I love finding recipes that use some of the same slightly weird ingredients.

Take this Grilled Spicy Lime Chicken with Black Bean Salad, another Healthy Meal That Doesn’t Suck. It has the same canned chipotles in adobo sauce, lime juice and cilantro as the Chipotle-Lime Glazed Shrimp. Oh, yes. Love that.

First, you focus on the marinade, this amazing combination of freshly squeezed lime juice, chopped cilantro, olive oil, chopped chipotles, a little adobo sauce, a tablespoon of honey, freshly minced garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. You’ll use portions of this mixture three times: as a marinade for the chicken, as a dressing for the black bean salad and as a final topping for the chicken.

While you’re heating your grill or grill pan, keep the marinated chicken in the fridge, and work on the black bean salad. The original recipe calls for beans, scallions, red pepper and avocado tossed with one-fourth cup of the lime mixture, but feel free to use what you have on hand. I’ve substituted the scallions for chives or thinly sliced red onion, a jarred roasted red pepper instead of fresh and traded the avocado slices for a few handfuls of corn kernels.

Once you’ve grilled the chicken, drizzle it with the remaining lime juice mixture for an extra kick. The flavor is bright and pool-party summery without being too hot. If you don’t tell anyone it’s healthy, THEY’LL NEVER KNOW.

To bulk it up: Top your favorite salad with the grilled chicken and black bean mixture, and add some tortilla chips. Or throw some tortillas into the mix for soft tacos, quesadillas or wraps.

To lighten it up (even more): Leave out the avocado, and skip the final drizzle of the lime juice mixture.

Grilled Spicy Lime Chicken with Black Bean Salad

Adapted from “Cook’s Country”

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 chipotle chiles, roughly chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions (or red onion)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced thin (optional)
  • Lime wedges for serving
  1. Light grill, or heat grill pan to medium. Whisk lime juice, cilantro, oil, chiles and sauce, honey, garlic, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in small bowl.
  2. Toss chicken with 1/4 cup lime juice mixture in separate large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate chicken in refrigerator while grill (or grill pan) continues to preheat.
  3. For the Black Bean Salad: Toss beans, scallions, red pepper, and avocado with 1/4 cup lime juice mixture in serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Grill chicken over very hot fire (or in grill pan) until well-browned on both sides and cooked through, 8 to 13 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter and drizzle with remaining lime juice mixture. Serve immediately with black bean salad.