Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Black Bean Salsa with Chicken & Rice

This is easily one of our favorite dinners. It feels healthy and it reminds me of one of our favorite restaurants - Qdoba. And our girls LOVE black beans. They eat the Black Bean Salsa by the spoonful. So everyone's happy when I make this!

I could go on and on about the versatility of this meal. You can make all or part of it. You can serve the Black Bean Salsa and the Red Salsa as just that - salsa with chips. Or you can serve the Black Bean Salsa as a side salad. Or you can do what we do at our house - pile both salsas on top of chicken and rice. When we do it that way, we usually top it with sour cream and guacamole. Homemade. Never purchase guacamole at the grocery. This is a cardinal rule.

So, since this is my blog, we're going to do this my way and make a meal out of the components. So start with the rice. You want to get it going first so it can cook while you're prepping the other things. Just cook it according to the package directions. It'll take 20-25 minutes. And don't forget to salt it because it will be bland without salt. And don't even think about using the minute stuff. I'm not sure what that is, but it's not real rice if it doesn't take at least 20 minutes to cook. Here's my favorite kind:

I know this is a big bag of rice, okay? I got it at Sam's Club and it should last us at least a month or so. Kidding. Probably more like six weeks. In my defense, rice is expensive at the grocery store and cheap at Sam's.

Okay, next work on the Black Bean Salsa - drain and rinse (in a colander) two cans of black beans. I buy generic because they're exactly the same as name brand. This is a well-documented fact. Also, I buy non-organic (or is it unorganic? inorganic? organic-free?) because I did a cost-benefit analysis and found that the cheapest beans are just the same as the most expensive. I don't really know what a cost-benefit analysis is, but it sound like a scientific formula, doesn't it?

Dump the clean beans into a bowl and drain a can of corn and dump it on top of the beans. An important note on the corn: you must use white corn. Actually I was indoctrinated as a child: always buy used cars and white corn.

Chop up a red onion and add it to the beans and corn.

Chop up a whole bunch of cilantro and add it in there, too.

Squeeze lots of limes - like 5 - on top of that. Add some salt and pepper and voila!

Rice - check. Black Bean Salsa - check.

As for the chicken, you can go two ways: marinated or plain. If you have time to marinate, give it about 6-8 hours with lots of lime juice, crushed garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. If you're taking the path of least resistance, just toss it on the grill with some olive oil and grill seasoning. There's plenty of flavor in the other components. But if you have time, marinate it. The lime juice makes the chicken super tender and flavorful.

As for the guacamole...avocadoes were too expensive at the grocery this week. So, when they go on sale, I'll get some and do a post about guacamole. I won my husband over to the side of guacamole-loving-people with my guacamole. Now he doesn't have to gag every time I eat guac. My guac recipe has made for a more harmonious marriage. So another time I will share. And just maybe it will pave the way to a better marriage for you, too.

But for now, make the chicken, rice, and salsas soon. Your family will thank you.

Black Bean Salsa
2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can sweet white corn, drained
1 red onion, diced
Juice of 4-6 limes, or about 1/3 to 1/2 cup
2 T olive oil
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and refrigerate until serving time. This keeps in the refrigerator for a few days. You can also add a diced tomato if you're not making the red salsa.

Lime Chicken
4 chicken breasts
Juice of 3 limes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed

Place all ingredients into a plastic resealable bag and refrigerate 6-12 hours, turning occasionally to let all the chicken feel the love. Grill until just cooked through.

Spoon a pile of your delicious hot, cooked rice onto a plate. Lay a grilled chicken breast on top. Top with a generous spoonful of Black Bean Salsa. Spoon some Red Salsa on top and finish with a dollop of sour cream.


BWF said...

I am ridiculous about good salsa! I would be a very happy camper with a bag of lime flavored tortilla chips & a gallon of salsa. It's good for the sinuses & a great way to get in your veggies. I can't wait to try your recipe. Oh, btw, how can I "join" your blog. I keep looking for a little button or something, but I can't find one. Am I stupid?

BWF said...

Ok, never mind, Scottie just showed me. I can never figure out how to "join." I feel so silly!

Elizabeth said...

I wasn't sure where the button was either - the "Follow by email" must be a default because I didn't add that.

I'm with you on the salsa thing! I love it - all kinds! Tomato, bean, tomatillo, you name it!