When I lived in Greece, it wasn’t often that I missed the food that I had left behind in the US. I was too busy eating my weight in tomatoes, olive oil, and tzatziki. But after a year or two, I really started craving some Mexican food.
I haven’t actually eaten food in Mexico (yet), but like most everyone else I’ve ever met, I am a huge fan of the Mexican food that can be found in the states. I don’t know how authentic it is, but the flavor palette that makes up Mexican cuisine I just cannot seem to get enough of.
I have a habit of wanting to add avocado and salsa to everything that I eat, and I’ve really been on a cumin kick lately. I love the warm, earthy flavor it adds to anything it goes into. I’m drawn to cumin because it’s tasty and it makes my mouth happy, but my body loves it because of the amazing health benefits it possesses. It helps control blood sugar, aids in digestion and nutrient absorption by stimulating the liver, and is a good source of magnesium- an essential nutrient that most of us are deficient in.
Just another delicious reason to use food as medicine.
Plus, Fajita ingredients just seemed so seasonally appropriate.
The colors, that is, for the holiday season.
Seeing that it’s frigid in the part of the world that I currently call home, peppers are not exactly in growing season. That is why I felt compelled to serve our fajitas out of roasted acorn squash bowls. Make them a little more winter friendly.
Because fajitas are great. And so is roasted acorn squash. And when it’s Christmas time and freezing outside, what could be better than spicy Mexican food stuffed into a cozy, roasted squash bowl?
- 2 acorn squash
- drizzle of olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- sprinkle of chili powder
- 1 lb chicken breast, sliced thin
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp paprika
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- avocado, lime, fresh cilantro, queso fresco or feta, jalapeno, black beans, salsa
- In a mixing bowl or glass dish, whisk together cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, 2 tbs olive oil, and salt and pepper. Add chicken, mix to coat, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400. With a sharp knife, carefully cut acorn squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and discard. Place squash halves on a baking sheet face up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, and salt. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until flesh is soft and begins to caramelize.
- While the squash roast, slice peppers and onions and chop garlic. Remove chicken from refrigerator and allow some time to take the chill off.
- Heat one tbs of oil in a skillet over medium high heat (I use cast iron or stainless steel). Add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until cooked through. Remove chicken and tent with foil. Add remaining oil, onions, and a sprinkle of salt to the same pan. Cook onions for about 8 minutes, adding a splash of water or broth to deglaze pan. Add garlic, peppers, and crushed red pepper and continue to cook, covered, for an additional 10 minutes. Stir periodically.
- Once rested, slice chicken and add to cooked pepper mix. Remove squash from oven and stuff with fajita filling. Serve with additional toppings.
- If serving fajitas on cast iron servers, place into hot oven for 15 minutes before plating.
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.