There’s nothing finer than being in Carolina,
Especially when the evening is cool and breezy —
What a perfect night to bring out the grill,
And try something spicy and cheesy!
I mentioned in my previous post, Rustic Chicken Stir-Fry, that I was preparing to move South of the Mason-Dixie line in the upcoming weeks. Well, I’m thrilled to say — I MADE IT!! 🙂 There is something so peaceful about the South, and it inspires me to be in the kitchen trying new recipes and creating away. I love being able to cook for my family and friends again, and my heart is overflowing with happiness. It is so wonderful to be back home!
Tonight’s creation is a mixture of 3 recipes I found on Pinterest + my own little twist to create this meal – Honey Jalapeño Chicken with Quinoa Tex Mex. Any leftovers I might have will be stuffed into heads of lettuce and eaten as lettuce wraps during the week for our lunches. Dinner + Lunch out of one meal prep? I love it when it works out like that!
3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon + 1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons + 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely
2 jalapeño, chopped finely
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon honey (local honey, raw and unprocessed if you can find it)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cup rinsed organic quinoa
1 15 oz can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can corn with poblano peppers
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, all natural
2 cups sweet peppers, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup green onions, chopped
3 cups water
1 package of taco seasoning
1 package Mexican Four Cheese, shredded
The Quinoa Tex Mex
In a crockpot, add the rinsed quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, sweet peppers, and yellow onion. Once the veggies are in the crockpot, add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin. Pour in 3 cups of water, and stir until everything is well mixed.
Cook on high 2 1/2 – 3 hours, or until all the water has been evaporated. Be sure to stir the mixture occasionally while cooking.
Once all the water has been evaporated and everything is cooked thoroughly, add the taco seasoning package, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 1 cup of chopped green onions, and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro. Mix well together.
Serve with a dollop of shredded cheese on top.
The Honey Jalapeño Chicken
Take the chicken breasts and cut off any excess fat and skin. Rinse well and set aside to air dry.
Over a bowl, grate the entire lime for the lime zest. Once done zesting, slice the lime in half and squeeze the lime juice into the bowl; this should be about 1/4 cup of lime juice. Add another 1/4 cup of lime juice to the bowl (I used one of the pre-packaged bottles of lime juices).
To the lime mixture, add 4 tablespoons of chopped cilantro, the 2 chopped jalapeños, 2 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic, honey, salt, and 1 teaspoon of chili powder. Whisk the marinade mixture well.
Add the chicken to the marinade and marinate for 2 hours or longer in the fridge.
Once the Quinoa Tex Mex’s water has just about evaporated, its time to put the Honey Jalapeño Chicken on the grill. Once the chicken is on the grill, spoon the marinade on top to add more depth of flavor to the meat as it cooks. I ended up grilling the chicken over a low heat for about 26-30 minutes. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer when grilling. Our chicken wasn’t fully ready in the first picture (we needed it to be 165-180 degrees), so it stayed on the grill for a while longer.
I thought this tasted delicious, especially since I combined recipes and made my own creation out of it. The chicken was sweet but gave a punch of heat. The quinoa mixture was an amazing combination of flavors and textures; it almost tasted like a vegetarian chili. So good!! I can’t wait to eat this for my lunches during the week!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I did.