Tag Archives: cilantro

Black Bean Fruit Salsa and Spicy Grilled Chicken

071110 038-2

I love the colors of summer food. Bright, vibrant hues that scream freshness!

071110 022-1

This fresh salsa is one of my favorites. Fresh tomatoes, mangos (or peaches or nectarines), cilantro, black beans, and just a little bit of fresh hot pepper. It is not too spicy, which makes it perfect to pair with a spicy grilled chicken.


Spicy Grilled Chicken

071110 038-2

6 boneless chicken breasts or 10 boneless chicken thighs
1 Tbs smoked paprika
1 Tbs chili paste (or 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes)
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 chopped mint leaves

Place chicken pieces in a Ziploc bag.

Combine paprika, chili paste, garlic, salt, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and mint. Add to the bag with the chicken. Seal and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or overnight.

Heat grill. Remove chicken from marinade and grill until cooked through.

Serve with Black Bean Fruit Salsa, if desired.

Adapted from Once Upon a Plate


Black Bean Fruit Salsa

071110 022-1

1 cup black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup corn
3-4 tomatoes, chopped (or 2 cups quartered cherry tomatoes)
1-2 mangos, nectarines, or peaches, chopped
1 hot banana or jalapeno pepper, minced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
5 green onions, sliced
3 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
½ tsp salt

Combine all ingredients. Toss gently. Serve with tortilla chips or as a condiment to grilled chicken or fish.

Also try with  Grilled Peruvian Chicken Thighs


Leave a comment

Filed under Appetizers, Condiments/Sauces, Main Dishes, Salads

Last Minute Dinners: Salsa Chicken (and a Mexican Coleslaw)

01-20-10 096-1 Looking for something quick, easy and delicious to throw together for a last-minute dinner? This Salsa Chicken has been the answer to many of my “Oh no! It’s 5 o’clock already! What am I going to cook tonight?” dilemmas.

Simply brown some chicken breasts (generously seasoning with garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder).

01-20-10 080-1 Mix together a jar of taco sauce or salsa with just a little cocoa powder and cinnamon and pour over your chicken. (since there is a lot of sauce with this dish, I use a mild or medium variety of taco sauce/salsa) Cover and cook about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in some chopped cilantro.

Top with cheese – Provolone is my favorite, but I also use Swiss, cheddar or Muenster if I don’t have any provolone.

01-20-10 086-1

Let the cheese melt and serve with rice. We like Vigo brand “Yellow Rice”, a mild saffron flavored Spanish rice.

01-20-10 094-1

And if you are organized enough to plan ahead for this dinner, this Mexican Lime & Cilantro Coleslaw goes really well with it:

01-20-10 045-1

The coleslaw goes together really quickly if you use a prepackaged coleslaw mix. The pre-planning just comes in the grocery shopping part.


Salsa Chicken

01-20-10 096-1

4-6 chicken breasts, trimmed
1 Tbs oil
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ cups taco sauce or salsa
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs (or more) chopped fresh cilantro
4-6 slices Provolone or Swiss cheese

Heat oil in skillet; add chicken. Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder (I don’t usually measure these spices; I just sprinkle them on both sides of the chicken). Cook until chicken is browned on both sides. Combine salsa, cocoa, and cinnamon. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in cilantro.

Just before serving, top each chicken piece with a slice of cheese. Cover and let cheese just begin to melt. Serve over rice (our favorite is Vigo brand “Yellow Rice”, a Spanish saffron flavored rice).


Mexican Lime & Cilantro Coleslaw

..01-20-10 045-1

1 bag coleslaw mix
5 green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup mayonnaise
2 T fresh lime juice, (about half of a large lime)
red or green Tabasco sauce to taste (I use 5 “shakes”)
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp fresh ground pepper (or to taste)

Combine coleslaw mix, green onions and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Mix dressing into cabbage mixture.

Serve immediately, or chill for a few hours.

Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen


1 Comment

Filed under Main Dishes, Side Dishes

Prize-Winning Shredded Chicken & Black Bean Chili

Friday night  I came home with First Prize in a Chili Cook-Off!

DSC03130Okay, so it was only the annual church Halloween Trunk-or-Treat and Chili Cook-Off, and this was my big prize, but isn’t he cute!

I actually tried a new recipe, created on the fly that same day, so I am glad that it turned out edible!


Earlier in the week I had cooked a bunch of chicken in my crock-pot for some enchiladas that I wanted to make. And if I’m going to go to the trouble to shred chicken, I’m going to shred A LOT of it. Freezer bags are my best friend! So I had lots of extra shredded chicken on hand. (This would also be a great meal for leftover chopped Thanksgiving turkey)

DSC02976Since I knew I was going to use the chicken in Mexican dishes,  I filled my crock pot with trimmed chicken breasts and poured on about one cup of salsa. Then turned it on low and forgot about it for the rest of the day.


DSC02993Perfect shredded chicken by early afternoon!

I used several different kinds of hot peppers in this chili: jalapeno, hot banana peppers, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. The jalapeno and banana peppers I roasted first. I love the flavor of chipotle peppers, but I never use a full can.

DSC03067So thanks to my friends the freezer bags, I have more on hand for another day.

Other than that, it is a standard tomato based chili recipe using chicken and black beans (plus some extra flavor items like chocolate, lime juice, and cilantro!).

Hope you like it as well as the hungry trunk-or-treaters!


Copy of DSC03116.JPG Crop

Little J and Little A

Aren’t my little trunk-or-treaters cute!

DSC03120_Copy of DSC03118.JPG Crop


Shredded Chicken & Black Bean Chili


2 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2-3 assorted hot peppers, roasted and chopped
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 small can mild diced chilies (optional)
1 Tbs adobo sauce (from chipotle pepper can)
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs dried oregano
2 tsp cocoa powder (or 1 oz dark chocolate)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (use more or less as desired)
Juice of 1 lime (about 2-3 Tbs)
3-4 cups shredded chicken (or leftover chicken/turkey, chopped)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (use more if desired)

Shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, and/or sour cream for garnish (optional)

Place diced tomatoes in the bottom of a large (5-6 quart) crock-pot. If desired, use a potato masher to slightly mash tomatoes. Add remaining ingredients (except **chicken, cilantro, and garnishes). Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Taste and adjust spices to desired heat. Stir in chicken. Cook an additional 30 minutes. If the chili is too thick, add a little water or chicken broth. Stir in cilantro just before serving. Garnish with cheese, chopped green onions, and/or sour cream.

**NOTE: Since the chicken is pre-cooked, don’t cook it with the rest of the chili all day. It will make the chicken disintegrate into tiny shreds. Add the chicken at the end of the cooking time, and heat through.



Filed under Main Dishes, Soups/Stews/Curries