Chicken and Brown Rice Bowls with Chipotle Cream Sauce

Chicken and Rice Bowls with Chipotle Cream sauce

We have had a can of chipotle chilies in our pantry that we have been meaning to use for the last few weeks. I was a little hesitant to add it to anything because I thought it might be a little spicy for the girls. They are learning to appreciate some heat in food, but chipotles can be really spicy!

Jim said he wanted to put together some rice bowls one afternoon for lunch and I thought the best way to use the chipotles was to put them into a sauce so we could add them to our bowls only.

Wow, this sauce added so much flavor to this dish.  The bowls are yummy by themselves, but with the smoky, spicy creamy sauce they were out of this world!

I didn’t always love brown rice and it is sometimes kind of a pain to make because it takes forever to cook.  Definitely not your mom’s minute rice:-).  However, I was visiting Beaverton, Oregon a few years ago for work and I tried the rice bowls at a place called Cafe Yumm! (holy good food) and the rice was absolutely amazing.  I found out that it was brown Jasmine rice.

For a while I couldn’t find brown Jasmine rice near me, but now I think you can find it at many grocery stores.  I buy it in large bags at my beloved Asian supermarket in Cary for about 9 bucks.  It cooks quicker than normal brown rice and it honestly tastes very much like white rice.  The girls don’t usually like brown rice and they will eat Jasmine brown rice without noticing.  So there you have it:-)  I know Jasmine rice is an Asian rice, but it still works A-OK with any type of dish.

These bowls are so flavorful and you can pack them with lots of nutrition.  Be a little careful of putting too much rice in your bowl if you are watching calories.  Brown rice is a good carb, but it still packs a ton of calories – 1/4 cup has 190 calories so try to stick to that.  I wouldn’t worry too much about it, but just watch your portion sizes.   It’s easy to pile a huge amount of rice in the bottom of a bowl – I know:-).

Enjoy these bowls and definitely make this sauce.  If you have extra chipotles just throw them (along with the sauce) in a plastic bag and freeze for the next time a craving for this comes along….and it will come along, I promise!

Chicken and Brown Rice Bowls with Chipotle Cream Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ Cup Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ Cup Light Mayonnaise
  • 1-2 chipotle chilies with 2 teaspoons sauce (depending on how spicy you like things)
  • juice of half a lime
  • Dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • 2 Grilled Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Avocado
  • 2 Green Onions chopped
  • ½ cup black beans
  • Salsa
  • Sea Salt
  • Jasmine Brown Rice – enough for 4 servings
  • Optional: Cilantro and shredded cheese, Baked Crumbled Tortilla Chips, chopped tomato

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a food processor mix the yogurt, mayo, chipotles with sauce, lime juice and salt and pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined. You can also throw a little of the cilantro in this sauce for some extra flavor.
  2. Between four bowls divide the rice, chicken avocado, onions and beans. Top with the salsa, chipotle cream sauce and any optional topping you may choose. I like to mash my avocado right in the bowl as I don’t like chunks and it coats the rice really well. Give each bowl a few cracks of sea salt.
  3. I personally don’t think you need any cheese in these bowls, but the kids like to have some and they can afford the calories:-).

 

Chicken and Refried Bean Enchiladas

Chicken and Refried Bean Enchiladas

I’m not completely sure if these are enchiladas because they don’t have a sauce on them.  They aren’t burritos because they aren’t completely enclosed.  They certainly aren’t tacos and even though I use fajita shells they are far from fajitas.  So I am going to call them enchiladas and if you would like to add some enchilada sauce, then go for it.

Can I tell you my pet peeve about burritos?  I can’t stand it when they (certain burrito-serving restaurants) stuff a burrito with rice.  I feel like the rice is just unnecessary calories and you already have plenty of carbs from the tortilla.   Plus I don’t like the taste of the rice wrapped up in a tortilla shell.  Just give me the meat, veggies, cheese and beans and keep your stinkin’ rice:-).  Oh, and give me some cilantro, too – and lots of it!

These chicken and refried bean “enchiladas” are so good and so simple.  I love the creamy filling and you can eat them with any toppings your heart desires.

I have two Trader Joe’s shout-outs with this recipe.  First of all, their refried pinto beans are awesome and that is what I usually make these with.  Second shout out is for their red and green jarred salsas.  Not only are the inexpensive, but they are the best tasting jarred salsas I have ever found.  No extra preservatives or thickening agents to make them taste funny.  They taste super fresh – just like a salsa you would get with your chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant.  Yum!

Enjoy!

Chicken and Refried Bean Enchiladas
 
Ingredients
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts – cooked and shredded
  • 1 can of fat-free refried beans (I love Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 cups of shredded Colby-Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup of restaurant-style salsa (I also like TJ’s jarred red salsa for this because it isn’t chunky)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 10 flour tortilla shells – Fajita Size
  • 2 Green Onions – white and green parts sliced
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Extra Salsa for serving

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine shredded chicken, refried beans, 1½ cups of cheese, salsa, salt and garlic powder in a bowl. Place filling down the middle of each tortilla and roll up. Place stuffed tortillas seam side down in your casserole dish.
  3. Once all tortillas are stuffed place any remaining chicken and bean mixture along the sides of the dish. Cover the shells with the remaining cheese.
  4. Bake in oven covered with foil for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes. or until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with green onion and cilantro. Serve with additional salsa or your favorite toppings.
  5. Enjoy!

 

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