Terrible Tuesdays - Chicken Tacos

9:55:00 AM

Tuesdays are THAT day in our house.  You know the one - everyone in the family running to a different event/sport/church assignment/homework/etc. night.  From the time everyone gets out of school, it is a constant flurry of activity until bedtime - leaving very little room (or time) for a well-balanced and nutritious dinner.

Nights like this we do typically end up with the old stand-by peanut butter and jelly on the run with a bottle of water and a pouch of fruit snacks - or if we are feeling adventurous (and generous) we'll grab a five dollar pizza from the local Little Caesars. However, since we have recently been made aware of a major health concern of one of the people in the family (me...cholesterol...dang genetics...) we've been trying to eat healthier, and not as many processed, on-the-go options (not that we're cutting them out all together, we are, after-all, not crazy.)

I, of course, have the zombie meals that I could fall back on as well as multiple jars of ready-to-eat beef stew that would only require being heated up - but doing that every Tuesday night would quickly deplete my supply of food storage items (a lot faster than the requisite year turnaround). In addition, I have six trays of Lasagna and frozen rolls in the freezer, but the cook time alone on those rules them out almost immediately for a busy Tuesday night.  With a little advanced planning, the Crock Pot is a good choice, but that doesn't always happen as expected.

So, what to cook on a busy Tuesday night?  What will be quick, easy, and yet still satisfy the stomachs of growing teenage and pre-teen athletes (and their father) while not causing them to be heavy or weighed down during athletic competitions or practice?

Here's one of our family favorites for Terrible Tuesdays:

Chicken Tacos with Re-fried Beans

3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
2 cans Ro-tel Tomatoes and green chili (un-drained)
        (or 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice and 1 6 oz can of green chili)
2 packages hard taco shells or 1 Package Burrito-style flour tortillas  (I like La-La's).
2 cups shredded cheese (we use Colby jack)
Sour cream, guacamole, salsa and shredded lettuce (as desired)

2 cans re-fried beans or 1 pint of pinto beans in broth mashed.
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

In a sauce pan combine chicken, tomatoes and green chili and heat through until warm.
(I use my own home-canned chicken. You can substitute two large cans of chicken if you prefer - or you can cook and shred chicken on the stove-top, which would lengthen the time needed to prepare this meal).

In a second pan (or in the microwave) heat the re-fried beans until warm.  Add cheese to the top of the beans, and heat until melted (approximately 1 minute longer).

To Serve:
Put chicken mixture into a taco shell and garnish with sour cream, guacamole, salsa and lettuce, as desired.  Serve with a side of re-fried beans.  Can also be served burrito style rolled up in a flour tortilla.

Serves 8.

What's your favorite go-to meal on those busy nights?

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