I stumbled upon a gem for dinner a few weeks ago. Anyone who is... well... alive and doing anything at all knows how hard it sometimes is to get dinner on after getting home while also trying to prepare for the evening as well as the next morning. Throw in a child or two or more and it can truly be a struggle. I love quick dinners, especially "all in one"s that make it easier to just put the dish on the table and move on.
This is a very easy, healthy, and all-in-one that we've found acceptable by the entire family.
Southwestern Chicken Bake (with or without the Southwestern...)
2 cans black beans (I've been using seasoned organic that I've found in my area)
1 can diced tomatoes (I use the garlic & oregano seasoned)
1 bag frozen corn
1 package chicken (I use skinless breasts, but do as you wish)
If you want this more Southwestern, add a can of chilies or other hot peppers to taste
Mix the vegetables together in your baking dish. Rinse the chicken and place on top of the vegetables, but wiggle them back and forth to get some of the liquid over the top of the chicken - it helps season them as well as preventing them from drying out. Bake - 350* for an hour.
I love the way the house smells with this dish. And the nice thing is that if you are in Virginia in the middle of July and can't stand the thought of turning on the oven, the crock pot works here, too. Prepare all the vegetables, add the chicken, and turn it on low in the morning, and by dinner time, you've got a meal that is delectable.
Add A Twist
The first night, we ate this with brown rice as a formal dinner. Two nights later, Steve and I were finishing the last of this dish and wanted a change. I shredded the remaining chicken and mixed everything together before reheating. Then, we added cheese and sour cream, and ate it as an elaborate dip with tortilla chips, which added a nice crunch factor. There are easily other 'tweaking's you could do to this.
What I truly appreciate is that the beans offer protein and fiber, which fills us up, and it is gluten-free, for those who are limiting or eliminating wheat from their diets. It also includes a full serving of vegetables. It is such an easy way to get all that you require for dinner while still FEELING like you're cheating on whatever diet you follow.
Two birds - you can bake it in the oven to warm up the house in the winter, or you can use a crock pot to keep the house cooler. You can eat it as a formal dinner w/ protein and sides, or you can mush it all together and make a munchie for parties or just a change of pace. This is a versatile meal that works on many levels.
Oh, and the most important part? My husband, in the middle of mouthfuls, told me four times that he REALLY liked this and he was glad I made it again. Then, he requested this become part of our regular repertoire. THAT, my friends, is success. :-)