When I left Texas a few years ago to move to Louisiana, I worked really hard to get acclimated to my new surroundings. I started a book club, volunteered at the Humane Society, and signed up to be a member of a group of esteemed, educated women in a national volunteer organization. Through this organization, I had visions of finding a group of good girlfriends with whom I could relate and become lifelong friends.
At the beginning of every monthly meeting, there was an “icebreaker” of some sort. Intended to bond us women over little games and scavenger hunts, I always dreaded them (because really, let’s face it, there are few icebreakers that aren’t awkward or uncomfortable!).
One of our icebreakers required us to write 3 fun facts about ourselves on a sheet of paper, crumple it up, and toss it across the room. We were then asked to grab one of the crumpled balls of paper, and then one-by-one we would stand up, read the random facts out loud, and guess who they belonged to.
As the fifty women each started to stand up and read everyone’s list of random facts, I quickly became horrified at what I had written. Their facts were a little something like:
“I speak 4 different languages.”
“I have 2 masters degrees and am currently working on my PhD!!”
“My daughter has autism, and I created a foundation to bring other autistic families in the area together.”
By the time the lucky, lucky girl who grabbed my sheet of paper stood up, I had sunk halfway down my chair as she read my 3 random facts to everyone in the room.
2. I had 5 guinea pigs growing up.
3. I once ate a Chipotle burrito in under 6 minutes.”
Ahh, Chipotle. While nothing can replace Chipotle’s place in my heart, we like to make our own deconstructed burrito bowls at home for a quick, easy fix. Cilantro lime rice is made by mixing freshly cooked rice with olive oil, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Instead of marinating chicken overnight, I coat butterflied chicken breasts with salt and pepper, toss them in flour, and quickly pan fry ’em. Stir fry some bell peppers and red onions for the veggies, grate a block of Monterrey Jack cheese, and heat up some black beans and green chilies using my Easy Black Beans recipe. It comes together easily with a lot of leftovers and the option to customize it however you want with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Come to think of it, the hardest part would be to not eat this in under 6 minutes!
- 1 1/4 lbs. chicken breast
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 (15 oz.) can low sodium black beans
- 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup long grained rice (we used basmati rice), rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 small lime, juiced
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, diced
- kosher salt
- freshly grated Monterrey Jack cheese
- stir fried bell peppers + red onion
- sour cream
- Rinse chicken and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. If my chicken breasts are thicker, I like to cut them horizontally to ensure that they are about 3/4 of inch thick (you can also place between saran wrap and pound).
- Sprinkle both sides of each chicken breast generously with kosher salt and black pepper, then roll in the flour until completely coated.
- Heat butter and olive oil in a pan. When hot, place chicken breast in the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side (you may have to do this in batches). When cooked through completely, remove and let cool on a paper towel lined plate. Let rest for 5 minutes, then slice into bite size pieces.
- In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until tender and translucent. Add the can of black beans (do not drain) and green chilies. Add the cumin and garlic powder. Lower heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Bring water to a boil with 1 tsp of the olive oil, and then add the rice. Once the rice has come to a full boil again, stir, reduce heat to LOW, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, until rice is fully cooked and fluffy. Turn off the heat and let sit for another 5 minutes.
- Once slightly cooled, add the remaining oil, lime juice, cilantro, and add salt, to taste.