Practical food tips for parents from a RD and mom of three

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Salsa chicken

Here's an easy weeknight meal: salsa chicken. It's perfect because it was easy to prepare, used inexpensive ingredients that I had on hand, and made everyone happy.

  1. Take 2 large split chicken breast halves (still on bone), remove the skin, and place them in your crock pot.
  2. Add 1 jar of salsa, making sure to coat the chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours until the chicken is tender and shreds easily. Remove meat from bones (throw those away), shred it, and return it to the crock pot to mix with the “sauce.” Add 1 can of beans or 1 ½ cups of pre-soaked and cooked dried beans, combine and heat through.
  4. Serve with brown rice or tortillas and your family's favorite toppings.

Some versions of this recipe call for cream cheese to make the sauce creamy. I didn't care for that, preferring instead to add yogurt and cheese to my own meal to make it creamy. However if you want to try it I would recommend adding about ½ a block of reduced-fat cream cheese at the end of the cooking time and mixing it into the shredded chicken, salsa, and beans.

We ate this meal over rice the first night. The kids love any meal where they can add toppings to their food – we had shredded cheese, plain yogurt (you could also use low fat sour cream), sliced black olives, and green onions.

Here is my bowl:

Here is Lila's plate (I had an extra chicken breast in the package, so I roasted it so she could have plain chicken, too):

Later in the week I sauteed fresh corn and tomatillos from our farm share, then added the leftover chicken/salsa/bean mixture and made soft tacos from it, which we enjoyed with the leftover brown rice.

I love that we enjoyed two healthy feasts made from inexpensive ingredients: 2 chicken breasts (that I bought on sale), beans, a jar of salsa, brown rice, tortillas, and whatever toppings and extra veggies I had in the house.

Today's tip: Make salsa chicken for your family... you may enjoy it twice!

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