I go through periods of time where cooking becomes SO.MUCH.WORK. I lose my flow and it feels like I’ve lost a limb. You see, food is my love language. It brings my people together and I get to see them open up, talk, and share space over the table. Or often around here, the island. That’s love to me.
When I asked my boys what they want to put on their summer bucket list, at the top of my eldest son’s was “more BBQ’s with friends”. So Saturday night, we gathered the neighbors over for dinner. With a lack of flow, I knew I needed to take a low-key, no panic approach to feeding everyone. Solution? Taco bar! What started out as a group of three families, quickly grew to five. It was a fishes and loaves miracle! Neighbors got to know one another, feasted on tacos, nachos, and drinks, and made plans to do it again soon.
Glancing in the fridge with that all too familiar feeling of meal despair, the leftovers spoke to me. Well, not ACTUALLY spoke but me, but enough that these easy, summery, chipolte-esque chicken kabob bowls were born.
Soon there was homemade ice cream, homemade chocolate cake, and numerous pizzas on the grill.
Dare I say the flow has returned?!?
CHIPOLITE-ESQUE CHICKEN KABOBS SERVES: 8
Start by cooking the cilantro-lime rice. While the rice cooks, cooks the beans and kabobs.
(All directions below. Ingredients are listed in bold.)
CHICKEN & VEGGIE KABOBS:
16 skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
2 lbs chicken breasts, diced into large chunks
1 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded
1 can diced green chilis
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of one lime
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
4 cloves of garlic
- Place all marinade ingredients into a blender or use immersion blender to puree.
- Place diced chicken chunks into a gallon Ziploc back, pour marinade over top, seal the bag, and smoosh around to distribute the marinade evenly. Place in the fridge at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and place evenly onto 8 skewers. Grill over medium-high heat until cooked through.
- Place on the cookie sheet, top with green chilies and shredded cheese.
- Place in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted.
3 red bell peppers, diced into large chunks
3 red onions, diced into large chunks
- While the cheese melts over the chicken kabobs, cook the veggie kabobs.
- Place the veggies evenly onto the remaining 8 skewers. Cook on the grill over medium high heat until tender and have grill marks.
CILANTRO LIME RICE:
2 cups white rice
1 lime, zested (set zest aside), then cut in half
1/2 cup packed cilantro, chopped
- Place 4 cups of water into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Add rice, zest, and juice the lime into the water.
- Bring back to a gentle simmer, cover and cook according to package instructions.
- Once rice is cooked, add chopped cilantro and fluff with a fork. Salt to taste.
CUMIN & GREEN CHILI BLACK BEANS:
2 can black beans
1 cup water
2 tbsp ground cumin (more or less to taste)
2 tsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
2 cans diced green chilies
- Drain most of the liquid from the black beans and place beans into a small saucepan.
- Add water, cumin, chili powder, and the can of diced green chilies.
- Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10-15 minutes to thicken a bit.
- Place 1/2 – 3/4 cup of cilantro lime rice onto a plate.
- Top with cumin & green chili black beans.
- Place one chicken and one veggie kabob on top.
- OPTIONAL: top with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole.