One Pan Salsa Chicken

Happy New Year friends! To start the new year off I had a pretty adult moment yesterday. And not the good kind of adult moment, like applying for your first credit card or moving into your first big girl apartment. But the shitty kind of adult moment that makes you miss your mom.

To be honest, I'm making this a bit more dramatic than necessary, but I want to share regardless. I went to the dentist office for the 3rd time this year (I wasn't blessed with the best teeth) for a filling. About a year ago I moved off of my Dad's health insurance and started using my own through work. I was fairly diligent in updating my accounts with my dentist and doctor, and with the former I went as far as updating my info online and calling in to confirm.

My two cleanings throughout the year went fine, however, I should have been on alert after my second cleaning when they told me that they couldn't process my insurance because it looks like I had been removed. I reminded them that, yes, I was in fact removed from my previous insurance but had already called to update them. They apologized and life went on.

Fast forward to yesterday after my filling. I went to check out and pay whatever co-pay was necessary to find out that my dentist had made a mistake and they actually don't take my new insurance. Because of this, they hadn't been paid for the past 3 sessions, which means that I owed them over $500.

I am 100% for paying for services you receive, as I know that service providers get ripped off all the time. But, I was pretty upset this time around because I did everything I needed to ensure they had the information they had, and to avoid having to pay unnecessary fines that I simply can't afford. I was as transparent as possible, and a bit pissed that I wasn't awarded the same respect.

I could tell they felt bad for the mistake, and they were able to waive some of the fees but I still ended up paying a significant amount out of pocket. This right here, is my new years resolution; slow down.

By no means should I have paid anything, and I probably wouldn't have had I just taken a breather. Instead of freaking out and getting caught up in the moment, I should have taken a step back and asked for an invoice. Then, I would have had time to review my options and work with the dentist office to figure out a proper solution.

I don't normally make resolutions, but I think this is a good one for me this year. It's important to think through big decisions with some logic, and not rely so heavily on emotional response. And: always ask for an invoice.

Anyway, the past 5 years of my life have always started off with resolutions surrounding weight-loss and health. However, this year I'm pretty happy with my body and my lifestyle. One thing that works for Ricky and I is to change up our diets consistently. One week we will eat Pescetarian only, the next week vegan. Through this cycle of diets and nutrition, the one we've found works best for both of us is the Paleo diet.

Neither of us are strictly paleo by any means; we both eat brown rice, quinoa, beans, and whole grain bread every now and then, and we enjoy our weekends and travels. When we are home (meaning - breakfast and dinner) we are 95% paleo. My favorite, and easiest, way to eat paleo is skillet chicken. I love how creative this dish is - you cook up some chicken with whatever veggies you have, throw in some spices and liquids, let it simmer and you're done! Endless variety, and an unbelievably easy clean up.

I almost feel guilty making this version, because it's so easy and I always have the ingredients on hand. I always have salsa, black beans, and frozen corn on hand, so whenever I feel like this all I need to grab is chicken thighs and kale and I'm good to go! Eat it as is or with brown rice, the choice is yours! 30 minutes and one pan clean up, what more could you want?

Serving: 3-4


1 lb skinless chicken thighs (about 5)

1/2 of a 16oz jar of salsa

1/4 chicken broth

1/2 can black beans

1/4 cup corn

1 cup torn kale (I used Lacinato for it's sturdiness)

2 tsp tomato paste

1 tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper

cilantro and lime for garnish


1. Heat a large tbsp of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

2. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.

3. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken thighs and cook for 3 minutes on both sides, or until golden brown.

4. Remove the chicken from the skillet, turn the heat down to medium-low, add in the tomato paste and broth and stir frequently to combine.

5. Add in the salsa, beans, and corn. Cook for 1 minute and season with salt and pepper.

6. Add back in the chicken + juices and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes. Continue to flip the chicken to coat in the salsa mixture.

7. Add in the torn kale and toss to combine, so kale begins to wilt.

8. Serve as is or over quinoa, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or whatever! Garnish with cilantro and lime juice.

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