Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Don't panic - even if dinner is not in the freezer!

I've been doing the freezer meals thing and really enjoying it, but I realize that not everyone shares my zeal for cooking from scratch or has the time or space for make ahead meals. There are a lot of other options that don't require a drive through or a cardboard box!
I thought I'd share one with you!

There are so many great recipes out there that have five ingredients or less, are quick and simple to prepare and fall into the nutritious and delicious category. There are also a lot of new recipe books that seem to be built around the same theme of 5 ingredients or less - but so far I've been disappointed in them. Quick flip throughs at the bookstore reveal a lot of prepackaged, preserved or high cost ingredients. I don't often use those types of recipes because they often contain things I don't have on hand - like canned soup, tater tots or frozen mixed veggies.

This recipe is simple, low fat, tasty and filling. I almost always have the ingredients on hand. My sister gave me the original recipe years ago, but as usual, I had to alter it for our family. I used to use the chunky salsa called for, but because of texture issues, I found myself running the salsa through the blender to smooth it out before bringing it to a boil. Then I got smart and used taco sauce instead - no blending, no missed offending chunks, and less clean up .... and the rest, as they say, is history! I really like the Pace Organic Taco Sauce - and it often is on sale when the other Pace products are on. We still call it Salsa Chicken! Here are the basics with pictures, no less!


Bring taco sauce (or salsa) and water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Place raw chicken on top of rice - it will sink a bit. Turn down heat to low and cover.







Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Give a stir. Cover and simmer for 10 more minutes - 14 minutes for brown rice. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5-7 minutes while remaining liquid is absorbed.





Plate the rice - place chicken nicely on top. Garnish with grated cheese. Serve hot!





now for the specifics ....

Salsa Chicken


2 cups of water
1 1/3 cups of taco sauce (we like mild or medium) or salsa
2 cups of long grain rice (we use brown)
1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken - dark or white meat
1/2-3/4 cups grated cheese - cheddar or Monterey jack

This could not be more simple! Bring taco sauce or salsa and water to boil. Add rice and stir. Place raw chicken on top of rice - it will sink a bit. Turn down heat to low and cover. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Give a stir. Cover and simmer for 10 more minutes - 14 minutes for brown rice. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5-7 minutes while remaining liquid is absorbed. Plate the rice - place chicken nicely on top. Garnish with grated cheese. Serve hot!


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5 comments:

  1. Hi Heather,
    I love cooking, too, like you, but there are evenings just around the corner, during soccer season this fall, that I think this recipe will come in handy! It looks so simple, yet so good. Thanks for posting it. :-)

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  2. I'm going to try this! Thanks for posting it. I share that same frustration about packaged goods in easy recipes.

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  3. Heather - I just recently found your blog and have really been enjoying poking around ;-) This recipe sounds yummy!! I am curious - have you ever tried it in the crockpot?

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  4. It is so quick and easy to do on the stovetop, I've never thought about the crockpot for this recipe! Give it a try and let me know if it works well for you! The chicken is always tender and though my friend has burned this recipe and actually permanently stained a pot, I have never burned it on the stovetop, so I'm not sure what the advantage of the crockpot would be.

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  5. yum! I am going to try this some time! It looks so easy! thank you for posting it!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I so enjoy reading your comments when you kindly share your thoughts!