Back to Philadelphia again this weekend! Although not my favorite city (sorry…), Philadelphia is the birthplace of running for food (fro yo) and home of my best foodie friend. Every time we make a meal, it is completely original, completely delicious, and usually healthy. And if it’s not healthy, it always looks pretty, like our cake pops. We wasted no time getting to work this weekend. I flew in Friday evening, and by the end of the night we had already created a delicious three-course dinner and a new recipe (coming soon!!).
It’s pretty amazing what you can do with very few ingredients and a lot of spices. Frozen chicken, quinoa, and black beans are extremely bland on their own, but we felt like we were eating a Cuban feast by the end of the night. I had found the idea for the meal from Half Baked Harvest, but after picking up some bananas and limes, we created the rest from ingredients in the kitchen. The fried bananas served as dinner and dessert; they’re impossible to stop eating! Good thing they are healthy! This meal covers all your bases: whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, fiber, fruit, and spices.
Here is the recipe, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell you exactly what proportions we used. Recipes are good ideas for basic guidelines, but the meal always tastes better when you make your own spicing adjustments. I mostly recommend lots of lime juice, cumin, and as much chili powder as you can tolerate.
This post also marks my first time participating in Fiesta Friday, an online blogging party hosted by the Novice Gardner. Check out the collection of other great recipes for this week: https://thenovicegardener.wordpress.com/2015/01/09/fiesta-friday-50/
Cuban Spiced Chicken, Black Beans, and Quinoa with Fried Bananas inspired by Half Baked Harvest
2 chicken breasts
2 limes, freshly squeezed + 2 tsp lime zest
2 tbs honey or agave
1 tbs coconut oil
2 (it was more like 6 I think) garlic cloves, minced
SPICES: cumin, paprika, chili powder, sea salt, turmeric, pepper
Heat oil and garlic in a frying pan. Slice chicken breasts in half to increase the surface area, then add to pan. Slowly add spices, lime juice, and honey. Cook for a few minutes on each side until browned and cooked all the way through. Put on lower heat and cook for a bit longer to infuse the flavors .
Quinoa and Black Beans
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
4 garlic cloves, minced
SPICES: chili powder, extra lime juice, cumin
Heat onion, garlic, and oil in a large frying pan. Cook until onions are translucent, then add beans and dry quinoa. Cook until quinoa is lightly toasted, then transfer to pot. Bring beans and quinoa in 2 ½ cups water to a boil, then cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes until quinoa is light and fluffy. If all the water boils out before this, add more to make sure your quinoa doesn’t burn.
2 bananas, thickly sliced
1 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp honey or agave
1 tsp chili powder (or more)
1 avocado, sliced
And cinnamon (couldn’t resist)
Heat oil in skillet, then add bananas. Sprinkle with chili powder and add honey and avocado. Put on medium heat and allow to cook until browned on all sides and bananas are warm, soft, and mushy all the way through. Two bananas quickly turned the rest of the bunch being added to the pan to make extra…