This post is credited completely to my wonderful daughters, Jacqueline and Danielle. It all started like this, the other day the girls were texting each other on the text group they created that includes me as well. Danielle asked Jacqueline if she could come over to her apartment for dinner the other night. Jac replied that she was just going to make a quick hot dog because she needed to work on a project that is due this week. I contributed to the conversation at that point (or butted in, depends on your perspective) and said that Jac should bring down some meat to defrost so they could have a proper dinner. Danz said she would cook for them because she really likes to cook. Jac put some chicken thighs in the fridge and off to class she went. I told Danzy to text me when she got to Jac’s apartment, and I would help her if she got stuck.
I know what ingredients Jac has available to cook with because I bought all her spices and herbs for her when she went to live in her apartment, so that was an advantage. I also know what my girls like to eat which made it easier to help them put things together. Jacqueline texted that she had spinach, white cannellini beans, and San Marzano canned tomatoes, so I knew with those ingredients a delicious meal could be made.
When Danielle got to Jacqueline’s apartment she texted me and said she didn’t know what to do with all these ingredients, so she waited her usual three seconds (she has her mother’s patience level), and when I hadn’t responded she called me and said HELP! Now it was Mom to the rescue, and I love to rescue people so I was in my element. I walked both she and Jacqueline through the recipe that I will share with you now, but the cool thing was that once I helped them get started, all the hours they’ve spent helping me in the kitchen kicked in. They knew exactly what to do, once they got over feeling overwhelmed. Here is what they created.
Jac and Danz’ version of chicken, tomatoes, and beans
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt/pepper/garlic powder/red pepper flakes to season chicken
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can white cannellini beans, drained
- handful of organic baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon each salt/pepper/minced garlic/ red pepper flakes/ Italian seasoning for sauce
First, Jacqueline chopped the onions, while Danielle was seasoning the chicken thighs on each side, and she warmed the EVOO in the pan too. Jac put her chopped onions into the EVOO and sautéed them for a few minutes until softened.
Next Danielle browned the thighs for five minutes on each side. Then she added the tomatoes, beans and seasonings to the chicken, and simmered it all on medium heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Last, Jac added the baby spinach and cooked it for another few minutes until the spinach was soft.
And that was all there was to it. The girls were ecstatic and said that it was one of the best meals they’d ever had. It tastes so good when you make something you didn’t think you could. Look at how healthy it was for them too, they had protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the chicken, beans, tomatoes, and spinach. Healthy, delicious and easy- what could be better than that?!!
So if Jacqueline and Danielle, two very busy college students can do this, you can definitely do it too! Try this recipe and let me know how you like it. Eating meals like this will help you live a life of vitality- like Valerie (and Jacqueline and Danielle too)! 🙂