I know most people look forward to waking up to Saturday mornings, but I have to say that I think I'm actually ecstatic about Saturday mornings. Why? Because I wake up early, walk over to Patterson Park, and spend my morning volunteering with Bienestar, a health outreach group that works with the Baltimore Latino community. The participants are amazing. Each and every one is full of energy and enthusiasm for communal health and the camaraderie within the program is really quite beautiful. Usually we take some health measurements, discuss a health topic, and then do some exercise together, but a couple of weekends ago we had a fun change of pace: a healthy cooking contest! Anyone could enter- participants and volunteers- so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to combine my love for cooking with my love for working with Bienestar. The only problem was that I was pretty nervous about submitting an entry since I don't have much of a Latino influence in my day-to-day cooking. Not that it had to be Latin American cuisine, but I'm all about the culturally compelling aspect of healthy cooking. If the goal is to give people an opportunity to cook healthy recipes, I should try to suggest recipes that suit their tastes so that they actually use them! But I couldn't think of anything I knew how to make that would fit that self-imposed requirement... until I started craving my mom's chicken tinga! And it was perfect! It's really healthy and really simple. So that's what I made! And everyone loved it. So give it a try yourself, you'll see! It tastes great and is truly great for you!

chicken tinga

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
4 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 14 oz cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon adobo sauce 
3 chopped chipotle peppers
2 chicken breasts
1 cup water
Cilantro for garnish
Rice for serving

Sauté the onions in olive oil over medium high heat for about five minutes, until translucent. Add the sliced green pepper, garlic, and salt and sauté for another minute. Add the tomato sauce, adobo sauce, and chipotle peppers and stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and then add the chicken breasts and water. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken, shred with two forks, and return to the tomato mixture. Let simmer for 3-5 more minutes, then serve with cilantro garnish over rice!

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