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I’ll be honest with you.

I have not had much desire to cook lately. I cooked twice last week. One meal was a one pot chicken curry meal (delicious by the way if you haven’t made that one yet). The other was your standard pizza (made with homemade pizza dough that I froze a few weeks ago.) I’m getting pretty resourceful this month and out of sheer busy-ness, I’ve been basically using up my pantry and freezer staples.

So was pretty jolly when I found this meal. It’s super pantry staple friendly. If you stock your cabinets with beans and salsa, and your freezer with chicken and frozen veggies, you can make this meal any gosh darn diddily day you want.

(By the way, how did people live without the internet? I have an entire bookcase full of cookbooks, yet often when I need a recipe, I type in the ingredients I have into Google and “bam”, we have a winner. Searching indexes? Flipping through pages? Not ever in the mood.)

Speaking of which, how do I index all of my cookbooks online?

That’s actually exactly what I need.

Anyway, back to the recipe.

I was very happy when I made this recipe.

  • Um, getting married in less than two months = utter happiness
  • Chris is home before 10:30 every night now!
  • The sun is out until 8 pm every day!
  • And more!

And I think my happiness made it taste better.

But even if you had just an OK day, trust me, this will still taste good.

Mexican Chicken Bake (Adapted from Kraft)
Serves 5-6
>> Click here for printable recipe 


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning (homemade or packaged)
  • 2 tbsp Italian dressing (I used Olive Oil Vinaigrette)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 (16 oz) jar of your favorite salsa
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella, cheddar, or Monterrey jack cheese (or combo of all 3)
  • 5-6 servings of cooked brown rice


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Add taco seasoning to the chicken in a medium bowl; toss to evenly coat.
  3. Heat the dressing in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it’s browned. Spoon into a casserole dish (I used 9 x 13, which was a little too large, but got the job done), and cover with layers of beans, corn, peas, onions, and salsa.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with the cheese and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Spoon over rice to serve.

My Two Cents: This had some zip, some tang, a whip, and a zang. Make it with chicken breasts to be even healthier. (I had chicken thighs in my freezer because they were on sale last week — thighs also have a richer, moister taste to them.) And the layers can be a free-for-all, really. Add some peppers, jalapenos, cilantro, etc. to make it even more Mexican. Use what you have on hand. Get creative. Be joyous.

And also, try to walk 10,000 steps a day (about 5 miles), drink lots of water, and go  outside during your lunch break. You will feel so much happier! (not to mention — healthier!)