncle Joe yells out “HUH, WHAT are you talking about? This food’s not PLASTIC!”.  Remember that uncontrollable laugh you had in 6th grade when your best friend farted in class?  That’s what followed. 

Italian Chicken Fajitas
You can make this dish with any veggies you like.  Put the chicken, cheese and veggies on the side and let everyone make it the way they want.  Worst case the kids eat the chicken and cheese on the tortilla.

  • Sautee garlic in a little olive oil in a large pan and cook 1-2 sliced red peppers.  Add some spinach and mushrooms and a dash of salt/pepper.  Peppers take longest to cook so I cooked them first.  You can keep veggies separate  for picky eaters to pick/choose.
  • Move veggies to a serving dish and cover with tin foil.  Take out garlic and reuse with chicken.
  • Clean and cut 4-6 chicken breasts into strips.
  • Cook chicken in a drop of olive oil and garlic and add salt/pepper.  Move to a serving dish.
  • Heat (wheat) tortillas separated in tin foil for a few minutes.
  • Serve chicken, veggies and tortillas – put cheese on table too (Brie, American, etc.)
  • Mayotard:  Mix 5 TBS of mayo and 3 TSP of mustard together to spread on fajita.

Mashed Potato Salad
If I can’t wait for my potatoes to cool I make them this way.  The potatoes aren’t in perfect squares (they are a little mashed) but they taste delicious!

  • Cut 6 red potatoes and cook in salted boiling water.  Drain.
  • Make Mayotard: Mix about ¼ cup of mayo and 3 TSP of mustard together (try adding a splash of white wine too)
  • Chop some celery (I like to peel it first) and 1 shallot and add to the potatoes.
  • Add the mayotard and stir.  Mix in salt/pepper and some tarragon (or parsley) if you like.
  • Put in fridge to marinate a bit or serve right away.

String beans (Very Quick)

  • Boil some string beans in about an inch of salted water.  Cook until done and  drain.  If not serving right away, run under cold water.
  • Return to pot and heat with some whole garlic cloves and salt/pepper and a drop of EV olive oil.
  • For added flavor you can also toss with some chopped basil and/or cherry tomatoes.

Tomato/Avocado Salad

  • Cut avocado into cubes and cut grape/cherry tomatoes in half.  Add celery if you have it (from potato salad).
  • Toss with a little EV olive oil and vinegar (red wine or rice wine vinegar).

How Can Your Kids Help?

  • Help pick what veggies to cook for the fajitas.  Should they be cooked together or separately?
  • Peel the garlic clove after mom ‘smashes’ it with the back of a butcher knife.
  • Help sautee the veggies.
  • Cut some of the celery into sticks for the kids to snack on.
  • Snap or cut or use scissors to snap ends of string beans off.
  • Vegetable Stand Coloring Page:  http://homeschooling.about.com/library/vegetablecolor.pdf

Did You Know?

  • Americans have gotten more fat since the 1970’s introduced new “low-fat” diets.  Why? We binged on low-fat carbs and fake food with trans fat which is WAY worse than the saturated fat in real food.*
  • Cultures that do not eat a “Western” diet do not suffer from “Western” diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension or stroke.*
  • Today’s soil is so depleted of nutrients that you have to eat 3 apples to get the same amount of iron as in 1 apple in 1940.*
  • Fajitas were first created in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.  They were served to cowboys on the ranches but were not served in a restaurant until 1969!

*(from “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan)

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