Shredded Chicken Tacos with Watermelon Salsa
Being gluten-free is a drag. Seriously. I’m doing everything I can to put a positive spin on it but, at the end of the day, we all know it’s hard not to be able to eat whatever you want without worrying about getting sick.
My son, Jeremy, who has celiac as well, has been amazing. He is so aware of what he can and can’t have and is very careful in and out of the house. I am careful too. However, for some reason, it doesn’t stop us from getting sick sometimes. I think we are so sensitive, either because we have celiac, because we have not eaten gluten at all or some combination of factors, we can get symptoms from cross-contamination very easily.
When I have that knowing ache on the left side of my abdomen and experience days of major discomfort in addition to other symptoms or when my son is obviously suffering, I get so frustrated and perplexed. It’s not like we “cheated” and had a slice of pizza or a cupcake. We are always trying to be so careful. That’s the part about having celiac disease that really upsets me. Does a gluten-free diet actually cure this disease?
I spoke to a writer at Allergic Living about this today, Lisa Fitterman. She has written some really great articles about celiac disease and is looking into this issue. I am really looking forward to reading her story.
In the meantime, I will continue to eat and live gluten-free and enjoy the days when we see the benefits of knowing we have celiac disease and feeling well. For those of you who are wondering if you should try this “diet” on for size. I highly recommend you don’t unless you truly have to do so. I promise, it is not as glamorous as some Hollywood stars are making it out to be and my guess is, if you eliminate gluten from your diet for a while, you may start getting sick when you put it back in from time to time. Just a guess…curious to know some of your thoughts and/or experiences with this.
Ok. Enough of my rant. Now onto the recipe. I’m so excited to do another cooking demo at Whole Foods in Yonkers on Saturday, June 14th. I hope you will join us! This time, they asked me to come up with a kid-friendly recipe. My kids love tacos. The best part about them is setting up the fix-ins on the table and letting everyone design their own. It’s one meal that works for everyone from your pickiest eater to your most adventurous.
I used a rotisserie chicken in this recipe in order to make it a quick and easy weeknight meal any busy family can enjoy. The watermelon salsa is so refreshing and can be used as a topping on your taco or a side fruit salad. I put some guacamole and cheddar cheese on my chicken taco and loved it. I’m sure sour cream would be great too.
- WATERMELON SALSA:
- 2 cups, watermelon, cubed
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 scallions, white parts, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp mint, thinly sliced into ribbons or chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- ¼ tsp turbinado sugar
- CHICKEN TACOS:
- 2 tbsp avocado or canola oil, divided
- 1 whole rotisserie chicken, meat pulled and shredded
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 Italian pepper, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 corn tortillas, warmed
- Additional Optional Toppings:
- sharp cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- Toss all ingredients for watermelon salsa together in a serving bowl and refrigerate while preparing other ingredients (about 10-15 minutes) to allow the flavors to marry.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add shredded chicken , garlic salt, chili powder and cumin
- Once chicken begins to brown slightly, add chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce to simmering for about 3-5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed
- Remove chicken to a serving dish and heat remaining tbsp oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add red onion, Italian and red peppers and sauté until starting to brown but not too soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add sliced garlic and cilantro and sauté for 1 more minute, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a separate serving bowl.
- Serve family-style with warm tortillas, additional optional toppings and enjoy!