Post-Memorial Day Hangover

The gods certainly smiled on us this holiday weekend with long overdue warmth and sunshine. I don't know about you, but I'm sunburned and berating myself for 3 days of gluttony, including but not limited to cheeseburgers, beer, unlimited Tostitos, and cupcakes. My internal battle since 7 o'clock this morning has been whether to hit the gym hardcore after work, or continue my laziness by laying on the couch with pizza and a healthy dose of the Food Network. Against my better judgment, I'm going with a quick workout and a simple, quick and healthy dinner of my Cheesy Chicken & Black Bean Bake. While the term 'casserole' just makes me think of moms, I'm not sure what another appropriate term would be for this, so I'm leaving out the 'casserole' and making it a one-pan bake. Is your interest piqued? If so, check out my recipe below and let me know how it turns out! I'll be making it this evening and the best thing about it? You can modify almost all ingredients to your own taste! Don't like black beans? Try pinto or canellini! Like it spicy spicy? Add some Cayenne!

Cheesy Chicken & Black Bean Bake
1 lb. chicken, cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 C yellow corn
2 tbsp green chilis (or to taste)
15 oz can black beans
1-2 C cooked rice (I like brown rice, and use between 1 & 2 cups...to taste)
1 C shredded cheese of the Mexican variety (for the healthier version, use reduced fat cheese)
3/4 C sour cream (again, use reduced fat if you're being 'healthy')
1/4 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 tbsp scallions
salt & pepper, for seasoning chicken

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Saute in just a bit of olive oil just until browned and cooked through.
Mix all ingredients together, setting just a couple of tbsp of cheese aside.
In a baking dish coated with cooking spray, add mixture and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 7-10 minutes more
Enjoy!

*For some extra heat, try adding some cayenne pepper!

Katwalk


What: No, it's not the name of a gentleman's club, but a rockin' bar/lounge in the Fashion District.
Where: 2 West 35th Street
Why it Rocks:
1) Sex & the City Wednesdays, featuring a big screen showing of your fave eps and fashionably monikered drink specials...Mr. Big shots anyone? Bring a group of 8 ladies or more and get free apps!
2) Fab outdoor seating arrangements! As Spring springs, this is a highly valued feature as all city dwellers long for some semi-fresh air
3) Music is fun and audible, but not so much that you can't carry a conversation.
4) Happy Hour Mon-Fri from 3-7, including $4-$6 specialty cocktails and $6 glasses of wine.
Bonus: It's charitable! Katwalk encourages guest bartending gigs where they donate 10% of drink proceeds to the charity of guest bartender's choice.

Gripes:
1) You have to practically climb over piled up trash on the corner to reach the entrance
2) Remember those fab outdoor seating arrangements? See Gripe #1.
3) Stay away from the nachos, unless you are into chips slathered in fake cheese and salsa (and not in a good way).

Bottom Line:
Great place for after work drinks, especially if you start before 7! Stay at the bar unless you've reserved a table. While it does get crowded quickly, seats frequently open up.