Cilantro Lime Chicken

Today’s edition of Mexican Monday requires prep on Sunday, even though it’s a slow cooker dish! But that’s also what makes it perfect for your Monday, whether you follow my Mexican Monday Menu plan or not. The chicken needs to marinate over night, but in the morning all you have to do is drop it into the slow cooker – no chopping, no measuring!

I found this recipe on a Pinterest post of Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes. Although we don’t follow the Paleo diet trend in this house, I may have some readers who do. Or maybe I’ll get new readers from it! 😉 If you’re looking for new Paleo inspired recipes, check out Jason’s blog, Paleo Pot

But because we don’t follow Paleo, I served this chicken with Rice and Beans

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 5-6 lb whole chicken
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 whole lime
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Steps:

  1. Mix together pepper, salt, cumin, cayenne, and chili powder. 
  2. Dry chicken and rub spice mixture over entire chicken.
  3. Poke holes in the whole lime and rub with spice mixture. Place in chicken cavity.
  4. In a food processor (I actually used the single serve unit for my Ninja blender, a Magic Bullet would work great too!) combine lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil.
  5. Place chicken in a large resealable plastic bag with the marinade. Marinate over night.
  6. Put chicken, breast side up, in slow cooker with the marinade. Cook on LOW 5-6 hours.

*This recipe is modified from Jason at http://paleopot.com/2013/01/chili-cilantro-lime-chicken/*

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Protein Packed Southwestern Salad

I am keeping with my healthy kick of Mexican Monday (previous weeks included Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers and Turkey Lettuce Wraps) with a double duty Mexican Monday & Salad Night.

It’s been way too long since my last salad post – and unfortunately that also indicates it’s been way too long since our last salad night! Stuart has been looking for healthier meals lately, and after eating this Southwestern Salad he was completely satisfied.

The dressing for the salad is made with Greek yogurt. If you’ve paid attention, or know me, you realize that I have a great dislike for Greek yogurt. But I do try and give it another chance every now and then. I was prepared to revert to bottled salad dressing, but I’m happy to state that I loved the creamy cilantro vinaigrette!

I added chicken to the salad so we’re getting 3 sources of protein: the Greek yogurt in the dressing, chicken, and black beans! I promise this is no rabbit food.

Protein Packed Southwestern Salad

Ingredients for the chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken tenders (you can also cut up 1 breast into strips)
  • 3/4 tsp Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp Ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided use
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 C canned corn, drained
  • 1/2 C canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 on-the-vine tomato, chopped and seeds removed
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • crispy tortilla strips, for topping

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 1/2 C Greek yogurt
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 C fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Steps:

  1. In a small bowl combine adobo seasoning, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Season both sides of chicken with spice mixture (you will have some left over).
  2. In a medium skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken 4-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.
  3. In a food processor combine all dressing ingredients.
  4. Assemble salad with lettuce, corn, beans, tomato, avocado, and chicken. Toss with as much dressing as you like. Top with tortilla strips.

*This recipe is adapted from Chung-Ah at http://damndelicious.net/2014/01/10/southwestern-chopped-salad-cilantro-lime-dressing/*

Protein Packed Southwestern Salad 1 Protein Packed Southwestern Salad  2 Protein Packed Southwestern Salad 3

Turkey Tomatillo Lettuce Wraps

Mexican food isn’t necessarily known for being healthy, and I know my preference for turning Mexican Monday into Pasta Night doesn’t follow many diets, but it is possible to turn Mexican Monday into Healthy Night. Most taco recipes can be turned into taco salads, or in this instance, a lettuce wrap!

I was excited to find this recipe and Mountain Mama’s blog where she partakes in Taco Tuesday. I hope to find more Mexican Monday inspirations from her as I explore her page.

I absolutely loved this recipe – it was fresh, healthy, and crispy. I think it’s genius to take a store bought salsa and add more fresh flavors to it.

If you don’t like using fresh lettuce as your taco shell, you can substitute soft or hard shell tacos.

Turkey Tomatillo Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 C fresh cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3/4 C tomatillo salsa
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • your favorite taco toppings, i.e. tomatoes, fresh onion, cheese, avocado

Steps:

  1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil in medium-high heat. When hot add ground turkey and season with S+P. Brown turkey, breaking up with a wooden spoon. After 5 minutes stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
  2. In a food processor combine onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salsa. Pulse until smooth. Add to the turkey. Cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Add chicken stock and cook let simmer another 2 minutes.
  4. Tear off lettuce leaves, fill with turkey, and top with your favorite taco toppings.

*This recipe is adapted from Kelley at http://www.mountainmamacooks.com/2014/01/cilantro-lime-turkey-taco-lettuce-wraps/?subscribe=success#blog_subscription-4*

Lettuce Wraps