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Monday, February 7, 2011

Slow Carb Chicken and Black Beans

This slow carb recipe is one of the simplest I've made.  All you need are onions, beans, and chicken, and a couple of different spices.  High in protein from the chicken, the caloric bulk from the black beans gives you plenty of energy, and the fiber from the beans won't leave you craving more (junk) food an hour later.
This slow carb meal can be prepared a day ahead or simply cooked in the morning alongside your breakfast, and taken to work as leftovers and reheated in a microwave at lunchtime.  I typically will cook this for a slow carb lunch on a frying pan next to my slow carb breakfast, which is usually a variation of my Slow Carb Omelet.  After a satisfying breakfast such as that, a slow carb lunch like this dish will keep you going strong through the afternoon. (I even have the strength to turn down donuts!)


1/2 medium onion
1 can black beans
2 chicken breasts, cubed
Olive oil

  1. In a frying pan, add about a 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and warm it up under medium heat.
  2. Add the cubed chicken pieces to the hot oil, and cook for 1-2 minutes to sear.  Turn the pieces over and repeat on the other side.  Remove from the pan and place them temporarily on a plate.
  3. The pan should still have oil on it, so add the diced onion and heat until the pieces are tender, about 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Empty the can of black beans into a strainer, and rinse well with water.  Add to the frying onions.
  5. To the beans, add salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano.  I generally like to use a lot of cumin and not so much pepper and oregano, but add as much as you like. 
  6. Add the seared chicken pieces, and 2 cups of water.  Mix well to coat everything, then cover and let simmer for 10 minutes to cook the chicken.  This will ensure that the chicken stays nice and moist while cooking.
  7. Remove the lid and let the water boil off.  Serve when you have the consistency that you like.
Recommendations and options:

Serve this next to a side of steamed vegetables to complete the meal.  I always eat this with salsa (no sugar added).  Mashed up avocado / guacamole is also a great side to this recipe.  And of course, for the non-slow carb people, sour cream is also fantastic.
Another option for the non-slow carb cook: add a handful of quinoa when you add the water to the beans and chicken.  As the chicken cooks, the quinoa will as well, and it will be ready by the time you boil off the majority of the water.
As a speedier option, I have found that if you don't add the water, and you just fry the chicken with the beans, you can cook this much faster because you don't end up having to boil away all the water in the end.  However, I find that you do sacrifice some of the moistness of the meal with this method.  I prefer the slow-cook method much better, but they both will give you a very tasty and satisfying meal.

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