I made this salad for lunch earlier in the week, one of my husband’s new work colleagues came to our house for lunch so I needed to make something a little more than the usual “Erm, I don’t know what we have to eat for lunch”. You see, I’m not a lunch sort of person. I’m sure I could be, but when it comes right down to it I usually end up standing in front of our kitchen cabinets, hand on hip, shaking my head and asking myself “What do normal people eat for lunch?”
I think the main reason I have trouble with lunch is that I often don’t feel like cooking during the middle of the day. Noon is around the time when Mikey starts becoming either worked up or cuddly because he’s tired and getting ready to go down for a nap, obviously not exactly the best time to be tied to the kitchen for anything that takes much longer to make than a sandwich
I also don’t normally like keeping leftovers in our small and unreliable refrigerator, which would really solve the previously mentioned problem. But in all likelihood, they’ll get pushed to the back in the ongoing struggle between foods over limited space and will consequently go uneaten. It has happened more often than I care to admit, I really don’t like wasting food.
I made this for lunch regardless, after all we had a guest. I also took the opportunity to double the amount of rice that I made so that I could make fried rice for dinner the next day, fully aware of the risk I would be taking with the refrigerator.
Not only was this salad received with delight by my poor neglected husband, it tasted great and I have been eating it for lunch the past couple of days, polishing off the last of it on Thursday and solving my lunch problem for this week at least. The flavours are bright and spicy, I used cherry tomatoes from my garden and swapped out regular onion for red onion because I prefer it, but of course you can use regular onion if you like. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have this week!
Chicken, Rice and Bean Salad
slightly adapted from The Dabble, which was in turn adapted from Martha Stewart. Serves 4 (I think I managed to stretch mine out to about 6 “lunch-sized” servings)
2 Cups Cooked White or Brown Rice
2 Large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Enough chicken broth to cover the chicken breasts (2 cups was enough for mine, but it will depend on the size of your pan)
15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
a handful of cherry tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, diced.
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced.
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
freshly ground black pepper
crumbled feta cheese for topping.
Put the rice on to cook, as directed on the package, when it is done set aside to cool.
Poach the chicken breasts by putting them in a large pot and covering with chicken broth. Bring the pot to a boil and then let simmer for 7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and cover, letting it stand for about 30 minutes or until the chicken has cooked through. Use two forks to shred the chicken and set aside.
In a large bowl, add the beans, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, vinegar, oil and cumin. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then toss. Add the cooled rice and shredded chicken, toss again until well mixed. Top with cilantro and crumbled feta.