Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Food for Thought

As my mother would be happy to tell you, I'm not really a cook.  But, sometimes I come across some things that even I can make! Now surely there are other kitchen challenged folk out there, much like me, eager to travel down their path to healthy living and healthy eating.  Those of us with the best of intentions, but not always the best ideas.... So, I thought I'd give Food for Thought a spin.  My intention is to offer things I find, some tricks I come across and maybe some great substitutions you can make.  Now.  I am in NO WAY an authority..I am the Jelly Belly Jelly Bean Queen after all, but I'm trying to learn.  So...maybe we can learn together?  Let's give it a whirl!

Salsa Chicken with Spanish Rice was on the menu last night.  After a long day at work, school or errand day, you can't go wrong with this, honestly.  It's easy to put together and even harder to screw up.  My kind of meal!  Now, I prep all my stuff first, like the chopping and the slicing and the portioning and the seasoning and the...well you get it.  So get your prep done, throw it in the oven and simmer it on the stove!  We've got two recipes we're about to cover, but you can do them simultaneously.

Salsa Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast        1 cup salsa
4 tsps (or so) taco seasoning mix           1 cup (or so) shredded cheese
2 Tbsp sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased baking dish.  Sprinkle taco seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts and pour salsa all over it.  Bake at 375 F for 25 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is tender and juices run clear.  Sprinkle chicken evenly with cheese, and continue baking for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Top with sour cream if you want.

hope's notes:  I portion out 4 oz raw chicken before baking. I make my own taco seasoning (lower in sodium!) and use low/reduced fat cheddar cheese and usually NOT the whole cup (it's a lot when you think about it!) and skip the sour cream (use fat free if you need it!).  Recipe source:  allrecipes.com I think.

Spanish Rice
2 Tbsp vegetable oil                       1 cup uncooked white rice
1 medium onion, chopped              1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups water (or chicken broth)     1 (10oz) can diced tomatoes & green chilies
2 tsps chili powder                        1 tsp salt

In a deep skillet over medium heat add vegetable oil.  Add rice, onion and green bell pepper.  Saute until the rice is browned and the onions are tender.  Stir in water (or broth) and tomatoes and green chilies.  Season with chili powder and salt.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.  Makes 4 servings.

hope's notes: I substitute brown rice.  For this, you'll probably need to increase the liquid and simmer longer than 30 minutes.  I haven't mastered it yet, so if you come up with a good combo of liquid and time, let me know!  Also, I go the extra virgin olive oil route and use water, but if you choose to use broth make sure you go the low sodium route.  Recipe source:  blogchef.net

Add a nice green salad with fresh veggies and a balsamic vinaigrette, and viola!

For the next Food for Thought entry, I'll try to take pictures :-)


1 comment:

Melanie said...

That chicken sounds yum! Might have to steal that!