Day 22: Healthy Cooking Challenge

Southwestern Chicken with Garlic Rice and Green Beans

I’ve used a few recipes from one of my new favorite cookbooks; Flavorize.

There’s some great marinades, rubs, and brines in this book. I wanted something that would be great with chicken and maybe a little on the spicy side.

I found this great Southwestern marinade and a recipe for chicken thighs. I used the blender to puree the following ingredients:

4 tablespoons of olive oil

juice of 1 lime

1 roma tomato, coarsely chopped

3 scallions

1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

1 serrano chile, chopped

4 tbls of honey

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tbsp. chili powder

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

I used 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs. If you need to make more, just double this marinade above. I let mine marinate overnight.


Let me tell you how good this marinade SMELLS and TASTE!! Amazing. I’m going to warn you, if you don’t like spicy you might want to take the seeds out of the serrano pepper that is called for in this marinade. I left it in!!

So, the next day I pulled the chicken thighs out to let them rest, while I started the rice. There’s a secret to getting more flavor out of white rice. Toast it! I toasted the white rice in a tbls of olive oil until it was aromatic.

I used a short cut to roast my garlic. I placed 5 or 6 cloves of smashed garlic in a small jar and topped it with olive oil, popped it in the microwave (I covered with a damp paper towel in case there was some explosions) for about 3 minutes. I just want them to be soft enough that I can squeeze that luscious little garlic right into the rice.

Once the rice was toasted I add 1 1/2 cups of water and the garlic. Put the lid on it, and set a timer for 18 minutes. I actually ended up adding another 1/2 cup of water to mine!!

I added some salt and pepper to taste and put the lid back on to keep it warm while I started grilling the chicken.

You can obviously use the outdoor grill if you’d like, but I felt like keeping this indoors. I used my cast iron grill pan. You need to get the pan REALLY hot, throw a little olive oil in the pan and start searing the chicken thighs. tsssssss…… That’s me trying to type the sound it made when it hit the pan.

While my chicken is sizzling away, I start my Green Beans!! These are simple and delicious. I had been cooking with canned green beans for years, but started trying recipes with fresh green beans. So worth it!!!!

These were already prepped (the ends were already snapped off)! I obviously paid a little more, but you can do it either way.

I cut them in thirds so I had some smaller, easier to eat portions.

Get your pan ready. Heat the pan over Medium heat with a couple of tbsps. of olive oil, and 1/4tsp of chili flakes.


Add your green beans and let them cook for a few minutes by constantly tossing them and moving them around.

Next, I added 2 cloves of minced garlic and let it go for just about 30 seconds. You don’t want to cook garlic too long, but cause it will burn and taste bitter. Once the garlic is a little aromatic I add 1/4 cup water and put the lid on it!!

These green beans are so simple and absolutely delicious. I squeezed a little lemon juice at the end and tossed with some salt and pepper. Perfect!!

And of course I got excited and didn’t take a picture….ugh….

Okay – Calorie time….
1 Chicken Thigh – 130 calories and 9 g fat
Rice (1 cup) – 198 calories and 6 g fat
Green beans – (1/2 cup) – 55 calories and 4.5 g fat (I added the olive oil to the portions, otherwise they have 0 g of fat!)
Total: 383cal and 19.5g of fat.


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