Saturday, July 4, 2015

Chicken Taco Salad

This recipe is too easy to just keep to myself. We're also in the middle of the longest stretch of heat I can remember in the Seattle area, and this is a meal that doesn't heat up your house! It is quick (made within 30 minutes!), cheap ($5 to feed my family of 5), easy (if you can use a stove & a can opener, you can make this!), and summer-friendly!! Like I said, since it doesn't use the oven and needs a short time on the stove, it won't heat up the kitchen!

The instant rice in this recipe is your real friend. It makes the cooking time so brief. Did you know that instant rice also comes in brown? I didn't until recently, and it works great in this recipe. It's basically a taco-seasoned rice and chicken mixture that is served over lettuce. It also happens to be one of the more nostalgic recipes I have, as it's one my busy mom often made while we were growing up. She could get home from work at 5 and still feed us 3 hungry kids in time (to inevitably run off to a practice or game of some sort...). As kids we chose to eat it without lettuce, but now of course I love a good crunchy Romaine with this.
 
Lastly- it is also a very good camping meal. I just need to pack the cans, the rice & taco seasoning in a Ziploc bag, and stick some lettuce and cheese in the cooler, and we're good to go. It works well on our little camping stove.


Chicken Taco Salad
Printable version here

2 cups chicken broth
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (10 oz.) chicken, drained (or 1-1.5 cups shredded, cooked chicken)
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained (optional)
2 tbsp. taco seasoning, or equivalent (1 package or one recipe homemade mix, minus a little salt if you use this recipe)
1 1/2 cups instant rice (white or brown, note the different cooking times)
Chopped lettuce
Desired toppings (such as sour cream, lettuce, and salsa)

1. Put broth, tomato sauce, chicken, beans, and taco seasoning in a pan; stir well. Bring to a boil.

2. Pour in the rice, stir, then cook until rice is tender. WHITE RICE: after stirring in rice, remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. BROWN RICE: after stirring in rice, lower heat and simmer uncovered, 6 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.

3. Spoon rice mixture over chopped lettuce, add desired toppings & enjoy!

Serves 4-5

COST
Broth 0.14
Tomato sauce 0.27
Chicken 1.98
Beans 0.67
Taco seasoning 0.15
Rice 0.60
Lettuce 1.10
Cheese & sour cream 0.50
TOTAL: $5.16

Why I love it? Right now, the main reason is because it feeds our family without heating up the house! But it's also inexpensive, tasty, filling, and relatively healthy (for a convenience-type meal).

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