Since Fred likes spicy food
and his wife does not, they were pleased with my suggestion to
eat simple grilled fish twice a week, along with brown rice,
and steamed broccoli or corn, all of which he could douse liberally
with fat-free salsa. I also recommended making minestrone and
other vegetable soups combining beans, rice, or other whole grains
and a cup of cooked vegetables (which equals two servings) in
Skillet dinners like this Mexican-style
Chicken with Red Beans has been another good-tasting, efficient
way to help Fred eat more legumes. For variety, the red beans
can be replaced with black or pinto beans, and you can make it
hot as you wish using red pepper flakes.
Chicken with Red Beans - Makes 4 servings.
* 1 Tbsp. canola oil, plus 1
* 1 lb. skinless and boneless chicken breast, cut in 8 pieces
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
* 1 garlic clove, chopped
* 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
* 1 can (15 oz.) red beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
* 1 tsp. sweet Spanish or Hungarian paprika
* 1/2 tsp. dried oregano or epazote*
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil
in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken
pieces, 6 minutes. Turn and brown them on the other side, about
5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
Add the remaining teaspoon of
oil to the pan. Sauté the onions, pepper, and garlic until
the onion is soft, 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, with their liquid,
and the beans. Mix in the cilantro, paprika and oregano. Return
the chicken to the pan. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered,
until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Season
to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, accompanied by cooked brown
rice and steamed or sautéed spinach, if desired.
*Epazote is a strongly pungent
Latin American herb (also called wormweed, pigweed or Mexican
tea) that is sometimes found in the Hispanic or foreign foods
sections of supermarkets, or in Hispanic grocery stores, usually
in its dried form. Epazote is popular in many bean dishes because
it is believed to reduce gas.
Per main serving: 295 calories,
6 g. total fat (less than 1 g. saturated fat), 26 g. carbohydrate,
33 g. protein, 9 g. dietary fiber, 552 mg. sodium.