Healthy Weeknight Southwest Skillet

Healthy Weeknight Southwest Skillet
Sometimes it is difficult to eat a healthy meal on busy weeknights. But this recipe transforms a few simple ingredients into a tasty and versatile meal that is ready in 30 minutes. Serve it over brown rice for a filling, healthy meal. You can cook the mixture a little longer to remove a little more of the liquid and have a tasty filling for corn tortillas. Serve it over a bed of lettuce or spinach to add some more greens to your diet—no salad dressing needed! Add a can of corn for some color or to serve a bit larger group. Make a double batch and have the leftovers for lunch the next day. This recipe makes four moderate servings.

This recipe features black beans as the base of the dish. Beans add fiber and protein to a dish, and in this case, stretch a small amount of chicken to serve more people. They are inexpensive and easy to make. One cup of black beans contains 227 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, 15 grams of fiber, 15 grams of protein, 610 milligrams of potassium and healthy doses of folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and thiamin.

Canned beans are a great convenience food for the healthy eater as long as you watch the sodium content. You can toss them on a salad to increase your protein intake or mix them with some brown rice for a satisfying and inexpensive meal. Dry beans are an even more economical option. Using dry beans takes a little planning as you have to soak them overnight and cook them before they are ready to be used in a recipe. But soaking and cooking the beans yourself saves money and allows you to control what goes into your recipes. Cook up a big batch of beans and then freeze them in one- or two-cup portions to make your own convenience food.


1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups or 1 can no-salt-added black beans, drained
1 cup chopped cooked chicken
1 tablespoon cumin
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can no-salt-added tomatoes with juice or 2 cups fresh tomatoes chopped


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Sautee the onion for one to two minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional one to two minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook until the mixture is heated through and the desired consistency, stirring occasionally.

*Nutrition information: 190 calories, 3 grams fat, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 514 milligrams potassium, 23 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fiber, 17 grams protein, 6% RDA Vitamin A, 15% RDA Vitamin B-6, 13% RDA Vitamin C, 12% RDA copper, 33% RDA folate, 13% RDA iron, 18% RDA magnesium, 23% RDA manganese, 22% RDA niacin, 6% RDA pantothenic acid, 20% RDA phosphorus, 6% RDA riboflavin, 15% RDA selenium, 17% RDA Thiamin, 8% RDA zinc

*Nutrition information estimated using

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