Friday, June 10, 2011

Frugal, Fun Friday: Girls Night In! Easy Chicken Tacos and how to keep your friends

So, in an effort to be social while saving money, I usually make dinners at home for myself and my friends....

See free, delicious food = keeping your friends!  (I only think they keep me around for my occasional random, off the wall questions; heavily romantic and idealistic ideas, and my wacky sense of humor...)

We do theme nights...usually surrounding the time of year and what is going on in our lives:

*a indoor cookout (for summer nights)

*pizza night (for any awards show)

*nachos night (for baseball/football games for our beloved Gamecocks)

*chicken finger phillies (to feel like a kid again...don't worry, I'll be posting this recipe soon)

*healthy pastas (for those times we are feeling a little large)

And last night was MEXICAN (usually to celebrate the end of a week...oh, who am I kidding?  I could eat this meal every night)! 

I did a healthy spin on a taco and served it with chips, salsa, guac, and my fave:  strawberry dacquiris (thanks Ash for whipping up another great batch!) is the basics of what you need:

shredded mozzarella cheese, whole wheat tortillas, (not pictured a packet of taco seasoning), 1 avocado, 6 oz frozen corn, 4 oz. frozen onion, salsa, pinto beans, and some chicken breast deli meat....

(yes, its deli meat...i didn't have time to go to the store and couldn't pick up any fresh chicken, you couldn't tell (i mean other than the obvious differences between a chicken breast and a slice of deli chicken but still it was yummy)....

I highly encourage you to look in your pantry for ideas...I have a tight, tight budget and I try to use all I can that I already have at my house without having to go to the store for just one thing.  I find I spend much more than intended if I just go for "one thing"...I end up buying a 5 or 6 "one things".  Its just my little way of stretching my dollars and making items I buy fit many different meal options!

So, in this case....deli chicken = protein source that is easy to mix with beans and veggies and my friend didn't even notice it wasn't shredded up chicken breast! 

Okay, enough with that...lets get on to the good stuff!

I first heated up my cast iron skillet over medium heat with about a tsp of canola oil.  I let that get hot and then added in my onion to cook.

Then, I added in my taco seasoning packet and my frozen corn, letting the spices toast and mix with the corn and onions, about 1 minute or so......

Then the next step is what I refer to as the "Dump and Mix" in, dump all the remaining ingredients and mix it all up to let it warm through......the drained beans, the shredded chicken, and about 1/3 cup of salsa....

Dump in the drained pintos......

Adding the chicken and salsa
After this extremely technical "dump and mix", you are ready to serve.  To serve you take a couple of the tortillas and heat them up very quickly either in a skillet or in the microwave to make them more pliable.....then you add your desired bean mixture in your tortilla, top it with some "glue" (aka shredded cheese), fold up, and serve.....mmmmmm I can taste the salsa now..............

Try this tonight for an easy, quick, simple meal that will have you laughing and talking around the table in no time flat!

See ya'll soon~

Easy Chicken Tacos

Print this recipe!


whole wheat tortillas, I used 8 oz size
1 tsp canola oil
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
6 oz (about 2/3 cup) frozen corn kernels (or fresh if you have them)
4 oz (about 1/2 cup) frozen chopped onion
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 avocado, optional, for serving
1 jar your favorite salsa
1 10 oz package deli chicken meat, about 8 slices hand pulled apart (I used Sara Lee oven roasted chicken breast slices)
1/2-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (you can use any cheese you have on hand for this)

1.  Heat canola oil over medium heat in cast iron skillet (or large nonstick skillet).
2.  Add onion and cook 1-2 minutes until onions are translucent and fragrant.
3.  Add in seasoning packet (to taste) and corn and cook 1-2 minutes more until spices are toasty and corn is thawed through.
4.  "Dump and Mix":  Add in drained beans, shredded chicken, and 1/3 to 1/2 cup salsa and stir to combine.  Let sit on heat 2-3 minutes to warm through.
5.  Meanwhile, heat tortillas either in a skillet (over low heat in nonstick skillet) or in a microwave (low heat for 10-15 seconds) until soft and pliable.  
6.  Spoon bean mix in tortillas, top with desired amount of cheese, and fold together.
7.  Serve with extra salsa, guacamole (if you want), and lots of chips!

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