Joni Woolf: Chicken and vegetable fajitas … and more

Published 11:58 am Sunday, July 28, 2019

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When a food writer begins to run out of ideas, she finds herself in luck when a chef friend comes to visit — and leaves behind recipes. When two Atlanta friends visited recently, they left Americus with all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables from local markets; their car was packed with items from several different markets, including especially Rudy’s Happy Patch, where they found enough tomatoes to make and bottle spaghetti sauce! It was a successful trip for them. And they left behind two recipes that can be made now, or enjoyed any time of year. Just buy local and buy fresh. (Well … local IS fresh!)


Chicken and Vegetable Fajitas

Marinade recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon salt


1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips

1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

1 orange bell pepper, cut into strips

1 large Vidalia onion (or other sweet onion), sliced

1 teaspoon olive oil

8 (6-inch) flour tortillas or corn tortillas (depending on your preference)

To prepare marinade, combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside. Combine half the marinade and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes, up to overnight, turning occasionally. Combine remaining marinade, bell peppers, and onions in a zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours, or overnight, turning occasionally. Remove chicken from bag; discard marinade. Remove vegetables from bag; reserve marinade, if any. Place chicken and vegetables in a hot, non-stick skillet coated with olive oil and cook for approximately 8 minutes. Place tortillas on hot skillet and grill on both sides for 30 seconds until heated through. (If there is reserved marinade from vegetables, add to the pan with chicken and vegetables and cook for 1 minute before serving.) It’s a complete meal. (For a complete meal, some folks I know can eat two of these!)


Guacamole (also from Atlanta chef friend)

2 avocados

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon finely chopped Jalapeno pepper (Serrano can be used instead)

1 teaspoon lime juice

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt

Slice the avocados in half and remove seed. In a large bowl, separate the avocado flesh from the skin with a spoon. Mash the avocado with a fork and add chopped onion, garlic, Jalapeno, and lime juice. Sit in cumin and salt. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes and then serve with chips of your choice. Many folks use tortilla chips, but anything works — potato chips, Fritos, Triscuits  —whatever appeals to your taste buds. Guacamole is popular throughout the year, but it is especially good in summertime, when paired with drinks such as White Sangria or Mimosas — or Arnold Palmers (sweet tea mixed with lemonade, which I am enjoying this summer). It’s never too late to invite friends over for a cool drink and a quickly-put-together fajita, or simply a dip and chips. Call a friend today.

Next week: How to improve on pear preserves.


Joni Woolf, a writer and editor, now lives in Schley County, having moved from her home in Macon several years ago. Contact her at