JW has started a workout regime with a coworker of his who used to manage an LA Fitness. So lately he’s been asking for some healthier meals. I usually cook on the healthy side anyway, but I’ve tried to find some new things that are low in fat, sodium, and calories. This Mexican dish from Elly Says Opa (who adapted it from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless) fell perfectly into that category. It incorporates a lot of chili powder, which gives it a great flavor boost.
I highly recommend this recipe if you’re looking for something good, filling, healthy, and flavorful. It has a few steps, but is really very simple. You can eat it on its own, but we chose to make a stack-up taco salad of sorts, with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and guacamole.
Red Chile Chicken and Rice with Black Beans
- 2 Tbsp. canola oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1.25-1.5 lbs. total)
- 2.5 Tbsp. ancho chili powder, divided
- 1 medium onion, large dice
- 1 cup rice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions, roots and wilted outer leaves removed before chopping (OR 1/3 cup cilantro OR 2-3 Tbsp. epazote or hoja santa)
Heat the oil in a medium-large heavy pot (with a lid) over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt and 1 Tbsp. of the ancho chili powder. Place the chicken in the hot oil and brown on each side, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible.
Add the onion and rice to the pot. Stir for several minutes, until the rice turns from translucent to opaque. Add the garlic and the remaining 1.5 Tbsp. ancho chili powder. Cook one minute, and then add the broth and salt to taste. Stir well. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Cut the chicken breast into 1″ pieces. Add them to the pot along with the beans. Re-cover and cook 12 minutes longer.
Sprinkle the green onions and test a kernel of rice. It should have no more than a hint of chalkiness at in the center, in which case you place the cover back on, remove it from the heat and let it stand 5-10 minutes. If it’s not cooked, cook for another 5 minutes or so.
Fluff the mixture with a fork and serve with salsa for each person to spoon on al gusto.
In other news, Blade went back to the kennel and we picked up some foster puppies that we have named Melbourne and Diesel. They are about 8 weeks old now and once we’re through treating them for one or two things, they’ll be ready for adoption. The tentative bring-back date is Wednesday, but I’m skeptical that they’ll be ready by then. This is our first time puppy fostering, and although it’s a different kind of experience, it’s really not been too difficult – and not nearly as messy as I expected! Wood laminate floors help a ton :)
Plus these boys are super-cuddlers so they really steal your heart away. That helps a ton too.