The summer is always a challenge to keep my family eating healthy, it's just too easy to stop by the nearest fast food place. As much as we enjoy the occasional burger, I try to keep things like this Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Orzo Salad on hand to stop temptation in her tracks!
It's easy to make up a big batch and keep in the fridge. It just seems to get better the longer it sits. I love the way the tangy dressing soaks into the black beans and orzo. And the crunch from the fresh sweet corn........woooweee! that's some good eatin'
I baked up a batch of boneless skinless chicken thighs for this dish, but you could easily make it with a rotissere chicken from your local deli, or you could use Tyson's Southwestern Chicken Strips. Any way you choose the result is a crispy, tangy refreshing dish perfect for a quick dinner. It is a great dish to take to a cookout, or pack up the leftovers for a refreshing lunch box treat.
Cuban Chicken and Balck Bean Orzo Salad
1 box orzo
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 cups fresh sweet corn (use frozen if you must)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons key lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
4 cups fresh spinach leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken thighs with chili powder, place on a baking sheet and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Cut into bite sized cubes.
Meanwhile, cook orzo according to package directions, drain.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion, cook 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add oregano, corn and black beans. Heat through, stir in cooked orzo and chicken. Add key lime juice and orange juice, contiue cooking until all liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving fold in spinach leaves.