- Heather Bainbridge EdM, MA, RDN
Only Have 5 Minutes to Prep Dinner? Then You'll Love this Slow Cooker Mexican Cheesy Chicken Dis
This time of year is so busy with end of school stress, graduations, work deadlines and summer fun on the weekends that can leave little time (and energy) for meal prep. Enter Gina Homolka's SLOW COOKER SALSA CHICKEN WITH BLACK BEANS AND CORN. It's deliciously cheesy and you probably have at least half of the ingredients on hand.
There really is no messing up this recipe. My bag of frozen corn was bigger, I added an extra can of black beans, salsa and chicken so we could enjoy more leftovers-which is a lifesaver if you want to bring your lunch work. You'll look forward to it too! I omitted the adobe seasoning/salt and it still tasted great-salsa, canned beans and cheese have enough flavor/salt.
We added brown rice and Cooper opted to have his in a taco shell-well, that's what I envisioned. In reality, Cooper informed me on the drive home from pre-school he planned on having chicken fingers, tater tots and green beans, so that's what I gave him. Sometimes it's losing a few battles to win the war of happy, low stress family dinners.
While I don't recommend being a short order cook to appease your family's every desire, certainly if meals are going pretty well, occasionally letting your little one make a spontaneous choice might be what's needed for them to feel heard and in control. Tonight, it will be back to what the family eats Cooper eats too.
My little Logan is now 10 months and is increasingly eating what we eat (cut into very tiny pieces), but I felt there was too much going on with this dish. Plus, the day before I worked late and Graig gave him his homemade pork carnitas, so I intended to balance this out with a vegetarian option.
I reserved some of the rinsed black beans and served it with grated sautéed zucchini with fresh garlic and roasted sweet potato. Most babies love garlic, so I added more garlic powder to the beans. Even if yours doesn't like garlic, it's a perfect finger food dish because both the black beans and zucchini are big enough for babies to grasp, but small and mushy enough to avoid choking. I'm a nervous Nellie about choking, but I try to not let my fear get the best of feeding Logan developmentally appropriate foods.
I make "large" batches of veggies likes the zucchini and mashed sweet potatoes and freeze them in small OXO containers or ice cube trays. It works out great! It does take time and effort, but I find doing it in the mornings on the weekends is a good time for me. Hope this helps and if it's not your thing that's okay too...my house is a MESS!
In good eating and health,
SLOW COOKER SALSA CHICKEN WITH BLACK BEANS AND CORN
By: Gina Homolka
TOTAL TIME: 6 hours
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
This EASY Slow Cooker Chicken dish is cheesy and delicious, made with boneless chicken breast, black beans, corn and salsa topped with melted cheddar cheese. YUM!
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
15 ounce can reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts halved lengthwise (16 oz)
1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning (or salt) to taste
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/4 cups chunky mild salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar (reduced fat Sargento)
chopped cilantro for garnish
optional, serve with avocado and brown rice
Combine corn and beans and put them in the slow cooker.
Season the chicken with adobo (or salt), garlic powder and cumin then place in the slow cooker and top with salsa.
Cover and cook LOW for 6 hours.
Top with cheese, cover and cook until melted, about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
To serve, transfer the chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon and serve over rice or cauliflower rice.