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Growing up, I spent several summers visiting my grandparents in the Florida Keys. These days, when I see key limes at the market, I’m catapulted back to age 10–to my grandmother’s sublime key lime pie, her tart limeade and that tangy-sweet steak marinade she made with fresh key limes from her tree. When it was time to head home, we’d squeeze a bunch of limes so I could bring juice home (clearly this was before carry-on liquids were capped at 3 ounces).
These days, you can find key limes in grocery stores nationwide. Thin-skinned key limes are much smaller than regular limes (usually the size of a ping-pong ball or golf ball) and they contain very few seeds. Green key limes are actually immature fruit and are fairly tangy, but as they ripen and turn yellow, the acidity drops and they get sweeter. There’s no shortage of uses for key limes–use them anywhere a recipe needs a tangy splash of citrus flavor, such as in marinades for meat, poultry and fish; dressings and vinaigrette; salsas, pies, quick breads, muffins, and more.
Here, I use them to give delicious flavor to chicken kebabs.
Note: If key limes are not available, substitute 1 to 2 regular limes or look for bottled key lime juice next to bottled lemon juice.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small papaya, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 large green onions, cut lengthwise into thin strips, plus extra chopped green onions for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 key limes
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
Alternate pieces of chicken and papaya on metal or wooden skewers. Wrap the green onion strips around the skewers, in between and under the chicken and papaya. Season the kebabs with salt and pepper. Squeeze over the juice of the limes. Sprinkle the paprika over the chicken. Press the coconut into the chicken pieces.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Arrange the skewers on a serving platter and garnish with extra green onions.
Nutrition Info Per Serving
Total Fat: 4 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.6 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 17 grams
Sugars: 5 grams
Protein: 28 grams
Sodium: 67 milligrams
Cholesterol: 72 milligrams
Fiber: 4 grams
Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.
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