I love using frozen vegetables whenever the fresh version is out of season. Frozen vegetables are a great bargain, they’re just as nutritious as the fresh veggies and they are easy to stock up on whenever there is a good sale.
Lately, I have been enjoying trying out lots of different frozen vegetable blends (the ones that are just the veggies, not ones with added seasonings or sauces). California blend (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots) has been a favorite for a long time because it’s so versatile. As I work my way through all the different blends that look like a good fit for our family, I try to come up with a new recipe or a variation on an old favorite that uses that blend to its best purposes.
That was what I did when I came across a Mexican blend that included broccoli, cauliflower, corn and red peppers. The blend worked well in this dish full of chicken and beans with a decidedly smoky flavor.
Smoky Chicken Skillet
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 bag Mexican vegetable blend (broccoli, cauliflower, corn and red peppers)
- 1 can garbanzo beans or 1 dry, cooked garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 c. chicken stock or water
- 2 t. cumin
- 1 t. paprika
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1/8 t. cayenne pepper, optional
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper flakes. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to skillet. Cook until chicken is browned on all sides. Add veggies and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients, bring to a slow boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve over rice or pasta.
I used garbanzo beans because those are a favorite with the kids, but you could definitely replace them with black beans or kidney beans. You could also leave them out all together, if you want. Or, you could double the amount of beans and leave the chicken out for a vegetarian option.
Do you like using frozen vegetable blends? What are some of your favorites?