Category Archives: southwestern

Santa Fe Cheesy Chicken Stir-Fry

I’m not really sure what the difference between SouthWestern, Tex-Mex or Mexican food is; but whatever it may be, I am crazy about it! Love the distinct flavors of cumin, lime, beans, cilantro, etc. And because I am so fond of it, my cupboard is well stocked in the variety of spices that are needed to create it! Which made this recipe a breeze to put together (and super cheap too.)

THE RECIPE:

Santa Fe Cheesy Chicken Stir-Fry

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 256 calories, 2g fat, 693mg sodium, 19.5g carbs, 3.25g fiber, 4.5g sugar, 38.5g protein

Can I get a “Woot! Woot!” for those spectacular protein stats! (I like protein!)

INGREDIENTS:

4 ounces raw boneless skinless lean chicken breast, chopped

2 tbls. canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 tbls. chopped cilantro (ok, so I need to learn how to read. When I was at the store buying the ingredients for this I skimmed right past the cilantro part and didn’t buy any. Had to resort to the same cilantro “fix” as I did in the Thai Chicken wraps. 😦 )

1/2 tsp. lime juice

1/8 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. salt

2 dashes ground cumin

2 dashes black pepper

1/4 cup frozen corn

1/4 cup thinly sliced onion

1/4 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper (I was a rebel and used a little red pepper and a little yellow pepper)

1/4 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese (Couldn’t find fat-free shredded cheese at my local grocery store, so I went with reduced-fat shredded cheddar and added 1 weight watchers point to my daily log)

1/4 cup chopped tomatoes

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, combine chicken, beans, cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, salt, cumin, and black pepper. Mix well and set aside. (I’m assuming this step is going to help the chicken marinate a little and absorb some of the flavors)

The marination begins...................

Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add corn, onion, and bell pepper. Stirring frequently, cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until onion softens.

After having to endure a horrible massage by a sharp knife, the veggies take a plunge into a hot skillet hoping it would relieve them of the pain. Little did they know the massage was just the beginning of the torture they would have to face!

Add chicken mixture and, stirring occasionally , cook for 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Alas, the veggies see their rescue team: Chicken and Black Beans (they're super heroes, didn't you know)

Add cheese and tomatoes and stir until cheese starts to melt. (approximately 10 seconds) Enjoy immediately! (I suggest waiting at least a minute or two until it’s cool enough to not burn the roof of your mouth…….ouch!)

And thus ends the "cheesy" tale of how I conquered the stir-fry from evil unwanted calories and fat!

THE REVIEW:

My first bite reaction: Needs a little salt *adds a little salt* ah, perfect!

Mike’s first bite reaction: It’s good but it feels incomplete. (after grilling him on what it might be missing, we came to 2 conclusions: One being the missing cilantro and the second conclusion being a tortilla (stir-fry wrapped in one) or rice (stir-fry mixed with or sitting on top of)

I liked just as it was! I used to hate cilantro (now a days I don’t hate it as much, might even say I like it, but I never really miss it when it’s not there) As for it being wrapped up in a tortilla, hell yea! It would have made awesome burritos, but I didn’t think it actually needed it.

Satisfaction: Felt like something I could have gotten at a mexican restaurant but for only 5 weight watchers points. It hit that “spot” that makes you feel like your cheating even though you’re not! I was full but not stuffed and my brain was pleased as punch!

Difficulty: A friend asked if I could rate the difficulty of these recipes (Hi Amy! *waves at screen*) The whole thing took about 20-25 minutes (including stopping to take pictures) to prepare. The only difficult part was having the patience to cut the peppers and onions. For someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen I would rate this recipe as super easy. For someone who doesn’t do much cooking and has limited cooking skills I would probably say it was easy to moderate, but not complicated or hard at all!

Taste: Loving the southwestern food I thought this was supreme! It had all the right spices to feel like a mexican fiesta! I would definitely make this again and again! In all honesty, even though I love cheese, I would like to try it without it! The cheese was more of a background flavor and kind of competed with the cumin and chili powder as opposed to complimenting it. I was left wanting just a little bit more spice. (but just a little)

Texture: Being a simple chicken stir-fry, I loved the additional texture of the sweet corn popping in there mixed with the smooth texture of the chicken and beans.

Creativity: It has all the right components of a well-rounded meal. Not overly creative, not so “been there done that, I need something new” overall, I give this a 3 out of 5. Right smack in the middle.

Would Mike make it himself: Probably not. Would he eat it again if I made it: Absolutely! (Btw, the reason I always ask him those questions: he doesn’t do much cooking (even though he’s really good at it) he’s more of a sandwich and cereal “cook” so for him to like something enough to make on his own must be really good!)

So which to you prefer: Southwest, Tex-Mex or Mexican? And can you tell me the difference because sometimes it’s all the same!

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Filed under burrito, cheese, chicken, dinner, southwestern, tex-mex