Spring has finally sprung here in Kale Eats kitchen and I couldn't be happier. We spent much of the weekend outdoors hiking and exploring in glorious sunshine. I hope wherever you're reading this from, your experience is similar. With warm weather comes a craving for lighter fare and fresh ingredients. Unfortunately, there is not much to be found in our neck of the woods.
I suspect it will be quite a few weeks before we find anything seasonal or local.Consider this dish as a bridge if you will, between seasons. With the simmered beans and rice alone, you'd think this is too heavy for spring. But adding the bright crunch and acidity of the apple salsa takes it in a direction of food you want to eat on a patio. It's a weird combination to me, but it really works. Made with ingredients you likely have in your home already, it's also quick to make and stores well.
Black Bean Rice and Chicken with Apple Salsaadapted from Bon Appetit
note: For chicken breasts I poached 2 breasts for about 10min in salted water. Once shredded, I then tossed in with bean mixture to keep warm. We ate the leftovers at room temperature the next day and they tasted great.
1 cup chopped apple
3 Tbsp minced shallot
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped red pepper, divided
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1 cup water
3 cups black beans
1 Tbsp sea salt
2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded (see notes above)
3 cups cooked brown rice (I used this mix)
In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, salt and shallot. Set aside for salsa making.
In a large pot, heat olive oil and add onions and 1/4 cup of red pepper (reserve rest of pepper for salsa). Cook over medium heat until onions are softened. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder and oregano, stirring frequently for about 2min. Add water and scrape any bits off bottom of pot. Add black beans and salt and reduce heat to low. Cook covered for about 15 min, stirring often and breaking up beans a bit with wooden spoon.
While beans are cooking, combine chopped apple, parsley and 1/4 cup red pepper with shallot mixture. Reserve for topping.
To serve: scoop rice on plate and top with shredded chicken, bean mixture and salsa. Enjoy!