Tag Archives: black beans

Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl

The “new” craze right now is creating recipes and putting the dish in bowls. At first, I wasn’t really into the bowl idea but it didn’t take long for me to realize I kinda liked the idea. Placing breakfast, lunch or dinner in a bowl helped to cut down on the amount of food we actually ate. I put less in a bowl compared to  how much I put on a plate.

One of my first bowl adventures was my Asian Bowl with Lollipop Lamb Chops. Not to brag too much but that recipe was a big hit with hubby. Now, he has another favorite. My Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl. This recipe was a little spicy with various textures and flavors that complimented each other. Although there are several components to the recipe, I think it is a very simple dish. Shredded spicy taco flavored chicken, crispy yellow rice, seasoned black beans and a mix of avocado and tomatoes. The hardest thing about this recipe is the wait time. Yeah, this one isn’t quick to make only because the chicken has to bake. While the chicken bakes about an hour all of the other pieces can easily be pulled together.

Even I couldn’t complain about having chicken again. Plus, I didn’t take the easy way out and make wingettes. Instead, I opted for chicken legs because they are meaty and you don’t have to take a long time to clean them like chicken thighs. Granted, I think chicken thigh meat is sweeter than chicken leg meat but it takes work to get thighs ready for cooking. Maybe the next time I make a Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl I’ll build in extra time and try it with chicken thighs. Whichever chicken part you choose (legs vs. thighs), I am confident you will enjoy my Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl. Healthy, Easy and Delicious!

Spicy Taco Chicken Bowl


6 – 8 chicken legs washed

2 plum tomatoes diced

2 scallions diced

2 slices bacon diced

1 can black beans rinsed

1 avocado diced

1 pkg hot and spicy taco seasoning

½ stick butter melted

1 ½ cup water

1 ½ cup chicken broth

1 ½ cups white rice

1 ½ tbsp salt

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

½ tbsp ground black pepper

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cilantro

½ tsp dried parsley

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp Chile powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place chicken in a large bowl. Season with 1 tbsp salt, black pepper, Chile powder and all but 1 tsp hot and spicy taco seasoning. Add melted butter and mix until chicken is well coated. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray then place chicken in one layer in the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes then pull meat off the bone into chunks. Place chicken in a medium size skillet with ¼ chicken stock and remaining taco seasoning. Stir and let simmer for 5 minutes.

While chicken is cooking prepare the following:


Rinse rice with cold water to remove some of the starch. Place in a microwaveable casserole dish with a pinch salt, turmeric, water and chicken broth. Place in microwave uncovered for 21 minutes until cooked. Remove from microwave and fluff up rice with a fork. Let cool for about 10 – 15 minutes. While rice is cooling cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp over medium high heat. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. Reduce heat to medium high and add rice and scallions to the bacon grease breaking up any clumps of rice. Let rice crisp up for about 3 minutes then stir and flip to crisp up the other side. Cook for an additional 3 minutes then toss in bacon and mix in thoroughly. Cook another 2 minutes then remove from heat.

Prepare Tomato and Avocado:

Place diced tomatoes and avocado in a medium sized bowl. Season with a little salt, ground black pepper, parsley and lemon juice. Gently toss with a spoon. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.

Black Beans:

Place black beans in a small pot and add a little chicken broth. Season with salt, pepper, cilantro and onion powder. Cook over medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Bowl Setup:

Place crispy yellow rice in the bottom of an individual bowl. Add chicken to one side of the bowl then add the black beans along with tomato and avocado mix. Enjoy!

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Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho


I am one of those people that enjoys soup year round. Similar to my Auntie M who drinks hot tea 365 days a year no matter what the temperature is outside. Of course on the hottest of days in the summer when I have a craving for soup, I prefer a gazpacho style soup.


Gazpacho is a soup made with raw veggies and is usually served chilled but can be warmed. Most gazpacho soups have a tomato base with multiple layers of flavor and textures. The ingredients and thickness of the gazpacho often depends on the region in which it is made. While researching the history of gazpacho I learned that in Spain some of the original recipes included bread, vinegar, water,oil and garlic. Other recipes added fruits and nuts to the recipes.


I decided to create a very simple version of gazpacho that would be delicious whether served chilled or slightly warmed. Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho fits that description as both black beans and corn are good when served hot or cold. The best thing about this soup is that it is relatively light and is very flavorful with fresh corn. So, the next time you have a craving for a nice healthy soup in the middle of a hot summer day think about making some Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho. Hot or cold you can’t go wrong with this soup.


Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho

3 15.5 oz cans black beans rinsed
1 small onion diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels
½ cup fresh salsa or diced tomatoes
¼ cup half and half
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Place beans, onions, broth and seasonings in a large pot over medium high heat. Cook for 20 minutes until beans and onions are tender. Remove from heat and puree beans using a hand blender or in a regular blender. Place pot back on the heat and reduce to a simmer. Stir in sour cream and half and half. Simmer for another 5 minutes then stir in corn and salsa. Continue simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

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Chili Nachos


Get ready to get messy and grab a fork! I just made chili nachos and they were wonderful. I first made Tex-Mex chili using ground turkey instead of beef but feel free to use any meat you prefer to make chili. I liked the idea of a Tex-Mex chili because the flavors are bolder (in my opinion) than regular chili. Because I planned to use the chili as a topping for nachos I did not add all of the veggies I sometimes use in my chili. I kept this one simple by using only onions instead of adding various peppers and shredded carrots.


Long ago I made all kinds of nacho dishes for the family usually when I was fixed for time to get dinner on the table. I would search the refrigerator for leftovers I could use as a topping for nachos that would not make my hubby and kids look at me like I had two heads.


The idea of combining chili and nachos came to mind while watching a food show about restaurants and their specialties. There was one restaurant that served chili nachos but piled so much stuff on the nachos that you forgot there were nachos some where in the giant mound of food sitting on the table. I liked the concept but not all of the stuff!


Chili Nachos are made to be messy as I said in the beginning. So, if nobody is looking, you can eat them with your fingers. Just let the juices and cheese drip down your fingers. If you aren’t into flavorful fingers, grab a fork and scoop up the chili and nachos without missing a drop. I personally like eating chili and nachos using both my fingers and a fork to make sure I don’t miss anything on my plate … or fingers!


Chili Nachos


2 lbs ground turkey
1 15 oz can black beans (undrained)
1 15 oz can small white beans (undrained)
1 15 oz can small kidney beans (undrained)
1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 pkg Tex Mex chili seasoning
½ onion diced
½ cup water
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tbsp Adobo seasoning
½ tbsp cilantro
½ tsp nutmeg
10 dashes hot sauce

Nachos/ Toppings:
1 bag Tostitos Nacho Chips
2 plum tomatoes seeded and sliced into strips
1 small pkg Velveeta cheese cubed1 small jar salsa (hot or mild)
1 small jar sliced jalapeno peppers
1 avocado sliced
½ cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
¼ cup sliced olives

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Season turkey with salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce over medium high heat and drain. Add beans, remaining seasonings, hot sauce, fired roasted tomatoes and water to a large pot. Let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add browned turkey to the pot and stir. Simmer and additional 15 minutes.

Add cubed Velveeta cheese and ½ cup of salsa to a microwave safe bowl. Place in microwave for 2 minutes then stir to mix salsa and cheese. Microwave for an additional 1 ½ minutes until bubbly.

Layer an aluminum pie tin or an oven safe plate with nacho chips. Using a slotted spoon scoop chili over nachos then layer with Velveeta mixture. Add a little more chili, jalapeno peppers, fresh tomatoes, olives and shredded cheese. Place in oven until cheese melts. Top with sliced avocados.


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Open Faced Taco


An Open Faced Taco came to mind when I was looking for something to do with the extra tortillas I had on hand. I usually roll up the tortillas and make enchiladas but I had a taste for tacos not enchiladas. Instead of making a basic folded soft taco I imagined I could make an open faced taco similar to an open faced sandwich.


Just like an open faced sandwich my open faced taco can be eaten with either a knife and fork or with your fingers. Depending on the meal, I like the idea of eating with my fingers to catch all the wonderful bits and pieces that try to escape my mouth. Fried chicken, open faced tacos or pizza. All of them are finger licking good but for now open faced tacos are at the top of my list.



Open Faced Taco

4-6 tortillas
1 lb ground turkey or beef (optional: shredded chicken)
1 avocado sliced
1 14 oz can black beans drained
1 cup shredded lettuce
½ cup Mexican cheese or pepper jack cheese
½ cup fresh salsa
¼ cup red onion finely sliced
¼ cup taco sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup sliced black olives
½ cup water
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Adobo
1 1 oz pkg taco seasoning
Heat vegetable oil in a non- stick frying pan on medium heat. Lightly brown tortillas on each side. Drain on paper towels. Pour out oil from the pan. Reduce heat to low melt butter. Add black beans, red onion, ½ tbsp salt and ½ cup water. Warm the beans for 3 – 5 minutes then gently mash the beans. Turn off heat.

Brown ground turkey on medium high heat in a large frying pan. Drain off any grease. Reduce heat to medium low. Add seasonings along with ½ cup water and taco seasoning. Stir to mix well. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

Assemble Taco:
Spread a spoonful of black beans on bottom of taco
Taco Sauce
Black Olives
Fresh Salsa

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