For this week’s Editor vs. Food, my fellow editors chose to give me a different kind of challenge than we’ve ever done before: Chopped — Spoon style. At first I was a little wary, I didn’t want to have to go out and buy a bunch of ingredients just to do the challenge (that is so not the college way).
Instead, the goal of the challenge is to incorporate the chosen ingredients into a single meal — I decided to take this a step further and use all of the ingredients in a single dish! As the recipe section editor, I figured that the added difficulty would let me show off a little. Okay, a lot. The ingredients that were chosen for me to use were as follows: black beans, apple juice, broccoli and Ritz crackers. Luckily, I had the majority of them right in my kitchen.
Once I got the list, I did what any sane person looking for recipes would do: I did a Google search on what I thought would be the strangest ingredient combination, black beans and apple juice. To my surprise, I found a recipe by a poor college student that cooked his black beans in apple juice with some added spices. Then an idea came to me — I could make a black bean broccoli soup! After some more thought, I decided that probably wouldn’t be the most flavorful thing in the world, and I started searching my pantry and fridge for more tasty things to incorporate. I pulled out some red onions, leftover corn, frozen chicken breasts and a can of tomatoes, and realized that I could try my hand at some kind of black bean chicken chili that utilized all my Chopped ingredients, and then some.
And let me tell you, for being a jumble of random ingredients, this chicken chili turned out way better than anticipated. The sweetness of the apple juice went perfectly with added spices, and made for a hearty meal with loads of leftovers. So, next time you’re rummaging around your kitchen for ingredients, try making some combinations you might not have thought of before; it might just challenge you to create your most delicious recipe yet. Or you might get chopped — but that’s the fun of it, right?
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3-4 bowls
2 chicken breasts, thawed and cut into cubes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chopped tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen broccoli, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup corn
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1 packet chicken flavored ramen seasoning (or bouillon)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 package of Ritz crackers
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine black beans, broccoli and apple juice in a large saucepan, bring to a boil.
2. Add ramen seasoning, turn heat down to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
3. While your beans and broccoli are cooking, melt some butter in a frying pan. Add the onion and corn and sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and oregano.
5. Add chicken, and cook until slightly browned, about 8 minutes.
5. Add in tomatoes, stir and cook for 5 minutes.
6. Combine chicken and veggie mixture with beans and broccoli — carefully!
7. Garnish with a few Ritz crackers*, and serve.
*Tip: If your chili is thinner than you would like, crumble a few crackers right into the pot to thicken it up.