Low-Carb Lesson #49: Low Carb South Of The Border Chicken

Low Carb Cooking 101: Low-Carb Lesson #49: Low Carb South Of The Border Chicken

My family has a love affair with Mexican food. Oh heck, let’s face it: my family has a love affair with food. But Mexican food really is high up on the list, believe me, just as long as it is spicy enough (for my son) and not too spicy (for my husband). It’s such a joy trying to make everyone happy at the dinner table. I’ve learned adjust the spices to MY taste (which is mildly medium – I’m so boring). I then provide my son with multiple bottles of a variety of hot sauces with slightly obscene names and my husband with multiple glasses of ice water.

Tonight’s meal is suited to any time of the year, but is particularly nice when served outside at the picnic table. We turn off the television and the radio, light some candles, turn out most of the lights, and listen to the crickets chirp and frogs croak. Sometimes we even talk to each other.

(This is best NOT done during the time that your neighbor is mowing his lawn. You know which one I’m talking about: the one with the rider mower that has enough horse power to haul a semi ‘cross country.)

Here’s this evening’s menu:

  • South Of The Border Chicken
  • Green Beans Ole
  • Mexicali Cole Slaw

Here’s the shopping list for the meal. You may very well already have some of these things on hand:

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 green or red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 16-ounce package cole slaw mix
  • 1 small jicama
  • 1 8-ounce container plain yogurt
  • shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce
  • olive or vegetable oil
  • nonstick spray
  • taco seasoning mix (purchased or homemade – see recipe below)
  • Mexican spice blend (purchased or homemade – see recipe below)
  • dried basil
  • dried rosemary
  • salt
  • pepper

If you want to try making your own spice mixes, you will also need:

  • dry mustard
  • dried grated orange peel, dried
  • allspice
  • ground nutmeg
  • ground ginger
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • dried minced onion
  • dried minced garlic
  • chili powder
  • crushed dried red pepper
  • oregano
  • ground cumin
  • salt

Here’s the game plan:

If you are planning on making your own spice blends, make them ahead of time at your convenience. Baby food jars or small jelly jars are ideal containers. Store the spice blends in a cool, dark place.

The night before you plan to serve the meal, take the chicken breasts or thighs out of the freezer and put them in a Zip Lock bag in the refrigerator to thaw. If you want, you can make the Mexicali Cole Slaw the night before, too. I also like prepare the vegetables for the Green Beans Ole ahead of time and put them in small Zip Lock bags in the refrigerator until I’m ready to cook.

About an hour and fifteen minutes before you want to serve the meal, preheat the oven and prepare the South Of The Border Chicken Breasts according to the recipe directions. (Leave the shredded Mexican blend cheese in the refrigerator until the end of the chicken’s baking time, of course.)

If you have not already made the Mexican Cole Slaw, prepare it after you put the chicken in the oven. Once prepared, cover the cole slaw tightly with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator until it is time to serve it.

Set the table.

About 20 minutes before the chicken is supposed to be done, prepare the Green Beans Ole according to the recipe directions. If the Green Beans Ole gets done before the chicken, you can reheat it briefly in the microwave.

Serve the food hot (except the cole slaw, of course). Use plates for the South Of The Border Chicken and the Green Beans Ole, and small custard cups or salad bowls for the Mexicali Cole Slaw.

Sit down to a well-deserved, relaxing meal.

And, finally, here’s the recipes:

South Of The Border Chicken Breasts

This recipe can easily be doubled and freezes and reheats very well.

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix (to taste)
  • 1 10-ounce can enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • nonstick spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a casserole or baking dish with nonstick spray.

Place the thawed chicken breasts or thighs in the cassersole or baking dish. Sprinkle the chicken with the taco seasoning mix to taste. Pour the enchilada sauce over the chicken breasts.

Place the casserole or baking dish in the preheated oven and bake the chicken at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender and the juices run clear.

Take the chicken out of the oven and sprinkle the shredded Mexican blend cheese over the top. Return the casserole or baking dish to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

Green Beans Ole

  • 1 pound green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces (3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Place cup up green beans in a microwave-safe covered dish with a small amount of water until crisp-tender, approximately 10-12 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

While the beans are cooking, saute the bell pepper and onion in olive or vegetable oil until tender but not brown. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, basil, rosemary, and pepper
to the bell pepper/onion mixture. Stir in the cooked green beans and continue cooking until everything is heated through.

Serves 8 @ 41 calories, 2 grams fat, 1 gram protein, and 6 grams carbohydrates w/ 2 grams fiber.

Low-Carb Gluten-Free Mexicali Cole Slaw

Cole slaw will keep covered in the refrigerator for several days.

1 16-ounce package cole slaw mix
½ bell pepper, julienned (***See note.)
1 cup julienned jicama
¼ cup finely diced sweet onion
½ to 1 cup plain yogurt (to taste)
¼ teaspoons ground Mexican https://www.carbsmart.com/not-hot-mexican-seasoning-blend.html or Latin spice blend https://www.carbsmart.com/low-carb-latin-spice-blend.html (to taste)
⅛ teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Toss to combine the vegetables and spices completely and thoroughly coat them with the yogurt. Serve at once or cover and put in the refrigerator to serve cold. (I prefer cold.)

Serves 8.

***Note: All bell peppers taste just about the same. A red or orange bell pepper would be the prettiest in this cole slaw; a green bell pepper would be the cheapest.

Not-Hot Mexican Seasoning Blend Recipe

Not Hot Mexican Seasoning Blend Recipe

Low-Carb Latin Spice Blend

Low-Carb Gluten-Free Latin Spice Blend Recipe

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