Tuesday, April 16, 2013

chicken tacos

I just got back from vacation and have virtually nothing in my fridge. After my Portland & Seattle trip/constant food coma (which I will recap soon!) I wanted to eat a bit lighter, but was craving some mexican food. After scanning my pinterest boards for inspiration, I settled on chicken tacos with veggies, avocado tomato salsa, black beans, and israeli couscous in place of rice. Tacos have always been my favorite quick and easy meal, and it's so easy to do it yourself, so no need for the kits you find in stores!

And here's the best part--I spent $11 on the whole meal because I only had to buy the fresh ingredients. My boyfriend constantly rags on me for this, but I will freeze just about anything. I hate wasting food, and it's also super convenient to have certain things on hand any time that would otherwise never stay fresh. Some of my faves to freeze? Bread, herbs (already washed and chopped) and any type of meat or poultry.

I happened to have tortillas, which freeze perfectly, chicken, chopped scallions and black beans in the freezer so it made the whole meal so easy to put together.

(all recipes serve 2)

chicken tacos
1-2 chicken breasts, depending on their size
2 peppers, diced--I like yellow and orange
medium sized yellow onion, diced
about a tsp of cumin, salt, cayenne to make a rub, a bit more to cover the veggies
  • dice the chicken, and season with the rub. I preheated the oven to 400 and let it roast in there for a bit for some more flavor and juiciness.  In the meantime, I sauteed the peppers and onions with some olive oil and the rest of the seasonings.
  • once the chicken had roasted for about 15-20 minutes, I took it out, put all pieces and the juices, along with a little water and parsley (I bought it accidentally in place of cilantro) in the pan with the veggies and covered it. This allowed it to steam and finish cooking and get even more juicy.

black beans
half a can of black beans (mine were previously frozen)
one garlic clove, minced
diced scallions
a few pinches of cayenne pepper
  • saute the onion and garlic in some olive oil in a pot until its fragrant and the garlic starts to get soft, but not burnt or darker in color
  • add the beans and your seasoning, and just let it cook down to a consistency you like (I like mine a bit mushy so I cook them longer

israeli couscous
about 1/4 of the package
water or chicken stock (start boiling it ahead of time)

  • follow the directions on the packaging
  • add salt as well as some of the cooked peppers for more flavor

tomato and avocado salsa
one medium tomato, diced
one avocado*, diced and slightly mashed
parsley, diced
any spicy seasoning you prefer-I used tony chachere's
juice of one lime

this one is easy and so fresh--just mix all of the ingredients until you get to the flavor you want--I love salty, limey covered avocados so I usually go overboard there.

The finished product was so simple to put together with a small dollop of sour cream, some shredded colby jack on top and a squeeze of lime.


tip: I recently learned the best tip for picking an avocado--pull out the stem, and if its green, its good, if its brown, its overripe. the outside skin should be brown and slightly soft but not too soft.