Costa Rican Beef and Chayote

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Costa Rican Beef and Chayote
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Equally delicious as a taco filling or a topping for refried beans and rice, this dish features chayote, a pale green, pear-shaped fruit popular in many Latin American countries. It has a mild flavor and pleasantly light crunch similar to cucumber. Chayote can be found at ethnic food markets (many conventional grocers also carry it), but zucchini makes an equally fitting substitute.

What you'll need

  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 large chayote, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice, or zucchini cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

How to make it

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for a few more seconds.

  2. Add the meat, curry powder, salt, and pepper to the mixture. Continue to sauté until the meat loses its pink color, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add the green pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, chayote, and corn. Lower the heat, cover, and cook until the chayote is tender, about 15 minutes (zucchini will take about 5 minutes to cook).

  4. Stir in the cilantro or parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice and refried beans or as a taco filling. Serves 4.

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 1/4 cups): Calories 342 • Total Fat 19 g • Saturated Fat 5 g • Cholesterol 74 mg • Sodium 696 mg

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