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