October 16, 2008

Quick and Easy Mexican Chicken & Quinoa and Black Beans

We had a nutritional expert come and speak to my MOPS (aka Mothers of Preschoolers) group this morning, and I am having parental guilt about nutrition. I try to be nutritionally minded, but I do fall off the wagon sometimes. Well, the statistics and facts I heard this morning has scared me straight (at least for awhile). If you are interested, here is the link to Deborah Pool's website that will give you the down and dirty about what your are putting in your body (and the bodies of your kids). She was an excellent speaker and very informative. Consequently, I am going to try to be more health conscious. So bye-bye Chips Ahoy...hello whole grains!

I originally got these recipes from the allrecipes website, and had them saved in my online file to try someday. Well, today is as good a day as any, and they both seem to fit my requirement of being fairly nutritious. The chicken dish looks especially easy to prepare, as well. Bonus! I think I will serve these with whatever GREEN vegetable I have on hand. I will let you know how it all turns out after our meal tonight!

Quick and Easy Mexican Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch ground cumin

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Heat a greased skillet to medium. Rub chicken pieces with garlic, salt, pepper and cumin to taste and add to hot skillet. Cook until brown on both sides and no longer pink (10 to 15 minutes).
3. Transfer meat to 9 x 13 inch baking dish or casserole dish, top with salsa and cheese and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes (until cheese is bubbly and starts to brown.) Serve over rice or buttered noodles.

Jen's Notes:
I may add some additional garlic and spices, because that's just how I roll.

Quinoa and Black Beans
1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken stock)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro.

Jen's Notes:
I don't have cilantro today, so I will have to make due without it.

The Result:
This is definitely a keeper! The husband and I both agreed it was one of the better chicken breast recipes that I have made lately. I did not have any shredded cheese, so I used a slice of cheddar cheese on each piece of chicken. It really looks like a lot of cheese in the photo, but really it was just one slice per breast. The quinoa and black beans were also really yummy...a good dish to try if you are not familiar with quinoa. The husband tends to like the quinoa plain, without the extra stuff added, because the texture of quinoa is so interesting (like little bubbles, almost). I did not make a fresh vegetable, but instead reheated some green beans leftover from last night. All in all, I thought this was a really good meal, and fairly easy. I would not hesitate to make this dinner again!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WHAAAATTT!!!!! What do you mean "bye bye chips ahoy" NNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Say it ain't so