You know what gives Mexican food that Mexican-y flavor? Cumin.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that; I didn’t either, until one recent day when I finally watched Dave make steak nachos. There are a few other spices that are typical “Mexican spices,” such as garlic, oregano, and chili powder, but I’ve used those spices when cooking, and the food never tastes like Mexican food. So from what I can see (or taste), it’s the cumin that gives it that Mexican taste.
(Actually, I must correct myself at this point – chili powder does make my food taste like Mexican food, but since I hate spicy food, I rarely use it, and the few times I have, it’s never been more than a pinch. So I guess if you want non-spicy Mexican food, cumin is the must-have ingredient.)
Last night was the first night of my wedding diet. I made chicken with onions and peppers, and decided to Mexican it up by adding cumin and salsa. It was a REAL test of my willpower not to add sour cream. I freaking love sour cream…but I figured if I really want to lose 5 pounds in the next 12 days, I need to be strict with myself. And since it’s not humanly possible for me to add “just a little” sour cream, I forced myself to skip it altogether.
My dinner turned out pretty amazing. And I put it into my calorie counter and the whole thing was only 258 calories! So that’s good. :-)
Ingredients (one serving):
- 5 oz. piece of chicken
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 pepper
- 1/4 cup of salsa
- garlic powder
1. Add a bit of olive oil to separate pans and put the flames on low-medium.
2. Chop up your onion and pepper and add them to one pan, saute for a few minutes.
3. While that’s happening, sprinkle your chicken with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper (I just sprinkled a little of each).
4. Add the chicken to the other pan.
5. Cook until the chicken is done (I’m the worst with cooking times! I usually cook chicken for 10-15 minutes on a low-medium flame. My veggies were done before the chicken was, so I just turned the flame off and let them sit there until the chicken was done.).
6. You’re finished!
Add your salsa (and sour cream, if you dare!) and mix it all around and voilà! You have Mexican-style chicken.