Let’s do something new and different around here. Like, eat dinner.

Not donuts or french fries or cookie dough masquerading as dinner, but actual legit veggies-and-dead-animal-flesh-on-a-plate together dinner.

Now why is it that when my trainer refers to eating copious amounts of protein as “dead animal flesh” I don’t cringe, but I kind of do when I write it out myself and I’m sure you just did too? Must be a guy thing.

Anyway. If you’ve broken up with me because of the lack of dinner around here lately, well, I’m sorry you’re not here for my big bodacious comeback. I really don’t know what’s up with this language. Excuse me while I check my estrogen levels.

By the way. Come fall, there will be a *special issue* of Clean Eating dedicated to 30-Minute Meals, and *then* you’ll get to see all the (quick and easy) (gluten-free) dinners I’ve been hiding for the past month. I know, I know. I can hardly wait either!

Speaking of 30 minutes, you can have this on the table in that amount of time. Maybe 35 minutes if you like your garlic to be minced up really small and you didn’t major in dicing pineapple. But who’s counting?

Not me. Not you. Not counting the number of ingredients. No way. Don’t worry. I promise this is easy-peasy and simple dimple.

I once worked with a girl named Dimple, no lie.

I digress. I know there’s a lot going on here – juicy chicken breast, sweet ‘n smokey black beans with kale, and zesty roasted tomatillo avocado sauce – but I have you covered. I’ve taken care to consolidate the steps to just two under the broiler and one on the stovetop, perfect for those days when you’ve already dirtied every other dish and appliance in the kitchen, including the food processor. (Twice. Who does that?) Scratch that. You are going to need to wash that food processor again, or just dirty the blender or spare mini processor – trust me, whatever damage you choose, it’s worth it. Mr. Cravings? He didn’t even whine about another dish to do. In fact, the only thing he whined about was his difficulty with cutting a piece of chicken in a bowl. Sigh. I’ll try not to let my food styling attempts disrupt his dinner ever again.

Have I won you back? Go ahead, taste. I’ll be waiting.

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Avocado-Tomatillo Chicken with Warm Pineapple Black Beans and Kale

Yield: 4 servings

A surprsingly quick and simple recipe for broiled chicken with creamy roasted tomatillo-avocado sauce served with sweet and smokey braised kale with black beans and pineapple.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion (half left in large chunks, the other half diced)
2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded, and halved
2 medium or 3 small tomatillos, husked, cored, and quartered
4 cloves of garlic, peeled (2 whole, 2 minced)
½ tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken breasts, 5oz each
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ of a medium onion, diced
1 1/4 cup diced pineapple
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 lb roughly chopped kale
1/2 avocado
¼ cup cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Preheat broiler. Place the large chunks of onion, jalapenos, tomatillos, and whole cloves of garlic on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and broil for 5 minutes, until lightly charred. Remove from oven and transfer to a food processor. Place chicken breasts on the baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for 5-6 minutes per side, until cooked through. Turn off oven and leave chicken inside to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add diced onion and garlic to pan and saute for 3 minutes. Add pineapple, chicken broth, tomato paste, black beans, red pepper and cumin, and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a gentle boil.

Add kale, a few handfuls at a time, stirring to help it wilt. When all of the kale has been added, cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until kale is tender.

Meanwhile, puree the roasted vegetables with the avocado, cilantro, lime juice and salt.

Divide the black bean mixture and chicken among serving plates and top the chicken with the avocado-tomatillo sauce.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 379.2
Total Fat 8.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.9 g
Cholesterol 82.2 mg
Sodium 568.4 mg
Potassium 791.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 34.0 g
Dietary Fiber 9.6 g
Sugars 8.1 g
Protein 41.9 g

Cara Lyons, www.carascravings.com
Tomatillo sauce adapted from Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2010, via Elly Says Opa