Fiesta on Your Tastebuds

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You know the question a dietician-to-be longs to hear? It goes a little something like this: “I was wondering if you could help me plan my meals”. My roommate Katelyn asked me this very thing just yesterday morning. I was delighted! Planning meals for someone other than yourself, someone who presents their own preferences and dislikes: what a fun challenge!!

Katelyn is on a budget. She desires convenience. She needs more vegetables in her diet but is not about to go snacking on baby carrots or celery stalks. Katelyn wants to learn how to cook big healthy meals that she can eat the leftovers of for about a week. To sum all that up in one statement: Katelyn is a college student.

I’d love to share the first of many recipes to come in the Katelyn meal plan! We wanted to call it something super cool. “Fiesta on Your Tastebuds” was definitely the most interesting. If that’s to much of a “mouthful”(heh heh) you can call it FYT, or that baked mexican stuff, or YUMMM!

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast thawed and cut into small strips (optional. This can be a vegan friendly meal)

1/2 onion chopped

1 bell pepper (red is prettiest but honestly it doesn’t matter what color)

1 medium sized zucchinni

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup rice  (brown, white, whatevs!)

2  cans diced tomatoes with jalepeno (or you can get fancy and get one interesting can like we did)

1 can of sweet yellow corn

1 can black beans

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

The first thing to do is get your rice and veggies going. You’d better check your rice package for directions because different types require different times etc. but here are some general rice directions:

-put 1/2 cup rice and 1 cup water in a small pot (that you have a lid to!)

-add 1/2 tablespoon of butter if you’re cooking white rice

-turn on medium until bubbles form

-turn to low, put lid on, let sit 20 min for white rice and 30 for brown

Next are the veggies! After slicing up your veggies (onion, pepper, zucchinni) to whatever size you want, put the onion and pepper pieces in a pan with the 1 tablespoon olive oil (I always eyeball it). Turn the burner on high, you really want to hear those veggies sizzle and they should brown slightly.

After the onions have turned an almost transparent color, add your chicken pieces (You don’t have to put in chicken if you don’t want though! This meal can be totally vegan if you’d like). Go on and sprinkle on some spices: black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder… get creative if you’d like! When the chicken is almost done, add in your zucchinni slices. We don’t want to get those too done, zucchinni gets slimy when overcooked!

At this point your concoction should look something like so…

photo 3 (2)Yummo am I right?

Now would be a nice time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Next step you just put this mix, the rice, and all your canned goodies in a 9×13 casserole dish. Please please wash and drain your black beans (doing so will help you not get all gassy. Worth it. I promise). Also, drain your corn and your tomatoes.

Here are the cans we used!

Here are the cans we used!

Add in 1/4 tspn cayenne pepper, and more black pepper! Make sure to mix it up good! Add some more stuff and get creative if you’d like… I bet it’d be good with half a lime’s juice, or with cheese and tortilla chips on top! Make it your own!

Put it in the oven at 350 for 25 min. (possibly longer if you added cheese.. wait until it browns).

Pull it out and “presto” you get something a little like this:

photo 5 (2)

The reason I look so happy is because it smells so fabulously heavenly

And when you eat it you might look a little something like this:

photo 5 (1)Serves 6 at 230 calories per serving! Fills you up nicely too!

Total time: 50 min- 1 hr

Cost: 8 dollars

I foresee a fiesta in your future!

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