Chicken and zucchini…Summer is flying by so fast, I’m afraid I won’t have enough time to cook all the dishes I have in mind with summer’s fresh produce. I admit, I prefer grocery shopping to the clothes one. I can wonder aisles of food for hours. My preferred way to do it – on my own. Can you blame me?! Every time I enter my local farm market type of a grocery store, I’m about to faint. Local blueberries, zucchini, cherries, young potatoes, dill cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, apricots and peaches – I want it all! Currently I’m stuffing my face and freezer with blueberries before they are done in a few weeks. I have unbelievable whole grain blueberry muffin recipe coming your way next.
So, this chicken and zucchini is a variation of my Skinny Tex Mex Bean Quinoa Casserole with added chicken for a protein boost and quinoa replaced by zucchini. I stock up on zucchini every time I do shopping. Everything is cooked within 30 minutes, right in one pan. Tender chicken breast, springy black beans, sweet corn and zucchini, which is added at the very end to preserve the crunchiness. This dish was delicious! I love raw or slightly cooked zucchini. Where as my kids, do not like zucchini, period. They picked it out of their plates with no problem but ate everything else.
This chicken and zucchini is cooked with diced tomatoes, cumin, taco or fajita seasoning (replace by extra cumin), topped with cheese and fresh herbs. I added just a cup of shredded organic Colby Jack cheese and a few handfuls of cilantro and green onions. Fresh herbs are a great way to add flavour to any dish without extra calories.
My thoughts on cheese. We used to eat a lot of it, as well as other dairy. I used to cross the US border and stock up at Costco for months. It’s so much cheaper in the US than in Canada. In the past years I have been buying only organic cheese.
Alex stopped eating cheese 5 years ago, after our 2 week all-inclusive Jamaica vacation and his through the roof high cholesterol level afterwards. I honestly think he over did at the buffets but he just won’t touch dairy anymore. Like who does a blood test the next day after drinking rum and coke and literally living in a buffet restaurant for two weeks?! Who does that? Apparently, men do…like many other things they do…let’s just not go there.:)
I think, everything is good in moderation. Cheese is a saturated fat and like any dairy is full of hormones, that are meant for baby animals. It has calcium but so does kale and spinach. It’s up to you to decide what to do with cheese, I’ll tell you what I do. I occasionally sprinkle feta on a salad and a bit on a skillet dish like this one. Like, let’s say once a week. I consider my approach using dairy in limited amounts and it works for me. I have seen improved weight loss results and more clear skin since then. I do not drink milk or eat cheese in any other way, very rare. I now consume Greek yogurt in moderation as well. I haven’t bought heavy cream or spread cream cheese on a bagel for years. So, this is my 2 cents on cheese and I hope you find it helpful. I often get asked what and how much I eat. And yes, I do feel happy and not deprived, in case you are wondering.:)
Enjoy this chicken and zucchini!
- 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium bell peppers, chopped
- 1 lb boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
- 1 tbsp cumin, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup corn, frozen or fresh
- 14 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp taco (fajita) seasoning, all natural (substitute with cayenne pepper + cumin)
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- 1 cup Tex Mex or Colby Jack cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- Preheat large deep skillet on low - medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion and garlic, saute until translucent. Add bell pepper and saute for a few more minutes. Move mixture to a side of the skillet and add chicken. Sprinkle with 1 tsp cumin, salt and black pepper. Saute until a bit golden brown, about 5 -7 minutes.
- Add corn, beans, tomatoes, taco (fajita) seasoning and remaining cumin. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add zucchini and stir. Sprinkle with cheese, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Top with green onions and cilantro. Serve hot, on its own or with brown rice or quinoa.
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving = 1 + 2/3 cups:
Total Fat: 8.3 g
Cholesterol: 51.8 mg
Sodium: 774.5 mg
Total Carbs: 21.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.7 g
Protein: 26.9 g
WW Points+: 6
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