Alright, here we are with the first post centered around eating. Eating happens to be one of my favorite activities, so naturally it has it’s own dedicated space on this site. Just so you know what to expect: I don’t like making meals that have 20 ingredients, dirty up more dishes than I can fit in the sink, or have me eating dinner when I would rather be falling asleep due to a lengthy preparation process. I was searching around on Pinterest for some sort of “bowl” to make and couldn’t really find anything that fit what I wanted. I needed something easy, but didn’t want all of my ingredients mixed together in the crockpot (I can’t stand my food mixed up before I get it on my plate–I’m a weirdo). It needed to be something that could be built by each individual diner to fit their taste preferences. The recipe below is what I came up with.
The following recipe makes 2 bowls. You will need:
*(3) cups brown rice
*(1) pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
*(1) 15 oz. can black beans
*(1) 16 oz. jar of salsa (8 ounces reserved to be used as a topping)
*(1) packet taco seasoning
*Shredded cheese (your preference)
*Diced jalapeno peppers
1. Place chicken in crockpot with 8 ounces of salsa (half the jar) and entire contents of taco seasoning packet. Cook on “Low” setting for 4-6 hours, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. I found the chicken to be tender enough to shred with a fork. Keep warm until other ingredients are ready.
2. Prepare rice as directed on package. Instant rice works fine, too.
3. Warm up black beans as directed on can, either by microwave or stovetop. I used the microwave with a bowl that they could also be served and stored in to save on clean-up time and effort.
4. Slice avocado (or mash, whichever you like).
5. Layer ingredients to your liking. Enjoy your creation!
The chicken really makes this meal. It cooks slowly in a crockpot all day with seasoning and salsa and ends up with tons of flavor. The last four ingredients are used for toppings and the amount is personal preference, so you only need as much as you would like to pile on top of your bowls.
Some variations: You could easily spice it up with hot salsa, but here I preferred to get diced jalapeños as an option for extra heat. You could also add pico de gallo if you prefer fresh cut produce, or even different types or a mixture of beans. Simple Truth also makes Spicy Black Beans that intrigued me, but I wasn’t feeling courageous enough to try them the first time around. I will definitely be trying them next time, and if you like heat these seem like they would be a great substitute for regular black beans.
Sidenote: I used a crockpot liner for the first time when I made this chicken. HOW HAVE I NOT USED THEM BEFORE. I ripped a hole in it at some point on accident, so there was some liquid in the bottom when I removed the liner, but it was still worth it. My crockpot clean-up was so easy, included no scrubbing, and I got an additional, glorious fifteen minutes of sleep. Go buy them now if you aren’t already using these.