For the last two years I have been making one of our favorite quick, yummy southwest-style meals that I learned when I first met my husband. It is basically chicken with black beans, salsa, and a few other ingredients served over rice. I like to call it black bean and chicken salsa dinner. We have loved this meal over and over and never thought it could get better! That is…until last weekend.
Instead of with rice, the contents of the chicken mix was put in betweeen two tortillas with a little cheese sprinkled in to make one of the most amazing quesadillas I have ever eaten. It is a hearty meal with a nice amount of full southwestern flavor.
Better yet, we also made a fresh black bean and corn salad to go along with it. The perfect combination of warm crisp tortilla, gooey cheese, hearty southwest chicken paired with crisp and cool fresh veggies was amazing.
Besides coming away from last weekend full of ideas for cooking this week, we also got to come home with a tripod.
Wow, does a tripod work wonders! These shots were taken by my husband in very, very dark conditions. The sun was shielded behind some dark and sinister clouds…but due to his skills and a nice still camera…the shots came out beautifully!
Finally, in completely unrelated news…I have been on a spring cleaning kick this week. I have some pretty fun before and after shots of our kitchen that I might share as part of my next post as I go through our apartment and show everyone the results of what a little bit of organizing, throwing out, carpet cleaning, bathroom bleaching, disgusting nook scourging, and a whole lot of scrubbing can do!
Oh, and by the way…if you ever make this meal and live in KC. Call me. I will eat it anytime!
- 8 fajita-sized flour tortillas
- 8 oz. shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- 6 skinless, boneless chicken tenderloins
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (16 oz.) jar salsa
- 1 small red bell pepper, washed and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon hickory smoke powder or liquid smoke (optional)
- Cube chicken into 1/2″ cubes. Heat a small skillet to medium high heat and spray with cooking oil. Cook chicken until there is no pink left in the center. (You can also substitute pre-cooked chicken or Rotisserie chicken, shredded and skip this step)
- In a different large skillet, heat to medium heat. Add black beans, salsa, diced bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, lemon juice, smoke seasoning, and chicken. Stir ingredients together until well mixed. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- You can serve the above with rice or make quesadillas. To make the quesadilla: Heat skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking oil. Take a tortilla and add 1 layer of the cheese and then one layer of the spicy chicken mix and cover with a second tortilla. Cook until the tortilla starts to brown, flip and repeat for other side. Serve hot.
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 package frozen corn, thawed
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 10 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered)
- 1 small red pepper, diced
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, diced
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- You will want to use a large bowl that you can seal (or use saran wrap over). Wash and cut all of your vegetables and add to the bowl. Mix in black beans, corn, and all other spices and ingredients.
- Stir until well mixed. Cover and let cool in fridge for at least 30 minutes. Serve cold.
Source: Modified from Rachael Ray’s Black Bean and Corn Salad recipe.