When I met my husband 11 years ago, I was a vegetarian. For years I tried to get him to appreciate that vegetarian food could be tasty and satisfying. Each time I would make a delicious, hearty, vegetarian meal, he would cook up a side of chicken (or beef, or pork) to add. I’ve finally stopped taking this personally. It’s not that he doesn’t like my cooking, it’s just that he likes MEAT.
This recipe was born out of this dynamic. The Passionate Vegetarian cookbook has an amazing, yet involved, recipe for Calabacitas on corn crepes with roasted vegetable salsa. The finished product is absolutely fantastic, but it is a lot of effort — impossible to pull off on a normal night with three little ones running around. I’ve borrowed and adopted the yummy squash filling, added a little meat for the hubby, and put it all together to make delicious tacos with seasonal summer vegetables.
Grilled Chicken and Squash Tacos
If possible, get a head start by making the chicken marinade and dicing the vegetables the night before. I’m often able to do this prep work during nap time. This week I took the cutting board outside to the back yard while the boys enjoyed some water play. I love having everything ready-to-go, cooking show style.
- 1 t cumin seed
- 1 t fresh thyme
- 1 t fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 package corn tortillas
- 4 limes
- 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
- 1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 3 summer squash, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, finely minced
- 2 chicken breasts
- salt and pepper
- 1 T water
- Sour Cream
- Combine the cooking oil, cumin seed, thyme, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper to create a marinade for the chicken.
- While chicken is marinating, dice the vegetables. Dicing them small can take a while, but it’s worth the effort in the final product.
Tip: Use the smaller end of the butternut squash (which is shown above in-tact) to make dicing easier.
- Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Add onions and pepper. Saute until the onion becomes aromatic and clear.
- Add the butternut squash, a tablespoon of water, and cover. Steam squash about 5 minutes until it begins to soften.
- Add the summer squash and corn to the squash mixture and saute a few more minutes until all of the vegetables are cooked through.
- Remove from heat. Add the juice of 1 lime, stir, and cover.
- While squash mixture is cooking, rinse and drain the black beans. Heat on the stove-top or in the microwave.
Tip: Add a little fresh water to prevent drying.
- Grill chicken on a barbecue grill or in the broiler. Cook about 6 minutes on each side, but watch carefully so it is not over-cooked.
- Cut grilled chicken into small chunks.
- Heat tortillas one at a time in a warm pan and set aside on plate under a towel or aluminum to keep warm.
- Set out squash filling, beans, tortillas, chicken, fresh lime, and as many other fixings as you’d like — sour cream, salsa, and avocado — for guests or family to enjoy.
This recipe keeps well and makes tasty leftovers. We ran out of tortillas so I ate them for lunch the next day with chips.