Swiss Chard Tacos with Radish-Mango Salsa

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Healthy version of a taco anyone? This Swiss chard taco was the first dish I made this summer from a visit to the farmer’s market! Since I moved to Lincoln Park, I am much closer to Green City Market, one of the largest farmer’s markets in the city. It was the first time I’ve been and it turned out to be a really great one with tons of local farmers and vendors. Upon overhearing a fellow shopper ask for a chocolate croissant and get denied, I learned that this market does not sell or use any ingredients from anywhere further than 500 miles. Since chocolate is grown past 500 miles from Green City Market, it’s not sold there at all! Pretty cool, huh?! Unless you are craving a chocolatey breakfast treat like that guy. I did, however, get myself a regular croissant and was more than pleased.

In my hour and a half of wandering, I made three purchases: Swiss Chard, Radishes and some Carrot Habanero hot sauce, all of which I used in my cooking last night!

Here is the mountain of beautiful chard I got to choose from:

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And here is what I happily brought home:

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I have always loved radishes but I’ve never cooked with Swiss Chard before. I have heard over and over again that it is a delicious summer ingredient to feast on. Acting on my Mexican food craving I decided to make some healthy tacos out of it. They turned out to be really delicious and fresh-tasting.

Swiss Chard Tacos with Radish-Mango Salsa

For the tacos…

1 bunch Swiss chard

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup vegetable broth

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Spinach tortillas

Feta Cheese or Queso Fresco

For the salsa…

1 bunch of radishes, sliced into discs

1 mango, diced

2 tablespoons minced onion

2 tablespoons minced jalapeno

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced

1 lime, juiced

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Start by heating oil in a pan over high heat. Turn heat all the way down to low and add onions, stirring frequently until golden brown. Add the garlic during the last couple of minutes until cooked through. Remove onions and garlic and add Swiss chard to the same pan, turning up to medium-low. Add the vegetable broth and cover. Let cook for about 10 minutes until wilted. Add onions and garlic back into pan and stir in red pepper flakes, cumin and salt and pepper. Serve in a warm spinach tortilla and top with the radish-mango salsa and the feta.

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Enjoy!

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Mercadito

While I still have a lot of Chicago Mexican restaurants to check off my list, I think Mercadito will always hold the crown as my number one. They have my all-time favorite taco on their menu (the camarón featured below) and some of the most unique margaritas I’ve ever tried. I also devour their awesome mango guacamole each time I’m there! While Mercadito is a little on the expensive side, you are sure to never leave hungry as these tacos are certainly belly-fillers. Here is what I got the last time I was there for dinner, but their menu has so many options and you can never go wrong with what you order!

We started off with a duo of their house-made guacamole. Choosing the Traditional, that had tomatillo pico de gallo, jalapeño, garlic, key-lime, cilantro and the Mango with jícama, chipotle, pico de gallo were two very wise decisions!

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I’ve been trying to work my way through their cocktail menu, so each time I go I try a couple different ones. The last time I went I got the most unique margarita I’ve ever tried called the “Smokey Pablo” which reminded me of a blueberry barbecue sauce– very different! This time I went with two that were more refreshing. The first was the V-9  which had pineapple, greens, ginger and lemon. It was quite tasty.

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The second margarita I tried was their Pera Te which had black tea infused tequila, pear, lime juice and agave nectar. While I didn’t like this one as much as the V-9, it was still enjoyable!

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For dinner we did what most people do when they come to Mercadito- share the tacos to try as many as possible before getting stuffed! The first to come out was the Estilo Baja with beer battered mahi-mahi, some spicy aioli and mexican-style coleslaw. YUM.

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The next taco we ordered was my personal favorite, the Camarón. I mostly like this because of the always cooked-to-perfection tender pieces of shrimp and the really spicy sauce they drench this taco in. It is heaven on a homemade tortilla!

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The last taco we got was on special that night and incorporated some Italian flavors, which I can never say no to! This was a meatball taco with mozzarella, basil and cherry tomatoes. I’ve never had anything like it, it was so so good! And it was a good thing we ended on this one because it was the most filling out of all of them.

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If you are ever craving some never-fail-delicious Mexican in Chicago, Mercadito is the way to go!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

What better way to celebrate Fall than by cooking a warm, comforting soup? Soup is one of my all time favorite things to cook and one of the top reasons I look forward to the season of Fall. It fills your home with such a welcoming, home made smell. Every time I dive into my homemade soup I couldn’t be more satisfied. This soup is spicy and broth-y and filling and healthy. Make it in a crock pot or on the stove!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

1.5 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 jalepeno pepper, minced

1 poblano pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes

3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized cubes and cooked in 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper

1 can black beans

1.5 cups frozen, fresh corn

1 lime

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon oregano

Splash of hot sauce

5 cups reduced fat chicken broth

Handful of cilantro, chopped

Toppings of choice,  I used: Avocado, reduced fat cheddar, low fat sour cream, multi-grain tortilla chips

  • Your first step is to chop all your veggies and heat up your big soup pot with the 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil.

  • Saute your onions until translucent then add in the garlic until fragrant.

  • Next, add your jalapeno, poblano, red bell pepper and can of diced tomatoes and saute for 2-4 minutes.

  • Add your cooked chicken breast, beans and corn. Saute for 3 minutes on medium then add your lime, spices and hot sauce. Mix until well combined.

  • Your last step is to add your broth and cilantro and simmer on medium low for 30-45 minutes, stirring every so often

  • Don’t forget to set up your toppings! Light sour cream goes really well with these Mexican flavors and avocado adds a nice, creamy freshness to the dish. And of course some crushed tortilla chips; it is tortilla soup after all! Keep it healthy by using multi-grain or whole wheat tortilla chips.

  • Your final, final step before assembling is to taste your soup before you serve and add any needed salt and pepper

 

  • Pour your soup and assemble your toppings and ENJOY this flavorful fall dish!