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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Kayenta Recipe Wins 2nd Place
in National Contest
by Cindy Yurth - Navajo Times Tséyi' Bureau

The Recipe:
Stir-fry Chicken Fajita, Squash and Corn
Serves 6

1 lb. Hubbard squash, diced
1/2 lb. fresh or frozen corn
1 4-oz. can diced green chile
4 oz. onion, diced
4 oz. red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp canola oil
4 oz. tomatoes, diced (retain juice)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
22 oz. rice, cooked

Gather, dice, and measure out vegetables, chicken, and other ingredients.

Heat oil in a 12-ounce skillet for 6 servings, or a tilt skillet for larger batches. Sauté onion until translucent. Add chicken and squash and stir-fry until squash is barely tender. Add corn, green chile, red pepper, tomato and spices. Mix and stir until mixture reaches 180 degrees. Reduce heat and let mixture simmer 2-3 minutes. Be careful to not overcook - this is a stir-fry, not a stew.

Pan up and serve over 4 oz. rice using a No. 6 disher for stir-fry (for high school students).

For the original 50-serving recipe, see

Kayenta Unified School District's entry in a healthy school lunch recipe contest sponsored by the Obama administration won second place in its category, the district learned last week.

"We're thrilled," said Cathy Getz, the district's food service director, who developed the recipe along with a team of local collaborators. "Of course, we would have rather had first so we could go to the final cook-off, but for us to get as far as we did was amazing - and most importantly, it calls attention to the fact that Kayenta is serious about feeding our kids healthy foods."

The recipe, Stir-Fry Fajita Chicken, Squash and Corn, will appear in a cookbook titled "Recipes for Healthy Kids" along with the other top 10 recipes in each category. The district also received a total of $2,000, which Getz said will be used to reimburse its expenses in developing the recipe.

The winners were announced June 15.

A team of judges including a representative from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a chef from the American Culinary Association, and a food service director traveled around the country in May to sample the recipes and observe them being prepared.

"They were really interesting people, very professional," Getz said. "The whole experience was really fun."

It was fun for the judges as well, as their hosts treated them to a tour of Monument Valley while they were in Kayenta. They dined at The View, of course.

"One of the ladies had never been West before, so it was really interesting for her," Getz said.

Getz also prepared goody bags for the professional foodies including such Southwestern staples as Anasazi beans, blue corn meal and dried corn, along with suggested recipes for each.

"They went back with an education on Native American foods," Getz said.

The Kayenta recipe was edged out in its category by Central Valley Harvest Bake, devised by Joshua Cowell School in Manteca, Calif. Runner-up was Crunchy Hawaiian Chicken Wrap, by Mount Lebanon Elementary School in Pendleton, S.C.

The Kayenta recipe, inspired by the local winter squash, was entered in the "Dark Green and Orange Vegetables" category. Other categories included Whole Grains and Dried Beans and Peas.

The first place recipes from each category will compete for the grand prize at a national cook-off event July 25 during the American Culinary Federation National Convention in Dallas.

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