Money Matters: Orange Chicken Packets

The night I made these orange chicken packets I learned something very important. I learned that I really, really love pinto beans.

My exposure to beans growing up was in the form of refried from a can (Taco Bell makes a mean canned refried bean, people), northern beans with ham and cornbread (mmmm!), and in chili (kidney and chili beans). There may have been a few chickpeas thrown in a salad from time-to-time, too. But at any rate, it was limited exposure. I have a feeling my mom will email me a rebuttal after the above…

So the pinto beans in this were nothing shy of fabulous. Potentially because they baked in flavors like butter, orange juice, and garlic. Oh yeaaah.

And then there’s the chicken. Juicy, sweet, and butter-knife-to-cut-with tender.

Having been on the prowl for a chicken foil packet meal, I hit the jackpot. As you will see below, the cost per serving came out to $2.34 – love it. The nutrition facts are also impressive. Coming in under 500 calories, low in fat, and high in fiber (nearly 10 grams!) and protein, it is a heart-healthy, diabetic-friendly, carb-controlled meal.

…and ready in 30 minutes or less 😉

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Orange Chicken Packets adapted from Recipe Goldmine, as seen on The Jey of Cooking

1/2 lb baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
4 5-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 slices of orange
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
6 Tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 F. Cut 4 rectangles of aluminum foil.

Layer the mushrooms, pinto beans and garlic into each of the foil rectangles. Lay the chicken breasts on top and season with salt and pepper. Top each chicken breast with an orange slice and drizzle the butter and orange juice concentrate on top.

Bring together the edges of the foil and fold over each other. Seal the ends well.

Place the foil packets on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 452 calories; 8.5 g. fat;69 mg. cholesterol; 501 mg. sodium; 40.8 g. carbohydrate; 9.8 g. fiber; 46 g. protein

Result: Simple, flavorful, and cost-effective. What more could you want from a meal? Oh, healthy…right? It’s that, too. I loved the melding of these flavors, it really was delicious. Enjoy!

Money Matters: Not surprisingly, the chicken was the most expensive ingredient. My free-range (not organic) chicken was purchased for $3.49/lb – $4.36 for 20 ounces which is what this recipe calls for. The orange was $0.69 and the orange concentrate was $1.29 (the recipe only used 1/3 — $0.43). The mushrooms were on sale for $1.99 and the beans were $0.79/can. Butter is $0.08 a tablespoon when you find 4 sticks for $2.49. The total cost of the meal was $9.36 making the price per serving $2.34!

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I am working out in just a few and then working on lesson plans. I plan to get in some fall clothes shopping (back to school shopping, if you will) before a meeting with my business partners this afternoon. My two best friends from college are due in this evening and we have big plans for girl time (especially with Mr. Prevention out of town!) and college football! I can’t wait 😀

Question: What are you looking forward to this weekend?

TGIF,

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15 Comments

  1. September 16, 2011 / 6:28 am

    These look great! I love making meat in veggies in foil packets because it’s easy to cook and the flavors meld together so well.
    This weekend I’m looking forward to finally getting in some relaxation time!

  2. September 16, 2011 / 7:08 am

    Green beans and chili beans. That’s really all I knew. Don’t think I even tried chickpeas until maybe some point in the last 3 years. Sad.

    Have a great time with your girlfriends this weekend! I have one of my BFF’s in to visit as well!

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 16, 2011 / 9:04 am

      Have fun! Sorry I’ll miss you next weekend…but next time, for sure!

  3. September 16, 2011 / 9:03 am

    orange and chicken…always a GREAT pairing! I just picked up 20 cans of different sorts of beans at my store the other day…when you bought 10, you got them for 19cents a can! That savings would fit in this dinner menu perfectly!! Bookmarking this recipe to use up those beans I bought!

    I know most chili recipes call for kidney beans…but I prefer to use pinto in mine!

    have a great weekend, Nicole!

    • Nicole
      Author
      September 16, 2011 / 9:04 am

      What a deal! With all the chili we make in the fall, I would’ve gotten at least 20 cans, too! Happy weekend, Renee!

  4. Jey
    September 16, 2011 / 9:06 am

    Glad they were a hit! We loved that the chicken stayed so moist and that the beans provided some extra protein.

  5. Liz
    September 16, 2011 / 9:43 am

    I have no idea why I haven’t tried cooking chicken in foil packets yet. I’ve only done fish. This sounds delicious and quick!

  6. September 16, 2011 / 11:45 am

    Oh yay! I have been looking forward to this recipe. This dish looks excellent. Pinto beans are not often something I use aside from including in mexican dishes. This looks great!
    Have a great weekend, Nicole!

  7. September 16, 2011 / 5:56 pm

    I love the idea of cooking the beans like that. They would be amazing.

    Theres only one thing Im excited about this weekend – sleep. As long as I can sleep past 8 tomorrow I’ll be happy.

  8. September 17, 2011 / 7:04 am

    I NEVER had beans growing up. EVER. But now I practically live off of them! Love this dish..especially how cheap it is!

  9. September 17, 2011 / 7:24 am

    This is going on my “must make” list!! Sounds fantastic. And like I said about your last foil recipe, I just love the idea of minimal cleanup.
    Funny that you mention Taco Bell refried beans, because I seriously grew up on those too! We used to buy them all the time for bean burritos.
    Enjoy your girl’s weekend, and GO BUCKS!!! 😉

  10. Ana
    May 17, 2012 / 2:08 am

    Can I use something besides mushroom?

    • Nicole, RD
      Author
      May 17, 2012 / 7:36 am

      Ana: Absolutely! The sky is the limit!

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