Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Looking for some cheesy, creamy indulgence without all the guilt? My version of this Mexican favorite stays healthy by using low fat, high protein yogurt and fiberful brown rice. Smokey, roasted poblano peppers add a mild heat which blends perfectly with the sweet corn. Combine the creamy chicken and rice with my easy, zesty Mexican black beans and you have a complete, healthy, and delicious meal!

for rice:
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 poblano peppers
1 cup brown rice
1 jalapeno, small diced
1 small yellow or white onion, small diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup corn (defrosted, if using frozen)
2 oz. goat cheese
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (0% fat)
3/4 cup grated monterey jack or pepper jack cheese
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
salt and pepper
canola or vegetable oil

for beans:
30 oz. canned black beans
2 tbs. red onion, small diced
1/2 of a red bell pepper, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 medium or 2 small tomatoes, small diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper
few dashes hot sauce (optional)
canola or vegetable oil

for rice:
-roast the poblanos peppers over an open flame (such as gas stove top) or place on a baking sheet and broil until outside becomes black and charred
-place peppers into a brown lunch bag and seal tight, allowing the steam to help loosen the charred skin
-meanwhile, combine rice with 1 3/4 cups of water into a large sauce pan
-bring to a boil, reduce temperature to low, stir once, and cover with a tight fitting lid
-cook the rice for 45 minutes
-once peppers has cooled, the charred skin should easily wipe off
-once skin is removed, remove the stem and seeds of the peppers
-cut the roasted peppers into 1" slices
-in a small skillet, warm 1 tbs. oil over medium to medium-low heat
-add onions, garlic, and jalapeno to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally
-once rice is done cooking, add to it the peppers, onion mixture, corn, chicken, goat cheese, 1/2 cup jack cheese, and yogurt
-stir until rice is evenly coated
-place rice into a greased 8x10 casserole dish (or similar size)
-place in a 375 degree oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until it is hot and bubbly
-(if necessary,) place under a broiler for 5-7 minutes until cheese turns golden brown
-allow to cool, serve, and enjoy!

serves 4

for beans:
-rinse and drain beans
-in a medium saute pan, warm 1 tbs. oil over medium to medium-low heat
-add red peppers, onion, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
-add tomatoes, beans, coriander, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste
-if you like it hot, add a few dashes of hot sauce!
-serve warm as a side dish, and enjoy!

serves 4

This recipe came about when I took some of my extra goat cheese enchilada filling and mixed it with some brown rice for a quick lunch- it was a delicious success!

-Never roasted a pepper before? Check these out: stove top roasting or oven roasting.
-If you are still nervous about roasting and removing the skins of the poblanos, skip those steps! Remove the stem and seeds, cut the peppers into 1" slices, and cook with the onions, garlic, and jalapenos on the stove top. It will taste just as good, just a little less 'smokey' flavored.
-Can't find poblanos? Use 8 oz. of canned, chopped green chilies.
-No goat cheese? Cream cheese will work just as well.
-White rice or wild rice can also be used in this recipe, just change the cooking time accordingly! (White rice only takes about 15-20 minutes to cook!)
-Try red beans or pinto beans instead of black beans.
-You can also use cheddar cheese or Mexican Chihuahua cheese instead of jack cheese.
-Instead of chopped tomatoes in the beans, add some chunky salsa instead!
-Leave the chicken out of the rice dish for a tasty vegetarian meal!
-Leftovers? Mix the beans and rice together, roll it in a tortilla shell, and cover with enchilada sauce!
-If you like your rice extra creamy, add an additional 1/3 cup of yogurt.
-Can't find plain Greek yogurt? Use low fat or fat free sour cream.
-Don't need so much? Cut the recipe in half!
-Want to kick up the heat of your beans some more? Add in a diced jalapeno!
-Take a shortcut and use a store-bought whole roasted chicken. Just shred up the breasts!
-Make both dishes in advance and place in the fridge up to 48 hours before eating. Don't cook the rice in the oven until you are ready to eat, increasing the cook time by 5 minutes to make sure it's warmed through. Reheat the beans on the stove top or in the microwave.

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