Once Upon a Time in Mexico…

Going to a Mexican restaurant is always something I have done for Blake. I don’t like the smell of the frying tortilla chips, margaritas or the taste of melted cheese. I don’t mind cheese slices or cheese platters, I just don’t like it melted. The hard part is I love Mexican ingredients, tomatoes, beans, cilantro, cumin, corn, etc.; I just don’t like the saucy and cheesy execution.

The last time I was “taking one for the team” at a Mexican restaurant, Blake and I were waiting at the bar for our table. In this particular restaurant, the kitchen door was right next to the bar. Blake and I were engaged in a conversation when something caught my eye. I noticed one of the employees carrying a 5 gallon paint bucket. As he walked behind the bar to grab a dish cloth, he set down the bucket. Guess what was in the bucket? LARD, 5 gallons of it. Needless to say, we didn’t wait for our table, and we left determined to use the amazing ingredients that Mexican food offers in a lardless way.

The cool thing about this dish is it’s versatility. You can top it with avocado

Disclaimer: I do love seeing all of the new trendy, fresh Mexican restaurants popping up all over the place. They are a whole different ball game.

Black Bean and Chicken Casserole

Serves 6

Black Bean Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced (more if you are an onion fan)
  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1-1/2 cans black bean, drained
  • 3 ounces green chile peppers, diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or 1 tbsp dried cilantro
  • 1 ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup uncooked instant rice
  • ¾ cup frozen corn (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Stir in onions, and cook until soft and translucent.
  4. Stir in chicken; cook until golden on all sides. (this may take two rounds in the pan)
  5. Pour onions and chicken into a casserole dish.
  6. Stir in tomatoes, black beans, corn, chile peppers, cilantro, cumin, and rice.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  8. Allow 10 minutes to cool and enjoy
  9. Serve with sour cream.

Sales used in this recipe: Black beans- buy one get one free- Kroger, cilantro free from the garden, chicken from Costco.

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3 responses

  1. The funny thing is, most people think that they’re being healthy when they order a meatless bean burrito. The reason those beans are so delicious is simple:LARD. I read an article recently that explained that beans are about the worst thing you can eat at a Mexican restaurant.
    Great recipe! Can’t wait to try it!

  2. Oh no! Jenny is so right! I never thought of that. The cheese dip is my weakness until you see it cold. Regular Mexican places really are gross. It’s all about fresh ingredients; I tackles sushi at home once; maybe I’ll try this!

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