Southwest Chicken, Green Beans, Side Salad and Fruit

I am trying something new this week to make daily dinner prep even easier. I shopped on Sunday and spent about 45 min prepping a few things for this week.  I prepared the chicken for today and it marinated all night in a flavorful mix of southwestern seasonings.  This is a recipe from an April 2009 issue of Sunset Magazine.  Yes, 2009!!  So I am a bit of a recipe hoarder…  I think a friend gave it to me…  I have simplified it somewhat and I think it really works.  I also washed and cut the chicken for Thursday, lightly spraying it with canola oil – it too, is ready and waiting in the fridge.  I also chopped some veggies that I will use during the week – In under an hour all was done AND cleaned up.

…Tonight worked!!!!

I started dinner at 6:10 and we were sitting down at 6:35.  Having the chicken marinating made it so easy!

First I put the chicken on a pre-heated grill and turned the heat from high to medium low.  (You can also cook this in the oven in a baking dish at 350 for about 20 minutes.)

Then I laid out the plates, portioned some greens and topped with figs, strawberries, and a very light drizzle of the no oil balsamic vinaigrette.  I flipped the chicken and returned to the kitchen.  Then my daughter portioned some pineapple (nice to have her helping me in the kitchen), and I cut the stems off the tops of a handful of fresh green beans. I put them in a bowl, lightly sprayed the beans with olive oil, and sprinkled them with salt.  With my fruit and veggies on the plate, I pulled the chicken off the grill and served.  It was that easy!

Originally, I was going to put a tomato, avocado, and black bean “salsa” on top of the chicken, but the chicken smelled so wonderful when I put it on the grill, I decided to forego the “salsa”, and save myself some time.  The meal was very balanced and the plate plentiful.  We didn’t need any more food.  Perhaps I will make that “salsa” this week and serve it as an afternoon snack with some tortilla chips…

The Verdict

Two thumbs up from everyone, except my son who seems to be a bit down on citrus these days – go figure – he loves lemon bars… There is lime juice in the recipe and he keyed right in on it!  That said, he ate it but it was not his favorite.  My daughter and husband, on the other hand, LOVED the flavor.

They loved the pineapple and green beans were a hit – was it because I let them eat the beans with their fingers or because they tasted great?!  Perhaps I’ll never know, but I am going to say it was because they tasted great!


Southwest Chicken, Green Beans, Side Salad and Fruit

For 2 Adults and 2 Kids

Ingredients For the Chicken

1.75 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts

¼ C olive oil

¼ C lime juice

½ C chopped cilantro

1 T ground cumin

½ t salt

1/8 t pepper

Ingredients For the Rest of the Meal

greens for salad

1 tomato

sunflower seeds to top on salad

any other salad toppings

3 C fruit (divided among plates as a side)

4 Cups green beans

Olive Oil or Canola Spray



Make Ahead

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, holding the chicken out until mixed thoroughly.  Let marinate 30-40 minutes.  I prefer marinating overnight – the flavor is amazing.

Dinner Time Prep

1. Pre-heat grill on high or pre-heat oven to 350

2. Lay plates out and portion greens

3. Put chicken on grill and turn heat down to medium, or pop in oven (in a roasting / baking pan) – Cook chicken for Chicken Chili Bake at the same time.  It will make Thursday’s dinner prep so easy!)

4. Add salad fixings and a light drizzle of dressing on the greens

5. If chicken is on grill, flip the chicken, cooking 6-7 minutes on each side.  If in oven, leave for 20-25 minutes or until done.  Juice should be clear and meat should spring back to the touch.

6. Portion the fruit on each plate

7. Place green beans in a microwavable container and cook accordingly.

8. Pull chicken off grill or remove from oven.  Portion and serve!

Pre-Prep Opportunities

1. Marinate the chicken a day or two ahead of time and leave in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook dinner.

2.  Cook the chicken for the Chicken Chile Bake at the same time you cook tonight’s chicken and you will be way ahead of the game.

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