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Ancho Chicken With Warm Corn, Zucchini and Tomato Salad

written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.

Adapted from the Washington Post - Ellie Krieger's Nourish column on Sept 10, 2014

I love spending time in the kitchen with my kids - yes, both cooking AND eating.!  This week, my son was home, so in classic fashion, I set out about 20 recipes that I wanted to make and had him make the final decision. He was a winner - as were we all - as he chose this chicken recipe with the Golden Lentil with Soft, Sweet Onions on the side, also from the Washington Post. Maybe an overdose on protein between the two dishes, but small portions are filling, and they present a great combination of tastes - and a beautiful rainbow of colors from the veggie medley. 

This was initially designed as a stovetop recipe for the chicken, but since I don't like to pay attention to chicken cooking on the stove, so we used the spice rub as described then baked it at 375 degrees. Meanwhile, we cooked the vegetable mixture on the stove, using frozen corn, lightly sprinkling in more of the same spices we used on the chicken, without using any particular measurements.  

4 servings


1 teaspoon ancho chili powder (may substitute mild chili powder or paprika)

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

4 thin-cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 small onion, diced

1 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces), diced

1 pint grape tomatoes, each cut in half

1 1/2 cups corn kernels (from 1 large or 2 small ears fresh corn or frozen)

1 clove garlic, minced

Flesh of 1 ripe avocado, sliced

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves


1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2) Stir together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides of the chicken, rubbing it in a little with your fingers. Lightly grease a pan and bake at 375 until center of thickest piece is cooked through.

3) Put 2 tsp of oil in the skillet; once the oil is quite hot, add the onion and stir to coat. Cook for about 2 minutes or until softened, then add the zucchini, tomatoes, corn and garlic; cook until all of the vegetables are softened but they still retain their shape, about 3 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

4) Divide the vegetable mixture among individual plates. Top each with a piece of chicken and a few slices of avocado. Sprinkle with the lime juice and cilantro, and serve.

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