A few weeks ago I was heading out to lunch when I passed by my coworker Michele Carpenter’s desk. Her lunch smelled so delicious, it stopped me in my tracks! I begged her for the recipe, and it turns out her Chicken Taco Bowl is a perfect example of a healthy meal to share on What’s Cooking.
Chicken breast is a good source of lean protein because it has less saturated fat than some other sources of protein like red meat. Reducing saturated fat in your diet is important because, when consumed too often, it can raise blood cholesterol levels which are associated with heart disease risk.
Red bell peppers are another healthful addition — just one ½ cup serving packs more than an entire day’s worth of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps your body heal. Both bell peppers and beans are a good source of fiber as well, helping to fill you up and move the digestion process along smoothly.
When assembling your taco bowls, remember to add cheese in moderation. Some cheeses can be high in saturated fat and sodium. Look for a cheese or cheese blend that is low fat and has more protein and calcium per serving to balance out your nutrition.
The recipe can easily be scaled up or down to feed different family sizes. You can also prepare a few bowls in re-sealable containers to last through the week. And since everything cooks on one lined baking sheet, clean up is a breeze. You can make this recipe even healthier by prepping homemade versions of taco seasoning and salsa ahead of time, too. Just take a look the cook’s note below for some ideas.
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 1 package frozen yellow corn, thawed
- 15 oz. can of low sodium black beans, rinsed and warmed
- 2 tablespoons low sodium taco seasoning*
- ¾ cup salsa**
- 8 oz. Shredded cheese
- Olive Oil
- 1 cup of cooked brown rice
- Heat oven to 400. Sprinkle chicken breasts on both sides with taco seasoning and drizzle sparingly with olive oil. Place on one side of a lined baking sheet. Top the chicken with a generous amount of salsa.
- On the other side of the baking sheet, place your bell pepper and onion slices. Lightly salt and pepper your veggies, and drizzle sparingly with olive oil.
- Put baking sheet in the oven and let it bake for 20-30 minutes. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing into strips.
- In a bowl, layer hot rice on the bottom, followed by cheese, peppers and onions, black beans, corn, and top off with chicken slices.
Thanks for sharing, Michele!
* Make your own taco seasoning by combining 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder, 1 ½ teaspoons paprika, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
** You can substitute store bought salsa for homemade. Try whipping up a quick salsa fresca by dicing one medium tomato and half a jalapeño and tossing with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro to taste.
The information provided here may help you make more informed choices. However, it is not a substitute for an individualized nutrition plan, medical opinion, or diagnosis. You should always consult with your personal physician to make decisions about your diet and nutrition.
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