Chicken with Black Beans and Salsa

by Valerie on February 11, 2009 · 1 comment

It’s totally been one of those weeks, and it’s only Wednesday. I was tempted to make today’s WCW post an admonition check out WCW’s home over at Shan’s, followed by a strong suggestion to eat some Nutella while you check out the World Nutella Day roundups at Bleeding Espresso and Ms Adventures in Italy and check out a related article in the LA Times. And don’t forget to leave them a comment congratulating them on how their event really took over the blogosphere.

But, as awesome as World Nutella Day was, it just didn’t seem fair to deprive you of a recipe altogether.

And you know what else is not really fair – most WCW recipes I share are recipes I make on a weekend night when I have time and energy and have gone to the grocery store that day.

So instead I am going to leave you with a recipe for when you are really tired, have not been to the grocery store in several days and need to rely on your fridge, freezer and pantry. It can be as basic as three ingredients: a chicken breast, a can of black beans and a cup of salsa. Rinse the black beans to get some of the sodium out. Put chicken breast in oven proof dish, cover with black beans and then cover with salsa. Put in oven at 375 for 45 minutes or so. This recipe is usually enough for 2 servings plus a leftover serving for lunch for either me or my husband.

I usually eat it with Because Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla chips (which by the way, are now available at Costco for much less than their Whole Foods price) but any chips or tortillas would work. For the veggie factor, I try to have raw green pepper strips which is a nice contrast in texture and flavor. The chicken cooking in black beans means it’s tender and moist, and the beans are pleasantly mushy yet spicy from the salsa.

So there you have it, a meal for the very-tired-have-not-been-to-the-store-but-still-trying-to-avoid-takeout nights. It’s truly brilliant. When my husband first introduced this method to me, I protested – “it needs cumin” and “why don’t we put cilantro in it” and “why not marinate the chicken breast, or brown it first.” Now I just accept this concept as a great thing. You see, there is no way we can make it to the grocery store Monday to Friday, so by later in the week, it’s good to have meals like this, which are the ultimate in convenience and can come straight out of the freezer and pantry. As long as you use a flavorful salsa (I like Green Mountain Gringo Salsa – the super spicy one – for this) you really can get away without doctoring it up.

But, if you must, here are some ideas:
-stir in cilantro at the end (I found these cilantro cubes at Trader Joe’s and they really are genius for a weeknight when your last trip to the store was 5 days ago)
– sprinkle with cheese
– add guacamole
– make avocado cream – mash 1 avocado with juice of 1-2 limes, add your choice of garlic, chopped red onion, cilantro (fresh or go the cilantro cube way), and then add greek yogurt for creaminess. You can see how pretty the avocado cream is on the picture below. Oh and in the interest of full disclosure I made this on a Sunday night recently because it was a long day and I didn’t want to put in the usual effort I put into weekend meals. And I actually remembered to take a picture too!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 The Curator February 17, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Er, I just left a comment (well more of question LOL) but it doesn’t seem to have gone through so I will post again! This is kind of a dumb question but bear with me – do you have to cut up the chicken before putting it in the oven or can you leave it whole? In any case, this recipe sounds very tasty, healthy and best of all quick and easy so it’s right up my alley!


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