Healthy during the Holidays- Chicken w/ Corn Pico de Gallo
'Tis the season to be jolly....fa la la la ...la la la la'
Are you celebrating yet? Celebration for me means two things- being with your loved ones and lots n lots of food and then some more!
But it certainly doesn't mean we can't eat healthy once in a while! Yes, i know its difficult when you're surrounded by delicious wafting aromas everywhere you go and the pressure of the holidays makes you reach for that bi-i-i-g piece of cake or maybe a second piece of pie. I know its the season to surrender to temptation atleast when it comes to food, not to mention all other kinds of temptations like shopping!!!
Omg, shopping!! Reminds me of these lovely shoes that I bought last week and they look just fabulous and I'm drifting off...Why does this always happen to me? I think I'm a closet shopaholic. Its a big problem....I think i'll get a dress to go with those shoes...and maybe a nice set of earrings....Hmmm....
So anyway, Food! that's what we're here for! So I do try eating healthy during the holidays and well..here's what I came up with. Very easy to make and doesn't take a lot of time and has abundant flavour. Give it a go.
Time taken: 45 mins
2 Chicken breasts
1 tsp Smoked paprika / cayenne if you're bold
1 tsp dry roasted cumin, partially ground
Salt to taste
1 tsp dry Oregano
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
few drops of olive oil
For Corn Ensalada
1 large tomato, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced (use red onion for more flavour)
1 cup boiled sweet corn
1 tsp smoked paprika
Small bunch of coriander leaves, and stems
zest of one lemon
Salt to taste
For Roast Potato Wedges
3 Parboiled potatoes, cut into wedges
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
Freshly ground black pepper
Good pinch of salt
Any herb like Oregano or Coriander
Olive oil to drizzle
Don't forget your love!
First, wash n dry the chicken breast. Flatten it for even thickness. Add paprika
Add the dry roasted cumin. I like to roast the cumin and then coarsely grind it so that it gives out the most beautiful earthy smoky flavour to the chicken.
Add the salt
Then dried oregano. Don't forget to crush the oregano between your palms before sprinkling it on the chicken
Add garlic to the mix of spices. You can add minced/ grated garlic if you want. I didn't have fresh garlic on hand and so I added fried garlic.
Did you know that paprika, cumin, salt, oregano and garlic makes the most delicious mexican spice rub? Try it, you will never go back to the store bought version!
Now zest a lemon over the chicken to give it a freshness and a lift to all the earthy flavours we're using.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken. Now you've made it really spicy n tangy....are u salivating yet?
Lastly blow a kiss, cover it and let it sit in the fridge for about 30 mins so the flavours can all blend together...
Getting on to the Corn Ensalada,
Dice up your tomatoes, capsicum, onion and have your corn boiled n ready.
Start with the tomatoes,
In go the bell peppers
And the onions
The guest of honour, the corn ofcourse!
Some paprika, salt to taste
Lots of coriander/ cilantro leaves. Look how its piling up! Lovely colours, and can you imagine the flavours?!
Add lemon zest and the lemon juice as the dressing. Don't even think about adding those creamy dressings!
Toss it together and set in the fridge to cool. The corn ensalada's done!
Now for the Roast Potato Wedges
Have your oven pre-heating at 425F /220C. Dress the parboiled potatoes up with a mix of cumin, paprika, freshly ground black pepper, good amount of salt and herb of your choice. I went with coriander. You can sneak in a few cloves of garlic on the roasting tray as well. I would have if i had them on hand. Drizzle the olive oil on them, give them a good toss without breaking them.
Spread them out on a roasting tray. Reduce the temp of the oven to 350F/180C and pop them in the oven for 30-35 mins till they turn golden brown.
Look how the potatoes get when they come out of the oven! All golden brown n deliciously roasted...
Meanwhile, take the chicken out after 30 mins. Heat your grill or a pan or in my case a panini maker, and drizzle a few drops of oil on it. Place the chicken breasts and cook them 2 mins each side, depending on the thickness of your chicken breast.
Cook till the juices run clear. Please don't over cook the chicken and make it dry.
To plate up, get your favourite plate, food is about the visual appeal too. Place your juicy, bursting-with-flavour-chicken breast on the plate. Stack up the roasted potato wedges that should be crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Rustic, homely and delicious!
Surround the chicken with the Corn ensalada. Feast your eyes for about 2 seconds and dig in!
See how the earthy, smokey flavours go great with the freshness of the ensalada. Your very own humble, healthy, delicious easy to make, filled-with-love-dinner inspired by Mexican flavours served Ki style. Indulge! :)