Wednesday, March 31, 2010
It's one of those crazy weeks and my meal planning only got as far as Nancy's birthday dinner last night. So, when I picked Quinn up for school today, after exchanging the usual pleasantries:
Me: How was school?
Quinn: Kind of a busy day, you?
Quinn: What's for dinner?
Me: Absolutely no idea. What do you want?
Me: Cool, burritos it is.
Let me say first that, from a health perspective, making decisions like this on the fly is not a good idea. One of the best ways to keep yourself on track is to plan your meals, especially the main meal of the day, in advance. If you have a number of meals planned and the ingredients on hand you are much less likely to fall into the "there's nothing good in the house" trap that leads to too much take-out or other bad decisions.
That said, our pantry is pretty well stocked and when Quinn said burritos, I knew I had nearly everything on hand that I would need. I had both chicken and turkey in the freezer. I considered going a more traditional ground meat route with the turkey, then recalled reading about pulled chicken. I thought it would be fun to try it in a burrito.
I braised the chicken in a combination of onion, garlic, red chilies, jalapeno, cilantro, lime and orange juice. While the meat braised, I put together some black beans (Follow the link for the recipe. I made a half batch and substituted chipotle powder for cayenne.) and some pico de gallo (look for that recipe tomorrow) to go with it. I also chopped up some lettuce, tomato and celery to use as a bed. I topped the burritos with a tablespoon of light sour cream, the pico and 1/8 cup of reduced fat Mexican cheese blend.
I loved how it came out. The chicken had the zing of the citrus, the beans gave a smokey flavor and the pico packed some heat. All this was cooled by the sour cream, cheese and salad bed. It all worked out to only 377 calories with 9 grams of fat and 10 of fiber.
Chicken and Black Bean Burritos
Makes 6 servings
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3 4-ounce chicken breast halves, filleted to equal thickness
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 fresh red chilies, deseeded and minced (dried and re-hydrated can be used as well)
1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes
juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 recipe of black beans
6 large high-fiber, low-fat tortillas
Preheat oven to 350F
In a Dutch oven or oven-safe skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes a side, until chicken is nearly done. Remove the chicken and set aside.
To the same Dutch oven or skillet, add onion, garlic, chilies, jalapeno, cilantro, salt and pepper. Saute until onion is tender. Add lime and orange juice and broth. Place the chicken on top of the mixture, cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 30 minutes.
Once the chicken is tender, remove the Dutch oven from the oven and shred the chicken using two forks. Put the Dutch oven over medium-high heat and mix a slurry of corn starch and water. When the chicken mixture boils, add the slurry and stir continuously until thickened. Remove from heat.
On each tortilla, place 1/6 the chicken mixture and 1/6 the black beans. Top with sour cream, cheese and your favorite pico or salsa.
Deal of the Day: Have you ever considered making your own tortillas? I'm looking at this tortilla press and considering trying it.