Mexican food has this amazing quality of being undeniably bold while still tasting light, fresh and summery, not to mention a great level of zing without burning vindaloo-style. That’s why it’s one of my favourites to cook – and eat!
I’ve grabbed some pretty basic ingredients – couple of chicken breasts, a few veggies, some rice – and tried make them really P-O-P, just like the Mexican food I know and love. The recipe is packed with vegetables, protein, flavour and colour, checking every box on my tick list!
This dish comes in around 600 calories per person which is perfect for a main evening meal (but damn those avocados and their healthy fats!).
So, this is how I did it…
1. Make your own spiced tomato paste (it’s super easy) by mixing together tomato purée, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, dried garlic and chilli flakes with a tiny dash of water. Make it as hot or as mild as you like! 🌶️
2. Slice in several small cuts along the top of the chicken breast so the seasoning can really sink in, coat with the paste and cook in the oven on 200°C for around 25 minutes, until thoroughly cooked.
3. Cook the rice according to packet instructions.
4. Add the sliced onion and peppers to a hot frying pan along with a few spices and sizzle away for 5-10 minutes, until they soften a little.
5. Remove chicken from oven, top with a tiny sprinkle of low fat cheese and the sliced avocado and place on the bed of rice, served with the vibrant veggies and a crisp side salad. YUM.
2 Skinless Chicken Breasts – Ashfield Farm Chicken Breast Fillets – £1.69 – Aldi
2 tbsp of Tomato Purée – Double Concentrated Tomato Purée – 37p – ASDA
140g Brown Rice – Golden Sun Long Grain Brown Rice Easy Cook – 99p – Lidl
1 Medium Onion – Grower’s Selection Onions by Weight – 15p – ASDA
1 Bell Pepper – Red Pepper – 49p – Lidl
1 Avocado, Peeled, Pitted and Sliced – Medium Avocado Ready to Eat – 85p – Tesco
2 tbsp Low Fat Cheese, Grated – Half Fat Mature Grated British Cheese – £1.90 – ASDA
1/2 Bag of Prepared Salad Leaves – Meadow Fresh Mild Leafy Mixed Salad – 49p – Lidl
As always with Mexican food, finding a good level of spice is key. It’s really about what your tastebuds can handle, so think carefully! I used paprika, cumin, cinnamon, dried garlic and chilli flakes for the tomato paste, with a dash of salt and pepper for standard seasoning. In with the rice went some dried coriander, salt and pepper just to jazz things up a bit. And, finally, I added a touch of paprika, garlic, salt and pepper to cook the peppers and onion.