Louisiana inspired Chicken and Rice

zesty chicken

After the holidays when your fridge is empty and you have eaten literally everything you could ever want over Christmas and to ring in the new year…. you need a detox. At least that is how I am feeling. I am tired of eating out (Cane’s and slims I’m talking about you) and need just a healthy yet hearty dinner. Well, one recipe that comes to mind is one of my weeknight favorites.  Every time I make it I wonder why I don’t make it more. I remember the last time I had this I mentioned to a friend “remind me that I love this and should make it the next time I can’t decide what to have for dinner.” This recipe calls for chili sauce and sometimes I have a hard time finding it. Especially when I go to little Walmart as opposed to big Walmart. My CPG friends are shaking their heads as they read this because that’s how I have always distinguished between the neighborhood Walmart and the supercenter (I know I am not the only one.)  If your grocer doesn’t have chili sauce use 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.  I serve this over brown rice with a side roasted asparagus. You can serve it over any rice you want!

Sidenote: I added Tony C’s seasoning to the tomato sauce to give it some zest –you can add Tony C’s to the chili sauce if you want but if using tomato sauce instead then definitely add it!

(I feel like I should be in Louisiana eating this dish btw)

Ingredients:

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided use
1 cup dry brown rice or any rice of your choosing
2 cups water
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1 lb. raw chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (14.5-oz.) can low-sodium diced tomatoes
½ cup  chili sauce (Heinz) OR Tomato Sauce (I prefer chili sauce over tomato)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper

Preparation:
1. Cook rice according to the bag or box!
2. While rice is cooking, heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in another medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add chicken and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
5.  Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, chili or tomato sauce, basil, parsley, and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; gently boil, covered, for 10 minutes. — If you used tomato sauce and not chili then add Tony C’s.
6. Divide rice between four serving plates; top evenly with chicken mixture.

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Recipe adapted from Beachbody.com

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Honey Balsamic Chicken with Carrots and Spinach- crockpot

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I am obsessed with this easy crockpot dinner. Lately I haven’t had  time to cook  (you have no idea how much I miss this kitchen…) School has been keeping me burried in my books and I’m pretty sure my new home is the annex of the Grad-Ed building on campus. That being said a comforting yet healthy meal is something that I have been craving. It’s sweater weather y’all… or for me fall scented candle season haha! I’m sharing an oldie but a goodie especially since it’s getting chilly. It reheats beautifully and gets even better as the days pass. I have made this dinner time and time again. It all began while looking in my cabinets for something I could throw together. Boy am I thankful for this crazy concoction that turned out to be AMAZING!!!!! It has a pot roast flavor but with an Italian spin. Once you make it, you won’t stop eating it. I like to serve it over brown rice but it would be delicious over creamed potatoes as well. My sister is an incredible cook and if she has tried this recipe and has loved it as much as I have… I know it will be a home run for you 🙂

Nutrition: 260 calories per serving (serves 8)  fat: 6.2g  Sodium:360.7mg  Carbs:10.9g Protein: 38.9g
Ingredients

  • 2lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (About four big breasts)
  • 1/2 cup honey infused balsamic vinegar (if you cannot find this than use plain balsamic vinegar with 2TBs of honey) or no honey at all!
  • 1 bag of baby carrots– You could add more— at least I do because it’s my favorite part!
  •  1 can of spinach (If you use fresh spinach add it in at the end and stir until wilted)
  • 1 jar of medium chunky salsa (I know I was hesitant too but it’s awesome)– or canned organic diced tomatoes probably fire roasted.
  • 1 chopped yellow onion (omit if you’re not a fan of onions)
  • Serve with cauliflower mashed potatoes, brown rice or a sweet potato for healthy sides.

Directions:

Combine chicken, Honey Balsamic Vinegar, carrots, spinach and salsa in the crockpot. Tenderize chicken with a fork and stir it all around. See above directions for when to add the spinach in using fresh and not canned.

Low for 6-7 hours or High for 4