2 Chicken Breasts (optional--leave out if you want a vegetarian meal)
2-3 Cups of cooked brown rice (3/4-1 Cup uncooked) -- I often do half rice and half quinoa.
1 Can of Black Beans (or 1 Cup of dried black beans)
2 Red Onions
1 Bell Pepper
Shredded Mexican or Pepper Jack Cheese
Partial bunch of Cilantro
1 large or 2 small Avocados
Ground Chili Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Peel the onions and seed the pepper and then slice them all into thin slivers. Mix together with 2 TBSP Olive Oil in a bowl, making sure the veggies are evenly coated with oil. Place a large pan over medium heat and pour the veggies into the pan. Let them saute on medium heat, stirring regularly, until they start to soften and brown. If you feel like the veggies are starting to blacken or cook too quickly, that's when it is time to turn down the heat. The veggies are one of the most important ingredients to this meal, and you want to cook them down until they are super cooked and caramelized in their own juices. In order to be perfect, they should take an hour or more to cook, so if they are getting done faster than that, you are probably cooking them too fast. **Note: Before healthy eating was a high priority of mine, I used to use plenty of butter and a little brown sugar to caramelize the veggies. I'm not going to lie to you, it is delicious. But thankfully the natural sugars in the onions and peppers come out during this cooking process and are quite good themselves.**
In a small bowl, mix together 1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder, 1 tsp ground Cumin and salt and pepper to taste.
Pound the two chicken breasts until they are only 1/2 inch thick, then cut them into cubes. Put the cubes in a small bowl and mix in the Chili Powder, Cumin and Salt and Pepper, plus 2 TBSP Olive Oil and 2 TBSP Lime Juice. Mix together well and allow to marinate for 30 minutes-1 hour while the veggies cook (if you don't have time to marinate, it's fine to cook them right away).
During this time, cook your rice (according to package directions) and heat your beans. I love to cook my dried beans in a Crock Pot all day, seasoned with smoked paprika, chili powder, ground cumin and salt.
While everything is cooking, dice the avocados.
Cook chicken in a pan until cooked through and most of the juices have evaporated (but not until dry).
When the rice is cooked, squeeze small amount (1-2 tsp) of lime juice over it and add 2 TBSP of chopped cilantro leaves. Mix together.
When everything is ready, layer rice, beans, chicken, veggies, cheese, sour cream and avocados. It can also be great to add some pico de gallo and or corn. As we are trying to be more healthy, we are limiting the amount of sour cream and cheese that we use, but sometimes it's too hard to leave it off entirely.