Alright – so full confession – I am trying to be relatively healthy. I know…Ah, the irony. I talk about food, think about food, cook food…..and am now seeing a trainer who has me on a diet – so most of my weekday meals will have to be relatively health conscious. That’s right. So – with that disclosure – I also should mention that there’s no need to run away screaming. My blog isn’t going to be poached chicken breasts with steamed veggies – I just can’t live that way. So the journey I’m going to be going through involves lots of inventive ways to make the most flavorful food – without extra fat involved.
So now onto my second meal for the blog – these chicken fajitas with black bean puree. It’s pretty much an abstract interpretation of chicken fajitas since I like to arrange all the components separately and then make mini bites out of the food – it keeps it interesting! Below are the ingredients that you’ll need for this meal:
First things first – seed and slice the red and yellow peppers – I put this picture in there to show you how I de-seed a red pepper. It’s pretty awesome how I learned to do it this way….back in the day I used to be a ‘sandwich artist’ at Subway! And this is how they told me to cut the peppers – so I still do it to this day. Ah, memories!
Now that the peppers are sliced – slice the onions into half-moon shapes. Spread the peppers and onions onto a baking sheet and put olive oil on top of the vegetables to keep them moist. Not a lot of oil. I mean, you can. It’s good with oil…I’m not going to lie. But – to be true to my diet…..I use minimal oil. Season with the spices – cayenne, oregano, cumin, paprika, and salt and pepper. Mix them up to get everything equally covered – then shove into the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or so.
After you put the peppers and onions into the oven, start working on the chicken breasts. Trim the chicken breasts then slice into bite size pieces. The thinner you slice the chicken – the faster it cooks – it’s like magic! It should look like this:
And since multitasking is fun – it’s time to start making the black bean puree. I am obsessed with the black bean puree. Seriously. If you like black beans – or beans of any kind – you must try this! It’s creamy and smooth and flavorful….not bad, not bad at all.
For the black beans, I like to cook them with about a 1/4 c. of diced onion. Sometimes I include a diced fresh jalapeno as well – but I forgot to buy one. Oh well. I tend to make my recipes adaptable to ingredients I forget to purchase at the grocery!
Ok so to work the black beans I add the onions to some olive oil, saute them for a few minutes to get them nice and flavorful. Once the onions are browned, add in the 2 cans of black beans – which have been drained and rinsed. If you don’t rinse your beans they kind of have a metallic taste from the can. So…..if you like metal go ahead and keep them as is!
Add 3/4 c – 1 c. of water to the black beans and season the mixture with spices. Same spices as the rest of food. I know it seems like everything is getting the same seasoning – and they are – but I swear – it all works. I wouldn’t steer you wrong…..on purpose at least!
Meanwhile – keep stirring the chicken until it has cooked through. In the other pan, the beans should take about 10 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated and the beans are nice and tender. You want there to definitely be some moisture left in the beans otherwise they will seize up when you put them into the food processor. Which takes me to my next step…..put the beans into the food processor! Puree until a smooth-ish consistency. If they are too tough you can add in more water or olive oil.
Now that the main components of the meal are finished – it’s time to work on the accompanying sides. I like to serve these with sliced green cabbage, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, and lime wedges. I just realized green onions would be delicious as well. And maybe some pickled jalapeno. Yeah, next time for sure.
Seriously – it’s really good! To eat – I like to take pieces of the tortillas (sidenote: these are 60 calories each only) and make mini bites with variations in ingredients. It’s fun to eat – and tastes really good – I hope you enjoy!
3 -4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 T. olive oil
2 t. cumin
2 t. paprika
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. cayenne
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
Peppers and Onions:
2 red peppers – sliced
1 large onion – sliced
1 T. olive oil
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
2 cans black beans – drained and rinsed
1/4 c. diced onion
1/2 T. olive oil
1 c. water
1 t. cumin
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. cayenne (or less if you don’t like it so spicy)
Sliced green onions
1. Slice the onions and red peppers and add the spices and olive oil. Toss altogether and put in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.
2. Trim and slice the chicken breasts into bite size pieces.
3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add the chicken.
4. Sprinkle the spices onto of the chicken and keep stirring the chicken until cooked through completely, about 10-15 minutes.
5. While chicken is cooking, drain and rinse the black beans.
6. Dice the onion.
7. In a saucepan, add the olive oil and onion until transparent and cooked through.
8. Add the black beans to the onions and add in the spices along with the water. Allow the beans to simmer for 10 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated.
9. Once the beans have cooked through, blend into a food processor.
10. Assemble the dish – chicken, peppers and onions, black bean puree, and the sides – sliced green cabbage, cilantro, sour cream, avocados, tortillas and lime wedges.